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Author Topic: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant  (Read 1382 times)

Online Hobgoblin

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Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« on: June 05, 2023, 10:50:06 PM »
We've played a few games of this recently, including one tonight. It's nothing much more than Kings of War on a smaller table (3' x 3') with forces of 950 points or under, certain restrictions on unit size and point costs, and the ability to take as many 'troops' (small units) as you like, but it works really well. In the past couple of weeks, we've played goblins vs orcs, humans ('Basileans') vs ogres, humans vs Varangur (chaos warriors), goblins vs Varangur and ogres vs Varangur.

You're limited to three characters a side, I think, but that lends a nice balance to it. We've typically had six or seven units a side, including characters/monsters.

It fills a nice slot - the hour-long rank-and-flank game - in the same way as HOTT/DBA and One Hour Wargames do: good for a mini-tournament over an afternoon with (say) four players rotating to play each other.

I'd certainly recommend it. Anyone else given it a go?


Offline Robosmith

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2023, 01:12:43 PM »
I was looking at giving it a go but I can't find a decent list builder online to see what forces actually look like. It seems an ideal game for moving into some complexity after playing OPR style games. Still pretty compact and speedy but introducing some customization.


Online Hobgoblin

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    • Hobgoblinry
Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2023, 01:25:20 PM »
You can use this one if you register (it's free). Without paying, you can only create two armies at a time, but you can save the ones you've made as PDFs or print them out, so that's not really a problem. There's an Ambush setting that keeps you within the limits. I don't pay for the service - I just delete old forces when I need a new one:

https://companion.manticgames.com/kings-of-war-list-builder/

To give you an idea of what they look like, this was the one I fielded last night:

Ogres
3 x Ogre Warrior Regiments (with two-handed weapons) (each three figures)
1 x Ogre Berserker Brave Regiment (three figures)
1 x Red Goblin regiment (20 figures)
1 x Giant
1 x Red Goblin Biggit (champion)
1 x Ogre Warlock

My son fielded these Varangur (chaos warriors - though in our case, they're Nick Lund orcs and hobgoblins):

1 x Huscarl Regiment (20 figures)
2 x The Fallen Regiment (each 3 figures)
1 x Mounted Sons of Korgaan Troop (5 figures)
1 x Jabberwock
1 x Magus Conclave (three figures on one base - magical artillery, essentially)

Offline Robosmith

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2023, 01:49:32 PM »
Thanks.

I just picked up the Baselian small army box I think fits about the 1k points and I've got various mantic ranges laying around to give a go. Is there a free way to check out the rules or do you need to buy them?

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2023, 02:05:46 PM »
The rules are free through that Companion thing - though the scenarios and other variant pages are blocked (e.g. Legendary battles and sieges). The list builder gives you the profiles, so I think you can play a basic game for free (or sign up for a month for 3 and use the scenarios). Not sure if the army boxes have rules in them - we don't use many Mantic figures (precisely none in our recent run of games!).


Offline Robosmith

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2023, 03:22:59 PM »
How many points were you playing at? 1,000 still seems like a decent size game if you're using infantry blocks.

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2023, 06:14:01 PM »
We played at 950, which gave a good game on a 3' square table.

The upper limit for Ambush is 995, I think, though it's probably fairly arbitrary. I think the ogre force below had the biggest unit count; I tweaked the goblin side each time, but it was heavy on trolls and war machines, which kept the unit count at the same level as the others.

Offline Robosmith

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2023, 07:02:34 PM »
Is there a printable quick start or cheat sheet? I understand the basics but having an easy reference for first games is helpful.

Is that the only army builder? It doesn't let you print magic items unless you pay and I'm not going to sub to a game I haven't tried yet.

Online Hobgoblin

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    • Hobgoblinry
Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2023, 08:15:45 PM »
Not sure - I haven't seen one, though there are some phone apps that one of our regular opponents uses. The rules themselves are short and well edited, so we usually just refer to the print book during games.

There's a nice little QRS here. That page also has a link to the Easy Army builder, which may have some of the rules (but it also has free and subscription levels now).

I wouldn't bother too much about magic items in your first few games (my son and I have never used them, though our opponents sometimes do). Magic is quite low key in the game - ranged attacks and enhancements that tend not to be game-breaking - and most of the magic items just add one or other of the special rules. It's probably best to pick up the special rules in their 'native' environment (e.g. Thunderous Charge for cavalry and Crushing Strength for ogres, orcs and wielders of two-handed weapons) before using them as bolt-ons.

