Micro-review – Dwarf King’s Hold

I picked up Dwarf King’s Hold from Mantic Games right after I got back from Adepticon 2011. Mantic had been at Adepticon so I could have gotten one from them directly, but I had already pre-ordered it from my local shop back home, so I waited until I got back. I had pre-ordered it on the advice of my friends at Beasts of War, who had done several videos about it before it came out.

DKH is a great little game if you want something for two players that straddles the miniatures and boardgame genres. It’s a fun little dungeon crawl with a generally elegant rules system. It’s a little like a smaller scale Space Hulk but with the fantasy trappings that Mantic have been pushing instead of aliens and power armor and whatnot.

The game comes with a bunch of printed cardboard tiles that are fit together in many different ways, depending on the scenario being played. These are put together to build the dungeons that the players fight in. There are also action chips, a few scenery tiles, injury chips, and things like that. It also comes with a bunch of dwarves (or as they call them, dwarfs) that I don’t very much like the look of (personal preference) and a whole lot of undead skeletons and revenants (20+ figures) that I do very much like the look of. I actually bought a bunch of Mantic skeletons at GenCon two years ago for use in Song of Blades and Heroes and they’re great. The dwarves and the undead are molded in different colors of plastic, so if you don’t bother to paint them, they’re still pretty easy to tell one team from the other.

It doesn't look good for the short team

Lee and I played the introductory scenario Tuesday night after I finally got the last of the figures glued together and the tiles and chips all punched out. It’s one of those games that doesn’t seem to make much sense at first, and then through playing starts to come into focus and make sense, and then you really start to see where the strategy comes in. We still had some questions here and there (and Mantic’s site could really, really use a FAQ or something) but we enjoyed it and will be playing it again.

tl;dr – Dwarf King’s Hold is a fun little two-player dungeon crawl with lots of dwarves and even more undead and an elegant and enjoyable ruleset.

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1 Response to “Micro-review – Dwarf King’s Hold”


  1. 1 Lee May 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    For the first half of the game, I was thoroughly convinced that I would never even HIT one of your dwarves/dwarfs (English. ‘Tis a silly language). Once the gameplay became a little clearer and we figured out each side’s strengths and weaknesses, I think we both enjoyed it more.
    The activation system seemed odd at first, but made more sense as we went along. I think it works, as does the combat system. I look forward to Slicey McStabsalot and his merry band of skellies slaying more of your bearded axe murderers. Well, unless I play the dwarfs next time, obviously.


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atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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