Kings of War is Growing

kingsofwar2-rulebook

 

We all knew Age of Sigmar and Kings of War competing was going to cause tough decisions to be made.  Here’s a major one just rolled out to the public:

via Alamo Gamers (facebook) 

Ryan P. Smith (TO of the Alamo GT)

“The South region (Texas/Arkansas/Louisania) TOs got together this weekend with some TOs from the southeast and Midwest to discuss the future of the Indy GT scene. After a lot of discussion and some debate, we held a vote and agreed that in 2016 the Indy GTs will be running Kings of War instead of Warhammer 8th Edition or Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. I expect point values to be around 2000, but it may vary by GT. The first (Shiloh Slaughter) will be in Fayetteville in January, and the first Texas one will be Lone Wolf up in DFW the first weekend of April. Don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions!”

kow-circuit-announcement

Ryan confirmed to BoLS that the announcement should cover at least the following events just in the three regions listed:

Southern Region: Alamo GT, Bayou Battle, Lonewolf, Moonshine, Rock Wars, Shiloh Slaughter
Southeast Region: Nashcon, Redstone Rumble
Midwest: Sunflower
Furthermore, don’t assume this is just a roll of the dice from some TOs.  Each of the Southern Region events polled thier past attendees and the players themselves overwhelmingly voted in favor of Kings of War over Age of Sigmar.  So this is certainly a movement being led by the players.
These are long lived and robust events that routinely pull in 70-100 players each. That list doesn’t even take into account the many other events of the circuit, so it should come as no surprise to see many more events moving to Kings of War in the months ahead.
Masters-Regions1
So we aren’t talking about individual local FLGS’s here and there, but a geographic block of at least 9 well loved regional events (so far) that are part of the US Warhammer Fantasy Masters multi-region circuit covering the entire United States.  I expect we will see many more events switch over, or at the least run both Kings of War and Age of Sigmar in parallel in 2016 and see where the chips fall.
age-of-sigmar-splash
One thing is certain, Kings of War is gearing up to be a big long-term and well-supported system in a way that would have been unthinkable 1 short year ago. We are watching tabletop history unfold right before our eyes folks.
~How to you think the Warhammer 8th community will settle out a year from now?
  • John Felger

    It will be interesting to see how some people spin this.

    • Zingbaby

      All of the most poorly educated states are playing KoW?

      Panicky nerds freakout and jump into KoW?

      Nerd Rage quitters vote for KoW?

      Any of these work for you?

      • AoS isn’t a complete system yet, where KoW is.

        AoS isn’t made for tournaments.

        AoS isn’t a massed rank combat game. Warmahordes already has AoS style of play covered for tournaments.

        Any of these work for you?

        • Zingbaby

          Honestly I’d say all of those are pretty valid – for tournament play – at this time.

          But I think only a fool will try to draw major conclusions – at this time. The grass always looks greener – but already folks are finding that KoW is NOT the replacement they’d hoped.

          • Purple-Stater

            My group is finding that KoW is the perfect game to replace WHFB, and it seems that most people who don’t like it kvetch that KoW isn’t an exact clone.

            KoW… it’s making Warhammer armies fun again.

          • Zingbaby

            Only time will tell – in a perfect world both/all systems would make all of the people happy all of the time.

            For a lot of folks:
            AoS …it’s making Warhammer armies fun for the first time.

          • Valeli

            AoS has Warhammer armies?

            Cool. I didn’t know.

            (Snark aside, if I knew nothing about it my genuine impression after the last several months would be that it’s a game about fantasy space marines vs. chaos, with everything else relegated to the distant periphery).

          • Zingbaby

            Yeah funny right? …it’s actually called “Warhammer – Age of Sigmar” and you can even use all of your old warhammer armies or New ones!!! …imagine!

          • Valeli

            New Coke has the word Coke in it, but that didn’t make it the same…. or successful.

          • Zingbaby

            Hah – Classic Coke isn’t actually the same either – quite successful over the years.

          • Purple-Stater

            I think that was when Coke switched from sugar to HFCS as a sweetener. I remember noticing the difference right away, and wondering why there was no continued ranting.

          • marxlives

            Such a shame to see so much honesty. Sir you do not belong in this time period.

          • marxlives

            I have to disagree man. KOW is the Pathfinder of the miniature wargaming world. The game is like WHFB but the ruleset is cleaner.

          • the problem is that WHFB 8th wasn’t the game they wanted either

          • RTM

            I’m sure a few are. But most aren’t.

        • marxlives

          More appropriate to say AOS has a Warmahordes style of play since GW has given up innovation for imitation

          • Yes, but grammatically it was the same in my statement. They have roughly equivalent styles, but Warmahordes is the much better tourney game, let alone established.

        • Erik Setzer

          “AoS isn’t a complete system yet, where KoW is.”

          Yes, it is. I don’t get why people don’t want to admit that it is. It’s usually the game’s “supporters” who try to pretend it’s not done yet, when we’ve been told repeatedly that those four pages are the complete system.

          • They are the complete mechanics, but the game is far from complete. They keep releasing the scenarios (which TOs need). The laws of war just came out. And only a handful of factions have been fully sigmarized. If you think the free pdfs for all the factions are supposed to be their final form, you are just deluding yourself.

            So yes the mechanics are there, but the game is not

    • Not much to spin John 🙂 KoW is a game built for tournaments, much like WM is a game built for tournaments.

      That US tournaments are going to play it instead of a non tournament game that AoS is is not surprising.

