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For the dwarfs, I highly recommend getting some Brock - quite possibly the single most effective unit in our shared dwarf armies.


Barring that - a stone priest with either a unit of Earth Elementals or a Greater Earth Elemental can be very effective - do not disregard the ability of Surge to create a very fast shambling unit....


Either is good for grabbing or contesting an objective.


The Auld Grump

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We tried the tournament rules for the first time - Megan proxying her Hers Abyssal army, while I played my His Abyssal army (which will be finished when we get the Demon Rulers from Bones IV).


Hers was a fast moving hammer army - succubi, flamebearers, gargoyles, and cavalry, with an efreet and Abyssal Temptress for heroes.


His was more of an anvil army - Lower Abyssals, flamebearers, Molochs, and Chroneas, with efreets and an Abyssal Lord for heroes.


She... squished me, in round four. :zombie:


For the first time, a spell other than Surge or Bane Chant changed the course of the battle - starting with Soul Drain doing some minor damage, but healing one of her succubi units, followed by Blood Boil absolutely destroying the Horde of Lower Abyssals that made up the heart of my army - it had taken a lot of damage from her succubi units - but taking about half that damage again did it in.


Blood Boil is not just a support spell, it can be a game changer.


Then we tried out the summer campaign pack - the campaign that will be changing the map.


Some entertaining ways of working around there being a lot more Evil armies in the game than Good armies - Neutral armies will be counted as Good for victories, as will the Varangur - who are utterly, utterly Evil - but hate the Forces of the Abyss. (This is actually in their fluff, not just added for the campaign).


Undead count as Evil - but then there is Jarvis... whose shambling undead legions are running around doing good deeds and rescuing kittens out of trees. Sadly, he cannot ally with any other Good army, because, well... they don't exactly trust the undead, eh?


Sadly, the heroes and units added for the summer campaign are only for the summer campaign - I would love to have Jarvis as my permanent leader in my undead horde.


That game I won handily - I do better with a hammer than an anvil, and with enough Surge, undead can be a very effective hammer.


The Auld Grump

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Best games in a while.


The changes made magic more expensive, but a lot more worth taking.


I was NOT expecting to do fifteen points of damage with that spell! Six or seven was all I was hoping for, instead... SPLAT! And his big unit exploded into a red mist! Leaving a great big hole in the middle of his army, allowing me to flank two more units!


Soul Drain was also good, it meant that my succubus unit hung around until the battle was over. I will take Healing plus Dealing Damage over just healing, every time!


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Higher cost, shorter range, but nicely powerful.


Yeah - I think they are worthwhile options.


But, dang! If I had realized how nasty those spells were, I would have used the Temptress as a missile sponge.... I... kinda ignored her until she was close enough to totally obliterate that unit....


Even with the new spells, magic in KoW is pretty much a support role - if the Lower Abyssals hadn't already taken so much damage, the Blood Boil would have been nowhere near as effective... (The number of dice rolled to hit are equal to the amount of damage the target has already taken, with Piercing (1)... ow....)


The Auld Grump

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Using the Clash of Kings pack - We are starting a New Army Escalation League campaign in our group next month. Twelve players.


People are being encouraged to start a brand new army - building and painting it as the campaign progresses. It doesn't have to be bought for the League - if folks already have an army that has not been assembled and painted, gathering dust in the Drawer of Shame, this is a chance to blow the dust off, and lose some of that shame.


Starting with a whopping 500 points and going up 250 points each month - going from 500 to 2000.


Each player will be in two games each week - one normal, the other doubles.


The scenarios are being written on index cards - and removed as each one happens, so everybody is going to eventually play in every scenario.


Victory points as follows -

Show Up To Play - Win, Lose, or Draw, everybody gets at least one VP, just for showing up.

Win 3 VP.

Draw 2 VP

Lose 1 VP


The following only happen once a month -

Full Army Assembled 1 VP

Full Army Painted 1 VP

Full Army Based 1 VP


And, once only -

Starting a new army, instead of playing an old one 5 VP.


Everybody is chipping in $20 - giving us a $240 pot for prizes

$120 - 1st. Enough to pay for the army, depending on how much you spent on it.

$80 2nd.

$40 - 3rd.


Draws are divided among the winners - I honestly expect the $120 to be split.


I am blowing the dust off of the Orc army I bought for Megan, way back when. (Orcs never clicked with her - she went for Goblins instead.)


Megan has not yet decided - could be Nature, could be Herd, could be Elves.


The Auld Grump - lots of overlap between the three....

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Wow, 500 points does not give you a lot to play with - I have one unit of Axes, one unit of Moraxes, and a leader on a pig....


