[Counter Charge] (“a podcast to all things Kings of War”) is a stapple in my podcast rotation. It’s one that I frequently listen while painting, almost like it’s been made especially for this!
In particular, I like their army reviews.
Matt Croger (the show’s host) recently posted show 559. The title of counter Charge 559 is “rewriting panithor” in which Matt discusses the booming amount of army lists and the fact that somewhere in the future this number probably will be lowered a bit. MAtt does a suggestion to cull the number of lists tot 21 by combining or just plainly removing some lists.
First of all, let me stress that I do agree with the assessment that 29 lists is too much for the sake of balance and scope of the game.
Matt goes by each of the lists and removes/combines lists by keeping those in which the Mantic IP is strong and “killing off” the generic lists. For instance, he suggests combining the imperial and free dwarf lists and focus on the IP/gameplay from the free dwarf list and writing a narrative that makes this possible. (i.e. the Free dwarf rebellion overthrows the dwarf emperor and destroys the empire). In that same way, Matt suggests getting rid of the Kingdoms of Men army in favour of an expanded League of Rhordia, killing off the general elf list in favour of both theme lists and making the order of the green lady the default Forces of Nature list.
For the remainder of this post, it’s practical if you’ve actually listened to the podcast. [Here’s the link again. ]
Now for my take on this matter. I think Matt is actually right in savouring the Mantic IP and expanding on it. Trident Realms, Nightstalkers and Halflings give us Mantic IP that can (and should) be expanded upon.
Going forward into the armies that have Mantic IP instead of generic fantasy tropes is a good way to make KoW special and sever the ties to oldhammer. What I missed in the article is the gaming side of the matter.
I would like to have the armies also have some more variety on the gaming table. For instance, the Salamander and the Northern Alliance armies feature a lot of the same mechanics on the battlefield (large-based high nerve anvils with CS, 18" hard hitting shooting and strong supporting large infantry). The same goes for Orcs and Varangur, while these armies are thematically different, the game style is a little too close for me.
So instead of 21 armies, I would not oppose to going down to -say- 15 or so, as long as these are not only different in the fluff division but also on the gaming side. For instance, why could Dwarves and Abyssal dwarves not share an army list? Maybe with one or two special options or special upgrades for either army. The same with both elves, Northern alliance/varangur.
Creating tactically different armies also means thinning out army lists. For instance, the undead army as it is, can do anything. Infantry, cavalry, monster mash, alpha strike, grind, horde army and even some shooting. Why not make the undead army tactically very different to the other undead army by severely limiting the surge-able units to zombie-like units (Zombies, z-trolls, revenants, possibly wights) and expanding on the vampire-ghoul-werewolf theme, while Empire of Dust has those grindy-undead such as mummies, skeletons and revenants, both in melee and shooting variety. In this case, both armies can become something very different.
Same goes for Basilea, the army has been both a grindy army featuring paladins and horde-infatry with high nerve, good heals and iron resolve. It’s also been the best alpha strike list in the game for a while. I’d be okay if Basilea focussed on either trope and left the other to another army. This would mean going to a new direction with the game, but I think I’d love that.
In line with keeping Mantic IP over generic lists, Matt suggests killing the Kingdoms of Men list in favor of an expanded League of Rhordia list. In this case, I do disagree. First of all, League of Rhordia is quite an GW Empire ripoff and has barely been expanded beyond this. It’s also rather bland. Finally, the Kingdoms of Men is a great introduction to historical players, so I’d rather keep one generic list for that purpose.
What do ya all think?
(This post is a copy from my blog post here)
Edit: As Rob Phaneuf kindly posted out, its his mate Matt Croger instead of himself. I edited the above post to give credit where it’s due. Apologies for the mix up.
No other edits, even though some forum-goers disagree with my (and Matts) assessment. It seems it’s actually possible to disagree on something while remaining civil. What a novelty!