Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Campaign Deals (plus exclusive formation preview)

The new Edge of the Abyss campaign is coming, and Mantic is gearing up with new releases.

First, of course, is the new campaign book.  This includes stats for all the new hero modes (and more, as they give stats and names for existing hero models), as well as formations that, when you take the specified units plus a small additional point cost, grant some units with additional abilities.

New campaign book
The formations have generated a lot of discussions, and Mantic has sent me an exclusive one to share (so don't tell anyone) (who am I kidding - tell EVERYONE!!!)

So the goblins get a little boost - and who doesn't want a horde of Fleabag riders going through difficult terrain and over obstacles without any hindering penalty (though they still have to watch out for those nasty spears with phalanx).  Plus this does not preclude you from adding an artifact to any of the units in the formation - so up their TC with Helm of the Ram and they now hit as hard as normal heavy cavalry (but are still nimble and SP 10 to get around to the flanks).  (or Brew of Haste to make them SP 11, or even the Brew of Sharpness so they hit as well as most Heavy Cav (with AT 28 that is nothing to sneeze at)). And any help to goblin nerve is always welcome.  (Now if there were only some way to help with Yellow Bellied - maybe something special, something characterful, that allow a REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED).

Sorry - I guess you'll just have to get the book and find out for yourself  (ah, the joys of being under an NDA - but then EVERY sneak peak I have seen has been different than in the proof reading version, so I don't really know what is in the book (though hopefully NOT the spelling errors I found :-).   It did leave me wanting to know more, and what happens next to these characters. )

In addition to the book, there are five new hero models being released as well.  These are new special characters for the campaign, and they will have a special Dungeon Saga scenario for them as well.

Mantic just released painted versions of the actual miniatures, and they will all be resin, not metal (with MSRP of $12.99 each) :
MGKWR205 Eckter, Placoderm Defender
All manner of creatures answered Nature’s summons to war, including the aquatic Placoderms. Eckter is determined to fulfill his duty and preserve the balance of the world; no matter the cost.
MGKWW201 Magnilde, Varangur Demon Hunter
Since leaving her clan, Magnilde has roamed the lands surrounding the Abyss, determined to prove loyalty to her god, Korgaan, by bathing herself in the demonic blood of her foes.
MGKWA201 Mau'Ti-Bu_Su, Abyssal Temptress
Alluring and deadly, Mau’Ti-­‐Bu-­‐Su seeks a powerful artifact for her infernal masters. She has easily infiltrated the world of mortals, bending them to her will with ease and killing them when they are no longer of use to her.
MGKWU201 - Jarvis, Ophidian Necromancer
 An academic obsessed with the mysterious Ophidians, Javis was shunned and cast out by his colleagues. He stole an ancient Opidian tome and is now on the run in a world at war.
MGKWS201 - Artakl, Gekkotah Clutch Warden
When her homeland is threatened by the spread of the Abyss, Artakl must travel far away from her warm homeland on a secret mission that could change the war.

In addition to the book and the new hero sculpts, Mantic is also sneaking something else out there. "Kings of War Artefact & Spell Cards".  This $12.99 set of 60 cards includes the rules for every spell and magic artifact from the Kings of War Rulebook and Clash of Kings, perfect for reference during battle!

In order to get more people into the game with the campaign, Mantic is also changing the Kings of War Starter set.  The set - The Battle of the Glades: Two Player Battle Set pits the Forces of Nature against the Forces of the Abyss.

MGKWM110 - MSRP $79.99
As the Abyss spreads across Mantica, infernal armies march in its wake.  Sensing the terrifying threat to the world, the Forces of Nature gather their own armies to oppose the Abyssals.  War rages throughout the world.  If the Abyss were to emerge victorious, it could spell the end of all.

The new two-player set replaces the previous set (The Battle for Ironhold) and includes some of our latest plastic and metal miniatures to introduce the players to the exciting world of Kings of War!


