Thursday 19 December 2019

2019 Summary - Part 2 - Kings of War


In this year I decided to write a summary a bit before the end. Simply because I managed to finish all my battle reports and have a bit more spare time to reflect on my Kings of War experiences in 2019.

I started with checking my previous blog post from 2018 so if you would like to see what I hoped to achieve in 2019 by the end of the previous year, here is the link:

2019 marks more than 4 years of Kings of War experience for me and I can again say I really enjoyed playing this game. In fact, just before the release of the 3rd edition, I think I got to the point where I thought I have finally found the army list I want to play with, without any further tweaks. But more on that later :)

As it is often the case, there were a few things I managed to achieve, some that I didn't and a few more that were simply unexpected. However, that is probably the pattern every year in many if not all aspects of life so let's see in details what happened before I get too philosophical!


Kings of War - the game of mass fantasy battles.

This year I played only 24 games of Kings of War, even though I played more in this year than in last 4 years in general. That's the direct consequence of trying to find enough spare time to play two tabletop wargames in parallel. 

Interestingly, I also played online with the use of Universal Battle 2 platform more often than with real models. Those with real models were played during a few local events that I attended. 

My initial attempt was to be able to play a game per week on average and for some time I managed to keep up the pace. I know it is not as intense for many other players (for example, my most regular opponent Jeff played around 30 games as a preparation for Masters 2019 alone with 3rd edition rules that were releases about a month prior to the event!). However, I also want to document my games with battle reports and needed to find enough time to do the same for the other system I invested in this year.

What I have learned, however, is that there are a lot of opportunities to play, either in local stores with vibrant Canberra community of players or on Universal Battle. It is really a simple matter of logistics and I hope I will be able to improve on that front in 2020. Regardless of the anticipated real life interference!


Return of the King tournament

I participated in three events this year, one of which was organised online and was the first Australian Universal Battle tournament ever. Unfortunately, I missed out all of the big events such as CanCon, BrisCon or Convic. Once again, real life had something to say and interfered. Although in the case of CanCon I had a huge dilemma as to with which system to participate. I have never had that before and it is quite an interesting situation. I will need to make a similar decision for 2020 CanCon again!

I think it is very important to participate in the events, both small and big, to keep the hobby growing. And in the similar fashion as with casual games with the local players, it is just a matter of better organisation. I really hope I will be able to do better this year in that department.

Universal Battle

Elves vs Forces of Basilea on Universal Battle 2

Universal Battle 2 is a regular "club" for me to go to for my Kings of War games. I found it even more convenient when I tried to find spare time for a game, away from hectic life interference. As much as I love playing with real models and as much as I would never consider UB2 a substitute for games, it has some significant advantages for me.

I found it a good option for a quiet game. Usually, the games in local shop and in particular those during the events, are in quite noisy conditions. It was often more convenient to organise a game on UB2, especially after long day at work. Of course, the usual advantage of being able to play against the players from other places is there.

Interestingly, I also noticed there is more and more activity between players from different countries. In fact, there were a few Call to Arms online tournaments that attracted players from many places and it seems that the popularity is growing! 

I think this will keep growing as it helps solidifying the international community of KoW players and will remain a good, parallel option to have games of Kings of War.


Forest Shamblers and Forest Wardens.

I think the plans for painting and modelling where the ones that took a completely different turn than I expected. I have not, unfortunately, finished the regiment of Chariots but I started working on Chariot Nobles. And I ended up working on two regiments of Forest Shamblers with two Forest Wardens as part of my Monster March project. 

It was an effect of my army list evolution (which I am going to discuss a bit later), i.e. in terms of change in priorities for modelling and painting. Unfortunately, I was not able to keep the momentum going, even with the models I have already started painting. 

I still have hope for improvement but the new projects will depend on further changes to the army list, which I need to adapt for 3rd edition.

Army List

Army that I started 2019 with - 2250 points.

Beginning of 2019 was for me in the context of adapting to the updates introduced by Clash of Kings 2019 supplement. I must admit I really liked these annual reviews, updates and introduction of new units. I attempted to stay true to my Multiple Small Units concept and begun 2019 with the following army list:

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment
5 Silverbreeze, Troop
5 Windborne, Troop
Drakon Rider Lord, Hero

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment
- 5 Stormwind, Troop
Army Standard, Hero
3 War Chariots, Regiment
 - Elven Prince, Hero

10 Stromwind Cavalry, Regiment
- Elven Prince, Mounted, Hero
20 Palace Guard, Regiment
- Mage, Hero, Infantry
20 Palace Guard, Regiment

20 Sea Guard, Regiment

This army had 15 elements, 11 of which were scoring and with the combined unit strength of 16. I enjoyed playing with it and a few funny moments with Windblast that also caused some damage.

