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#1 mattjgilbert

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 08:34 PM

Hi all. I'm Matt, one of the Mantic Rules Committee (RC) for Kings of War*.

Any questions you have, I'll try and answer as best I can :)



* the RC is made up of members of the community (i.e. players) rather than Mantic staff. We have a lot of influence over the game direction and run all the playtesting. We are currently running the project to create the supplement book for additional armies.

#2 Bruenor Bronzehammer

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:35 PM

I have several questions as I am a competitive tournament player from the us. While I like the idea of age of sigmar for fun play, I fully understand that competitively it is a terrible game.

How does kow compare to 8th tactically? How are casualties removed? Is there a competitive scene here in the USA? Would you try and make a competitive scene in the USA? Do characters make as big of a difference in know and are they customizable? Do dwarves have runes or magic?

I will say after the barrage of questions that I am very impressed with the upfrontness of kow. It is very refreshing.

#3 mattjgilbert

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:50 PM

I have several questions as I am a competitive tournament player from the us. While I like the idea of age of sigmar for fun play, I fully understand that competitively it is a terrible game.

How does kow compare to 8th tactically? How are casualties removed? Is there a competitive scene here in the USA? Would you try and make a competitive scene in the USA? Do characters make as big of a difference in know and are they customizable? Do dwarves have runes or magic?

I will say after the barrage of questions that I am very impressed with the upfrontness of kow. It is very refreshing.

 

OK, I'll try to tackle as many as I can. I last played WHFB though very casually in 6th and only a couple of 7th so cannot give you a good answer on how it compares to the 8th I'm afraid. You probably need someone who is far more experienced in both games to give you a solid and useful answer on that one. In my experience it plays a lot faster - a 2000 point game can probably be done from deployment to completion in 90 minutes with experienced players. I've played in and organised huge multi-table 28000 point games that were done with a result in 5 hours (including at the Mantic open day).

 

Casualties are not removed in KoW. In that regard it's much more like an element-based historical wargame. Units accumulate damage through the and you attack a unit's Nerve by rolling 2D6 + the damage taken to date. The Nerve stat has two values (e.g. 14/16 or 21/23). If you meet or beat the first value, the unit is "Wavered" which limits its options in its next turn. If you match or beat the second value, the unit is Routed and removed from play.

 

There's a fledgling tournament scene in the US (the UK has a bigger one at the moment) but the game is still quite young so it's going to take a little while to get anywhere close to the current whfb scene. It is growing though and Mantic are supporting that roll-out. KoW works well as a tournament game as you can easily play it using a chess clock. Your opponent is passive during your turn so it's only you eating up your time when it's your turn.

 

Characters are units in their own right (they don't join other units) and while some are powerful and can be combat monsters, characters are very important in holding your army together as many have the Inspiring special rule. Nerve tests that cause a Rout result must re-roll if the unit is within Inspiring range.

 

There are some minor customisation options for units (e.g. add a mount, change shields for 2-handed weapons) and spell casters in the new edition can tinker with the spells they can take. There is a set of magic items that are available to armies but a unit (so that includes characters) can only take a single one and these cannot be duplicated. So the effects are good but it;s difficult to make overly powerful combinations.

 

Dwarfs have some magic (stone priest) just like everyone else. They even have berserker cavalry and earth elementals :)


Edited by mattjgilbert, 04 July 2015 - 09:54 PM.


#4 Thurgrim

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:21 PM

I have one question I can think of at the moment which is in first edition kings of war as I understand it warmachine shooting greatly outclassed small arms fire that it was almost pointless taking small arms shooting has this been resolved in your opinion?


Edited by Thurgrim, 04 July 2015 - 10:22 PM.


#5 mattjgilbert

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:57 PM

Yes, we spent a long time working on shooting. War engines were too random and the extremes could be devastating in v1. Regular shooting was underpowered. A good chunk of our initial work on v2 was on war engines and then again with regular shooting and with the public beta testing we got players to try lots of different options and report back on the effects and in the end the answers were simple but got the right result.

So war engines are toned down but still worth taking. Regular shooting got the boost it needed to be viable when it should be but as a support tool in the army and not an outright auto-include. One of the key design objectives for the game is that Melee should be the focus, not shooting. The reverse is then true in Warpath, the sci-fi setting where the game mechanics are more shooting focused.

