Honours of War first game 

This week we tried a new set of Seven Years Wars rules – well fairly new, they are another of the Osprey rules collection. They are called Honors of War and written by Keith Flint. I had bough the kindle version of these a while back and recently read them while traveling on business. So wanted to give them a go. With that I thought I’d write up a quick report of the battle we played and add some thoughts of the game and rules. I’m not going to provide a full detailed summary of the rules etc – you can check various other review blogs for that if your interested. Overall though I do like the game and recommend them for those interested in the period. Read on for the why’s and wherefores.

crfgspknbez7lnxd4mzySo lets start with a quick summary of my thoughts about the rules. Then you can see how a medium sized game with 4 players played out. Overall, the I liked the rules and will play the game again. I see this as becoming my go to rules set for multi-player or large SYW games. It feels quite like Black Powder, but removes the genericness of those rules as well as having a better command and combat mechanism. I guess that’s really rather good praise thinking about it. The command and control rules still provides a level of randomness in what you can do, but means that you do not have the ‘side out’ effect which is quite common in the BP rules. By that I mean where a player rolls a bad die for command and does nothing for a turn. That can be frustrating and not make for a good experience. The combat mechanisms and rally rules allow for combats which are effective but not instantly deadly. I like the balance between the different arms of cavalry to infantry to artillery as well. All in all the command and combat all add to the feeling of being ‘right’ for the period. Even the use of average die for combat is not an issue as I have  couple of those in my dice collection!

In comparison to Maurice by Sam Mustafa, which is the other main rules set I have used for the period it’s a little like comparing apples to oranges. Maurice is a very stylized game, which uses cards for command and control as well as other game modifying factors. Thus, you end up playing the game and cards as much as the battle. That’s cool and you think about the game in a different way when playing Maurice – often worrying as much if not more about cards and command movements as the position of troops. This is great and gives a great game but it’s completely different style of game than Honors of War. The forces and style of game in Maurice are very specific in size. I would never think of going a real historical game in Maurice even after playing many enjoyable games. It’s for imagi-nations and stylized games of a certain size for me and I really like it for that. Others may disagree but there we are.

Honors of War is much more a ‘traditional game’ and there is nothing wring with that. It has enough command elements to remove the helicopter view and total control of troops in your command.  But you focus on moving troops and what they do and roll dice for combat. The game style and action order is also set up so it’s more interactive than a traditional ‘I go U go’ game which makes really well suited to multi-player games as well as 1 on 1. No one was bored or waiting long to do something in our game, which was great.I  like that the rules do move initiative and then firing initiative separate as it gives a very interesting dynamic game. The alternating command move and fire system also means that often is a decision and risk/reward for the player and a choice of where to concentrate first. Honours of war also allows you to play real realistic games of the period and even very large ones in 6mm, which is cool. I believe it will also work for smaller number of unit games as well but as I have 6mm for this period my main focus is on larger games to be honest.

So overall I really liked these rules and will play them again. They won’t replace Maurice but will sit along side them. They allow me to play a completely different style of game with the same figs. That’s a real bonus in my opinion. It may get me painting more 6mm figs SYW figs in the end as well. So I’d recommend anyone have a look at these rules. They are well worth a try.

So with that intro, onto our first game…

In the game we used 2 of the painted Maurice forces (with a few extra troops) to create a medium sized game on a 6 x 4 table. Each side was identical, to try out the game in an easy way. It was an Austrian Civil war! Each side had 1 brigade of guards (superior infantry with battalion guns) and 2 infantry bridges. Each had 4 battalions and a supporting art unit. Each side also have 2 brigades of Cav. Both had  4 normal units and one had 2 supporting inferior cavalry regiments as well. Each side had 2 independent light infantry battalions to round things off. So that was 27 units to each side in 5 brigades with 2 players on each side jointly handling the command tasks.

