Kings of War: Vanguard – what are Power Dice?

Kings of War: Vanguard will be launching on Kickstarter soon. 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 introducing the Power Dice.

When it came to writing the rules for Vanguard we knew that we wanted to bring over some elements from the excellent Deadzone 2.0… without making it a complete clone. With that in mind, one of our favourite aspects from Deadzone is the concept of Command Dice.

Just in case you’ve never played Deadzone before, Command Dice are six-sided dice you roll before each round. Each face has a symbol on, which represents a special move you can pull off during the game, e.g. moving an extra character, adding an extra dice to combat rolls, etc. The reason we like the Command Dice is that they represent the chaos of battle. Sometimes orders simply don’t get through properly so no one is clear what they should be doing but then the next minute your commander can be rallying the troops with their inspirational leadership.

Initially we were actually using the same Command Dice in Vanguard but the results were mixed. The problem is that although we could give different warband leaders different amounts of dice, ultimately you would occasionally roll a result that was completely useless in the game.

Another issue is that special abilities are tied to the use of Power Dice, so if you rolled the wrong result at the start of the turn, you might not be able to use your ability. Finally, it meant we were restricted on the cost of special abilities because you couldn’t have more powerful ones that required two or more command icons to be ‘spent’ in order to use them.


Somewhat ironically, the answer was almost staring us in the face. The Walking Dead: All Out War comes with three differently coloured dice that are used for combat (red – weakest, white – slightly better and blue –best). These dice come with differing amounts of stars on (up to a maximum of three) to represent the amount of successes rolled.

During one of our playtest sessions we started to use the Walking Dead dice and they were much better than the original Deadzone dice. But why?

  1. Leaders/support characters actually generate the power dice during the course of the game, so having three different colours gives us more options for having powerful characters that generate one blue dice, compared to weaker characters that only generate one red dice, for example
  2. Different abilities can now cost more than one power to use, as you’ll potentially be rolling a lot more successes
  3. During a campaign characters can level up their dice from red to white and then blue or gain more dice to roll
  4. You’ll always be able to use your power and should never have a ‘wasted’ result that you can’t spend during your turn


So, now that you understand how we came up with the concept of Power Dice, how will you spend them during the game?

  1. Extra model activation – Vanguard has alternating activations but you can spend power to activate an extra model
  2. Extra dice – you can add an extra dice to Shoot, Cast, Armour Save or Melee rolls
  3. Forcing/clearing Fatigue – this is something we’ll be covering in the blog tomorrow…
  4. Group actions – oooh, another tease for a mechanic that we’ll be covering in a future blog
  5. Use special abilities – power is required to use a model’s special ability or the wider Warband special ability. The amount of power required is shown in brackets after the ability, e.g. Cackle! (1)

 The Power Dice are an integral part of Vanguard that really help to create those cinematic and exciting moments you expect to see in a skirmish game. What do you reckon? Are you feeling the power?


  1. Awesome! I especially love the ability to upgrade dice over the course of a campaign. Every time I think I can’t possibly be more excited for Vanguard you guys drop a new blog post and prove me wrong. I can’t wait to get the alpha rules and play some games!

  2. The more I read the more I like, hopefully we’ll get some alpha/beta rules to try out.

    • Alpha rules will be out either before or during the Kickstarter… so we should have plenty of chance to play even before any goodies are delivered!

  3. Patrick Lefèvre October 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Please, end this torture and just launch the damn’ Kickstarter!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  4. Oh yeah please just launch the Kickstarter! With every new blog article here, the pain grows bigger to play Vanguard :D!

    Really cool and thought out mechanics. Couldn’t we have the blog entry for tomorrow, just today 😀 !? …

  5. Could you launch the Kickstarter so that it ends in December? Because then there might be more with enough money to spend on it 🙂

  6. Why aren’t people commenting on the artwork?
    Do people not see the big nasty monster they keep showing glimpses of?
    Can anyone say… Night Stalkers.

  7. What is perhaps even more tantalizing is rad looking Nightstalkers sculpts.

  8. Who designed this?

  9. Also; yeah, that art is awesome!

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