The public playtesting we did has got us into a really good place with both the game and the army lists and we are really happy with the results. The additional lists we are working on now are also being publicly playtested to ensure they get the same treatment and balance against the core armies.

#6 Dolgrim Brassbottom

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 03:47 AM

I have to say I'm impressed you're on here answering questions. I was thinking of ordering the new book and any doubt I had is gone now with your helpfulness! AoS is not for me and hopefully kings of war is where I need to be. I also plan on starting an undead army so hopefully they are fun.

 



#7 Kallstrom

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 05:12 AM

Hey Matt, nice to see this approach from the Kow-community!

I am in the same boat as most others that I know, that Age of Sigmar shot far and shot wide. Now I am aiming to keep playing Warhammer 8th but also to look into a gaming system that I can play that is still alive and kicking. Kow naturally sprang to mind, and with the current beta-testing for the Herd (Beastmen is my other army) I saw it as a sign to take a closer look.

I signed up and posted my Beastmen army list in the Beta thread and it seemed like most of my models could be used which was positive for me. So since I know nothing of Kow yet I will ask my stupid questions here: :)

- Are there any substitutes for Slayers (unarmored dwarfs)?
- Are there different weapons in Kow and do they give different statbonuses/abillities (like a hammer, axe, sword, spear, shield etc)?
- What kind of different war machines does the dwarfs have?
- I read somewhere that you are encouraged to build mini dioramas with your models, and I read in this thread that you do not remove models from the unit when it gets depleted after a combat. So if I have a unit of dwarfs I could make a little diorama since I won't be removing the models one after another or try to cram in characters there, right?

- Are there any min/max unit sizes and what kind of formations do you have in a Kow game? Do the different formations grant different benefits? We can attack with an additional rank in Warhammer if we deploy our models at least ten wide, for example.
- Are there any random elements in the game, like a chariot having d6 impact hits (so it can either do next to no damage or some serious damage) or other things of a quirky nature?

- How come Mantic supports the use of other companies models? Where do they get the revenew needed to sustain the game? From selling rulebooks and some miniatures?

- I heard that some sort of ratmen and beastmen were in development. How many armies are there in total in Kow? Names, races?


I will bombard you with more questions as they come to mind. ;)

#8 nomadleirbag

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 07:27 AM

I have been looking at KoW, and it seems interesting. My concern after glancing over the army lists is that the point costs are not accurate. For example, Ironclad Dwarves cost the same as Shieldbreakers, but Shieldbreakers have a 4+ save instead of 5+, and have Crushing Strength (1) as well. Is there some balancing factor I'm missing?



#9 mattjgilbert

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 09:20 AM

I have to say I'm impressed you're on here answering questions. I was thinking of ordering the new book and any doubt I had is gone now with your helpfulness! AoS is not for me and hopefully kings of war is where I need to be. I also plan on starting an undead army so hopefully they are fun.

 

I figured that a lot of people would have questions and someone on warseer mentioned you guys had started a KoW forum so I signed up to see if I could help.

 

Undead are good fun - they have a really handy Surge tactic they can use to pull of surprise flank attacks :)

 

 

- Are there any substitutes for Slayers (unarmored dwarfs)?

Dwarfs have berserkers which are unarmoured. They also have berserker cavalry (berserker dwarfs riding war badgers!)

 

- Are there different weapons in Kow and do they give different stat bonuses/abilities (like a hammer, axe, sword, spear, shield etc)?

Sort of, but it's not as granular as in WHFB in terms of game effect and often it's built into the profile for a unit. Swapping a shield for a 2-handed weapon might be a unit option for example and typically reduces the De (Defence) by 1 but gains the unit Crushing Strength (1).

 

- What kind of different war machines does the dwarfs have?

Cannon, a bombard (a howitzer really), and organ gun and a flamethrower

 

- I read somewhere that you are encouraged to build mini dioramas with your models, and I read in this thread that you do not remove models from the unit when it gets depleted after a combat. So if I have a unit of dwarfs I could make a little diorama since I won't be removing the models one after another or try to cram in characters there, right?

