Spartan Games Closes Doors, Puts Assets up for Sale

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Spartan Games has just announced their company is closing down.

Spartan Games has closed down operations and is looking to sell off assets, IP, and the like, according to a statement released earlier today. The company, which manufactured Dystopian Wars, Firestorm Armada, and other tabletop miniatures games, had apparently been facing financial difficulties compounded by health problems afflicting one of the company’s directors. Their operations have ceased as of this morning, and they have advised customers who’ve made a deposit or payment for goods/services they won’t receive to contact their credit card issuers to try and claim a refund.

Their statement reads as follows:

The following statement is issued today, Friday 25th August 2017.

Following a prolonged period of challenging trading and despite the directors’ best efforts to manage through, Rebel Publishing Ltd was unable to continue to trade and the directors have taken the difficult decision to cease. All members of staff were made redundant.

The company, which traded as Spartan Games, is a Somerset, UK based provider of tabletop miniature games which include

  • Uncharted Seas, a fantasy naval combat game (now retired)
  • Firestorm Armada, an exciting space combat game featuring highly detailed starship models
  • Dystopian Legions, a game based in the world of Dystopian Wars using highly detailed 32mm scale figures and vehicles (now retired)
  • Dystopian Wars– an exciting journey in a Victorian sci-fi world encompassing naval combat, ground warfare and aerial combat.
  • Spartan Scenics – a range of detailed and easily assembled wargames terrain.

Rebel Publishing Ltd was formed in July 2002 and traded successfully for a number of years. Spartan Games was launched in 2008 and grew rapidly.  However, the tabletop games market is challenging and has changed over recent years, and suppliers are predominantly a small number of large well-known names and several small, cottage industry, type businesses.

Initially the business outsourced production but following quality control and production management issues, manufacturing was moved in house between 2009 and 2011.  Over this time and since, significant investment was made into machinery and infrastructure. The business also expanded to provide models for a well known video game, moving this into the tabletop games arena.  However, significant new development costs, timing issues and the deflection of management time from the core games brands resulted in a significant trading loss for 2015/6. The business was able to continue to trade by raising additional finance and refocusing on core brands, and direct / online trading improved significantly.   Results for 2016/17 were significantly improved.

However, despite this it continued to encounter challenging trading conditions and it became clear this month that the company could not continue to service its liabilities, particularly given the burden imposed by the amounts owing to finance companies.

The company was in the process of running a Kickstarter project to raise funds for expansion of one of its successful product lines.  This was well supported and positive feedback on the new products was given showing the popularity of the product line and ongoing demand.  However, this does not, unfortunately, provide the full range of success and resources needed to sustain the business.

In addition to challenging trading issues, one of the directors has suffered from a long period of poor health which became significantly more serious earlier this year and although now back in the business, requires ongoing treatment.  That has inevitably taken a toll on the amount of time available to the business so, along with other challenges, has significantly contributed to this difficult decision.

The directors are extremely saddened by this decision and particularly regret any losses incurred by employees, customers, suppliers or other trading partners.  The directors fully committed their time, energy and personal resources to effect a turnaround.  Employees will receive redundancy payments through state funds and although efforts have been made to fulfil customer orders, it is hoped that anyone who does not receive their goods will be able to redeem their payments through their credit card or PayPal.

If customers have made a deposit or paid for goods or services by credit or debit card and the goods or services are not going to be received by the due date, they may be able to get their money back by claiming a refund from their card issuer.  They should contact their card issuer as soon as possible.  Further information including time limits that apply is available from the UK Cards Association: Credit and debit cards: A consumer guide.  Similar schemes exist in other countries.

Throughout the years that Spartan Games has traded, it has prided itself on the highest level of product quality and customer satisfaction.  This has been delivered consistently and is evidenced though annual customer research that the company has undertaken.

We would encourage anybody who may be interested in acquiring either stock, assets or the business to make contact as soon as possible.  Spartan Games and its product lines have a strong reputation in its markets together with an asset base which may be of interest to a number of parties, and a variety of machinery in addition to Intellectual Property.

All enquiries about this matter should be sent to

  • kaptinscuzgob

    im not crying youre crying shut up

    in all seriousness, this is a harsh loss. they made some great models and games

  • silashand

    Saw this this morning. While I did not like their games, their models were very well done. Sorry to see them go.

  • Balor

    The models are great and the games were fun. The company was small and suffered from distribution problems and to many projects to support without the ability to keep up with them. Creating something similar to the WFB issue of if you are not getting consistent releases you are not giving people a reason to buy models.

  • Krizzab

    Its all fault of the directors of the company. Lets hope some company pick DW and FSA franchises.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Man not only did they just update some of their systems not even a year past, and were preparing for new updates and much more content. I was never really a huge fan of theirs (although I love the scenery kits) I was willing to give the new FSA a shot to scratch my BFG itch but guess I’ll pass now. Shame. Hope things work out. I also hope FFG does not try to gain all those IP’s…

  • dinodoc

    Which properties would be most appealing to a company to pick up and which company would we want to do it?

    • I_am_Alpharius

      None I suspect.

    • ZeeLobby

      I mean they were working with the Halo IP.

      • CloakingDonkey

        Which turned out to be largely worthless in such a nerdy market.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean halos kind of been dead IMO. I think it might have done great if it came out 10 years ago. People have just moved on. For me it’s like the game of thrones game, the series is almost over, and the odds that Martin will add a ton more content is slim.

          • CloakingDonkey

            I think the GoT game will do fine purely on the basis of having cool, low fantasy miniatures and being kickstarter based 😉 But with Halo I don’t even think it would have done well 10 years ago… It’s just not a Game Series with the kind of nerd appeal you need for a tabletop wargame. I mean hell, even the Terminator one isn’t doing fantastically… what chance did Halo ever have?