In using 6mm we started the forces 2 feet away from each other. Which was maybe a little too far away really to get the game done in 2.5 hours with this size of game. We should likely have had the art start limbered but it was man pushed though the whole game. Ah well next time…It did allow space to maneuver though. You can see a nice shot of the starting center from our side of the table below.    You’ll see I forgot my small dice for hits and command tokens for the different levels of command. So as you can see the the big dice we used in the game. It makes the board look a little less great but heck, it worked out ok in the end for us. Below you can see our right flank with the cavalry and the light infantry covering the woods.On our left we had a dashing cavalry command and a dithering infantry one. We left the dice roll of the commanders level by the brigade commander to remind us (as no markers from me as I mentioned above…). Those command levels are interesting enough that they came into play a few times during the game. So it really is a fun mechanic and interesting but not so overpowering as to leave players sat doing nothing for a long time.  In the first couple of turn the battle lines closed. We saw the various command rules work out with some of the opposing infantry commanders deciding not to move forward. Entertainingly it seemed the opposing Guard commander was more interested in not losing his troops than committing them to the battle as that command was the one most often not moving forward.  On the right flank though things seemed to be going well with our cavalry moving confidently forward along with the supporting light infantry. The opposing light infantry would be happened with poor command all game – not using their 2 to 1 numerical advantage at all on this flank. In the end they did win a brutal hand to hand struggle but it took all game too do.In the first aggressive move of the game the right flank cavalry (under my command) got a double move and charged into their opposition. This was our smaller cavalry brigade vs their larger one. The first combat saw our cavalry drive off a light cavalry unit. The next turn saw us get move initiative and with another double move rolled I followed this up with further attacks which drive off the other light cavalry unit. It also got a standard cavalry unit locked in melee with one of ours. So an aggressive move on the right seemed to have worked so far…On the left the battle lines closed. The decisive cavalry commander on the left was an advantage as the extra moves he rolled had allowed our stronger cavalry to move around the flank with the light cavalry riding though the fields, while the heavy stuff moved up vs. the opposing horse.

All the time the infantry slowly marched towards each other and the artillery started some long range shots. The dithers on our left formed a second line behind the cavalry after it’s aggressive forward moves. So we ended up with 2 lines of combat forces on the left.On the right flank though the whirling cavalry combats continued. Each side lost one regiment of normal cavalry and I had 2 driven back to reform, while 4 of the enemy were likewise in a poor state. This left me with one disrupted cavalry unit, on 3 hits out of 5 vs a fresh enemy unit. The unit positions meant that my unit was in a perfect position to charge down one of the enemy who needed to reform. This would likely route the enemy and likely the unit behind it as well. But of course this is where my command roll failed. My nicely positioned unit sat in place rather than following up on the charge. All the while the fresh enemy cavalry moved around in a position to flank it next turn. At least they had not rolled a double move which would have allowed them to do that charge in a single turn.On that turn though left flank cavalry did clashed. The cavalry battle here for us was less effective though. One unit retreated and the others were locked in combat. The commander was dashing but maybe not so effective in combat…A little too much dash and boasting not enough real steel maybe.  Still we had a second line of infantry and it had not gone too bad either. Although, we did notice that having a second line meant that they took a hit as the first line routed through them. Still better than not having any support I guess. Spacing for retreats is obviously important and something we’ll have to think about in the future.All this time the center infantry bridges were still matching up to each other and starting to get in range. The art shots were being exchanged and the first hits were received – including one generating a bounce through. Units right behind each other beware. One of the enemy command elements also felt this, loosing a level of command, going from dashing to normal after the effects of cannon fire. The shot obviously had an effect or killed some of the commanders staff, or maybe the commander himself. The second line of infantry got involved in the cavalry fight on the left. The tactical aspects of the choice of ordering of bridges moves in the right sequence became even more apparent here as although moving to a flanking position can look really good one turn, if you don’t get to move first for the next one you can end up in a bad position as can be seen with one of the enemy foot units below.

