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"Is KoW Historical as much fun as WAB?" Topic

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The Red Goblin02 Dec 2017 4:27 a.m. PST

I know it's a loaded question.

I've actually got the KoWH rulebook on order and should get it in a few days (and I know the rules for KoW are free online). So, the questions doesn't come from a rules perspective as much as I want the opinions of people who played Warhammer Ancient Battles for some time and really ENJOYED the game AND THEN started playing Kings of War Historical Armies.

I want to know if the game (in your opinion) is just as much fun, and just as much fun for "long term" play. Granted, "fun" is a matter of opinion, so I'd like to hear your (comparative) reasons why or why not.

I'm looking at the KoWH rules for a couple reasons. First, I like WAB…but I'd like something a bit more compact/concise and not so spread out (over various rulebooks). I'm thinking something a little less intense might be better for snagging new opponents…but I don't want a game that doesn't have enough depth to make people want to (passionately, not necessarily financially)invest in the game and play it over and over again. A draw is also the simple integration of some fantasy elements (since I want to dabble in some Lord of the Rings type battles).

Now I know there is going to be an urge to recommend me some OTHER game you think is superior…and I appreciate that, if it pertains directly to the topic, but please don't use this as a platform to bash WAB as outdated or whatever and recommend some totally different games like DBA, Et al.


Prince Alberts Revenge02 Dec 2017 5:12 a.m. PST

That's a good question. I own KoWH, I bought it on an impulse at my local gaming club. I didn't really intend on doing anything with it but after reading through it a few times I really liked what it presented: an easy to learn, quick play generic ruleset that allows me to create my own flavor by dropping in the various special rules and characteristics. To create some mercenary crossbowmen for my Italian renaissance army, I have a basic troop, and give them crossbows and pavises. That elite unit of cavalry gets "Thunderous Charge" or whatever it's called.

I also liked that it didn't count bases or figures, so I could use my piles of 15mm lead. I ended up buying the fantasy variant too. Now I just need to paint my stuff!

Private Matter02 Dec 2017 6:17 a.m. PST

What is KOW?

Griefbringer02 Dec 2017 6:33 a.m. PST

KoW = Kings of War, a rule set released by Mantic originally for fantasy gaming.

DColtman02 Dec 2017 7:19 a.m. PST

It sounds like KOWH will suit you well – it is much more streamlined and less granular than WAB, so it plays very quickly. Apparently small differences between units and a modest number of special rules – abilities can make a considerable difference in performance on the table. It looks a bit vanilla on paper, but the nuances becomes more apparent and important when you play it.

I like them both, but none of the other kids play WAB anymore. I'd say WAB has more colour, KOWH is a better game.

D6 Junkie02 Dec 2017 7:25 a.m. PST

Hey Goblin,
I've played WAB and KoW.
I enjoy both.
But they have different flavors
Half the fun of WAB is building your armylist, weapon choice
number of figs which hero etc. Playing is fun though rule clarifications can be a chore if you don't play with a regular group.
KOW is about army play. You pick units just decide on the size, and you can do big big games easily.
Big battles that would have taken 6 hours to play in WAB can be done in 3 with KOW. I've rarely had any rules issues, because they made the basic rules pretty simple. I prefer to spend my time manuevering and playing rather than looking up rules especially special rules.
A friend's write up of our last battle link

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

We were surprised at just how fun the rules were and we did a huge Seleucids vs. Undead game (that's all the 28mm armies we had!) and it worked great, being able to complete two games in about 5 hours. The fantasy version works seamlessly with the historical version, so that's a plus as well.

First off, units can be element based, so for infantry you have units of 10, 20, 40,, and 60 figs. There is no individual figure or base removal, so when a unit breaks the entire thing goes. Each unit is rated for attacks, armor/save, and nerve, which his how many hits a unit takes before its gone. Some of the larger phalanxes were rolling 30 dice for attacks and taking up to 25 hits or so before they were defeated. Everyone in the club liked the combat and the game plays very fast with few rules problems.

Are there some issues? Sure, with the biggest getting used to the fact that in your opponent's turn you don't hit back or for that matter roll any dice. Heroes can be bit overpowered and created some weird situations, plus there is no command control whatsoever. Also, the army lists are functional, but need some work. Again, coming off a General de Armee game the previous time we went into this game thinking we weren't going to like it, but even the hardest grognards admitted that they had fun.

Tony S02 Dec 2017 11:25 a.m. PST

Again, coming off a General de Armee game the previous time we went into this game thinking we weren't going to like it, but even the hardest grognards admitted that they had fun.

An intriguing statement, as I self identify with the latter group. (Actually the last game I played was GDA; fantastic rules). A friend of mine bought KOWH, and I flipped through the lists and was horrified to see some of the liberties and anachronisms in the army lists. The lack of any command and control also frightened me.

But, the whole point of wargaming (for me anyway) is to have a good time with good friends, so perhaps I should give it a whirl! Might be fun!

The Red Goblin02 Dec 2017 2:55 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm glad to hear many former WAB players enjoy the game. It would seem to fit the bill for the type of gaming I want to do right now…I was just a little worried that it would end up being "dull" after a few plays…where I played Warhammer for a decade without getting bored. Sounds like this won't be a problem.

doug redshirt05 Dec 2017 9:49 p.m. PST

Just wish they used less dice. I don't mind rolling lots of dice, but buckets of dice is a bit much even for me.

The Red Goblin07 Dec 2017 4:24 p.m. PST

Just wish they used less dice. I don't mind rolling lots of dice, but buckets of dice is a bit much even for me.

I was watching some video battle reports…I found that a little disconcerting.

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