[Archive] Mantic's Kings of War core rules


Mantic has just released a beta version of their rules for the 'Kings of War’

Beta rule:

Army list:

Haven’t had the chance to read them yet - but 12 pages - so a quite simple game, I guess.

Thommy H:

"Kings of War: it’s Warhammer, but we filed off the serial numbers so you can’t tell with a cursory glance that there’s no innovation whatsoever in our rules set!"

Okay, it’s not a very catchy slogan, but it has the virtue of being accurate.


It seems to have been written by Alessio Cavatore, for what that’s worth…

Could be an interesting read!


i really like the models, and the prices are about where i consider fair!


Jesus, its literally Warhammer but with some different names for stats and rules. Seriously bad form.


Awch ! bad bad Cavatore. I know you watered down warhammmer from what it was but now you changed the stat names and put it in a mantic book. Tsk tsk !


It really seems like stripped down Warhammer. Some of the terminology is identical! ("Horde must be ten models wide’) This is pretty crazy. And although I like the free Mantic Ghoul I got in the mail, and like some some of the other stuff they’ve done, this is a huge disappointment. I was expecting something more original, less simple rip-off. I realize that there is only so much you can do, but man - this feels like they’re stealing! Also - ‘Elven Sabre-Toothed Pussy?’ - p9. Not funny.

Models from Mantic? Sure, why not? I think as far as ‘rules and games’ go, I’m going to be ignoring Mantic from now on… I’ll just re-read some Warhammer stuff.

I wonder how GW would feel if they got their hands on a copy of this?


This is dissapointing I was hoping for something rivaling warhammer not copying it. It reminds me of the difference between orannge juice and watery dilutable orange concentrate (=


I wonder how GW would feel if they got their hands on a copy of this?
I'm sure we'll know soon enough.

Its just pure laziness. At least the other game systems have their own feel and hook, this just confirms Mantic as a cheap imitation imo. I'm not the biggest GW fan (and sometimes I'm not a fan at all) but this is out of order. :~


I have to agree Baggronor. A freind and I whom have a respective elf and undead army used the mantic rules to play a ad-hoc game with these rules finding it far too simmilar to warhammer for my own tastes. I doubt I will be using the mantic ruleset. Some of the models I love but the rules are warhammer clone and we already have warhammer.

Thommy H:

Yeah, if you’re going to play Warhammer, you might as well play the version that has the massive rulebook full of pretty pictures, full model support and loads of armies and extras.

It really is disappointing, because Alessio always seemed to know what he was doing, but this is such a feeble effort. Do Mantic not get how similar it is? It’s like the first roleplaying game you write which just uses different names for D&D classes, and doesn’t question any assumptions at all. He must know better than this. He’s an experienced game designer. I can (and have) written more innovative games than this, and no one pays me squat.

Da Crusha:

I don’t have a problem with it. we all know that they make their models for warhammer players anyway, what the heck do they need rules for?

Hashut’s Blessing:

Da Crsuha: to compete with Games Workshop for being a games company instead of a models company.

I’ve not yet looked at the rules, but considering what everybody’s said on here, Alessio’s going to end up trying to prove how the two games he designed are different.

In the Beasts of War vidcast that he did, he made it sound like he was going to make something DRASTICALLY different to Warhammer, not semantically different.


After watching those Beasts of War preview videos, I was thinking this might be a really nice game, but yeah, it’s Warhammer Lite.


Is everyone really so offended on GW’s behalf? :~

These rules aren’t terrible, and they are also the first beta version. They are quite a bit like Warhammer, altho the damage system is significantly different.

It seems to me that the idea behind the rules is to play fast, simple games using blocks of regiments. GW doesn’t own the idea of regiment blocks. Historical wargames use this notion too, as have other companies doing fantasy wargames in an attempt to compete with Warhammer.

If I can read pay 20-30 dollars for a self-contained game whose rules I can read and understand in 10-20 minutes, and then play that game for an hour in a relaxed atmosphere, why would I ever want to pay 100+ dollars for a game whose rules are bloated, whose company packs reams of advertising and hackneyed lore into its rulebook instead of, you know, rules (and keep in mind that Warhammer is still the fantasy world that resonates most strongly with me), whose business model demands that I buy hundreds of dollars more of absurdly priced models and rulebooks? Obv Mantic wants me to buy models too, but if I can play a game right out of ‘the box’ and don’t have to buy two additional rulebooks to actually know what my new models do (I’m looking at you, Island of Blood), they’re one up on GW.

I agree that these rules aren’t particularly exciting, but are we all really so enthralled by GW that when competition rears its obviously relaxed and tongue-in-cheek head we get upset?


Good points, all. I just think people had hoped for something more, and are feeling a little let down.

Also, you are absolutely right about the ‘first beta’ as well. Maybe the real mantic-ness will begin to show as the rulesset develops.


I’m not offended on behalf of GW, but I had some high hopes for this game after seeing previews.

I’ve already given up on Warhammer, I don’t desire to play it. I was hoping for a regiment based game that I would want to play, but I’m not sure if Kings of War is that game. If it takes of locally, maybe. I’ve only been playing skirmish games (Warmachine) for the last year, and before that some War of the Ring, a system which felt a lot more fresh than KoW does. Perhaps I was hoping for something more like that (but with a little more clarity maybe), shame it has died around here.

Thommy H:

I don’t dislike it because it infringes on GW’s IP - I dislike it because it’s derivative and boring. My understanding was that Mantic advertised this as an innovative, new game system when in fact what they’ve delivered is an almost exact copy of Warhammer. It’s the naivety that I find frustrating: the idea that “innovative” means combining rolling to wound and armour saves into one dice roll. Mantic would do well to maybe have a look at some other games beside the one their (alleged) direct competitor makes.


I’m guessing that the ground rules will be similar to WHFB and the rules for armies, special rules, etc, will begin to deviate. Kinda like how WoW imitated its predecessors, such as DAoC, EQ, AC, etc, and grew into its own thing. Familiarity of system would no doubt be beneficial for bringing players who already play Warhammer in, in terms of learning to play the game.

That being said, I’m a fan of innovative rule systems, and its a shame to see an opportunity wasted.


I thought people were over-reacting when I first saw this thread, but now I’ve read the rules it is obviously IS just a cut down version of Warhammer. Much simpler and easier for beginners, but still just a basic version. They haven’t changed any of the basic elements of the game at all, even keeping to the exact same turn based system and breakdown of that.