Kings of War Armada is a ship wargame by Mantic Games, set in their fantasy Kings of War setting in the world of Pannithor. In our Kings of War Armada Empire of Dust Guide, we'll look at the faction as a whole, and break down each ship.
Empire of Dust Fleets
The Empire of Dust fleets are made up of undead ships and warriors, summoned back by the desert high-priests of the Ahmunite Empire to wage war against their enemies. Their ships are as they were in life, sleek and powerful, and manned by capable warriors and slaves, only now, they serve silently in death.
The Empire of Dust ships are powered by a mix of sail, oars, and magic, which makes them a fast and flexible fleet in combat. They tend to have lower crew strengths and are less durable than ships of equal value but have access to some great abilities to balance them out.
Empire of Dust Ships
Monolith / Shobik's Wrath
The Monolith is a super powered War Galley, with six boardside mounted weapons, and two boarside mounted indirect fire weapons, it can rain down on foes at any range. It also has the Lighting Bolt special rule, which can be used once per game to inflict a huge amount of bonus damage on an enemy.
Shobik's Wrath has the same armament as the standard Monolith, with boosted Nerve and Structure Point, and a much more powerful Lightning Bolt that can be used to deal serious damage to any ship that braves the nearby waters.
The War Galley is a main battle ship of the Empire of Dust. It has a higher nerve, but less crew strength than similar-sized ships, and uses the tighter yellow turn marker. War Galleys are powered by oars, so ignore the restrictions of wind when using the full rules. They also have broadside mounted indirect fire weapons, which while inaccurate, can threaten a long-range to either side of the War Galey as it powers forwards. Their indirect fire cannons can also be upgraded to Balefire, which do extra damage and can set fire to enemy ships.
Khopeshi's are slightly smaller than the War Galley's and serve a more close combat role in the fleets. All Empire of Dust ships require opponents to pass a skill test when entering boarding actions with their ships or get -1 to their boarding action., The Khopeshi's crew are so frightening, that enemies must reroll these successful skill tests. Their fast movement makes it easy for them to get in close to enemy ships and overrun them in close combat.
Soul Hunters are cheap, small support ships armed with a front-facing indirect fire mortar. The mortars, while very inaccurate, have a long-range, random damage that can be devastating, and can scatter onto other targets if they miss. They aren't very durable and are slow, so keeping them at range and dropping fire on your opponent's fleet is essential for their survival. Soul Hunters have the Soul Thirst special rule, which can deal damage to nearby enemy ships that are closing on them and their light oars make them more maneuverable for positioning during the movement phase.
Dust Chasers are light support ships with one heavy and one light broadside. They have light oars to give them more maneuverability options and control. They're not very durable though, so picking your targets and using them to tie up larger enemy ships, or weakening smaller ships is their most effective use.
Slave Squadrons are groups of two tiny ships which are incredibly fast and maneuverable. They're extremely cheap but offer very little in the way of threat to any large ships. They come with the expendable special rule, which lets them take damage for nearby friendly ships.
Empire of Dust Products
There are several products for Empire fleets, which are listed below with the ships they contain.
Empire of Dust Starter Fleet
- 1x War Galley
- 1x Khopeshii
- 1x Soul Hunter
The Empire of Dust Starter Fleet comes with both main battle ships, and a support ship, coming in at 120 points for the ships alone. It's a solid foundation to build up from with a focus on indirect fire with the Khopeshii taking the fight to the enemy. Adding in additional support ships for additional indirect fire and to help tie up enemy ships is required to get the most of the fleet.
Empire of Dust Booster Fleet
- 1x Khopeshii
- 1x Dust Chaser
- 2x Slave Squadron
The Booster Fleet fleshes out from the Starter Fleet, adding in another Khopeshii and 3 support ships. There's seventy points in ships, and when added to the Starter Fleet it gives a great foundation to build up from and find the style of play that suits you.
Empire of Dust Monolith
- 1 Monolith (optional part to build the named ship Shobik’s Wrath)
The largest ship of the Empire of Dust fleet comes in its own box and can build the standard Monolith, or the unique, named ship Shobik's Wrath
Empire of Dust List Building
Starting with the Empire of Dust Starter and Booser Fleets means that you're going to have 2 Khopeshii's (as they come in both sets), which is ideal because they're the best ship to keep the enemy away from your indirect fire ships. Smash them into your opponents, and then rain down balefire. Keeping the Slave Squadrons alongside the Khopeshii will keep them around for longer, or use them to protect your War Galley.
We're still exploring list-building options and will update this guide when we've played more games (post-UK lockdown).
All of the Kings of War Armada products used to produce this guide were provided by Mantic Games.