Kings of War/Tactics/Kingdoms of Men
Why Play Kingdoms of Men
Maybe you have an existing army of ancient or medieval 28mm miniatures. Maybe you are an orphan of Bretonnia or The Empire. Maybe you want to create an army around your own mythological kingdom. Maybe you found a really cool set of miniatures and just need this one extra excuse to buy them. Aesthetically there are as many reasons as there are players - in game mechanics Kingdoms of Men might require a hint more finesse than other armies to achieve victory.
Army Special Rules
- Rallying Cry: All units in the army with Inspiring have Very Inspiring instead. This includes if a unit gains Inspiring from another source, such as Magical Artefacts.
- Army Standard Bearer: A cheap source of Very Inspiring for your army, you get this guy just for the 9" re-roll rout bubble, as his stats are complete garbage for anything else. If you have 5 points to spare consider purchasing the War Bow of Kaba to give him 1 shot a turn, you never know when he might route a unit.
- General: Generic fighty hero unit.
- General on Winged Beast: Before considering a General on Winged Beast, for 40 less points you can upgrade the basic General to have a Pegasuses. The winged beast as extra nerve, 2 extra attacks and 1 more point of crushing strength but this comes at a points bump. Really this model is a beefed up Pegasus Mounted General.
- Hero: Never take this guy on foot. On a horse at the minimum, preferably a pegasus. Use him to hunt War machines, support characters, and sniper unit, as 3 attacks at 3+ with Crushing Strength 1 will put some hurt on them. Flank and rear charges with this guy will also help break combats.
- The Captain: At 50 points more than a lord, The Captain has one less point of nerve and loses the ability to take a Pegasus. However, you do gain the unique Master Tactician rule, which lets you redeploy D3 of your units after both deployment but before vanguard moves. However, it's a little to random to rely on for your battle plan.
- Wizard: You take this guy for the big toolbox that magic in this game can provide. He has access to every spell but Surge, which you don't need anyway. He comes default with Fireball, which can be used to put a few wounds on a unit per turn. Bane-Chant is great for making your weaker models hit harder, Wind Blast is good for making sure that you get in the first blow or making your opponent miss a charge, and heal is decent for making a hard to damage unit lose the few wounds your opponent managed to put onto it.
- Arquebusiers: Your first choice of ranged infantry in the Kingdoms of Men, and your most expensive, with a regiment of these being 4/3 of what a regiment of Bowmen cost. You do gain Piercing (2) on all of your ranged attacks, which is going to help you against anything that isn't at a 3+ Defense already. Reload means that you will want to position these so that they either start off with or can easily get into position to open up on your chosen targets.
- Berserkers: These guys have high output, high moral and a 3+ melee skill however they die when looked at funny. I find a regiment of these guys are ideal for flank charges as they support your horde infantry and can give even larger units a run for their money. Crushing strength 1 also helps them put out that bit more damage. Ideally these guys need to held back behind units that can soak up damage so the Berserkers can get to the enemy unmolested.
- Bowmen: Your second choice of ranged infantry, these are the cheapest choice you have for shooting attack. Unlike Arquebusiers and Crossbowmen, they can move and shoot, but they do not have any piercing so they are best off shooting at cheap skirmishers that lack good Defense, otherwise the few hits you do get won't be doing much.
- Crossbowmen: Your third choice of ranged infantry, they are the middle ground between Bowmen and Arquebusiers, not being at good at wounding as Arquebusiers while being better than Bowmen, and being between both in points. They suffer from being middle of thr road, not being as cheap as Bowmen or as good as Arquebusiers, but if you are expecting to go against a mostly 3+ Defense army, these guys are alright.
- Foot Guard: Much tougher than most Infantry in the Kingdom of Man (5+ defense) these guys come at a cost. Really they are just average joes in high Armour
- Alternate Opinion: Hang on a second here. These guys are much better than average Joes in that they have a 3+ to hit. Doesn't sound all that great? Well they can downgrade their 5+ defense to a 4+ to give them Crushing Strength 1. If you want a good hitting unit that won't fall like a house of cards to a stiff breeze, try these guys.