      • John Felger

        I don’t share your view that balanced mechanics are incompatible with narrative play. Balanced mechanics are neutral.

        • The mechanics themselves have nothing to do with it you’re right, its the people that it attracts that are incompatible with narrative play.

          The more tournament-oriented a game is, the more tournament-oriented people it will attract, and the more tournament-oriented people exist in the community, the more difficult it is to have narrative events that deviate from tournament-standard.

          Hence why a warmachine narrative campaign is like a mythical unicorn. Some may claim to have seen one but its super rare.

          • John Felger

            The problem is my experiences don’t reflect yours. Competitive players in the various venues I have been in have always been just as interested in setting up big, narrative games. The difference is the narrative is also competitive. In other words, having balanced mechanics allows you to setup a big story/campaign series. This notion that the two are different types of people is baloney as far as I can tell. The most cinematic and epic games/campaigns I’ve played were also with the most competitive bunch. My favorite event was a massive Apoc/Planetstrike thing with twelve tables. Each person had (2500pts). A long campaign had been fought in the month prior to this ending event. Your standing dictated which table you started on. A beacon and evacuation point was on the prime table, i.e. a valley between mountains. The last force standing would get evacuated out before the planet which has become unstable due to all the battles taking place on it break up. In short, all the various armies that had been playing now are fighting their way across tables which were placed geographically next to one another. You went off this edge and ended up on the table next door. You couldn’t go to the next table until defeating your opponent on the current one. I’m sure you get the idea. Twenty-four (2500pt) armies battled to survive. I am proud to say I won. The interesting thing about it was was the last survivor with a SINGLE model left. Abaddon was evacuated alone as the planet broke up. The story was epic. The key thing is we can setup the pretense and the narrative as to how and why the various forces are all there, but only a balanced game can truly create a great story because it isn’t forced. What happens is what happens. We told a great story. We had a blast. It was narrative and it was competitive.

          • Yep experiences do color attitudes and perceptions absolutely.

            The competitive guys I’ve played with dont mind narrative – so long as the scenarios are all tournament balanced scenarios and there are no house rules.

            Which means basically playing the same set of scenarios over and over again and facing the same style of net lists over and over again.

    • Simon

      How about this spin…

      “GW had a solid community of consumers for decades, then dropped the ball and alienated them, so the community is moving on to better things coming from better companies.”

  • Valeli

    Not surprising.

    I like warhammer, and fully support everyone trying to stick around playing 8/8.5. They’re putting a lot of effort into their self-faqs, and more power to them for that. Some of the work I’ve seen is very decent.

    But i simply don’t believe that a self-cobbled system like that can get a national/international long term presence. It works great to play with people you know, but for pick up games, or tournaments, or finding brand new players, having an established company help lead things along is ultimately priceless.

  • Bobsyouruncle

    KOW does lend itself very well to tournament play so I

    • Charles Covar

      If they actually sell new minis to an influx of WFB players that had already stopped buying miniatures years ago.

      • rrooster1977

        Have you played KoW yet? I got intobthe game in 2012 using my GW minis. I love the game so much and found the minis so affordable that I’ve built 3 more armies.

      • silashand

        Since the armies are not directly compatible I have found adding specific Mantic units to my armies is a worthwhile expenditure, not to mention being more affordable. The newer Mantic models are quite nice as well. They may have had a bad rep in the past, but their new stuff is very nice overall.

        • Valeli

          Yeah. Old mantic models are really weak. They’re definitely making forward progress though, by and by.

          I’ll be happy with a balancing act between quality and price. They have fantastic bargains for the quantity now. I’d love it to hang around that price point, but would gladly be willing to pay a little bit more for a little bit more quality.

          GW’s models nail it, most of the time, but the prices can leave my stomach in knots.

          • Pete Jones

            I actually prefer Mantic’s aesthetic to GWs on some of their ranges. The elves and the ogres for example are far superior in my opinion.

      • mugginns

        This meme of ‘fantasy players never bought anything’ is so awful.

        • deris87

          Even if Fantasy sales were sluggish, is it any real surprise when you could count the number of Fantasy releases in a 2 year period on one hand?

          • But each of those releases saw little movement of the new models. I know here, when the new stuff was brought out the boxes sat there. Most of the guys I knew playing bought solely 2nd hand and have done so for many years.

            Age of Sigmar is not going to change that either. Those guys are still predominantly buying 2nd hand even as they play Kings of War with the free rules.

          • dodicula

            Goldswords were the beginning of the end for WFB imo.

          • Mad Leprechaun

            This

          • Erik Setzer

            Well, when 2nd hand is pretty reasonable in the pricing, and trying to buy a new WFB army isn’t…

            We’re starting to see similar things creep up with 40K. Wonder how long it is before GW admits their pricing is whacked rather than people hate the games.

          • Can’t argue with that. That is exactly why people stick with 2nd hand – which is also why I think GW tossed WHFB out.

        • Shawn Pero

          Local GW rep said that last year *paint* outsold Fantasy product. So, yeah.

          • mugginns

            Did you ask him how many new releases, errata, faqs, etc there were during that period?

          • Shawn Pero

            It was during the end times push of new merch, so~ that actually speaks even less of the wfb line

        • benn grimm

          And not true either.

      • Purple-Stater

        I have five overly complete WHFB armies, but I’ll be soon building at least 2-3 new armies with Mantic’s models.

        Even after 20+ years of WHFB, I was still spending $200-400 a year on books and new models.

