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Kings of War game

Brother Glacius

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So Gordi and I threw down some KoW last night. We ran 1500pts and rolled a standard kill mission. Basically, you needed to have more than 300pts than your opponent on the field left. I fielded elves, which consisted of my HE and WE models.


Prince on Dragon

2 regiments of spears (20 each)

1 regiment of seaguard (20)

1 small reg of high guard (10 swordmasters)

1 regiment of archers (10)

1 small reg of knights (5)

1 regiment of forest shamblers (think 3 treekin)

1 regiment of sylvan cousins ( 20 dryads)

2 bolt throwers


He was running Kingdom of Men (empire)

general on horse


reg of knights (10)

reg of knights (10)

reg of mounted sergeants (10)

reg of spears (20)

reg of spears(20)

reg of footmen (20) empire foot knights

reg of footment with GWs (20) greatswords

reg of handgunners (20)




He might have had one more foot unit..but I think that was it.


we filled up our sides of the table fairly well. There was a mix of hills, forests and ruins on both sides.


I won't try to give a blow by blow because I just don't remember everything. What I can say though, is that it was a very fun game. At no time was there any hint of blowout or a feeling that you can't do anything. Hitting never got better than 3+, and wounding never got worse than 5+. The turns went fairly quickly due to KoW's system. When it was my turn, only I rolled dice. My opponent didn't have to do anything but give me stats, and that was restricted to a unit's defense and their nerve value.


So when attacking, I rolled based on my unit's attack value and their combat skill (melee or ranged). After those hits were done, I roll damage based on opponent's defense. If damage was done, a nerve test was then taken against them.


We went through a full 6 turn game fairly quickly considering the number of units we had and that we hadn't played in quite a while. I think we made a few mistakes, but not horrible ones.


In the end, my elves won. Completely due to the fact that my dragon stayed on the table. He did a great job of wiping out most of my army. I only had my dragon, my swordmasters, and one unit of spears left. He had his mortar, his priest, and his sergeants.


Several times the game swung based on a good or bad roll. For instance, his handgunners on turn 1 shot my seaguard. He needed 6's to hit and roll 8 hits on 10 dice. He then wounded 7 times and sent the unit running off the field. His mortar hit 4 times during the game, sending many units of mine off as well. On the other hand, my dragon was able to take out both his units of knights (the first in a combo charge with two other units, the second after putting lots of wounds on them through shooting). My bolt throwers didn't hit very well during the game, even with Elite status (allows one reroll). But my archers were great at putting one wound on a unit and then rolling a high nerve test to shake or break them.


The best part, was there was no unexpected. There was no super combo of nastiness or doom fort. No stream of powerful spells. It came down to positioning and wound concentration. Both of us sent off units with a lucky roll, or failed to send them off with a poor one. But none of it game breaking, or rather enjoyment breaking.


I can't wait for KoW2.

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  • 2 months later...

Was just reading the rules on this game and was wondering...do units not remove casualties when they take hits/damage?


Meaning I can build a unit of 10-20 zombies on a base and not have to have a movement tray for them?,as in I can make some sort of diorama for them



Also it doesn't appear to have a magic phase at all,not that its a bad thing but that seems like a big hole if its competing with WHFB(assuming that's still around in a few months,heh)


I also noticed that the rules are written by the same person who wrote Bolt Action of which I am a fan of also:)

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Correct, you never remove models in a unit for casualties. You just mark the unit with the number of hits they have taken. Eventually the whole unit will come off. So yes, you can make appropriate sized dioramas. KoW is very specific with unit sizes and layouts. Most units only have a few sizes they can be (10, 20, 40) as an example. So it makes it nice that you can have a fairly standard set of trays that will work with multiple units.


In the current edition of the rules, there is not a separate magic phase...magic is basically just like shooting. In the rulebook, it is very basic...they do have alternate rules in one of the expansions. I expect the 2.0 rulebook to use those as well. Magic in KoW will never be like magic in WFB. Complicates things too much I imagine. Right now, magic either does damage, or removes damage. Undead do have an ability that helps them move, but the mechanic is just like shooting. Basically, rolling dice to see if you get hits, and then each hit translates into an inch of movement.


Anytime you want to give it a try, let me know.

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KOW is a good game. Easy to pick up and start playing. Plus you can use your existing models to play the game. 2.0 is a refinement of the current set of rules.


It has a chess like feel and yes people do create dioramas with their bases. I've played a few times and really enjoy it.


There are some great deals on the armies with the 2.0 KOW KickStarter. I'm in on the KickStarter, so let me (or Bro G) know quick if anything interests you as the pledge manager needs to be filled out before Mar 30th. 

