Kings of War Vanguard Rulebook Review

18 thoughts on “Kings of War Vanguard Rulebook Review”

    1. I agree with you, Dave. It seems a bit out of place and people online have certainly criticized the game for it as well. I would prefer circular bases for modeling ease but I have a feeling the designers felt like the square bases were a must so that you can use whatever you paint in Vanguard in Kings of War.

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  1. Great review. The square base thing is purely because Kings of War uses squares and they want to have that cross-compatability. I doubt I’ll get around to playing it myself, but I look forward to watching your painting and gaming progress with it.

    Don’t forget your freedom of miniatures as well – KoW started as a reason for Mantic’s GW-alternative WHFB miniatures to exist and has evolved to an alternative to GW’s games with mostly-GW-compatable miniatures. This means you’re able to use appropriate models from Mantic, GW, Reaper, Avatars of War…. *whoever* for the models in your forces.

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    1. Thanks, mate! As foolish as I feel already having a reversal of opinion, I tried to paint some Mantic Abyssal dwarves and while they look high quality, I’m finding them to be inferior to GW by quite a bit and I’m having no joy working on the first one. I think the only way I’m going to play Vanguard is if I use GW minis as these Mantic ones unfortunately aren’t working for me anyway. Its a real bummer but some lessons you have to learn the hard way, I suppose.

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  2. It looks really exciting! I really like the idea of the Power Dice, and I think the Exploding Dice could be interesting. It all does seem like it supports narrative play quite well. The models and pictures in the rulebook look like quality as well. Very interested to see what you’ll paint up in this range! 🙂

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    1. The game does sound like a lot of fun and a nice mix of MESBG rules plus some fresh mechanics to make it different. Based on my experience painting today, I may end up not painting much of anything made by Mantic but I may still try and play Vanguard with GW models in the future. Nobody knows what the future will hold, including me!

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  3. Sounds like you’ll enjoy this, Jeff! 🙂 Seems like it uses some rule mechanisms that have been incorporated into other games that have shown themselves to be useful (Warmachine uses facings and models are more vulnerable if struck in their rear arc; power points sound similar to focus points in Warmachine, although using a dice throw is more akin to the system used in the Blucher Napoleonic rules to determine how many units get to activate; exploding dice are used in some starship combat rules and also in the Imperial Skies aeronef rules). But good for you if you can play solo and not need to paint massive armies!

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    1. That is interesting about the similarities to Warmachine. Its a bit of a blind spot for me so I would have never known! It also reassures me that having rules like that could be a good thing. I’ve run into some issues that might put me off this game before I even get started but we’ll see how things pan out and I’m sure I’ll talk about it more next week. Regardless of that, I appreciate you reading the review and sharing your thoughts as always, John!

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  4. Well written review. I looked at KoW and then got wrapped up in Feudal Patrol which I like so there I am. Plus now there’s Wars of Ozz with a coming attraction (WOOD – Wars of Orcs and Dwarves) for bigger battles. I need another 100 years for all this!

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    1. Thank you! There’s no denying how cool a big battlefield full of troops look! Finding the time to get it done is another matter altogether unfortunately or I’m sure I’d have some large armies myself. Wars of Ozz is something I haven’t heard of, I may have to look into it a bit further 🙂

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  5. That was a very informative and thorough review. I had heard of KoW but not Vanguard. I went to Mantic’s website and looked at their free rules of it. While not my type of game it does look interesting but I agree with you in that the scenarios look rather basic. Also like the size of the game board.
    It’s funny how some games dominate blogs and websites and others come and go with hardly a whimper. SPQR was like that, usually Warlord Games are picked up and you can find multiple reviews, game plays, etc but I had a hard time doing that with SPQR.
    Don’t know if you saw this, a gamer questions on Vanguard
    https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/769621.page

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    1. I was the same way. I stumbled across it while looking for other things and it caught my eye. It is more high-fantasy and bombastic compared to MESBG and I probably wouldn’t be interested in both games just because that is a lot from that genre.

      You’re absolutely right about some games almost disappear after release or even worse, a few pieces of information about negative experiences or feedback players have about a game are all you can find when you search for that particular game.

      Speaking SPQR, I don’t think there’s any details but apparently Warlord is ALREADY making second edition. Maybe they can make the game appealing enough that I finally take the plunge and use that as an excuse to get some Roman miniatures!

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  6. I looked into Vanguard previously, to see if it could somehow be used to enhance our Battle Companies Games. The “exploding dice” concept sounds appealing to me.

    While I hate square bases I do like the idea that even in a skirmish game you can be outflanked.

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    1. I wouldn’t have guessed and yet, it makes perfect sense! I kind of like the exploding dice idea for MESBG actually. I think one small flaw in that game is you can get into a kind of stalemate between two characters where they go back and forth and only take a single wound off each other and exploding dice would make those kinds of fights potentially more decisive. Of course, Exploding 6’s would be a bit too frequent compared to 8’s at the same time though so I can make an argument for not including it too.

      I am not overly keen on the square bases either. I’ll share more next weekend but it turns out that I’m not overly keen on Mantic’s sculpts also so we’ll see where I go with this game, after all this initial burst of excitement.

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  7. Well I hope that you enjoy the game but from reading the comments it seems that some of your initial excitement has waned with the reality… is it the fugues or the rules? I can almost guarantee that the base shape of any skirmish level game doesn’t matter.
    I have not heard of this game before.
    From my surface reading it sounds like it will have similar terrain requirements as MESBG.

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    1. Yeah, its a bit embarrassing how quickly that happened, in fact. The figures aren’t working for me at all. The sculpts just aren’t as good as what I’m used to and was hoping for, unfortunately. I may be able to get around to playing Vanguard still but this process made me realize that I should probably put my priorities elsewhere so I’d be surprised if I do.

      In case you were curious, I was planning on repurposing a lot of my MESBG trees, hills, and hedges for this game and then I’d just need some walls and/or buildings but obviously that is most likely not going to happen with this project anyway but that’s okay.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting as always. I especially appreciate you taking the time to do so when I post a review for a game that I have lost interest in within days of reviewing it haha!

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