        • silashand

          Yeah… I just bought my 11th WFB army (Ogres) and will likely keep buying as time goes on. The whole idea that people quit buying just because they have a full army is BS in my experience.

    • dodicula

      They were already proven viable, dreadball, deadzone and mars attacks were already doing well. Now they’ve gone from viable to eating GW’s lunch

    • Zingbaby
      • Purple-Stater

        Lacking context, I presume that this is regarding KoW2 rulebooks?

        Funny that those issues stem directly from the fact that an ungodly unprecedented, and wholly unexpected, number of WHFB players are now scrambling to get KoW2 rulebooks, when the actual rules are available as free downloads. It does a rather good job of showing just how green people think that Mantic’s grass is.

        • Zingbaby

          8th edition is dead – KoW looks most like 8th edition… I’d say the rage-quit and shift to KoW is what I’d expect from this community and is even similar to what happened with 40K/Warmachine years ago… but a lot of folks came back to 40K; and I’m very curious to see if KoW can live up to expectations.

          • Purple-Stater

            I think KoW reminds me most of 6th Edition, at least in terms of fun play. I’ve heard of lot of comments from others comparing it to 3rd Edition as well. 3E was my first into to the game but I never played any large battles with it so I can’t speak from experience (it’s also WAY too long ago).

            Rage-quit, while a popular term, is rather unfair. As you say, 8E is dead, so what do you expect players to do? Keep beating the dead horse; accept the replacement game from GW, which has basically nothing in common with the game they loved; or look for a reasonable fascimile?

          • Valeli

            Yeah. Rage-quit isn’t apt at all. There’s a bunch of rage, but not much to quit when GW themselves got rid of the game one might have abandoned in a fit of nerd-rage over alterations to charging mechanics or… whatever.

          • Simon Chatterley

            I jumped over to KoW more or less as soon as they released the free rules. Played it, loved it and started buying stuff for it. Painted my Undead army, actually built my Bretonnians (now Brotherhood).

            Played it lots and I have been feeding back on these games. Not only that but the feedback has been acknowledged and I feel like I have been apart of something.

            This is everything GW should still be doing but it wasn’t until I did all this that the realisation came to me. GW really don’t care about the community like they did mid to late 90’s when I started out. It is sad but now I am interested in whether Mantic can avoid all of those perils.

            Do not become stocklisted Mantic. The how not to do it is right across from you in Nottingham.

          • Valeli

            Totally agree.

            And creating community like that does more than help create a tight set of rules that everyone buys into – it helps the company move product when people feel involved on some level. Everyone wins.

          • Zingbaby

            Well I think rage-quit is still fairly appropriate but I actually agree here; it IS exactly what I expected players to do.

      • StingrayP226

        Well at least Mantic TALKS to their customers.

    • Just another caveat, a lot of tournament players I know don’t really care about visual aesthetic. They’d show up with wooden sticks if it was legal; the game is the most important thing to them, not the game tokens.

      Mantic’s largely crappy aesthetic doesn’t really hurt their cause because their target audience really doesn’t care about the visuals as much. I read that several times a day from many different players switching over that they’d rather have a crappy looking army that is cheap if the game is good because they don’t care about that.

      • dodicula

        Around here, back in the WFB days Leadership2 and club Capri were the two dominant clubs in terms of awards, and they almost always had well painted armies

        • There are always exceptions 🙂 also back in the day you were required to have a fully painted army to compete in tournaments. I wish those restrictions came back.

          • benn grimm

            I think things have changed since you were involved in the Tournament scene, almost all tourneys I’ve attended in the last couple of years were filled with fantastically painted armies. I think the grey tide is the exception nowadays, rather than the rule.

          • That is likely possible. Though I did a walk through of a local tournament last month and most of the armies were grey tide armies. That could just be a local thing.

            That also doesn’t discount that on a daily basis on various forums or fb groups I read people write a variation of “i don’t care what my models look like i’m in it for the game and would gladly play with cardboard tokens”

          • benn grimm

            There will probably always be that element. I played a guy in a pick up game a little while ago who had not only not bothered to paint his stuff, he also stated to me quite bluntly that he ‘was not interested in all the silly stories’ (meaning fluff) in his codex, when I tried to engage him in chat about his army. A very weird experience for me, but the first time in a long time I’d met some-one with such a bad attitude towards the hobby.

          • See for me that kind of player is fairly common. Probably why my attitude and opinion are what they are.

          • benn grimm

            If i had to put up with that regularly I’m sure i’d feel the same way tbh.

          • dodicula

            me too

  • Autumnlotus

    Finally, some solid evidence that AoS isn’t as widely popular as the fanboys make it out to be. Obviously this is on the competitive side of things, rather then narrative or just to mess around, but a thing to remember that a tightly balanced game gives competetives a reason to throw money at it, and statistically those types of gamers are known to put more money into the models/books/etc then casual players

    • Valeli

      And what’s -really- crazy, is that you can even have fun narrative fluff-based games in a well balanced competitive system.

      Amazing, right? Who’d have thunk it.

      Seriously though, it puzzles me a bit. A good system can handle both types of gaming nicely, whereas a poorly cobbled system can’t… and somehow some people insist on defending the system that can only field one type of game as good because it “supports narrative gaming”.

      Choice (almost always) trumps the lack thereof.

      (That said, I do acknowledge that tourney friendly games run a risk of placing too much focus on that scene, which can eventually lead to difficulties for some folk looking for pick up narrative games with strangers who are very biased towards the competitive side. Fair complaint there, although I still prefer a system that can handle everyone.)

