Hi everyone,

Firstly thank you for getting the Deadzone KS off to a flier. I think adding rats, pathfinders, and more great scenery will push this game ever onwards. Along with a ‘getting started’ guide, a Deadzone website and revitalised campaign rules, splitting the rulebook into core and advanced sections, plus lots of great new IP for the Warpath universe this promises to be lots of fun. This is the last KS we will be running for a good while as we spend the rest of the year focusing on releasing Dungeon Saga, writing these Deadzone rules, and of course Kings of War!

So let’s focus on KoW.

Firstly, thanks for the amazing amount of feedback – It is wonderful to see how passionate people are about the game and that’s a great sign. I spent my flight back from Adepticon having a good read, and most of the evenings while I was there too.

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Lower Abyssal concept art

We (Mantic HQ, Alessio and the Rules Committee [RC]) read every comment and post we can find. We then assimilate it all and discuss what to do. There are some great threads which are the best place for us to find your comments:

Kings of War Feedback Thread

Click here to download an updated KoW manuscript.

The last time I looked it had 66 changes working from all from the comments we have received. In this document we have tracked the changes just so you can compare how your comments are being incorporated. Note that this doesn’t yet include all of the typos and simple text changes – we’ll sort those later. For now we are just working on the rules. Also note that these changes are also not yet final – we’ll be discussing everything in detail before locking anything in. We will do another version next week, probably Tuesday or Wednesday, and this will be a complete new document with everything incorporated.

You’ll already see we have altered Regeneration and changed the description of KoM catapults to include every type of indirect fire (such as rockets, mortars and anything chunking big lumps of stone up in the air and hoping it lands on something squishy!) and many other changes. Please keep them coming!

At Mantic we use the word Beta in a cavalier way. It does not mean the version that is all but finished. Not at all. For those of you who were concerned about the number of tweaks required – don’t worry – we fully expected that – that’s precisely why we put the document out in this state. All rules go through stages like this as they are being written – some things are impossible to see from one man’s perspective – it’s not until it’s put in front of hundreds of experienced players, and the rules are actually tried out on a table, that some of these issues surface, and we can fix them.

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A 1st edition battle featuring Dwarfs and Abyssal Dwarfs

Ever since KoW was first put up as a free download in 2011 it has been a two way dialogue with the players. With this rules set we have given you a chance to input in a meaningful way. As you can see it is still in a draft document stage (note the hand drawn diagrams). We will be taking input for the next couple of weeks and we are looking to take on board big ideas and improve and change things if they are found wanting. The RC and Alessio will then have time to incorporate and fix.

After that it will go through editorial and proofing stages before being sent to print. That is a few months away – and right up until the final proof read we will be changing the odd point value here and typo there. So it is not until then that we have to stop improving this! We have plenty of time to get it better than great, and I hope that explains why we let you see such an early draft – it’s because we welcome your input. There have been a few topics that have caused a stir, and I would like to cover them:

– Removing Units: I know I spent a deal of time going through a list of unit suggestions and adding at least a couple per army – each one is intended to add character to the KoW army and develop their own feel. I have read some of the comments about removing units and I can say that that that was never the intention – I am in favour of more, not fewer soldiers – especially if each has a purpose and stacks with the IP behind the army. We added Dwarf cavalry after all! I certainly hate to think that anyone is having to throw away troops and units because of what we have done, and we will consider all those situations. Wights for example were dropped because we didn’t think the models and the stats lined up – and we thought that no one was bothered about them. However, we were wrong, so the Wights are already back in – we will get on with sculpting models that merit the stat line asap!

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  First WIP renders of the Undead Soul Reaver Cavalry!

– We will be putting out tournament legal army lists for lots of non-Mantic armies. These will not be canon in KoW IP but they’ll be great to battle with and against. I think a book detailing say 10 new armies would make an excellent addition – with the armies being either historical or fantasy themed (this is where the Twilight Kin will live until we get them their own Mantic sculpts and a full army – at which point we move them into the main canon). This will allow people with existing armies a chance to play KoW – which is good for us all when we are trying to find an opponent. I cannot recall many other miniature companies that actively promote the use of other manufacturer’s figures in their game, and I think a good example of mantic putting the game before other considerations. These armies will be the perfect place to fit a lot of people’s existing Kingdoms of Men armies, with plenty of options available.

– Some people have commented on the expansion of the Abyssal list and how it has more special rules than the others. We worked really hard to embed our IP into this list and come up with some interesting units, and we think that we have achieved that. However, bear in mind that this is an early draft and hasn’t had the years of testing that the others have. One of our focuses will be streamlining it from its current state into something that matches the feel of the game. Again, thanks for your comments on this, they are really helpful. – We still want more games played and tested before we do some of the more major additions/tweaks. Reading rules and spotting ‘errors’ is no substitute for games. The RC are some of the most experienced and passionate KoW players we could find. They have huge knowledge of the game and have been invaluable steering how the rules work with how it is actually played (rather than how we think it is played!). Although they may well have changed something they have usually changed something else another way to counter it. The RC and Alessio have done this throughout the book. They can quickly see how changing one thing there can affect something else, and can incorporate comments quickly.

– Please keep comments coming – and more importantly add reasons why you think something is broken/unbalanced or unclear. That really helps solve the issue you are highlighting.

– In the course of rebalancing the points values in the different sized units, it has caused a shift in the number of points required for the whole army, depending on what players have selected. Once the values have been finally settled, we will review the exact effect and suggest that tournament packs use the new “standard” army sizes going forward.

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Ronnie and his Dwarfs are ready for 2nd edition

I am well on with building my Dwarf army (it only took 5 years since release!). I am basing it as full units, which is the first time I have done that and it feels quite liberating, and I am looking forward to getting them into battle. I know that the hard work of the RC, Alessio, Stewart and everyone behind the scenes they will be taking to the wargames table with the most intuitive, fun, and easy to learn and challenging fantasy battle rules on the market. Quickly they’ll be joined by two new armies and numerous new units, a summer campaign, dedicated website and a fantastic new full-colour hardback book. Your support and enthusiasm has made this possible.

Thank you,

Ronnie

P.S. seen as we are discussing all things Mantica today I thought I should let you know there is a announcement coming in the next two weeks about Dungeon Saga and you really might want to look out for it. I think you’ll be pleased – whether you got in on the KS or not it will be great for you personally and will hopefully help DS go on to become a very popular game at retail. Any guesses? No spoilers if you know!!! 😉

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