The Budget Friendly Wargame

I haven't done any kind of blog post for some time and thought this might be an ideal time to write something.  Partly because I've got something I thought I could talk about a bit, and partly because I'm at work and bored.  I've been working on my Orcs again for the upcoming Dragon-Fall Con tournament and they haven't seen any love since the Adepticon preparation late last year.  So, it came to mind last night as I was dividing models to create more units that it is always amazing how much you get out of playing Kings of War model wise.  I thought it might be quite interesting to do a cost analysis comparison just to show how cheaply you can get away with a good size army in the Kings of War system.

I purchased the Orc Mega Army from Mantic Games website.  $174.99 and I bought a 2nd Regiment of Trolls at the same time for an additional $29.99 USD.  A grand total of $204.98 was spent.  I can't recall shipping costs or taxes so I'll just be looking at flat MSRP for this discussion.

The list of what comes in the Orc Grand Army is below:
40 Ax
30 Greatax
10 Skulk
20 Gore Riders
3 Trolls
3 Gore Chariots
Orcling Figures

So if you field it in the simplest way possible you get the following:

Horde of Ax
Regiment of Greatax
Troop of Greatax
Troop of Skulks
Regiment of Gore Riders
Regiment of Gore Riders
Regiment of Trolls
Regiment of Gore Chariots
Horde of Orclings (There is an unspecified amount, but a lot, probably enough to do two hordes honestly)

Fielded as above you get 1250 points without upgrades or characters.  That's a damn fine chunk of points.  While it's hard to say exactly the crossover let’s compare that to a WHFB army.  Now I'm aware that Games Workshop is now offering some army boxes at an actual discount although I'm uncertain as to how much, but I couldn't really find one that fit this particular type of build so we're going off of flat MSRP for unit boxes which isn't particularly fair but there isn't a lot of option here for me.  At least not one I'm willing to spend more than 20 minutes looking for.  So to achieve the same model count as above you'd be spending $475 USD.  Now that doesn't get you the Skulks or Snotlings as GW has none that I could find at the time of writing this but it would get you everything else.  Even if you were to get a 50% discount they would still be more expensive by about $30.  Convinced yet?

Let's lay off the GW bashing for a moment and concentrate on the Mantic stuff.  The army box as it comes has no characters but Kings of War has a fantastic rule called MMC or Minimum Model Count.  This states that representatively for a unit to be useable it has to contain models equal to the unit size below it plus one.  So for a regiment to be a regiment it needs minimum eleven models.  This awfully generous rule means that we can really chop up what came in the Mega Army box and make way more stuff out of it.  So my personal preference for MMC is to use 3/4 of the models of a unit size.  A Troop then will have seven while a Regiment would have fifteen and a horde 30.  Using some of those leftover models to fluff other units and turn some into characters, not to mention a little alteration of limbs I then ended up with the following units in my army:

Horde of Ax
Regiment of Greatax
Troop of Moreax
Regiment of Gore Riders
Regiment of Gore Riders
Regiment of Gore Chariost
Regiment of Orclings
Regiment of Orclings
Horde of Trolls
War Drum
Krudger on Gore
Krudger on Chariot
Army Standard Bearer on Gore
Troll Bruiser

This turned into 2140 points.  Well now, how about that.  We just crossed the 2000 point threshold for less than $250.  Hot dog, but I'm not done yet!  Big tournaments tend to be 2500 and darnit I want to play.  To the rescue comes another generous rule that Mantic put in the book.  They don't require you to use only their models.  In fact they acknowledge they don’t' make models for everything in  the game and so encourage you to go find other companies.  Let’s see how fast we can boost up to 2500.

Reaper Giant: Krug $8.99
Reaper Dragon: Cinder $19.99

Oh hell, so for less than another $30 MSRP (again, not including tax or shipping) we have a pretty awesome Giant and a Winged Slasher which again, through judicious use of what came in our army box we have a Gore Rider model that can sit atop we are sitting at 2615 points and we haven't put any upgrades into the army yet.  That’s pretty fantastic no matter how you look at it.  Now I can't guarantee you'd see amazing results like this with every Mega Army that Mantic produces, but I'd bet you get something along those lines.

Now before someone points it out I will say this.  You get what you pay for when it comes to miniatures most times.  Games Workshops models almost universally look better than anything Mantic produces.  They have better detail, fewer mold lines, are larger scale, come with more bits for conversions, etc... but isn't this article titled on a budget?  I'm not looking for the best models.  I'm looking for the best deal dammit and if this isn't it I don't know what is.  So if you’re on the lookout for a new army for any system, but especially for Kings of war, I definitely recommend taking a look at the Mantic product line.


  1. A good read. I have a small undead army and have just gotten wind of this amazing rule! So I am planning on getting more from my zombies! thanks for the info


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