Tuesday, 29 December 2020

2020

So, 2020 is pretty much over, and as always there is a brief overview of how the year went. It shall be very brief in fact, thanks to the elephant (virus)in the room.

There isn’t that much to report, and I shall break it down into a few categories that make it a bit easier to report, so without any further pre-amble...

 

Gaming.

I did virtually no gaming this year. I think I managed about 3 games, mostly of Titanicus.  There were two reasons for this.   The early part of the year was due to a cancer scare my mum had, which pretty much stopped me coming to the club for a good while.  Then just as things were starting to get back to normal the virus hit, and the club was closed and has yet to re-open.   I pretty much only play at the club so haven’t managed to do any games since March apart from playing some 40k with my 10-year-old and a couple of boardgames.

I have toyed with installing Universal Battle so I can play some Kings of War or perhaps installing Tabletop simulator but haven’t got round to it.   A few people have been doing games over zoom, but I dot really have the space for that so I am patiently waiting for when I can get back to face to face gaming.

That’s it for gaming for 2020.  Depressingly short.    

I have missed my weekly visits to the club and speaking with friends and also the games themselves.  

One thing I have also found I have missed is the theorising about games.   I enjoy looking at rules and thinking about tactics and lists that are worth trying, often as a result of losing a game and having to try and come up with a different tactic that may have a better chance of success next time.   

 

Painting:

I have had a lot more free time this year.  Not commuting to the office has saved me about 7 hours a week.  Kids haven’t had clubs for a long time.  Also there has been a lot less external pressure coming from mixing with other gamers and seeing what they are playing so I have been a lot less distracted.

 

This year I have managed to complete:

 

All of my Titanicus forces (10 titans, 12 knights plus lots of extra weapons).

15mm Ayyubid Egyptians for Art de la Guerre. I have yet to base them and the infantry are still to be done but I hate painting 15mm miniatures, so they keep getting pushed down the priority list. These may be a good test of contrast paints to get them finished quickly.

Halfling warband for Mordheim.  The annual Mordheim campaign never happened this year, but hopefully at some point in 2021.

I completed my Genestealer Cult army for 40k.  This was a fairly large undertaking as it was over 100 models plus vehicles, but they are all done now.

Dunlendings for Lord of the Rings. the Rohan supplement introduced some Dunlending characters and some new troop types. Unfortunately, the troop types are all from Forge world, so the costs were eye watering. Thankfully Victrix and a few other Historical companies had suitable substitutes, although I did splash out for the characters.

Fantasy Skirmish.  I have a large box of skirmish figures from various manufacturers (mainly Hasslefree, Westfalia, and Otherworld) and I really enjoy painting some every once in a while. I have managed to paint a fair few of them this year, plus some old goblins from Warhammer 3rd edition.  I really enjoy painting one off minis and these were no exception.

I also painted the customary bust that I do for my brother each year.  It didn't turn out quite as well as I would have liked but time was a factor so in the end it was handed over. My brother liked it so that was the main thing.

 

I now find myself in the weird position where all of my gaming projects are pretty much finished, or certainly don't really require any more models added to them.  I will add more stuff, but I have the luxury of picking and choosing what I want to add as everything that I am likely to get a game of is useable on the table.   

I have a pile of Lord of the |Rings characters that need painted at the moment. They are mostly "nice to have" miniatures such as Saruman and some variants of Frodo and Sam and will very rarely see the table, but I wanted to add them in to the collection and now have the space for such things.  there is also the large of box of fantasy skirmish miniatures that I can always rummage around and find something fun to paint, and I also have the Aliens vs Predator stuff to finish off, although recently I am thinking about selling it all of that as I don’t think it is likely to get much use in the future.

 

So, a very productive year for painting, not so much for gaming.

2021?

I don’t really have too many plans for next year. This is a hobby and I do it to relax so I like to keep things reasonably organic.  I do, however have a few things I would like to do:

Play some 40k ninth edition.  I now have a fully painted army.  I managed to pick up Indomitus so Blair also has a pretty large marine army and I think he would like a few Sunday visits to the club.  I also have a pile of Death Guard and Necrons, neither of which would take too much effort to expand to a full useable army.

 Perhaps get some Age of Sigmar stuff.  I had high hopes for the Sons of Behemat, but at 120 quid each it was just too expensive.  I think in 2021 we will see Vampires at some point, plus the new Slaanesh mortals have been revealed and they are stunning models.  I will probably pick up some anyway just to paint and that will probably lead to a full army.  

