The Defenders of the Holy Monastery - A Kings of War Army Showcase

Like many good things I stumbled upon Kings of War (KOW) a bit by accident. I entered tabletop gaming around the same time that Games Workshop blew up Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WFB) so I missed that crazy mass fantasy battle scene. At this time my buddies were playing WW2 and I went down that pathway instead. By chance though the death of the WFB left people with a lot of unpainted and unwanted fantasy armies and when offered an old GW Empire army in a trade I jumped at the chance. Without really knowing what game I would play with them I got stuck into painting this new army. 

My single aim with this force was to create a spectacle, an army that would jump off the table and punch you in the face as you walked past. My good friend and fellow content producer here at PATM, Bryan, was my main influence as we started to conspire about playing this game called KOW. He explained that it was a rank and flank fantasy game designed by Alessio Calvatore that was super easy to learn and was a lot of fun. 

Bryan and I don’t play unpainted so we aimed towards a game later that year which gave me a chance to paint up a sizable force. As I started painting I was blown away by just how much I loved the look of a fantasy army all ranked up and realised immediately that this style of army was going to play a big part in my future gaming plans. 

The way that KOW works with units is that it’s all about the size of the base and the actual number of individual units on that base is variable. An example is a regiment of men can be anywhere from 11 to 20 28mm miniatures but must always be on a 100 x 80 base. Wounds are attributed to the unit and when those wounds are added to a roll of 2D6 the unit could be either fine, wavered or broken. In this way units are removed from the table and not the individual miniatures in those units. What this means for the hobbyist is that you can multibase your miniatures, no longer do they have to remain in the strict rank and file but can dynamically posed within the parameters of that unit base size. Mantic, the producers of KOW, have guides for Minimum Model Count (MMC) so that players don’t get cheeky and put a couple of miniatures on a base and call it a regiment. 

The majority of the miniatures are from the GW Empire range and are no longer produced, which makes adding to the units a little difficult. The renaissance style of those units guided my theme and the miniatures I had at hand guided my unit selection rather than any sort of meta. I did purchase 40 metal miniatures from the Artizan Landsknecht range to form my Heavy Pike Block and they are a great addition to the force. 

I have tried to make each unit tell a story by giving them a flag or a hero or something interesting. They are posed in a way that makes them look like they are in the middle of battle rather than forming up for one. 

In a very simple way the army follows the hammer and anvil principle. A solid core of infantry provides the foundation which anchors the army, in this case it is mainly based around a horde of Heavy Pike Block which is an elite unit and can be hard to budge. They themselves are supported by a mix of defensive and assault types of infantry units in regiment strength which can adapt to the circumstances of the battle. I then have the hammer units which are several regiments of Knights that really threaten the opponents flanks and finally the horde of Riflemen that can force project power and give me a ranged option.

Bryan and I met for that game and we had an absolute ball. We held each other to a draw and the match up gave my army a name; the Defenders of the Holy Monastery.