Whatever Next?

One of the reasons I’ve been AWOL for a bit is that I’ve been writing a section for the new Kings of War (3rd edition). Yeah, I know. Weird.

And no, I can’t do anything about the pre-measuring. You’re the third person to ask me that. Core gubbins is Alessio’s department – it’s his game, after all. Instead he kindly asked me to write the optional rules section, which was rather fun. Optional rules are something I may have ranted about before, I forget. It’s a funny principle, but I’ll come back to the generic conceptual stuff later. Specifically…

The KOW optional section has 4 threads to it. Firstly there are a few extra bits of terrain rules. These add more texture to the simple rules in the core game and allow you to do more with race specific areas, giving them a bit more character.

The second bit is a discussion about multi-player games and is a bit like one of my rambles here. It’s one of those subjects that is fairly resistant to hard and fast rules because it’s such a variable topic and depends to a large extent on who you’ve got and what they want to do (with what armies).

Thirdly, there is a set of siege rules for fighting out assaults as either one-off games or as part of the fourth section: campaigns. Well, campaign in the singular, actually. Although I mention lots of options, this is really about setting out some simple and sustainable rules for running a successful campaign. One that might have a chance of finishing, rather than the often rather grandiose affairs you see bandied about. The biggest failing of almost all the campaigns I’ve ever seen attempted is that they fizzle out and are abandoned, leaving a nasty taste in your mouth. Far better to have a simple, short but successful campaign that people remember fondly. You can build on that.

Anyway, you’ll be able to see all this as part of the 3rd edition which should be out sometime later this year (late summer?), if their 3 year plan works as I (vaguely) remember it.

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24 Responses to Whatever Next?

  1. Very excited to see the campaign rules. Just wrote a very simple (single A4) set of rules for a KOW campaign today for the weekend (inspired by the original Mighty Empires game). Can’t wait to have a go at the official set though as a simple, yet exciting narrative campaign, really helps bring the game to a new level.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I think campaigns are the pinnacle of tabletop gaming, when done well. It’s just so hard to do them well…

      • Poosh says:

        Expensive as well ha ha.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Expensive? Not really.

          If people are playing a game already (which they probably are if they want to play a campaign) then your real investment is time, not money.

        • Poosh says:

          Sorry! For some reason I read the word “campaigns” as “sieges” … I have no idea why i made this mistake! Perhaps I read the word “castles” or something… no idea what goes on in my head sometimes.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Sieges are included in the section as well, and obviously require some sort of walls to defend so there is a cost there in money to buy or effort to make.

  2. Pete McF says:

    Great stuff Jake- can’t wait to get my mitts on the new Rulebook!! Cavatore and Thornton? Surefire success!! (And what’s wrong with the pre-measuring in the game?? I never found it a problem yet!)

  3. redfox4242 says:

    I love Kings of War. It’s fascinating to get this inside information on the future of that game. I was very excited to read this post. I hope your work on the rules goes well. I have high hopes for that game. Best wishes to you.

  4. Sami Mahmoud says:

    Pre-measuring is fine by me and I’m glad to see the back of the pre-8th Ed WHF movement rules, it’s the complete certainty of the movement phase that leaves KoW behind WHF for me (given no time constraints).

    Excited to see these additional rules, particularly the siege rules and how they fit into the existing ruleset.

  5. Matt Gilbert says:

    I was pondering asking the lads about doing a KoW campaign just this very morning 🙂 Good to hear about all the new rules. I’m really looking forward to playing some big Siege games.

    Are you and/or Alessio also working on some new scenario/battle types for the book. It would be nice to have more options than the current 3 types in the basic rules (not that people can’t come up with their own of course 🙂 ).

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the topic in this thread regarding the (seemingly) skewed relationship between various unit sizes and points values (and tactical worth in the game).

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m not sure about what Alessio’s been adding to the core rules as I’ve been beavering away in my own little corner. The nice thing about the optional stuff I’ve been working on is that it is relatively self-contained. I’m sure he’ll let you know all about it when he’s finished.

      From my relatively limited study of the detail of KOW points, I can think of a few specific issues that I think need fixing. However, the one on the forums is more complex than his “fix” would suggest. In game, lower Nerve units pop easily and they don’t count as solid, restricting your other choices. Whilst you may have more attacks on paper with lots of small units, if they die whenever anyone hits them because they’re so frail then they don’t get to inflict these attacks on the foe. On the other hand, a large unit that can absorb some punishment will live ling enough to actually use its smaller number of attacks. Getting to use fewer attacks is better than not using more.

      Of course, it’s never quite this clear cut, and it’s a balancing act which cannot be done perfectly, for all the reasons discussed in my articles on points. For example: https://quirkworthy.com/2011/10/15/design-theory-why-points-systems-will-always-be-broken/ 🙂

  6. Stewart says:

    Hey Jake

    Interesting read as always. However, having read some of your previous blogs, I’m curious as to how you approached this. I had the impression that you weren’t entirely happy with the KoW rules – I’m sure it’s very common for you as a game designer to think of a better way of doing something. Was it difficult for you to work within the constraints of somebody else’s system?

    Also, was there any particular reason why Alessio didn’t write these sections himself?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Why didn’t Alessio do this? Well he said some flattering things about my writing style and so it could be that. On the other hand, it’s probably that he was busy doing the core rules and army updates. You’d really have to ask him.

      Personally I’m not likely to play normal KOW a great deal. It’s got some clever bits and some clunky bits in the rules as well as pre-measuring which I personally believe to be a Very Bad Idea. But it’s an idea which takes no effort at all to house rule away, so it’s more of a theoretical discussion point than a real issue.

      The main reason I won’t be playing KOW a lot is that I wrote my own set of fantasy rules called God of Battles. Foundry will be publishing the book this summer, but I’ve been playing it for over a year now. I was given such a free hand in designing it that I’ve basically just written the mass battle fantasy game I wanted to play. Obviously that suits my little quirks better than KOW 🙂

      In terms of working within constraints, I find that a help. When you start a project you could do anything, and constraints make that an easier choice by limiting the variables. It’s not always as exciting, but it’s usually easier.

  7. Picture me interested in this. When I heard about KoW 3rd edition I wasn’t expeting things as interesting as siege and campaign rules. I was hoping only for more lists and maybe fluff.

  8. Poosh says:

    This is good news but… is there the tiniest possibility that you might pen the Warhammer 9th edition in the future??

    I know, I know, we can only dream!

  9. Steven says:

    I am VERY excited by all this! I knew about Xmas in July….but this will be like a Xmas in June
    And for those interested in KoW’s Mantic Orcs, my humble progress on these can be found at http://greenwrath.blogspot.com.au/

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