OK so to those of you who are clued up and not watching the World Cup this may not be exactly breaking news… A while back I managed to get a view of some dwarf 3ups from perennial thorn in GWs side, Mantic Games. Thorn in the side? Why yes! Have you seen the fantasy plastic miniatures these guys produce? Generally I think they are of good quality and look suitably fantasy-ish. The scale is slightly more delicate, with waify elves and skinny skeletons rather than the butch, chunky productions of Games Workshop figures but they are squarely aimed at the Warhammer Fantasy market. Although obviously they would never promote their figures as suitable for WHFB, they certainly are. Seeing as GW don’t own the intellectual property rights over elves and skeletons at the moment (although this may be subject to change), legal issues are neatly sidestepped. So here are their latest offerings:
My impressions? Well if you want an army that looks like a CAMRA convention with pots and pans on its heads then go for it. The Games Workshop versions are more interesting. However, I don’t think that firstly my opinion counts, and secondly aesthetics are Mantic’s main selling point. The thing is with these armies is they are ridiculously cheap when compared with the GW equivalent. You can pick up a decent sized force for WHFB for pocket money prices that fits the scale, looks nice and even comes with it’s own carry case included in the price.
So what does this mean long term for WHFB? Especially considering the recent price hikes by GW? Are we going to see a shift towards more affordable miniatures with the big players reduced to being rules producers? Maybe not yet… But for now extra choice and competition in the marketplace can only be a good thing.
A quick post today that is only ever so slightly off-topic, although it does feed into the normal “soup du jour” of this site.
These thoughts came about while I was out driving at lunch time, maybe it was the fumes from the petrol station where I filled my car up that sent me on to a heady high to come up with such a warped vision, or perhaps it is my natural hyperactive imagination. Whatever it was, here it is;
In your stereotypical fantasy enviroment there are a select group of races that will normally be making an appearance. I am sure that you are more than familiar with these, Humans, Dwarves and Elves, although for certain universes there is some kind of schism among the Elven community which leads to a variety of Dark and High Elves or similar. What made me chuckle today is when I thought about the core races of Star Trek and how they fit so effortlessly into the fantasy stereotype. I’m not sure whether this was a conscious decision by Gene Roddenberry when he came up with things or whether it is just a nerdy coincidence, but nevertheless they do fit snuggly together.
Humans are a prolific race that feature predominantly across the genre. In both Fantasy worlds and Star Trek Humans are main focus and are everywhere, at times peaceful while others are more militaristic, splitting themselves into factions affiliated with ideologies. Dwarves are portrayed as gruff alcoholics with a penchant for bad singing and kicking seven shades of fecal matter out of people, seems a good match for Klingons in my mind (Klingon + fecal matter pun not intended). OK Klingons may be taller but this is my party so they’re doing good, although most Dwarves for some reason are Scottish and I think a Scottish Klingon would be kind of hilarious. Now, you can probably guess where I am going with Elves. Pointy ears all around, your various flavours of fantasy Elves fit quite nicely with Vulcans and Romulans. One Imperialist and prone to lashing out, one all pacifistic but will stand their ground when riled. Vulcans are older and wiser (generally) than Humans and live longer… geez, wonder where they got that idea from? There is even a suitable schism describing the differences between alien pointy ears number 1 and their more emotional alien pointy ears number 2.
To me it is quite amusing how good a fit they all are. Just as there are many other races in Star Trek so there are in Fantasy too, but your basic run of the mill dramatis personae are here in startling clarity. I just bet you’ll never watch an episode of Trek the same again!