Chain of Command in 15mm.  I have a 28mm German force for Chain of Command but think the game would eb better served in 15mm.  I could probably sell of my German and then use the money to get two full platoons in plastic 15mm, which would make for a better game.  I'm still mulling this over though. WW2 would be pretty easy to paint with an airbrush though so it wouldn’t be a massive job.

I am also keeping an eye on Infamy Infamy, the ancient’s rules from Too Fat Lardies.  I have been eyeing up the Victrix Dacians and Carthaginians for a while now and these rules might just eth ticket.  I'll need to see it play at some point before I jump in though. 

I have also toyed with a new Kings of War army. I would really like to put together a proper army, with good quality scenic bases but I don’t get to play Kings of War very much as it has never really taken of at the club so I’m not sure I can be bothered with the effort.

There are lots of other things to do as well. Hopefully the Mordheim campaign will get off the ground, and there is still Oathmark to try as well. 

 

All in all, just getting back to gaming in 2021 would be a good thing!

 

2020 has been rubbish and has been absolutely awful for a lot of people, hopefully things will improve in 2021.

 

 



 



Thursday, 16 January 2020

Kings of War 3rd Edition (The corporate edition)

Kings of War 3rd Edition came out last year, shortly followed by its companion book Uncharted Empires.   I thought I would put down some of my initial thoughts on the new edition of the game, focusing on the points that are important to me (background, how does it effect my army).

The basic stuff:

The main rulebook is hardback and is just short of 400 pages long. It is split into three main sections.  The rules are the first 63 pages, the background takes you up to page 222, with the last section of the book being devoted to army lists for all the armies that Mantic currently manufacture miniatures for.

First of all the main rules.  This isn't so much a third edition as a tidy up of the rules, incorporating all the things that the rules committee have tried to clean up in their annual rules pack Clash of Kings, but couldn't as it would have made to big a change to the core of the rules.   Changes include fixing of the height rules to clear up the cover and line of site rules.

You now get a bonus to damage when charging of hills and some cleaning up of the charge rules. 

 The main change that I can seems to be the inclusion of a disengage rule.  In 2nd edition when you fought a unit but failed to rout it, you had to retreat an inch, and this caused some "discussion" as it could be interpreted in several ways, with some of the hard core tournament players using it to their advantage.   Now you stay in base contact, but if you start the turn engaged to an enemy on one side you can elect to carry out a free disengage before you issue the orders to your unit.   

Those are basically the main changes.

There changes to spells, such as Bane Chant no longer working on missile attacks, and certain spells now getting minuses to hit against units in cover.

Some magic items were also removed, some made only usable by individuals and some new ones added. Every magic item that effected shooting was removed from the game.

Individuals were changed slightly as well. All individuals are classed as yielding unless they have the 'mighty' rule. The yielding rule stops you from sticking your 50 point flag bearer in front of the enemy unit so that he has to charge him, leaving the unit exposed to be counter charged next turn by the horde of infantry cowering behind the hapless flag waver.

Breath Weapons were removed from the game entirely,  and are now simply shooting attacks, subject to the same limitations 

A couple of new troop types were introduced.   Previously infantry either came on 20mm or 25mm bases, but now a new class has been introduced.  Infantry are now all on 20mm bases, while the new heavy infantry are all on 25mm bases.  Titans have been introduced to cover all the especially large monsters that Mantic have been making and are on a 75mm base now.   

Chariots were changes lightly and you now need less models to make a unit and so the footprint has slightly changed.

Those are the rules. Generally keeping the game pretty similar is a good thing.  Some of the changes didn't quite go far enough fro me, and other went too far, but I shall summarise these at the end.

The background section is greatly expanded, and has a lot of detail about the origins of the world and all the different factions that inhabit it.  Its all pretty generic so theres not much to say here.  Orce are warlike, Elves are arrogant and Dwarfs live under the ground in great holds etc etc.  As a rule of thumb the more syllables in your name the more important you are though and the background never uses one word when you could slip in another couple of adjectives. Caverns aren't just dark or deep, but 'deepest, darkest', just to make sure the reader understands how dark and deep the caverns are.

The final section of the book contains the army lists. These are lists for all the armies that Mantic currently make models for, of which there are fourteen.  I cant comment on most of these as I have very limited experience of most of the. I will comment on two though, the elves and the Ogres.

