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Kings of War is a fantasy mass battle wargame published by Mantic Games. Mantic are located in Nottingham, close to a certain other wargaming company, and employ many of that company’s former staff.
In Kings of War, Mantic have produced a tool for the everyman gamer; anyone interested in a fantasy wargame and pick up Kings of War and find something they can respond to.
The rules are straightforward but not simplistic. Presented in a no-nonsense fashion, Alessio Cavatore’s rules quickly show you how to get your army doing the essentials of moving, shooting and fighting for control of the battlefield. ‘Easy to learn, difficult to master’ is an apt phrase here. The rules show you what you can do; it’s up to you to decide how to do it best.
Armies are handled in a similar fashion. The army lists themselves are straightforward, but closer inspection reveals a depth of options within the straightforward choice you are given.
Veteran gamers will find entries that cover almost very miniatures in their collection. Armies can ally with each other. Each list has as alignment – good, neutral, or evil. Good armies can take allies from other good armies or from neutral armies. Evil armies can take allies from other evil armies or from neutral armies. Neutral armies may take allies from either good or evil lists.
All units in armies have a points cost, and many units can be taken at different sizes, depending on your collection. For example a spear phalanx in the Kingdoms of Men list can be taken at Troop (10 models) Regiment (20 models) or Horde (40 models) level.
Army composition is similarly straightforward – and that’s the third time I have used that word in this review! For every Regiment you may take 2 troops and either a hero, monster, or war machine. For every Horde you may take 4 troops and a hero, monster, and war machine.
In this way the player is encouraged to take larger, army-sized block of troops, but you can still take plenty of nimble troops and mighty heroes to foil your opponent’s plans.
This second edition of Kings of War puts down a bold marker in the rather thin fantasy wargaming space. If you want armies versus armies rather than a clash of scouts, this is the game for you.