Our light cavalry used the fields to evade charges of the remaining enemy cavalry while our  own brigade was completely spread out. The troops were mostly safe though and slowly rallying. They had destroyed 2 enemy cavalry to the loss of one of their own and opened the flank for our infantry.    In the center the two guards brigades clashed with a suitable amount of mayhem. We saw how better the superior vs normal infantry area. There is an advantage for the superior but not so great as to be overpowering. Hits started to mount on both sides.On the left flank I finally got my remaining cavalry unit to change the reforming opposition – again the order of movement was important. They won that fight and did destroy 2 enemy regiments (they routed their opposition which had to pass through a still rallying unit, which destroyed that as well), but were also routed by the combat in that action. The other cavalry units of both sides were rallying while our infantry on this side were coming up on the flank of the opposing guard and also on the now much diminished opposing cavalry.  The action really then focused on the center with another couple of turns of our guard, supported by the various infantry fighting the enemy infantry, guards and all. The mechanics of the game kept this every interesting and a few turns of shooting provided hits on all sides but it was not as bloody as may have been expected. It takes a few turns of combat to kill units in this game and you have some options for helping units at time. So it was a nice dynamic of risky combat but with risk of death as well.

However, as we were playing at a store our time was up and at this point the store was closing. It was 10:30 in the evening after all…So at this point we called the game – dusk fell over the battlefield without clear victory. I could say that it saved the enemy as both of their cavalry bridges had come out worse of the combats and the center infantry combat was still undecided but looking good for us. Well that’s my view anyway.

So just to finish up, the game worked well with 6mm and we had fun playing a very simple scenario. This is a game which I will definitely play again. I need to make some custom measuring sticks to make play easier and remember the small dice for casualties for next time of course. But this did have me thinking about getting some 6mm painting done again as well, so overall a fun game which we all enjoyed.

Posted in 18th Cent, 6mm, After Action Report, Review | 2 Comments

1930’s Mobsters

With the Police done, you need to have some opponents for them really don’t you. So obviously another set of figs to get done was the mobsters. These are Blue Moon 15/18mm figures. The packs comes with a lot of figs and so I decided to split the painting of these into two posts/sets of figures.

Anyone who has seen various gangster movies knows that two groups who were key in the 30’s were the Irish and and Sicilians/Italians. So this first lot have a decent amount of green in their color scheme so that they reflect the Irish influence. Below you can see 13 of the bad guys and one Gangsters moll.As normal with Blue Moon figs there is a nice variety of poses in the pack and I tried to mix them up with colors and styles. You can also see the bas colors are different than the Cop’s shown previously. That means that there should be no confusion between these and any other figs.There is a nice selection of weaponry in the pack – with some using Pistols while others long rifles, tommy guns and even shotguns. So that should give a good choice for the different figures in games. I was upset about how the varnish went on these as it has seemed to wash out a few of the details. Although I’ll be honest and say that I have not done as good a job on the faces of some of these as I have on other figures. Part of that is as I decided to Just wanted to get these done vs. trying to really concentrate on them. For 15mm they are not bad but I think I can do better…The other factor is I think I tried to put too think a coat of varnish on them which did not help.Well the lady in the bunch had to be left till last. She is the only model which is unarmed but that’s just what’s visible. I’m sure that she could have a gun in the handbag. Note, I have the civilian pack so made sure she was part of the gang not an innocent by using the same basing as the gangsters.So in theory I now have enough figs to play a game…Lets see if I can actually get that done any time soon.

Posted in 15mm, Gangster, Modern, Pulp | 2 Comments

1930’s US police – Chicago Way

With the release of the Chicago Way rules set by Great Escape games I decided it was time to dig out some models which had been langishing in the back of the ‘to be painted pile’ trade mark pending on that name… maybe. A long time ago I was taken by the Blue Moon 15/18mm range of gangsters and had bought them for no other reason that they looked cool. They have sat around in the lead pile for a long time though as I really had no reason to paint them and I have a lot of toys which I can use to be painted. However, this seems like a match made in heaven – time to get them out and get them painted. Especially as I picked up the Chicago Way rules at a local friendly gaming store when I saw them.

The rules set is aimed at 28mm but as I have these figs it seems like I should paint these up and give it a go anyway. Most rules set work great without any modification with smaller figures so this should be ok. I’m not sure what else I’d ever do with these mini’s anyway. Sourcing some period vehicles may be a little harder to do but more of that in later blog posts – assuming I find some. In theory a lot of the cowboy & WW2 15mm buildings I already have will work for these figs/period as well- an added bonus!

