Sadly, another disappointing WoK experience
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Thread: Sadly, another disappointing WoK experience

  1. #1

    Default An unsatisfying WoK game - what did I do wrong?

    I don't want to be negative about WoK. I've invested quite a bit of money and hundreds of hours into the game and would love it to be my miniatures game of choice. But I keep having somewhat underwhelming games and it's really frustrating!

    I'd love to have a sensible discussion and find out if 'it's just us'. Perhaps we're approaching the game incorrectly, or the style of the game doesn't fit our style of play. But something doesn't seem to be clicking. We're experienced miniatures gamers who also play Confrontation, AT-43, Dust Battlefield, Warmachine, and Hell Dorado.

    I've raised this issue before, but we're still finding the main issues to be the lack of a charge mechanic, and the motivations system. Let me illustrate. We had a Nasier vs Teknes game. Nasier had Sever the Head and Teknes had Capture Prisoners. Of course, my Teknes opponent's strategy was to retreat before my advance, luring me into his C deployment section, so when he did manage to kill a unit in melee, he had little or no distance to move before scoring 2 morale. I on the other hand had to try and kill his marked leaders and specialists, which he kept lurking behind his main infantry and blocking terrain, far away from my attacks.

    On the surface, this sounds like an interesting combination of motivations that would lead to strategic gameplay. In practice, it lead to several turns of frustrating standoff, until I finally got fed up and got more aggressive, and he could kill a few low strength units over in his end of the field, easily hitting me with a 2 morale reduction each time he did so.

    The ability to premeasure all distances encourages you to move your troops from your opponent's - say a distance equal to their move distance plus half an inch, just outside of their move range. And there you sit, waiting for someone to crack first. There's no opportunity to charge (if you sprint, they'd attack first when they activate). In this particular case, every time I got close he'd back off a little, drawing me further back into his deployment zone.

    Of course, I know there are other units on the board, that the order of activation matters, that I could move a couple of units up and taunt the opponent (I forgot to try that - I must next time) etc. But in general, instead of the rules invisibly working to make the game flow, encouraging an interesting conflict, they seem to be invisibly blocking the flow and causing us frustrations. It's hard to express, but it's something I haven't encountered in other games. Perhaps there should only be particular match-ups of motivations (though it seems Capture Prisoners is always going to be problematic). Perhaps we should just invent in a new action and see what happens - charge (move normally with a 1-4 inch bonus and attack with a hit penalty?)

    I've said it before, but even after the motivations revamp, many of them are just too fiddly, with little counters everywhere. We've taken to BluTak-ing counters and wound markers on our units in an attempt to make it manageable.

    I write this in the most positive, enquiring spirit I can, as I want to love this game and I want to pick apart how I'm approaching it. There are other issues, but I can deal with them: I find the hit system a bit frustrating and unsatisfying, as I think it is intrinsically more enjoyable to roll the dice knowing what you need to roll to hit, than roll a dice and have your opponent tell you if you hit. I think some of the unit special abilities are too complex and there are too many of them, but that's bearable after I designed a complex sheet writing out all our specific army's attacks and abilities so you can see them at a glance.

    I'd love to hear from other players who are having really enjoyable games, and if they find the game system to flow well and be interesting and exciting. Because right at the moment, we're starting to lose a bit of enthusiasm and turn to other games. At the very least, I'm thinking I should repurpose some more traditional fantasy battle scenarios rather than use the motivations (sacrilege!)

    Any feedback very welcome! Thanks for reading.
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    Last edited by UniversalHead; 02-06-2017 at 04:13 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Not really?
    Tokens: I have not had an issue here. Certainly alot less than WM. Unless youre activating lots of single models, in which case your opponent almost certainly goes for minimal combined activations to stick you.

    Motivations: Ive found the newest iteration much better. Are you using the updated motivations? You give one example. What about other combinations? If he goes for Capture Prisoners, go for something different, like Burn it Down.

    My main issue is playing as we read, then finding it was wrong, then finding possibly contrary rulings. Which is a different sort of issue.

  3. #3

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    Hi

    A lot of the motivations involve a marker pool placed on minis of up to twice your ranks of leaders. Then there are wound tokens. And activation tokens. I've found that together, there are certainly enough to get in the way.

