Friday, January 29, 2016

Kingdoms of Men Shooting 2: Ballista!

So, all of this math stuff started with me trying to build some 1k lists, and being frustrated that I kept running out of Troop choices. I noticed I wasn’t taking much by way of heroes or monsters.. so I thought to myself, well… what if I take a few Ballistae instead of the Troop-sized infantry shooters I was trying to squeeze in? That’s save me some points, and free up some Troop slots.

I really liked my solution, and drew up a new MSU list I am very eager to test out and report back on… (hopefully in the next week). While my solution fixed some list concerns, I found myself wondering how how mathematically viable my solution was.

Like I said before, I am not a statistician. So I tried to break my question up into more manageable components, part one was figuring out what shooters I should hypothetically be running, with was <this post>.

I was surprised to find that an Arquebusier Horde is not only the deadliest ranged infantry unit, but also the most points efficient. In general Hordes are the best “bang-for-your-buck,” but most troop choices aren’t too far behind, and you’re paying for troops to increase your list’s versatility (more drops) or in-game options (splitting fire among enemy units/avoiding overkill). So, after all that math, I had my go-to unit to compare against the Ballista: the Arquebusier Troop.

So…. Arquebusier Troop vs Ballista!

I had no idea how to compare the two, since the Ballista fires one shot, and if it hits, turns into multiple hits. Perhaps my approach is totally wrong, but I decided to break it all down to a single attack to start.

Both have a 5+ to hit, or a .33 chance to hit with each volley. The Arquebisuer has Pierce 2; the Ballisa Pierce 3, so assuming a hit, their chance to wound for a few Defense stats is below.

Arq. Troop

Again, this may be wrong approach, but I decided to look at the chance each attack would have to wound, taking the (.33 chance to hit with a shot) multiplied by (a single hit’s chance to wound, shown above). That gives me the chance of each shot to hit and wound (I think):

Arq. Troop

That looks right to me. The impediment is hitting, but provided that the shot hits, the solid Pierce values help insure that it wounds. The pseudo plateau also makes since, since Pierce eventually gets the roll to one or below, but rolls of 1 are always failing.

Alright, so that looks like the math for each shot. But the hard stuff is still to come… Units have multiple shots per volley… and the bonkerz D3+2 Ballista is still wrecking my noggin.

The unit stuff should be easier? I think? We take their communal shots, and multiply that number versus our values, to get the average damage per volley. That comes out to what I came up with previously, so uh… I think that’s good? Probably wasted some time here.

Arq. Troop

The Ballista is harder… it has one shot, but Blast means a connecting shot will result in D3+2 hits against the unit. If we take the chance to hit for a shot, and then assume 4 hits (the average roll for D3+2), we get the following average wounds per volley.


Fortunately, at this point, my google-fu turned up this thread after a few hours spent looking at various probability tutorials trying to figure out how to proofread my approaches. I was happy to see Blast was messing with people far more math savvy than I!

As discussed in the thread, the math is a little off, as this is looking at an average, not probability. Two thirds of the time, the Ballista will miss and do nothing. Averaging out volleys shot and damage dealt would get the values above.

So, it’s imprecise. But, it is largely comparable to the values I was using before. Since we were looking to compare the two units, that’s a win.

So, Like before, let’s take the points of each unit, and divide it by the number of average damage dealt, and see what unit will, on average, give us the best efficiency. Again, a lower number is more desirable, as you are spending fewer points to deal the damage.

Arq. Troop

Man, these Arquebusiers! The Arquebusier Troops coming out on top against Def3 and Def4 shouldn’t be a surprise, given our previous testing and some mental math (the Arquebusiers being on average about twice as deadly as the Ballista for less than twice the points). Also to be expected is a little “overkill” factor, as any additional Pierce you have after getting the damage roll down to a 2+ is just wasted points.

So, the Ballista really only comes into its own mathematically once that extra Pierce can kick in, which happens at Def5. Still, that is a tiny difference.