So below you can see the police force that I painted up. I decided unlike the Cowboys I have done that each force I do for this will have different basing colours – to make them easy to spot on the table. Below are a dozen of Chicago’s finest in their 1930’s outfits.
It was a very bright day when I look these pictures but I think they came out acceptable. Still really need to get some better camera equipment than my phone. You can see I did use a slightly lighter blue than the the real uniform of the period. In the smaller scale I think it needed that to look their best. 
As with all the Blue Moon range there is a decent selection of poses in this pack – 12 figs in 6 poses is not too bad. As the game only needs approx 6 to 8 figs per side that should give a good selection for me to use.
The basing was meant to be able to be used in either a town or urban style look. I decided that grass or flock would not really work for these guys so they just have the painted highlights from texture that I added on the base with filler. All are based on US pennies – yeah I have a stock of old (now out of circulation) Canadian ones but it seemed appropriate to use US pennies for these figs. So there we are. Another ‘project’ started but this one should again not be too big- I hope. It should also allow another period to be gamed.

Posted in 15mm, Gangster, Modern, Pulp | Leave a comment

6mm Mecha for future Vietnam

One of the things which I thought about with my 6mm Vietnam stuff was how could I use this for other games. The main ‘other games’ which I have been thinking about are AK47 by Peter Pig (which I think will be fairly easy to do), Force on Force (which should be ok in 6mm – I know some people who do it) and Horizon Wars. This later ones needs extra Sci-Fi miniatures – especially mecha (aka big robots etc.), which was not a common thing in Vietnam.

Now the first thing which came to mind for me was this shot from the watchman comic – ok it’s Dr Manhattan not a mecha but it gives the idea of what came into my mind for mecha in Vietnam. 767113_origIn fact most of my 6mm figs/units will transpose nicely into Horizon Wars without issue. At that scale an infantry man looks very much like any other. Unless a heavily armored/powered armoured etc a human really does not look the different. The tanks and vehicles I have can be used with ease as well IMO. What I’m missing is big robots.

Well no more as I bought some from EM4 – to be honest cheap plastic ones but they work and paint up fairly well. You can see some of these below with some 6mm figs. These definitely count for the ‘big stompy robots’ in 6mm scale.
Although the model do not have much in the area of variety they have enough to make 20 different ones out of the several kits that I got. They painted up easily as well. I have to say I did not spend a huge amount of time doing them. It was more to get them done than to really see how nice I could do these.I also varied the paint colors – mainly doing cammo’s but lets be honest – you are not hiding a 20 to 30 meter tall machine with a bit of paint so the concept was more to make them look fairly typically army/marine units vs. anything realistic. The different paint effects mean I can likely mix and match any of these for any forces that I want to field on the table.

These ones below are very typical of the ‘paint it green’ army concept and so it seemed very reasonable that any future military would go along with the same concept. These are all the same green as I have done the US vehicles so they are likely the models that I will use with the US forces if doing a future wars type game.

These last three I did in a little more outlandish colours. They may be used for merc or leader models but I thought why not. I have seen some of the mecha art work in the past with all kinds of weird paint jobs so why not. In fact one thing which has occurred to me is that I can use these as 28mm robots and maybe even 15mm weird war 2 power suites if I so desire. I don’t have any immediate aims for that but you never know as they are quite useful models in a generic sense. There is nothing on the bases or paint jobs that stops that use after all.

Posted in 6mm, Modern, Sci-fi, Vietnam War | 1 Comment

Last Arcadia Quest base box figures

Well the title says it all. This post shows the final figures from the base box of Arcadia Quest. Yes because of my personal rules now I can get this game onto the table and play it! I know some people think me odd for wanting to play with painted mini’s but they look Oh so much better than unpainted ones.

