A guide to constructing a Kings of War army list – part one

Written by Nick Williams

One of the articles that players in the community requested was an article not just on how to write an army list, but an example of the thought process that goes into an example army list itself.

So, with my Abyssal army having nearly a solid year of gaming under its belt and suffering from multiple plane and train journeys (including two trans-Atlantic flights and two other flights where it had to be checked into the cargo hold…), it’s time for it to retire and for me to put together another army for this year.

I’m leaning strongly towards Orcs. Specifically reviving a theme that I’ve used a few times – all cavalry. I really like the Orc Gore Riders. I’ve ran a similar list in the past that concentrated on Gore Riders and did quite well with it. I’d like to try that again, so let’s talk through planning a 2,000 point army.

One of my favourite opponents, Dan King, runs his Herd army around two Stampede units, backed up by numerous faster units and some cheaper throwaway units. It’s a really effective build that I think can be replicated with Orcs with an often underused (and greatly underappreciated) unit – Fightwagons.

Fightwagon Battlegroup

So the core of my army will be two great Hordes of Fightwagons. They have a very large footprint so are susceptible to flank charges and being Hindered when charging, however they are still extremely deadly when hindered. The two of them combo charging will wipe out nearly any enemy unit in the game in a single hit, even if they’re both Hindered.

They’re a good choice for Artefacts, particularly ones rules like Pathfinder, +1 Crushing Strength, Elite or Vicious, however they’re *good enough* already so any Artefacts will be left until last.

For their points cost, Fightwagons have relatively low Nerve of 14/16. With De5 that’s still a relatively tough prospect, but not the most resilient Nerve there is. The Orcs luckily have an excellent unit called the War Drum that grants +2 Nerve to all friendly non-allied units within 6”. I think this group needs that! While the War Drum is only Spd5, compared to the Fightwagon’s Spd7, my experience tells me that it’ll be able to keep up, especially when moving At The Double and with a 6” bubble around it.

Inspiring is another key requirement for this group, so a Flagger on a Gore is another must-have for this group. When I get to Artefacts, a Flagger is also another useful model to stick one on.

So this is what the group looks like:

  • 2 x Fightwagons 520
  • 1 x Mounted Flagger 65
  • 1 x War Drum 80
  • Total 665

I’d ideally like to squeeze in a Godspeaker here, since Bane-Chant would be extremely useful for boosting some combats and the GS benefits from the two Hordes.


Nick Williams is a member of the Kings of War Rules Committee and the author of the Clash of Kings Organised Play Supplement, which is available to pre-order from the Mantic website.

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