I still want to experiment with a few Ballistae in my MSU lists to free up Troop slots… but man, it sounds like for someone just starting their army, Arquebusiers are a good buy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kingdoms of Men Shooting

I was getting frustrated the other day, as I was trying to sketch out my next few lists of MSU stuff to test, but felt like they were all just terrible.

In my experience with MSU, if you don’t have reliable, efficient, top-notch melee units (which Kingdoms of Men does not), you probably need to invest more in ranged support elements. I was looking at our ranged infantry options, as they are generally our cheapest shooting options, and something I was keen to test them out more... but I was just not thrilled.

Conventional wisdom stated that the bigger the unit, the more damage it would potentially deal (more attacks!), and the more cost-effective magic items (Jar of the 4 winds, or Brew of Keen-Eyeness) would be (since more attacks would be influenced by the item). That made sense. However, taking bigger units is not what MSU is all about, and in some ways, I felt that spending points on these items was throwing good points after bad for KoM.

Conventional wisdom also says that Pierce is a powerful special rule, which we as KoM, do have ready access to. Our Arquebusiers have Pierce -2, which makes them the deadliest of our infantry shooters.

However, the Ranged attack stat for our shooters is 5+ across the board… not great. We’re going to be missing (statistically) 2/3 of our shots, more if the unit is in cover.

It was swiftly becoming a mental quagmire. Our shooters are not accurate, but we can be deadly with our ready access to Pierce, so we want to compensate with more shots, but then we’re spending lots and lots of points….

I decided I was wandering in circles. So I sat down and decided to try my hand at some basic math, to see if I could use numbers to help me identify a “least bad” option for us (not knocking KoM, but we are just human), or highlight anything I may have overlooked or just wasn’t seeing. Uh, strap in, friends. This is a lengthy post.

I was quickly bewildered. I’m no statistician (so apologies, if I misuse any terminology. If you know better, tell me and I can edit the post for correctness.) Eventually, I resorted to my high school physics approach to solving problems, and tried to start oversimplifying as much as humanly possible. 

Thanks, physics!
The first oversimplification I would make, is that I wanted the deadliest units possible. We won’t try to factor in the benefits of having a higher Nerve into these calculations at all.

Part 1: Points per Shot

I started out slow. I knew all shots were not created equal. But... just for curiosity, how many points I would be spending to take each shot?

Points per shot
Points per shot
Points per shot

Ok, so I remembered basic math. We're off to a good start! The number of shots are equal, so the more expensive weapon option at each level (Arquebusiers) should be paying more per shot at each unit size... which they totally are. 

Additionally, if you are looking for the best “bang for your buck” so-to-speak, the Regiment is the least points efficient option you can pick. If you’re taking a Regiment, you are absolutely taking it for its boosted Nerve value, not the increased damage potential, because at equal points, regiments have fewer attacks than their troop counterparts. Hordes come out on top of everything, though looking at the points per shot, not by as far a margin as I guess I was intuiting. These non-linear unit costs, man…

Part 2: How Many Hits?

I assumed that while the bowmen could hypothetically move, ideally they would not, as they have a decent range, and moving would further reduce their accuracy by 50%. Crossbowmen and Arquebusiers have Reload! so would need to not move in order to shoot… so hey, we'll have everything stand still. We’re doing ok on the oversimplification front so far! More good news is that each unit has the same range, number of attacks, and target roll (5+) needed to hit. Nice. So, across the board, assuming no cover (and no moving), on average:
·         Troops would land 2.66 hits per volley
·         Regiments would land 3.33 hits per volley
·         Hordes would land 6.66 hits per volley

Neat. While the math is easy to follow, I was guess I was surprised at how few shots from a Horde would (statistically) hit. I don’t think I had previously thought the math through before, so it was a kind of stark realization for me. Again, the non-linear unit sizes are messing with my intuition.

