The First contact I had with Kings of War: Vanguard was interesting to say the least. The books and miniatures arrived, and we jumped right in. When we started playing games it was with small 100 point forces to get used to the mechanics. I learnt the hard way, didn’t use the rules correctly, had to learn when to boost, and when to fatigue. These were learning games or that is what we tell ourselves. However lessons were learnt.
These game were still close, the biggest things about learning games is learning how the force works together, what not to do, and how to get the most out of the actions and power dice that we have.
We are spoilt, lets face it, we have games company’s out there now that put so much effort in to the quality of the books they produce as they do in to the miniatures for that game. Gone are days where rule books were slabs of text. Gone are the days where there was little detail in the minis.
The Rule Book
The rules are well presented and clear. Over all a very nice book. It is well laid out and presented so you can find rules very quickly.
Possibly my favourite part of the game is the power dice.
These dice are so important in the whole game. Knowing when and how to use them is the first challenge and choosing your list so you generate enough dice, so you can get the most out of the warband. It has been challenging with nightstalkers as I have had three games one where I used all the power all the time. The last two where I avoided using everything. As I was looking for the first bound of the next turn to get some advantage the decision to pass first so I get that first action on the next turn. It does mean I am possibly not getting everything out of my list.
The extra actions do mean that some times forcing fatigue if you don’t have enough power dice to clear it is risky. However not spending it and watching your warband get dismantled is also a pain. I am yet to find balance in with the power dice, the mechanic is fantastic, and should be very good going forward
Choosing night stalkers because well they look cool. I had not read anything about them, I did look at another faction however they were not for me.
I have both the starter box of nightstalkers and the Booster.
Overall the quality is pretty good, no sink marks in the plastic, the resin is pretty clean, there are some mold lines. Nothing too bad. There are some gaps in some of the hard plastic models they took some time to be filled. The more I think about how I went on assembling them I really should have tried to make them fit better. The hard resin parts were easy clean, over all the force took no time at all to assemble.
The bases are a touch weird with a round hole in the middle, but nothing a bit of filler can’t fix. I also add a weight to that hold so the models are harder to knock over accidentally. However I think that I didn’t add enough weight.
The best part of any new game play first contact with an enemy force. As I have stated earlier three games in and the experience has been pretty good.
The games against Lord T with his proxy force were hard but not impossible. Given that we started with tring to learn the game with small forces. We are bound to start with way too many power dice compared to troops on the table. That meant we were using the all the dice all the time. In hindsight this was not a bad thing, learning when, where, how and why we could use the power dice, should mean we are ready for bigger games. Hmmm No… No we were not. Well no I was not. In learning the hard way I over committed something I thought was better than it has proven to be. The poor shadow hound has been slaughter in everygame, and first. it is fast, looks like it has good abilities, but seems to die first.
Lord T of course is not the only one using proxy mini’s. I too am using some as my Spectre’s a unit that I have found to be fantastic in the game so far. The nightstalkers have a lot of combat driven troops, and in Vanguard so far I have found I need some shooty troops.
We have played one mission so far, and it was dragon egg. Mistakes were made, and my force took the brunt of those mistakes, again we are learning. It was a good game, well designed mission. I am looking forward to playing more of them shortly.
Overall I am enjoying Vanguard. The minis are good to paint, the game flows. It has points of difference with power dice. I like it so much i may be looking at a 2nd faction soon….