Basing For Kings of War

As Kings of War 3rd Edition looms on the horizon, interested people have been asking questions about how to base for the game. There are a variety of methods, which all involve a reasonable amount of work. However, for those folks who have fantasy armies from the old days (which have remained on their square bases with movement trays): chances are you’ll have little to zero work to do if you don’t want to rebase. For those of us just starting out, or looking to make something more diorama-ish, there is of course some effort required.

Two troops of Skeleton Archers. Models from Citadel, Reaper Miniatures and RAFM.

To begin with, let’s discuss some of the options. I’ll be up-front here, I am in the monobase/multibase camp of Kings of War players. I love the simplicity of the basing style, and the creative control that it allows me. That said, I would be doing the community a disservice if I didn’t mention the other options, so here we go.

The first (and for many, easiest) way to base your army for Kings of War is the old fantasy square basing plus movement tray approach. There is literally nothing wrong with this at all. The base sizes for Kings of War remain exactly the same in most cases and the troop types you may already own will match (or easily approximate) a Kings of War unit without much extrapolation. Anyone who played popular mass battle fantasy games in the last 30 or so years will be completely familiar with this approach. You may have to make new movement trays if your existing ones are too big or small, but that’s it. A well-worn path to be sure.

A regiment sized unit for Kings of War, using the old school fantasy style of basing with a movement tray. This works perfectly well and doesn’t require any rebasing at all. The Dark Elves, however, need a new army list. I’m looking at you, Mantic! (Maybe it’s one of the six new lists they’re adding into 3ed). Figures are all Citadel.

Another option is the “sabot” tray/base. These have cut-outs for individual figures that may already be based for skirmish games, or for something else with smaller multibases than Kings of War. This is a fine compromise if you want to get double duty from your skirmish armies. The only caveat here is the minimum number of figures per base specified in the official FAQ, which stands at 50% of the listed number of figures for the unit, plus one figure (though 66% is preferred). If your skirmish bases are too large (for example, 30mm lipped bases or similar) it may be difficult to make enough slots for a regiment, which at a bare minimum requires 11 figures on the base. Some may see this as a challenge, though I’m not sure it is actually possible every time.

A Skeleton spear regiment ‘monobased’ for Kings of War. There are 18 models in this regiment (more than the bare minimum of 11) and the lower figure count allows for some creative groundwork and figure positioning on the base. Not bad for five bucks at a MOAB Bring and Buy with some of what was lying around. Models by Citadel with some Reaper Miniatures figures as well.

Which leaves us with what some people call “monobasing” and others call “multibasing”. They are the same thing. With this type of basing the unit is built exclusively for Kings of War (there aren’t any other games using this type of basing as far as I know, though of course one could house rule anything). The advantages are many, however. The unit can be built as a small diorama, giving extra flavour to the army, and the units are very fast to deploy and pack away, especially if the bases are magnetised in a metal box or the box is lined with rubber sheeting. It is an elegant solution that is a lot of fun to put together and very nice to look at once complete. It also seems very popular online. I’ve found some examples on YouTube that you can check out which will hopefully further inspire. The back of the Kings of War 2ed rulebook discusses multibasing too.

A troop of Skeleton Archers. This unit has the bare minimum of figures allowed by the official FAQ, that is 50% + 1 figure (a troop is listed as ten figures). Doing this, particularly with missile troops, can help in creating a better ‘firing line’ than two ranks of five models in many cases. Models by Reaper Miniatures and RAFM.

In conclusion, there are no hard and fast rules for basing for Kings of War other than figure minimums and base size footprint. This comes directly from page 3 of the FAQ on Mantic’s website (link below). Other than that, have fun and be as creative as you like.

Links and Further Ideas

Official FAQ for Kings of War: OF WAR/Kings of War FAQ and Errata 290915.pdf

A video tutorial from Mantic on multibasing from Kings of War:

Ronnie (of Mantic Games fame) enthusiastically discussing multibasing in Kings of War (he calls them movement trays, because he’s pushing the official Mantic product, which is yet another option):

Another approach to basing, though I personally wouldn’t base them before painting!:

And another video showing an entire army’s bases textured, detailed and painted ahead of time, with the models added later. Also featured is a simple and effective way to connect smaller units to make larger ones: