Kings of War: From the Old World to the New

An article by and    Getting Started Kings of War        0

Welcome back to our coverage of Kings of War. In our last series of articles, we introduced all the factions including the Good, the Neutral and the Evil

In this article we will be discussing how to move into Kings of War with an existing, non-Mantic collection. Given our previous focus on Mantic models, in this article we will be looking at a range of different models you might have, and show you where they might fit into Kings of War both at the army and unit level. If you’ve seen a faction you like, and have some old models around but are not sure where to start, this article is for you.

 

Warhammer Fantasy

Credit: Games Workshop

There is no doubt that Warhammer Fantasy Battles was the original fantasy rank ‘n’ flank wargame, and there are plenty of good reasons to keep playing the old editions. But there is something special about being able to use those amazing models in a game that’s kept up-to-date, balanced, and most importantly of all, is streamlined to enable multiple games in a day. 

Thankfully, Kings of War is similar to Warhammer Fantasy in many ways, so taking your collection into the realm of Pannithor is relatively painless.

Similarities

  • Models are on square bases of similar size.
  • Models form units of distinct rectangular footprints.
  • Armies are composed of units of infantry, large individual monsters, and smaller individual characters.
  • Many armies of Kings of War draw direct inspiration from Warhammer Fantasy (Elves, Orcs and Dwarfs can only be done in so many different ways).

Differences

  • Unit size in Kings of War is locked to distinct tiers – troops, regiments, hordes and legions.
  • In Kings of War, the number of models in a unit need not be the maximum, so long as the dimensions of the unit as a whole is clear (hence unit trays and multibasing is key; see below).
  • The actual height of the model does not matter in Kings of War, as height is part of the unit profile and rules (no downside to awesome conversions with massive wings!). 

Credit: Mantic Games

To multibase or not

As can probably be surmised, the key part of Kings of War is the unit size and dimensions. Putting individual models onto unit trays helps move them around, and would be nothing new to a Warhammer Fantasy player. This really speeds up gameplay, and Warhammer Fantasy models are made for ranking up on movement trays (except for Savage Orcs… those were always a nightmare).

Oldhammer Chaos Warriors on a multibase. Credit: Cytoplasm

What might be different is the idea of multibasing, something introduced in our first article, multibasing is like a permanent movement tray. Models are affixed (either via super glue, pinning or magnets) to a base that represents the whole unit. This enables some artistic license in model placement, and when combined with interesting scenic basing techniques can result in each multibase being a diorama. The obvious downside is that this is relatively permanent, hence not an enticing option for those hoping to play multiple game systems with the same collection.

From the Kings of War Third Edition Free Rulebook https://www.manticgames.com/games/kings-of-war/kings-of-war-third-edition-free-rules/ Credit: Mantic Games

Finding your army in Kings of War

As mentioned above, there are many similarities between Warhammer Fantasy and Kings of War, and finding a match for your armies of the Old World in the Pannithor can be relatively straightforward. Yet for those cases where it is not so easy to deduce, we have produced a handy table.

 

Warhammer Fantasy Battles Faction

Corresponding Kings of War Faction

The EmpireKingdoms of Men
   League of Rhordia
   Basileans
BretonniaOrder of the Brothermark
   Order of the Green Lady
High ElvesElves
Wood ElvesSylvan Kin
   Forces of Nature
   Elves
Dark ElvesTwilight Kin
DwarfsDwarfs
Chaos DwarfsAbyssal Dwarfs
LizardmenSalamanders
Vampire CountsUndead
Tomb KingsEmpire of Dust
Warriors of ChaosVarangur
Daemons of ChaosForces of the Abyss
BeastmenThe Herd
SkavenRatkin
Ogre KingdomsOgres
Orcs and GoblinsOrcs
   Goblins

 

For those that have been reading our faction introductions, there will be some missing Kings of War factions from the list above. The Nightstalkers, Trident Realm of Neritica, and the Northern Alliance are the more unique factions in Kings of War. These might have some units that can be represented by units in the Warhammer Fantasy range, but overall there is little overlap.

 

Age of Sigmar

Credit: Games Workshop

Just as Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer Fantasy Battles are distinctly different games, the same can be said for Kings of War. If not familiar with the not-so-new Warhammer Age of Sigmar, the game is comparatively looser with regards to unit formation and the size of some of the monster miniatures is truly impressive. This can make translating Age of Sigmar armies to Kings of War a bit more difficult.

Unlike Warhammer Fantasy, models in Age of Sigmar are much more dynamic, as sculpts are not restrained by the need to rank up. This often requires some more precise model placement when basing models. Yet, given the looser rules on how many models are needed per unit, this can be a benefit as your bases will still look full, and you may have a few extra models left over!

 

Age of Multibasing

The main thing to decide if you want to use Age of Sigmar models in Kings of War is will you be using them exclusively for Kings of War or do you want to switch between systems? If you’re just using them for Kings of War, then multibasing is the way to go. If you want to switch, then things get a bit more complicated.

Due to Age of Sigmar’s use of round bases, the usual lipped movement trays don’t work as well. Fortunately, if you’re looking for an easy solution, there are already many companies that already sell round-base-to-square-base converters, just make sure you get the right sizes. If you’re looking for a more complicated solution, magnetising or pinning models to match both sets of bases is possible, though time consuming.

Credit: Ironheart Artisans

Translating Age of Sigmar Armies to Kings of War 

Age of Sigmar has moved away from a lot of the classic fantasy armies, with a lot of original takes on Elves, Dwarfs and Orcs, but also completely new armies, too. Hence translating an Age of Sigmar force is not necessarily Army A = Army B. Most often, the translation is done on a unit-by-unit basis. Unsurprisingly, the armies from the Old World (or their successors) still have their straightforward counterparts in Kings of War, but here are a few examples, for some of the new ones: 

Order:

  • Idoneth Deepkin
    The Deepkin Namarti work well for any armies as Naiads, so the Trident Realms, Forces of Nature and Order of the Green Lady can all use them. The Trident Realms do work best with their underwater monsters fitting particularly well here. 
  • Stormcast Eternals
    Given the larger scale of these minis, they often end up as Ogres, both as the faction as a whole, and as the unit type in Basilea (Ogre Palace Guard). The Prosecutors also make particularly good Elohi, if you want to use a lot of Stormcast.
  • Daughters of Khaine
    The scantily-clad murderous Elves fit perfectly in the Twilight Kin forces, but can also act as Succubi in Forces of the Abyss. The Khinerai Heartrenders are fantastic to use as Gargoyles for your evil purposes as well (ie. in Abyssal Dwarfs, Forces of the Abyss or Twilight Kin).
  • Lumineth Realmlords
    Perfectly useful as the Elves, even the marsupial Hurakan Windchargers can be used as Silverbreeze Cavalry.
  • Sylvaneth
    These angry trees are very often used in the Sylvan Kin, Forces of Nature and the Elves. The whole range can find a use among these army lists, although sometimes you need to get creative such as using the Kurnoth Hunters as ballistae.
  • Seraphon
    These being literally the same models as those used in the Lizardmen in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, they work in the same armies in Kings of War.
  • Kharadron Overlords and Fyreslayers
    These Dwarfs do look a bit different from the classic Dwarfs that might be found in the Cities of Sigmar, however, nearly everything can find a home in the Dwarfs army list. The only thing that might have trouble are the really large ships and the Magmadroth. The latter might be best used in an Abyssal Dwarf list instead.

Chaos:

  • Beasts of Chaos
    The Age of Sigmarified iteration of the Beastmen, they work perfectly as The Herd.
  • Blades of Khorne
    The mortal followers that are still somewhat human fit perfectly into Varangur. The daemons obviously work perfectly as the Forces of the Abyss. Bloodletters are very commonly used as Lower Abyssals or Abyssal Guard.
  • Disciples of Tzeentch
    The daemons of Tzeentch are great as Forces of the Abyss, too, especially Horrors as Flamebearers and Flamers as Efreets. The mortal followers can work as exotic human warriors in many different armies.
  • Hedonites of Slaanesh
    Similar to the Disciples of Tzeentch, the daemons of Slaanesh are great in Forces of the Abyss while the human followers can be used a lot more broadly. 
  • Maggotkin of Nurgle
    The Maggotkin are probably the least daemonic of all the Chaos armies, at least in the classic sense, but they are serviceable as Forces of the Abyss as well. The mortal followers on the other hand can also be used as Forces of the Abyss considering not many human armies in Pannithor would want such virulent brethren alongside them.
  • Skaven
    As before in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, these guys are literally the Ratkin.
  • Slaves to Darkness
    The more generic Chaos mortal followers, these fit right into the Varangur.

Dragon Ogres as Molochs in Forces of the Abyss. Credit: Cytoplasm

Death:

  • Nighthaunt
    Nighthaunt are good alternatives for the ghostly parts of the Undead list; specifically Wraiths and Wights. Additionally, they are great for significant parts of the Nightstalkers list. I (Urr) have been using Grimghast Reapers, Dreadblade Harrows, Glaivewraith Stalkers and Chainrasps as various units in my Nightstalkers army.
  • Ossiarch Bonereapers
    These buff boney bois are quite unique to Age of Sigmar, but that means they can work really well as tougher Undead units like Soulreavers, or as Mummies in Empire of Dust. Necropolis Stalkers make great Enslaved Guardians as well.The rest of the army can also be used in these forces.
  • Flesh-eater Courts
    This army of ghouls works perfectly for many of the units of the Undead.
  • Soulblight Gravelords
    These are the Age of Sigmar successors to the Vampire Counts of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, so Undead is their home.

    Dreadblade Harrows as Soulflayers in Nightstalkers. Credit: Urr

Destruction:

  • Sons of Behemat
    Unfortunately, there is no army of just giants in Kings of War. Fortunately, many of the armies can take Giants in their forces! 
  • Orruk Warclans
    The Ironjawz, Bonesplitterz and upcoming Kruleboyz are all perfect for different takes on the Orcs of Kings of War.
  • Ogor Mawtribes
    Ogor = Ogre. Not much more to say.
  • Gloomspite Gitz
    The goblins, trolls and squigs wonderfully work as goblins, trolls and mawbeasts (ie. things with teeth). 

 

Middle Earth Strategy Battles Game

Credit: Games Workshop

Games Workshop’s oft forgotten 3rd main game is home to some really awesome sculpts. There’s a lot of good options for making a Kings of War army. Again, the models come with round bases, so if you want to use them in both systems, you’ll want to get some round base to square converters.  

From Middle Earth to Pannithor

Most of the armies lend themselves to some pretty clear parallels, especially in the Good factions: Minas Tirith, Rohan and the Fiefdoms are great for human factions (Kingdoms of Men, Basileans, the Brotherhood), the Dwarves are just Dwarfs, and Elves are, well, Elves.

For the Evil factions, you’ve got a lot to play around with. Lots of different types of Orcs and Goblins to match their counterparts, and lots of styles of men, to fit whatever flavour of human warrior you want, too. The Morgul Knights and Castellans of Dol Guldur would make excellent Soul Reaver Cavalry and Infantry (Vampire Warriors), and the big monsters would make great looking versions of their Kings of War counterparts.

 

Other Companies

Given the almost limitless flexibility of model choice in Kings of War, we thought we would run through looking at some other miniature companies’ models and suggest some ideas for armies they could be used in. 

TTCombat 

Credit: TTCombat

The Halfling Shield Maiden Army for TTCombat (https://ttcombat.com/collections/fantasy-heroes/products/halfling-shield-maiden-army) has the potential to be used as a few armies. Most obvious is the League of Rhordia, the current home of the halflings in Pannithor, but this could easily be a Kingdoms of Men, or Dwarfs, too.   

For example:

Looking at the Dwarf army llist in the free rulebook we can already identify these easy comparisons:

  • The Seal Riders would be fantastic Berserker Brock Riders (and so cute!).
  • The infantry with hand weapons or crossbows would be great Ironclad or Ironwatch, respectively.
  • The bolt throwers would be perfectly acceptable as Ironbelcher Cannons.
  • The awesome bears would make for amazing Earth Elementals (we haven’t written an article that hasn’t talked about how much we like Earth Elementals, so why stop now?).
  • The sorceress would be just right as a Stone Priest.

