The future of Kings of War in 2017 and beyond…

Onwards to war – victory awaits the brave…

Recently we announced Kings of War Historical – and the response has been amazing. While it has somewhat of a “Hollywood” approach to historical accuracy, we think you’ll get some terrific games played using the rules. I expect to see battle reports of both recreations of epic battles of old – and some of those scraps we have always asked over beer like “who’d win in a battle between the Romans and an army of the undead”? The book is primarily a way to fight historical clashes, but we felt it would be missing something without a little ‘mythical’ fun in there.

Stepping back, it is fantastic to see Kings of War continuing to grow around the world; it seems to have taken deep hold in the USA and Australian tournament scenes for mass battle fantasy gaming, and continues to grow rapidly in the UK and Europe too. There are more new people trying it out and then joining the ranks of KoW than ever before, and new releases – both new armies and gap filling in the range – are happening all the time.

Earth Elementals

However, every now and then we need something epic that galvanises us all into action – a reason to start that new army, finish off the units we have had on our painting table for months or pick up those regiments that will finally help us turn the tide in battle! That spur into action might be a tournament, a global campaign or just a new release for the army we have.

Over the past few weeks I have been on Facebook, looking at forums and talking to players at shows about what Kings of War gamers want (and don’t want) to see in the years ahead. What I’m hearing above all else is that there is a demand for more of…well… more of everything really! But pressing a little deeper there were a few stand out messages: at the top of the print list are organised global campaigns, rules for sieges, skirmish rules, lots more fluff and perhaps some multiplayer battle options.

Miniatures-wise there was demand to fill out the gaps in existing armies, get some new armies underway (but again just a few cool ones!) and a few new units – perhaps tied in with a “General’s Compendium” type book.

Naiad Wyrmriders

So, that’s what we are going to do!

Next month we have some great unit fillers (the Naiad Wyrmriders are seriously tempting me to a nature army… and judging by the reaction on Facebook, it looks like a lot of you agree) and then in 2017 we’ll be releasing a full Trident Realms army! And who knows… the Salamanders might be leaving their islands later in the year too.

We will also get a Tournament pack out – working with all the major tournament organisers from around the world to make sure it’s perfect. It’ll have a few ‘special’ rules for the year (entirely optional) plus the latest FAQs and some words of wisdom from the KoW Rules Committee.

However, the most exciting news is that from January you’re going to have to start building your armies because in summer we will be running a massive global campaign, with some help from our friends over at Beasts of War. The campaign will coincide with the relaunch of the Basilean army (with all new plastic Men at Arms… you kept asking, so we’ve made sure we listened) as they tackle a huge invasion from the Abyss. We will keep track of the results and the games you play will shape the world of Mantica. Not cataclysmic effects though – I mean, we won’t end the world or anything 😉 – but enough that the KoW source book that comes out at the end of 2017 will reflect the results of the campaign and the map will be updated depending on the outcome.


But the best thing is that all of this will be done direct to retail. Being honest, if we want to release three big plastic armies simultaneously we will still have to look for some upfront support, but that’s not the case with this plan. Everything I have mentioned above (just like Historical and Uncharted Empires) will be available first through our fantastic retail partners, and from us at shows and online. That has been made possible by the fantastic support and growing community behind KoW.

Which makes the true heroes of this battle – you!




  1. Very exciting! Very much looking forward to more of the Trident Realms and Salamanders–and a skirmish game would be AWESOME!

  2. Looking forward to seeing it all unfold!! More Kings of War, Hurray!

  3. Can I play 9th age with these minis?

  4. I like magic. KoW is still in its infancy regarding the fantasy aspect.
    A 4+ shooting attack isn’t enough for me.
    I’ll keep my eye on KoW though, just want more fantasy 🙂

    • Au contraire, KoW is perfectly mature for a second edition game. Works like a clockwork. If you want magic nonsense, incoherent rules and despise of background, then 9th age is your game.

    • Yep. I’d like a bit more flavor here too. Some more interesting spells that do somewhat more interesting things.

      Doesn’t have to be much, but it would be appreciated

    • Preferring WHFB or T9A (or even AoS) as a ruleset over KoW is perfectly fine. I prefer KoW over the above, but there’s no reason you can’t prefer any one or really enjoy many of them.
      Certainly no need for childish slurs towards T9A, which deserves much praise for what that community has achieved. We’re (mostly) not children here, after all.

    • There are spells outside of the two 4+ shooting attacks though.

      Surge in particular is potentially extremely powerful in the right circumstances.

      In all honesty, many of the damage inflicting spells in WHFB could just as well have been condensed into two or three 4+ damage spells without changing their effects much. Mechanically, a D6 magic missile is more or less the same thing regardless of whether it’s S4 and called “fireball” or S 1D6 called “Grazhaks deadly souldrain”. It’s just more flavorful (and fiddly) to have millions of spells doing similar (but not identical) stuff.