However, I quickly realised that is it not yet what I need and can make work efficiently on regular basis. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Traish for his advise and many games where I could test different variations of the army list. I have no doubt that without his help I would have not arrived to the version I liked so much in the end.

Army I ended 2019 and 2nd edition with - 2250 points

Here are the details of this army list:

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment
5 The Windborne , Troop
Drakon Rider Lord , Hero

3 Drakon Riders , Regiment,
Drakon Rider Lord , Hero

10 Stromwind Cavalry Regiment
Noble War Chariot ,  Hero

3 War Chariots , Regiment
Noble War Chariot ,  Hero

3 Forest Shamblers , Regiment
- Forest Warden , Hero

3 Forest Shamblers , Regiment
- Forest Warden , Hero
20 Palace Guard , Regiment
- Army Standard , Hero

20 Palace Guard , Regiment
This army has 16 elements, 15 scoring units and total Unit Strength of 21. It has significant advantage over the previous version in terms of number of scoring units and total unit strength and that helped a lot in my games. 

I was very happy with this force. I think it still aligned with my goal of having an army list that relies on combined arms approach, speed and manoeuvrability, participates in all phases of the game and as quite flexible too. I think I finally managed to get an army I could call Multiple Small Units force under Kings of War rules. And when the date of 3rd edition release approached, I thought I would be able to adapt it to new version of the system relatively easily.

Kings of War - 3rd Edition

I am sure I was one of the many players who were getting more and more excited about the 3rd edition with every release of a video from Master Crafted about new units for different factions. Kyle did a fantastic job in preparing those! I was quite optimistic about the changes, even though I thought that Elves did not get any particular improvements based on the preview. But I was ok with it, I had my favourite army built after all. Somehow I assumed the only thing I would need to do is to adjust the list based on updated point costs. 

I admit I was not prepared, although I tried to follow all the previews before the release, for the changes to come. In my opinion, the most influential change is the way the armies are composed now. One of the reasons I enjoyed 2nd edition so much was that it seemed to support varied approaches to army lists and playing styles. They may not have been equal but one could still enjoy her or his way and armies from the same faction often looked quite different from each other (at least based on what I have observed). If the system allows such variety and diversity, it is a good one in my opinion, because it leaves plenty of room for player's creativity.  

My impression is that the change in composition in 3rd edition pushes the armies further towards those based on hordes. I hoped there would be some more information on the goal that the changes in 3rd edition were to achieve. Something like designer notes, for example. If not for each faction, then at least in general. I am aware that there was talk about having a system that appropriately represents mass fantasy battle. But I was not successful in finding more detailed information on what it really means from the designers point of view. 

The combination of losing some elements of the army completely (such as very versatile Forest Wardens), having some others changed significantly so that they cannot play the same role anymore (War Chariots and Chariot Nobles) and not enough core regiments, means  that I am not able to adapt my 2nd edition army list to 3rd edition. 

I need to start from the beginning. In fact, I came to the conclusion, that once again, I need to re-define what Multiple Small Units really means under new version. Is it still viable option? Especially considering Elves, where they have almost exclusively infantry units as core and significant number of irregulars. 

Interestingly, I noticed that it is not the first time where I have such a dilemma. The last time it happened it was in 2015, after the introduction of Age of Sigmar. I attempted to re-define my MSU approach first under 9th Age and then under Kings of War. 

Fortunately, back then Kings of War was very accommodating system and it looked like whatever collection one had, there was a way to adapt it. 

I hope it is still possible under 3rd edition. At this stage I have simply some concerns if it is going to pay off to pretty much start all over again and if the new system is going to offer the same variety of choices as its predecessor.

Plans for 2020

That pretty much defines my plans for new year. A lot will depend on my ability to re-define MSU and if yes, what would that really look like. There is no doubt I would love to continue my journey with Kings of War.

If I am successful I would like to play more games than last year and keep writing battle reports as usual. I would like to paint more models that deserve to be painted and fielded on the battle field. And I would love to participate in the events more often. 

I can assure you that I will do my best to achieve that goal. However, at this stage, I simply don't know what the end result is going to be. 