- Heavy Pike Block: These guys are expensive, and only have a 4+ Melee and 4+ Defense, but they make up for it with Elite, Phalanx, and Ensnare, as well as 15 attack regiments and 30 attack hordes. Ensnare and Phalanx combined with a 4+ Defense, and a 14/16 nerve for Regiments and 21/23 nerve for Hordes means they can take most regiment sized attacks without to bad of a chance of remaining Steady. 4+ Melee and Elite means that a horde of these guys will on average cause 17 hits in face-to-face charges, which will mean plenty of woods on most troops choices, and an average of 5 versus most heavy armored infantry. A horde of these guys with the Chant of Hate, Brew of Strength, or Brew of Sharpness is going to be very killy, but will also be very expensive as well.
- Militia Mob: Probably the best chaff unit available to the Kingdoms of Men. They have a 5+ to hit, a 3+ Defense, lower Nerve value and a very low points cost. This means they won't go very far and will die pretty quickly doing very little damage to your opponent's troops. Nonetheless, they are the only unit in the KoM list available in legion size, and are excellent to provide cover for your most valuable units and for screening them from dangerous charges and getting the first charge on the opponent's troops. Unfortunalely they are an Irregular unit, so even if you buy a legion of these buddies they'll count towards the troops limit.
- Pike Block: These guys are a straight upgrade from Spear Phalanxes, gaining Ensnare for the extra 15/25 pts you spend on them (Regiment/Horde respectively). They do only have a 3+ defense however, so it depends on whether or not you think those extra 15-25 are worth it.
- Pole-Arms Block: These guys are killy but weak on the defense, although not to the extent of Beserkers. They are the offensive match to the Shield Wall, having one worse Defense but getting Crushing Strength 1 in return. There only hitting with half of their attacks, but against most equivalent units they're going to be wounding on 2's and 3's. They do not have extra attacks over most equivalent sized formations, but are very cheap, easy to fit several regiments or a couple of hordes into almost any lists.
- Shield Wall: At the same cost as Pole-arms, these guys give up Crushing Blow for a 4+ Defense stat, which makes them harder to kill but less useful on the offense. Against most heavily armored units they're going to struggle to wound, but they are going to survive longer than other units, and much like Pole-arms they are very cheap for their cost.
- Spear Phalanx: Shield Wall with a few extra attacks on the Regimental and Horde levels, and Phalanx in addition. If you know you are going to be going against cavalry, just take these guys and laugh at your opponent.
- Knights: One of the few cavalry choices in the game with a Horde option, that alone makes these guys powerful. A horde of these guys is a bank-breaker, even more than a regiment of Soul Reaver Cavalry, but 32 attacks base at 3+ to hit, Thunderous Charge (2) is going to put a massive number of wounds on whatever they are fighting. Even a troop on average is going to cause 6 wounds to anything withe a defense worse than a 5+ in a face-to-face, flanks and rear charges will cause even mroe damage. Headstrong, a 5+ Defense, and decent nerve stats means that they can take moderate attacks in return, but it's best to keep these guys from getting engaged in melee.
- Mounted Scouts: These guys are the harassars and screeners of your army, cheap for their price, and capable of putting a couple of wounds on things. Giving them carbines makes them better at killing stuff, and you can put them on a flank and harass elite troops with them. Piercing 1 means that they will put a couple wounds on them to help out future combats, and if the target unit attempts to charge even better, your cheap unit just bought one of your units a chance to hit first, and maybe even in a flank or rear charge. If ignored, just send these guys into the opponents back lines to kill any wizards or warmachiens he may have back there. Doing so means he either has to send a unit back there to deal with you, devote the wizard or warmachiens attention to you instead of your main force, or just let you kill his units. A win for you either way!
- Mounted Sergeants: Cheaper than Knights, these guys hit a lot less hard and are much less durable, but they are a lot cheaper and get nimble out of it. They serve a similiar role to Mounted Scouts, but instead of ranged harassars theses guys are for rear or flank charging against units. A flank charge will get you 14 hits on average with Thunderous Charge 1, a rear charge 21 hits, and Nimble helps you race up the flanks to set-up the charges.
