Kings of War: Vanguard – What is the Northern Alliance?

There are only three days left on the Kings of War: Vanguard Kickstarter and we’re approaching a major milestone: the launch of a brand new faction for Kings of War, the Northern Alliance. Ahead of the launch of the Northern Alliance, we thought we would introduce this mysterious warband.

Far away from the eyes of Basilea, the halls of the Dwarves or the Kingdoms of Men, the Winterlands are an almost forgotten part of Mantica. It is a land blasted by chill winds and carved from ice. For most of Mantica’s history it has remained hidden but now stories are drifting south of an alliance of men, Elves and other creatures that could rival even the greatest powers in Mantica.

Travellers have reported that the Winterlands are ruled by an exiled elven prince called Talannar Icekin. His great magic has created a beautiful city – known as Chill – with towers of glittering ice that shoot skywards. Many who live just south of the Ice Mountains have flocked to his banner, intrigued by the strange rumours surround Talannar’s rule. During the recent cataclysmic spread of the Abyss and the decimation caused to The Brotherhood, many of these brave soldiers have also ventured northwards, ready to bend their knee to the exiled prince.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect for those in the south is that there are whispers Talannar has discovered something of incredible power. It isn’t clear if Talannar is protecting it for his own use or whether he’s trying to stop whatever he’s found from spreading southwards. There are countless rumours: another Abyss, a portal to the Ways and even the body of a Celestian or ancient god. Whatever it is, those who guard it are willing to die to keep its true identity a secret.

However, life in the North is hard and resources are scarce. Since the battle with the Abyss and the Green Lady’s hard-fought victory over the denizens of this forsaken place, more and more sightings of the Northern Alliance have been reported. Warbands of fur-clad fighters are scouring the countryside for whatever resources they can find: food, weapons, fuel and more fighters. They are clearly preparing for something….

The bulk of Talannar’s force is made up from the hardy Northmen of Mantica. Clad in thick furs, they can be exiles from the Kingdom of Men, former Varangur warriors who have fallen out of favour with Korgaan and, increasingly, members of the fragmented Brotherhood looking for a new cause. No matter where they come from, once in the Winterlands they fight with a fury that would rival even the most hardened Ogre.

However, they are not the fiercest fighters under Talannar’s rule. That mantel belongs to the deadly Half-Elf Berserkers that roam the wastes after being shunned by their own kind. The Elves are normally an implacable race but the freezing wind brings out a kind of fury in them, driving them to greater feats of incredible violence. In battle they become a freezing whirlwind of destruction and their shrill cries echo across the battlefield.

Fighting side-by-side with the Half-Elf Berserkers are the Ice Kin Hunters.  Although not as crazed as their half-brethren, they are no less dangerous. Hunting in the Winterlands requires a skillful mix of stealth and accuracy, which is something the Ice Kin Hunters excel at.

Another common sight among the Northern Alliance is the Ice Naiads. After spending so much time in the chilly waters of the Winterlands, their very skin resembles hardened ice and they fight with spears tipped with crystals. Some claim the Ice Naiads fled the Trident Realm after refusing to kneel to their High King. They hoped to set up their Kingdom – far away from the influence of their homeland – but instead swore fealty to Talannar.

Those who have encountered the Northern Alliance in skirmishes say their arrival is heralded by a frozen fog that rolls in as if from nowhere. At the heart of this icy blanket of cloud, you’ll invariably find an Ice Witch. Emboldened by the magic of Talannar these powerful magic users can command the frozen winds of the north, chilling the bones of their foes and freezing them in their tracks.

It’s not just humans and Elves that have flocked to Talannar’s banner. Somehow he has managed to tame the monstrous Snow Trolls. These lumbering beasts were once the scourge of wandering travellers but now fight for the Northern Alliance – perhaps the chill of North makes them more docile? In combat they’re clad in glittering armour but even without the protection, their thick grey fur is equally difficult to penetrate.

What do you think to the Northern Alliance? Will you embrace the chills of the North? Remember, there are only three days left to back the Kings of War: Vanguard Kickstarter – don’t miss out.


  1. Hi! I have a bunch of models (from Shieldwolf’s Shieldmaidens Kickstarter) I’ve been patiently saving for months, waiting for news about the Northern Alliance. Now that some about the faction is already revealed, is there any chance we can know what base sizes they will need? I’d assume elves and half-elves will fit on standard 20mm bases (it’d be good to have some confirmation); but when it comes to the Northmen, it is quite ambiguous: will they fit in 20mm bases as most humans or will they need 25mm ones like the Sons of Korgaan?
    I really want to get started assembling those models. I’ll base some of them individually, to use them in Vanguard and as KoW heroes, but I also plan to do some multi-bases for what will be the bulk of a KoW army, so knowing the base sizes would allow me to start working on the hobby project 😀

    • +1 to this. I, too, got a load of shield maidens for use in KoW but they’re just sitting in their box as the weapon variety was severely lacking. Would love to mix these with Mantic models for a Northern Alliance army!

    • I never understood why they chose “Northern Alliance”, that’s a name Shieldwolf Miniatures has been using ever since they showed up! Surely Mantic could come up with another name?

  2. What can I say??

  3. I love them

  4. These are outstanding. Now, don’t give in to social diktat and make them look like angry suburban discount shoppers. This is fantasy, not moderns.

  5. Really nice designs for a unique faction. I like how cobbled together they seem, from all manner of disparate creatures and races. This is truly an alliance, not a nation, and there is a great deal of story potential here.

    Also, nice job proofing! I didn’t catch any typos or grammatical errors!

    My one big concern is the continued implication that the Brotherhood is fading and might eventually get nerfed. Uncharted Empires was a MAJOR reason I started playing Kings of War,and I’ve even invested in building an Orc army because I want to support this wonderful company. However, us former Bretonnian players have been through the gamut. It’d be nice to have some sort of guarantee that we’ll keep our faction without merging with Kingdoms of Men or the Northern Alliance. Words are wind, as they say, so tangible proof instead of brief faction mentions in another army’s fluff would definitely help assuage concerns.

  6. Darren Allwright November 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Is there gonna be a PDF before Xmas for the NA ?

  7. Love the artworks. Very eager to see the models.

    However, I’m a bit afraid you might drop the Brotherhood completely – in Vanguard as in long-term KoW.

  8. These are very good looking concepts. I hope to see some of these available during the Kickstarter, and of course rules for regular Kings of War in the near future.

  9. Great blog post. Lovely art and intriguing background. I am actually somewhat against the brotherhood (and other uncharted empires armies) most don’t feel like they belong in mantica (brotherhood, rats, salamanders). It’s a Mantic game. If you want to support it and not see it fail then buy Mantic minis. Those bret**ians can be used as kom or basileans anyway.

  10. Would Northern Alliance also work for the Ice Kindred of the Bitter Lands

  11. Really love the concept artwork for the Naiad. My Wood Elves need a new theme, probably going to do lots of conversions with them. The NA Elves look nice too, certainly going to buy some.

  12. Miguel Ángel Morejón November 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I want it all, I want it now

  13. I love most of what I see so far, but I echo the common theme that Mantic should not drop the Brotherhood or graft them into another army. The beauty of Kings of War is that the rules are simple and streamlined enough so that you can create a new army with new background without having to introduce a whole host of new rules. Thus, it is easy to mulitiply the number of armies. I would hate to see Mantic start pulling a Games Workshop and make players feel like their army will be here today and gone tomorrow unless they are playing one of the company’s biggest money makers.

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