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Tabletop Game / Kings of War

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The fantasy mass battle game

Kings of War is a fantasy Wargame 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 The Lord of the Rings and Warhammer Fantasy miniatures, though more recent additions are completely unique.

This tabletop-game provides examples of:

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Mantic clearly and shamelessly drew direct inspiration for their armies — especially those released in Uncharted Empires — from Games Workshop's now-defunct Warhammer game, but lore-wise applied Divergent Character Evolution that makes their armies similar enough that their models are compatible with Warhammer and other fantasy wargames, but different enough to still be their own thing. Notably, the analogues for Daemons of Chaos and Warriors of Chaos (the Forces of the Abyss and the Varangur respectively) serve different masters entirely and are at war with each other, the Dwarves have an expanding empire instead of a constantly regressive one (not to mention actual cavalry units) and the Ogres have traded in their Fat Bastard appearances for a much slimmer and more obviously muscular, but no less intimidating, physique, and dropped their obsession with eating to focus on mercenary work.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Human Basilean Sisterhood, who are either on foot or riding 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.
    • The Varangur have a unit literally called thralls.
  • BFG:
    • The Goblin War Trombone is a blunderbuss so large that it takes up an entire 50mm base.
    • The underwater-themed Trident Realms can bring a giant harpoon launcher.
    • The ogres carry BFG as standard missile weaponry.
  • Character Alignment: In-Universe. Armies are divided into Good (Elves, Dwarfs, Basileans, Brotherhood and Salamanders), Neutral (Forces of Nature, Kingdoms of Man, League of Rhordia, the Herd and Ogres) and Evil (Forces of the Abyss, Orcs, Goblins, Undead, Empire of Dust, Nightstalkers and Varangur), 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. In universe this is humans hat, having survived most of the catastrophic events of Mantica and still building one mighty empire after another.
  • 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 aftereffects of all the excess ice melting created a massive flood that caused the largest human faction 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, the Brotherhood and trident realms can use Water Elementals and the fire-obsessed salamanders can summon fire elementals, including a character fire elemental.
  • Evil Counterpart: Abyssal Dwarves for regular Dwarves, and Twilight Kin for Elves. To an extent Orcs to Herd (both share the same origin, but Herd are more neutral and less marauding).
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted, much like its chief inspiration, Warhammer. Arquebuses are common among several factions, and while they are more unwieldy on the move due to the Pot Shot rule, their Piercing 2 means that even the heaviest unit has reason to fear them.
  • Fish People: The Trident realm of Neritica a whole faction of them, including octopus hobbits, sea lizard people (placoderms) and crab people
  • 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+. Also to a lesser extent werewolfs, specially the Herd variant, while their defensive stats aren't terrible they are quite brittle for their cost.
  • 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, a HeroQuest-style dungeon crawler adventure game set in Pannithor; similar to how HeroQuest was once set in Warhammer's world.
    • Armada, a naval combat game that's essentially the Man O' War to the main game's Warhammer.
  • The Generic Guy: The Kingdoms of Men army list is explicitly designed to fit a wide variety of historical or historically-inspired fantasy human armies with everything from Ancient Greek hoplites to high medieval knights to Sengoku period samurai being possible.
  • 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. The Empire of Dust has guardians, who are golems of the Egyptian variety.
  • Horse of a Different Color: The Dwarfs have badger cavalry, the Basilean Sisterhood ride on panthers, Orcs favour boars, Goblins wouldn't be seen dead without their Fleabags, and Naiads ride wyrms.
  • Knight In Shining Armour:
    • Basilea prominently features their paladins both on foot and mounted, knights in heavy armor with greatswords and lances.
    • The Brotherhood was primarily a nation of knights who protected the world from the Abyss; featuring multiple knightly orders such as the monster-slaying Abyssal Hunt and the flying Forsaken. While the Brothermark might field well-trained peasant levies or their Basillean allies and the Green Lady may ally with forces of nature, both are capable of fielding large forces of plate-clad knights to trample the forces of evil.
  • The Legions of Hell:
    • The Forces of the Abyss, which in-game are one of the most balanced and well-regimented armies a man can field, hence acting as a legion as well as being a legion from hell.
    • The Night-stalkers are a mix of nightmares brought to life, Eldritch Abominations from outside reality and undead spirits twisted by magic.
  • Mechanical Monster: The Dwarfs Steel Behemoth which is a giant robot shaped like a giant ram with a howdah armed with a flame thrower.The Kingdoms of Men and League of Rhordia have The "Beast of War" that falls in a similar category. Abyssal dwarfs have greatest abyssal golems too.
  • Mighty Glacier: Forest Shamblers, Elementals (specially the earth (defense 6) and water (defense 5 and regeneration) variants) 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. Soon the game will also have Ice elemental that will literally be mighty glaciers.
  • The Paladin: Basilea's Hat is this, and a High Paladin is one of their hero units. The Brotherhood get into this too. Some Varangur characters also fall un this category since Varangur's greatest enemy is the Abyss, hence many Varangur save other people from abyssals even if unintentionatelly.
  • The Phoenix: The main Basilean monster unit, Phoenixes have both a fire-breath attack and the ability to heal your troops.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Basilean humans can field Elohi, angelic beings armed with flaming swords.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: They come in two flavors:
    • The traditional Dwarfs have cannons and badger cavalry, but also an expansionist and imperialistic agenda unlike the mostly reclusive and declining nature of traditional dwarfs. This is based on the fact that most of the human lands are above their halls, giving them claims to that land.
    • Abyssal Dwarfs are an army of Mad Scientists who bolster their numbers with thralled monsters and mutated Dwarf/Abyssal halfbreeds, and are created when a dwarf kills a fellow kinsmen.
  • Our Elves Are Different: 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: They're pretty atypical by most standards. 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. They live only fight and wage war on everything, literally created by the Wicked Ones for this purpose; a twisted, suffering parody of all other life on Pannithor
  • 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.
  • Succubi and Incubi: Succubi are an Abyssal unit. They're fragile, but Ensnare and Stealthy make them hard to hit. Their models are all very scantly clad.
  • Underground City: The Twilight Kin dwell in an underground city beneath the great desert. Dwarfs have a whole host of them, and claim most of the land above those cities as well.
  • When Trees Attack: Elves and Forces of Nature have access to several tree-based units.