Wednesday, February 3, 2016

KOW - State of Play

It's been almost seven months since the release of Age of Sigmar triggered a seachange in Fantasy wargaming. This was followed a period where a lot of erstwhile Fantasy gamers checked out their options.
What was quickly evident was that there was little appetite for AoS and so people started looking at alternatives. The rush to X-Wing came.....and appears to have did a flirtation with 40k. In Fantasy gaming the options seemed to coalesce into three camps:
  • 8th Ed - either in its final form or with some agreed updates
  • 9th Age - the ETC/Swedish Comp project
  • Kings of War v2
Locally the views were initially mixed but in the end the Wellington (and parts of the Auckland) community decided to give KoW a go....largely due to its ongoing commercial support.

After four months of playing Kings, I'm not sure that it has been embraced by the local (NZ) community. The game seems largely restricted to Wellington and lesser so Auckland. After a few events I'm sensing that the community as a whole is not embracing Kings wholeheartedly.

The reasons I've heard are that people miss the customisation of, in particular, characters; the miss the list building versatility, don't like the time constraints, see it as having more limited capacity for social interaction etc.

While none of these - bar the last - are concerns of mine, they are all valid reasons to look at alternative games. So we are seeing people again look at other games - both within and outside Fantasy gaming. 40k is getting a second look - I'm not sure why as by all reports 7th Ed is an awful game both in a play sense and from a army comp POV.

From here I see that there will likely be more splintering of the community before there is a dominant gaming system emerging.

This seems to reflect what's happening internationally. Guys who two months ago were big champions of KoW - boasting of unbeatable lists on Mantic Forums - are now bemoaning how the game isn't balanced if they suffer vagaries of luck.

My gut feel is that KoW will see some retreat as those who flooded in after AoS decide it is not their game. They'll look at alternatives but we'll end up with a more spread out community.

1 comment:

  1. The NZ tabletop gaming community is extremely fractured regionally & even locally within some cities, so I wouldn't expect everyone to jump on board with any one system, be it Kings of War or anything else.

    What I do think we will see is a continuation of people trying out new things & ending up playing stuff they like, as opposed to the old days of WFB/40K or bust.

    KOW V2 is still a new kid on the block and in its infancy in NZ but there has been & is a growing player base even outside of Auckland & Wellington.