Silly noob question

Hello! I’m returning to wargaming, possibly having been bored out of my mind by seven weeks of enforced inactivity.

Anyway, turns out my old haunt has 'sploded. I’ve been looking for replacement venues for my armies, and have narrowed it down to The Ninth Age and Kings of War, both of which look very tempting, in slightly different ways.

Before I buy the rulebooks for this, though, I have one question that is so staggeringly dense I don’t think the Mantic website bothered to address it. What’s the difference between the “Kings of War” rules ebook, and the “Kings of War (Gamers’ Edition)” rules ebook, the latter of which claims to contain everything required to play, and is somewhat cheaper? From what I can gather, I’d need one (both?) of the above, which will cover my greenskins, and possibly the “Uncharted Armies” book to cobble together an opposing army from a couple of old Battle Masters sets (plus some sundries).

Also - more generally - presuming other people here went through the “which game to play” decision making process - what made you decide on this one?



Welcome to the forums!

They’re the same, one is just printed so costs more. To help break it down for you.

There are 3 versions of the rulebook.

  • Free Rules: There is a digital only free version that doesn’t have the lists or the magical artifacts. It’s great for trying out the rules before you buy in. There is a free army list builder you can use to get the lists, I’ll mention more at the end of this post.
  • Gamer’s Edition: Then there is the gamers rule book, it has a much cheaper digital version (10euro iirc) and a paper version. They are the same and have all the rules as well as the lists for half the factions.
  • Core Rulebook: the expensive one, even the digital version is expensive. Its basically game’s edition + lore.

I mentioned the free list builder. All the stats are free online at the mantic easyarmy website, for all armies. In other words, you don’t need the uncharted empires necessarily unless you want the lore that comes with it.
Furthermore, if you subscribe for about 2$ for 1 month, it’ll also give the rules description of all unit abilities in the army you build for quick reference. This subscription in combination with the free rulebook is also the complete set of rules.


As far as I know the gamers edition is just the core book stripped down to rules only - no fluff and is soft cover instead of hardback. Either book will cover your greenskins.

Why KoW for me? Very solid mass battle game that has lots of tactical possibilities on the table. Well balanced and playable in reasonable time. Knows the scale it is playing at. Rewards skill and thinking.


Hi from the other forum too btw @MediumDave ! :smiley:

We talked there too and, as you know, I’ve not decided, and intend to play both KoW and T9A, and indeed a few other games too most likely, as they are all compatible with my existing miniatures (which was my number one priority), as well as new ones I am getting or want to get in the future.

Maybe one day, months or years from now, when I’ve tried a bunch of games systems and I’m many games in I will have a good answer to your question as to why I settled on one. Or more likely I’ll continue to play a bunch of stuff as they all have their good and bad points for me. We’ll see! :smiley:

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Like many have said, Gamers Edition is without all the fluff/backstory. That’s it.

I chose KoW because its foundation is a simple and clean rules structure which was v2.
The game was written as a contrast to GW’s “all over the place” rules.
Since v2, the game has added step by step of increasingly more complexity and fun through the Clash of Kings book supplements and now v3, all the while trying to maintain that core of solid and simple which was its mantra. The players have less emotional baggage from the old game because they have grown to appreciate KOWs own strengths of ease, clarity, quickness, chessclocks, unit basing, and strong company support.

I believe T9A exists in a more difficult situation of starting with the bloated “all over the place rules” and trying to build down, because boiling some of it down to be more clear and easy in some areas would make the game much better, but they have much resistance to all change internally within their own community, because the majority of their player base are in essence nostalgics who want to keep playing the old game.

This makes me believe that KOW is on a wide highway to grow and become only better and better, but T9A is on a bumpy road of conflicting interests and changes by committee at all turns.
So for me the choice was not hard.


Thanks, all, that’s helpful. I think I’ll start with the Gamers’ Edition, then, and go on to a physical copy of the full rules + lore if I like it (which, having read the free thing, I think I will), and if I can find anyone to play with me (even if I supply both armies, this is less likely, because I’m nearly a million years old now and everyone I used to play with has long since stopped, emigrated, imploded, or whatever).

Morofang - I’ll look at that website, thanks. £2 a month is a fairly trivial amount for the convenience.

Niall78 - that’s exaclt what I’m looking for.

Remy - hello again! I’d love to go the “play both” route, and maybe I will. But the only person I’ve managed to wheedle into a game thus far is my younger brother, and he moans about the compleity of Battle Masters, which is bascially war gaming’s equivalent of Duplo. I might be able to badger him into KoW. I doubt I’ll be able to pursuade him to learn the rules for T9A, sadly.

Fred - I’m absolutely not immune to nostalgia! I used to love WFB. Yes, it was shockingly labyrinthine, not particularly consistent, clunky, and woefully unbalanced - still fun, though. My hesitation with T9A is that it wants to simulate large battles, but focus on individual troops. I used to like that - I grew quite attached to individual minis who ‘lived’ through multiple campaigns, sad as I am - but realistically, it’s too fine-grained. KoW seems llike it’s found a sensible approach.

Would anyone happen to know if I’ll be able to field goblin wolf chariots? I reckon I can pass off my snotling pump wagons as mincers, and my wolf riders as fleabag riders, but a casual googling doesn’t suggest any role for chariots in a KoW goblin army.