The elves because there are a few things that stood out to me, and the ogres as I have fought more ogres than anything else so was able to make some sort of minor comparison between the editions.

The main changes to he elves were the reduction in power of he shooting infantry and the inclusion of palace guard hordes, both of which are problematic. These are problematic as it creates a massive disconnect from the fluff and makes the internal balance of the army very poor.  This is a problem fluff wise as the background of the elves makes a massive thing of elven skill with the spear and the bow.   It states that the elven ability with the bow is almost supernatural, but then they reduced the shooting ability of elves to 5+, which is pretty much the same as everyone else.  Not terribly supernatural then.   The Palace Guard hordes are now so good, and similar in cost to the mighty horde of spearmen (remember, elves favour the spear above all else) that basically every elven list will squeeze as many of the rare, elite palace guards as they can, leaving he other elven troops aside. The elves must be a very rich race if they need so many palace guards, lol.  I know that elven gunlines were a problem, but removing all the magic items and spell that benefit shooting and making the archers irregular probably would have been enough, now elven shooting is a rarity, apart from Silverbreeze cavalry who for some reason can shoot more accurately from the back of a moving horse than a static elven archer.

Ogres got a light touch and most of their stuff appeared to be unchanged apart from some new units and heroes. One thing I did notice is that Seige breakers got a lot better.  Seige Breakers were ogres carrying massive pavise shields and huge clubs. They had excellent defence to the front, and hit like a ton of bricks. The pay-off to this was that they were slower than normal ogres and they're base armour was slightly lower when attacked in the flank or rear, which made sense. Now their speed and armour have been raised to match that of the the other ogres, meaning that you don't really have any reason to take normal ogre braves unless you were really wanting to save a few points. 

Unchartered Empire is Mantic's expansion, containing a number of additional army list consisting mainly of the ones created to cash in when GW blew up the Old World and the WHFB players found themselves homeless. There are thirteen lists in this book, most of which are 'theme' lists.  Theme lists are based on one of the lists in the main book, and have access to some units from one or more of the lists from the main book and have some unique units of their own.  

I cannot comment on the most of these so will limit myself to having a look at my main Kings of War list, the Twilight Kin.   

The Twilight Kin had a list and range of miniatures in 1st edition, but these were removed when 2nd dropped as Mantic wasn't happy with the direction of the background.  They did, however introduce a 'get you by' list which everyone used.  The list basically allowed me to use my WHFB Dark Elf army, and had equivalent troops for most entries.

The new theme list has pretty much gutted the old 2nd edition list, making it virtually unrecognisable.  It has removed chariots, dragons, elven cavalry, basic wizards, hydra's, buccaneers and shadows. In return we are able to make use of both Abyssal and Nightstalker units, which are apparently summoned to the battle by the elven wizards.  I shall perhaps right a more detailed description of the list in a future blog post. I have a game coming up on Monday to try out the new edition so will have a better idea.

So how is 3rd edition?   The core rules are pretty much the same and therefore pretty good, although there are still a couple of issues with the rules:

I think the disengage rule is a missed opportunity. It is now entirely possible for a unit to disengage from the unit it is fighting, turn 90 degrees and attack another unit that has exposed a flank, thinking that the nearby enemy unit is occupied.   This is known as a corkscrew and is a rules fudge. I think the fact that you can run across the front of an enemy unit to engage an exposed 3mm of an enemy flank is a real problem with these rules, and while I wont do it personally I know a lot of people that will happily do it.  This leads me into my second point, the game really needs zones of control, which would go a long way to stop a lot of the weird rules contortions.   Whether a unit is in the flank of another unit should also be measured form something else apart from the leader point, as it can also lead to some very odd rules interpretations, where you end up perched on a flank of a unit that you were facing the front of, purely because you were offset slightly.

I think the nerf to shooting went to far. I get that this is a melee based game but basically making shooting hordes pointless was a bad move.  People will just move on to other way of maximising their shooting potential, mainly by spamming wizards.

Not really an rules issue but Mantic really need to drop the obsession with individual models. Kings of War is at its heart an element game, and within 5 minutes of the new rules there were multiple threads on line concerning minimum model count.   Currently a regiment of infantry consist of 20 men, arranged five wide and four deep. This means the units will have a footprint 100mm wide and 80mm deep, which is what really matters for game purposes.  Instead of constantly talking about models and adding up individual models, all they needed to do was state that a regiment of infantry has a footprint of 100 by 80mm and should consist of between 10 and 20 models. Job done.  I don't know why fantasy games have this obsession with individual models, even when the rules make them effectively meaningless.

