I had a chance to play Kings of War and Guild Ball a couple of weekends ago at a new venue in Huntsville. The venue is called Rocket Republic, which is a craft-beer brewery. They recently started hosting a monthly, Sunday meetup for tabletop gamers.
pairing of game-hall and tavern is a combination that I have long said
should be the direction that game-stores should move towards. There are
instances of such establishments springing up around the country, where
the combination is deliberate and full-time, not just a monthly event.
I really hope this trend continues. Hopefully, this local event has
legs, and it will either move to Saturday (and more frequently) or at
least open its doors at 1pm instead of 3pm.
By the way, their brew, Vapor Trails, is one feel-good, frosty beverage.
Kings of War
had a revelation about Kings of War, this being my second game. First
off, I should say, both of my games so far have been games at 1000
points. The game is designed to be played somewhere around 2000
points. I've suggested in the past that a game should be played at the
size for which it is designed. Otherwise, the game becomes skewed.
armies can gain more advantage at smaller sizes or at larger sizes,
when compared to the game's "sweet spot". Armies of different play
styles might gain advantages, such as horde armies, stand-off ranged
armies, or summoning armies. The footprint of armies on the tabletop
can affect their effectiveness, depending on whether there's more room
to maneuver or whether units are congested.
are differences due to the 'size of the battle', as opposed to 'size of
the army'. Playing 1000 points in Kings of War is enough to launch a
half-dozen units at each other and work through the mechanics of the
game. Great for demos. However, some rules might seem awkward at a
unit level, as opposed to how they operate at the army level.
instance, during my first game, I was put off by the 'Wavering'
mechanic. 'Wavering' is a morale state, which basically paralyzes a
unit, before the unit is completely routed. The unit pretty much can't
do anything. They're just eating up time and space on the battlefield
until the opposing unit finishes the job.
I have a
similar mechanic in Mini Mayhem, called 'Shaken'. A Shaken unit can't
Charge or Pursue, and its combat effectiveness is degraded. However, a
Shaken unit can still fight, and it has a chance to Rally back to a
Motivated state. So by comparison, I felt that KoW's 'Wavering' was
very lackluster compared to 'Shaken'. It felt like it was an
unnecessary time-sink in the game, waiting for the inevitable rout.
my second game, I realized that I was judging 'Wavering' in the context
of one match-up between units. What my opponent helped me to realize
was that I needed to consider 'Wavering' in the context of the larger
game, the scale at which Kings of War is designed to be played.
the larger scale, a 'Wavering' unit represents a unit that is still
standing firm, enough for other friendly units to use the delay for the
benefit of the larger army and the greater strategy. The 'Wavering'
unit can be used an "anvil" for a cavalry or infantry "hammer". It can
tarpit its opposing, enemy unit and delay their participation in other
areas of the battlefield. In short, the 'Wavering' mechanic can make a
valid, tactical difference in the context of a higher-point game. Kings
of War just became a little more interesting...
continue to be very excited about Guild Ball. Chris crushed me 6-0,
and I still enjoyed the game. The game was the fast-play variant, so
the game resolved quickly enough to where I felt like it lasted long
enough for me to learn more about my players and about my opponent's
players, without the game dragging on and without me feeling like I was
on the back foot.
And the match's duration fit the
narrative. An opposing player used his inherent forte to strip the ball
from my cluster of players to score a goal. Then the opposing team's
captain loaded up on Influence (action points) and pounded my weakest
player into the ground. Game over. Quick, educational, and still fun.
Ready for more.
Confrontation Challenge -- Orcs of the Behemoth
missed a weekend to work on my Orcs of the Behemoth for the January
Confrontation Challenge, due to work. This weekend I tried to catch up
somewhat. I still have a long way to go. I'll probably end up picking
only one or two miniatures to finish completely and leave the others for
follow-up sessions in February.
"color-sketching" at this point, seeking my color palette. I want
desaturated, cold colors to serve as the backdrop and "frame" for the
faces, which will be painted with more saturated colors. These guys
will look better once I lay in some washes.