Now whats interesting with these three is each has a very different skin tone – going from light in the left to darker skin tones on the left. Again my lack of great photography skills does not show it off wonderfully but I hope you can see it a bit. I was actually quite happy how I managed that.The bases of these are still very plain. Still not sure how I want to finish them – as you’ll see below although the basic grey is ok but it’s far from perfect. As I mention below I likely will just leave them as they are though as they are a nice difference from the game board. Also here are the last two monsters from the base set. This is a different type of Minotaur – looks to be based on a Ram really, and an Ogre. Again I did some shading of the skin but it’s not come out well in the pictures. Still in person it’s ok. You can see I did a wash for the horns and  which seemed to work out ok. These are as always big models – 50mm or so high.From the back you can see the bag of bones the Ogre carries. This actually came out well and is a cool little model. So there we have it. The Arcadia Quest base game painted. Now the other thing to report with is that we actually now have played the first game. I have to say that it’s definitely worth the purchase price. We had a blast and the the figs work really well on the board. In the end I’m not going to paint the bases. The pain grey actually work out nicely highlight the figures so that’s good.

I won’t write a full review of the game – there are much better blogs and sites for that but I will say the game has enough depth for adults to get behind and play but at the same time is light hearted and fun. Although it’s a competitive each player for themselves no one can lose or be completely out go the game so it’s a very modern style of game in that way. There is enough depth to keep the scenario’s interesting and challenging without being overly complex. Interestingly, the players will always eventually win at Arcadia Quest – unlike something say like Zombicide but it’s who wins and how that makes the difference. This makes the game likely more acceptable to play with younger kids as well – even though the average age of players in our game was in the late 40’s and we had fun.🙂

So Arcadia definitely is something to look into if you like fun multi-player games. Hopefully I have shown that the figures paint up well. I still have a load more to do from the kickstarter, but you’ll have to wait a little while for for to be done.

Posted in 28mm, Board game, Fantasy, Review | Leave a comment

Kings of War first game

Last weekend I visited North Bay games while my wife was at a show (she has her own hobbies which are just as expensive and craft oriented as mine…) and watched the end of a game of Kings of War. That got me thinking about my fairly large GW collection of toys – some painted, some not. I talked to the store owner (Terry) who was one of the people playing the game and they seemed to a decent local scene of players in that area. That got me thinking about trying them. As background I have these rules in PDF but had never really got around to trying or even reading them. So I did. The rules are an easy read and are not that long or complex compared to many. It was a quiet week with the group I game with so one of the guys and I decided to try out Kings of War out. He was in the same boat as me, having got the rules and loads of GW figs from playing Warhammer fantasy in the past but never tried them. So here is a quick report of the game and some thoughts and a quick review of the rules.

First the game rules are not that complex and if you have played GW’s Warhammer Fantasy game, pretty much any version, then you will feel at home with Kings of War (KoW from now on). The rules are easy to read and seem to map well with actually what I want out of a gaming experience. They are not ‘fussy’ with massive numbers of detailed special rules which require looking up/verification and which can easily unbalance games. At the same time have enough flavor to make units different and are 20 or so special abilities in the game.

We played a 1500 point game, with me using undead vs. a wood elf army. My army shown below after deployment. Some of which the Skeletons are now going on for 30 years old at this point! I like that there are no set models for the units in the game and thus you can use all kinds of stand in models for different units. For example, I used a mixture of knights and wolves for my cavalry Soul Reaver vampire cavalry units.
My opponents forces were from the GW Wood elf range and some really nice figs they were too. It’s nice to see two fully painted forces on the table as well. It so pains me to see so many half painted forces being gamed with. The hobby looks SO much better with fully painted models. The elves had three foot bow units, 2 mounted bow units and a couple of hard hitting big units of melee troops with a monster to back them up.

We did a simple kill everything scenario in 6 turns (with a possible 7th which did not happen in our game). There are 6 basic scenario’s in the game. These range from the kill everything to collecting loot with a ‘king of the hill’ type game as well. So it does have more options than the old style GW Warhammer fantasy games I played many years ago. The setup is very reminiscent of Warhammer with alternative units being placed which does work for this type of game. There is a whole set of tactics around the deployment stage in such games.