Perry Miniatures

Credit: Perry Miniatures

For the more medeaval-inclined wargamers, Perry Miniatures has you covered and with value to boot. Their War of the Roses army box, for instance, contains a whopping 480 infantry, 36 cavalry, 3 packs of artillery and commanders. This would build a solid backbone of a Kingdoms of Men army. At a minimum there’s 2 large blocks of knights, 3 war engines, a few heros, and more than enough infantry in basically any conformation you want; bows, crossbows, spears, pike – there’s even a few handgunners in there, for those that like to see things go boom. Just make sure you are fully committed to the army because such a purchase will weigh down your backlog like an elephant on a seesaw.

Warlord Games

Credit: Warlord Games

For those of more classical tastes, Warlord Games has a ton of different miniatures and model lines across a huge chunk of history. From the bronze age to the medieval period, there will probably be something here that grabs your attention.

Take the Romans for example; the Imperial Roman Starter Army boxed set could be slipped into another Kingdoms of Men army, but that’s a no-brainer. Instead, what about Basileans? This starter army comes with 60 Imperial Roman Legionaries, 20 Praetorian Guard, 20 Veterans and 24 Auxiliaries. This could be 3 regiments of Men-at-Arms Swordsmen, 1 regiment of Men-at-Arms Spearmen, 1 regiment of Paladin Foot Guard, and 1 regiment of Sisterhood Infantry or Sisterhood Scouts, depending how you equip your auxiliaries. 

This Roman-inspired Basilean army now lets you include some more Roman-themed mythological creatures for your army. Instead of Sisterhood Scouts, maybe you want satyrs. Maybe you want Cyclopes as your Ogre Palace Guard, or gods and heroes as Elohi. The Basileans as an army list really enables you to delve into a more mythological historical army.

 

3D Prints

The improvements in 3D printing technology over the last 5 years have seen a wealth of online vendors appear offering their sculpts as STL files you can print yourself. What money might be saved on the models themselves is usually spent on the actual 3D printer, hence there are also vendors that will print and ship these 3D sculpts for a fee.

Mantic has no qualms with 3D printed miniatures being used in Kings of War. This means that if there’s a monster, hero or even an army from one of the many amazing 3D sculptors, you can include it without worry of it being an issue at events. The main thing to watch out for is the size of the minis! Nothing more disappointing than getting a fun-sized dragon when you wanted a massive beast.

Credit: Urr

 

For those interested in what kind of miniatures are out there, here are a couple of great places to start looking:

And of course there’s a massive bunch of artists on Kickstarter and Patreon as well. 

We are not going to pretend we are qualified to talk about getting a 3D printer set up and running, luckily for you, the Goonhammer team already has some articles ready to go. Check the first out here: https://www.goonhammer.com/3d-printing-tech-heresy-and-you-owning-your-own-stc/

 

Wrapping Up

Kings of War is a very inclusive game system that has a home for nearly every fantasy miniature collection out there. Given the base dimensions are correct for each unit, the miniatures on that base can be whatever you want them to be. The imagination is literally the limit, just so long as your opponent isn’t confused. If there’s any major miniature line that’s worth a mention, let us know!

Although we heavily advocate the merits of Kings of War, we understand there are those that want to be able to play multiple systems with their miniatures, and why not? If you’re tentative about trying out, do what we suggested in our first article and stick your miniatures on cardboard cut-outs of the unit bases. If you like the game, then you can get a bit more elaborate in your multibasing as discussed.

We have really enjoyed bringing Kings of War to the Goonhammer audience, and plan to do so for the foreseeable future. Now that we have gotten the basic introductions out of the way, we will be moving to a fortnightly publishing schedule (that’s “every two weeks” for the American reader). Thanks for reading!

Have any questions or feedback? Want to see more coverage, or coverage of something specific? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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