    Yes, we were using the new motivations for this last game. Other combinations may definitely be better, but if the game allows you to choose Capture Prisoners vs Sever the Head, for example, well then that combo should work well, as should any combos that are legally possible. And how does your way of choosing them work in practice? He chose this one, so I choose that one, so he then decides to choose a different one, so I choose a different one, etc ... if there are particularly good combinations of motivations, I'd like the game to recommend them to players. I don't have the gaming time to test them all.
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  4. #4

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    Wound markers: By and large, my play experience has been Skirmish sized games (mid-level of the 3 options). This means youll have 2-3 leaders and 1-4 specialist. Thos are the most likely multi-wound models. And there, its 2-3 wounds. The rest are infantry, so will have 1 wound. Rank 2 infantry often have 2, but youll have 9-12 at most. So at worst, you have 17 multi-wound models, the vast majority of which will only have a single wound marker at any given time.
    No one has had issues so far, it seems.

    Activation counters: This could get a bit cluttered. My practice has been to mark the leader, then any infantry where confusion might arise as to whether it was part of a combined activation. If no leader was in the activation, I mark a central infantry. I typically wont mark my last 2 activations because its not necessary by that point.

    Motivation marker: objectives arent a problem, so I assume these are pool tokens. Sever the head produces 3 tokens in skirmish, placed on 2-3 models at best. Stackable markers have presented no issue when I play this. Capture Prisoners similarly produces at most 3 tokens in a given turn. Escort Civilians is similar. If you've played Warmachine, I guarantee you've had easy 3-5x or more tokens on the table in a given MKII 50pt game, or MKIII 75pt game, compared to all above discussed tokens combined. Frankly, I never felt it was an issue, but noted how few tokens I was using compared to Dark Age or Warmachine. Or even 40k.

    Motivation imbalance: I can see your frustration. Its not a great pairing. I do see ways around. As Naiser, Id look to rathors, Bloodchild, greathorns, and other magic attacks. Id also consider OOO issues, so that if an opponent gets a marker, I could kill it or at least engage it before the end of the round. But my point here was more directed at knowing your opponent. If he likes to take that one alot, take a motivation that forces him to leave his own zones. If it just randomly occurs, well that sucks. Maybe its an issue. I dont feel Ive played enough to know. Another poster recently complained that Unstoppable Force made Naiser brokenly good vs Hadross. When I play that out, games are always close. The last ended 1-0 on morale.

  5. #5

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    Do the games have a time limit? That would help with the stand-off. If your opponent is making it difficult to achieve your motivation just kill what you can and whoever has the highest morale at the end wins. Works well enough for the tournaments.

    Have you tried any of the suggestions from your first thread with regards to the Mexican stand-off: move some models up rather than the whole unit, move into range after they've activated.

    I think there's always going to be motivation match ups that are going to favor one side over another. That's part of the game: selecting a motivation that will be easy despite the motivations your opponent can select from. Capture Prisoners is a good motivation to pick when against Nasier, as most of their motivations will have them coming towards their slower troops.

  6. #6

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    paradox1 We're playing battle size games. I find that there are a lot of markers all over the place, and when lareg units are engaged, there's a lot of clutter.

    EvilDave No time limit, no; we're following the rules and there's no mention of a time limit. I did forget to try the 'move a few models up' tactic, and I will next time, though it seems like a solution that merely plugs the hole in the rules rather than repairs it, if you know what I mean. What you say about motivations though just seems to confirm my prejudice against them. It may be part of the game, but when you play occasionally and don't have the time to learn the optimum combinations of motivations and factions, it can cause problems. Since there's no order to choosing them (or they can be chosen randomly - rules p 20), these issues are going to come up. Perhaps CMON need to write a comprehensive article about the subject on the WoK site?

    So other people haven't been having these issues?
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  7. #7

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    Then, to be fair, you're playing larger than standard games and should compare to, say, 75-100pts MKII WMH.

  8. #8

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    I don't really understand why it's necessary to compare to other miniatures games, when I'm talking about WoK. It may have less tokens than Warmachine (I can't remember, I haven't played it for many years), but I still think it has too many tokens. I know it's difficult to get rid of wound and activation markers in any system, but the motivations system piles on more. Anyway, the token thing is my least most pressing issue with the game.
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  9. #9

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    "Nasier had Sever the Head and Teknes had Capture Prisoners."

