Clash of Kings Road Trip Part 11 – Kings of War @ Salute 2015
So a little late but last week was a little busy at Mantic HQ getting the New Releases out to our Retail Customers but better late than never a little report on the Kings of War Demo’s I ran for Mantic at SALUTE 2015.
The good people at Beasts of War grabbed me early on to take some pictures and find out what we had in store.
It was essentially a 6×4 foot board using the new Secret Weapon Rolling Field Tablescape with a river running down the middle. We set a display of Abyssal Dwarfs fighting Undead up on the far side and used the near side for the Demo game.
The Demo board set up
Setting up Fantasy Terrain is pretty easy. I gave the Undead a hill for their Balefire and set up a couple of hedges and a wood along the center with the rest really just being decorative. Having the hedges and the wood worked really well as it made the players think about whether to move round or through and then experience the negatives for moving through, fighting over and shooting through cover.
The two forces were set up facing each other.
Necromancer with Surge & Bane Chant
Skeleton Spearman Regiment
2 x Zombie Regiments
1 x Werewolf Regiment
1 x Revenant Cavalary Troop
1 x Balefire Catapult
Krudger on Gorechariot
2 x Gore Rider Troops
1 x Great Ax Regiment
1 x Orcling Horde
1 x Sculk Troop
For each army I produced a ‘Beer Mat’ with the unit’s stat line and simplified special rules. This allowed the players to work out for themselves, after I explained how the game worked, how good or bad their unit’s were at fighting, how far they could move etc. I find when I run a demo the gamers receive a better experience if they understand how the game works and have to work out for themselves what stats to use rather than just being told ‘you need 5’s’ or ‘roll 10 dice’ every time. At the start of each demo I would coach them along a little but with Kings of War being a fairly simple system to learn when the games got into turn 4 or 5 they were already working out what they needed to roll before I prompted them.
How did the games go?
Really well! I joked with Ronnie when we were packing up after 5pm that if you had told me I had been running the Demo games for 30 minutes I would have believed you!!
I ran back to back Demo games pretty much all day with a 30 minute break for lunch and a little break mid afternoon to try and get to a couple of Retail stands for my own personal shopping needs! 😉
Pretty much bang on 10am I had my first customers and half way through their game a group of 4 gamers asked if they could be next! Each demo lasted about 1 hour and although I was explaining the same rules over and over it didn’t get repetitive. I think all the gamers I demo’d for over the course of the day had dabbled in Kings of War with most being 2nd Ed Backers excited for the Kickstarter shipping in the next month or so.
Although Game 2 wth the 4 friends playing 2 on 2 was very amusing and close (for a time) my favourite demo, if I’m allowed one! Would be the final game which was a Young Gamer and his Uncle taking on the kids Dad. Peter (the Dad) replied to one of my earlier Blog posts about the experience and I’ve had other Feedback from some of the gamers I demo’d to saying they really enjoyed the experience – which is the main reason I do it! (others enjoyment)
So all in all I think the day was a great success!
What did I think of 2nd Edition?
All the games went smoothly and without any major hiccups (i.e. no situations that can’t resolve or rules disputes you can’t answer by looking in the Rulebook).
Both armies were quite balanced and played well against each other. The Orcs hit hardest but the Undead had the better Nerve, and when the Balefire hit…! Although I wasn’t keeping a running total I believe the games were fairly balanced in end result.
Cavalry have had a bit of a change generally losing the ‘Crushing Strength’ for ‘Thunderous Charge’ which isn’t all bad but if you suffer a hindered or disordered charge (so one through Terrain or a counter-charge into a unit that just charged you) you don’t gain the benefit. Crushing Strength and Thunderous Charge do stack however so as all Orcs have Crushing Strength 1 or higher their Cavalry (Gore Riders) can hit harder than most.
Vicious is another rule that has changed in 2nd Ed. Instead of allowing 1 re-roll to damage it allows all 1’s to damage to be re-rolled so if you have a unit with lots of Attacks (Orclings) or a unit with Crushing Strength or Piercing allowing for a low roll to be required (Balefire generally needing 2’s to damage, re-rolling 1’s) you can really put out the hurt onto the enemy.
Finally we have a new Magic spell all Kings of War Generals should be aware of – Bane Chant! This spell gives you the ability to add 1 Crushing Strength or Piercing to a unit. The Necromancer did enjoy giving the Zombies and Skeleton’s a little helping hand in combat and more often than not tipped the balance of a combat in the Undead’s favour!
So what’s next?
Well this Sunday I will be driving down to Brighton for the Southern Region Clash of Kings Tournament. We have 12 signed up including Staff and Pathfinders but have plenty of space for more. Tickets will be on sale till 12 noon on Friday so if you want to take part please grab your ticket as soon as you can. More details can be found on the Events Facebook page HERE
Also you might be aware the May Open Day will be happening the following weekend and I’ve been asked to Demo Kings of War at it. So if you’ve been interested in trying out Kings of War or like what you’ve read above why not pop over and grab a game! Tickets are also still available for the Open Day and don’t forget you get free Store Credit to spend on the day by buying your ticket!