Kings of War War In The Holds Preview

We take a look at the latest Kings of War starter set and the 2 forces it contains.

Published: January 28, 2021 11:00 AM /

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Kings of War War In the Holds

Kings of War, currently in its 3rd Edition is a tabletop fantasy wargame from Mantic Games. Kings of War has a focus on large scale unit combat, rather than the smaller individual scale of skirmish wargames. The latest starter set, War in the Holds features 2 brand new sets of hard plastic miniatures for the Goblins and Ratkin. In this preview, we'll look at what the starter set contains, and the 2 forces that it gives you.

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Kings of War.

Kings of War

Kings of War features streamlined mechanics to keep large battles fast and straight-forward. Players complete their entire turn, activating every unit before passing play to their opponent. Turns consist of 3 phases, movement, ranged, and then melee. Kings of War uses 6-sided dice for all tests, with most unit characteristics being represented as target numbers to achieve on the dice.

The Kings of War rules are short, concise, and very beginner-friendly. Getting started is easy, giving you the capacity to learn the subtle tactics of movement and the strengths and weaknesses of yours and your opponent's faction.

The focus of Kings of War is on large units battling each other. To reflect this, units are mounted on large bases according to their size. Units are considered single entities, and while they have numbers to reflect the size of the unit, individuals aren't removed when damage is taken, which means that units can either be individual units on movement trays or can be built on scenic bases and dioramas. Damage is tracked with counters, unit the unit reaches a point where its nerve breaks of waivers.

For more details on Kings of War, check out our guide.

Kings of War War In The Holds.
The full contents of the Kings of War War in the Holds 2-player starter-set.

War In The Holds

Kings of War War in the Holds contains:

  • Kings of War Getting Started Gude
  • Kings of War 3rd Edition Gamer's Edition Rulebook
  • 2 Forces - Ratkin and Goblins

All you need to add to the starter-set is dice and a tape measure to get playing Kings of War.

The Gamer's Edition rulebook is a softback rulebook, with all the Core Rules, details of artefacts and spells, and 14 different full army lists including the Goblins. To expand your Ratkin force, you will need to pick up the Uncharted Empires book. The Getting started guide includes 2 army lists with the stats for both forces contained in the set, so you can start playing straight away with what's in the box.

Kings of War War In The Holds.


The Goblin force in War in the Holds contains:

  • 1 Goblin Wiz (Resin - exclusive to the War in the Holds set)
  • 3 Trolls (PVC)
  • 40 Goblin Infantry (Hard Plastic - Can be built as Spitters, Sharpsticks, or Rabble)

The Goblin Wiz is a very cheap way to get access to Lightning Bolt and the Trolls offer some durable hard-hitting power. The choice of goblin troops depends on what you want to achieve. The Spitters are ranged, the Sharpsticks and the Rabble are melee. The Rabble are cheaper but less effective than the Sharpsticks, who also get access to the Phalanx special ability to protect against charges against them.

The Getting Started guide includes a pre-made list that uses all the miniatures included in the set, and provide a great core to start building your force from.

Kings of War War In The Holds.


The Ratkin force in War in the Holds contains:

  • 1 Ratkin Warlock (Resin - exclusive to the War in the Holds set)
  • 1 Ratkin Night Terror (PVC)
  • 40 Ratkin Infantry (Hard Plastic - Can be built as Warrior or Spear Warriors)

The Ratkin Warlock is a more effective magic-user than the Goblin Wiz, but slightly more expensive. The Night Terror, while not as durable as the Trolls, is lightning fast for great positioning. The choice between Warriors and Spear Warriors is purely based on cost and attack effectiveness. The Spear Warriors are better fighters, but at a slightly increased cost. If you're looking to use your infantry as expendable, in order to bog down the enemy infantry, then cheaper is better.

The Getting Started guide includes a pre-made list that uses all the miniatures included in the set, and provide a great core to start building your force from. If you want to expand further, then you will need to pick up the Uncharted Empires book, which includes the full army list for the Ratkin, along with many more factions. You can see the full faction list for the book in our Kings of War Guide.

Kings of War Halpi's Rift

After War In the Holds

Once you've played a few games of War in the Holds, and you like either of the playstyles of the Goblin or Ratkin, what should you get next? We'd recommend picking up Uncharted Empires, which adds the full rules for the Ratkin, and the new Halpi's Rift campaign book, which adds rules for new heroes and fighting underground games. Force wise, for the Ratkin, we'd recommend more infantry and a Brood Mother for some extra punch, and for the Goblins, more Rabble, and a Winggit, for some extra mobile ranged attacks.

The copy of Kings of War War in the Holds used to produce this article were provided by Mantic Games.


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A Potts TechRaptor
| Senior Tabletop Writer

Adam is a Tabletop Specialist for TechRaptor. He started writing for TechRaptor in 2017 and took over as Tabletop Editor in 2019 and has since stood down… More about Adam