Friday, 11 September 2015

The Warhammer of Kings: Kings of War 2nd Ed Review

I have played enough games of Kings of War 2nd edition now that i feel like i can offer a valid opinion on the game and can also answer the question: Should i play KOW? In fact i can answer that one with another question: Do you like Chaos or Order?

KOW is a game of Order
Kings of War is a game of Order where the random effects of the dice are limited to "To Hit" and Rout rolls. To put it plainly here are the key points you need to know abut KOW core mechanics:
  • All units charge the system distance every time and do not have this distance reduced by terrain. Their charge distance is equal to double the Speed  value of the unit in inches. 
  • There is no breaking down of the movement phase. Every unit has a list of orders they can do in the movement phase and must pick one. These orders include things like advance (move a number of inches equal to the unit's speed stat), Halt (stay still) or Charge, to mention a few. This means that if one of your units is blocking an other's charge then you can move the blocking unit then charge with the other. 
  • All units have a Melee and Ranged stat in their profile, this is what the unit needs to roll in order to hit things in ranged or melee combat. For example if a unit has a Melee stat of 4+ then it would hit another unit in melee on a d6 roll of 4+, its the same for ranged. There are modified to these rolls but there are only about 4 including magic items
  • Each unit has a attack stat, when rolling to hit in either Melee or shooting attacks you roll a number for dice equal to the units attack stat.
  • To wound a unit you have to roll equal to or over its defense stat, so if a unit has Defense 4 then you would need to roll a 4 or more to wound it.
  • Magic is limited to 6 spells. A spell is treated like a shooting attack that always hits on a 4+ and is never modified and the number of dice you roll for each spell varies from faction to faction. Each spell has different effects for each successful hit, for example the spell Bane Chant will give a friendly unit +1 to wound if you get at least on "hit" on the unit where as Fireball is just a normal damaging spell.
  • A unit dies when it fails a Rout Test. Every unit has a stat called Nerve that has 2 values. The first number is the lower of the 2 while the 2nd is the higher. After a unit is dealt damage you roll 2d6 and add the total damage that the unit has received to the roll. If it equals or exceeds the lower number the unit can do very little the next turn and if it equals or exceeds the higher number the unit is removed from play, that is the only way to remove units from play. 
As you can see KOW limits the random effects of dice, you don't have to worry about units fleeing then rallying or not. You don't need to worry about magic as much, or charges not making it in. KOW is a game of Order.

As well all know WHFB is a game of Chaos were charge distances, spells, to hit and wound rolls, armour saves and leadership tests (to name but a few) all are impacted by modifiers making the game far less ordered and more random. Chances are that a units to hit and wound rolls in CC wont be the same two turns in a row, charges that should be sure things fail and units that should rally run off the board. In WHFB the way you win is by adapting to the random nature of the game, you win by having no solid plan, by being able to cope with the random effects of dice. This is different from KOW where the random effects of dice are limited and its possible to rely on units most of the time if not all of the time.

So there you have it: KOW is Order and WHFB is Chaos and if you will or will not like KOW relies on if you like the idea of a Ordered game or a Chaotic game. Until next time.

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