With that, I would like to thank all those of you who visited this blog and enjoyed reading my battle reports. I always greatly appreciated the fact there is a group of players who like them. I was always very happy when the reader left a comment after the battle report. 

I wish you all the best for the new year and I hope we will have fantastic 2020 with Kings of War!


  1. Thanks for all the reports, Swordy. I'm very much looking forward to seeing where you go with 3E, not least because it means more batreps ;) You're also an inspiration to keep writing my own reports, which I haven't done any of in 3E yet ...

    As for an Elf list that will feel right in 3E, I keep rolling your 2E models / lists around and trying to make something work. The list in your last report is basically what I arrived at as well, although Nature allies might provide a little more verdant oomph:

    Army: Elves
    Points: 1710
    Unit Strength: 20

    235, Stormwind Cavalry Regiment
    -- Maccwar's Potion of the Caterpillar
    165, Drakon Rider Regiment
    165, Drakon Rider Regiment
    165, Therennian Sea Guard Regiment
    160, Palace Guard Regiment
    160, Palace Guard Regiment
    130, Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop
    130, Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop
    170, Lord on Drakon
    170, Lord on Drakon
    60, Army Standard Bearer

    Army: Forces of Nature
    Points: 290
    Unit Strength: 4

    200, Forest Shambler Horde
    90, Forest Warden

    I *really* wish the Warden inspired, but at least he has a little surge for the Shamblers and is otherwise a pretty tight little beatstick.

    1. I did convert the Chariot Noble and Drakon diadem into a second Silverbreeze troop. I understand the appeal of the Noble, TC(2) in a flank is delicious, but I wanted to invest a little more in your shooting game.

    2. Hi there!

      Thanks a lot for your comments! I am glad the reports are entertaining and even inspiring! That's fantastic and it is definitely an additional positive boost to continue!

      I obviously kept thinking about updated version for the army and this is what I am considering to go with at the moment:

      Army: Elves
      Points: 2000
      Unit Strength: 23

      215, Stormwind Cavalry Regiment
      160, Palace Guard Regiment
      160, Palace Guard Regiment
      120, Kindred Archer Regiment
      165, Drakon Rider Regiment
      165, Drakon Rider Regiment
      120, Forest Shambler Regiment
      120, Forest Shambler Regiment
      170, Lord on Drakon
      170, Lord on Drakon
      130, Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop
      130, Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop
      115, Elven Archmage
      -- Inspiring Talisman
      -- Lightning Bolt (5)
      60, Army Standard Bearer

      I did not go for allies because I can include regiments as they are, I don't want the horde and I can't give Forest Warden Inspiring Talisman anyway.

      I added an archmage instead and went for two silver breeze troops as you did. While it looks better than the first army I played with in 3rd edition, I still feel like it is lacking something.

      I am aware, however, that it will be the process to go through anyway. It's part of a challenge at the moment. I will need to wait until I get some games again and until then I cannot know how would I really like it :)

  2. I didn't know if I could sell you on the horde, but 200 points and a pseudo-anvil I thought might help. You're right tho, it was a poor use of allies considering you've got Shamblers in the Elf list anyway. Sorry Tree Wardens.

    Thanks for sharing the list, looks good to me ... but I also don't understand the 3E meta yet so can't really evaluate it :/ I think we all just need to get more games in with the new edition!

    1. Hi H. Garou!

      Sorry for a delay in replying.

      Hordes are obviously good choices and no wonder many players use at least some of them. But as you know I would like to compose the army out of other elements.

      Indeed, I think I simply need to play a few games to have a better understanding of what works to see if there is a way for me to re-define MSU under 3rd edition.

      Hopefully I will have some opportunities in January!


  3. New reader here, just wanted to say that I really enjoy your battle reports and commentary, and I hope that there will be more in the coming year, and that you can find a way for your army to work in 3rd.

    1. Hi krijthebold!

      Thank you very much for your comment! I am very happy to know you like the reports and I will do my best to continue with writing the new ones in 2020!


  4. We've all had to rethink our armies in 3rd, but Elves changed more than the rest.
    I'm sure that you will figure it out again and I will enjoy seeing your list evolve again!
    Thank you for sharing your journey!

    1. Thank you! I like KoW as a game a lot and I do hope I will be able to find a new version of the army list. And that it is not going to take me another 4 years :)

      It was great to share the journey and I would very much like it to continue!

      All the best!