The lists for forces published cover all the basic GW/Fantasy ranges of troops – plus some new ones as well. These lists are a little more limited than the whole range of GW and other producers creations over the years. That said they are fairly extensive and I’m sure that you will be able to find uses for all the troops in their collection, and may even find a couple of extra units to buy… I know after looking at the undead list I saw Undead Trolls and Werewolves as troop types, hmmm they could be interesting units. <sigh>

The force building rules are fairly simple but mean that your force is based around big blocks of units with support units of smaller units/heroes/monsters. To me this actually works as well as this is a big unit/battle game not a skirmish type game.

So quickly we were into the first turn. One interesting aspect with KoW is that in your turn you do everything. The opponent does nothing. I thought that might be an issue but the way the game works it’s not bad. They also suggest using chess clock timers for really competitive games or I guess if people take too long – with the auto loose if you run out of time. It’s an interesting idea and definitely would keep people on their toes.

In the game I moved the undead slowly out (they can not move at the double like most units) and then used the Necromancers to surge the undead a random amount forward. Magic is very simple with a number of D6’s to cast a spell and a 4+ on each die rolled is a success. Of course this is me rolling so I had consistently poor results with that and thus the troops ended with a pretty level battle line after my first random move.

The elves responded with a round of bow fire from the wood elf bow units while his close combat units moved forward at pace. In KoS shooting seems reasonably powerful but it does more disruptive damage than straight killing units in one go. Well that’s from what I can tell of one game. The elves in their turn of shooting caused a couple of wounds on my skeleton units.  Shooting like melee is only done by the acting player. You roll vs. your units target to hit – which seems to typically range from 3+ (really good) to 5+ (zombies and poor troops) on a D6. There are a couple of modifiers to that. Then each successful hit is rolled vs their targets defense – which again seems to range from3+ (bad) to 6+ (good). There are some modifiers for this roll such as really strong units etc. If you cause hit then these are incremented on the target unit. If a unit takes damage then at the end of the turn (or combat) you take the hit total and adds that to 2D6 for a nerve rolls. You compare the nerve result vs. targets values. The unit can be unaffected, wavering (which means they can’t do much but try to recover next turn) or is routed. It’s about that simple for combat.

So after the wood elves moved up and shot at my battle line, it was my turn to continue the movement of the battle lines together. This turn I was using the Necromancers to heal wounds off my Skeletons vs. making them move faster. I had come up the the difficult going in the center of the table which turned out to be a mistake but not my last. The terrain did not effect negatively the wood elf units coming through it due to their special rules but would impact my troops. <sigh>  Should have thought of that really.
On my left flank I had a unit of cavalry and a small heavy foot unit – Grave Guards. The Grave Guards foot unit slowly marched up towards some bowmen while using the hill as cover as much as possible. More on those later. Meanwhile my undead cavalry (a mounted vampire and his wolves – which were a Soul Reaver unit in the game) was trying to chase down a flighty group of mounted elven bowmen. That turned out harder to do that I thought. They are ‘nimble’ and get an extra 90 degree turn in their moves, so for a couple of turns they managed to keep out of the charge zone of my knight and wolves.

Eventually, I got them in a position with the use of terrain and the table edge where they could not avoid the Soul Reaver cavalry and so melee happened. That combat in the end was one sided and in the next Undead turn the wood elf unit was trampled under foot. But that one unit of elven cavalry kept that unit of Soul Reaver cavalry busy for the whole game – keeping them from doing anything else. Likely this was a waste of one of my faster units.

On the other flank (shown below) I had a similar unit of a vampire and wolves (Soul Reaver cavalry) and kept that back behind the skeletons. I had initially had the idea to refuse both flanks, keeping these units back to counter the flanks and follow up gains. That did not work well on the left as I mentioned above as I tried to hunt down a unit of bow armed elves. On the right I kept to the plan more.

Anyway back to the main action. In the next Wood Elf turn things came to blows. On the right my refused cav got charged in the flank by elven cavalry. Up front one unit of Skele’s got hit by a regiment of moving trees or some such and the horde of zombies got attacked by a monster and a large regiment of dryads from the woods. Lots of combat.