Megan has a unit of Centaurs with lances, a unit of Centaurs with bows, and a unit of elementals - and no leader.


Pretty sure her army is gonna stomp mine, unless I can get a charge in early - which is not that likely - she has more mobility. (Forces of Nature gets Pathfinder as their army special - and she has cavalry.)


The Auld Grump

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First results - The Auld Grump vs. Pagan Megan -

Win - The Auld Grump.


A slaughter, but one that came down to only a few die rolls. She got the charges in, but did not manage to either Waver or Route either unit - and the resulting Counter Charge from the Moreax and Axe combined with the charge from the Orc Krudger turned it around the next turn.


If either unit had been Wavered or Routed then it would have been very different, but the Dice Gods were not with her.


Jon vs. Julie - Jon had a character and two units of cavalry. Julie had one unit of Scarecrows and another of Doppelgangers, no heroes.


Win - Julie. Julie's Night Stalkers were bolstered by the Inspire from Jon's Brotherhood. (Night Stalkers have a weird morale rule - rather than having inspirational units of their own, they use that of their opponent.)


Doubles - The Auld Grump and Julie vs. Jon and Megan

Win - The Auld Grump and Julie

Close, but my Orcs saw of both of Jon's Brotherhood cavalry, claiming two objectives out of five, while Julie routed one of Megan's centaurs claiming a third and contested the remaining objectives for a 3-0 win. 


Jon was Hindered by a woods when he charged with his knights on my Orcs, so did nowhere near enough damage, while his other unit of knights just did not quite make it, and got charged by the Axe and the Krudger. (Ironically, the unit that did not have range was the one that had Pathfinder....)


Julie vs. Megan was more interesting - since Megan didn't have any Inspire for Julie to steal.


It came down to where the units ended up - if Megan had just a bit of Surge, then her Elementals could have been a lot more useful, instead they loitered at the rear, and maneuvering around a woods meant that when the battle ended, they still had not reached combat. (Megan forgot that her entire army has Pathfinder - and could have just stomped through the woods. If she had been charging me, then I probably would have reminded her - but Julie is a bit more of a stickler.)


Next game, Megan is adding a Druid and some chaff to her army.


Jon is adding some Villaines,


Julie is adding some horror - she needs something hard hitting, as it was, her Doppelgangers vs. Megan's meant that neither had a lot of killing power - the charge was the only real killing round..


And I am adding some cavalry - either chariots or straight up cavalry.


The Auld Grump - four others need to finish this round before we go on to the next - so it may be a week or so.


*EDIT* Jon's Brotherhood are Good - so cannot ally with Julie's Night Stalkers, who are Evil. Megan's army is Neutral, while mine is Evil - I am painting the orcs with a grey skin tone, so that I can use the figures for Pathfinder Hobgoblins.

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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Duncan's Empire of Dust got a very close draw with Eric's Goblins.


Amber's Varangur were squashed by her husband's Ratkin.


And.. the Empire of Dust/Goblins squashed the Varangur/Ratkin alliance in the doubles game.




And the Edge of the Abyss official campaign has wrapped - this is what the map looked like as of this afternoon -


The elves have lost their homeland to the undead, while the Abyss... seems to have lost the Abyss.... (And, because Historic armies count as Kingdoms of Men, one of the armies that won was... the Romans. SPQR! )


*EDIT* Whoops - looks like the Victories markers were a separate layer... But, yeah, the Twilight Glades and the Abyss were the biggest changes.


The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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Just had a battle go sideways - Burn them Down - Goblins with torches (Ian) against Forces of Nature (Sam) - the mission was for the Goblins to light the sacred grove on fire.... The Goblins needed to Halt for a turn next to an objective with a unit that has torches to light the objective on fire.


By the end of turn 5 the whole woods was ablaze - Ian's gobbos just ran from objective to objective, taking a turn to light 'em up, then double timing it to the next objective - and Sam had neither the speed nor the ranged ability to deal with him. (And a really bad deployment - she was overwhelmingly strong in one area of the board - and he hit that section last.)


They are getting ready for a rematch - same scenario.


This was Sam's first game, so we are allowing her a Mulligan. She is reworking her army a bit, and will deploy in an entirely different way.


The Auld Grump - lots of Bones on the table, but no undead... ::P:

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Sam's deployment zone was a triangle, from the middle of the table to both corners on her side of the table, with three groves in a triangle within that zone.

