Friday, December 29, 2017

KOW - COK 2018 Rules - Mantic hit it out of the Park

Note: There is no discussion of individual rules or their specifics. This post is on the broad approach that Mantic have undertaken in the COK 2018 Rules Pack.

First up, given recent controversy, no-one has sent me the rules pack so no-one has breached any NDAs. The internet is a big and scary place and this should be a lesson that once a genie is out of the bottle it is very hard to get it back in.

The rules changes in this pack are more extensive than last year's COK release. They fall into a number of categories.

1. Unit Changes

By my reckoning every army got some change to the units. Unlike GW who keep characteristics constant and adjust points, Mantic have adjusted characteristics rather than points. In the long run I think that this is a slightly coarser adjustment for players but will increase the internal balance more where a unit becomes more "useable". By this I mean, a 10 point adjustment means nothing if you  believe a unit's Nerve is too low to be reliable.

In a few cases, special rules have been removed to bring things into line. For us players, this means we will need to refine tactics to get a similar/approachable output from them.

There are winners and losers but taking a dispassionate eye to the list, Mantic have done a fantastic job in addressing some balance issues both internally and externally.

2. Artefacts

Here the approach has been a mix. Some items have had their abilities dialled back but stayed the same points while others have remained the same but had a points increase. By my reckoning there are four new items and the return of three old friends (albeit with toned down abilities).

This again is great in that it help keeps the game fresh. New items give new options to explore while the quantum does not overburden the game. Everyone should be able to deal with the introduction of this limited number of items while will eliminate the potential for "gotcha" moments that plague other games.

3. Spells

The third area of change is spells. Here we have the introduction of 3-4 new spells that anyone can access and one spell exclusive to each of the alignments. None of the spells appear overbearing at first glance and all offer the ability to bring something to the game.

However the most significant development is that Mantic are making Alignment mean something (other than use of Allies). I love that their are specific spells that some races access and others don' really helps the narrative. I would love to see this extended to a limited number of artefacts in future years.


I can't say anymore than this is the type of update I really wanted Mantic to write. It brings a balancing aspect after a year of COK 2017 which will bring some refresh in what we see on the table. One of the biggest criticisms in the past (from largely uninformed observers) is that there is a sameness about the races. I believe that the expansion in both Artefacts and Spells is the start along the path required to disabuse this notion. If this could be expanded in future years (preferably tied to the developing narrative) I would be a very happy camper.

Overall Mantic have done a fantastic job and I commend all those involved. I urge all of you to support this work by purchasing the book when it comes out. It is only through sales of this work that we can demonstrate to Mantic the importance that it is continued.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you like the new rules pack. Corvus Belli have taken a similar approach, making rule changes as well as adjusting points to make unpopular units more interesting for people to use. They also change up the scenarios to make them play differently.

    I think GW took a similar approach with Chapter approved 2017. They modified some rules and introduced some new scenarios, they also signaled future rule directions with their "beta rules".

    I can see why GW might be more reluctant to change the statistics, people will end up with cross outs and purple crayon all over their codex. Corvus Belli only put the stats online so they can and do change stat lines at any time