Now for the infantry: they work fine as they are. Cheap, basic, they have two main roles: Chaff and anvils. They also try to be damage dealers, which they don’t do that well. So, there’s little need for improvement there.
That said, I’ll just make a brain dump for some ideas to expand on Kingdoms of men, but unlike the previous parts, these are all just “nice to have” instead of “must have”.
First, let’s adress the various roles.
Anvil = a unit that can take some punishment to keep the enemies’ killers from killing your squishies. Best working in tandem with killing units. Kingdoms of men have some decent anvils, but most of all, they are cheap.
The most iconic anvil in the game is the humble shield wall. 100 points for a regiment, speed 5, 13/15 nerve and no special rules. Don’t expect them to kill anything, since 12 attacks @ 4+ won’t do any serious damage.
Frankly, I can think of no rules change that will improve this unit. There’s to be a baseline, and this is it.
Kingdoms of Men have other anvils: (increased offensive abilities not taken into account)
- Foot guard (def 5+; higher nerve)
- Spears (Phalanx)
- Pikes (Phalanx and ensnare, but def 3+)
- Heavy pikes (Higher nerve, phalanx, ensnare, def 4+)
- Militia (Cheap, def 3+, also come in legions)
Generally, the addition of special rules (and increased cost) make the unit less desirable as an anvil. Most anvils I see used are either shield wall and heavy pikes. (the latter due to the fact that they can hold on most adversaries for at least a turn)
The only change I’d want is the revaluation of costs for the spear/pike units across all armies. This is nothing unique to KoM, so I’ll leave it here.
Aren’t anvils boring? Yes they are, but they have their role and most (if not all) armies use them as they are very useful.
Chaff units are cheap units that can deal some damage, but most importantly, block the way for incoming heavy damage units so they don;t hit the more valueable units hiding behind them.
Kingdoms of men are the champions of chaff. (Only Kin/Abyssal gargoyles make better chaff, because they fly). Nearly all troops of infantry can be used as chaff, as they are cheap. Some even can do some damage too.
My most popular chaff is the polearm troop. 10 attacks at CS (1) can do some damage and are too dangerous to ignore, especially if aiming for flanks. Other players favour militia troops due to the cheaper cost of 50 points compared to 70; but I find that militia are ignored sometimes even if they can get a flank.
Kingdoms of Men have other chaff too. Heroes and wizards make for good chaff, especially when mounted on a horse or pegasus. 90 points ( 75 for the wizard) for a flying chaff unit with either 3 attacks at CS(1) or LB (3) is really good! That said, as this blog post concerns infantry, so I’ll leave the characters as they are.
KoM infantry are mediocre damage dealers. Foot guard with 2-handed weapons, berserkers and polearms make up our damage dealers. Berserkers are especially popular due to their increased number of attacks and fearlessness. All have a low defense and CS (1).
The combination of CS, a low cost with average nerve should do the trick pretty well. However, when playing the game there’s always lacking something. I think it’s because our units can’t stand toe-to-to with other more elite units of comparable cost. Especially the lower defense and horde size hurts our damage dealers.
Example: a unit of blade dancers (Kin) will most likely wipe out any of our damage dealers, while surviving a counter charge from another horde – all on a regiment base size-. This means I have to commit three hordes of polearms or berserkers to counter that regiment of blade dancers in a straight faceoff.
Here’s an army that sort-of worked using a lot of these infantry hordes.
What I’d like to see changed:
I’d like better damage dealers; but I don’t hink a straigth buff will do the trick. Moreover; I’d like some way to have the various elements of a KoM army infantry improve each other.
League of Rhordia got a really fun formation in Clash 19: horde of city militia (aka polearm block) and 2 troops of city militia. Effect:
“The City Spear Militia Horde in this formation is granted the Inspiring (Militia only) special rule. The City Militia Troops in this formation are granted both the Elite and Vicious special rules while engaged in the flank or rear of enemy units. ” (Source: Easyarmy.com)
What if the special rule of Kingdoms of Men (inspiring = very inspiring) changes into something that rewards mixed-unit approach? For instance:
- Hordes gain “inspiring” (to show that smaller units take courages in presence of large units of troops). Alternative: rally 1. (but that’s been taken by ratkin, so I’d rather not)
- Regiments gain “Whenever this unit and all friendly non-allied units within 6” rolls to hit with a normal shooting attack or in Melee, these can re-roll one of the dice that failed to hit. “
- Troops gain the vicious special rule while within 6″ of a friendly, non-allied regiment or horde.
Would this be unbalanced? Probably, so the rule definately needs adjusting with balance in mind. This is just a brain dump of ideas, remember?
The goal of this excercise is to create a rules set that changes the boring “+3″ to inspiring” to something that rewards mutual supporting units. In my mind, the race of men wins by working together, not by skill (like elves) or being very strong (like orks). This rule would reward that.
Would it complicate KoW? I’m not sure…. It would turn Kingdoms of men into a more tactical army, that’s for sure…. It;d need some serious playtesting, that is.