Thursday, October 6, 2016

Form vs Function

With the release of the new Kings of War : Historical game (not really a supplement, as it has the full ruleset in it - so you DO NOT need the 'normal' version of KoW to play) our local group has decided to run a new escalation league with these rules (and the store is actually excited about it, as they have several historical miniature players they think may join in).


So what surprises me is the excitement I am feeling over this.  I've never been a historical wargamer - in fact I have said that I find 'humans' the most boring miniatures to paint (and really have a hard time with horses and other animals).  Yet I'm excited about building a couple of armies just for this (and to be able to demo this rule set properly).  Warlord Games makes "Hail Ceasar" - a miniature game set from 3000 BC - 1500 AD.  And their starter set is Romans v. Celts - both of which have a lot of plastics - so looks like those are my 2 1000 pt demo armies.

But that is off the subject.  Last Christmas, I gave a good friend of mine the Kings of War rules and a painted army to get him to play.  The army was his choice, which he eventually chose Basileans.  I got a couple of the starter boxes and some other units - about 2500 pts worth before magic items, and got them all assembled and primed (using color primers to speed some of the painting).  And then I haven't made the time to get back to them.  Until now.

Except for the Elohi and panther riders, the entire rest of his army are men.  Paladin Knights. Men-at-arms(spears). Paladin Foot Guard. Sisterhood Infantry. Crossbowmen.

Or looking at the new Historical book, specifically the Crusader list: Knights Templar. Spearmen. Heavy warriors. Penitents. Crossbowmen.

Not only that but at 1000 points I still had room for a mounted general and ASB.

I had decided that I would finish his army before Christmas - and now I knew how to do it - they would be a Knights Templar force - I'd just paint the panther riders and Elohi up to match the scheme for the humans.  Plus there is a lot of references out there for templars.

Until I pulled out the miniatures and started actually looking at them.

Templar Knight
Mantic Paladin
The Mantic paladin doesn't look anything like a Templar Knight.  The Mantic one has much heavier armor (vs the chain mail on the templar) - and much simpler robes.  The helmets are nothing alike either (I find it amusing as I now realize why so many 'other' knight models have these squarish helmets - because that is what they ACTUALLY had back then - not the nicer, fancier, fantasy ones).

In my head, I can hear my virtual reader saying "so what?"  And with my background and general preferences I would agree.  Except this is HISTORICAL.  It isn't just anything you want "counts as". Some people can go nuts if you have the wrong armor or helmet for the army and period.  By the rules it doesn't actually matter.  In fact, the Paladin Foot Guard are EXACTLY the same (stat wise) as the Roman Legionnaires (i.e. both are Heavy Warriors).  Functionally, the model doesn't matter - and all my life I have been about function over form.  Get is working, then worry about making it pretty.

But this is HISTORICAL.  So that means you have to accept certain restrictions - sure the base list has Organ Guns - but you can't take them in an ancient (like Romans).

Now Kings of War: Historical is not a battle simulator / recreator - it is a fast fun wargame that kind of takes a "Hollywood" approach to it's armies.  So the lists may not be quite as accurate as some purists might like.  How far does this go?

How tight is the look of the knights?  Will Paladins, painted in armor with white tunics sporting red crosses and trim, be acceptable as Templars?

Ok, the answer is, since I am the organizer of the league here, Yes.  But that is in part because I am more interested about bringing in new players and new armies than I am about accuracy.  I'm even allowing Mythical units if you HAVE to have them, or if you absolutely cannot fit your mind around a historical army then allowing someone to field a fantasy army - but using the historical rules.  So technically I could add a regiment of Elohi as Winged Warriors*, though at only being able to take 25%, I can't take a horde (horde is 300 pts).

So it isn't me that has to be satisfied - it is the other players.  Will they accept this as a Templar army - and ultimately how will it look as a 'normal' Kings of War army once it is finally painted - which is, when it comes down to it, my ultimate goal.  I feel bad enough that Christmas is on the horizon and I'm still working on last years gift.  Last night I finally put some more paint on them beyond the initial spray primer.  So progress - yeah!

Of course I still have my Empire of Dust, Brotherhood and Ratkin to paint before Origins next year, plus the three replacement units for my Kingdoms of Men.  And my own historical armies (which I don't even have the figures for (yet) - but my wife and kids always say that I'm hard to buy for - so they are on my Amazon wish list (as the annual noting of the fact I haven't died yet is soon to take place - because even though my wife says I act too much like a kid, the calendar (and my bald, greying head) insists that no, I am no longer young - and am in fact so far over the hill that I can no longer see it in my rear view mirror).  You know you are old when the people you work with could be your kids.  Especially when one of your kids actually gets a job at your company after graduating college.  So I'm not old enough to theoretically be my coworkers parent - I am one of my coworkers parent.  (And so many of them (not him - yet) have kids of their own now).  They say if you ever finish painting ALL of your miniatures then you will die - at this rate I'll live forever!  But I digress. (boy did I digress on that one - what was the topic again?)

Oh yeah, this will at least get me painting and to finish my friends Christmas present for last year.

Which also leaves me with the question - what do I get him this year?

Because it is all fun and games . . .

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