Ah, irony. I finally break my blog silence (with a post so apparently well-written that people queued up to insist I hadn't written it), apologise for not posting, and then circumstances conspire to prevent me from posting again for another fortnight. Well, that's a better explanation than "I couldn't be arsed", so I'm sticking with it. Here we go, another post. Isn't about painting and doesn't even have any pictures in it, but it's all you're getting.
Anyway, to wrestle myself back on topic. The Wargamers FC clubhouse is currently abuzz (is that a word?) with talk of Mantic Games' not-in-any-way-similar-to-Warhammer-oh-no-siree fantasy game, Kings of War. I played my first game of this last night, and it's pretty good - in particular, I like the fact that you don't take off models as casualties, so it's much tidier. Also, the way damage works in Kings of War is nice - it's worth peppering units with fire before you engage them in close combat, as the damage you inflict with shooting makes breaking the unit in combat easier. As a final bonus, since you don't remove individual casualties and units have a set formation based on their size, you could use scenic bases and fewer models than for the equivalent Warhammer unit.
So that's all good, and I'm sure I'll play it some more. In particular I think coming up with different armies would be easier as there's a lot less scope for variety in army selection than in Warhammer, so I'll be looking at different races and so on that I can make with my Games Workshop models. Got to use them for something!
Perhaps more interestingly though, I've played a couple of games of Warpath v2 with Pete and Kieron. Warpath is a sci-fi skirmish game in which a totalitarian human faction attempts to dominate other races based on standard fantasy races such as orcs and dwarves. Any resemblance to other sci-fi skirmish games in which a totalitarian human faction attempts to dominate other races based on standard fantasy races is, I'm sure, entirely coincidental.
Warpath is perhaps more similar to 40k than Kings of War is to Fantasy, since you do remove individual models as casualties. What's interesting though is the unit activation system. You are never entirely sure what order your opponent will choose to do things, which means there are lots of tactical decisions to make each turn.
As we've been playing the beta v2 rules there are some things that I think need to be changed. The Mantic forums suggest that some of these will be altered, and we're likely to get more interesting army lists at that point. I even suggested a couple myself (probably too late to affect anything), so I now consider myself to have co-authored whatever version of the rules is eventually pulished.
I think both Mantic games are much simpler to get into than the Games Workshop equivalents, and to my mind are much better suited for games on a club night. It is probably also fair to say that they lack some of the GW depth though - there aren't as many silly or completely fantastical things available to you as there are from Warhammer army lists, but then all the lists are in the basic rulebook which is nice.
In my mind at least I am still setting these games in the Fantasy and 40k universes. Not that it really matters, but I've never had a problem with Games Workshop's background - it's just the games that get a bit over complicated for me...
There you are then. Couple of interesting new games, and if nothing else I can use my existing models for more things than before, which can only be a good thing. I'm going to have a look through the army lists and see what other variations I can come up with.