Slow Grow Challenge: Kings of War 10mm, let’s do it!

Let’s make 10mm Kings of War (KoW) armies! Join us for a fun, quick and easy Slow Grow challenge. This article is the first in an upcoming series: learn everything about Kings of War, the terms of our Slow Grow Challenge… and maybe get tempted to join us!

The latest video from Geek Gaming Scenics titled “Make Warhammer TINY!!!” has stirred something in our group. I highly recommend you go watch it now if you haven’t, to understand what I am talking about in this article.

It presents how easy it was to create entirely from scratch two 3D printed armies for Kings of War at the 10mm scale. Luke found some files to feed his resin 3D printer, and very quickly obtained two full armies and some terrain to play KoW at 10mm – halving all distances and sizes.

Kings of War at 10mm you say?

You can note that the title of the video says “Warhammer”, but the actual rules used are Kings of War. Some say that KoW is what Warhammer Fantasy Battle always tried to be… and I personally tend to agree! It is a perfect rule system for mass battles, and it will work beautifully at half the usual scale. Because yes, originally Mantic Games (its creator) intends you to play with 28mm scale minis.

You can find a free version of the rules of Kings of War on their website. If you want to also have access to the full army lists for all factions, you will need to also get the rule book: gamer’s edition or hardback copy, or even digital edition that gets updated with each FAQ!

This is the standard, full scale, 28mm version of Kings of War.

As you can see if you browse their pages, the game is intended for 28mm miniatures, and Mantic offers a great selection of models to choose from. For this project we will only use the rules. The good thing with KoW is that there are rules for basically any fantasy trope you can think of (there are 26 factions, if I’m not mistaken?).

Since we aim to play Kings of War, we will use one of its main advantage: multi-basing. In Kings of War, you do not remove models from units when they take damage. Instead, you keep track of how much damage it accumulated, and that number impacts so-called nerve tests. Nerve tests let you determine how the unit is dealing with the damage it suffered: it can be unaffected, wavered, or routed.

As you can see, in Kings of War the only thing that matters is a unit footprint, and it’s nerve value. Which, from a modelling perspective, is great! You can create mini-dioramas if you like on your unit tray, and you do not have to think too much about how many skeletons you put on that horde. The footprint of the unit and the nerve value is what makes it a horde!

Note that KoW is originally intended to be played with 28mm scale minis. By 10mm KoW, we very simply mean to take 3rd ed KoW rules, but divide by two every distance, and make small size armies. Consequently, you can play a standard game on a 3×2 table instead of a 6×4… or you can play a massive battle on a 6×4! But first, we are aiming for a standard 2000pts army.

About this Slow Grow Challenge

Several members of our local club now want to get started with Kings of War in 10mm (some are entirely new to KoW, some already have several 28mm armies). What better than a slow grow style group project to tackle a project like this?

For those who might not know, a “slow grow challenge” is a classic among Tabletop Hobbyist. The idea is simple: a group of people agrees on a project or theme for an army, and slowly grow their force over time, following agreed upon rules.

Since the investment (both in €€€ and in time) is relatively moderate with 10mm scale models, we thought it would make sense to take inspiration from the famous “Stillmania principles” for building a fantasy army:

Originally published in White Dwarf years ago, these principles should be taken with a grain of salt… or as literal ancient wisdom maybe?

The original document is quite extreme, but the underlying concept is worth considering. We will adapt and simplify the original principles, and follow the three simple steps:
– Step 1: Concept phase: think about the army
– Step 2: Hobby phase: build the army
– Step 3: Gaming phase: use the army.

One key element is that these steps happen in sequence: once you are done with step 1, you move on to step 2 and never go back to step 1!

Step 1: Concept Phase

During the concept phase, each participant will select what army they are interested in, and reflect on what concept they want to go for. For example, I already know I am taking this opportunity to make some Undeads, and what has always drawn me to Undeads is skeletons.

So, my army and concept is pretty straightforward: an army made of massive horde of skeletons infantry!

Once you have your army and concept, you must prepare an actual army list. We are approaching it from a relatively relaxed point of view: not necessarily super sharp or optimized, just pleasant lists that have a decent chance of winning some games, and will 100% be fun to play with and against.

Once you have an army list, print it out, laminate the list, and never ever touch it again. The step 1 is now complete!

Step 2: Hobby Phase

During the hobby phase, each participant will look for all the minis required by the list they created during the step 1. For this, all is fair game! Kings of War is completely miniature agnostic.

In an ideal world, Mantic would also sell their models (that were digitally sculpted) printed in 10mm scale, maybe with a print on demand model… Until that day arrives, we will take advantage of the model agnostic approach they offer for KoW. Luckily, there are more and more 3D models STL files available to purchase or for free. Several companies also offer the option to directly buy the 3D printed models. Then, of course, there are a large number of “traditional” manufacturers for 10/15mm scale fantasy models!

To simplify things for everyone involved in this challenge, I am happy to provide 2mm MDF multibases that I will make with my lasercutter. Because as you might remember, units in KoW can easily be multibased: one single big base for all miniatures in a unit is all you need.

I’m also happy to help everyone involved in this challenge with resin 3D printing, although I am myself a complete beginner. One way or another, I am sure we will figure things out! The “working together on a project” element is central in any “army slow grow” project anyway.

Once you have bought/printed/assembled all of your minis, it is time to paint them all. Luke’s video gives a pretty good example of how to reach a really good standard pretty fast. You do NOT need to paint every single model perfectly: some base coats, maybe a wash, are more than enough for the bulk of the units. Maybe adding some further details, highlights… to the 1st rank of the unit, but that’s it!

The final part of the hobby step is to put a good coat of varnish on your minis (at least figuratively). The goal here is to move on to step 3 once you’re done with step 2, and never ever come back to step 2 later for that army!

Step 3: Gaming Phase

At that point, you should have a neat list, and a fully painted army… you probably know what to do next! The Stillmania principles call for using your army in various types of games, and playing with various opponents to get an understanding of how it works.

We plan to play tournament, narrative games, campaigns… and the more people create “compatible” armies, the better!

The most important part is to have fun with the army, win of lose, and create great memories with an army that you will have constructed coherently.

Let the Challenge Begin!

So, now that the conditions and goals of this challenge are clear, who is in? We will update this list as long as people officially sign up on our discord server in the #kings-of-war channel.
This challenge is intended first and foremost for people from our local club, but we are happy to welcome you among us if you feel like it (and respect our code of conduct).

The first deadline is Friday 19th at 11.59pm. By then you must have announced which faction you’ve selected, and what your concept is. Of course, if you missed it, nothing prevents you from “joining us in spirit”, by taking inspiration in what we are doing!

The current plan is to have the next deadlines in the not too distant future. For several participants, this challenge serves as a palate cleanser from other projects, and we aim to have games later in the year, once the pandemic will not be too much in the way of actually meeting up for games.

– Clément, with Undeads
– Oliver, with Twilight Kins
– Riccardo, with Abyssal Dwarfs
– Martin, with Elves
– Max, probably with Undeads.
– Pete, with either Dwarfs or Herd.
– Fernando, with Order of the green Lady
– Wolfram, with Sylvan Kin
– …you? Tell us about it on #kings-of-war in our discord server!

Now that the actual list of participants is confirmed, I am definitely looking forward to what each will come up with! Join us in the next article in this serie “meet the generals”.

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