The first time, she clumped her whole army at the point of the triangle - and Ian just avoided her, deploying on both side, except for a mounted archer unit in the center. The rest of the army concentrated on setting the woods on fire - using his archers to engage her clump at range, and drawing her out from cover, and only heading toward the central grove after the other two were burning - coming behind her biggest unit while the mounted archers engaged her front.

The second game, she deployed in the center of her triangle, and took advantage of her army's Pathfinder ability to engage his flanking forces, while sending her own mounted archers to distract his wolf riders.

Two out of three of the groves were never set on fire - and she sent her water elemental in to put out the fire in the only one that was burning. (Surge - it does nice things with elementals.)

The next game was Dain against his brother, while I played against Sam - Meeting Engagement.

Meeting Engagements suck, and I wrote the scenario to bring that home - neither army is ready for the battle, both are strung out along the road, and they get one turn of double movement to deploy from the road. Vanguard is a huge advantage, and Pathfinder is nothing to sneeze at!

Gettysburg was a Meeting Engagement.

For the first time, I used Jarvis from the Edge of the Abyss campaign - Goody-Two-Shoes Undead.

The framing story was that Sam's forces did not realize that my army was on the same side as hers - all she knew was that columns of undead were coming through her woods as she was marching the other way - obviously I was the enemy!  (Whoops!)

She had Pathfinder, but I had lots of Surge - and a unit of wraiths, which were flyers that could be Surged. (Were being the unfortunately accurate term - they got bad rolls, she got good rolls, and they went away in the first turn after the deployment turn.)

The resulting battle was a mess - I won, but it was close - I killed her Druid and her Tree Warden, and on my side both Jarvis and the Necromancer survived - but my big Revenant unit was smashed into bone meal.

If she had taken out either character, or one more biggish unit, then the battle would have been hers. Heck - ten more points and it would have been a draw.

Ian's goblins vs. Dain's Brotherhood was entertaining - a Raid, similar to the battle between Sam and Ian earlier -  this time it was two barns instead of three groves, and a rectangular deployment zone for the Brotherhood. Ian wanted to steal the harvest, or burn it if he couldn't steal it. (Units carrying the harvest can not double time - but get double the victory points of just burning it.)

It ended in a draw -Dain protected one of the barns, but the gobbos managed to empty the other and carry the goods off the field.

But Dain's general managed to kill the goblin leader, which brought things to a tie.

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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So what's the deal with Kings of War Vanguard? I've not really kept up with the news at all, since I've really only gotten to play regular Kings of War once in like 3 years due to stupid schedules. But I keep seeing stuff popping up from Mantic on Facebook, including what looks like concept art for Night Stalker figures, but it's all got the KoW Vanguard label on it.


Is it a new supplement or a new game? Are they just getting ready for a new wave of minis for armies that don't have Mantic-produced stuff yet?

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26 minutes ago, Unruly said:

So what's the deal with Kings of War Vanguard? I've not really kept up with the news at all, since I've really only gotten to play regular Kings of War once in like 3 years due to stupid schedules. But I keep seeing stuff popping up from Mantic on Facebook, including what looks like concept art for Night Stalker figures, but it's all got the KoW Vanguard label on it.


Is it a new supplement or a new game? Are they just getting ready for a new wave of minis for armies that don't have Mantic-produced stuff yet?

New game - currently available as a free download for the Alpha playtest - https://www.dropbox.com/s/ewhudffg0qrtvpg/VANGUARD - ALPHA RULES OCT 27.zip?dl=0


Skirmish scaled games - with units chosen from a larger company, rather than the players having all their eggs in one basket. Played on a 3x3 table.


The campaign rules sound fascinating - in a good way.


Kings of War: Vanguard will be launching on Kickstarter on November 1st. Throughout this week, we’ll be exploring the game in more detail and giving you a taste of the rules. In today’s blog, we’re talking about the campaign mode!

One of the exciting aspects of Vanguard is the story-telling and legend-building possibilities of the campaign system.

Campaigns allow players to link individual games of Vanguard into a larger narrative that chronicles the adventures of their Warband members’ lives and trials. Campaigns can take a bit work, but a fun and exciting campaign can be very rewarding and will likely feature in your gaming group’s conversations for years to come!

Players who have Kings of War armies, can also combine both games into a bigger, more involved narrative story arc where the adventures of the Warbands skirmishing over strategic ground, ambushing enemy raiding parties or destroying enemy supplies can influence the larger battles – for better or for worse.

Mantica is a dangerous place, but it is also filled with great opportunities. The land may be razed by the passing of great armies, but often critical infrastructure, supplies and valuable items remain intact and are left behind. Warbands will have their own missions to perform, whether it is containing a threat, releasing a prisoner, assassinating an enemy general, or stealing the enemy’s plans. As your Warband becomes more and more successful in achieving their goals, they will encounter many useful abandoned items, artefacts and equipment to retrieve and make use of.

