Steps to Deliverance & Healing

I just wanted to shout out that I just finished this Mantic Novel, and I was pleasantly surprised. I admit I had very low expectations, but really enjoyed it. I suggest giving it a read.

One note I found interesting was how Paladins and Sisters could heal themselves. I wonder if this will ever translate into the game by allowing Heal to be cast on themselves, or does Iron Resolve cover it to a lesser degree? What does anyone else think?


My guess is it is simply the iron resolve game mechanic they are referencing.


I did not see any prohibition in the Heal text from being cast on the caster him/her-self.

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Magic is a shooting attack - unless it says you CAN target yourself then you can’t.

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They can heal themselves in Dungeon Saga. I imagine the healing mages in KoW are orders of magnitude more powerful and things like Iron resolve and headstrong better reflect the effect of their healing.


Good point.

I also had very low expectations, and I wrote it. My chief source for self healing came from the divinity spells in Dungeon Saga, as the paladin archetype was detailed most in that game and it was not contrary to KoW. Vanguard wasn’t even released when I wrote the first draft! However, looking ahead lore wise, it’s most likely that healing magic and control over it will vary from Order to Order.


Thank you for the insight and welcome to the forum!

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Hello chaps - for those interested, my second Kings of War novel is well underway, about 40 pages into the first draft. The second novel goes into some more detail regarding the differences between various paladin orders and chapters; this is also fleshed out in the upcoming Kings of War RPG, which I’ve written the narrative for paladins in. The upshot is that yes, healing magic varies tremendously between different paladin chapters and orders, and the healing you see in Steps to Deliverance is not typical of all paladin organisations.


Second novel, excellent. I look forward to reading it Mark.



Any plans to go into the organization of the holy orders and the legions?

I think you mentioned cohorts in the last book, and if the Basilean armies are organized along these lines (centuries/companies og ca 100 soldiers, cohorts/battalions of ca 500, and legions of ca 5000), this would make it relatively easy to visualize and write about the Basilean army fluff.

actually for the romans a century was 80 men. it was ten contubernium, and one contubernium was eight men.

the reason for the title was because there were two servants assigned to each contubernium to help with camp and logistical issues like carpentry, blacksmithing, etc (these men were of Auxiliary status, but were not trained as soldiers). which made the numbers even out, with one century being 80 soldiers and 20 servants.

also with basilea having a real byzantine feel to it, the army might be organized more along the lines of the late roman army, where they could be somewhat variable in size.

At the moment there is a section I’ve drafted for the KOW RPG which gives a bit more detail on the organization of the Paladins, and why there is some variation between referring to them as Orders or Chapters. I could do something similar for the Legion in this next novel, but my initial thoughts would be to keep it deliberately a little vague to give players some flexibility in how they set up their force. Also, casualties and availability of replacements would also dictate the unit size in practise rather than doctrinally; I’ve just finished writing another Bolt Action book so this has been my life recently!

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Good news in third edition KoW though, the Heal spell can now effect yourself. :slight_smile:

I need to finish up the short story anthology so I can get into Steps to Deliverance before the next one is out!

Yeah, I am well aware of this. I used the 100 and 500 numbers as they might be easier to use in a fantasy setting.

If they want to go the Byzantine route, they might as well start using 300 strong Banda “banners” and 1000 strong Chilliarchy. The whole Tagmata vs Theme dynamic could also be interesting to explore.

i think the historical one might be a better choice for gameplay related reasons… 80 soldiers in a Century works out to 2 hordes in game, as apposed to 2 hordes and 1 regiment needed to fit 100 men.

which would make a Cohort 10 Hordes, keeping the numbers nice and even from a gameplay perspective and not requiring any mixing of units to deal with ‘hanging regiments’.

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I agree with you on this if the models represented a single model, but I have the impression that a single model represents several actual warriors. Anything from 5 to 20 (20 being the old traditional number for historicals), personally I prefer 5, and think that fits well with the scope of the game (750 warriors in a 150 model army is a small army that you could expect minor nations to field relatively easily).

i don’t get that feeling myself. the rules certainly don’t seem to support it, nor the fluff.
the only concession to that is the names of the unit sizes, but that is a fairly normal deviation from reality for games, since wholly original terms tend to sound stupid, but you have to call them something. easier to borrow real world terms and apply them, even if the real world terms don’t properly match the figure counts.

historically most battles were of fairly small battle groups. even if part of a larger “army” assigned to a given region, the actual maneuvering and fighting tended to occur on a smaller scale. even when you did see thousands of men deployed for a battle (such as in a major siege), they tended to be spread out into smaller groups due to the limitations of communications. functionally such massive battles fit pretty well to how “mega-games” play out, where you have multiple players per side, each effectively fighting their own little battle with just a touch of overlap with those alongside them.

Here I must disagree completely. The rules are clearly abstract with the nerve system and the number of attacks. Compared to old Warhammer it looks much more like a mass combat system. Further, units of 10 to even 40 men do not fight in tight ranks, wheel and maneuver like that. They will fight more like skirmisher and are far more maneuverable than than the KoW system allows for, even if formed up into a rough shieldwall.

You are right that most fighting was smaller scale historically, but systems like Warlords of Erehwon are much better than KoW, to represent these kinds of skirmishes. Units do not start to behave like they do in KoW until they are around 60 men + strong. A Greek hoplite phalanxe usually deployed 8 deep, a Macedonian phalanx was 16 deep. The Byzantine battalions were at least 6 deep and usually formed up in big squares to support the cavalry. The unit sizes of KoW would not allow these kinds of depths without giving up most of their frontage. To have a unit of 20 pikemen maneuver on their own is frankly rather absurd.

Except that it you read the lore for KoW, both 2nd and especially 3rd ed, they aren’t fighting like those examples. They aren’t marching around shoulder to shoulder in tight ordered formations like phalanx or the legiobs. By the lore they are using looser shield wall styles of fighting, or are even just a ragged mass of warriors. The ranked up miniatures are abstract representations not literal. Which is likely one of the reasons mantic encourages reduced model count and multibasing. Because it makes the visuals more appropriate for what the unit is supposed to be.

Add to that the Lore’s description of the setting, where most of pannithor exists in some variation of feudalism or tribalism, conditions where the armies can be described as ‘retinues of retinues’, being comprised of many smaller bands drawn together into a larger force. In such armies the smaller bands usually fought as a single unit semi-idependantly (albeit alongside other such units in the battle line) not as part of the sort of massive organized formations you describe.

Nor does stuff like erwhon for the kind of warfare I am speaking of. Those sorts of rules (including stuff like SAGA) are for skirmishes, not actual battles. They are for the special operations, the raids, the scouting, etc.What KoW has Vanguard to fill. But those rulesets can’t fight battles involving more than a few dozen men, certainly not the hundreds of Men that constitute a normal sized battle in history, much less the thousands of the large scale (mega)battles in history.

further, the setting is inherently unrealistic. even ignoring the whole dragons and magic and monsters beings stuff, it is a setting where 10th century shield walls coexist next to 15th century arquibuses and pikes which coexist next to 17th century plate armor which coexist next to 5th century BC chariot archery. a setting where this technology and ways of warfare have remained static for millennia on end, by cultures that have remained basically the same over that same time.

Short version? The units in the game are representational, but they probably don’t represent the kinds of massive formations you claim them to be.and while the smaller numbers might be unrealistic, they are by far the least unrealistic element.