Kings of War

Wargame system: Kings of War Ed2
Product: Kings of War Ed2 Rulebook (including Update 3)
Reviewer: Kadmon
Reviewer's preferences: Immersive, Realistic approach
Review: Based on a free copy, playtested

Reading the book - Kings of War Ed2 Rulebook

The rules look easy to follow and I've felt I understand most of them for the first read-through, or at least I'll know where to look them up. I think the language is easy to understand even for those who've learnt English as a second language. While I can't be sure but I suppose the rules give you everything you need to know about playing Kings of War, without the need to know further wargames.

It was interesting that although it's universally accepted among Kings of War players that moving trays are a must for a KoW game, but the whole concept of trays is just mentioned in the appendix in one paragraph as an option.

First play

 Playing Kings of War

Feeling of the game

The game is efficient if you accept the limitations of the rules. You cannot change formations (so your troops can't march through narrow streets), you cannot enter buildings, and if the scenario rules let you start with troops inside buildings, they cannot leave them. There are no rules for flying units, as the rules for Flying actually cover jumping units. Mounted units aren't much faster than standard infantry. You can't have a single chariot, only units of three. I could list the limitations, but if you are okay with them, what you get is a solid rules system that covers the aspects of battle it volunteers to do.

The game is something like a many sided rock-paper-scissors battle. Basically every army has the same units, with a different miniature, and some variation in their rules.

The rules are very gamist (like chess), you need to learn them before you start playing, as common sense won't help you during games.
As I'm an immersive simulationist, this kind of game is not my cup of tea, but I can understand why people love Kings of War.

I feel that using trays with the unit stats written on them instead of miniatures could be more useful for this game, as miniatures aren't really needed for the game itself.

What I liked

The rules are really easy to understand and easy to follow during games. I always have hard time learning the rules, and I'm still not sure about my knowledge of Kings of War, but I know where to look up the rules, and a quick browsing through the rules before games is usually enough for me.
The army lists are also easy to understand, there are no unit-specific special rules that I need to memorise before the game.

What I didn't like

The game is too far from reality for my immersionist taste, but not abstract enough that it wouldn't bother me.
I don't like the fact that I need to fiddle with miniatures, even though having miniatures in play adds nothing to the game itself. Having terrain and scenery can even make the game problematic due to multi-basing, as the large bases won't fit on the typical wargaming scenery.

Getting it

I received the rulebook for free. Otherwise I wouldn't have bought it, especially as the rules and the basic units for the armies are free downloads. Even though I knew about the game, it didn't interest me enough to read the free rules. After getting the book, I read it, and that quickly convinced me that this is a good game. I still wouldn't buy the main rulebook, but that's mainly because I can't afford it, if I had the resources, I'd consider it a good buy, especially as the gamers in my area easily converted to Kings of War from Warhammer.


Kings of War Ed2 has a solid, easy to read, easy to follow ruleset.
I recommend it for those who like abstact games, and also like playing games with miniatures.
I won't recommend the current rules for those who like to play immersive games, or those who like realistic simulations.

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Further reading

Games Nexus: Wargame - Kings of War from Mantic Games

Games Nexus: Kings of War Ed2 Rulebook from Mantic Games - Wargame book

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Buying the product - Kings of War

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Have you played the Kings of War miniatures wargame from Mantic Games? How does it compare to this review? Do you agree or disagree with the reviewer? Tell your opinion in the comments!


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