Warhammer Fantasy Battle is up there with some of my all-time favourite table top games. A big gamer in the day (Dwarves for the win, though also had a soft spot for Night Goblins). Fourth edition WFB was a big turning point for me. The big box-set and loads of plastic minis joined the multitude of metal sculpts that had been accumulated in the previous few years. Massive battles on a huge 6 foot by 4 foot table that took many hours to run. Bliss.
Fast forward a few years. Skirmish gaming was the keystone. People had shrunk back from big format battle games. Good old Games Workshop went in to mix things up and they called time on Warhammer Fantasy Battle and replaced it with Age Of Sigmar, which was all shiny new and used ROUND BASES! It felt like they had turned their back on the old school fantasy gamers and went to convert Warhammer 40K players to a new fantasy system.
There was outrage and a very famous video of someone BURNING their entire Warhammer Fantasy collection.
Nightmare! We morn the above!
But it should not have been wasted.
I am sure that many of you are aware of the announcement that GW were going to resurect Warhammer Fantasy Battle to a fashion with WARHAMMER THE OLD WORLD!
Well, this was WAY back in 2019 and was exciting times for the square base brigade.
The Old World is to Warhammer Age of Sigmar, as the Horus Heresy is to Warhammer 40,000. The bedrock of lore from which mortals rose to godhood and legends were forged. And like the Horus Heresy, seeing those mythic heroes in action has an undeniable appeal, as does re-creating the glorious armies of a previous epoch – an exciting proposition for hobbyists and gamers alike. And now, we have a dedicated team in the Warhammer Studio beginning the work of bringing all that awesome back to the tabletop.
(Quote from Warhammer Community)
So it looked like there was hope again for a fantastic fantasy mass battle system. BUT after 3 years there has not been many updates, of course in those past 3 years the world has seen some big changes (with Covid et. al.).
Again there is still no game on the shelf to bring back that classic fantasy world with traditional orcs, dwarves etc.
BUT again let us rewind ten years, to a fledgeling gaming company and their Kickstarter for a fantasy battle game, KINGS OF WAR. This system was written by one Alessio Cavatore, a key contributor to Games Workshops games.
Mantic Games successfully crowd funded the game with an impressive quarter million pounds (approx) and that is impressive even in this day and age.
A company with big ambitions they have launched multiple game systems and have released thousands of miniatures and supplements. Eash one better than the last.
In the following years, the game changed and evolved as games do. The miniatures got better, the value stayed. Now on their own Third Edition Kings Of War things have just upped another gear. Staying true to their roots with value games and keeping unnecessary expenditure low they have just announced their BIG RED BOOK. This takes all the existing 3rd edition rules and bundles it with expansions and errata. They have The One Book To Rule The All principle. Less stuff to lug up to the gaming table.
Another key turning point is that Mantic are now retiring their PVC models, which were OK, to a mix of hard plastic and resin to big up all the lovely detail. They have been doing this for a while now and the range is looking great.
They currently have 18 different factions/army types.
18! Count them!
- Riftforged Orcs
- Abyssal Dwarf
- Empire of Dust
- Forces of Nature
- Forces of the Abyss
- Northern Alliance
- Trident Realm of Neritica
The fact that the KOW ruleset is now so well established, there is care over the lore and rules going forward are two huge plusses verses the competition (that hasn’t been released yet!) the other big plus is the price point.
Though it is quite difficult to match like for like at the moment if you look at the respective ‘Rat Men’.
Games Workshop “Stormvermin” 20 miniatures would be £35
Mantic Games “Ratkin Warriors Regiment” (again 20 miniatures) are £25.
If you look at the Mantic Giant, this is £30, But the GW Giants are around £120! For that money with Mantic you can get a whole Goblin army with a giant!
The biggest proof that this is the future is that Kings Of War has players! There is a very large tournament scene in the UK and many players around the world.
We will end with a look at some of the newest units. Empire Of Dust.
The ancient Ahmunite empire consumed itself from within as necromancy ran rampant and settlements became necropolis-cities, where soon the dead outnumbered the living. As retribution, the God-Kings or Ophidia summoned the most powerful and spiteful of the demonic djinn. Together, they unleashed a monstrous and lethal sandstorm that engulfed the Ahmunite armies, flensing skin and flesh from bone and driving them back to the wastes.
Today the Ahmunite pharaohs are driven by a willpower that conquered death itself centuries past, and are now almost unstoppable in their unquenchable wrath. To the sound of golden trumpets, the pharaohs roar their proclamations from parchment-dry throats: the great kingdom will be restored. The world of the living will end, starting with the treacherous Ophidians, and a new empire will rise.
An empire of dust.
This army box set contains a full Empire Of Dust, consisting of 65 miniatures
- 40x Hard Plastic Skeleton Infantry
- 20x Hard Plastic Revenant Cavalry
- 1x Resin Cursed High Priest/Pharaoh
- 1x Resin Army Standard Bearer on Horse
- 3x Resin Enslaved Guardians
So what is next?
This means all-new hard plastics, alongside a range of accompanying resin heroes and monsters. Finally, Kings of War players will be able to field a full Mantic Twilight Kin army – and what an army it will be! Weird, twisted and awesome!
That means we need free reign to rework the army list and the background to turn them into something really unique. We definitely feel like we’re close with the connections to the Nightstalkers, and our thoughts about their ‘soirees in to the void’ but we want to turn the Twilight Kin up to 11… and then cast them into a magical alternate reality full of horrors.