Mantic Games offer their Fantasy gaming rulebook as a free PDF downloadVampire on a winged Hellsteed for instance.
Their Fantasy World is not as rich as the Warhammer World but it's early days and they're doing a great job of expanding on their range of miniatures and adding their own fantasy feel to their product line. Importantly, their range of models are very good value and they represent a cheap entry point into Fantasy gaming.
The rules are very simple, with 3 phases (move, shoot & melee, there is no magic) and 6 unit profile stats (speed, melee, ranged, defence, attacks and nerve, plus some special unit attributes) and are pleasingly easy to follow. There is a notable absence of a general magical ruleset, although individuals do have some magical abilities which will disappoint some but I suspect they might think more about that in future. Kings of War also has a couple of neat twists not seen in Warhammer, such as timed turns (?!)
Allesio Cavatore created this ruleset for Mantic Games, some of you may recognize his name because he also designed the Vampire Counts Warhammer Fantasy Battle army book.
The rules (12 pages, 1.34meg):-
The army lists (currently Elves, Dwarfs and Undead, 2pages, 0.13meg):-
Mantic are keen to recieve your feedback and you can contribute directly to future rules development on their forum here:- www.manticgames.com/Forum.html
I haven't tried the rules out yet but am quite keen to give them a shot. I think, at this stage, they are probably a bit light on detail so I suspect there will be plenty of questions to be asked but they look like a great entry point for newcomers to fantasy wargaming. The rulebook is only 12 pages long ! It just goes to show what can be achieved by taking a pragmatic no-nonsense design approach.
They have a strong presence on eBay too:- Mantic Miniatures on eBay
Well done so far to Mantic and even more well done for getting those rules online at no cost to encourage participation and feedback from, I have little doubt, their quickly growing fan base.
Kings of War Rules Image is © Mantic Games. All rights reserved. Used without permission.