Tag Archives: Mantic

Dreadball First Playthrough


DreadZine_CoverZombiePirate and I managed to play an inaugural game of the Speedball2 40k Bloodbowl mash-up general GW trolling Dreadball yesterday. It was the not-quite-space-marine Trontek 29ers vs the not-really-sisters-of-battle Void Sirens.

Fortunately we had both looked at the pretty pictures in the rulebook which is always a plus when trying out a new system. There were naturally some high levels of rules lawyering and checking owing more to it being our first game rather than us being competitive twelve year old at heart.

Overall it was a positive experience. The game system seems very intuitive after a few goes, and the whole thing should flow very quickly after a few games. The game itself is very fast paced and good fun. Hopefully it can become a good staple game.

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Salute 2014 – Dreadball


The Floating Citadel denizens made their annual pilgrimage to Salute – more on that in another post; to cut a long story short I am now a proud owner of Dreadball – a game I have been meaning to get my hands on for over a year.

In true servitob style, the test minis were up and painted within a matter of hours of the box being opened. The technique used here is apparently called “Greyscale Washing”, if any of you googlespiders want to know more details I can point you in the right direction.

The aim was to do something very quick to make the game playable in the shortest amount of time. Mantic stuff is so cheap that if I ever miraculously got enough quality time for actually giving a damn about multi-layer highlights and all that nonsense then I could simply buy new teams. For now, I consider 2.4 seconds a reasonable amount of time to spend per model.

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I’ve also read through the rules – it looks like a very promisingly fun game!

Highway to the Deadzone


Ahhhh, the heady aroma of mercilessly butchering 80’s rock ballads! I originally started a draft blog post regarding Deadzone at the start of December when a rather large box arrived on my doorstep, but, as I was feeling like a puppy kicked off the side of a mountain, I never got around to finishing it. It seems a little silly, after all this time, to go back and try to pick up the threads I’d started there, so I figured I’d just start up a new post. Especially since I’ve actually been able to play the game since then!

We might even get to play another game, although, I imagine that Gribblin wants to flop his wad of Nids on the table first.

Deadzone was the first kickstarter that I really threw down some serious cash on. I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor with one of the Early Bird Strike Team pledges and after seeing how much stuff was crammed into Dreadball I thought this seemed a wise decision as Kickstarter would let me back out later on if I needed to. I’m very glad that I didn’t. My $141 got me 5 faction starters, twice the amount of terrain normally included, some extra dice, an extra playmat (so we can actually have two games going at the same time) and all the Mercenaries available at release. I bolted on a few extras, like a printed version of the campaign book, the acrylic tokens and a Rebs faction booster. There really was a lot of stuff in the box when I unwrapped it all. You can see it all in the picture I posted when it turned up.

So, the real important things are what you’re waiting for, how are the minis and what is the game like?

Let’s start with the miniatures.

This is the first time I’ve had my hands on Mantic’s stuff. I remember when they first started I saw their Elf line and thought it was terrible. I still think their Elves are terrible, but the stuff I saw on the Kickstarter was obviously enough to get me excited. As someone who is more used to the universal posable nature of GW kits the Mantic stuff does leave a little something to be desired. The sculpts are good and they do go together very easily, some don’t even need glue with the way the tabs fit together, but you’re not going to be getting away with the kind of poses you can do for GW, but then, this is a smaller game where you’re not going to be repeating the “same” models over and over gain. Also, Mantic have some issues with how they split their molds, often with mold lines going through major areas of detail, like the middle of a face. As the plastic that I am used to is GW’s obviously I’ve gotten used to what is, without doubt, the best in the business, therefore the Mantic stuff feels much harder to work with and tougher to clean up. That being said it’s not that hard of a process really but as it’s not what I am used to I thought I’d make mention of it.

Overall though I’m impressed. The models are crisp and well detailed, any bends you find (the material is softer than GW plastic) can be fixed with the traditional hot/cold bath method. There are some fiddly pieces (I’m looking at you Zee and Goblin heads), one of which I thought I’d lost until I found it lodged in the lining of my slippers, but no worse than you’d see anywhere else. As these models are much cheaper than what you pay for from GW I can forgive the (small) shortcomings I’ve come across, also, GW themselves seem to be moving towards mono-pose models. I know from the new Dark Elf stuff I have they are all labelled with numbered parts that cannot be mixed and matched as in days of yore.

Considering the success of Kickstarter we got a whole bunch of extra basic figures too. I’ll be getting the 5th faction (Asterians) sometime this year but in the meantime I’ve got my Rebs, Marauders and Plague to sort (I gave the Enforcers to a friend that fancied them and he bought a few add-ons himself). Most things are now built with a few Plague and some Marauders being left over.

What I would recommend is investing in some card protectors for the vast array of cards that the game uses. I did and put them into a snazzy deck box to keep them all safe. Even though I’ve done that there still isn’t enough room in it for all the cards you get in the box. I’ll have to get another one for the Asterians and I’d given a whole faction away so you can see you really do end up with a huge amount of stuff. The acrylic tokens are also a take it or leave it option. I find them quite nice but the card tokens are more than adequate for use in the game and you’ll be using quite a few to represent various things.

Overall I’d be giving the models a rating of 7/10. Good, not outstanding, but certainly fit for purpose, even if they do take a bit of getting used to after a lifetime of GW plastic.

