Kings of War Armada Introduction
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 this guide, we'll look at the Kings of War Armada key mechanics, the different factions and talk about what you need to play.
If you want to know more about Kings of War, you can read our Guide here.
Kings of War Armada Mechanics
Anyone coming from Black Seas or Kings of War will find a lot familiar with Armada. The rules are based on the Black Seas wargame from Warlord Games and initiative, movement and combat work the same way. Kings of War players will obviously recognize the setting and factions, but there are also similar rules concepts with nerve.
For those coming in without a background in either of those games, Armada has very straight-forward rules to allow you to focus on the gameplay. Ships can set different speeds, which means moving 1, 2, or 3 times. Each move is to the full value of the ship's move value, with a single turn allowed between each, so some planning is required to avoid hitting other ships, terrain and making sure you can bring your weapons to bear on the enemy. Only Orcs can intentionally ram other vessels, but during collisions and boarding actions, both ships can take damage, which gives a great risk-reward for getting in close to the enemy.
Shooting is also very simple, with weapons divided into Heavy, Long, Close and Indirect with each having its own range and colored-coded dice. Weapons have fire arc’s clearly marked on the ship's card, so as long as a weapon is in arc and range, you roll a number of dice equal to its value and try to score 6 or more on 10-sided dice.
Damage is set with weapon types, except indirect fire which is random and scatters if the shot misses. There are bonuses to damage, such as double damage for point-blank shots, and extra damage for shots that can align broadsides with the bow and stern of the target ship, and also critical hits for additional damage. When a ship has taken more damage than its nerve value, it reduces its operational ability and it may surrender if a large enemy is nearby.
There are optional advanced rules for wind, terrain, oars and engines, squadrons of smaller ships, and repairs once you've mastered the basics and want to head into full nautical warfare.
Kings of War Armada - What Do You Need To Play?
To play Kings of War Armada, you need:
- Kings of War Armada Rules (available in a physical copy or digital)
- Dice - 10-sided and 6-sided (Mantic produce a set of color-coded dice to the Armada weapons)
- Tape Measure and turning tool (available in the starter set and with the physical rulebook and tokens set)
- Ship miniatures for your chosen faction and their ship cards
- Tokens and markers
- Playing surface (Kings of War Armada is usually played on a 4x3, 4x4, or up to 6x4 foot surface. There is an official Armada gaming mat, but a blue cloth or any sea gaming mat will give you that nautical feel)
And while not essential, games are improved with scenery. These can be 3d pieces of scenery, or simply cut out pieces of card.
Kings of War Armada Products
Kings of War Armada 2-Player Starter Set
Kings of War Armada has a 2-player starter set, that includes everything for 2 players to start playing straight away. The 2-Player Starter Set includes:
- Resin Basilean Fleet and ship cards (4 ships)
- Resin Orc Fleet and ship cards (4 ships)
- Full Armada rulebook
- 14 MDF upgrade tokens
- 10-sided and 6-sided dice, color-coded to the weapons
- 3ft x 4ft paper gaming mat and card scenery
- Tokens, templates, measuring stick, and turning tool
Kings of War Armada Miniatures
Armada Ships are currently available in 3 packs.
- Faction Starter Pack (containing 2 Main Battle Ships and 1 Support Ship)
- Faction Booster Box (containing 1 Main Battle Ships and 3 Support Ships)
- Single Large Ship (available for the Orcs and Basilean's and contains the Main Battle Ship from the Starter Set, which isn't included in the 2-player starter set)
Kingdoms of Men Ship Card Pack
If you play any other ship wargames, the Kingdoms of Men Card Pack gives you all the rules to use your existing miniatures in Kings of War Armada.
Kings of War Armada Accessories
If you don't want to pick up the 2-player starter set, because you don't want 2 fleets or you want to play a different fleet, you can buy the components separately.
- Kings of War Armada Rulebook (Available in a physical copy with the card tokens and templates set, or digital copy)
- Kings of War Armada Dice Set
- Kings of War Armada Acrylic Template Set (Much more durable than the card templates)
- Kings of War Armada Gaming Mat
Kings of War Armada Factions
Kings of War Armada currently has 5 factions available
- Basileans - Devout and religious warriors. Heavily armored and well organized.
- Orcs - The Orcs are a green tide of focused rage.
- Dwarfs - The Dwarfs are stout and stubborn with some great engineering.
- Empire of Dust - Egyptian and Middle Eastern undead.
- Kingdoms of Men - Varied factions of human forces.
We'll go into the different factions, their playstyles, and ships in our upcoming factions guides.
The Kings of War Armada products used to produce this article were provided by Mantic Games.