I still like the core of the game, and think it is excellent, but it has definitely had a shift in how it has been made.  It is done with rules in mind rather than background, and there is a definite disconnect between how some of the armies are described and how they actually operate on the table.  This is a shame and is what happens when the games direction is run by people that seem primarily concerned with tournament style gaming.   There is background here, but it seems secondary to setting up a game that can be played competitively and each army needs to play in a certain way.  I'm not really bothered if two armies play in a very similar way if I like the fluff, and it is justified in the background, but when there is a disconnect then I will start to lose interest. Vanguard, the skirmish game in the same setting has some great narrative scenarios, and this could benefit from the same sort of love. 

So to sum up the rules themselves are still excellent, but the new background and army lists have left me feeling a bit ambivalent about the game. That nay change when I have got a few games under my belt, time will tell.


 
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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

New Year


No updates again for a while, still largely due to being busy the app making it very difficult to actually add decent photos. 

So we are now 5 weeks into 2019 and gaming activity is starting to pick up again. There was a bit of a lull over Christmas when family stuff took front and centre.
So what has been happening on the game front?
Pretty much more of the same really.  My Kings of War Vanguard Kickstarter from Mantic arrived on time last year and I have been painting up my Northern Alliance Warband to use with that.  I also had to purchase some Frostgrave Barbarians to use as basic grunts as Mantic haven't released any to use (why wouldn't you do this Mantic?).  With that completed I now have a pretty sizeable selection of models to choose from when playing the game.  I still need a few elves with bows to complete the warband, but I am not a fan of the Mantic elves and also don't think that they fit in with the Northern Alliance Warband aesthetics terribly well.  The best match I have found so far have been the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle Wood Elf Glade Guard, as they are all wearing heavy cloaks that if painted right would look the part. Unfortunately I only want 2 and even on e-bay they seem to be sold mainly in groups of 10.  I'll keep looking though and see if I can find some at a decent price.

I have managed one game of Vanguard so far, against Ian and it was good fun. We even managed to get most of the rules right.  I am going to raid my old WHFB Orc army and put together a second force so that I can run some demo games at the club to try and drum up some interest.
I have a game scheduled against Dave Knight in a few weeks and I hope he enjoys it.  In the end the basic rules are free so all you would really need are the power dice, which are pretty cheap to pick up and even then you only need one set so not an essential purchase as long as one player has a set.
The juggernaut that is Titanicus is also rolling along.  With the release of the Titandeath supplement the game now has a bit more depth to it, as there are now rules for individual Legios, giving each one its own character and style of play.  This is essential when every army in the game is basically using the same 5 models for their forces.  I have held off finishing my titans until the supplement came out but now that I have I have made a few decisions and am now starting to look seriously at getting the first of my titan forces completed.
My plan for this game has always been to have enough so that I can run games, including two full Titan Maniples, supporting knights and a good set of terrain.  I am almost there with regards to buying the titans that I need, and am really just looking to get extra weapons at this point to allows for more choice in the armament of the individual Titans.  I will probably pick up another Warlord, Reaver and couple of Warhounds and then let the game stew for a while to see how it matures.  I may also get some more terrain, as while all my Epic 40k terrain is suitable I don't think the buildings are really big enough so will be looking into getting some more, bigger buildings.
Baby Knights

Sort of painted Titans

There's now four Titanicus players at the club including myself so I should be able to get a decent amount of games in the future.
Games Workshop have also been continuing with their reboot of the Lord of the Rings game, or Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game as it is now called.   They have revisited it all and streamlined everything into a main rules book and a couple of books for all the profiles, meaning that my rag-tag collection of Lotr books can now be seriously reduced in size, which my bookcase (and long suffering wife!) are grateful for.   The new books have been accompanied with some lovely new plastic models and the return of a lot of older out of print metal models.  This has made me revisit my collection and look into expanding a few forces that I had bought bits of for the scenarios into full matched play forces, and I think I can accomplish another three forces on top of my large Rohan and Isengard forces without too much cost and effort.
The Genestealer Cult codex has finally dropped as well, signalling a serious return to 40k for me, after an absence of around 26 years.  While the current edition of 40k still has a few quirks I don't like, it is much improved from previous editions and the Genestealer Cult range, with the addition of the new vehicle and infantry models has to be my favourite range in 40k at the moment.  I have a large amount of them already that I have been buying up gradually so it will not cost much to get a playable 1000 point force. Just got to get the all painted now!
Love these

These are awesome too!