  • 20 Hard Plastic Naiad Ensnarers / Heartpiercers
  • 20 Hard Plastic Salamanders
  • 1 Metal Druiid
  • 20 Hard Plastic Lower Abyssals / Flamebearers
  • 20 Hard Plastic Succubi
  • 1 Metal Abyssal Champion
  • 1 Kings of War Gamer's Edition Rulebook
Even if you aren't planning on playing in the campaign (and why not?), Mantic still has a few goodies up their sleeves in July
MGKWE402 - Tree Herder - $49.99
Mantic is finally releasing a RESIN Tree Herder for your Elf or Nature armies.  The Tree Herders are mighty wooden giants who spend the long millennia of their lives protecting the Forest from all threats.
MGKWU202 - Undead Vampire on Undead Pegasus - $29.99
Mounted on an Undead Pegasus, a Vampire Lord becomes a sky-­‐borne predator of terror and fury, picking off the choicest targets at will.

Mantic is also increasing their movement tray line - with 40 and 50 mm tray packs for $17.99 each (each holds 4 Hard Plastic trays).

Best of all (for retailers) - all the new models (and book) are Retail Exclusives!  Retail exclusives are new products being made are available for the first time via game and hobby stores with this release. They have never been offered via Kickstarter.

All of these are scheduled to start shipping the week of July 28th

So make sure you get to your FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store, though of course you knew that) and make sure they are ordering these new shinies so you can get them for the campaign.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Monday, June 26, 2017

When the wyrm turns

A while back I did a review of the RuneWars boxed starter set that I got as part of my swag bag at Adepticon.  As part of that I mentioned that my favorite miniature of the set was the Carrion Lancer, who would make a great Revenant King on Undead Wyrm for an undead army.  It was the best sculpt for that I had seen.

Until now.

Mantic put out some pictures of their actual model on Beasts of War for a Revenant King on Undead Wyrm.  This is still a work in progress, so may change.  I believe this will be a resin kit, though I have no information on any release date for it.  It appears the kit will also come with optional wings (or course).

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Origins Afterward

Tournaments weren't the only thing going on at Origins - far from it.  The Ohio War Kings ran over thirty events at Origins this year.

We had a bit of a snafu with event registration however.  I will own this, as I was the one who submitted the events.  While we eventually managed to get everything straightened out, it did mean that most of our events (ok, all but 1) were NOT available for pre-registration, though they were in the final on-site book and available to register on-site (though not until Thursday).

Way back in the day this would not have been such a big deal - but with so much on the internet it did cause a significant dip in our attendance unfortunately.  Next year it WILL be better, and we will have even more events to run.

One of the events that some people look forward to each year is the Kings of War mega-battle.  This is where we see just how many armies we can get fighting at the same time, within a four hour window.  This year we only had 10 players, for a total of 10,000 points (5000 per side).

The scenario this time was one we had done before - three towers that acted as pillage objective counters - and each had two giants that had to be controlled in order to be able to control each tower.

In an interesting development, it turns out evil had the one sorcerer in the game who actually had wind blast - which was used several times to push the good units away from the giant, allowing evil to control them.  Eventually evil took over five of the giants (though not all through windblast) - two more after their first ones were killed.  Each giant was also worth a victory point - and for the first time evil legitimately won a mega battle!

In addition to the big games, many "Learn to Play" sessions were also held for both Kings of War and Warpath.  These allow newcomers to try the games, and even veterans enjoy the chance to try out a new army occasionally.

One of the most satisfying things with these is when people enjoy learning the game so much that they have to come back and play more.  In fact a father an son so enjoyed the game that they actually joined in the "How You Use It! tournament!  Plus I had a group of young people who so wanted to play on Saturday (during our big tournament, which used all the tables) that I event set up another table for them - and they played two games!  There was also the young man who was volunteering for Origins, but came back during the times he was not working looking to play again. On the last session on Sunday, I joked that he could probably teach the game himself by now.

With his back to me, Carstein Forester learns the game and likes it so much he plays in the tournament that evening.