Offline Mammoth miniatures

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2023, 08:49:57 PM »
Nice to hear that it's a fun way fo play KOW - I'm tempted to give it a go in 10mm as I've wanted some rank and flank action but don't have the time/space/attention span for multiple full size KOW armies.

Online Hobgoblin

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    • Hobgoblinry
Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2023, 09:10:53 PM »
Nice to hear that it's a fun way fo play KOW - I'm tempted to give it a go in 10mm as I've wanted some rank and flank action but don't have the time/space/attention span for multiple full size KOW armies.

Great idea - I'm sure it would work well on a 2' board with cm instead of inches.

For me, part of the appeal is the ability to jump around like a gadfly between different armies. I have a big pile of slann/reptiliads/lizardmen/dragonewts/gila worms/troglodytes/cold ones/dinosaurs that needs turning into an army, and this is a nicely undaunting way to do it. I could probably get a fieldable army from about 30 figures.

I'd recommend the 'large infantry'-heavy lists for a quick start. You can base an orc or goblin army around trolls, which require only three models per unit, and the ogre list can be built entirely of such units.


Offline Robosmith

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2023, 11:55:39 PM »
I was thinking of trying the following. Is it reasonable or do I need more foot guys?


League of Rhordia [1000]

Spear Phalanx (Infantry) Regiment (20) [120]
Spear Phalanx (Infantry) Regiment (20) [120]
Halfling Archers* (Infantry) Regiment (20) [90]
Halfling Knights (Cavalry) Troop (5) [120]
Halfling Knights (Cavalry) Troop (5) [120]
Honour Guard (Large Cavalry) Regiment (3) [145]
Honour Guard (Large Cavalry) Regiment (3) [145]
Halfling Master Sergeant (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [70]
   - Loyalist Standard [15]
Wizard (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [70]
   - Wind Blast (5) [20]

Maybe play it against

Red Goblin Sharpsticks* (Infantry) Regiment (20) [95]
Red Goblin Spitters* (Infantry) Regiment (20) [90]
Warriors (Large Infantry) Regiment (3) [120]
Warriors (Large Infantry) Regiment (3) [120]
Warriors (Large Infantry) Regiment (3) [120]
   - Two-handed Weapons

Giant (Titan) 1 [225]
Red Goblin Biggit (Hero (Infantry)) 1 [55]
Ogre Warlord (Hero (Large Infantry)) 1 [155]
   - Two-handed Weapons
« Last Edit: June 07, 2023, 12:00:31 AM by Robosmith »

Online Hobgoblin

  • Galactic Brain
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    • Hobgoblinry
Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2023, 06:24:32 AM »
That looks like plenty of troops - you're just over the Ambush point count, so possibly testing the limits of the 3' board.

I'd note that the human list is over the points limit compared with the ogres; KoW has quite a nice rule of "under fine/over a no-no", which keeps things clean. So, to balance the army, you might want to drop the Wind Blast and Loyalist Standard, which would get you to a 'legit' 1,000 points and give you a fairer fight.

Offline Robosmith

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Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2023, 02:36:39 PM »
That looks like plenty of troops - you're just over the Ambush point count, so possibly testing the limits of the 3' board.

I'd note that the human list is over the points limit compared with the ogres; KoW has quite a nice rule of "under fine/over a no-no", which keeps things clean. So, to balance the army, you might want to drop the Wind Blast and Loyalist Standard, which would get you to a 'legit' 1,000 points and give you a fairer fight.
According to the army builder the first list was spot on 1k and if I make one of the ogre units shooters instead of normal guys it comes to a 1k list too. I'm not too concerned with exact point matches as long as it plays okay on the table.

Offline eilif

  • Scatterbrained Genius
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    • Chicago Skirmish Wargames
Re: Kings of War Ambush - a nice little variant
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2023, 07:07:29 PM »
Interesting points all around.  Glad to hear that Ambush is an effective way of playing KoW.  We recently wrapped up our KoW campaign so probably won't be back to it for a while, but I may have to make a point of trying it out then. 

On a similar topic, the new rulebook is really great.  The convenience of all armies being together is great and we had a fun time with the new Siege rules as our campaign finale.

 

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