Correct, as there is no individual model removal a lot of people like to build dioramas for their units. So long as the unit footprint is the right size and because in version 2 all units have a height (we moved to abstract, not true, LOS) then you can go wild with modelling :) If also means you can have less models in the unit than it actually represents (most people aim for 70% or more). I guess in the case of something like zombies, MORE models on the base might look pretty cool!

 

 

- Are there any min/max unit sizes and what kind of formations do you have in a Kow game? Do the different formations grant different benefits? We can attack with an additional rank in Warhammer if we deploy our models at least ten wide, for example.

Formations are fixed by unit size and unit type. For example an infantry troop is 5 wide by 2 deep whereas an infantry horde is 10 wide by 4 deep. A cavalry regiment is 5 wide by 2 deep and a large infantry horde is 3 wide by 2 deep.

The standard unit sizes are:

-Troop

-Regiment

-Horde

-Legion

 

But not all units will be able to take all sizes. Elite units tend to only have Troop and Regiment options for example.

 

 

- Are there any random elements in the game, like a chariot having d6 impact hits (so it can either do next to no damage or some serious damage) or other things of a quirky nature?

There are some but we've tried to minimise it so it's not out of control. You will not find any tables to roll on. Some units have random attacks and goblins have the Yellow Bellied special rule which means if the attempt to charge a unit in its front arc and the roll a one, they "forget" the order or pretend not to hear it. They don't care in the flanks or rear though when they know the enemy cannot see them!

 

- How come Mantic supports the use of other companies models? Where do they get the revenue needed to sustain the game? From selling rulebooks and some miniatures?

Commercially, it's obviously because they want KoW to become successful while they slowly build up their own range of models. Build up a customer base, even if they are only buying a rulebook to start with. Eventually people will start to pick up new Mantic units as they find ones they like or want to start a new army.

 

But Mantic is run by gamers and they all know the reality is that people have big collections of stuff from all over the place that they just want to get on the table and play with. They don't want to be a barrier to that. Will that attitude ever change? I really hope not and I'll fight Ronnie over it if it does!

 

Obviously they might want to temper or control it at some point - they are a business wanting to sell their own products after all.

 

 

- I heard that some sort of ratmen and beastmen were in development. How many armies are there in total in Kow? Names, races?

OK, the "core" lists that come in the main rulebook (version 2) are:

 

Orcs

Abyssal Dwarfs

Goblins

Ogres

Elves

Dwarfs

Kings of Men

Undead

Forces of Nature

Legions of the Abyss

Basileans

 

All these were publicly playtested together for balance over the last couple of months.

 

We are currently working on a supplement book to cover the following armies and they are going through the same public playtesting so if you want to join in you can - it's all happening on the Mantic forums.

 

1. Ratkin - A race originally created by the Abyssal Dwarfs (Evil)

2. The League of Rhordia - an alliance of human city states and the halfling shires (Neutral)

3. The Herd - satyrs, centaurs, minotaurs, owlbears and other beastmen. (Neutral)

 

The following lists are in progress, waiting for background to be approved and with working titles

4. The Shattered Clans (Humans) (Evil)

5. Empire of Dust (Mostly Skeletons) (Evil)

6. Reptilians (two different lizard-based races) (Good)

7. Name TBC - fluff still to be done (Humans) (Good)

8. SUPER SECRET

9. SUPER SECRET

 

 

Finally (for now!) the Twilight Kin (dark elves) will be getting a temporary list to start with for V2 (still official and legal for tournaments) because Mantic want to overhaul their background and model range. That's likely to happen with two other new armies, the Ophidians (Neutral alignment necromancer/desert dwelling snake/human army) and the Northern Alliance (Good alignment, think norse-like humans and elves (I’m pushing for berserker elves!) allied with ice giants and snow trolls :) )

 

Phew... lots to choose from once all that is out over the next year or so!

 

 

 

My concern after glancing over the army lists is that the point costs are not accurate. For example, Ironclad Dwarves cost the same as Shieldbreakers, but Shieldbreakers have a 4+ save instead of 5+, and have Crushing Strength (1) as well. Is there some balancing factor I'm missing?

 

In v1 there were some points imbalances but the public playtesting for v2 has really pretty much ironed most if not all things out. I really think we are at a point where an imbalances are very minor and all units and all armies are viable - I expect very little in army "tiering" - a good player should be able to win with any army and within an army, you can build multiple different list that are all viable and to fit a variety of playstyles.

