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Identification of Units on the Battlefield

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  • Identification of Units on the Battlefield

    The month of January can be a quiet time in the Horned Moon Coaching Inn, Sarum’s favourite watering hole. However, when we arrived for a swift half of gamekeepers’ gonads after our games night on Tuesday, there was a palpable air of expectation with 3 exciting events in the near future. We negotiated our way to the bar, hampered by having to manoeuvre Paul’s bath-chair through the throng, Paul having been struck down by a number of maladies. Having ordered our drinks, we retired to the Snugg to discuss the upcoming events.

    First up is the release of the Clash of Kings supplement 2018. We are all excited by this and amazed that the Rules Committee has managed to keep secret the fact that they will be incorporating the suggestions that we put forward and I mentioned in a previous post. Next is the UK Masters, a tournament characterised by extreme smack talk and bad jokes; it is rumoured that some games of Kings of War are played at the event, but this has not been confirmed. The Moonrakers will be departing shortly for a few days of warm weather training in Dubai. Finally, our own tournament, Moon Rising, will be held at the back end of February. This exciting and innovative tournament is already sold out and promises to be the second most popular event held in Sarum that weekend, only narrowly pipped by the third preliminary heat (southern division) of the annual Sarum Cheese and Wine Rolling Championships.

    My wife is not a KoW player but I am keen to share the excitement with her. To that end, I offered her the opportunity of baking some chocolate brownies for me to share at the Masters. Mrs KB responded as I knew she would and agreed on the spot, adding that, as it was some time since she last made a batch, she would bake a trial batch the week before the Masters.

    All exciting stuff but a diversion from our main topic of conversation which was the differentiation of KoW units on the battlefield. There has been a feeling from some members of the Kings of War Fanatics Facebook group that it should be possible to recognise the nature of an opponent’s army from the units and that it should be possible to differentiate between units on the battlefield without having to review your opponent’s roster. We decided to put this to the test and see if this was actually a feasible idea.

    With my poor eyesight, I have difficulty in differentiating between dwarf units and between ratkin units. Others have difficulty elsewhere. So, a simple question to start you off: which of these 2 Mantic units represents a height 2, flying, large infantry regiment?

    The answer of course is that both of them do. The unit on the left (height 1" and with no wings and that looks as though it ought to be flamebearers?) is Abyssal Tortured Souls while the unit on the right is a regiment of Basilean Elohi.

    Next question. This unit appears to be a nicely painted unit of knights from that other game, but what army does it represent in Kings of War and what is the unit? Is it possible to tell just from looking at the unit?

    There appear to be 10 knights on the base and, assuming that we ignore the lip of the movement tray, the base appears to be cavalry regiment sized. It is therefore a reasonable assumption that this is a cavalry regiment. The knights appear to be armoured and so it is reasonable to assume that that they are heavy rather than fast/light cavalry. But, there are a number of armies that they could come from:

    Highly likely:
    Basilea, Kingdoms of Men, Brotherhood, Rhordia, Varangur

    With a degree of flexibility:
    Twilight Kin, Elf, Abyss (Abyssal Horsemen), Undead (Soul Reaver Cavalry)

    It gets worse however, as some armies have multiple units of knights. In a Brotherhood army, for instance, the unit could represent a regiment of: Order of the Brotherhood, Order of the Abyssal Hunt, Order of Redemption or Villein Initiates.

    We ended up considering that, while it may be reasonable to expect to be able to recognise some units, it is unrealistic to expect to be able to determine the nature of every unit without reference to an opponent’s roster – possibly along the lines of “ the Order of Redemption has a red banner, the Order of the Abyssal Hunt has a blue banner and the Order of the Brotherhood has a green banner”. For those watching in black and white, the unit with the red banner is to the left of the unit with the blue banner.

    We decided that, notwithstanding the views on the Facebook group, this seemed a practical solution to the problem and would be happy to play this way. And with that, we drained our glasses and wended our weary way home.


    Last edited by Koshtra Belorn; 13-01-2018, 05:05 PM.

  • #2
    When it comes to various knight units, all you will have to go on is a colour scheme, possibly 2hw's, nicer banners and fancy hats!

    The first example is, as repeatedly discussed, a bit of an odd one ;-)


    • #3
      I just like people to tell me what a unit is and has as they deploy it. Because just looking at a roster its hard to know sometimes what is what. Because as a newer player i dont know the difference between a golem and a mounted whatever. So basically i like how the rulebook makes it clear to let your opponent know.

      i try to use figures that depict like spears or bows etc to help as my color scheme doesnt really cater to different colors for different units. My army is all green wood elf lol.


      • #4
        Not really a new topic as it has been a problem since forever in every game were either everything was supplied by the manufacturer or alternatives were allowed
        Even in MTG or X-Wing with alternate Artworks you sometime need to ask.

        Solution here on tournaments was easy, you need to have a copy of your army list for every opponent (one without artefacts if the event is with hidden lists), before deployment (or before the start of the game) after you exchanged army lists you name (with category/weapon, eg: this are Bulwarkers, infantry regiment with Phalanx) every unit on the table, no matter of you think it is easy to recognise or not.

        This takes just minutes and avoid any problems later (as you have a list, you can keep track of damage on enemy units etc or make notes to recognise them etc)
        Last edited by kodos; 14-01-2018, 10:57 AM.


        • #5
          With the knights, I use different kinds of knights to differentiate.
          Then you just have to explain it to your opponent( what kodos said)
          My favourite in KOW is adding an extra character to act out the magic item.
          So a Minotaur to show that they have a Brew of Strength, an elf with two blades to represent the Elite Brew, etc.
          Also helps to remember stuff.


          • #6
            It's easy - they have their names on the little labels inside their shirts.