First game of the year and I've gone for a game I've not really played before, Kings of War. Now in it's 2nd edition and reasonably popular at the club, mainly due to the speed of the quick play style rules and the speed at which things can be set up and put away again making it ideal for a club night rule set.
Not knowing the rules I put together a very list with the generic Kingdoms of Men list which looks to be pretty 'nilla and with no frills easy to pick up the rules with. The list was pretty random along with the same on magic which I should have spent more time on but as just a game to pick up the rules the list seemed reasonable and more importantly 'legal', using the EasyArmy prog to put together the list.
Kev was on hand the his Dark Elves KoW equivalent list army and was slightly worried at the apparent disproportionate size of armies initially but he needn't have worried. Ian was on hand too as a spectator and to add gems of wisdom into the void that was my ignorance of the system.
I won't go with a blow by blow account of the action as this was a bit (but not totally) one sided mainly due to the newbie army list and player it has to be said, but also to a self confessed good dice night for the Drow types. Instead I'll put down a few observations on my take on the game and with an admittedly first peek at the rules.
As intimated before the Human Kingdom army did not fair well in the battle and generally got gubbed by a mixture of mass shooting and a couple of brutal frontal melees. The Drow only took a couple of notable losses, the first being disposable Harpies which did their job and slowed things down and more telling a unit Witchy Types which went down to a combined arms tactics mid game.
The basic premise I noted firstly is that there are no casualty removals its an all or nothing mechanism where a unit is either OK, very unhappy/gone thing so tending towards an element based game. Not as restrictive as most of that genre are movement/tactics wise but strong move in that direction. As most who know me know, I'm not a fan of element based game systems and basically I almost don't see the need for using figure for that style of game where in becomes like an Avalon Hill board game in feel so your units are just counters anyway.
That said, the rules are not quite there in their feel, mainly rescued by the movement flexibility. The system did feel a bit abrupt in it's results (but hey it's a quick play rule system) unit takes some shooting hits, gone seemed a bit what happened there' when you've got a horde of things who haven't even seem the enemy and they're offsky. That will take a bit of getting used to. The same thing happens in the likes of WHFB, but there you see the attrition as you take off a bunch of figures before you fail your break test, so it just seems like they did something more. I get that.
|Doesn't look good for the Humie Pikes|
The shooting and melee system is very (read here; entirely) YGIG so you are a bit of a spectator for half the game. There is nothing you do in your opponents turn, they even throw the dice on your unit nerve check to see if your unit breaks after taking shooting casualties or from melee. The upshot of the game is based on a tactical premise where you look at the game a move or so ahead and try and position your units for the charge and aiming to get a greater number of units hitting an enemy unit or lining up for a retaliation strike to set up your enemy for a flank or even rear attack which are stupendously effective. Luck still plays a part as ever for hits and wounds and nerve checks but from what was seen in the game, you can get a good handle on the odds for the likely outcome of any engagement as the spread of stats seem fairly small.
|The Humie fire support look on in disgust|
All the above is really fine, I did think that there didn't seem to be any difference in the staying power of say a horde of militia and a horde of Hvy Pike but that is just first impression and may be down to game on the night specifics.
Magic seemed to be fairly low key and no a major influence but more an add-on to the flow/result of the game which is fine.
In summary, I did enjoy the game, in a masochistic sort of way, but it was very much a first game and with that in mind I will play again. Thanks to Kev and Ian too for putting up with lots of silly questions. A bit of a study on the lists with a much better insight to capabilities and so on. A view of the other army lists is required to see what sits with my play style and figure availability is very much required and see if this puts a better result on the table for next time.