You really cannot comment on the models without also factoring in the terrain. The terrain is a really large part of this game, so first off the bad. You don’t get enough connectors. Seriously, with the amount of terrain you get in the box a single connector sprue is about half of what you realistically need if you want to open up the full range of options that should be on offer. Luckily you can now buy single sprues for £2.50 a go which I think is more than fair value. I got 2 connector sprues to go with then 20 or so other terrain sprues. Also, don’t count on reconfiguring your terrain every game using the tiles and connectors to push together something new. The fit is very snug and popping them in and out is going to lead to some damage. I’ve already got a few snapped pins that I am going to superglue into place. I’ve got enough terrain to provide two full tables so I’ll have the option for what to use on each one that I’m not too fussed about the immutability of what I have.

The tiles are nicely detailed and also have in-game effects. It is possible to create some really nice multi-tiered pieces but you’re going to have to be either very frugal with those connecting pieces or grab some extra ones to make sure that your creations can come to life.

There are some really nice pictures on the Mantic forums of what folks have come up with and I’m really tempted to grab some more terrain when the second kickstarter survey drops at the end of the month. Overall I’d say it’s worth an 8/10.

That just leaves us to talk about how the game plays. Which I’ll deal with in a separate post.

EYES-CREAM! EYES-CREAM!


Today’s post title is a blatant rip-off from one of my favourite blogs Fighting Fantasist; it made me laugh so I thought I’d steal it for my own nefarious purposes. Coop’s blog is great and I hope he doesn’t mind! It is of course a tangential reference to the The Other Nottingham Gaming Company’s upcoming release of Dreadball.

I’ve done some looking about and it seems like it could be quite a bit of fun. Obviously my first port of call was coop’s post mentioned above. Secondly I found some interesting tidbits over at Quirkworthy. I presume that this blogger has something to do with Mantic by the content of posts. From there you can link to some other decent sites at Boardgamegeek and then you can go pre-order it at Kickstarter.

So what’s my ever so non-influential opinion on these wispy morsels of facts and opinions expressed as facts? I think they could be on to something good here. The obvious comparisons with BloodBowl will abound but heck the big BB is one of the Sheriff’s best games full stop. More of the same without the need to buy hundreds of models and then the need to paint hundreds of models is no bad thing. In addition, a game like this is easy to transport and set up. The real selling point for me of games like this such as BloodBowl and Space Hulk and Formula D and the like is that they are played on grids so there’s no abiguity over measuring and distances. The whole experience is so much more precise; and I like that!

GW: The Company I Love to Hate or Hate to Love…. I’m Not Sure


Just a couple of things this morning from the opening salvo of 2012. Firstly I bought this month’s White Dwarf, it’s got a lot of stuff for the latest Warhammer Fantasy release the “Vampire Counts” in it. They’re an army that has appealed to me right from day one, I’ve never gotten around to the army though, but I have come close a few times. I had a little chuckle to myself when after the Editorial and contents page there was a double spread advert for Dreadfleet. I’ll not go into that here, I am sure all regular readers are more than aware of my feelings for the game, the picture at the start of this thread should suffice if you’re in the dark.

In other news I doubt many people will have heard about the leaked 6th edition rules, or what are rumoured to be 6th edition. After all the furore when this document first hit the Intertubes there has been a lot of sudden declarations of it being a fake, despite what would seem to be considerable evidence to the contrary. I’ve seen the rules myself and had a quick scan through and, personally, I’d be happy for 40k to develop this way. A lot of the problems with 5th edition have gone and it does seem to change-up the meta-game. Now, there are things I don’t like but overall I see enough positives here for this to be a good change for 40k.

Going back to that White Dwarf I purchased (taking the number of White Dwarfs I’ve bought over the past ten years up to needing two hands to count) it also alludes to this being the 25th anniversary year for Warhammer 40,000. I’m going to be very interested to see what overpriced tat the Sherriff tries to hawk onto us so that we can “share” in the celebration of this momentous event. I’m going to go with a generic hot beverage container costing upwards of a decent night out with one’s significant other. I can tell you now which I’d prefer and which one is much more likely. I think I might have the steak!

I’m certainly looking forward to this years releases. I’m impressed with the speed at which Fantasy armies are coming out. I’m sure Gribblin will be wanting to throw down soon with the new Vampires and we should also have a pretty interesting project kicking off here towards the end of the first quarter! Stay tuned for that. I also imagine we’ll be getting at least one Space Marine Codex this year. Black Templars are on the rumour mill and a new edition of 40k means that the generic Marine codex will need to be updated pretty quickly thereafter to make sure they don’t have to abide by any of the rules in the new book. Can’t have them behaving like all the other armies can we?

I’ll be keeping an eye on Mantic to see how Warpath and Kings of War develop. I’d certainly be interested more in their games once the product lines are a fully viable contender to the GW crown. I know that both my wallet and, perhaps more importantly, my wife would be appreciative of a reduction in the cost of my hobby..

Warpath – First Thoughts


This week saw the beta release of Mantic’s latest game, Warpath. It’s essentially a squad based sci-fi dice roller with much in common with Warhammer 40,000.

My first impressions following a good scan of the rules are pretty positive, I think it has potential to be a very fun game. The big difference from other generic sci-fi squad based games is that as squads take damage they become more ineffective, rather than losing squad members. Calling squad heavy support weapons ‘BFGs’ is also a nice touch. More armies will give it a bit of variability, and if the model releases are up to regular Mantic standard then we should be in for a treat, both aesthetically and pocketwise. I just hope it achieves decent market penetration.

One problem I could level at the game right now is as follows. Warhammers are big heavy weapons used from ancient times for bludgeoning the poop out of things, and 40,000 is a damn big number, and big numbers are cool. Paths however are generally found in nice gardens and leafy wooded areas, and you wouldn’t be surprised if you found a cute pixie playing a magic flute at the side of one.