Yes, girls like Kings of War as well.

These guys so enjoyed the game they did a 4 player team game, as well as coming back asking for more games.

Young and old, Kings of War is a lot of fun.
You would think by this point that Kings of War is all that went on.  Not true, we had several other events as well.

Jon ran Deadzone: Contagion Quest - each player took a mercenary who went into the Deadzone after intel.  However the Deadzone is infested with plague zombies that reacted to nearly every action a player could take.  Plus once a player grabbed the intel, he was now fair game for the other players to attack.  People had a lot of fun playing this, and we intend to bring it back next year.

Keith took on the effort of running "Learn to Play: Warpath" events.  With two tables and up to four players each session (there are only 6 armies after all) people had the chance to try out Mantic's new sci-fi mass combat game.

We had a Dreadball tournament - but some players simply could not get enough, and came back on Saturday to play a four player Dreadball: Ultimate match.  That beautiful ultimate pitch is the one that the new neoprene ultimate pitch is based on.  Designed by Dreadball Guru Geoffrey Burbidge, several people asked about getting this one of a kind mat for their home games.  Unfortunately, it is the only one in existence, and Geoff isn't going to share.

Back in Mantica, we also ran a Kings of War Monster Mash - where each player grabs a monster, draws a card to determine which special abilities it has, and fights it out in a last man standing battle royale.

Our very own Kara Brown also ran a very successful "Kings of War Advanced Tactics" seminar.  This was immediately followed by the How You Use It! tournament, where she took home the championship, proving she did now how to use it.

Dungeon Saga was also going on, with Dave running several sessions of this popular dungeon crawl game.  Once again he had people wanting to come back and finish out the scenarios he had prepared, and we were very happy to let them give it a try.

So despite having our numbers down, it was another great and successful show, and I am already thinking about next year!

Because it is all fun and games . . .

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tournaments at Origins 2017

So another Origins has come and gone.  This was a more challenging one than before (but that is another post).  Instead, let's talk about the fantastic pair of tournaments we had.


The Ohio War Kings have begun the 'interesting' transition to a 'real club', and I would count our official 'birth day' as Origins 2017.  And to commemorate it, we had the largest Kings of War tournament I have organized.  (Yes, Adepticon and Manticon are bigger tournaments I run, but other people get them together, so I don't have to do too much more than show up on the day and wrangle the players (which can be akin to herding cats)).

Origins has been pretty much my baby to organize and run.  Mantic may finally come back next year, but the Ohio War Kings definitely will.

The big tournament was Saturday June 17th, and we had a whopping 22 players.  Two of the people who had pre-submitted their lists were unable to make it (unfortunately, real life tends to get in the way of gaming), but two more showed up unexpectedly to fill their places.  I has set the event at 24 spaces, and while we had the physical tables to go a little bigger, I wasn't sure if my terrain would stretch far enough.

So with 11 tables set up, we kicked off the first game at 12:30.
Round 1 under way
Some people have asked why we started so late in the day.  Well Origins is a HUGE convention. There is so much to do there, and the exhibit hall is big enough that it will take at least a few hours to get through it.  I simply want to give the players time to enjoy a little of the convention.  This way they can go to the exhibit hall for a couple of hours (it is open from 10 to 6) before the tournament starts, and even for a bit during the dinner break (from 5 to 6:30).  Plus there isn't nearly as much going on in the evenings as during the day (there are scheduled events running from 8 am to midnight, but very little to see and do in the evenings if you aren't already in a scheduled event).