- Beast of War: This thing is expensive, but so worth it. For 210 points you get 12 attacks with Crushing Strength 2, and Thunderous Charge 2. If you do the math, that means that anything you manage to get your thunderous charge bonus against, even defense 6+ guys, will be hurting on 2s. You also get brutal, and the fact that it is height 4 means it can see over your own units, making it the perfect counter charge tool. If you manage a flank charge with this bad boy, your opponent is in some serious trouble. Just be careful not to leave it vulnerable. You do have the option of putting a two shot ballista on it for 10 points, but please for the love of all that is massive and face-stompy, don't do it. I've seen too many battle reports where someone did, tried to make it a part of their gunline, only to have it charged and wiped out before it got to do proper face stomping. If the occasion arises where you have to decide between shooting a ballista that only hits on a 5+, or charging in with 12 attacks, charge in!
- Alternate Opinion: Or you can take the ballista, keep it as a reserve, and then countercharge when your main line is hit. That way it gets to do something every turn and the ballista isn't expensive.
- Ballista: The cheapest of the human war engines, the Ballista benefits from a low cost for what it does, having Blast (D3+2) and Piercing 3 means that if it hits it's going to at least inflict a few wounds on it's target. Like all Kingdom of Men ranged units it only has a 5+ to-hit.
- Cannon: This is a decent unit, with the regular human 5+ to hit with a Piercing (4), Blast (D6+1) attack. However, it suffers in comparison to the Siege Artillery unit, which for 5 pts more gains Indirect Fire and Blast (D6+2). The Cannon is going to be more useful in taking on heavily armored infantry and monsters, while Siege Artillery is going to be the better pick versus most other units. The Piercing (4) only really helps against 6+ Defence units, since any roll of 1 to-wound is an automatic failure.
- Siege Artillery: The best of the Kingdom of Man Warmachines for most targets, it can get more hits on average than both the Ballista and the Cannon, while inflicting wound at the same chance as the ballista and slightly less than the cannon. Bring these instead of Cannons unless you know your going to be going up against Dwarves or a similarly heavily armored faction.
Not really Tactics more some getting started advice.Check out Easy Army KOWV2 to build your armies with all their special rules in one place.
One Tactic to use vs. shooty armies is to screen your key expensive troops e.g: cavalry. So when they are deployed they can be placed behind a cheaper unit to give them a -1 to be hit, or unable to be hit at all if the two units are same height.
Kingdoms of Men are the most versatile army in all of KoW, brimming with options. Though to be honest only some units are really specialized. A good way to start an army is by using footguard, who are a very flexible unit, and then customizing the army according to your preference. You can try to build a gunline army, a melee horde, a mixed arms army or just an army that specializes in attrition. In a way your army build can be customised to serve as a reference to real life historical armies, which is amazing.
-Gunpowder truly is a very good weapon for the kingdoms of men, but if you go that way be sure to have cavalry in order to approach your oponents chaff units before they can tie in your hordes of musketeers and hinder their shooting.Also always take siege artillery in this kind of army, if an oponent is 12" near your canons they are already dead most of the time anyways. This is a very napoleonic way to build an army
-Melee hordes come in two flavors, one relies on cavalry and berserkers and focuses on being the aggressor, with the main problem being the absolute lack of survivability of the latter. So if you go this way make sure to always be in cover and protect your flanks(CoK 2018 has a great formation now that makes berserkers speed 6 which is excellent for this configuration). A very barbarian army that gambles all in having the first and most decisive charge. Another version of this army, similar to the Helenistic armies of antiquity would be to make the army into a hammer and anvil stile army, with Heavy pikemen serving as an anvil and heavy cavalry serving as hammers
-Mixed arms armies, mix your troops musketeers with pikemen and cavalry for a very historically accurate 16th century army
-Atrittion, a Legion of militia costs 170 points and has 25/27 nerve, unless they get flanked there is no way any unit engaged to them can rout them in less than 2 turns, get 5 of these for 850 points with some standard bearers to make them more annoying, then spend your remaining points in USEFUL units(like cavalry and footguard), tie your opponents expensive units up with these tarpits and go grab objectives with your fast units. Overall this is a fun and sadistic build, very similar to medieval armies.