I had a standard bearer and that saved the Skeleton unit from routing after a high nerve roll. That was because after causing a decent amount of damage on them from the ‘tree things’ the nerve roll was enough to route them. But I had an undead standard bearer that was close enough to the unit to allow me to force a re-roll of the nerve check (if I wanted it – which I did). On the re-roll it was much lower and thus they stayed in the combat, with 8 hits on them though…

The Soul Reaver cavalry hit in the flank faired much better though and only took 1 hit, which I think was very lucky for them. The Zombie horde had a lot of hits put on it but not enough for them to be routed. They were only saved because of their large size and stupidity though as they had something like 15 hits on them.

In my turn the Soul Reaver cavalry who had been flanked turned to face their opponents and counter charged, to limited effect. Really I needed them to clear the eleven cavalry from the table. Although they did damage to the elves it was not enough to destroy the unit. I had hoped to get a superiority of numbers on the tree things by being able to bring those Soul Reavers around to help the Skeleton’s but that was not to happen after this turn.

I charged 2 units of Skeleton’s into the moving tree’s and the zombies tried to take on the big Ent monster in the woods. This turn I learn the hard way that Skeleton’s and Zombies may be able to take a decent amount of hits BUT their are not that great at giving them. Lets say they were less effective than I had hoped and we’ll leave it at that.

The Wood Elves continued their turn killing the already heavily damaged skeleton unit as well as clearing the Zombie horde from the table. This meant that on my turn on the right I still had the Soul Reavers facing and fighting the elven cavalry and now some angry tree things facing a single skeleton unit. The standard bearer was close to help with nerve rolls but that was all he could really do.

In the center my remaining Skeletons were fighting an eleven bow unit next to the Dryads. The other side of the difficult ground the Grave Guard foot unit were finally ready to charge into another unit of elven bowmen on the other side of the big wood monster. Unfortunately, after killing the zombies the Ent had turned around. After destroying an opponent you can do a free spin in place, or move forward or reverse. This allows for some repositioning after victory. But you can’t charge into another unit to fight it – unless your first opponent was a single character such as a hero on his own.  So it was critical that the Grave Guard wiped out those bowmen so they too could turn to face this new threat and not get hit in the back by the Ent. Flanking doubles your hits and hitting in the rear triples the No. of hits rolled. So being hit in the flank/rear is really bad in the game.

I decided to take a risk and have both my remaining Skeleton regiments charge into the bows. This was because one would count as having flanked the bowmen. Doing this the flanking unit ignored the big tree things which they could also have charged instead. I was sure the elven bowmen were going to die under the attack of these 2 units and that at least would allow me to hold the center after that. I could spin the units around and command the center with this move. I knew the skeletons’s would be pretty ineffective vs the tree things anyway. Of course this is where my dice failed me and although I damaged the bowmen the nerve roll was not enough and the elven bowmen stayed on he field. They were wavering – which meant they would not attack but that did not help me. It left the tree things open to do what they want and had not even killed the target unit.

The saving grace was the Grave Guard did their job well and completely destroyed the elven bowmen in front of them allowing them to turn to face the Ent. The Soul Reavers on the right also finally killed the Eleven cavalry and spun to face the tree things.In the Wood elves turn the tree things charged my just victorious Soul Reaver cavalry on the right and both Skeleton units got hit in the flank… The unit which had flanked the bows by the last elven foot bowman unit and the Dryads hit the other unit. Things did not look great for either of them. The Ent did also charge the Grave Guard. The Grave Guard armor saved them although they now had quite a few hits on them. The Dryads killed one skeleton unit but the other survived. Unfortunately for my plans the tree things rolled really well – above average and thus destroyed the Soul Reaver cavalry. I had hoped they could last the initial onslaught and kill that unit in their counter attack. So now all but one of my units on the right were destroyed.

In the last turn my Vampire Lord attacked the wood elf leader – although got him wavering did not kill him. I had hoped to run him through and then move on to help the Grave Guards in their fight. In their turn the Grave Guard did a lot of hits on the Ent but again did not kill it. The remaining Skeleton unit finally did kill an elven bowmen unit though. They did fall to the Dryads in the elven turn. And that as they say was game over.

