Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Of Kings and War 2: The Kingining

It's been almost two weeks since the release of Age of Sigmar (AoS) and the Warhammer world's still dead; just giving you guys an update.

So a lot of people are running around confused as to what to do now that their little square-based soldiers aren't supported by new Games Workshop releases (at least in the way they're used to). It's totally cool to not be satisfied with AoS, either. It's so vastly different that the very thing that attracted you to Warhammer: the Game of Fantasy Battles (WFB), may not exist at all in AoS. I think a lot of this confusion will dissipate as the months go on, and as various gaming groups and/or tournament organizers coalesce into one game or another.

I've said last post that I'm immensely satisfied with AoS, but I may not have stated my reasons clearly enough: I'm a very story-driven gamer, and AoS fits that bill nicely. I love tournaments too! I love the planning and play-testing that goes into them. I love staying up late the night before putting the finishing touches on my army in preparation for the event the next day. I love getting up early—wishing I hadn't put off my painting for so long—and triple-checking to make sure I have all my dice and templates and so on. I love milling around at the venue, and checking the time and wondering what could possibly be stalling its start. I love that it can be stressful, and that I can spend the day hanging out and rolling dice with my friends from the local gaming scene, and maybe meet some new opponents as well.

All that being said, tournaments are a place I like to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

I have friends who are hardcore tournament gamers. They go to as many as they can (afford), and they love the challenge of two players evenly matched (ostensibly) save their cunning and strategy. Never mind them, I have friends that don't do a ton of tournaments but rely on the structure that AoS doesn't emphasize to play pick-up games. I understand their dissatisfaction.

Luckily, it's never been a better time to be a fantasy gamer.

I'm a gaming mercenary. I like certain games better than others, of course, but I've never been one to sit on one game and one game only. Some people online (and in my circle of friends) are in the midst of an identity crisis, torn between staying with WFB 8th edition or moving to Warmachine and Hordes, or even Kings of War. For me, there's never been any movement; only expansion. I've played Warmachine happily since the softcover, black-and-white, Prime book alongside the many editions of WFB. They scratch different itches, and I like that. I don't ever want to just play one game.

So what the hell does this have to do with Kings of War (KoW)? Well, if you read my first KoW post you'll know that I gave it an okay review. I liked it, but thought it was a little too bare-bones when compared to WFB. Well, they've released a second edition and you can download it now; I did. While a lot of my initial thoughts still stand, I do see that they've added more spells, and more unique things to the army lists. I said in my original review that it won't replace WFB for me, but WFB's kinda been replaced for me.

Now I understand the irony of me espousing the idea that no game is truly dead so long as people still play it (there are still dudes playing Kriegsspiel), and saying that WFB has been replaced, but really I'm at the mercy of the gamers around me. I have some opponents who will never turn down a game of 8th edition, but if I roll up to a game club and no one has any red hardcover army books, I'll be pretty lonely with my scatter and artillery dice.

I have opponents willing to play KoW, and really I should embrace that. I mean, I have a million fantasy warriors on square bases. They'll need a home somewhere. Not to mention that the models are interchangeable. Anything I paint or build for WFB is automatically a KoW model as well, and vice-versa.

This all came about before any of us knew what AoS was going to be. I had my High Elves all ready to go, but stalled when I heard a new edition of WFB was going to be released. I didn't want to jump into a new project if the army was going to be changed or new figures came out that demanded my attention. Now that the Bloodbound models are occupying my paint table, my thoughts turned to packing up my High Elves for an uncertain future. But here comes KoW. Maybe now my High Elves have a future, and should KoW never catch on I have a High Elf force for WFB that I wanted to do anyway.

I can't wait to try out the new KoW rules. Now that my favorite regimental fantasy game is in limbo, and my attentions are turned to its round-based reincarnation, I feel that in my twisted gamer mind a space has been vacated that KoW could find a home in.

I have no idea where the gaming scene here in Vancouver will go. I have some suspicions, but I don't know for sure. I love gaming with the people in this city, and would like to take part in any tournaments or club days that go on, whether that's Warmachine, KoW, WFB, or (hopefully) AoS. All I know is that right now, you really can't go wrong painting anything with platemail and a sword.


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