Stephen Malone v Derrick Byrd - Columbus v Cleveland
Jon Carter v Arden Bartlett - Jon gets to play someone new for once
Jesse Cornwell v Felix Castro - the battle of the 'nice guys'
Eric Reiss v Amy Stamper (Eric has only been playing for a few months)
Dave Frank v Jordan Reiss - Who says wargamers don't cosplay?
Kim Reiss v Roger Connor - I asked him afterward how it felt to beat up on a woman :-)
Donny Harville v Bob Boggs in only his second tournament, still getting a feel for the game
Cyle Pool v Kara Brown, fresh from her win the previous night
Dave Baker v Grace Patterson - we had four women in the tournament which is fantastic!
Jason Herald v Lee Wygant - Lee was the ringer and was very excited that he did get to play to even out the field.
Andrew Summers v Tom Ziegler on the final table

Dice were rolled, and even a few cries of "Hip Hip - You Suck!" from some of the Manticon veterans were to be heard, but there were no major issues, and as usual for Kings of War, almost no rule questions.  The majority of times people asked me to make a ruling during the day were usually due to very close decisions on line-of-sight - where I pulled out my handy dandy straight line laser from Broken Egg Games to easily resolve the situation.

Round 2 started right on time

So much for Jon getting to play new people, as Dave Baker faces off against him
Eric Riess watches Grace Patterson carefully move her unit over the scenario sheet
Dave Franks watches his dice intently as Kim Reiss presses the attack
Kara Brown watches Derrick Byrd shake his dice
Jason Herald  checks his list while Andrew Summers prepares to roll to destroy his unit
Stephen Mallone faces Pathfinder Jesse Cornewll
Tom Ziegler and Amy Stamper take a quick breath between attacks
Bob Boggs measures his movement while Felix Castro counts his dice, unconcerned about the devastating charge the elves are attempting to execute in his herd
Cyle Pool pushes his goblins forward against Donny Harvilles Ogres through the heat of the lava board
Roger Connor seems to be scratching his head as Jordan Reiss makes his move
Pathfinder Lee Wygant measures his movement against Arden Bartlett
After round two, we had a long break so people could get dinner, and several of them visited the exhibit hall as well.  Of course that meant it was time for me do do the paint judging - the scoresheet I use can be found here if you want to see what I look for when judging painting.
Dave Bakers Ogres
Jon Carter's Undead - with no zombie legions suprisingly
Grace Patterson's Elves (yes, there are some in there under the trees, I think
Eric Reiss's Forces of the Abyss - these need to play on the Lava Table!
David Frank's Herd army
Kim Reiss' Dwarfs
Derrick Byrd's Dwarfs
Kara Brown brought her Basileans back out
Andrew Summer's Brotherhood
Jason Herald's Herd (who unfortunately are not quite finished)
Jesse Cornwell's Goblins - famously feared throughout West Virginia
Stephen Malone's Twilight Kin - not finished but making progress over their previous appearance at the Gem City Massacre last year
Tom Ziegler's Nightstalkers
Amy Stamper's Dwarfs
Bob Bogg's Elves
Felix Castro's Herd
Donny Harville's Ogres
Cyle Pool's Goblins
Jordan Reiss' Orcs
Roger Connor's Undead (strange to see him playing AGAINST orcs instead of with them)
Arden Bartlett's Herd (on a cupcake holder)
Lee Wygant's Undead
So after a nice break, we got back down to the business of crushing our enemies and hearing the lamentations of their spouses as round three got under way.

Cyle had to play against his club-mate, Stephen
Dave fought against Eric
Jason battled Dave for some hot herd on herd action
Felix and Derrick square off
Jesse is oddly contemplative as Jordan checks his dice
Lee rolls against Donny
Kara fights Arden
Grace battles Tom
Bob watches as Kim picks up her unit
Amy faces club-mate Jon
Roger stretches in a tie against Andrew
The final round was a tough, tight battle for first place.  As I watched the scores come in, I couldn't help but silently speculate on who would take the lead - if this table got that result then X could take the lead . . . - yeah not a good idea for my sanity.
Round 4 is on!
Derrick carefully measures his move while Dave watches
Donny watches as Andrew moves his unit in
Stephen rolls his dice against Jordan
Cyle makes gang signs while Roger is concentrating on the game
Jon is relieved to playing Eric, who is NOT a club-mate
Bob and Grace had a great game
Jesse and Tom watch the dice roll
Kara and Jason battle it out
Felix moves his models against Arden
Kim looks a little concerned as Lee explains his strategy
Amy watches Dave carefully
And like that, it was finally over.
The whole motley crew!
The final results:

