Friday, 3 February 2017

Balancing Kings of War

Whenever the topic of balance comes up in Facebook's Kings of War Fanatics group, the general consensus is that Kings of War is actually fairly well balanced. No one really claims it is perfectly balanced, and very few people claim that it is broken.

But what do people mean by this? Everyone probably has slightly different definitions, but for me a system is balanced when the power curve relative to the points costs is fairly consistent. That is, if you plot power against points, you will get the units clustered fairly close to a line. This line might be a straight line, or a curve, or a wiggle, but the units tend to stick fairly close to it.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Progress of 2016 - a summary of my army collecting and painting efforts

For 2016 I had set out to collect, assemble, and paint one of every unit entry listing for the Undead list in the Kings of War rulebook. Once that was done, I felt I was free to move on to refreshing my ancient Orc and Goblin collection for use in Kings of War, too.

So how did I do with the Undead? Read on, dear friend, read on.....


Monday, 12 December 2016

Korgaan's Fury

Korgaan's favoured sons ranked up, their weapons glinting in the frosty early morning sunlight. While winter, the day looked to be clear and bright, and the faint puffs of condensation from their breath wafting out of their helmets gave them the look of infernal beasts. A not unfitting appearance.

They weren't here for the Vampire and his territory. They were instead a raiding force, scouting ahead of their main forces, looking for signs of the abyss, to once more plot a Reckoning. To find out if, indeed, the Wicked Ones needed to be Reckoned with. Yet scouting forward they decided that a certain patch of land, the abandoned ruins of a barely settled village, would make a good staging point. But this village was within the Vampire Lord's domain, and no such stake to his kingdom would he allow.


Monday, 17 October 2016

Obsidian Doom

The reach of the abyss grew longer and harsher as the aura of the blessed touch faded from the town of Angelfall over the centuries. Once more it was the dwarves that marched, bringing their obsidian creations with them to bring wrack and ruin to all in their path. Still sore from his previous encounter with the twisted reflections of the proud dwarf nations, the Vampire Lord leapt at the opportunity to bring them low. A different general lead this horde, but the destruction of his troops would be no less sweet.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Unit showcase - Lykanis

Shadow Stalker. Pack alpha. Leader of the hunt. Bravest of the tribe. Proudest of the forest's keepers. He and his people had lived in the forests near the abyss for many, many winters, tracking the unnatural and keeping Nature's sacred places clean of abyssal infection.

In recent years, however, the abyssal presence grew too strong, pushing his tribe and Nature's other protectors back and forcing them to find other homes. Shadow Stalker and his pack fought a rear guard, helping the others escape, and losing many in the process. Distraught at the losses his tribe was suffering and angry at himself for being unable to protect more of them, by the time they were clear the pack was reduced to four. Abandoning the rest of Nature's cohort in shame, Shadow Stalker settled his pack in a new forest nestled around the base of some mountains. There they stayed for a few seasons, making a small home. Unnatural things occasionally wandered by; not abyssal, but deathly. Human corpses walking in the night. Pale purple humans with black eyes and rotten breath skittering to and fro. The tribe was small, but strong, and was easily able to dispatch those infrequent interlopers.



Friday, 16 September 2016

Confronting the Sylvan Vanguard

The abyss had been rumbling for some time, and its foul emanations could be felt within the Vampire Lord's castle, if one had particular sensitivities. The Vampire Lord's senses were keener than most, on both the natural and supernatural spectrums. He had no trouble noticing. What menace might lurch forth though he cared not. His domain was his own, and peril was all any interloper would find.

The Sylvan Kindred, however, did not recognise the Vampire Lord's territory. Their mages, too, had sensed the murmurings of the abyss, and an army had been gathered. Sent forth from their arboreal home to settle in the outskirts of the forests towards the abyss, it would form a forward outpost to provide early warning and defence against whatever spewed forth from the rift. Those outskirts were perhaps too far afield from the true heart of the forest of Galahir, and the Vampire Lord called it his own. Seeing a force move into his realm was not welcome, and he summoned some of his greatest servants, loosing them upon the enemy to reinforce his claim on the forest clearing.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Ancient Markers of the Dead

Back in the earliest days of Mantica the religions known today were merely crude deferences to the unknown powers. Yet even still, those ancient tribes revered the dead, and sought to honour the passing of their mighty fallen. As civilisations grew so too did the sophistication of their burial rites, yet ever present was a solemn acknowledgement that this life was not the end.

