Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Easter Eggs - Little Things I Like About Kings of War- #1 Casualty Removal

I thought I'd start an occasional series of little things I stumble across that I like when I play Kings of War. In most cases these will be little Easter Eggs that were unexpected surprises.

The first of these is the Casualty Removal process (or lack of it). As you know in KoW individual casualties are not removed, instead you keep track of wounds and the unit disappears when its nerve threshold is surpassed. When I read the rules mechanism I thought that that was cute - similar to a lot of mechanisms in historical games - but thought no more of it.

Through the course of my games so far I have seen the true value of it. It is fantastic in a mass battle game. As a Ratkin player I have a lot of models. Under WHFB I spent a lot of my time with my Skaven removing casualties and re-racking at the end of the game. Removal of "removal" dramatically speeds up the game - especially for those with Horde armies (PEGs probably don't notice).

It really is an added attraction. And nice to see an abstraction have such a positive impact on the experience.


  1. I have to admit I thought exactly the same with my undead. Much easier to place and remove big blocks rather than constant 'dead' piles and re ranking afterwards.

    Though I do miss seeing a unit with a few raggedy survivors holding off against all odds.

  2. Is multi-basing another side-effect of this?
    I've produced my first couple of units in the last fortnight and it certainly is a lot of fun putting them together.

  3. Got to agree- it looks like a proper army right until the collapse. The 'spectacle' is much better in that way- usually in WHM by turn 3 or 4 there was a smattering of small units and it lost that big battle appearance.

  4. I appreciate this more than I expected to. When I first read about it, I wasn't keen, on the basis that folks is supposed to die when they's killed. Having played a few games however, it really is a better way of doing business. I'd be hesitant to go back to individual model removal now.

    1. Do you miss the ability of units to flee or fall back due to shooting casualties?

      the oldest historical games had units and casualty removal but it also had units fleeing and rallying due to shooting casualties or even other units.

      later historical rule sets did away with model removal but unit performance degraded as they got tired and exhausted, so it would be like a unit losing an attack for each point of nerve lost.

    2. Not in my first few games. I feel like the wavering mechanic represents that somewhat, but I'm mostly comfortable accepting it as an abstraction. Before playing, I thought things like the lack of fleeing and rallying etc would be a bigger deal than I found it to be.

      I can see the attraction in degrading performance as damage accumulates, but the more I read about historical hand-to-hand combat the more it appears that sort of morale damage is actually reasonably well represented by a refusal to engage, i.e. wavering.