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Matt Gilbert talks Uncharted Empires

19th Nov 2019

Rob Burman

Hello! I’m Matt Gilbert, the studio manager here at Mantic and head of everything Kings of War. I’m here today to talk about the hotly anticipated follow-up to the Kings of War version 3 rulebook – Uncharted Empires!

I’ll tackle this in a Q&A style interview with myself (yes, I’m sitting alone in an office right now with no other company) so that it hopefully deals with all the questions and comments I’ve seen (or am anticipating!) in the various groups online.

Q: Wait… I thought the book was called Armies of Pannithor? That’s what everyone’s been calling it.

A: Yes – that was the working title but we decided that because people knew what Uncharted Empires was from Second Edition, it made sense to stick to the same format for Third 🙂

Q: So what does the book contain and how many pages is it?

A: The book is 112 pages and contains both background and army lists for the following:

  • Brotherhood (these now have two lists: The Order of the Brothermark and The Order of the Green Lady)
  • Free Dwarfs
  • Salamanders
  • Sylvan Kin
  • The Herd
  • Kingdoms of Men
  • League of Rhordia
  • Ratkin
  • Ratkin Slaves
  • Twilight Kin
  • Varangur

There’s a background section from pages four through to 31 and just like the rulebook, each army list gets a few pages of background leading into it too.

Q: Are all the lists in the book full army lists?

A: Some of them are Master Lists and others are Themes. Themes are presented and discussed in the main rulebook but Uncharted Empires is the first time players will have access to them. Themes are a great way for us to include lists with similar roots but then add a new flavour so they play in a different way. Theme lists have a parent Master list which they take some of their units from. They then have a variety of their own units that are also available for selection.

The Salamanders, Kingdoms of Men and Ratkin are all Master lists. The rest are all Theme lists. For example, the Varangur is a Theme list where the parent Master list is the Northern Alliance (but with an Evil alignment!). Varangur theme units include things like Draugr, The Fallen and Mounted Sons of Korgaan, alongside units from the Northern Alliance, like Clansmen, Huscarls and Snow Trolls.

Q: Why didn’t you just include all these armies in the main rulebook?

A: I had a very specific format for how I wanted the armies in the main rulebook to be presented via art and photography. That meant sticking to armies that we produce a significant range of models for, and ones we didn’t have to ask for permission to use pictures of! This means the main rulebook really shows off just how far Mantic and Kings of War has come over the last 10 years – but it also gave more time for the extra armies to get some testing in, and gave our layout team a break before doing more pages and pictures. Between the two books, version 3 has launched with more than 500 pages of material… and that would be a hefty tome to carry around in your bag. We would have to start selling official Mantic wheelbarrows to carry everything in.

Q: So does that mean there are no pretty pictures or art in the Uncharted Empires book?

A: The layout and presentation follows on from the main rulebook – this is the design for this edition of the game. We do have new art in the book some of the new armies, and we have taken some new pictures – but there’s just not as much as in the main rulebook. It’s all still really nice though!

Q: Are there any more of those great new maps in the book?

A: Not this time – the locations of the armies in Uncharted Empires are all covered in the maps in the main rulebook.

Q: If this book helps represent many of the models that Mantic doesn’t currently make, are there any plans to start producing models yourselves for these armies in the future?

A: Yes! Obviously there’s still a lot to fill in as part of our existing ranges. But we have plans to attack both. With the original Uncharted Empires book for the previous edition, we tried to be accommodating to many models people might already have, while ensuring that the background we wrote started to put a Mantic spin on each army – cementing them into the world of Pannithor. We continue that here and will do so again in the future, slowly adapting armies and bringing them in line with our own models, ranges and IP as build the world and the game. We will always welcome new players and provide a means for them to play, but of course as we expand our own ranges, there will be many new units that new players will not have and should be excited to try, integrating with their existing collections. Who knows, perhaps one day we might do things like Ratkin, for example…

Q: Have some units been dropped from the previous edition?

A: Just like with the lists in the main rulebook, we’ve taken the opportunity to look at how we wanted each army to behave, as well as how the game played overall. Some of this involved consolidating similar units into one, some units were removed, but others have also been added. Not all units removed will have gone forever – they may come back in a future Clash of Kings book, on their own, or as part of a formation, for example. Some units were moved out of what is now a Master list and into a Theme – and so some units currently not available may do likewise in some of the Themes we introduce in the future.

Q: Where have all the halflings gone!?

A: There are still some halflings in the League of Rhordia list! However, the halflings are pulling back from the League of Rhordia, and while they continue to fulfil their basic and mandatory military obligations, there is a growing migration back to the shires. Have no fear though, the armies of the shires are swelling as a consequence so you can probably read between the lines (and refer to a previous answer above!) if you are a fan of the little people.

Hopefully that gives a little insight into the new book and answers some of your questions in advance, and might just create some new ones!

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