Necromancers today seek out these ancient markers of the dead, places where forgotten clans raised rough hewn monuments celebrating the feats of their heroes. The dark arts of meddling with the afterlife are full of convoluted rules and rituals, where with decades of study but a fraction of the discipline can be learned. Yet one thing all apprentice necromancers know: those ancient markers hold power, and that power can be taken.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Unit showcase - Wraiths

Weak or strong, the Vampire Lord's enemies always fell in the end. And yet death was rarely where their misery stopped. Zombies and skeletons would be raised from their corpses, or their great heroes pulled forth from their graves as wights. Yet of those that fell, the ones with a greater will, a stronger mind, were most prized of all. The sorcerers, wizards and clerics of the defeated army could hold themselves in the monochrome expanse of the spirit realm for some time before fading to oblivion. It was these souls the Vampire Lord's necromancers sought, tearing them from that vast grey numbness and half back into the land of the living.

 

Monday, 25 April 2016

A Time of Reclamation

The Vampire Lord's domain could trace its origins to back before the God War. At first just a minor village with a watchful tower nearby, it grew over time to the small barony it is today. But in those intervening years the borders shifted and bent, flowing this way and that with the pressures from the surrounding nations.

One such intruding nation, long since collapsed upon itself, was Orcish. Many abandoned villages and ruins of this old kingdom lie scattered across the edges of the Vampire Lord's territory, ignored by all but wayward travellers looking for temporary shelter in their journeys. It was, after all, close to the mountains, and storms and squalls often descended from those peaks with little warning.



Monday, 21 March 2016

The God Citadel

Travellers did not know this place. They could not. If they turned their horse towards it, the horse would shy away. If they set their eyes to the horizon on which it lay, their eyes would twitch and shift. Caravans would wind their trails casually around it. Never hard enough to wonder why the path they took drifted, but never through this place.

This place held the God Citadel. This place was old. This place held power. This place was almost unknown. Almost. Over the centuries there had been a few curious adventurers, the odd fleeing bandit, and occasionally a thorough cartographer who had stumbled across it. Evidence of their journeys were sketchy at best, but fragments were told through tattered journals, in fireside tales, and in the parchments of discredited maps that showed places people knew not to be true.


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Press-moulding shields

So in the process of finally coming close to finishing my Nightmare Legion, I decided they needed to all be bearing the classic coffin-shaped shield from the 80s. Unfortunately I only owned about six, but I would need 17. I'd made overtures in the Oldhammer Trading Company Facebook group about sourcing some, but I'd never managed to close a deal. Then I read about press-moulds using some stuff called Oyumaru. Basically a reusable heat-malleable plasticy stuff for making moulds.



Sunday, 14 February 2016

Unit showcase - Zombie Trolls

Across the lands of Mantica, there is trade. Markets bustle, coin changes hands and people barter. If you want food to feed your children, you can find someone who'll sell it. If you want silks for your bed, there are places to buy it. These things are obvious, and the wheels of commerce turn ever onward. Yet there are some things that are frowned upon; purchases that, according to those in charge, should not be made. But where there's money to be made, there will be those willing to sell the unsavoury. Beneath the great cities, behind the walls in dark alleys, there are the black markets. Contraband: stolen goods, narcotics, and the like pedalled to those with the money to buy it. But go deeper, go darker, and you find the real items of depravity. Scrolls of foul magic, severed parts of fantastic beasts, curses cast for coin and more. These deep markets are where the Vampire Lord's Necromancers do trade, collecting the spell components that they are unable to gather themselves. And collecting, too, the exotic corpses to be resurrected by their arcane powers. Corpses such as Trolls.


Saturday, 13 February 2016

Dwarven Wight

After the night's rituals drew to a close, and the morning sun crested the horizon, the Vampire Lord's latest minion arose. Another Wight, yet this time the grand hero whose corpse was defiled and raised into undeath was not a knight of the Brotherhood or a champion of Basilea, but a mighty dwarven adventurer, lost to the evils of a dungeon, fallen as he undertook the Dwarf King's Quest.


Monday, 8 February 2016

Unit showcase - Zombie Werewolves

In life, the Vampire Lord had loved to hunt boars and other wildlife in the forests surrounding his castle. In death, his pursuits translated into a crazed bloodlust upon the field of battle, tempered with a cold pragmatism from centuries of self-preservation. When you are essentially immortal, barring a few key weaknesses, one tends to take those weaknesses rather seriously and work to avoid them. Yet even still, sometimes the thrill of the hunt was too much to ignore. Sometimes to truly feel alive in undeath you had to take risks. You had to hunt the most dangerous prey.


Friday, 8 January 2016

X Marks the Spot

With his domain expanded after the border skirmish, the Vampire Lord sent his eyes and ears out on leather wings to survey his new lands. The foul magics that linked the fell bats to the Vampire returned images of plains and forests, hills and valleys. Fairly standard terrain spread across an unassuming expanse. Bored with the view, he sent the psychic command to call his minions back to his ancient keep.