    Yup. Sounds like the worst match-up of all motivations possible. Plus the 2.0 motivation for Capture Prisoners is really OP. The original had the motivation as going after enemy leaders and specialists rather than any enemy model.

    Your best bet to counter that one would probably be "Burn It Down" (my favourite for Nasier) or "Unstoppable Advance".

    Sorry you still find WoK underwhelming.

  10. #10

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    I haven't given up on it, but when the system allows you to choose two motivations that lead to a crap game, the system needs work. I agree that Capture Prisoner seems too easy, I wonder what the thinking was behind the change?

    Sounds like I should definitely concentrate on objective-based motivations. That will mitigate the token issue a bit too.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by UniversalHead View Post
    I haven't given up on it, but when the system allows you to choose two motivations that lead to a crap game, the system needs work. I agree that Capture Prisoner seems too easy, I wonder what the thinking was behind the change?

    Sounds like I should definitely concentrate on objective-based motivations. That will mitigate the token issue a bit too.
    Well... the way the game is structured, each side is free to choose their own missions... it's just your particular combo of motivations chosen unfortunately played right into the Capture the Prisoner mission. Not sure how to mitigate that, unless a player sacrifices some points to re-select another Motivation or something...?

  12. #12

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    So, what do you do when player A chooses, then player B chooses, then player A changes his choice because of player B's choice, then player B changes his choice ... etc?
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  13. #13

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    You know, it may be that my whole problem is that I play too casually and occasionally, and the rules aren't geared for that kind of approach.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by UniversalHead View Post
    You know, it may be that my whole problem is that I play too casually and occasionally, and the rules aren't geared for that kind of approach.
    Don't think that's the issue... I enjoy WoK as a quick "pick up and play" game... but then again, the max I play is Tournament Skirmish so less minis in a 4 x 4 table.

    I really don't have any thoughts on the Motivation choosing, unless you want a quick house rule: each player gets 1 free "re-choose". After that, lower 1 morale every time you want to change your Motivation. Maybe that helps? Or if you're playing with friends (ie. Will) you can come to a gentleman's agreement?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by UniversalHead View Post
    I don't really understand why it's necessary to compare to other miniatures games, when I'm talking about WoK. It may have less tokens than Warmachine (I can't remember, I haven't played it for many years), but I still think it has too many tokens. I know it's difficult to get rid of wound and activation markers in any system, but the motivations system piles on more. Anyway, the token thing is my least most pressing issue with the game.
    Your complaint was the number of tokens, and posited against a background of experience with other games, as if to give the impression you did not have these issues with those games (bad/uneven matches and scenarios. Too many tokens).

  16. #16

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    Tokens: I don't see such a problem there. I don t use aktivation tokens on mass just a few as a remembering point. So basicly it is a memory training for me. After a couple of game we haven't encounter much problems there. And if there was an issue we always could reconstruct it. As for the motivation tokens . Most of them are pools at the side of the tables so no issue there. Wound tokens? Really? can be marked on the Card! Even when you have multible chars of the same leader on the Table just mark different spots on the card. Every leader of my hadross has a Numeric mark on its base painted.
    Activations(Maxican Standoff thing): That is the hole point of the game. Using movment shenanigans and building up traps. It always seems to me like an ever ecalating conflict. Great! A frind of mine trys to anticipate of much minis he should activate to lure me into a trap. It is Holarious way of thinking around three to five corners. Or how you could screw the activation order of your enemy by moving his units in akward positions and stuff. I have to admit that you have to know your enemy and your own army obviously but this is always the same in every miniature wargame. How this game works makes it so unique . I had to get used to it to but now i am very happy with it.

    Motivations. This is Huge!: Wrong pairing of motivations and you will get tabled! I had my own problems with that. Nasier vs Hadross (http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...toppable-Force) . But i found out that Loot and Plunder is the perfect counter for it..... i just had to find it out .... took me a while thou. Right now we have very specialized armys for some of the Motivations as this started to get boring we used a simple mechanik.

    Both player select 3 Motivations. You give yours to your opponent and vice versa. You take a look at them and Say which one he isn t allowed to use and give him two back. He now selects one of the two. And of course vice versa.
    Still there can still acure a bad motivation pairing but you can still counter act it with your army options. a bit at least.

    thats it.