      • Autumnlotus

        It’s almost like a balanced game is great for everyones enjoyment, besides attracting TFG. But that’s solved with a hard stick and shooing noises

        • Valeli

          haha.

      • Bobsyouruncle

        Good points , I’m a big fluff player and don’t do tournaments but I appreciate a tight rule set because it makes pick up games at my FLGS so much easier . The weird thing is even though I play KOW now, most of my battles are still taking place in Stirland , Kislev etc. , at least in my head !

        • euansmith

          Tight rules also make writing balanced asymmetric scenarios easier too 😉

          KoW really has nailed generic fantasy so well, they make it really easy to port in just about any fluff.

      • Depending on your community. If your community is driven entirely by leagues and tournaments then no you really can’t have fun narrative fluff games in a well balanced competitive system, unless playing with yourself is considered fun or you consider playing the same pitched battle with the same internet meta lists a fun fluffy narrative based game.

        • Autumnlotus

          I can feel for you there. I’m lucky enough to have a large casual scene where I live, bit know those types of players. My advice? Form your own group on Facebook or the like, and try to find like minded people

          • Valeli

            Not knowing the details of course…

            I think a tournament mindset is easy to bring to the table, because it’s something everyone understands. Even if you’re not a fan of meta lists, you know how they work and what the goal is. It seems like the default type of approach I’d take walking in blind to a new community (like when I had a temporary move a few years back and wandered into a new flgs for the first time).

            Some people are die-hard competitive types, but I think that after you get to know each other most will be willing to play a few campaign/narrative type games with you. I wouldn’t expect that out of them all the time, but I’d be genuinely surprised if a majority of people you’d gotten the chance to know over time simply refused.

            But like I said, your mileage may vary. And if you don’t have a flgs and depend entirely on tournaments…. then yeah, you’re definitely going to be between a rock and a hard place.

        • zemlod

          If I remember the internet right, there are indeed a couple of sites that primarily feature content intended to support you in having fun by playing with yourself…

          Buuut I also may have misunderstood that …

          • oh is that what those are for? 😉

      • silashand

        I have been saying for years that competitive and fluff games are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately some players seem to believe that can’t be the case and their version is the be-all, end-all of gaming.

    • dodicula

      I personally hope AoS sticks around, I probably will never play it, but one thing I noticed is that 10+ years ago I was one of the younger players in tournaments (now I am in my early 40’s and still one of the younger players), obviously this trend cannot continue, AoS is perfect for the ~10 y/o set if GW manages not to price it out of reach

      • silashand

        They already have priced it out of reach IMO. Since it’s release my LGS has sold almost zero AoS products, though I know folks who would have bought some for other games had it been more reasonable. The same is true for several other stores I know of. GW’s pricing is as insane as ever IYAM.

      • Autumnlotus

        It’s already outside of the price range of children, unless they stick to the base box set the costs for a 100 wound/model army is insanely high even when compared to fantasy. Granted it plays better then 8th for skirmish games, but at 50$ for 5 models, its only possible for rich kids or kids using proxies

  • euansmith

    Ow! Break out your chess clocks!

  • John Felger

    The GTs may be competitive events but they are populated by fun, narrative play type guys. The events draw people from all over and the pick up gaming outside of the big competitions are just as much a draw. The fact that AOS is tanking in the United States isn’t a mystery. No matter what the 24/7 cyberspinners might say, the game is gaining no traction whatsoever. Moreover, in the United States tabletop games like these are not played by children. Games Workshop is ceding the market over here.

    • Bobsyouruncle

      Yeah your right , it’s always hard for kids to get into the larger figure count games which is why intro games and dungeon crawls are important as a gateway . Having a dungeon crawl in the Mantica setting could help like the old Heroquest game did for GW all those years ago .

      • Autumnlotus

        If they do that sort of game I hope that they add the various races as options.biggest complaint for heroquest was how generic the hero choices are, despite being in a unique setting

        • Darklord

          Mantic already has, it’s called Dungeon Saga and is due out in the next month or so. 🙂

        • Tyr

          Its out next month, as Darklord said. And theres ten races for the heroes alone. (albeit in the adventurers companion)

  • euansmith

    I guess the alternative, that the TOs selected a version of WFB 8.5 and use that for all the American tournaments, would involve too much work and be too open to accusations of bias.

    • Pretty much. And then they woul .start variants of a variation and it would just spin out of control

  • spacemonk

    GW has been wanting to throw off the tournament influence in it’s community for years. Though it will cost them those players as customers this is exactly what they wanted. Jervis will be happy.

    • dodicula

      The great Jervis/Allesio schism winds to its conclusion

      • And the real winner/loser is Mantic/Games Workshop

  • This isn’t surprising. Kings of War is basically what would happen if Warmachine and WHFB 6th/7th had a baby. It is totally a tournament game and tournament gamers would unsurprisingly swarm to a tournament oriented game.

    Thats kind of like saying given the choice between nitrogen and oxygen that people would go to where they can breathe oxygen.

    • Autumnlotus

      That’s unfair to say about KoW, I feel. It is better balanced then AoS, but that doesn’t mean it is a hardcore tournament game by default. This is more of a mark against AoS, where they have been able to use fantasy in their tournaments for years and years, to a situation where all the tournament goers voted a majority in how they didn’t like the game.. For nearly nine states

      • I don’t think its unfair at all considering a few points

        * Alessio is himself a hardcore tournament player

        * Alessio himself on his facebook page said that his design intent of Kings of War was a tournament based fantasy game that centered around competitive events.