This looks like a lot of effort and money and to be frank it is, but its a hobby so I just do what I want, when I want to keep it enjoyable. The collecting and painting of the miniatures is as important to me as the gaming so I'm quite happy to spend a long time preparing stuff for the tabletop, and don't see it as a chore (apart from the basing. I really dislike basing models).
The cost of all of this is being covered by selling off old stuff.  Like every wargamer I have large amounts of unused models lying about, either from stalled projects that were never completed (or even started in some cases) or older models from when I was younger.  I have been selling all of it via E-bay and Facebook.  There is a nostalgic movement for older Warhammer miniatures at the moment, meaning that I am able to sell old miniatures and books from that era for decent money.  Its a win-win as I get rid of old stuff that I am never going to use, it helps fund my ongoing hobby purchases and these old miniatures go to someone who is going to give them a second lease of life. Otherwise they would probably end up in a landfill somewhere as I get fed up with them lying around and just bin them.
It has worked out very well so far, with my hobby costing me very little money in the last year or so.  I have a substantial Adeptus Titanicus force, along with rules and terrain and I think that the whole thing has probably cost me a total of 50 quid, above the money I have raised from selling on unused parts of my collection.
The club attendance also continues to grow, with more than 50 attending most Mondays now.  It is starting to get difficult to find a space to put up your table.  Having this many members means that there is a huge amount of choice now, and so far this year I have played:
L'Art de la Guer (twice)
What a Tanker
Kings of War Vanguard
and will be playing Adeptus Titanicus, Vanguard and Lord of the Rings in the near future.
All in all its looking like its going to be a busy year, hobby wise. Certainly for painting and hopefully for gaming.
I am also playing in another Kings of War tournament in March, during which I expect to get soundly thumped, and am off to Salute in April for a weekend away with a mate.
My youngest has also caught the X-Wing bug, and has been spending his Christmas and birthday money on spaceships. he recently got given a 40k dreadnought for his birthday and loved building it so is looking to pick up some more in the near future. 

Stay on target!

Monday, 9 July 2018

Mid Year

July already!  How did that happen?


So as we are half way through the year I thought it was about time to have a quick look back at the year so far, and cast a few thoughts on the year ahead.


Gaming wise the year has been about average. I don't record the amount or type of games that I play, so cant really be very precise on this. It feels like I have been playing the same amount of games as usual though, although what I have been playing has been slightly different.

We have playing a Lord of the Rings Battle Companies campaign, and we area about 9 games in now,  I opted for Warg Riders as we needed an evil force to even things out and I had enough of them that I wouldn't need to do any painting.  They started out pretty weak, largely due to poor numbers but are starting to come into their own now as more and more of the wargs are turned into proper cavalry.

I played in a tournament!  I am a big fan of the Kings of War rules from Mantic. it is a great replacement for WHFB.  I am always up for a game and another club member has been talking me into playing. After an initial surge of interest in the game at the club it seemed to have hit s bit of slump, so entering the tournament was a way of getting some games in. After an enjoyable days gaming I even managed a third place, as well as picking up the best army award which was a nice end to the day.  Between jobs, a wife and two kids I really struggle to find the time to get away for a full days gaming, but I will probably make an attempt to attend the next one in October.

Go me!


I have also managed to play a few games of Art De la Guerre, the ancients rules.  They have been the preferred set among the competition gamers after the demise of Field of Glory.  I have a half painted arab army that will probably be finished nearly next year (maybe) and am looking forward to giving that a few more tries.  I managed to try the Strongsword rules, from Westfalia and they seemed to be quite playable.

In general though I have struggled to get games for the rules that I am interested in. I haven't managed to get much interest in Kings of War, Conan boardgame, AVP or Shadespire. I had great hopes of Shadespire but have failed to drum up much interest in it, which is a shame as it is a great game.

Another thing I have been doing is reviewing my collection and deciding what I want to keep and what I could probably get rid of. I have some stuff that hasn't been out of the box for years.

So far I have been sorting into "keep", "maybe keep" and "get rid off".  