      If the spells in KoW is to be increased, I think the very best solution would be to give each list one extra spell each that only their mages can use. That way the number of spells are increased a lot, but it’s still only one or two (or more if you use allies) more spells to keep track of each battle. Making it manageable.

    • I never understood why KoW couldn’t have a supplement that enhances magic and hero kitting? It can be alternative rules that require opponents to agree. The great thing about KoW is the game’s ability to be enhanced. It’s streamlined, easy to modify and supplement.

      Gamers who suffered butt hurt from kitted heroes and magic in Warhammer can simply say “no” to a game using those alternative rules. I like my rules to come from Mantic too, instead of home-brew. Just me.

  5. A skirmish game would be EXCELLENT! Smaller scale battles, campaign rules, character/figure/hero advancement, a coherent narrative – this would all be great.


  6. Love it.

    Especially news of relaunched basileans. I’d love to see you get them done right this time.

  7. VERY much interested in KoW, and have the makings of a decent sized Elven, Abyssal Dwarf, KoM, and Vanagur armies, but have little if any luck finding any groups in my area that play. If there are any groups, they are keeping their existence a close guarded secret. I have the same problem finding any Hail Caesar groups in my area. I’m in Long Beach, CA (SoCal) BTW.

    • I’d check with hobby/comic shops in Anaheim. Some might have game or mini nights. Others will have a community board you can post things on. Like a physical one in the store. ;p I’d also ask on Reddit in the Kings of War and general miniatures gaming groups.

  8. I agree that magic needs some kind of flavoring added. The missing ingredient is the background fluff to be able to “un-generic” the magic and items. One world has died, lets make a new one born.

  9. Can we please get some fluff novels published? One thing that “the other company” got right was having Black Library to publish oodles of novels and short stories in the setting to stir up interest and bring in new players.

    • There’s a fair bit of logistical work (and cost) in getting that done, and Mantic is better off right now spending time and resources on the things Ronnie has outlined above. There are a couple of novels available digitally, and I think the Ironwatch crew have e-published a few bits of short fiction within their magazine.

    • Random digital novels that are not heralded does not a structured world make. There has to be a concerted centralized vision and lore. Concerted novels on an organized vision is key to winning over the “insert name here” hammer players and those of like mind newbies. It has to inspire players to identify with their chosen armies. Blood for the blood god is not equal to some northern barbarians that live in the north that havent been fleshed out yet see our kickstarter. I love mantic but I really think they are missing an opportunity here.

    • I completely agree with you. Having a unified lore system with fluff behind to inspire you to really get INTO an army is what made Black Library so great for “the other company” for so many years now. I love the Ironwatch fanzine but Mantic should try to publish more official novels. Heck why not just make them digital only and get some of the better Ironwatch fans to write it? Just make it “official” and those guys would do it for free.

  10. This all sounds very exciting, but it kind of feels like you’ve forgotten about the previously announced stuff – Army Builder app, Ophidians, Northern Alliance? If they’re off the table now that’s fine, but should be communicated (unless it already was communicated and I missed it!).
    Also if you’re pitching to a global audience you might want to avoid seasonal time frames. Summer 2017 is Jan-Feb for us in Australia 😉 (well, plus Dec 2016….)


  12. New MAA will finally convince me to take the plunge on basileans! looking forward to it!

  13. Will the new Basileans be retail or kickstarted? Because I will drop some serious money on Basileans done right.

  14. “I mean, we won’t end the world or anything 😉” This is why I love Ronnie and Mantic. LOL

    I’d like to see some hero building rules and more spells (maybe ancient scrolls that grant the caster a beefy spell?). But overall, I’m excited for what’s coming up.

    • Writing things like that just makes Mantic look less like a serious company and more like a bunch of disgruntled ex-GW employees out for revenge

    • Well lets be fair here. I’m sure that many who did come from GW were unhappy with the path it was taking in one area or another and formed or came to Mantic to do things in a way that they thought would be better. What’s so wrong with that? The fact is that they are very purposefully offering an alternative to games, gaming, and their overall philosophy compared to GW. The devil is of course in the details as to how they go about doing that and whether enough people be drawn to it. They definitely do not want to be a copy though and that’s probably a good thing.

  15. Salamander hype!

  16. Would you ever consider doing 10mm figs?

  17. Awesome stuff old bean.
    Time to put some thought into a fantasy army I think.

  18. More magic at KoW?

    Please not more magic than at the moment. Nobody needs Magic-Kniffel!
    Some magic is fine for the game, but too much will kill it.

    Nobody want’s to have Warhammer 2.0, if you can have KoW !

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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  2. The future of ‘Kings of War’ game | Mad Crate - Wargaming News
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