        It really doesn’t get more cut and dry than that when the lead designer himself says so.

        that doesn’t mean its bad, and you shouldn’t insinuate that I’m saying that its negative to be a tournament game. I’m saying that that is what KoW was designed to be based on the designer’s own words.

        • Autumnlotus

          But does the game also not work for casual games, or adding on narrative scenarios? Making your own characters to add to the game? It’s the same as fantasy 8th in my mind: yeah you may fight a netlist covered in Bolt throwers and hydras for a dark elf list, but you also have a good chance for a fluffy game. Just avoid stranger pickup games xD

          • Really any game can work for casual games though.

            Take warmachine. You can technically play campaigns and narrative games with warmachine, the rules don’t stop you!

            However, In what 12 years or however long its been out, I have not one time ever seen a campaign for it, or have seen anyone playing a narrative style event with it. It has solely been tournaments or leagues or some derivative of a competitive environment.

            (note – as I am but one person I have not traveled the globe to find a campaign, but I have not ever seen one posted online either, nor have i heard people talk about them so to me while I am sure somewhere they have been done, it seems to be extraordinarily rare)

            The players I see flocking to Kings of War, and yes there are a lot, are not the type of people that want anything to do with casual games or campaigns so I think while the rules will let you do so that finding people to do that style with Kings of War will be very very difficult, much like it would be trying to do with Warmachine.

          • Autumnlotus

            I know several people playing KOW currently, all formally fantasy players. Of all 15~ of them, only one plays to win aggressively. The super competitive people sold their stuff and went over to 40k or warmachine. Speaking of, I agree warmachine focuses on tournament play. The reason for that is that almost no player I have met knows much about the Lore, the books for playing don’t grab attention to Lore as much, as well as the defacto rule of Mage hunting being the best option no matter the scenario or fluff for a game. In KoW though? It works like fantasy, but with more balanced units and open for anyone to read the rules

          • I’ve played KoW. I actually participated in the kickstarter. I have the hardcover book. It is a supercharged version of chess, which could be cool.
            Each area will be different of course. Where I am, KoW is not really taking off. There is a small group of five or six players trying to get it big, and they are all 100% Grand Tournament style players that travel the country doing GTs.

            Maybe KoW *could* be used for campaigns and get that type of attention from casual players. Time will tell.

          • Gridloc

            We recently did the Path of destruction for Warmachine. I had my trolls and did nothing but theme list, mostly horrible lists since unit isn’t one of the netlist units. I had a blast, but like you said its rare (i faced nearly 0 non-tournament lists). But then there are some games that are not designed for narrative, people aren’t playing league of legends for the narrative. They like the challenge and the strategy. Some games have both, which makes them stand out. I got a game of KOW2 in a few weeks ago, and loved it. I can see making fun fluffy lists and playing the few locals around here still interested in block formation combat.

          • vlad78

            You know, I firmly intend to play KOW both casually and perhaps a bit competitively from times to times. It’s only a matter of state of mind. Furthermore Mantic said they will publish campaigns.

            Warmachine on the other hand is really steered toward competition, a bit like Magic the gathering given it actively promotes cards/units combinations.
            I really think an average army properly played can hold its own with the KOW ruleset whereas I don’t think warmachine might be so forgiving concerning list making.

          • I think any game is based on state of mind. Nothing stops you from playing WM from competitive except for the community you have.

            Same as with KoW.

            Whats stopping me from playing KoW casually or narratively is simply the community here that plays it are not interested in that, so if I want to play casually or narratively, it will be with myself in my garage, which kinda sucks and is why I’m not playing KoW.

          • vlad78

            Indeed it sucks. I wouln’t play either under such conditions.

          • I think for the most part it was easier for me to run narrative campaigns in 8th because a lot of the hardcore tourney guys got out of the game when 8th came out. The community seemed more accepting of unbalanced narrative scenarios in 8th.

            I got out of the game in 7th edition because again I couldn’t find any campaign play during those years, everyone was all 100% tournament or nothing.

          • Autumnlotus

            That’s interesting, since I have had the opposite happen over here. 7th had a lot of made up scenarios for the games, where in 8th it fluctuated into a dark elf/vamp count arms race of cheese. End times made this worse, where every game turned into hoards of zombies/Plaguebearers/witch elves smashing together as everyone spammed purple sun on the bowl of models. If I could have had Chaos Legions in 7th without argument, I would have been happy xD

          • This again goes to environment. If my environment had been like yours I would probably think differently, but my environment is very much dictated by tournament players and tournament style play.

          • Purple-Stater

            I think one of WHFB’s biggest shames was that GW never bothered to create a decent campaign system, and that kinda holds true for 40K as well. Mighty Empires had a lot of promise, but disappeared too soon.

          • I’d agree with you.

          • Zingbaby

            Here I totally agree with you. If they are gonna shun “competitive” style play (fine with me)… then go balls-deep on the campaign aspect as promised.

            So far they’ve really fallen flat on campaign support.

          • Purple-Stater

            Exactly. GW could have completely stopped development of new models, and had just a couple people keep WHFB alive with campaign & scenario sets. Which would not have stopped them from moving forward with AoS at all.

          • Zingbaby

            Well I guess I was mostly talking about 40K but you’re right about WHFB as well.

