Tabletop Game / Kings of War

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The fantasy mass battle game

Kings of War is a fantasy war game developed by Mantic Games.

Initially released as a range of miniatures without a set of companion rules, Mantic Games announced in July 2010 that a set of rules was under development.

The game was first announced in early 2010 as a closed beta. The 2010 edition of the game was released in September 2010 with the Mhorgoth's Revenge starter set. The rules were finally published as a download from Mantic's website in December 2010. An updated version the rulebook is due for release in the summer of 2015 and features a cleaned up set of rules, new units in every army and extensive public playtesting to make the armies and game as balanced as possible.

It draws many inspirations from Lord of the Rings and Warhammer Fantasy miniatures. Albeit made with cheaper materials.


This tabletop-game provides examples of:

  • Amazon Brigade: The Human Basilean Sisterhood, who are either on foot are ride as panther lancers.
  • Animate Dead: How the Heal spell is flavoured when applied to the Undead; no Revive Kills Zombie here!
  • Battle Thralls: The Abyssal Dwarfs have slave orcs and demonic gargoyles to bolster their numbers.
  • BFG: The so-called Goblin War Trombone is a blunderbuss so large it takes up an entire 50mm base.
    • The underwater-themed Trident Realms can bring a giant harpoon launcher.
  • Character Alignment: In-Universe. Armies are divided into Good, Neutral and Evil, and cannot take allies from armies of the opposite alignment — so no Goblin/Elf combinations, for instance. Neutral armies, however, can ally with anyone they want.
  • Determinator: Anything with Headstrong (granting 50% chance to resist wavering) or Stoic Resolve (restore one point of damage upon rolling Steady on a Nerve check). Dwarfs and Basileans are particularly notable for this, since each of them has one of the above rules across the board. Occasionally you also get something with a -/X Nerve value, meaning total immunity to wavering, but most of those are Undead.
  • Endless Winter: A demon named Winter once covered the world in ice for 100 years, till all the surviving races rallied together and drove her out. However the after effects of all the excess ice melting created a massive flood which broke the largest human faction causing them to be broken to several smaller factions.
  • Elemental Embodiment: The Forces of Nature can call on the four classical elements to rise in their service, the Dwarfs can use Earth Elementals and the Brotherhood can use Water Elementals.
  • Evil Counterpart: Abyssal Dwarves for regular Dwarves, Twilight Kin for Elves.
  • Expy: More than a few of the factions are expies of Warhammer armies — their Orcs, in particular, are virtually identical, right down to the boar-riding. The recently announced "Uncharted Empires" expansion will have a few more lists for Warhammer-alike armies, especially with the cancellation of WHFB - a playtest list for the very Skaven-like "Ratkin" was released to accompany the announcement, along with beta tests for the Not!Lizardmen, Not!Chaos, Not!Bretonnia, Not!Khemri and Not!Beastmen.
    • Less so in the final release of the expansion, where many of the Warhammer-inspired armies are fleshed out to be more unique. The Beastmen-equivalents, the Herd, are revealed to be much nicer than their counterparts for a start. Apart from an altered origin story this trope is still very much in play for the Ratkin, though.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted, much like its chief inspiration, Warhammer. Arquebuses are common among several factions, and while they're not very mobile since they have Reload, their Piercing 2 means that even the heaviest unit has reason to fear them.
  • Fragile Speedster: Elves, as you would expect, have high Speed values but only cavalry, heroes and Forest Shamblers/Tree Herders have a Defence score better than 4+.
  • Full-Boar Action: Gores which are big enough to carry Orcs into battle. Ogres also use them to pull chariots.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Forces of Nature, the water-dwelling Naiads and the Herd all have this as their MO, although the Naiads seem angriest about it.
  • Gaiden Game: Dungeon Saga
  • Glass Cannon: Most ranged units only have a Defence of 3+-4+, but can dish out damage from a safe distance, especially units like human Arquebusiers with Piercing 2. More than a few armies also have units with Crushing Strength, Thunderous Charge or a huge number of attacks, but low-moderate Defence values and only average Nerve - human Pole-Arms Blocks, for example, or Abyssal Succubi. Then there are Troop units, which consist of either five cavalry or ten infantry; usually they get more attacks per point than the big Regiment (twice as large), Horde (four times) or Legion (six times) units, but at the same time they have really, really bad Nerve values.
  • Golem: Obsidian Golems are used by the Abyssal Dwarfs as shock troopers and siege units.
  • Horny Devils: Succubi are an Abyssal unit. They're fragile, but Ensnare and Stealthy make them hard to hit.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The Dwarfs have badger cavalry, the Basilean Sisterhood ride on panthers, Orcs favour boars, and Goblins wouldn't be seen dead without their Fleabags.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: Basilea and the Brotherhood rely heavily on these.
  • The Legions of Hell: The Forces of the Abyss army.
    • The Night-stalkers are a mix of nightmares brought to life, Eldritch Abominations from outside reality and undead spirits twisted by magic.
  • Mighty Glacier: Forest Shamblers, Elementals and multiple Undead units have Shambling, which prevents moving At the Double, but the first two and some of the third have Crushing Strength. The speed limitations can be worked around with the Surge spell.
  • The Paladin: Basilea's Hat is this, and a High Paladin is one of their hero units. The Brotherhood get into this too.
  • The Phoenix: The main Basilean monster unit, Phoenixes have both a fire-breath attack and the ability to heal your troops.
  • Our Monsters Are Different:
    • Our Angels Are Different: The Basilea humans can field Elohi, angelic beings armed with flaming swords.
    • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: They come in two flavors: the traditional Dwarfs with cannons and badger cavalry, and Abyssal Dwarfs who are an army of Mad Scientists who bolster their numbers with thralled monsters and mutated Dwarf/Abyssal Halfbreeds.
    • Our Elves Are Better: The typical Tolkienesque Elves, and their dark counter parts the Twilight Kin. Standard Elves get the Elite rule, giving them rerolls to hit; Twilight Kin get Vicious instead, which provides a similar re-roll to damage.
    • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins are related to the Orcs and on the whole are evil like them, but actually have the capacity to be neutral or even good (although such individuals are extremely rare and likely to be set upon by their evil brethren) whereas the Orcs are Always Chaotic Evil. They are also rather cowardly. An offshoot called Red Goblins serve the Ogres of the setting and are less cowardly, mostly because they are more afraid of the consequences for disobeying orders than whatever the enemy might be able to do them.
    • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Pretty atypical by most standards, actually. The Ogres are athletic and muscular-looking in contrast to the half-naked sumo wrestlers they are portrayed as in other media. They also make war as a way of life more so than for fun, being an entire race of professional mercenaries who will work for anyone who pays them.
    • Our Orcs Are Different: Warhammer-type Orcs, but without the silly accents.
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: Undead have Werewolves, the Herd favour the very similar Lycans. They're pretty quick.
  • Stone Wall: As you would expect, Dwarfs tend to have low Speed stats but good Defence — even their most fragile combat units tend to have a Defence equal to a main-line elven unit, and 5+ and 6+ Defence scores are not uncommon. They also get Headstrong across the board, making them resistant to wavering. They're not as slow as Warhammer Dwarfs, at least, since they have a higher base Move value and access to cavalry.
  • Underground City: The Twilight Kin dwell in an underground city beneath the great desert.
  • When Trees Attack: Elves and Forces of Nature have access to several tree-based units.
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