Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Kings of War (why did this not happen earlier?)

I just have to make a post because I got really excited about this. Kings of War is my new favourite high fantasy tabletop game. Allow me to explain why.

I essentially quit WHFB many years ago because armybook releases were lagging hopelessly behind, perceived gameplay imbalance and the sheer amount of time one had to put into a single battle.

Although I briefly picked WHFB up again in 7th Edition, and enjoyed it, it just turned out that the time needed to set up and play a whole battle of WHFB did not agree with my agenda. Add to this the fact that the WHFB "engine" is not suited to handle big battles.

And then came WHFB 8th. Oh the horror. Apart from beautiful books, I did not like this edition at all for many reasons. But that is a discussion for another day.

So while I will keep and cherish my WHFB 7th Ed books and miniatures, they lead mainly a shelf-life for the above mentioned reasons.

Enter "Kings of War" by Mantic Games. Thank you Mr. Alessio Cavatore, Mr. Ronnie Renton and Co.!

Here we have a game that, in a nutshell:

  • has amazing setup time
  • is compatible with virtually any fantasy miniatures from your collection (yes, also the GW stuff)
  • has incredibly simple rules that can be learned in 10min
  • has lightnings fast rounds (this creates such an enjoyable dynamic that you can really "feel" the battle-lines changing through time)
  • is well balanced
  • includes all free army lists
  • allows incredible freedom in alliances and army list choices (Elves, Humans, Dwarves in one army? No problem.)
  • centers mainly around strategy, a lot less on item/spell/ability choice. 
  • is visually oddly reminiscent of WHFB 5th
The downside?
  • Streamlined gameplay comes at the cost of complexity. If you like to sit and ponder item/character combos for hours, this may not be for you.
  • The Mantic miniatures are so far not on par with most of the GW stuff quality-wise. But then again, very few manufacturers are and you can just use your existing collection. So... big deal.

I love how lightweight KoW is. To prove this point, we had a week-end with a few friends and played the hell out of this system.

We played two big games of KoW in the time it would take to get through half a WHFB game of comparable size given you come with pre-prepared army lists. We made our KoW armies basically on the fly.

More good news, the upcoming 2nd Edition of KoW promises to introcude some more interesting magic and a few gameplay tweaks all the while including all army lists in the core rulebook for free.

I really feel that KoW is a much needed breath of fresh air in the generic fantasy tabletop wargaming genre, that has really gotten me interested in the hobby again after a long hiatus. I would warmly recommend it and cannot wait for 2nd Edition. This book is on my shopping list.

Here are some pics from our KoW games. Enjoy!


Thursday, 23 April 2015

And now for something completely Battlefleet Gothic

Hi guys!

Working life has a tendency to keep you away from hobby related endeavours. On the bright side, when one does get a chance to indulge in the hobby again after a long hiatus, it is all the sweeter!

As I was reminiscing with a friend over lunch about the "good old times" of Specialist Games, he mentioned that his favourite system had always been Battlefleet Gothic (BFG).

Now I had never played nor collected it, being way too busy with Mordheim at the time, but hearing him going on about the (supposedly) very dynamic interplay of drifting fleets, waves of interstellar torpedoes, battlecruisers and interceptors intrigued me.

... then he dug out his old BFG box and Imerpial fleet models. I was sold on the idea.

It was thus decided that we should play a game of BFG but there is a catch: I do not own a fleet.

Since BFG models are insanely expensive on ebay, I did what any hobbyist would do, and decided to build a BFG gothic fleet from scratch. And Orks are the perfect excuse to build stuff from spare parts.

I admit, I have virtually no spare parts that could be used to make a fleet, so I went down to the local hobby store, paid 5€ and dug through their "bits box".

Here is the result.


PS: I have only skimmed the rules beforehand, so I do not know if this fleet is particularily viable in battle. But hey, who cares, right?

The little gun turrets (metal) and flying bases (plastic) were purchased from (these guys have really good prices)

Bits were found in the bits box of my local hobby store

The "orkish teeth" on the ships were made from thin pastic card

Almost done... engines are missing. See further down for completed project

 My attempt at a Space Hulk. I think I succeeded in making it look like a "space ork" version of a deep sea fish.

Space Hulk WIP

The ships engines are made by combining some metal bolts (I have NO idea what they are for in real life) I have found in a home improvement store

Asteroids are made from "lava stone" for gas grills. Can be found in any home improvement store.

You know me, I cannot post pics witout talking about painting:
For the ships:

1) Black basecoat
2) 3 dry-brushings of red-brown mix, going to a lighter shade each time by adding yellow/white (I just mixed some brown, red and yellow until I was happy with the tone. I used Vallejo and Army Painter colors for the project, but any manufaturer of quality paints will do)
3) Added a little yellow details (again this yellow as an improvised mix)

4) Very light dry-brush with metail (in this case Army Painter "Plate Mail Metal")

For the asteroids:

1) Black basecoat

2) Work some brown into the rock, make sure it is patchy and not too neat. In fact, just do a sloppy drybrushing with too much paint on your brush and you are golden.

3) repeat process with an olive green of your choice

4) Now do a proper dry-brush with dark grey

5) Another proper and very light dry-brush (only for accents) with very light grey


Seriously the quickest, cheapest, most fun and satisfying side project I have ever done. Cannot wait to try a game with these guys.