            Personally I would have NEVER have picked up 8th or 9th edition fantasy and regiment blocks of troops is so unappealing to me – AoS is exactly what I needed to finally get interested in fantasy – that said, I so wish they went totally in on campaigns and scenarios. AoS with the 2 large books is already better at scenarios than 40K, but they could do a lot more.

    • dodicula

      But why does a well balanced game with a tight rule set necessarily have to appeal to only tournament players? Are you saying that if people are prevented from playing competitively they will play narratively?

      • The game itself has nothing to do with it – it is the people that the game attracts.

        If the game is predominantly tournament style players thats what you’re going to get predominantly. That is why you for the most part never see any warmachine campaigns or anything dealing with warmachine dealing with something that doesn’t revolve around competitive-style playing.

        Of course the rules don’t prevent that – but the people it attracts do.

        • silashand

          So you are saying the mere presence of people who play one way prevent you or others from playing the way you want to? That is about as dumb an excuse as I have heard in a while, but it jives completely with the attitude I have seen where some people seem to believe a game can only support one type of play and not both. No offense, if you let the presence of other players who don’t game the way you do prevent you from doing what you like then that’s on you, not them.

          • Valeli

            Yeah. I had a match with someone playing a super-well painted super-fun squig and gobbo army once. I wrecked him, and the game was no fun for anyone…. The next time i brought a much more characterful elf list (the kind I’d genuinely like to play, if it wasn’t so weak… I always wanted to mess with big blocks of spears and ellyrian reavers) and we had a great time.

            Then he brought a more competitive orc army another time to go against a more competitive list I had, and we had fun.

            People just have to adapt, and not insist on doing things their way 100% of the time. Odds are stuff can work out more often than not.

          • silashand

            This. I have found over the years that if you want to play a certain way then just outright *ASK* your opponent. It’s not that hard, but apparently some people think they can’t. It’s all about communication and unfortunately I’ve noticed people would rather gripe about issues than actually ask for what they want.

          • This is relevant and true – for pickup games.

            This is irrelevant for games that are played during events.

            If the only events being played in your area are competitive – you cannot walk into one and ask people to not play that way.

          • Your non constructive insults aside… yes the mere presence of people that play one way prevent me from playing the way I want to **when your community is dominated by that style of play**.

            Most adults I know have a very finite amount of play time that they can dedicate to a game… this means that they are going to go towards what the majority are playing when they can get a game in and will likely look for an event to go to. If the majority are playing tourney style then so will they simply because thats whats dominant and those are the types of events that exist.

            If you try to throw a narrative event in a month where there is a tournament event, the undecideds are still largely going to go where the majority is – which if your commuity is dominated by tourney players means the tourney events have more people. Its a snowball effect.

            That has nothing to do with people passive aggresively cowering in their corner butthurt because people exist in their community that play a way that they don’t want to.

            It has everything to do with if you have a pool of 10 people (for number’s sake) and 2 play narratively, 4 will only do tournament style and 4 will do whatever, that means the 4 that will do whatever are going to largely do what the majority do – leaving the 2 that play narratively to play themselves over and over again.

            Thats horrible for trying to grow out a community but thats how it works.

            When’s the last time you saw a narrative warmachine event? Why do you think that is?

            Now I will say that in my community if we have 10 warmachine players, 9 of them are going to prefer competitive events. Because thats what warmachine attracts. The 1 narrative player has a choice. He can play a game with those 9 players, but will have to do so tourney style. Or he can put on the red lights in his garage and play with himself.

            Kings of War here is the same. We have 10 players – all 10 are tourney oriented. Where does that leave the 1 or 2 narrative guys? Playing with themselves or playing with the same person over and over again.

            What would be optimal is a community that supports both styles, but I have really never seen that happen easily and it requires a ton of work and gamer political drama.

          • silashand

            Since when was that an insult? It was the simple truth. If you are allowing what others do to impact your own decisions then that is your issue, not theirs. While time available, etc. may influence such a decision, most adults are fully capable of choosing to not play something if they don’t enjoy it. Likewise if you want to play something then it is up to you to attract the kind of players you want. Blaming it on some kind of herd mentality is hardly an answer. Likewise blaming the players for choosing to play a different way than you prefer is hardly appropriate.

            All it takes for people to play both styles is communication in my experience. If you want a narrative game then simply ask. That’s what I do and you know what? It works. The corollary to that is when my friends want a competitive game I have to be willing to do that too. It’s a two way street. If you want others to accommodate you then you have to be willing to reciprocate. The problem I find in every group I’ve come across that claims to be as you describe is that there is no such communication. Basically one side plays their way and the other either doesn’t play at all or caves and doesn’t enjoy playing as they should.

            You ask why you don’t see Warmachine narrative events? Maybe because no one has bothered to set one up? *ALL* events require a ton of work to arrange, narrative or otherwise. Saying the presence of one or the other crowd stifles that is just false. It just means there are fewer people who might be willing and/or able to help initially. The whole “gamer political drama” is just another excuse for just not wanting to put in the effort. Sure, you can blame time, family, work, commitments, or any other reason you can think of to not run something. But the bottom line is *someone* has to suck it up and do it if they want their type of event to happen and be successful. If the only people in your group willing to spend the time to arrange stuff are the competitive types then that’s what events you will see.

            Frankly I get tired of hearing people use the excuse that there aren’t any “X” events available and then in the same breath claiming they don’t have time, resources, etc. to do it themselves. Not everything has to be handed out on a silver platter. If people really don’t have time, etc. then they have no right to complain when others can’t do it for them.