In the end, a fairly close game but the wood elves got the victory in the end. Tactically, I made quite a few mistakes but still as a first play of this type of game in years I’m not that upset about it. It was a fun game with lots of movement and I had my chances so having fun and losing highlights one of the good points in the game. We both made comments that it was reminiscent in many ways of Warhammer but ‘less fussy’. It was nice to get some of the old warhammer toys on the table and rolling buckets of dice in combat.

So for a summary of War of Kings. If you want a modern game which can support a load of toys on the table in regiments or a system to use your old GW Warhammer figs an outing then I think Kings of War seems to fit the bill very well. In fact I can see why players used this vs. Warhammer when Warhammer was still being pushed by GW. The game has a very GW feel to it but that’s not bad just the way it is. It’s quick and clean with plenty of decision points and buckets of dice. Lots of people like that and although I would not always want to play this it’s definitely one which will get played again.To sum up a few thoughts on Kings of War I have the following bullets:

  • The rules generated an old school style fun game. This seems to be a great successor to Warhammer and overall I think more fun than that from the memories I have of playing that system. I’m not into the fine details and power gaming and Warhammer always had those undertones. I’m sure that can be done in this game but at least on first play it did not seem as bad.
  • The rules are clean and clear with decent decision points. It give s a great old style buckets of dice game with regiments of troops.
  • There are plenty of deployment and in game tactics – flanks are really important and the line of sight rules are clear for how things work. So that’s nice.
  • The production quality and army lists etc for KoS are good and as it uses unit bases and wound/hit markers not figure replacement it will work for all scales and different figs as well.
  • The all die rolls/moves by one player in their turn actually works for this game so that’s a great advantage for time of play. Turns do not seem to be so long as for this to be a big issue, at least after the first game we have played.
  • From what I see and from the game we played it seems that heroes & monsters are powerful but can be squishy if played wrong. From a game balance side of thing and just from first game that feels about right. A hero taking on a regiment alone likely won’t win but as a helper likely may tip the balance. If they don’t win though the hero could be in trouble.
  • The very limited magic actually seemed ok. There are only a few spells but actually in the one game we had this did not seem a major issue. The spells give some flavor but do not overpower the overall game like some version of Warhammer magic did.
  • I can see a good amount of depth in list building and game tactics without this becoming like a Warmahordes deep meta that needs huge amount of knowledge and time. There are no super killer abilities which are instant death for opponents it seems. I must admit I like that vs. say Warmahordes which has a lot of that. I hear comments on the web that there is some cheese armies with loads of breath weapons/magic which might be an issue, but not sure what that’s about. Most games with lists like this have a few cheese options so it’s not unexpected.
  • The biggest negative for me is the lack of command and control of moves in the game. That’s not as much of an issue for a ‘warhammer replacement’ style game but is for more general games – especially more historical ones it may be.

So overall, I have to say I liked Kings of War and will be playing this again. It’s fun and very much a modern Warhammer.

Posted in 28mm, After Action Report, Fantasy, Review, Warhammer Fantasy | 2 Comments

More Acadia Quest heroes

Well it’s another update on the Arcadia Quest painting – and thats because I’m getting ready to try the game out soon as well. I’m back to heroes and a monster or two to finish off the base game. Below you can see another three heroes have been completed.img_1285These three are quite a collection and it took me some time to try to get the greens for the one in the middle right. Also, I tried to get the magic effects of the wizard on the right and the magic ball in the middle to shine. They do more in real life but these photo’s don’t really show that well. You can see it a little more from the reverse shot below. Heck though, I’m just happy they look reasonable.img_1289Trying to get the different blonde colors for the hair of the various figures has been another challenge for these models. But overall I’m happy with how these have come out really. Professionals will I know have done a much nicer job but overall these are really nice for the table top gaming we do. they are above normal gaming table standard so that’s ok.

As always with these posts included here are a couple more monsters  as well. After all the heroes need something to compete against in the game. This time it’s 2 minotaurs. They definately look to hit hard with the big stone hammers that they wield! The two models are exactly the same so I just used a single photo for these. It’s soon going to be thumping time…img_1282

Posted in 28mm, Board game, Fantasy | 1 Comment