Part 3: Average “Deadliness”

Since the number of shots/hits would be the same, I figured that the Arquebusiers would be the most killy unit type (dealing the most wounds), and the Horde of Arquebusiers, the most killy ranged infantry unit overall. That was actually correct. Phew. My intuition is correct there! Piercing is no joke folks. 

Defense 3+ Defense 4+ Defense 5+ Defense 6+
Bowmen Troop 1.7777777778 1.3333333333 0.8888888889 0.4444444444
Bowmen Reg. 2.2222222222 1.6666666667 1.1111111111 0.5555555556
Bowmen Horde 4.4444444444 3.3333333333 2.2222222222 1.1111111111
Crossbow Troop 2.2222222222 1.7777777778 1.3333333333 0.8888888889
Crossbow Reg. 2.7777777778 2.2222222222 1.6666666667 1.1111111111
Crossbow Horde 5.5555555556 4.4444444444 3.3333333333 2.2222222222
Arquebus. Troop 2.2222222222 2.2222222222 1.7777777778 1.3333333333
Arquebusier Reg. 2.7777777778 2.7777777778 2.2222222222 1.6666666667
Arquebus. Horde 5.5555555556 5.5555555556 4.4444444444 3.3333333333

Part 4: Efficiency and mitigating excessive pierce

you may have noticed Crossbows Hordes and Arquebusier Hordes tie in their deadliness against units with Defense 3+. So in that one instance, the Arquebusiers aren't the most efficient tools use of points.

That "overkill" intrigued me, so I tried to take one more step in this exercise, and circle back to looking at how points factor in compared to deadliness, to see if there were any sweet spots for unit deadliness. This table takes the unit points and divides it by the corresponding number above. A lower number is therefore better, as you're spending fewer points to deal that anticipated damage.

Defense 3+ Defense 4+ Defense 5+ Defense 6+
Bowmen Troop 42.1875 56.25 84.375 168.75
Bowmen Regiment 45 60 90 180
Bowmen Horde 37.125 49.5 74.25 148.5
Crossbow Troop 38.25 47.8125 63.75 95.625
Crossbow Regiment 41.4 51.75 69 103.5
Crossbow Horde 34.2 42.75 57 85.5
Arquebusier Troop 45 45 56.25 75
Arquebusier Regiment 48.6 48.6 60.75 81
Arquebusier Horde 40.5 40.5 50.625 67.5

Part 5: Findings

Well... generally speaking:
  • Arquebusiers are the deadliest option for ranged infantry... which should be a no brainer, as they have Pierce -2, the best of these options. What surprised me is that they came out as being the most points efficient way to deal damage of these options too. I would have assumed that we would pay a little premium for the extra oompf (meaning they might not be be best choice in every situation), but point for point they appear to be our best investment for infantry shooters.
  • Taking Hordes of our infantry shooters is the most points-efficient way to take our shooters (most shots per points spend and most expected damage for points spent, compared to the same unit type of different  sizes).
  • Troops are the second best choice if you are looking for points efficiency. Going big seems to be mathematically encouraged, and you pay a little extra for the extra drop/deployment/unit, as it gives you more options in game (splitting fire among two targets, for instance).
  • Unless you really really really want that extra nerve, avoid regiments.
  • As for dealing with your opponent... these are the most points efficient ranged infantry options to take against units with these defenses.

Best 2nd Best 3rd Best
Defense 3+ Crossbow Horde Bowmen Horde Crossbow Troop
Defense 4+ Arquebusier Horde Crossbow Horde Arquebusier Troop
Defense 5+ Arquebusier Horde Arquebusier Troop Crossbow Horde
Defense 6+ Arquebusier Horde Arquebusier Troop Arquebusier Regiment

I gotta say, I was surprised by what I found.

