GenCon 2012, Part Two

Welcome to part two of my highlights from GenCon 2012!
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Warpath

I’ve too been caught up with renos and other things to sit down and paint lately, so things have been slow on the miniatures front but I want to help spread the hype for Warpath and give Kings of War another mention on the blog. If you haven’t already heard, Mantic is now beta testing their new FREE sci fi rules set called Warpath, which was written by Alessio Cavatore. It uses the same core mechanics as Kings of War and so far it looks very very promising. Neldoreth and I are planning to give it a test run this Thursday so I’ll report about my thoughts then.

Roman battle action using KoWHAC

On Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of playing some Kings of War Historical Ancient Battles with Neldoreth and another gaming buddy. We pitted two Roman armies against each other. Both armies were primarily comprised of legionary units but there were some barbarians, light cavalry, and skirmishers as thrown in as well.
Below is a photo report of the battle, along with some explanatory captions.
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Simple rules, highly recommended.

When you play as many different games as I do (and that probably isn’t even that many compared to some people), a common problem is that you end up not playing some games frequently enough to remember the rules. This can be particularly difficult with complex rules, that are subject to frequent change. Take Warhammer 40k for example. I’ve been playing it for about ten years and gone through two changes to the core rules along with numerous changes to army specific codex rules. Playing different armies at sporadic intervals all while trying to get a solid grip on the core rules is big challenge when you have rules for other games floating around in your head. Unless I’m playing on a regular basis for a few weeks, my group generally spends far too much time having to reference the book for some obscure or finicky rule, or situation that may create an exception to the rule. Throw in the possibility that we’re trying a new army or an army we rarely play and looking up rules becomes even more time-consuming. If we weren’t so heavily ‘invested’ in the game and the world wasn’t so intriguing I wouldn’t bother.
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Lizardmen for Kings of War

I’ve been working with Neldoreth to playtest and tweak the Reptilemen army list that he designed for use in Kings of War. It’s been a lot of fun and I think that we’ve come up with a balanced list that is exciting to use. You can download a copy of the army list from his Hour of Wolves website here. For testing, I’ve been using my mostly assembled but unpainted GW Lizardmen figs and the fun I’ve been having with KoW has inspired me to get going on the project. I’m going to theme the bases around a jungle like swamp/marsh that has some human settlement on it. The Lizards will be driving those pesky bastards out of the jungle and back to where ever they came from! Below are photos of some work-in-progress bases that I recently started making as well as some temporary model placement shots that I’ll use for reference when the painting is complete and I glue the figs onto the finished bases. I also picked up a new tool/toy that I plan to use extensively in this project. It’s an Iwata CR Revolution air brush, complete with pistol grip moisture trap, fancy hose, and a brushrest/cleaning station. For a compressor I’m using a 3 gallon Master Craft compressor that I picked up from Canadian Tire for use in my renos. So far it has serve well for staplers and nail guns so I’ve no doubt it will be more than enough for painting… if not a tad loud. Hopefully I catch on to the technique quickly and don’t have to redo too many lizards!

Book reviews and much needed gaming

Someone may have noticed that there is a text box on the side bar of this site that says what I’m currently reading. I initially added it to fill the site with some content of sorts and wasn’t entirely sure that I would keep it. At the same time I considered the possibility of doing a review of books as I finish them and have decided to have my first crack at the endeavor as you will see in the following post. I actually finished reading the book a while back, before I moved in fact, and wasn’t sure at the time that I would bother with reviews. I’ve never reviewed a book before so hopefully it evolves into something people enjoy. To that end I’ll probably experiment with a few different formats or approaches as I work on each review until I find something I like. To start with I’m just going to give my opinion of the book rather than a ‘proper’ summarizing review (there are enough of them out there I think).
I’m met up with Neldoreth last night for some much needed Kings of War action. The finalized rules for which are now available for free on the Mantic website. We play tested an unofficial Lizardmen army list that Neldoreth created and it gave me a chance to use my own Lizardmen army for the first time ever. He also has an excellent Human army list completed that is available on his website.
The lizards faced off against the undead and got brutally slaughtered over the course of five full turns. We concluded that the loss was primarily due to my poor deployment choices and as well as some unlucky rolling early on. The list itself seems to be quite balanced and we decided on a small change to one of the rules that was too under powered for it’s cost. It allows certain units to heal damage by rapidly regrowing limbs, something we thought was suiting for a reptilian species. I unfortunately forgot to bring my camera so I didn’t get any photos but Neldoreth had his and may post something on his website about it so stay tuned.

Kings of War Beta Testing

Last week Mantic released the beta version of the rules for their new game Kings of War. The rules were written by the renowned Alessio Cavatore, of GW fame. The rules will be free even after they are in final production version and for now they can be downloaded here: Kings of War Closed Beta Rules. Just be sure to download both the rules and the army list.

On Tuesday, Neldoreth (from An Hour of Wolves and Shattered Shields) and I headed down to a local game store to give the rules a test run. Not having any miniatures set up in the same unit structure specified in the KoW rules, we used Neldoreth’s beautifully painted Hordes of the Things (HotT) units. We’ve since decided that we are going use a modified KoW basing standard so that we can easily use the units for either HotT or KoW depending one what sort of game we feel like playing.

The rules are super easy to learn and the game plays very fast. We did two 1000 points per side games in under 2 hours! We are both very impressed with the game and have little to no criticisms. In fact, as far as the rules are concerned we think they are about perfect. Our only criticisms are directed towards specific units that seem to be underpowered considering their points costs. We’ve been weighing in on the official beta-rules feedback forum, so those who are interested can head over and see more of our detailed opinions on various aspects of the rules and game.

For our test games we played High Elves against Undead. I’ve uploaded some photos from the games (below) and you can find more detailed pictures of the actual units on Neldoreth’s website (High Elves, undead).

There is so much good about this game that it’s hard to know where to start. It’s easy to learn and fast to play but also allows for an incredible amount of flavorful tactics and strategies. You can even play with a chess clock and incorporate player times into the the results. We opted to give this a try and found it to be a welcome addition to the table. If you are at all interested in fantasy war gaming I highly recommend you give these rules a try. I’ve been wanting to get into Warhammer Fantasy for a long time now and actually have about three armies for it (Orcs, Vampire Counts, and Lizardmen) but I have never actually tried the game. The, now, 200 page rulebook and associated costs (both monetary and time to learn the rules) have been too restricting to add to my 40k habits. But now with Kings of War I have a free set of rules that come in at a whopping 12 pages and I can finally make use of all those Fantasy figs that I’ve been dying to get on the table.