Friday, 28 August 2015

Kings Of War at H.A.T.E..

On Tuesday the 13th of this month, I headed to H.A.T.E.. H.A.T.E. stands for Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts and is a very busy and lively, weekly wargames club. The main game played there is Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000, although when I went, there were a couple of games of G.W.'s Bloodbowl, a game of Forbidden Stars from Fantasy Flight (the company that has the licence to produce boardgames based on GW's intellectual properties) and a couple of games of Infinity also going on. I was there for another game entirely though. Ronnie Renton, head honcho of Mantic, a fairly new wargames company and a couple of Mantic's Pathfinders (Pathfinders are Mantic's demonstration team) came down to show off some of their games.

Ronnie was demoing Dungeon Saga but I was interested in trying out a proper game of Mantic's fantasy battle game, Kings of War. I say "a proper game" as I had, with my friend Richard, played it once before using GW movement trays with paper notes on each, saying which represented what type of unit. Richard had brought his G.W. Warhammer Fantasy Battle Dark Elves to use in a game. I believe that Mantic began as a company that provided affordable fantasy miniatures that could be used in other army level fantasy wargames. By "other", most people that I have spoken to about it think that this meant Warhammer. Along with the main rules for Kings Of War, Mantic now provide free to download army construction rules on their website so that you can use many armies that you might have bought to play Warhammer, in Kings Of War.

I was to play my friend Alex. We were told the rules and assisted by a great Pathfinder called John. A decent guy who had previously worked for G.W. but had left due to the way that they treat their customers, something that I can totally understand. He provided two armies for Alex and I to use (pictures below), Undead and Abyssal Dwarves. I opted to use the Undead as I already had a sizable army of them, albeit unbuilt and unpainted, and had more on the way due to the Kings Of War Second Edition Kickstarter that I had helped to fund. (Kickstarter is a crowd funding website). That left Alex with the Abyssal Dwarves. The game is very easy to learn, fluid, fast and fun. With a couple of lucky shots from my catapults, I quickly gained the upper hand over Alex. He managed to recover from his early losses however and, although the game was close, managed to beat me in the end.

I really do recommend Kings Of War. Compared to many other wargames, it is ridiculously cheap to get into. In Mantic's Spring Sale last year, I was able to buy the Mhorgoth Rising box set (dwarves vs undead, luckily the two armies that I wanted) for just £29.99. That is 95 troops and two war machines for less than half the price of G.W.'s starter set for Age Of Sigmar which only has 47 models in it. (At least, I think it's 47. I just counted the models in the picture on the G.W. website and the models appear very small on my monitor.) And it's fun.

Now, pictures.

As I've done on this blog before, I apologise about the bad quality of these pictures. They were taken on my phone and all the ones of the undead were when the battery was low enough that the flash wouldn't fire.

These are Ghouls. I really like the way that Pathfinder John has painted them. At Salute this year (the countries biggest Wargames fair) I bought some light but vivid blue paint for mine as I wanted them to look like the White Walkers from Game Of Thrones. Seeing these guys though has given me second thoughts about my planned colour scheme.

Skeletons. Seeing these models unbuilt and unpainted on their sprues, I wasn't too sure whether I liked them or not. However, seeing them built and painted in front of me made my mind up. they are great miniatures.

Zombies. As with the Ghouls and Skeletons, the faces on these guys are great.

Two Balefire Catapults, the artillery of the Undead army.

This is Mhorgoth The Faceless, a special character for the Undead army. A really nice model.

After firing a couple of shots from my catapults at them, my Skeletons engage Alex's Abysal Dwarf Halfbreeds.

Not content with just playing, I've recently finished building all the Dwarves from my Mhorgoth Rising set. They are really nice kits to put together, simple but with lots of scope for variation between individual models.

Here is the front line for my Ironclad. It features a leader a musician, a standard bearer and two normal troops. The musician and standard bearer are not used as upgrades for a unit in the second edition of Kings Of War, but if I ever want to use the models to play Warhammer, they will come in very handy.

Finally my Dwarf Cannoneer who I call Ramrod. The picture isn't great but you might be able to make out the tankard I've stuck onto his base. I like the idea of a drunken dwarf in charge of a cannon.

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