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"Kings Of War Historical Ancient Combat supplement released." Topic

Kings of War: Historical

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Neldoreth02 Mar 2011 6:25 a.m. PST

Hey all,

I figured I would post this here in case there's some interest!

As is widely known, Mantic Games is a fantasy miniatures company that is targeting the GW market. They have a fantastic little rule set that targets the WFB game. It's great, tactically deep, yet very simple and fast to pick up. It gives a great, compelling and fulfilling game. Best of all, it's absolutely free!

Naturally, someone had to create a historical supplement to make the rules work with WAB and other historical armies, and I figured I'd take a crack at it! I'd like to introduce "Kings of War Historical Ancient Combat"!

The first supplement I have done is called KoWHAC Rome Rising and it follows the late Republic around Ceasar's time, to the early Empire. As such, it includes a Roman army list that you can use to make either of the previously-mentioned lists. It also includes a list that lets you field pretty much any of Rome's barbarian or horse-type enemies!

You can get the supplement on my site in the articles section, or just download it here:



Who asked this joker02 Mar 2011 6:46 a.m. PST

So the acronym should be KWHAC! Leave out the 'o'!grin

You can never have too many Ancients rules sets. I'll have to have a look…after I've looked at the fantasy game!

aecurtis Fezian02 Mar 2011 6:47 a.m. PST

"Marian Roman armies cannot field any war engines."

OK. You lost me there.


Who asked this joker02 Mar 2011 8:25 a.m. PST

"Marian Roman armies cannot field any war engines."

OK. You lost me there.

Easily fixed by removing the 'not' in 'cannot' and the word 'any' in the sentence. grin

aecurtis Fezian02 Mar 2011 8:48 a.m. PST

The Divine Iulius would approve of that. He seemed to use them effectively. What few he had. The sixty scorpiones in each legio.


brevior est vita02 Mar 2011 8:51 a.m. PST

Easily fixed by removing the 'not' in 'cannot' and the word 'any' in the sentence.

Or by removing the sentence entirely.wink

KoW is not to my personal taste, but gamers looking for a very light, DBA-level version of Warhammer could find the rules quite attractive.

Who asked this joker02 Mar 2011 9:43 a.m. PST

DBA-level version of Warhammer could find the system quite attractive.


I've noticed something. It looks like units simply stay intact but take damage. No figure removal. Did I miss something? I would have guessed that the game would lend itself well to figure removal with all of those singly based figures. The game otherwise looks well thought out.

Lists and rules look fine for KWHAC. All one person's interpretations anyway as most lists are. I would, as Allen suggests, strike the limitation of Artillery from the Marian list.

aecurtis Fezian02 Mar 2011 10:01 a.m. PST

I guess I don't understand shoehorning historical armies into a generic structure of "troops", "regiments", and "hordes".


Mr Elmo02 Mar 2011 10:08 a.m. PST

I guess I don't understand shoehorning historical armies into a generic structure

That would be OK as long as the army lists limited the types available.

Roman Legionnaire units would only come in regiments
Barbarians only come in Hordes except for nobles, they are troops.
Roman Auxiliary would be troops or regiments.

Who asked this joker02 Mar 2011 10:14 a.m. PST

Roman Legionnaire units would only come in regiments
Barbarians only come in Hordes except for nobles, they are troops.
Roman Auxiliary would be troops or regiments.

Punic War era Romans might have Troops as there unit type for infantry.

Pike phalanx might be Regiments or Hordes.

Most others would likely be Regiments.

Light (psiloi types) troops might be Troops only.

DColtman02 Mar 2011 2:26 p.m. PST

I ran an ancients modified KoW game last night using only KoW core rules, Marian Romans and Celts. I treated warbands as hordes, cohorts as regiments, and bodies of light, missile and skirmishers as troops.

- Warbands (40 figs 10 wide) are large and unwieldy to manoeuver, but can hit hard when stuck in.

- Roman regiments (15 figs 5 wide) have relatively high nerve for their unit size, elevated defence value and a pila extra strength melee attack rule.

- light troops (10 figs 5 wide) have low nerve, making them fragile, and the nimble rule making them more manouverable.

It thought it worked pretty well. It's just a model, so YMMV. But it was much more manageable to run a scenario in a 2h period than WAB. I would still prefer WAB if I had a whole afternoon.

aecurtis Fezian02 Mar 2011 2:40 p.m. PST

"Roman Legionnaire units would only come in regiments"






Neldoreth03 Mar 2011 7:34 a.m. PST

The troops/regiments/hordes makes sense if you think of it in terms of a) scale and b) scenario.

You could say a troop represents a cohort if you want to play it that way, or half a cohort deployed separately from its other half.

Similarly a regiment could be a cohort or a century. Finally, a horde could be a century at a 1:2 scale, or two hordes could be a century at 1:1 scale.


Neldoreth03 Mar 2011 7:36 a.m. PST

DBA is not at all similar to KoW. DBA is a command and control game with emphasis on controlling your opponent's movement. You have to roll pips and ZOC your enemies.

Kings of War has no command and control elements really, it's much more like a simplified WAB than it is DBA. Also, the DBA rules aren't really that simple, they are filled with erroneous and fiddly little rules. That along with the fact that it's so poorly written makes it a quite complex game.

Finally, DBA doesn't support a points system or balanced armies at all and forces players to play with 12 elements/units. Kings of War on the other hand is built pretty much exactly like WAB with all of the fiddly details and special rules removed.


