Kings of War



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Review: Kings of War - a very good game.

October 19, 2018 by fiore Cult of Games Member


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I've been playing this game for several years now and it is very good indeed. Not perfect for me, but firmly embedded in the group of games I love to play.

Good points:

1) Clear, elegant rules - the rules are straight forward to pick up and make sense. They don't "get in the way" as some rules do, and after a few games you won't need to refer to the book much. The clarity of the rules also reduces the grey areas that can cause disagreements - this makes it a great tournament game.

2) Highly tactical - dispite the simple rules, there is a lot of tactial depth to the game. With a full sized army there is a lot to consider and the game rewards skill and planning. If you love the idea of ranks of fantasy troops clashing together, this game has loads to offer you.

3) Quick playing - you can play a large game in two hours quite comfortably. This increases the fun because playing a game of KoW doesn't seem a daunting prospect.

4) Wide rang of armies - there are a large number of army lists available, and lots of troop types within them, so you have lots of choice. Some of the lists are generic, and others offer unusual combinations of fantasy themes. Pretty much any fantasy army you can think of can be made to fit into one of the KoW lists. You are free to make armies out of the Mantic models, but also any other fantasy models you like or have lying around.

5) Unit basing - easy to overlook this one, but it's one of my favourite things about the game. Because there is no imdividual figure removal (units are removed as a whole) it means you don't have to base your figures individually. This means you can have a whale of a time with unit bases if you want - each unit can become its own diorama, telling a story. You can get super inventive with it. This makes the army a lot more fun to paint and play with, and also means you can get away with buying fewer figures.  My favourite unit is my elite elf infantry with a human hero and his wimpy assistant in the front rank - I imagine he is some dignatory visiting the elf king's court who has been roped into marching out with the royal guard and fighting in the front rank when battle erupts.

Not so good points:

1) Abstraction - This is a matter of taste. The price for the speed/elegance/simplicity is a high level of abstraction. Many people have no problem with this, but it can make the game feel a bit sterile compared to some others. Magic, for example, is important but has limited flavour. You don't have the cinematic special abilities that you get in Age of Sigmar for example - but then you don't have to spend ages with your nose in a book looking them up either.

2) Generic fantasy setting - I quite like the KoW background, it has a fun old school feel, and they have added a lot to it in the last few years. But it is deliberately generic and open so that you can play with pretty much any army you like. Those gamers that love a distinctive setting they can hook onto the narrative of may prefer something else.

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