Monday, October 8, 2012

Dwarf King's Hold

It has been a while since I last posted, but in that time I have not sat idle. Infact, some of my readers might remember that I had won the Dwarf King's Hold box sets from Frontline Gamer a while back, and I have gotten a few games of that in lately. I will go into a thorough review later on, but for now I'll just touch on the basics of what I have seen of the game.

DKH is a tactical dungeon hack, where two or more players can choose between the Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, or Undead and fight it out within the confines of the dungeon. It's isn't like Warhammer Quest, Super Dungeon Explore, Descent, or Heroes Quest as there is no storyteller role, each force is separate and with their own goals for the mission. Now this might change once DKH4 gets released, but there are no details about that at this time, so can't really give any promises on that front.

Anyhow, DKH1 and DKH are stand alone versions of the game. DKH1 features the Dwarves vs the Undead while DKH2 puts the Elves vs the Orcs. DKH3 is an actual expansion that grows on both of the original stand alone versions and allow a person to build their own force and change up the forces involved in the previous storylines. DKH3 also introduces rules to have 3-4 player battles.

DKH3 is an amazing expansion for the game, and well worth getting ASAP if you are interested in DKH at all. At this point the game starts to take on a tabletop battle game feel as you form forces with your limited point values. As an example, the three player game introduced in DKH3 has two players with 55 point forces and another player with 70 point force. For the Elves, the 55 point force is about five miniatures, while the Dwarves can fit a bit more (8-10 miniatures), and the Undead can virtually swamp the the board with 70 points to spend with 12-15 minis easily.

One of the things that remain constant from DKH1 through DKH3 is the use of action tokens to move and attack. This means that even with less minis, a good player might have enough follow-on actions to make use of extra attacks or moving to more secure locations on the board. I made some pretty epic last stands in a small corridor with a single Dwarf and forcing my wife to move around me. However, if you run out of tokens, you lose so can't beat around the bush for too long.

In the end, DKH is an amazingly easy game to get into, and the basics are easily picked up within a few minutes of starting the game. The use of the token pool and point values though makes it where no two games are the same, and you can't turtle in a corner for the entire game.

One of the greatest things about the game, and something that just clicked naturally, is the fact you can more or less use it with any dungeon system with some planning. I am thinking of making some 2-4 player dungeons with the Descent dungeon boards I haven't touched in a year and some change now. Even my Warhammer Quest boards could be used, however they do seem a bit wider and thus far less confined than DKH and Descent gives for feeling.

It is a fun game, cheap to get into, and a great gateway game to get people into the hobby of tabletop wargaming. I would say that the game is worth every cent a person could spend on it. This weekends goal is to get my older daughter to play against me and my wife, and I might work out what Lizardmen minis could best be proxied for on the board. Should be an interesting family board game night item to pass the time with.
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