Saturday, 7 November 2015

Of Wizards Towers and Kings of War...

Hello again, and welcome to another installment of me building, painting and playing with toy soldiers.

Since my last post the action has been all Kings of War. With the death of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the question went around the group "What will our orcs do now!?" We had hardly played the last couple of editions of WHFB- they were fairly dire and the constant codex creep and having to keep up with the Jones' was a pain in the bum, and hadn't played Fantasy at all for ages for this reason. There were better games to be playing, but the fantasy itch was always there at the back of our collective minds waiting, biding its time.

And its time has come! We'd discussed a few possibilities. Modding Hail Caeser, renovating an older edition of WHFB etc. But little agreement in how to go about it. And then Warhammer was killed off...and Mantic announced Kings of War 2nd ed would be released soon. We had a look. We liked what we saw. And we dusted off the old fantasy figures and sat back for 2nd edition to hit. I pre-ordered the gamers edition almost immediately, and to get us going we downloaded the various Beta and Free versions of the lists and tried a few kick abouts.

What we have found is a game with a deceptively simple system, the rules are clear and concise, and don't try to be to detailed (which is unnecessary anyway when your dealing with armies with a couple of hundred figures!). We learnt to play within the first couple of turns of a 90 minute game. It doesn't take much longer to get a handle on the various special rules and unit profiles in play. The tactics are a little trickier!  And it is tactical- its a game that rewards attempting to out deploy and outmaneuver your opponent. There are gimmicks like magic swords and spells and monsters and warmachines that you can use to try and "herohammer" your way to victory, but the benefits gained for outflanking your enemy or getting behind him outweigh these by miles! Attacking in the flank doubles your attacks, in the rear it triples them. A good magic artefact might do nothing more than give you a slight advantage over an otherwise equal enemy unit. Outmaneuver your enemy and even fairly modest units can inflict a lot of damage!

Like Hail Caeser the game has fixed unit sizes and worries more about the overall footprint of a unit rather than individual models. Much better suited to a mass battle game. But dont get too hung up on your troops not being on exactly the right size base, we havn't gone and rebased all our figures and it doesn't appear to matter in the slightest.

It is proving a popular game in these parts and folk are flocking to the banners! So far my various fantasy armies have fought all manner of deamonic forces, Ogres and Samurai and I'm looking forward to many more games of this soon! And maybe a campaign...

In other news I've been building some scenery.

May I present a a wizards tower built specially for my Necromancer, Sirius Dictian.  The Core of the tower is simply a Pringles can with polystyrene built around its base. The stonework is milliput- each stone formed individually. Wood work is matchsticks, Window and door frames are built up with plasticard and then the stonework milliputted on. The Roof is a card cone, with lots of little bits of roughly shaped card glued on in rows. The whole thing took about 2 weeks.

Unfortunatly this last few months has seen a lot less painting than normal. A few extra elves were painted, Work has begun on what might eventually be a war elephant.  A tank arrived in the post- something called a bronekorpus tank, from a Russian company, only £3.50ish, and not bad for the price, It comes with a lot of bits so you can pick and choose from a variety of weapons. and assamble them in a variety of ways. Mine got the same colour scheme as the Cataphracts, as seen in their recent battle against necrons. It will count as a Predator, though with a different weapons fit- a Conversion Beamer and a Missile Launcher. I'm not entirely happy with the paintwork- something weird happened when I varnished it and a lot of the paint bubbled up. No matter, it was cheap and cheerful and it will go well with the Cataphracts.

Also on the painting table- an array of odds and ends mostly- a couple of beastmen, a pair of riflemen (thanks Rick!) a handful of Romano-British horsemen, and a few stray medieval chaps. Also some tanks. I picked up a couple of the new zvezda models- the Grant and the Stuart. And very nice they are too. The Grants went together a bit easier than the Stuarts but a bit of pushing and trimming and they went together ok. They are quite a lot smaller than my battlefront Grants and Stuarts, so they wont be joining those companies but may be the beginning of new forces. Did you know in FOW midwar that you can fit two British armoured Squadrons of 16 Honey Stuarts each into a 1500 point force? Thats 32 fast tanks.  Food for thought perhaps...
On a recent trip to South Wales I picked up a pair of 1/56th Panzer IV's. I'd already got one of these models from a caravan site in Yorkshire, and was pleased to find another two to go with it. They were a mere £3.50 each, and it was the work of moments to remove the push and go mechanism, and rebuild the turret ring so the turret rotates properly. Once I'd done that with the new pair I went back and did it with the original one too, (I'd previously only glued it in place!). Now all three are undercoated and on the painting table awaiting a suitable latewar paint job. I don't do a lot of 28mm wargaming for ww2 these days but I'm sure I'll find a use for them, and you can't really say no to a 1/56 scale panzer platoon for around a tenner can you?


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