So far the keep pile consists of:

My Dark Elves (or Twilight Kin as they are known in Kings of War)
All my Lord of the Rings (It's Lord of the Rings!)
All my Fantasy Skirmish miniatures (for Mordheim, Storngsword, Otherworld Miniatures game)
AVP  ( I like the IP a lot and the models are lovely. I don't get to play but like the models and enjoy painting them)
Conan (great boardgame).
Late Romans (will probably rebase for ADLG)
WW2 Germans (Chain of Command is a great game!)
Shadespire (still a great game and I will keep pushing)
Epic (another great game).
40k Genestealer Cults

Maybe Keep:

My old WHFB Orc and Goblin army. It hasn't been out of the box in a long time, and is now teetering on the edge of the sale pile.
Malifaux ( I enjoyed painting them but there doesn't seem to be any appetite for it any more).
Rogue Trader Orks (I have collected a large amount of older GW Orks to use with 40k 2nd edition, but again I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of them so selling them on is a possibility)


Sell:

Void 1.1 (I haven't played this in a loooong time so will see about getting rid of them)
Urban War (I still have Koralon and Gladiators for this, but there doesn't seem to be much appetite for it so away it goes).
Warmaster (Chaos army is already away, but there is still a large Dwarf army to sell)
Full Thrust (I still have a couple of fleets to sell. I got rid of all the books last year)
Space Hulk (I have the 1st edition, plus the Death Wing and Genestealer supplements so should get a decent amount for them).


I am still in the process of selling a lot of my older models and that will continue for a while yet. I sold a big pile of books last year but the models take much more effort to sell.


Too much stuff.



Looking ahead there are a few things coming up that I am interested in.  Age of Sigmar 2 from Games Workshop has just been released and it is looking very pretty. The new models are great (especially the ghosts) and the new endless spells look like great fun. There is no real appetite for it at our club though so I have resisted it so far.

There is a new Lord of the Rings ruleset imminent. GW have reviewed the game and relabelled as Middle Earth Battle Game, so hopefully this will be the ultimate edition. If it looks any good I will pick up a copy.  Most of my visits to Middle Earth are scenario, narrative based gaming though so I don't really feel any pressure to pick it up.  I skipped the Hobbit rules, probably due to a vague sense of disgust as the movies were so terrible but might pick this up.

40K Kill Team. Warhammer 40k has a severe case of bloat these days. With entire armies of knights and superheavies possible it is all a bit much to put on one table.  Kill Team may be the solution, with only about 10 models a side on a small table. I would still like something a bit larger (perhaps 40-50 models a side with a couple of vehicles) but it could be fun to play this small.



Adeptus Titanicus:  40k in a decent scale.  The cost is likely to make me want to cry and but I am following it with interest.  I love the models and the rules look interesting.

Giant Robots!


I am also looking to the 40k codex for the Genestealer cults (GSC). I love the models and have amassed a load of them before 8th dropped. I haven't touched them yet but will follow the new codex with interest. Some new Cult models were accidentally leaked by GW recently and they are very nice. I like the GSC as the faction does not suffer from he bloat of the older races as GW have tried to shoehorn more and more models into the range in an effort to get more money form those people that play those races.

Ugly!


These new games have all caught my interest this year, but as usual will depend on whether or not I can get anyone to play them!  There are a couple of people in the club who already play 40k so should be able to get games of that, and Kill Team should be ok. Adeptus Titanicus may be a hard sale though!  I may end up buying a little bit of everything, just to paint as at the end of the day I spend far more time painting miniatures than gaming with them.

I am going to try and get a few more games of Otherworld Skirmish in as well. There are a couple of people who may be interested in giving it another bash, and I have a large collection of fantasy miniatures painted that need using from something.

Painting wise I am just planning on just enjoying myself this year. I spent the first part of the year working my way through all the Shadespire expansion, a big pile of 15mm cavalry and some new units for my Kings of War Twilight Kin.  I am probably going to spend the rest of the year painting one-off models that have caught my eye. At the moment I am painting some fantasy models from the excellent Westfalia and Hasslefree ranges, as well as working on some terrain.  I may paint some Predators and at some point in the future feel the need to paint up a 40k Kill Team as well, but at the moment I am painting for the sheer pleasure of it.

I may even update he blog again at some point!







Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Random Kings of War

Another Monday night and another games of Kings of War.

This week Ian and I opted to use the Clash of Kings 2018 supplement, and also the random cards that were released alongside. We used the 2k points, with my usual Twilight Kin, while Ian brought his Ogres. Ian was hot of a tournament at Common Ground Games so I expected a difficult night.