  17. #17

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    I'll echo m0n5t3r0u5 and say that I don't use activation tokens as well. I've never felt the need even when playing battle-sized games. I think the most tokens we had on the table at one time was a Teknes Adanii vs Hadross game, lots of wound tokens and resonates everywhere. We stacked the wound tokens with resonate on top and it was still easy enough to work with. If you don't want stuff on the table then I recommend building holders/pegs on your bases or uniquely identifying them so you can mark it on a piece of paper.

    The time limit is referenced here: http://wrathofkings.com/ks/wp-conten...ofKings_PF.pdf

    I'd give that a shot along with the other suggestions that I mentioned.

    I will next time, though it seems like a solution that merely plugs the hole in the rules rather than repairs it, if you know what I mean.
    Honestly, I think "this game needs a charge action" is a solution in search of a problem. Activating your unit to attack an enemy before they can do anything about it is this game's "charge order". If you can't get there, move into threat range of stuff that has activated. If you can't do that, move partially into threat range and weather the storm. Stuff will die on the next turn.

    What you say about motivations though just seems to confirm my prejudice against them.
    You're always going to run into balance issues with asymetrical victory conditions. That's only going to be compounded when you add in the power of choice. Personally, I like the meta-game of picking a victory condition based on what your opponent is bringing to the field. It's a whole lot better than picking an army based on what your opponent is bringing to the field (which seems like the norm for all the 40k/AoS/WM/H games I hear being set up while at the local store) especially given it's a double blind selection.
    Last edited by EvilDave; 10-05-2016 at 01:14 PM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by paradox1 View Post
    Your complaint was the number of tokens, and posited against a background of experience with other games, as if to give the impression you did not have these issues with those games (bad/uneven matches and scenarios. Too many tokens).
    My apologies, I just mentioned that so people wouldn't assume I was a complete noob.

    I think it's the motivations objectives that, in a battle game, mean you add 5 tokens to several models that tip it over the edge. But it's just a feeling, not a calculated thing. We just feel like there's a lot of tokens to shuffle around in WoK, particularly so with Hadross and resonating!
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by m0n5t3r0u5 View Post
    Motivations. This is Huge!: Wrong pairing of motivations and you will get tabled! I had my own problems with that. Nasier vs Hadross. But i found out that Loot and Plunder is the perfect counter for it..... i just had to find it out .... took me a while thou. Right now we have very specialized armys for some of the Motivations as this started to get boring we used a simple mechanik.
    Thanks m0n5t3r0u5, this is all very interesting. We must be approaching this Mexican Standoff issue in the wrong way. Perhaps it's because when I combined activate a unit for a few turns I kind of forget that you can then switch to individual activations. And as you say, we don't play enough to really get to know the armies well.

    It's also interesting that you agree that the motivations have the potential to create poor matchups, and we have to get to know them better. Nice technique with the choosing, maybe something like that should have been in the rules.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDave View Post
    Honestly, I think "this game needs a charge action" is a solution in search of a problem. Activating your unit to attack an enemy before they can do anything about it is this game's "charge order". If you can't get there, move into threat range of stuff that has activated. If you can't do that, move partially into threat range and weather the storm. Stuff will die on the next turn.
    Sorry, forgot about the time limit in the tournament rules.

    I guess it really is about weathering the storm, either with your whole unit or several members, though I do miss the catharsis and the advantage of being the first to say 'once more unto the breach' as it were and charge in there. Now it feels more like jockeying for advantage and carefully measuring up to a specific distance rather than COMBAT! To me it's a case of the rules affecting the feel of the game in less enjoyable way. But of course I understand others prefer that style.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDave View Post
    You're always going to run into balance issues with asymetrical victory conditions. That's only going to be compounded when you add in the power of choice. Personally, I like the meta-game of picking a victory condition based on what your opponent is bringing to the field. It's a whole lot better than picking an army based on what your opponent is bringing to the field (which seems like the norm for all the 40k/AoS/WM/H games I hear being set up while at the local store) especially given it's a double blind selection.
    We obviously have to put more effort into picking motivations - I sort of assumed they were all roughly balanced with each other and of course that doesn't seem to be the case.

    I'm learning things, thankyou all! I really appreciate the feedback.
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