          • That would mean you have some power of clairvoyance and know what I have and have not attempted to do. (to clarify I don’t play WM but did once upon a time, and tried setting up two campaign events for it – that both couldn’t get players for the reasons I outlined above and for which I am repeating myself below)

            When guys have one weekend day to play, they tend to want to do an event. Asking them to play a narrative style game at a tournament is not going to happen. When picking an event, people are going to go with what is the most populous. No one wants to go to a tournament that only has three people in it, the same as no one will go to a narrative event that only has three people in it.

            So simply asking my friends to play in a non tournament way doesn’t work, because they only get to play once a month at best, and are going to use that once in a month to go play in a monthly tournament.

            What you are suggesting works great in a group with a lot of people that have a lot of time to play multiple games – something that is not present where I am.

            Also – I am not interested in pickup games. I am talking about organizing campaigns or other non tournament style events. You simply have a very difficult to impossible time doing so when they are competing with tournament players events because the tournament events will usually have more people.

            So sure its possible to get one off games that aren’t about tournaments. I’m discussing not tournament events specifically here, and in systems that are dominated by tournament players, that is quite frankly very hard if not impossible depending on your community.

            The reason you haven’t seen WM non competitive events in almost 15 years of the game is not because no one in the world tried. Its because the player base doesn’t really want those events and its not worth an organizer’s time to beat his head against a wall trying to make it happen.

          • Auticus is a dedicated player and is a resource for the community. Please remain respectful.

    • Purple-Stater

      My group is switching to KoW2 specifically because it’s more fun as a casual game. The fact that it works for tournaments is simply a bonus, if you’re into that scene.

  • Matthew

    I actually think this is good for both GW and Mantic.

  • BrotherGlacius

    Any chance Bells could start using the 2nd ed cover of the book for their Mantic posts? I think Mantic does a great job of providing value to the players. They are simply doing what GW did twenty years ago.

    • Fixed – just got it from Mantic.

  • Dustin Dean

    This finally pushes me over the fence on ordering KoW. I’m not a tourney guy, outside of my local FLGS, but it looks like KoW is more of the game I want to play than AoS.

  • Graeme Donaldson

    I’ve been playing Kings of War lately after I lost interest in AoS and I’m surprised by how quick and fun it is. It’s a shame that there isn’t more fluff or variety of rules but it’s nice having a game where you can have a quick 30 min/1 hour battle, then win or lose, play again without any bad feelings. Rather than 8th which took hours to play and ended up with big rules arguments and AoS just ending up with me having more troops than god and a big unmanageable scrum in the middle lol.

    • Tyr

      From what Ive seen, the hardcover version does have a pretty decent amount of fluff, so theres that. 🙂

  • My local fantasy crowd is experimenting with Kings Of War, the game is good the main thing we all seem to want is for easier and more exact copies of the factions we love from “The Old World” in the Mantica rules format. People love their armies and want to be able to play them with better rules and actual support from a company. Mantic is moving towards doing this for sure, but its annoying at the moment to need to use 3 army lists to recreate my Empire army. Otherwise its great, totally support it coming in and eating GW’s lunch.

    • Scott B. Smith

      This is being worked on now, actually. The “Uncharted Empires” book will feature many “cross-over” armies, though they aren’t exactly copy/paste from the old Warhammer Army books. The lists are in beta testing for another week or so, I think. The Rules Committee is looking for playtest feedback, and lots of it! Head over to the Mantic forum if you’re interested.

    • ThorOdinson

      That’s what’s been bugging me. For instance, I was hoping the League of Rhordia would allow me to play my Empire army as-is, but unfortunately there’re no cannons, no Pistolier/Outrider equivalents, no Flagellant equivalents, and for some reason all their warmachines are manned by Halflings. Some of those units are in the Kingdoms of Men, but I don’t want to have to ally in those units to be able to use them, nevermind that I can only spend 25% of my points on allies. For a secondary army like League of Rhordia which is supposedly far out of the way and not a big player in the world, I wish they’d gone all out on having it replicate the Empire so I could play my existing army with ease.

  • Chumbalaya

    Very cool. I still need to try KoW, and this is great incentive to do it.

    I wish them the best.

  • Dan

    People laughed at me back in 2008 when I said that Mantic would grow into the next big thing in tabletop wargaming within ten years. They aren’t laughing so hard anymore.

    • ThorOdinson

      To be fair, I don’t think anyone ever expected GW to shoot themselves in both feet the way they did with Age of Sigmar. 😛 Mantic’s current success is partly attributable to disenchanted Warhammer Fantasy players fleeing from Age of Sigmar in droves.

    • Valeli

      I’d have laughed at you in 2008 to…. GW went out of their way to let this happen though. No one (that I know) ever saw it coming, it was just too crazy and non-sensible an idea. It still makes me do a double take.

      That said, if you had faith in Mantic before the bandwagon, more power to you. It’s always nice to get in on the ground floor of something.

  • Ronin

    I’m actually having my Kings of War army tie into the DnD group I’m in as well as my cleric of Tyr.

  • They wanted stability, balance, and most importantly
    Fully released rules. It is clear that AoS isn’t done yet. Most factions haven’t been updated and based on the silky rules and factions names, the current free ones aren’t the final solution for ea ch force. KoW offers everything AoS doesn’t to a TO.

