Monday, December 18, 2017

KOW - Returning to the Fold

I've had a break of around six months from Kings of War. Recently I've started playing again and it got me thinking.

The reason I took a break was that our local scene is very small and the number of potential opponents limited. After awhile I felt I was playing the same game repeatedly with largely the same result. The only real thorn in the side was when you'd have to react to the unexpected "snake eyes" result.

In a game that can be largely broken down to a series of predictabilities, the double "1" override is the one real intangible that can cause a dislocation. I've been a defender of the mechanic because otherwise I feel the game is just too predictable. Predictability is great for tournament play but not as much for a fun game. It also means that you have to learn to deal with the outcome (as unexpected as it is).

The impact of the double "1" is also variable dependent on army choices. It is much more influential when you play with an Elite army rather than a Horde - both offensively and defensively. When you attack with a small, elite army you need to break the opponent quickly and reform to attack new targets in subsequent turns. Being stalled creates a real problem as you have effectively concentrated your points. Similarly, keeping an elite unit in the game by virtue of snakes eyes is also important however unless you have Heal/Regen the unit is probably lost next turn. Overall, the lost of momentum is clearly the bigger impact.

After six months away, I'm still largely convinced that the mechanic is needed for the longevity of the game. In the three games I've played since I started playing, a double one cost me one of them when a 7 Overkill was converted into a hold. As I'm currently playing with Varanngr this hurt. In my last game, although I had lower than average dice, the lack of a snakes roll meant that my army was relatively unaffected and I was able to score a decisive win.

All this is a longwinded way of saying:

  • Double 1 Nerve Rolls affect games
  • They affect elite armies disproportionately
However given the nature of KOW, removal of the mechanic would IMO significantly reduce the replayability of the game especially in smaller communities as it increases predictability.


  1. Would removal of the snake eyes mechanic increase predictability not reduce it?

  2. I agree on both points, glad it is in there. But annoying when you roll it.