 

De 4+ is worse than De 5+ in your example. the De score is what your opponent needs to damage your unit, not a save the unit rolls. Think of it as a combined Toughness and Save stat.

 

 

I'm writing up some stuff for the Mantic blog today talking about army playstyles and another article on the design process we went through for v2.

 

 

Keep the questions coming!

 

Matt



#10 Kallstrom

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 09:53 AM

Color me intrigued! This sounds way better than Age of Sigmar. Thanks for the quick respons. :)

#11 Grumpgrim

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 11:04 AM

How much customization is there for characters?



#12 hithero

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 11:49 AM

How much customization is there for characters?

 

Some characters can be given appropriate mounts and all characters and most units can be given one magic item, an item can only be given to one character/unit, so no spamming items.



#13 mattjgilbert

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 01:13 PM

 

How much customization is there for characters?

 

Some characters can be given appropriate mounts and all characters and most units can be given one magic item, an item can only be given to one character/unit, so no spamming items.

 

 

Yep, there isn't the granularity like you get in warhammer. There is less emphasis on creating single unit uber-powerful combinations (which can be fun of course!) and more on the units in the game combining and operating to a plan.

 

A rather sweeping statement (and I hope not insulting) could be made that whfb has a lot of emphasis on list building and preparation and then the deployment of the army to make sure the killer combos work and you get the heavy punches in, while KoW is about how you get all the parts of your army working together in unison and supporting each other because they are unlikely to do it on their own.


Edited by mattjgilbert, 05 July 2015 - 01:14 PM.


#14 Kallstrom

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 10:55 PM

Btw, are there any room in the army for these units?

- Organ Gun (multibarreled artillery)
- Grudge Thrower (stone thrower)
- Dwarfs with great weapons that are not hammers
- Miners
- Bolt throwers

- Are there two units of shield wielding dwarfs, one regular and one elite?
- Are there any stat differences between one handed versions of the sword, axe and hammer?

- Could you give me a short summary of the different dwarf character options and their uses?

I read somewhere that the Herd army is using 20mm bases, which could prove irksome for my 25mm Gor/Bestigor units. Is that true? Are all regular infantry models on 20mm bases? The dwarfs goes without saying, but what about the beastmen and orcs?

- How important is terrain, I believe you said every model has a certain height so I guess that terrain plays a part of the tactics? Are there any magical terrain pieces?

If one would like to read up on some fluff, where should one head next? :)

#15 hazard

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 02:19 AM

Btw, are there any room in the army for these units?

- Organ Gun (multibarreled artillery) 
- Grudge Thrower (stone thrower)
- Dwarfs with great weapons that are not hammers
- Miners
- Bolt throwers

- Are there two units of shield wielding dwarfs, one regular and one elite?
- Are there any stat differences between one handed versions of the sword, axe and hammer?

- Could you give me a short summary of the different dwarf character options and their uses?

I read somewhere that the Herd army is using 20mm bases, which could prove irksome for my 25mm Gor/Bestigor units. Is that true? Are all regular infantry models on 20mm bases? The dwarfs goes without saying, but what about the beastmen and orcs?

- How important is terrain, I believe you said every model has a certain height so I guess that terrain plays a part of the tactics? Are there any magical terrain pieces?

If one would like to read up on some fluff, where should one head next? :)

 The dwarf army has an option for alot of the options
- Organ Guns are Ironbelcher Organ guns which are pretty devastating
- Grudge Thrower are Jarrun Bombards which work similar to grudge throwers but not 100% the same
- Dwarfs with great weapons are called Shield-breakers....that can mean any weapon not explicitly a hammer
- Miners.....unfortunately there is no unit similar to miners currently.
- Bolt throwers, well dwarfs love gunpowder in KoW and do not have bolt throwers

the good news is that KoW fully supports "count-as" armies...so if you want to use a bolt thrower as a cannon that is 100% ok!

 

The dwarfs also come with other awesome options such as Earth Elementals(both large and small) and even a equivalent to a steam tank(Steel behemoth). Both of these options is something I always wanted for my dwarfs.

 

- Are there two units of shield wielding dwarfs, one regular and one elite?