My list was fairly standard fir, consisting of:

Horde of Crossbows, Peircing 1
2 Regiments of Reaper Guard
2 Bolt Throwers
Regiment of Blade Dancers with Ram of always wound on a 4+
Troop of Blade Dancers
2 Troops of gargoyles.
Regiment of Dark Knights with Maccwars Caterpillar
Horde of Abyssal Riders
Banner bearer with Bloodboil
High Priestess with Inspiring
Minor Noble.

I had ditched the usual spearmen as I find them pretty lackluster, and didn't really expect to be facing any cavalry anyway. For this evening a single unit of Corsairs would be doing double duty as Reaper Guard.

Ian fielded the following:

2 Hordes of Berserker Braves
2 regiments of Berserker Braves
2 Hordes of Braves
1 Giant
2 Mounted Biggits (one with Lightning bolt, one with dragon breath)
1 Boomer Hero with Bloodboil
2 Wizards, one with Griffon Banner.


We used the new random cards, and this entails drawing random objectives for each player, one set of conditions for the game, and 1 stratagem card for each 500 points.


The condition we drew was poor scouting, meaning that the armies only had ot deploy 9" from the center line, rather than the usual 12". useful for Ian's Ogres as he was keen to get stuck in as soon as possible.  

The objective cards each have a major and minor objective on them  and you draw two at the start of the game.  You pick one card to be your major objective and reveal that to your opponent, and select the other card to use as you secondary objective, which is revealed at the start of turn 4.  

My objective were quite good, and worked well with each other. My major objective was to rout the three most expensive units in the Ogre army, with bonuses if I managed to do it in melee. the three most expensive usint were the 2 hordes of Berserker Braves and the giant. My secondary objective was to select the most expensive unit remaining on the board and if I managed to rout that it would be worth an additional 2 victory points. These two objectives had quite good synergy and meant I could concentrate on routing ogres, rather than any positioning shenanigans.

Ian primary objective was to capture the objective in my side of the table, with bonus points for capturing the central objectives, while his secondary objective was about killing as many points of my army as possible while losing as few of his.


My deployment was fairly straight forward, with the Crossbows, flanked by the two regiments of the reaper guard covering the open ground in the center of the board, while I put my faster units on my right flank.  Ian deployed almost his entire army on his left flank, ready to burst through the trees and start routing my Twilight Kin.

Early game and the Ogres advanced quickly, trying to close the ground with my nervous looking troops.  I decided to just get stuck in and advanced straight at my opponent, with my knights charging and doing a lot of damage to the giant, and the Abyssal Riders routing a suicidal Biggit that had approached too close. 

Ian retaliated by routing my knights ad advancing with the rest of his forces. turn two and I got stuck in routing, routing several units, with the Abyssal Riders managing to get two of them, thanks to using the "Unstoppable Charge" Strategem card.

Mid game and the Ogres were starting to look a bit thin on teh ground, with the elves giving a good account of themselves. the Blade Dancers accounted for two ogre regiments, before they themselves were routed, while the lone Elven hero decided to try and take out the badly wounded Giant.  He failed his first attempt, but miraculously the giant fluffed his return attacks, giving him a second chance. Despite some good hits he didn't manage it and was squashed flat fro his lack of performance.




Late game and things started to unravel for the Ogres, withe the crossbows finishing off the giant, and the two units of Reaper Guard routing one of the two remaining Ogre Brave Hordes. The other Ogre Horde had managed to get around my flank and had been tackling my bolt throwers, but by this time I had scored all the victory points I could and was going to comfortably deny the ogres any of their objectives so I wasn't too bothered.  We called it at the end of turn 5 as there weren't enough Ogres left on the board to achieve anything.

Everything went quite well this time round, with my dice all behaving themselves and rolling pretty well. Ian had a pretty poor night, with some atrocious dice rolls.  I managed to get the momentum on my army early on and kept it, which seemed to be the way to succeed at Kings of War.


The different cards were interesting and I quite liked having asymmetrical objectives in the game. The stratagems were also interesting but the only one that made any real difference was the "Unstoppable Charge" one, which allowed me to rout two enemy units in one turn.

I still consider myself a novice at Kings of War, with only about a dozen games under my belt but I am still enjoying the game and think there is a large amount of traction left in it yet, especially with the cards generating random scenarios and the annual refresh from the Clash of Kings book.  I just wish they would get on and sort out the Twilight Kin to a full list so I can see what to paint next.