I should also say, that I'm fighting off a cold. If someone notices any math errors, please speak up and I can amend the post. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fluff and Army Composition 2

The astute may have noticed some parallels to the start of my army fluff here and real life. I double-majored in history and economics in college, studied abroad in Istanbul, Turkey, and did some independent inter-discipline studies my senior year blending my majors and looking at the Byzantine economy. Really interesting stuff. I could ramble on, but I will try to rein it in here. Suffice it to say, I like the Byzantines (though they referred to themselves as Romans; Byzantine is a “modern” label. Ok, reining it in now).

Getting into Kings of War from Warhammer, I knew I was going to expand my army. If not for practical reasons (new units, for example), than aesthetics (so many cool models out there!) or inertia (gotta have at least one hobby project going on it seems). After the Battle for the Mausoleum, I sat down, looked at my collection and the KoM army list and sketched out some thoughts.


The first thoughts were crystallizing more of my fluff, and writing it down to make it more “official” in my mind. My Ostermark Army started out with purple and white as their provincial colors (I think technically they were purple/yellow or purple/white according to GW fluff and I just chose the latter). I always thought that was dumb, as they were a rural province, and purple is the color of status/royalty, but whatever.

Instead of choosing new colors when I started transitioning stuff to KoW, I decided to double-down on the color choices. While I don’t have a truly unified approach to colors my army (not all my uniforms are uh… uniform; some are quarter colored, other mixed on each limb, etc.), I did actually try to put some thought into it. My army’s colors are purple and white. The Banners (and the Blog’s title) are purple on top, white on the bottom, and that was on purpose.

I was repainting a lot of the army as I converted it over to Kingdoms of Men. I remembered Thorstein Veblen’s idea of “conspicuous consumption,” and decided that to incorporate that a little of that concept into my army instead of choosing new colors.

Purple, the regal color is on top. Even the lowly typical troops wear purple, a statement saying: “the Regnum Aeternum has the resources to squander expensive dyes on our lowest troops.” White is on the bottom. It’s a bright white in my army, and is also a statement the little dudes are trying to make: “we’re professionals.” White would be a terrible color to bring to a battle, but my dudes not only do it, but keep it clean, as a matter of pride. As for plumage, purple is for more common soldiers, white is for officers/more elite units, with the idea being that the higher wouldn’t need to associate themselves with purple to prove themselves, they could afford to take the time to clean/have white plumes as a status boast. Overall the colors are not good choices, but it gives my army a little character (proud, maybe a bit arrogant), which is good for the fluff.


I was struggling on how to expand my army and have all the models make sense on the table together. Just having similar paint jobs wouldn’t do it completely for me, and I decided there needed to be more of a story there. I decided to take a page from history and tie it in to my fluff.

In 1204, Christian Constantinople was sacked by Crusaders. Whoopsies. While the Byzantines did eventually retake the city in 1261, losing it wasn’t great. I decided that I wanted more “defensive” units in my army: Spear Phalanxes, Foot Guard with Shields, and Shield Wall are all stuff I wanted to have a few regiments of.

I mentioned here that I was going for a bit of a Roman Legion feel with some of my transitioning units, and also that I was interested in picking up some Imperial Roman minis. I decided that heck, that’s the ticket.

The Regnum Aeternum has been on the back foot for a while. Defending the lands and preserving the traditions are all good and noble; a worthy pursuit for a soldier over the many years. Defense and traditions are intertwined, so in step the Roman minis. Tradition is defended by traditional means. These Roman minis will be modeled to be my more defensive units: Shield Wall, Spear Phalanx and Foot Guard with shields.

Somewhere along the line, the Regnum momentarily lost the means to produce their traditional armor, hence the inclusion of any other Shield Wall, Spear Phalanx or Foot Guard units in my collection or lists. These were just other provinces emulating the traditional units in their own way with their own tools. They are functionally similar, but differ in aesthetics a little bit.

Combining it all….