  • Wooden Spoon - Bob Boggs
  • Counter Charger - Kim Reiss
  • Best Sportsman - Dave Frank
  • Best Appearance - Jon Carter
  • Best General - Roger Connor
  • Overall Champion - Andrew Summers

Dave Frank - Best Sportsman
Best Appearance - Jon Carter
Best General - Roger Connor
Overall Champion - Andrew Summers
Full standings are, of course, on warscore.

New this year was the "How You Use It!" tournament on Friday night - a 1000 pt battle where the players changed tables each round, but the armies DID NOT.  Each player battled with (and against) four different armies.  It was a lot of fun.

Round 1 getting started
Skip Bourque with Abyssals faces off against Carsten Forester playing Basileans
Eric Perotti plays Elves against Jesse Cornwell playing Night Stalkers
Jon Emory playing Romans against Amy Stamper with Barbarians (Celts) on the Kings of War Historical table
Lee Forester with Kingdoms of Men against Kara Brown with Undead
Felix Castro playing Orcs against Scott Mellon with Ogres
Dave Frank with Nature playing Tim Beard with Goblins
 Round two kicked off without much trouble
Felix uses Abyssals to take on Amy with Basileans
Jon with Elves takes on Lee with Night Stalkers while Lee's son watches
Jesse takes on Kara in a Romans v Celts Historical battle
Carsten v Tim is a battle of Kingdoms of Men v Undead
Dave with Ogres plays Skip with Orcs
Eric and Dwarfs v Scott and Abyssal Dwarfs for a battle on the edge of the abyss 
We took a dinner break, but there was no paint judging (since all the armies were provided and painted by the Ohio War Kings (which means by me))..
Eric played Basileans against Jon with Abyssals
Scott wields Romans against Skip with Celts
Amy uses Kingdoms of Men against Dave using Undead
Jesse faces off against Tim in a battle of Ogres v Orcs
Felix checks the scenario for while playing Nature against Kara with Goblins
Father and son battle as Lee with Dwarfs takes on Carsten with Abyssal Dwarfs
Unfortunately, it appears I forgot to get pictures of the games in the final round, but here are the pairings:

  • Kara (Abyssals) v Tim (Abyssals)
  • Carsten (Elves) v Dave (Night Stalkers)
  • Felix (Kingdoms of Men) v Jesse (Undead)
  • Eric (Ogres) v Lee (Orcs)
  • Amy (Goblins) v Scott (Nature)
  • Jon (Dwarfs) v Skip (Abyssal Dwarfs)

Since we had no painting, this was a straight up battle scores:

All the usual suspects
Third Place - Felix Castro
Second Place - Jesse Cornwall
First Place - Kara Brown
However Kings of War was not the only tournament going on.  We also had Dreadball again at Origins,  Andrew Wodzianski (a pathfinder from the Washington DC area, who won the tournament last year) ran a Dreadball tournament with the theme "Zero to Hero" - where players had to pick on of the 'weaker teams' - though they could use their 20 MC to purchase a specific MVP per team if they so chose.  The teams were

  • Forge Fathers
  • Martians
  • Koris
  • Zees
  • Crystallan
  • Judwan
  • Mechanite

and the games are on
Geoff Burbidge v Cael Montgomery  and Dave Baker v Andrew Wodzianski 
Dean Winkelspecht v Lee Montgomery and Jon Carter v Ed Daugh
Geoff v Jon and Ed v Dean
Cael v Dave
All the coaches
Geoff Burbidge, Best Appearance
Dave Baker - Most Brutal
Ed Daugh - Fan Favorite
Lee Montgomery - Overall Champion
So we had a lot of great games, three fantastic tournaments and fun was had by all.

And we will do it bigger and better again next year!

Because it is all fun and games . . .