There are 3 dwarf units with shield...Ironclads(normal dwarfs), Ironguard(think longbeards), and Bulwarks which are dwarf pikemen(alot like the dwarfs in the third Hobbit movie)

- Are there any stat differences between one handed versions of the sword, axe and hammer?

All weapons are treated the same unless they are 2 handed or not....2 handed weapons tend to be harder hitting.

- I read somewhere that the Herd army is using 20mm bases, which could prove irksome for my 25mm Gor/Bestigor units. Is that true? Are all regular infantry models on 20mm bases? The dwarfs goes without saying, but what about the beastmen and orcs?

The great thing about KoW is that the base size does not matter at all..only the foot print of the unit size. If you have a regiment that is 5x4 in 20mm than as long as you do not go over that size you can fill the space with whatever you want. This leads to you having less actual models, but since you do not take any off then it does not affect anything.\

 

- How important is terrain, I believe you said every model has a certain height so I guess that terrain plays a part of the tactics? Are there any magical terrain pieces?

In the games I have played so far(20+ and 2 tournaments) terrain plays a important role. Hills allow you to see over units and do what hills do best and helps with shooting. Terrain and cover make you harder to hit blocks LOS. If you are behind a piece of terrain such as a wall you can be defensive when taking a charge and receive bonuses. If charging through terrain you suffer a slight disadvantage in combat.

 

- Could you give me a short summary of the different dwarf character options and their uses?

There are a few dwarf characters - Dwarf King, Warsmith, Ranger Captain, Berserker, Standard Bearer, and Iron Priest.

 

The dwarf kings is your normal everyday beat stick he has the option to ride a large beast and provides a nerve re-roll to units around him.

The warsmith is the engineer and provides a nerve re-roll and provides a boost to warmachines

The ranger captain has a ranged weapon, and infiltrate up the board, and provides a nerve re-roll to rangers.

Berserkers Lords can also ride beasts and hits very hard...but is a bit more squishy, and surprise provides a bonus to berserker units.

The standard bearer is just provides a larger area for moral bonuses

The iron priest is the rune smith of the game and has a bunch of modifier spells for units and elementals, and provides a nerve re-roll to elementals

 

Unfortunately there is not a wide variety of customization for heroes. They provide a good boost to an army but Kings of War is about units of models duking it out with single heroes providing support in there own unique way. Every hero has the option of 1 magic item, there is a whole list to choose from but they could provide a significant change to the hero that greatly supplements the role you give for them. (ie you can have a flying dwarf king beatstick)

 

 


Edited by hazard, 06 July 2015 - 02:41 AM.


#16 silashand

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 03:37 AM

This is starting to make me regret selling my Dwarf spearmen all those years ago... lol



#17 mattjgilbert

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 05:55 AM

Well I think hazard answered all the questions already! Thank you :)

The fluff is quite light at the moment. KoW certainly doesn't have the decades of writing behind it that wh does. The core stuff is in the books, which are all being consolidated into the one rule book for v2. On top of that there is Dungeon Saga which is also due out soon which is a dungeon crawler game set in the same world and has background and novel coming. There are two adventure gamebooks coming too.

#18 Grim1

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 10:45 AM

I have found some Mantic figures that I really like which I'm going to order soon. I am going to make a purchase of the gargoyles since they look far better than any GW harpies, and I want the brock riders also. The undead army are also of interest to me.

Are there any plans to bring out dwarf longrifle/snipers miniatures. At the moment I am having to make do with the metal citadel thunderers (the ones with sniper scopes etc).



#19 mattjgilbert

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 10:54 AM

Yes I think those snipers got funded in the kickstarter IIRC.

 

Those gargoyles and brock riders are in the "restic" material. It's a bit tougher to clean up than hard plastic and requires super glue to assemble. You need to cut, not scrape, mouldlines away. The good thing about restic though is that you can dunk it in very hot water and reshape it to either repose the model or push joins together to fit.

 

Mantic seem to have stopped using it now though so it's mostly stuff from the first KoW KS that is still in the material. As they get bigger and more profitable, they will be able to do more hard plastic kits I hope.

 

 



#20 garetvarr

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 10:55 AM

Yeah my question exactly, will mantic be bringing out new dwarf minis like sharp shoooters, earth elementals etc ?






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