·         Purple and white are statements on the heritage and power/wealth of the Regnum Aeternum  and expresses a little of how it views itself.
·         The traditions of the Regnum Aeternum are defended by traditional means: ideally “older,” classically themed style minis like the Romans, though occasionally a medieval themed unit will take the field (out of necessity).
·         Reclamation of their old lands is a new thing. The Regnum Aeternum is usually outmatched and outgunned, and they have been proudly fighting a slow, grinding, losing defense for some time. Taking the fight to the enemy is something new for them, demanding new tactics, and this will be expressed in my taking more medieval themed models to aesthetically show this kind of militaristic innovation.

Man. I feel like I put way too much effort trying to justify things to myself. It was good to kind of codify this for me, but man, let this post be a warning to the kids that this hobby can be a slippery slope for your time and energy!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hobbying Basics: Painting (and Priming)

The hobby aspect of this blog is more of a “by a beginner for other beginners” kind of thing, sort of like the blind leading the blind. Which... might not be the best opening line in the world on a post about painting now that I think about it.

My hobbying efforts are basically guided by two sentences:

  1. Get the basic stuff done now.
  2. Get the fancy stuff done later.
Essentially, I paint everything up to a basic tabletop standard first (generally speaking, at least three colors of pain on the model and some basing materials). That's a solid accomplishment all on its own. With that goal completed, I can touchup the models (wash, highlight, touchup, etc) as I feel like it, so the hobby doesn't become stressful or a chore. The drawback is that most of my stuff isn't ever really completely "done." However, hobbying is a skill, and I'm getting better over time. If I had tried to jump in and build an army beyond a tabletop standard, I would have given up on the hobby very quickly. Keeping in mind that painting should be fun, I've been super satisfied with my approach. As I learn new skills, I can touchup units as I want to, while still but acceptable stuff out onto the table.

Anyways, I know my hobby stuff is basic. But it's to a "tabletop standard," and looks fine in-game, or on the shelf, so  I wanted to do a short series of posts on essentially how I hobby. The aim is to provide a few tips and shortcuts here for new hobbyists that may be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

But I don’t want to start at the very beginning...
  • I’m going to assume that you know what mold lines are and if/how much they bother you.
  • I’m also going to assume that all the models you want to work with are assembled to the point you think you're ready to paint. 
But first.... the Primer

The first thing you want to do before you sit down to paint is make sure your stuff is primed. If you are unfamiliar with the term or process, you can read a little more about it here.

For the link-averse, in a nutshell, primer is something that you spray onto your mini, and it will give the paint a consistent surface to stick to. I’m a fan of Krylon these days; it’s widely available (lots of retail stores carry it), it’s been quite consistent can-to-can, and it’s cheap (there are fancier primers put out by hobbying companies, but honestly I don't like it as much, particularly not when it costs 2x of what a Krylon can costs).

While shopping you may notice that primer comes in a few different colors. You may wonder, if paint is going to cover the whole thing anyways, does it matter what color the primer is?

Well... sort of? Let's prime two bits, one black, one white, toss a little paint on them and compare.
Check out those mold lines.. Anyways, can you tell which one was primed with white primer?

It's the same paint on both minis; same amount of time spent. You can see that the white-primed bit is a little brighter, and also that the recesses of the bit remain white (as I didn't slosh blue paint all around). Now, there are definitely ways to fix it and fill in those white recesses with other colors, but that's extra work (I'm not saying that it's hard work, just that it is more work.) There are reasons to use a lighter or white primer sometimes, but if you're just getting into the hobby, I suggest using black primer. It makes your life a little easier, since anything you miss or don't quite get right will look shadowy.

Now... Painting!

Alright, so you've primed your model. What do you need for painting supplies?

You need paints and brushes, obviously. Also, a paper towel and little container of water (even just a little plastic disposable cup would be fine) to rinse your brush are good things to have around. 
Everything but the paint, ready to go. The mat may not be necessary for you, but I don't have a dedicated space to hobby, so it's handy to protect my desk and table. 

