Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kings of War 2nd Edition

So in my continued quest for a new set of Massed Rank Fantasy rules since GW turned me into a Warhammer refugee, I've started to take a look at the Kings of War ruleset from Mantic Games.

Mantic have just released the second edition of the ruleset and it seems to be gaining some traction with the outflow of Fantasy gamers from the Warhammer (ex) World. The ruleset is one of the four candidates for next year's ETC.

Last week I ordered my copy of the rules from Firestorm Games (particularly using the code "Heelan" to support Mantic Games). The rules have been dispatched and should be here this week.

Yesterday I sat and read through the downloadable set on the Mantic Games website. They are 27 pages long and seem to include everything but Magic Items and Scenarios.

Pleased to see that pre-measuring is there - I don't think I could go back to the "Dark Ages" - though I am less convinced re set charge distances (I liked the uncertainty of charging in 8th). Perhaps it is a halfway house that will work - bridging the mechanisms of 7th and 8th - time will tell.

The rules are well set out and easy to follow and I think having read them a couple of times I'd be 95% confident of being able to play a game cold. I really like the "Nerve" mechanism and think that it will be interesting to explore.

One concern I have is around player interaction. Largely your turn is YOUR turn and your opponent has little input. This seems to follow more of the Warmachine path but I understand is balanced by turns - and the game in general - being faster.

I've listened to five episodes of the "Counter Charge" podcast that have explained the rules, gone through an FAQ and covered the Ratkin list beta. I understand that KoW is not on Army Builder but have found the company list builder online.

So over the next few weeks I hope to get some games in to see how it stacks against the competition. It has one great advantage and that is the support of Mantic. I don't like the Mantic models and think their use of Kickstarter doesn't sit right but you can't deny that they have an opportunity here and they are taking every advantage of it.

Interesting too, to see some of the people who left Warhammer at the transition to 8th Ed embracing the KoW avenue.



  1. You won't regret giving it a shot Pete. The 2nd Edition rules fix the couple of balance & gameplay issues which were in the previous edition and now it's a very tight system, I've been playing it since the first kickstarter & enjoying it better than almost any other game I've played.

  2. In my opinion the game is very vanilla, the individual armies lack so much of the diversity and colour in their play that we had with Warhammer. That said I am really enjoying playing the game. It's a great battle line game and gives me the big blocks of troops etc that I enjoy. The biggest surprise was dealing with characters being so unimportant. No longer are armies lead by great mighty heroes slaying all in their path. Characters and magic are small buffs only.
    Enjoy it. Certainly gets my vote for ETC over AoS.

  3. I first looked at KoW asking 'would I quit 8th ed WHFB for this?' and the answer was 'hell no'. Now that I can look at it with a very different perspective, I'm quite excited. Bought the rules, and have some hobby motivation to get my existing WHFB army into a playable state.