Who is the Rules Committee? Dan King

Welcome back for another profile of the members of the Kings of War Rules Committee.

This time we interview someone who might be the best Kings of War player in the world and an original member of the Rules Committee (hmmm - are those two related?); the man himself - Daniel King.
Please introduce yourself to my readers out there.

Hi, I'm Daniel King, member of the Kings of War RC (Rules Committee), member of the podcast FFS, holder of the Lone Wolf GT Title and the current no 1 ranked UK player. ;-) I’m also the only person to have been 4 times UK National KoW champion. :-D

The man, the myth, the legend himself
How long have you been involved in gaming (and wargaming) in general?

Wow well,quite a while now! Lets see, just short of 30 years! I started with games such as Heroquest and reading Tolkien, before moving onto various fantasy, board and wargames, RPG’s too. I've had a fondness for fantasy and in fact dungeon games ever since!

How / where / when did you first learn about Kings of War?

I was one of the original testers for the beta back when the KoW rules fit onto a single piece of A4! I found out about it via a good friend of mine, Jez Gurney. It took me a while to get into the game, but when I did I went in big and backed Mantics first ever Kickstater, for a staggering amount of money. Course I then went on to win the first Clash of Kings in the UK for a prize of £1000, so I didn’t do too badly out of it!

Why would people know you in the Kings of War community?

Hehe well if anyone hangs around on KoW Fanatics or listens to FFS they will have heard me chatting about various things and making hilarious puns! (Well, they amuse me! :p )

And what does that all entail?

Mostly chatting about KoW, I must admit to being rather into the game, so it’s nice to discuss various aspects with others.

Half the RC hanging out at LoneWolf
Is there anything specific you have worked on?

The first Mantic product I actively worked on, (bar some playtesting in beta) was Kings and Legends the first expansion back in 1st edition. After that I ended up becoming a founding member of the RC. (the only one left now) From then on I had a huge part in every book, helping balance and design units, rules, I even wrote some fluff!

The Herd in Uncharted Empires was my specific army, that I designed fully and balanced with the help of the rest of the RC and the community. I wrote the background piece on them as well as all their unit fluff and I really love how it turned out. The list was designed to allow you to field a Narnian style of army, with a Native American feel to them.

So you are the one responsible for those damn Stampedes!  I think they have replaced Elohi (in my mind) as the unit which you have to build your army around defeating.

Hehe well me and the playtesters! Originally they we’re TC(4) with no CS at all but testing found them to be relatively useless, as the TC was quite easy to strip off them. They are very strong, but I find the best way to deal with them is to either shoot them off or just distract them with chaff.

With the upcoming summer campaign – what is your favorite of the new special characters and formations?

Eckter the Trident Realms character is both a lovely model and a great unit! TR again show themselves as the master of specialty Wind Blast as this guy has a variant that also deals damage! Not to mention being effective in melee and hard to shift too.

Unit wise I like the Empire of Dust Living Legend unit, this is literally a unit of Skeleton pirates armed with Explosives! This gives them the Blast rule in both melee and range. Bonus points for those who shoot with them then surge them into melee too. :p

Formation? Hmm there’s a lot of fun ones, my favorite is probably the Kindred Borderguard because giving a chunk of spears Vanguard and getting them onto objectives early is just amazing! I’m also loving the Undead formation Mhorgoth’s Rotting Retinue, which gives a load of Ghoul units Thunderous Charge (1)!

Since you’ve been heavily involved with KoW since the beginning (I fondly remember that first Mantic Kickstarter myself) is there anything you miss about the earlier versions?

Well I guess I miss having someone else to complain at about the rules. It’s easy to take things personally when people say this or that unit isn’t right. Because I’m party to so many conversations I’ll typically know why we did such and such a thing and it’s generally for a good reason. Course you can’t balance everything perfectly but we do the best we can.

So exactly how many Kings of War tournaments have you won?

Erm, I honestly don’t know. I’ve won 12 in the last 2 years, (3 of those being GT’s) but that’s just 2nd edition, probably around 30 or so?

Does being the top player hurt your enjoyment of the game at all?  Do you feel like everyone is just trying to take you down?

Well I dunno about top, there’s some amazing players out there! But no it makes it more enjoyable, there was a point where it felt a little too easy, but then players got better and better and I didn’t win either CoK or Masters, and I even got knocked down to 3rd I the UK for a while. I really relish other players challenging me as it makes we want to do even better and makes it all even more enjoyable! I’m now back at No 1 in the UK. :)

With so many tournament victories – is there any you still want but haven’t achieved yet?  

Well winning Lonewolf was a huge one for me, I never dreamed I’d be able to win overall. (was hoping for Best general at best)

It would be nice to come back and win CoK UK again and of course I would love to be the UK Masters champion! Hehe if I ever win the lottery or something it would be amazing to just travel all round the world attending events. :-D

Lone Wolf sounds great – but does this mean we won’t ever see you at Adepticon?