For brushes, you'll want something with a finer point for sure. There are specialty hobby brushes, but I just use bulk "variety brush packs" from craft and retail stores. For paints, you have your choice of paint product lines... Games Workshop, The Army Painter, ReaperMini... all have lots of paint to choose from. It doesn't really matter what you use; they all do the same thing. If you're just starting out, I recommend you just pick up/order a handful of basic colors from whatever your FLGS has/recommends, or order a few online.

Seriously... painting, for reals this time.

Sorry. There's a fair amount of things that go into the hobby. But if you've made it this far, all the prep work is done. Jump right in and start painting.

A few parting pieces of advice:

  • Start with bigger things first, sweeping cloaks or big shiny plate armor. Paint freely, mayhaps even a little haphazardly. Save fiddly areas (belt buckles, gems, etc) for last.
  • Try not to get paint around the metal clamp of your brush, and remember to rinse it regularly. Following those two tidbits significantly increases the lifespan of your brush. 

So, for reference, here are a pair of models of mine, painted probably around February or March 2013: two Warriors of Chaos (out of a unit of 20). They were some of the first models I applied my "just get the basics done" approach to.

I have never been self conscious about my thumb until this moment.
It's not the best paint job you've ever seen, but, they are to a tabletop standard, and look just fine all ranked up. Just six colors were used (brown, gold, silver, white, purple, blue). Nice and easy. if you're just getting into hobbying, this is a very achievable result to achieve. As you get better, you can always revisit the models with touchups, or even a brand new paint job.. which we'll do in a later post.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hobby Update! (Ballista and) Pikemen!

A week ago, my hobby goal for this week was to finish up my Regiments of Knights. It seemed simple enough, as I had only a few shields to finish painting and attach, and then some basing work. But, what didn't happen. Instead I dove headlong into other things...

Looking pretty good. Although I appear to be out of ammunition. Maybe that's why I missed all my ballista shots last game?

I think I will do a dedicated post on these sometime soon, so I'll keep it brief for now. Besides, they were also mostly ready already; all I did this week was add the base edge color. The sand looks less white and the edge looks less mustardy in person..

What took up most of my hobby time this week was some conversion work.

I wanted to get some Pikemen into my collection. I hadn't found any models that I liked and could afford, so I used what I had on hand, which was:

  • Empire State Trooper bodies, as is.
  • State Trooper Arms, with Tomb King spear shafts attached to the end, since I felt Pikes needed more reach than the Empire spear bits.
  • Knightly Order heads, with the ornamentations cut off and fixed with greenstuff. I liked the braided cloth parts on the heads, and have been wanting to get them onto some models for a while.

The TK spear shafts are a little larger in diameter than the Empire spear shafts.. but I don't think it's too terribly noticeable on the table. I was worried that the almost comically large sharp bits would look goofy, but it gives them a nice presence as a unit.

Look at all those pointy bits.
As you can see, I continued on with my wonky multibasing approach. It's not as big a hypothetical deal with this unit, as they can only be taken in Regiment and Horde levels. Even with all the pointy bits, they rank up pretty well.

Their right side, front and back ranks.
Their left side, back and front ranks.
Not sure when I'll get my next game in, but I have a new MSU list with these guys all set up and ready to try out, and will start pestering my regular opponents soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wargaming and New Players

Years ago, I wrote a reply in a forum to a player who was looking for advice on beginner lists to introduce a friend to Warhammer Fantasy. I was reminded of it during Monday’s game, so I sifted through old posts and dug it out, and will attempt to rewrite it here with an eye to increasing its relevance to introductory games of Kings of War. I will likely (hopefully!) have a few more intro games in the near future, so this will help me to better organize those, as well as hopefully highlight some ideas for anyone in similar situations.

First, if you can, use different armies.

Different armies have different strengths, styles, and even aesthetics, any or all of which may grab the attention of a new player. Showcasing a variety of units and playstyles from day one tosses a wider net, and the newcomer is more likely to find something that interests them.

