Improving Kingdoms of Men – Characters

My first three posts on improving the Kingdoms of Men army (here, here and here) in future editions of Kings of War focussed on shooters, finantry and war machines. There’s something to be said about the kingdoms of men’s characters, so I’ll be doing that here.

first things first

While the first two posts in this series (on shooters and war machines) show my opinion that something needs to change in KoW3 for the Kingdoms of Men army, my post on infantry offers suggestions, but no immediate need for change. As for characters, this is the same. The kingdoms of men army is blessed with a decent set of characters, while they are not super-effective, their cheap cost makes up for this deficiency. All-in, the KoM characters are in a good spot.

characters, which characters?

This blog post described the KoM characters:

  • Army standard
  • Hero
  • General
  • General on winged beast
  • Wizard

The army standard

What’s not to love about our generic army standard. 50 points for (very) inspiring? He can be mounted for +15 points and is usually given a magical item such as the diadem of dragonkind, flute of insatiable darkness or the griffon banner.

All-in, he’s the stapple of army standards throughout all the armies. A single attack, defense 4+ and 10/12 nerve.

It’s good to have a baseline. Don’t change anything for him.

Hero

50 points on foot; 65 on a horse and 90 on a pegasus. The Kingdoms of men hero doesn’t waste points on fancy special rules that are not needed; he’s there to disrupt and get in the way.

Usually he’s mounted on a horse; most often given the blade of slashing and he’s fine. The mounted human hero is one of the best heroes in KoW, as he’s expendable, but a nuisance enough to be a serious pain in the ass.

The pegasus upgrade, however, is a bit iffy. I like the idea of a hero on a pegasus doing general disruption duty, but practically he’s not that effective. The loss of ‘individual’ and the 50×50 mm base make him a lot less mobile than the mounted version. The fact that he *can* go for flanks and rears makes up for something, but 3 attacks @ CS(1) aren’t that effective even when doubled. All-in, the pegasus upgrade does not warrant the price tag of +25 points (+40 instead of +15 for mounted)

I’m in dubio if we need a chariot option for him. Changing him to a chariot base for speed 8 and +1 TC seems like a bad tradeoff even at the same cost as a horse.

Maybe a more viable option would be: “Mount on a heavy chariot with driver for +2 attacks, TC (1), speed 8 and a large cavalry base for +25 points. “, but I feel this doesn’t wuite match the cheap-and-worthless KoM hero philosophy…. I’m not really sure.

General

You take a hero, give him inspiring and slightly better stats (+1 att, +2 nerve) for double the cost. No, thank you.

There’s nothing the general can do, that the hero cannot do. If you want the hero to have inspiring, there’s an amulet for it; and it’s much cheaper. And if you just want inspiring, take the army standard.

So, in a world where no army standards and/or heroes exist, the general might be useful. Since that’s not the case, there’s no reason ever to take him

What must be done to make him effective? Drop point costs to 80 and make the upgrades the same price as the hero. Alternatively, there’s also the option of upgrading the general to 5 attacks, which would justify the point costs.

Another altermative: In line with the fluff (“human generals are not the most powerful warriors, but they are the best battle leaders“) why not downgrade his combat stats to the hero level and add both “inspiring” and “rally 1” special rules. That would make the general an upgraded army standard; which would suit the fluff. 100 points would certainly be a nice price tag on that one.

General on winged beast

6 attacks on a medium flyer is what Kingdoms of men get as their dragon-type dude.

He’s not the one we want, but he’s the one we get. Deal with it.

All-in, he’s no dragon. That said, the price tag @ 190 points is also very reasonable. With 6 attacks, flanking is somewhat effective and def 5+ & 14/16 nerve, he’s resillent enough to keep that dragon busy for at least a turn or two.

Does he need an adjustment? I’m not sure. Another attack (like the Rhordian duke on winged ancient thingy) would be great. The duke’s price tag of +35 would not. I’m a bit on the fence with this one. (Note: the duke has other advantages too: iron resolve, a higher nerve, CS(1) and heal. All-in, I think he’s a better deal)

Wizard

you shall not pass!

There’s one reason why Kingdoms of men’s wizards are used a lot and League’s are not. They get Lightning Bolt (3) -hereafer abreviated to LB3- for free. League wizards have to pay for it and then they are not taken.

LB3 for 50 points is a great deal. Usually one gets the amulet of inspiring to save on amy standards, and somethimes they get bane chant (2) for 15 points. They also make prime candidates for the new Clash’19 legendary spells, though I haven’t used them a lot yet, so I’m not sure which one are best.

the LB(3) on at least two models in most battles gives us a great tool to win the chaff war and even do some chip damage on individuals/monsters. It’s not a great removal tool for tougher units, but it serves us well. The cost @ 50 points a wizard is also very modest.

Fireball (6) -hereafter FB6- sucks. 12″ range and no piercing is usually less effective than LB3 (only on targets of defense 4 or lower within 12″ fireball is better. These are usually not the targets you want) .

Bottom line: Wizards are good, but mostly because of the free LB(3)

Wizards can come mounted on a horse, which is sometimes useful, especially if using the amulet of inspiring and/or bane chant. It’s not as required as for the hero, sometimes it’s perfectly viable to keep him cheap and on foot. The pegasus upgrade for +25 is something that is overlooked by many players, but surprisingly good. For 75 points (naked wizard + peg) you’ve got a piece of chaff that cannot be overrun, can score and has the mobility of a flier. that said, LB (3) or FB (6) maken him handicapped in the damage department. Possibly there’s a legendary spell that can work out; otherwise there’s always the option of the diadem of dragonkind, but it’s a bit silly to take a breathweapon item on a model which has fireball as a baseline. Still, 105 points for a flying LB( 3), FB (10) model is rather nice.

What needs to change on the wizards? Very little. Maybe upgrade the FB (6) to FB (8) to make it a more viable option. I’d love an option to increase this FB (8) to FB (10) for +10 points, maybe one per army. It shouldn’t be that overpowered, as there’s a 30 point item that does the same. But please do not change the free FB -> LB switch, as this is one of the few things that make KoM wizards as popular as they are.

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