Ah well the Lone Wolf guys are the only ones who have invited me to come stay at their houses, take me out for drinks and food and generally show me a good time! If someone was to do so for another event, I would certainly consider it. Of course I get enough wife agro about going to Lonewolf! :-p I must say the thought of retiring and becoming an world travelling KoW player greatly appeals!
Dan is able to stay so calm and collected at tournaments.

What army/armies do you play, and why?

I’ve played a lot of armies over the years! My current armies are Varangrrr, Herd and Undead, though I am planning on making an Orc army next. Why those armies? Well they all worked well with models I liked and had different aspect to their playstyle which appealed to me.

Snowy Herd Army
Where do you play, in case I wanted to come and get beaten by you?

I’m a member of the AGC (Altrincham Gaming Club), so I can be found there. Or I live in Macclesfield where I regular play various games with Jez. Or come and meet me at a tournament such as Lone Wolf in Texas, probably the best GT in the world! I’ve have such a good time at Lone Wolf previously that I intend to return as often as I possibly can!

This is the question on everyone’s mind – just how do you hope to defeat Dan King?  Pray to the dice gods?  Get him drunk and take advantage of him?

Ah well I do certainly lose! Getting me drunk can be helpful, although I may start to build up a tolerance eventually! I only came 3rd at the last CoK UK and 5th at the UK Masters. Both due mostly to be being beaten by a certain Paul Fox, one of the best southern UK players. ( I just beat him for the first time as Bristol recently!)

Is there any army you can’t win with?  I suspect that you would be able to take almost any army list (even the ones I make) and kick butt with it.

Oh I definitely have my favourite styles, I’m very much into fast armies. That being said I do like to mix things up so my upcoming Orc army will be a mixture of Orc Ax hordes with Gore Riders and yes at least one Krudger on Winged Slasher. ;-)

What advice does the champion have for new players just starting Kings of War?  (Or even old timers that can’t seem to win?)

Play good players and get beaten by them! Seriously, every time I lose a game I always feel I’ve learnt more than if I win. Going to a tournie even if you lack in experience is great for this.

What hobby projects are you currently working on?

My Varangrrr have just been finished a week ago, the next project will probably  be Orcs. I’ve been hesitant to make a horde army, due to the amount of painting involved, however I have recently acquired an airbrush which I’m getting better with so hopefully that will help speed it up!

Dan's Varangur army
What other games do you play, Mantic or otherwise?

KoW is my main game, but I play Dungeons and Dragons weekly and love to play various board and card games. I’m also really into computer RPG’s, especially classic dungeon crawlers like Eye of the Beholder or Dungeon Master.

So which edition of D&D is your favorite?  (Me, I still have my fondest memories of playing the original white box (with brown booklets) edition with my friends, and being so excited when Advanced Dungeons and Dragons first came out).

Well now my personal fave is AD&D 2nd ed, and we still play campaigns using these rules. That being said we are currently play “Keep on the Borderlands” using the Basic rules from the late 70’s!? This campaign was released the year I was born! (1979)

What is the FFS podcast?

Hehe, it’s a podcast where myself and a few others talk about recent tournies, armies we’re working on and just generally anything KoW related. We tend to waffle on sometimes and I make various bad puns, but hey we get a thousand or so listeners to every episode so it can’t be that bad. :p

Unfortunately, gaming (in general) doesn't pay the bills.  What do you do when you aren't involved with gaming?

I’m a software developer for a Law Firm.

I do find it interesting how many gamers are in some aspect of computers (being a software developer myself).  Do you have any other hobbies, or does being the best Kings of War player (with a few other games thrown in) take up all your free time?

I love to read books, watch TV and movies, (Fantasy and sci-fi or just action are my fave genres) and spending time with my wife and young son. Recently we’ve joined the National Trust so now often wander round parks, old country mansions and gardens and such at the weekends.

If you could be Ronnie Renton for a day, what would you do?

Blab about everything. Oh wait that’s what Ronnie does anyhow. :p

On a personal note – congratulations on the excellent work toward becoming half the man you used to be.  (Maybe if you just stopped carrying all those stones around?  (Yes, even though the US is on the ‘English’ system of measurement we have never used ‘stone’)  (And you aren’t the only one who can do bad puns)

Thank you! Yeah I’ve been trying my best to lose weight this year, I’ve not been dieting so much as trying for a lifestyle change. I exercise regularly and eat healthily during the week saving the excesses for the weekend. I’ve lost about 50 pounds so far.

Finally, as the only original member of the Rules Committee, I have to ask (becomes it still seems to come up over and over again) – when will the Twilight Kin come out?

Well as far as I‘m aware Mantic still plan to bring them out, but the date keeps slipping. The last rumour I heard, is they may be released as part of Vanguard, the upcoming skirmish KoW game. Something I shall be playtesting soon.  :)

Any final words?

Hope to see you across the table, for some Kings of War!

Because it is all fun and games . . .