If you only have one army, and need to split it for the game, balance is important (one side shouldn’t get all the fun toys), but it gets stale if divided exactly in two (even, like in chess). I suggest splitting along fluff lines. Split your one army up into its components, and mix and match them together in a way that makes fluffy sense. Like spears and shooters (poor militia) vs basic infantry and cavalry (haughty knights and their retainers). Simple distinctions like that can really effectively start highlighting tactics and basic playstyles for a new player even when the armies are the game.

Additionally, I would suggest try building two MSU lists, reliant on lots of Troops with just enough regiments to support them. That’s my personal preference but I feel that MSU lists:
·         Can emphasize the deployment and movement phases, which are really important in rank’n’flank games like this. It can be nice to give a new player that insight early on.
·         Provide options, practice and dynamism! If you give the new players a lumbering “hammer and anvil” style list and they can’t set that 1-2 punch up, they’ll likely get steamrolled. Running MSU lists gives the new player lots to do in each phase of the game, and repetition will let things start to sink in. Additionally, it avoids boring protracted combats. Each combat is short, sweet, and important.

Second, don’t run a full sized normal game.

The purpose of an intro game is sample the game. Wargames can have a steep learning curve, so a smaller, quicker, less complex game will better highlight the basics of the system. Too small, and the game becomes really swingy, so you need to find a sweet spot.

I think somewhere in the ballpark of 500-1000 points for Kings of War seems good. It’s small enough to be quick, but large enough for a few good sized and good numbered units to hit the table, and to highlight some of the game’s unique aspects (Inspiring, and the differences and list unlocks in Regiments and Hordes).

Third, get the new player involved!

They shouldn’t just learn from observation; they need to be engaged in this game. Make new players as much a part of the intro game as they want to be. This could be you versus them discussing each move and turn; them and an ally versus another player or team (having an ally can be really helpful), or they could just command the war machines for you or roll all your dice or something. People learn things differently, and it’s up to you to adjust your involvement (even mid game) to try and match what they want to do.

Fourth, make and embrace errors.

On your turn, play quickly, and don’t think too hard. This is particularly true for Kings of War, since it’s all i-go-u-go. You want the majority of this game to be spent on their turn, where they are thinking and making the decisions that will impact the game the most. By acting quickly, you are likely to make errors, which can serve as great learning points for the new player to fuel discussion.

Fifth, keep the new player in mind at all times.

You are doing this for them. You’re not playing to show off, or table them. You’re setting aside an hour or two to explore a game with them and have some fun. If you can keep this in mind, there is no such thing as a bad game.

So… how did I do with my intro game on Monday?
1)      Use different armies. The players built their own; I brought mine; all were different, and all emphasized different things and had a good mix of tactics available to them. CHECK!
2)      Don’t run a full-sized normal game. The game was a little big and a little clunky as a result, particularly since I had to play two armies. It might have even been better to have them play each other, with me moderating… but I was greedy and wanted to play and try out a battle report. MISS!
3)      Get them involved. They each played a game, in command of their own army, from start to finish, all while asking questions. Big CHECK!
4)      Make and embrace errors. I made a lot of mistakes, but failed to use them to teach the new players. There was so much going on that night that discussions of tactics or state of the board never really got going. MISS!
5)      Keep the new player in mind at all times. They were competent, intelligent, grown-ass men like myself. We all had a good time and a good experience, and learned a lot about the game and out armies. CHECK!

If I were to do this again, I’d keep the intro game maxed out at 1000 Points, and sit out to referee if it if needed. It was a good time, but all the learning done that night is far more of a testament to the maturity and intellect of my opponents, than my skills as an organizer or a teacher.

When I introduce Kings of War to someone next time, I’ll shoot to check off all five of my suggestions.
Thanks for reading, and I hope all your introductory games are as enjoyable as this one was.