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Yup! Goblins have Fleebag Chariots (basically wolf chariots), or you can use them as Mincer Mobs (and use the Pump Wagons as Goblin Blasters). Check out the free list builder: You can create a login and make lists without paying anything, though I personally like the benefits of subscribing and it’s pretty affordable.

There’s also a quick-build list editor, but it doesn’t have any stats and I’m not sure it’s still being updated now that EasyArmy is up and running -

Speaking from experience - Fleabag Chariots are probably some of the better chariots in the game, since a regiment of them (3 chariots) is the same price as a regiment of Fleebag riders, has virtually the same stats (it loses 2 attacks and 1 speed in exchange for a toned-down ranged attack), is irregular so it won’t unlock, and swaps Nimble for a 2nd point of Thunderous charge. I’ve faced an army composed mainly of chariots, mincers, and wolf riders at my FLGS (before the pandemic, that is), and they are a frighteningly effective opponent.

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Why KoW over T9A is not an easy one and a lot is up to personal preference

Main reason for me is that KoW 3rd development is done, Core Rules and faction rules are finished and no big changes are going on (new stuff is added via additional content not by changing old one)
Also the differences between editions is on a minimum and mostly improvements over older ones
(T9A has now only the core rules and 2 armies fixed, other factions are waiting for re-work, and the differences between editions are bigger, and both are now in their 3rd version)

In addition, T9A focus on single models and heroes while KoW focus on units therefore KoW will have the bigger armies (as more units on the table) but might have less models as there is a minimum & preferred model count per unit that is not possible in T9A (a Horde of 40 might have 21-30 models in KoW while there must be 40 individual bases in T9A)

and the last thing is multi-basing, as the option to make mini dioramas and no need to care where each individual model is placed gives much more freedom for modelling and choice which models to use (and also makes transporting and placing stuff on the table much more easier)

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I jumped over to KoW when WFB was in 7th edition. For me it was that the rules felt more intuitive, and grounded in reality of what would happen even if based in a fantasy setting. The added speed and lack of geological layers of rules and special rules was a massive bonus. Then as the game progressed beyond the pamphlet, forces were added which could easily be represented by a wide range of models. So it had just got better.

When 8th edition of WFB came a long my old gaming group looked at it, and had a collective sigh of relief that we had jumped over to KoW early on.

This brings me to one of the things I like the most about KoW, players are not chasing a constantly changing meta which is promoted as a sales vehicle to sell the latest flavour of the month. So glad that balance breaking power creep is not contaminating KoW.

It is my preferred mass battle rank & file fantasy game. That isn’t to say it is the only one I will play. Part of the big appeal of gaming is getting to use a collection of models in different systems. For me I want to also play Oathmark, Dragon Rampant, Warlord’s of Erehwon, and Age of Fantasy Regiments… just finding opponents is a bit hard.

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Well if you’re looking for simpler rules then you are definitely better off with KoW for sure! Although I found them too simple and vague in places tbh (see my “newbies check out KoW” thread and blog post). T9A Quick Starter might still interest you (& him though).

I agree with almost all of the points in this thread, good discussion! (I love these game level discussions). Although I would say T9A is even less susceptible to balance issues and “buy the latest to win” style power-creep, being completely volunteer run and non-commercial. Their (hard) task is also a constant effort to improve the balance and there’s no motivation for them not to do that. I also realised today (recording a youtube cast about T9A) that one of the factors I’ve really enjoyed about T9A to date is the ability to get involved and influence and impact things there by volunteering to do stuff. I know KoW has a “Rules Committee” but that’s by invite only and isn’t in the same league of what I’m talking about here.

Also no real (rules) nostalgia for me here, I am not a fan of WFB rules at all, from any edition - 7th ed was so bad to me I quit wargaming entirely for a decade! But I do agree with the point, and that is a real problem I have with T9A (& some of it’s community) too - too much “vestigial” stuff from WFB.

Until this great forum came along, most KoW “community” stuff was sadly on failbook and that was just terrible and really put me off, so it was much easier for me initially to get interested in T9A. However, I’m really looking forward to playing more KoW of course, and it seems like a good game too in it’s own right. I do wish more of the KoW community would ween themselves off their failbook addition. Posting links and photos and stuff there is all well and good of course, and it works for that, but it’s an absolutely horrible format for any kind of in depth discussion, and especially for searches or archiving (even twitter is better at that!).

In the end KoW and T9A are very different games and both hit my, admittedly pretty high “bar” that I want a game to meet for me to be keen to play it (note: No edition of WFB ever did this) and I can see the appeal of both. It’s great really that they are both so different, it would be a bit dull if all games like this were too similar! :slight_smile:

I have nt played Warhammer since 1st Edition but I like KOW because

  1. The rules are very simple but the tactical options are very varied, making the game fun to play.
  2. Its about the mass battle and not overpowering heroes or magic - as a mostly historical player I want a battle not a duel.
  3. Multi-basing looks great
  4. The system supports 3rd party figures so you can play with the armies you have

There is no “money” behind changes but the basic design philosophy as they said that a game that is not changing is boring and dying.
there is still a meta chasing to keep lists changing over time and no big tournament will see the same list twice (also balancing works that way as if too many people use a certain unit or setup it will be changed just to get people to use something else)

this is not necessarily something bad but just the opposite from KoW were changes to existing armies are kept at a minimum while instead new units/models/optional-rules are added