Thursday, May 26, 2016

and there was much - well I wouldn't call it rejoicing as such

Kings of War as a game is fortunate for several reasons:

1) It has a company behind it that both cares about the game and the players
2) It has a committee of volunteers to help with both making and adjudicating rules
3) It has a community of players behind it that enjoy and support the game.

Since the release of 2nd edition late last summer, and the implosion and fragmentation of the WFB community (some to AoS, some to 9A, and some (welcome) to Kings of War), there has been some debate over some rules (sorry - they are not going to add spell lores and a dedicated magic phase), and especially with the release of the Uncharted Empires supplement, questions on balance issues.

Kings of War 2nd Edition is, to my knowledge, the most publicly play tested and balanced miniature game on the market.  But it is not perfect, and with the huge influx of new players - well issues have arisen.  Flying De 6+ heroes.  Allied units that are just too good to pass up (Ogre Shooters with Brew of Keen-eyeness), lords on Dragons w/ Ensorceled Armor, etc.  Spam lists have shown up (you have how many goblin wiz's in that list?) and some are very difficult for newcomers to deal with.
The Kings of War Rules Committee (RC) finally put out the new tournament pack for Clash of Kings 2016.  In general, this is your normal, run of the mill tournament pack.  When I first looked at it, the only thing I noted that were different were that it was going back to 2000 pts (from 2500 last year),   And the single line about referring to the special event rules.

Ten pages of normal, and the last two rules seem to be causing a bit of an uproar - because they are trying to fix some of the balance issues that have cropped up in the last year.

Now note - these rules are ONLY for the Clash of Kings in the UK - no other tournament has to follow them, nor do you have to follow them when playing at your local FLGS (or playing your mates in your local game club for the UK folks).   That being said, I know our local group likes to follow the tournament rules for the next upcoming tournament.

As an FYI - since it is less than a month, the tournament I am running at Origins on June 18th will NOT be using these (though there are some similar changes in the rules pack already).  The Clash of Kings at Gencon WILL be using these.

from the pictures I have seen, I would really love to visit and play there.
So - what are the changes?

Cursed Pharoh and Ahmunite Pharaoh - these are becoming De 5+ (from 6+).  Why - because too many people were taking these as allies to their neutral or evil lists (from the undead and empire of dust lists), giving them Wings of HoneyMaze and having a very nasty De6+ flying hero.  While I'm not against this per se - I don't like it being available to most of the armies as an ally.  So it isn't quite as hard to hurt - were you really depending on these heroes in your list?

Fly - units can no longer fly when disordered (including losing nimble).  Personally I'm not sure this is needed - however it really does make someone think about how to use flyers - as they can no longer easily run away from a tough combat.  Killer no, but it will make people rethink some formerly easy tactics. (Boy are there people complaining about this one though).

No more than three of the same war engine, hero or monster.  So no more 8 Goblin wizs with 8 war trombones (and 8 hordes of rabble).  This is a change that I thought should have been put in the base rules - though if it were there it needs to scale for size (like 1 + 1 per full 1000 pts - so 3 at 2000 pts, but 2 at 1000 pts and 4 at 3000 pts etc).

Allies - any allied hero, monster or war engine can only be taken once.  Personally, I don't like allies. Nor do I care for spam lists that repeat the same units several times.  The idea of doing both - spamming allies - just never occurred to me.  I don't see this as a bad limit at all.

Allies can no longer take magic artifacts.  Yeah, I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth reverberating throughout the internet.  What - no more allied Ogre Shooters w/ Brew of Keen-eyeness hitting on 4's?  No more allied dragons with ensorceled armor - or allied pharaohs with wings of honey maze?  Oh darn.  Suck it up buttercup - allies were never intended to give you super units - they were (in my opinion) meant to allow you to create interesting and fluffy (*gasp*) armies.  If you must have those Ogre Shooters - well play Ogres!

Individuals only scoring half points in Invade! and Dominate! scenarios.  To me this doesn't go far enough, and should also include flyers.  Don't have these vampires turning around and running in to score on the last turn without having to think about it - if you want them to score you must plan for it.

War Engines can not capture/control objectives - I definitely agree - they should NEVER have been allowed to do this - it is just too easy to plop one down on an objective and not have to worry about it.

Then they added in two new scenarios - GREAT!  Mix it up and make the game more interesting. The six current scenarios are fine - but having more just keeps things interesting.  I was actually expecting to see control points for all relevant scenarios (not just VP), but this is ok for now.

Oh, and while I greatly dislike the Margin of Victory adjustment table - at least this has been corrected so you can actually get a tie (I had a couple of frustrated players at Adepticon that played to a tie and their victory point difference was very small (one game being 5 points difference) - but these still became 11-9 games instead of 10-10.  0-99 points should be a tie, I agree.

So looking at these changes - I like them and have absolutely no problems with them.  Now I don't try to make broken lists (ok, the first edition list that had Arhak Soulbinder and five war engines in it was pretty broken - but he isn't even in this edition (and with me being just about the only person that actually painted up and liked the model)) but these seem all like very reasonable restrictions.

my poor abandoned Arhak :-(
I already had a friend text me concerning these changes -  "Just hope they don't piss a lot of folks off and they leave the game."  I actually say good riddance - if you are going to rage quit over a few balancing changes for some tournaments then you aren't the type of player that I enjoy playing with and against.

Remember that when playing a game, the object is to win, but the purpose is to have fun.  These are not mutually exclusive.  I'll say again that I think Kings of War is the most balanced miniature game available, and this just helps to keep it so.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

6 comments:

  1. Most of the WV crew is ok with it. I won't be running Junes tournament with these rules but I will be running Julys with it. We're going to try them out for a month and a half to get used to them and the new scenarios.

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  2. great article, well written and well thought out and I have to say I agree completely. The amount of unnecessary drama and freak out over what is a tournament pack has been laughable. On a side note love the Arhak paint scheme, I'm just about to start painting my own abyssals and went for the same grey/black skin and red/orange hair based on the dark irons from warcraft. So it's nice to see it works without needing to paint a test model

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  3. Interesting changes. While I don't think I'll use all these changes at the Redstone Rumble I know some will be for sure.

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  4. Thanks for the update. I expect to be mauled by flyers this weekend but I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's coming to an end. 100% agree with ally changes.

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  5. Cheers for interesting article, thoroughly agree. Its a game and we play for enjoyment and if that includes winning occasionally then great, but not at any cost.

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  6. Personally I can't see any problem with these additional tournament rules. I had some advanced notice that most of them we're coming. They don't really 'nerf' anything, they just apply tweaks here and there to ensure that certain types of build aren't all conquering and you can't take broken units. It shifts the meta. I'd say to any hardcore tournament player who thinks they're good at this game, quit your bitching, *adapt* to the new rules and *prove* you're as good as you think you are!

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