          • Talos2

            Game of thrones spin off still to come

    • CloakingDonkey

      Honestly I’m not even sure anyone will pick them up… They’re too specialist, you can’t reuse the miniatures from DW or FSA for much of anything apart from those games so anyone taking the lines would have to republish those games and possible keep updating them… It’s much easier when a company just makes “Orcs” or some such… there’s always someone willing to pick up a few molds for cheap to sell from their existing business.

  • Dan

    Kind of figured this would happen. Bought the Halo Fleet Battles starter box on pre-order.

    The big strength of the game, the ability to use the same ships in different formations to make new units, wasn’t really being taken advantage of. It was all very samey. “just wait for expansions and more free formations online” I said

    First expansions were just more of the same. very expensive, though. Unrealistically so.

    Then there were the commander expansions which amounted to a handful of dice and a couple warscrolls detailing new formations that were not available online. In fact no rules of an kind were. Oh, and it was $54 CAD. Im not dropping 50 bucks for some pieces of card and a handful of dice. That makes GW seem altruistic and saintly by comparison.

    and that was that. I realized it was never going to succeed and they mustve burned a ton of capital to do it. I was surprised they managed to get Halo ground battles licensed but it’s all caught up with them

    • Admiral Raptor

      I was in basically the same boat. The Halo license had tons of potential but Spartan released Fleet battles too soon. There wasn’t enough content to keep the game interesting and the expansions they did release were way too expensive for what they offered. Still the game itself played pretty well and I can’t help but think if they had focused more resources on it, then it could have been great. In my mind Spartan always had way too many games on the go to successfully manage any of them.

      • CloakingDonkey

        Imo getting the Halo license in the first place was the beginning of the end. Those licenses are just too expensive for a small studio as you kinda also need the marketing budget of someone like FFG or GW to reach the kids you’re trying to sell it to.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Sad case of stretching a business resources too far and too fast. I dread to think how much Microsoft charged them for the Halo license – would not surprise me if that was the straw that broke the camels back.

    • Sythica

      I bet the ongoing licensing fees would have been the killer. Microsoft simply wouldn’t care about excuses for late payment.

    • They probably really overstretched their capabilities. I mean they had what, seven distinct systems all at the same time?
      Two for Halo and Dystopian and three for Firestorm at least.
      It’s just too much….

  • Shinnentai

    Wow – I see the (much smaller) Tor Gaming is also closing up shop. Disappointing as I’ve bought models from both before.

    I’ll have to grab some Dystopian Wars models – love the designs (although the rules were unnecessarily complicated in places).

    • CloakingDonkey


      Oh man that breaks my heart, I love the Relics line. Those minis are so whimsical and awesome. Man what a huge bummer.

  • Admiral Raptor

    This makes me sad :(. Spartan had a lot of potential (it never fully reached) and made some beautiful models. They always seemed to have a bad case of ADD when it came to supporting their games, and I wonder if that’s what did them in.

    I always planned on getting into Dystopian War and Halo ground command. I loved the smaller scale of those games. I hope someone picks up and revives at least some of Spartan games properties.

  • Grasshopper

    Oh man, that’s sad. I bought an older DW starter set half a year ago because the models were very well designed. And I am still interested in wargames that simulate large scale battles with small size models (looking at you, GW – give me that!). Well hopefully the employees will find new work soon and maybe some IPs will find a new home too.

  • ZeeLobby

    Not really all that shocked to be honest. Firestorm Armada was their biggest system locally, and that dried up about 2 years ago. The halo IP did little for them either. Still sad to see a company go 🙁

  • CloakingDonkey

    I hate to say this but I saw this coming… Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars are great and a strong cult following… but they wasted a lot of money on expanding to other lines and taking questionable licensing deals(I’m sorry but turning a game for Xbox Bros into a miniature game… the nerdiest thing on the planet? Bad idea) It’s always dangerous to grow your business too quickly and if you get a few flops like Dystopian Legions and Halo… well… this happens. =( Very, sad and a huge shame for Dystopian Wars and Firestorm Armada. Cause those two games were ace.

  • Chris Tolley

    I am absolutely gutted. Spent over $200.00 NZD on their DW Kickstarter and got nothing back from it. I am not really worried about the loss of money and more that I will never get to see all the awesome stuff I Pledged for.

  • AwesomePizza

    They had this problem from the start. They just kept adding more games in a hope of having lightening strike.

    I bought a few sets for Dystopian Legions only to see barely any new sets get released after launch.

    It was always something new with them.

  • Rayna M. McCowan

    Dang, I loved Firestorm Armada and was working on getting further into it. Really really sad to see the company shut down like this.

  • Porty1119

    Their rules were not my speed, but Spartan had some good models. I wouldn’t be surprised if another small company picked up some of their molds.

  • eMtoN

    I’m sorry to see them go. I came to FSA as an alternative to BFG. Although I had always hoped spartan would flesh out the storyline. Focusing on Halo was, imho, a mistake. That money would probably have been better spent getting some FSA books written and published.

  • John Grubber

    Really a shame… I so wanted to get into FSA, but there were multiple barriers. No one playing was a big one. The absolutely huge number of ships was another. 3 Factions, 18 subfactions (I think)?! The rules seemed decent, the minis looked great (although the bases were bleh). Cost in Canada was high as well. The absolute deal-killer for me was zero backstory. Not even pictures of the races so you could visualize who you were taking on. It seems like SG couldn’t decide if it was a game company or a mini company. The rulebooks had no interior art and that’s crucial when you have so many ship types and races. I guess when you add in all the other games they were throwing out there, it was really a case of overreaching.