Neldoreth03 Mar 2011 7:38 a.m. PST

I spend a lot of time painting figures and making them look as good as I can, so I'm very happy that they get to stay on the board as long as possible and don't get removed piecemeal.

The thing is that KoW and KoWHAC is a unit-based game. It's not based on individual figures, so that's why you live or die as a unit. This is really the only rules mechanic that KoW shares with DBA!


Who asked this joker03 Mar 2011 1:55 p.m. PST

It's basically a big element based game. Not a bad thing.

Neldoreth04 Mar 2011 9:16 a.m. PST

Yeah, it's a fun little rule set. Thanks for the feedback guys.


Hobhood405 Mar 2011 7:59 a.m. PST

This looks good. I've been looking for a simple ruleset like this as I find WAB full of unecessary complications, and DBA too generic.

Any chance of Dark Age supplement?

Hobhood409 Mar 2011 2:39 a.m. PST


Many thanks for posting this.As a non-fantasy player, I probably wouldn't have come across KOW otherwise.

Had a game last night using your Barbarian lists slightly altered for Dark Ages. It worked well, and is perfect for us – fast, but with lots of figures. I'm going to add a'Shield wall' special rule for next time. Maybe a unit which can move only directly forward its normal rate, and sides, rear etc. but which adds +1 to defence, unil it is disordered…? Or something like that. Thanks again.

Lord Marcus12 Sep 2016 5:35 a.m. PST

@hob there are dark age army lists in the book. It goes all the way to 15th cent

freecloud19 Sep 2016 2:40 a.m. PST

They had some PDFs circulating last 2 years or so, tried the Dark Ages one for my Declining Romans vs my Hairy Germans, similar army org to DColtman above.

Game went fine, nothing you'd scream "WROOOONG" to, at the big picture level.

It makes a nice beer and pretzels ancient game for an evening, but don't look to it for sophistication (I don't think it handles skirmishing very well for instance, and the Btyzantines would flummox it but they do to most Ancient rulesets) but if it gets people to play Ancients I'm for it :)

Mike Target23 Sep 2016 7:13 a.m. PST

the Kingdoms Of Men list works fine for using a historical army in KOW as it is anyway- I used my Romano British a few times to give some smelly ogre types a thorough kicking with very little trouble…

Ney Ney24 Sep 2016 6:30 a.m. PST

I am looking forward to getting this. Get my old ancients armies out for a game!

David Johansen24 Sep 2016 8:34 a.m. PST

The main things about Kings of War are that it's fast and maneuver matters. When you look at the game you need to bear in mind that a 20 man regiment can be killed by as little as two wounds. 10 man troops can be killed by one. It's all about that nerve test. The ability of Inspiring leaders to reroll nerve tests is vital.

It plays very well but it doesn't replicate the results you'd see in Warhammer. A Melee 3+, Defense 5+, Elite or Vicious (for rerolling 1s to hit or wound) with Nerve 11 / 13 is about as hard core as a unit gets. Oh they might get more attacks by sacrificing a point of defense but there's nothing that compares with a unit of chosen chaos warriors or vampire knights in Warhammer. On the far end of it Peasants and Goblins aren't so horrible Melee 5+ Defense 3+, Nerve 9 / 11 is as bad as it gets.

BelgianRay14 Oct 2016 12:10 p.m. PST

Neldoreth : Nobody gets killed in your wargame because you like your figures and spent a lot of time painting them ? Well, if losing figures hurts, all the more realistic for your game methinks.

Queen Catherine31 Oct 2016 1:41 p.m. PST

I think it is fair to say that if you liked WAB or WHF for that matter, but found it overblown, cumbersome and ultimately unplayable, this is the rules set for you.

If you want something that is more directly historical in feel, well, shop around.

Personally, have played a load of Kings of War and found it 100% historically accurate for those realms of historical fantasy from which it derives.
but most especially, loads of fun and tactically interesting.

BrianH01 Nov 2016 12:38 p.m. PST

Can anyone post a list of the 30 armies in the new KOW historical rules?
I have played KoW a number of times and prefer it to WFB and DBA / HOTT. Unit rather than figure removal is preferable for me, much like in Black Powder and Hail Caesar. The only downsides I see to KOW are:
1. Lack of Command and Control
2. Since only one side fights at a time there is a big premium on being the first to charge into contact, which can result in a lot of gamey pre-measuring.

Looking forward to trying the historical rules and possibly some hybrid games with say a Greek army that would include some mythical elements.

Queen Catherine17 Dec 2016 12:26 p.m. PST

@ BrianH
Great idea to combine the historical with the mythical games. Overall, I think that KoW Fantasy would do that quite well, but perhaps there are a few special rules worth stealing in the Historical rules.

For command and Control, there are many many ways to do that. Simplest? Just roll a D6 for every unit not within influence range of a leader of some sort. If they roll a '1', they just sit there, confused. Another way would be to roll a break test for it, and if it passed then it acts however you like. If it fails, then it doesn't. Units that are within range of a leader don't need to check.

I always did like the DBA system, which plays very clean. Only problem is that it is very much tied to that game.

A agree on point #2, that it helps to get the first charge in especially if you've a dangerous cavalry unit. But that's where we get into an interesting discussion of Forlorn Hope units, AKA blocking units, or sacrificial units. The key to winning with KoW is to know how to set yourself up to receive a charge and counter-charge. It's not that hard to set up a bait unit out front that – if charged by your pal's super-killer unit – may get trashed but will certainly then be charged and destroyed. Aerial Units can be super-helpful for this.

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