  • David Smith

    Why do I always see AoS V KoW? These are two completely different style games that actually complement each other so why not play both? Me and my buddies are having great fun using the same models in both systems.

    • Axis Mundi

      Is no one here aware that AoS seems to be getting off to a strong start in the British tourney scene? I think it’s great that KoW is taking off in the States, but it isn’t the case here that it’s stomping AoS everywhere. Personally I’m glad it’s around for some square base action, but I havent met a Mantic figure I didn’t hate, so Im hoping the influx of cash will allow them to improve their production values.

      • Zingbaby

        Their models are crap – but KoW, at least at this point, seems to appeal most to folks with large Warhammer armies already.

      • mugginns

        We’ll see when their next financial report comes out. Right now most of us are seeing 10-20 AoS boxes sitting on shelves since it launched.

    • Because humans love us vs them and fighting over who really is #1. Its how religion works. Its how politics work. Its how plastic little men work.

      • Dan

        Haha, I think you are absolutely right.

    • D_Ork

      Because KoW is making a pretty transparent move on old WFB players, whereas GW wants those players to move to AoS.

      • Valeli

        I’m sort of baffled that GW would genuinely expect a large majority of those players to gladly make that move to AoS though.

        At the very least they could have let fantasy linger on quietly for awhile instead of just killing it. Then fantasy players would probably have been more willing to check out what this “third game” is all about.

        Killing fantasy and saying “here, you’ll play this now instead”…. that doesn’t sit well with lots of folk. And GW can’t possibly be so out of it as to not realize that fact.

        The only possible explanation (I can think of) is that they think they can easily pick up more new players than the amount of current customers that they’re loosing. I’m skeptical that they can. Interesting gamble, I guess. They have access to data and info I don’t, I’m sure.

        • D_Ork

          I agree. If you change all the rules and the lore at once while keeping prices high, I think you’re asking too much.

          Perhaps they expected that players would move to AoS simply to continue using their models. But Mantic has done a much better job catering to established players.

        • JJ

          GW has had its head in the sand about what it’s customers really want for a long time!

    • Spinocus

      Human nature. I imagine some of the more vocal pro-AoS/anti-KoW voices are devout followers who refuse to jump ship no matter what GW does to their games or miniatures lines. These people will rally around GW’s flag regardless of the cause. Same applies to some of Mantic’s more rabid pro-KoW/anti-AoS followers (and they DO exist).

      Also there are many former WHFB players who want nothing to do with skirmish games and look at AoS as a slap in the face from GW. There’s only one place to go for a fully fleshed out and supported mass battles and that’s Mantic.

  • Yet another game system who’s major break came when GW dropped the ball :/

    • StingrayP226

      Games Workshop as a public traded company (first real mistake) needs to show growth. Profit becomes the primary focus and there is huge pressure from stockholders to grow. Now you take a Niche market with limited appeal and thus a limited number of interested people… and try to grow. For a while 40K amd Fantasy was really it. The only miniature games out there and growth for the niche outside its limited appeal was hard. Thus GW had to take option 2: milk its customers as much as they could. In doing so they cut corners, increased prices, and opened gates for competition to exploit.

      Now they have direct competition, but I honestly think they do not understand this. So they continue on the milk customer route blindly thinking its the best way to “grow.” More they milk customers, cut corners, and stomp on their IP/Fans, the more people they risk to lose to other miniature companies. They then have to find new ways to “milk” to grow and the cycle continues.

      Granted I could be very wrong but that is how I see it happening.

      • TheNickelEye

        I don’t think you are wrong, but I think GW has a lack of corporate vision as well. You are right they saw their road to profit exploiting the existing customer base instead of growing the market, but as leaders
        in the market they should be at the forefront of advances. X-Wing has proven there is growth potential in wargames. Why hasn’t GW pushed prepainted? A re-release of Space Hulk with prepainted mini’s at mass market retailers like Barnes and Noble would sell like hotcakes.

        Also what is with all the video game licenses? If they knew AOS was coming why didn’t they work with Creative Assembly to use their new AOS IP on the upcoming Warhammer Game to help draw attention to the new system? That way little Johnny plays the video game gets interested in the world and goes to check it out and look a shiny new AOS starter featuring 2 of the main armies from Total War! Instead if he gets interested he’ll go to the store and see Golden Angel Men not featured in his video game with a different named game and either become confused or frustrated but definitely not a new player!

        Also why not start a subscrition box service? Those things are popping up all over the place for everything from beauty products to blu-rays and everything in between. How hard it to be to set up a service where subscribers choose their favorite army pay a reasonable sub fee and every month get sent new mini’s for that army. Or, if people want more control you do it like Disney Movie Club where you will automatically get sent the new mini after 30 days if you don’t respond, but if you don’t reply negatively online you’ll get sent and be charged for the new release from that chosen army for that month. And, for being a club member you get a discount that isn’t available anywhere else.

        The bottom line is aside from they way GW has treated their customers their biggest problem is a lack of imagination or risk. Nothing I said would probably bring me back, but it would have a chance at growing their customer base not to those they have lost(which they don’t seem to care about) but teenagers that have never heard of them(which they seem to covet). Seems to me, that if they don’t dramatically change the way they do business, between advancing technology with 3D printers and more competition everyday, it will just be a long descent into oblivion for GW.

  • Simon Chatterley

    This isn’t a shock at all. My gaming group already decided next year our tournaments will be KoW.

  • freddieyu

    It’s the same here where serious fantasy gamers have switched to KOW as well.