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I've been very intrigued by KOW. I love Warhammer to death, but I think it's at least worth it to see what else is out there.


Could you guys give us a sense of how KOW feels compared to Warhammer? I get the idea that it's much simpler? Do games always go faster than Warhammer? Is there better balance? Is there still huge strategic depth? What does KOW do better than Warhammer?

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First off, it really doesn't compare to WFB. They are only similar in that you have ranked up models in units. After that, they are vastly different.


First off, all unit sizes are set. When you choose a unit, it has very specific sizes to field. Its formation is also set. So there is a great uniformity to units in KoW. Also, there is no random movement and you can premeasure all you want. You know exactly when you can charge and if you will make it or not. Other than that, movement is fairly similar. There is no wheeling though. You have rules on when and how much you can pivot, but they are not part of the measuring process.


LOS and range measurement is done from the center front model of the unit, ie the leader.


Shooting is simple. The unit has a value for ranged attacks and that is what you roll. No counting models, or anything like that. If your target is in LOS and range from the "leader" model, then the whole unit shoots.


Range combat plays out like this: Get # of dice from unit Attack stat. Get target number based on unit's Ranged Attack value. Apply mods if any. Roll dice, record successes. Opponent will give you their unit's armor stat. You now roll your hits aiming for that target number (modified by weapon if applicable). If damage is done, add to total damage to the unit. Roll a leadership test 2d6 + total damage and compare to enemy unit's Nerve stat. If >= to first value, unit is wavering, if >= to second value, unit is routed off the table.


Magic - huge difference. In KoW, magic is basically just like shooting. You have a number of dice to roll, a target number, and that produces hits. Roll to damage, and then if damage done, roll Nerve test. There is no variety like there is in WFB. There really isn't even a magic phase. If a unit/model has certain "magic" abilities, they use them in the shooting phase.


Melee - This is also very different from WFB. It is basically just like shooting. Units that are in melee, only the charger gets to attack. You roll # of dice based on attack stat. Target number is based on Melee value, apply mods, record number of successes. Roll successes vs enemy unit armor stat, apply mods, record successes. If you did damage, add it to total damage done to unit, then roll nerve test (2d6 + total damage done to unit). If the enemy unit does not route, then you push back your unit one inch. Missile units that are charged are considered to be disrupted in the next phase, regardless if damage was done or not. This basically means they can't shoot. They can still melee though.


Hit a unit in the flank, your attack value is x2...hit them in the rear....x3.


Wavering units cannot charge...but can only change facing, or back up.


And that is basically it. When it is your turn, you are the only one rolling dice. It goes very fast. The game is about putting damage on units until you can route them. Even just one point of damage allows for a nerve test. So it is possible to get really lucky and cause an enemy unit to flee the table, even though little damage was done. On the flip side, units don't lose any effectiveness until they are off the table. You could have a unit of 10 guys who have taken 10 hits, but unless you rolled well enough to route them, they hit just as hard as they did with no hits. So units don't have a wounds stat. It all comes down to beating their nerve score. By the way, snake eyes always fails a nerve test, and box cars always routes. It comes up more than you'd think.


Larger units always have larger nerve scores...so they should be harder to remove from the table. However, the # of attacks typically only increases if you reach a "horde" level for the unit. For example:


10 dwarf warriors have 15 attack dice.

20 dwarf warriors have 15 attack dice, but a higher nerve score.

40 dwarf warriors (horde level) have 25 attack dice and an even higher nerve score.


By the way, I'm just pulling numbers here...just to illustrate. So a lot of the strategy comes in the form of risk. 10 dwarfs hit just as hard as 20...but they won't last as long. But they are cheaper.


Also, there isn't a huge difference between races. Mostly the stats fluctuate a little, and a race may have a typical special rule attached to its units. So in terms of balance, I find it is pretty solid.


If you compare it to WFB...WFB looks like a wedding cake with sparklers on it and KoW looks like a twinkie. Doesn't mean the twinkie doesn't taste good too. :)

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Well the goblin, orc, and undead army can pretty much translate units right over. Maybe the deamons too. The rest may have a unit that you aren't sure what to do with. For instance, the dwarfs have a cav unit. The ogres have a chariot unit. Still though, based on the sheer number of models you get for $100, you are still saving way more money than if you tried to get the same number of GW models.


The models that tempted me the most were the deamon and the abyssal dwarves. But I actually already own way too many models, so I'm just going with the books for now. It was super tempting...but at some point you have to stop the madness. :)

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