Warriors in a Warband become adept at salvaging what they find and are sometimes boosted by the occasional lucky find of a rare or magical item. While resupply and intelligence from the army’s general is possible, it cannot always be relied upon as supply lines are cut and communications are disrupted. Warbands learn to operate on their own, often far ahead or far afield from their army’s base camp. Such a life can be gruelling and cruel, but the survivors become grizzled veterans and opponents to be feared.

Keeping you company

In a campaign, you can hand-pick your chosen warriors to form your warband for a given scenario from a larger Vanguard Company. Your Company represents the full roster of heroes, specialists, hardened vets and cannon-fodder that are sent out into the cold, morning mists to cause mischief and scout the land ahead. As warriors gain experience and skills, or pick up injuries along the way, so your company, and the models you have available, will grow and evolve with each game you play. Every company has a Supply Caravan to store all its equipment and as Vanguard Companies are given a high degree of autonomy by their army generals, they also have their own stash of accumulated wealth in the form of Campaign Gold.

Taking part in a campaign

A campaign starts with the building of an initial Company. The selection rules for this are very similar to those for building a warband for a game, but you get more to spend to create a bigger pool of models and equipment to draw from.

The next step is to assign a Leader and then any other Retinue roles – more on those in a bit.

When playing a campaign, because you have a mix of models, are not always going to use them all at once or even have them available, and each will gain experience and skills at different times, it’s best to keep track of it all on a Campaign Roster. While you can still use the warband stat and equipment cards for reference during play, most record keeping and reference in campaign play will be done on your roster so it will become an invaluable tool and record of your achievements (or defeats!)

When models are selected from the Company to form a Warband for a game, they have the chance to gain experience. They can do this for taking part in missions, achieving certain objectives, or perhaps killing enemy models. As models gain experience, they will reach new Ranks. At each rank, they get the option of an enhancement. Depending their type, this could be a new skill, a stat increase, learning a new spell etc.

It’s worth noting that GRUNTS never gain experience. They are a cheap source of cannon-fodder to make up numbers and there are plenty more in the army where they came from! GRUNTS are also replaced for free if they die. GRUNTS are cheap and cheerful (well, maybe not that happy…)

WARRIORS can only achieve Rank 2. They have some potential for “levelling up” but can’t go too far before reaching their natural peak.

All other model types can achieve Rank 5 and will be much more powerful than when they started out! SPELLCASTERS get the opportunity to learn spells from the basic Vanguard spellbook or from their faction’s own arcane spellbook. Each Rank is increasingly harder to achieve though so a model will have to have played lot of games successfully to fulfil their destiny.


As well as the Leader roll, there are a number of other special roles that you can assign to members of the Company. These include Quartermaster, Master Scout, Healer and Arcanist. Having a role assigned can open up new in-game options for the model, new ways to gain experience, bonuses at Rank levels and even influence some rolls or events in the sequence that takes place between games. Promotion and demotion between models and roles is possible but can come at a cost. Having a Retinue can be very useful – if you can keep them alive!

Between games

Between games of Vanguard, you will see how your warriors performed, whether they recover or succumb to any injuries, what wealth they find (or steal), and see what they find as they explore the world around them.

The between-game sequence involves the following steps:

Return Equipment to the Supplies Caravan
Resolve Casualties
Retinue Assessment
Resolve Experience
Calculate Campaign Gold
Forage & Explore
Recruitment and Resupply
Check roster is fully updated
One of the most fun phases is often the Forage & Explore phase. This gives you the opportunity to roll on a table to see just what it is your warband has discovered. It could be a deserted village, a hidden temple that might hold a magical artefact, the body of a dead enemy with vital intelligence or a stash of gold a farmer buried in a field! There will be a detailed exploration table that will use a D88 result to give a large and varied set of possible events, encounters and locations. Where applicable, suggestions for playing out encounters using things like Kings of War or Dungeon Saga will be given.

Are you excited about the campaign mode? Make sure you tune in tomorrow when we’ll be releasing the Vanguard alpha rules *swoons*


Huh, need to get running - otherwise I am going to be late to my own murder.


The Auld Grump

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So basically Mantic's version of Mordheim or Necromunda or whatever. I never played either, but from what others have told me about them they seem to be a similar concept.

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2 hours ago, Unruly said:

So basically Mantic's version of Mordheim or Necromunda or whatever. I never played either, but from what others have told me about them they seem to be a similar concept.

Yes, that.

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