As we prepare for War Games Con here in Austin, we were lucky enough to get some Mantic Games Fantasy Sprues to play around with. I got to put together and paint a set of their new Dwarves, Skeletons, and Elf Bowmen and get some paint on them. I wanted to give a review of the miniatures as I think they have a lot going for them.
I plan to review them based on the some of the things I think about when purchasing any miniature. Style – what I think of the overall design of the minis. Build – how they fit together. Value – what I feel about the value as an army purchase.
Style – 8 out of 10
I really like the look of the mean Dwarves. It is a nice departure from the normal fat, covered in gold Dwarves we are used to in other systems. In fact they feel very Tolkien like and it is a nice addition to an army. I know the design isn’t for everyone but I do like it overall. I would be interested in seeing more Heroes in this style as well as some cool options for Lords and other characters.
Build – 7 out of 10
These guys are plastic which is a god send if you plan on building a lot of stunties. They fit pretty well and I thought that overall they were pretty close to the plastic you are used to seeing from GW and everybody else these days. I thought the plastic was nice and there wasn’t a ton of mold lines throughout the mini. I do wish that the heads were more posable as well as some of the arms. I could care less if the legs were movable, as normally with any kind of regiment, having locked in legs makes it easier to fit everyone into a nice square.
Value – 8 out of 10
The value of these guys is pretty good. You get a lot of extras on a sprue, normally having a sleepy/dead Dwarf on each sprue as well as extra weapons, a bulldog, and other fun Dwarf stuff. Each sprue has 5 guys on it with a fallen Dwarf so you get a lot of value for each plastic sprue. The only real issue is that these Dwarves look very different from some of the other games Dwarves so it will be harder to just have them in the back to move up and help out the front. Most likely you would have to build complete units to use them in other games as their style and design is different. But at the cost of these guys, having full units would be easy to do.
Style – 10 out of 10
They are skeletons, their size isn’t cartoony and they have cool poses that makes them look like crazy undead. Seriously these are really cool models with a lot of neat things throughout the model range on the sprue. I really think these are some of the cooler models within their range. Their size feels just about right, without looking too chunky or too small to really look good on the table top.
Build – 8 out of 10
I really liked the look of the models. The only issue at times was the smaller heads were a bit of a pain to get on right at times due to their nature. This is also true with the arms and swords on some of them. I know they wanted to give you the option of swords or spears in the set so I upped the build rating higher as obviously you get more build options out of this sprue. If you have every built a smaller GW model you know how annoying it can be to make sure the spine fits right or the arms are in a position that works well let alone a position you can paint later.
Value – 10 out of 10
This sprue is pretty awesome as you get a cool zombie rat thing as well as another skeleton busting out of the ground. You also mix that in with the option for spears and you have a multipurpose kit that really gives you a lot of value for your money. I can definitely see these filling in the extra ranks in any undead army with the coming push of hordes and massive blocks. In fact you can also see these as bits for other races as well, as they easily work as dead models on the ground for your heros to crush.
Style – 6 out of 10
These are the models that get the most comments when folks see them. To create an Elf model means you have to really differentiate yourself from other games. If they look too much like other kinds of models, there could be issues. So I understand the need to create a different style of Elf that we normally don’t see. That said the slender bodies of the Elf bowmen is something that definately gets conversations going.
Build – 8 out of 10
I do think the Elves go together well for such small miniatures. They put small little ball joints on the arms to allow for easier placement and this is great. Without this I could see a lot of arms popping off or somehow being glued to the side. Again the small size makes these not as easy as the other minis but with Elves you really can’t look at creating large miniatures as it goes against the common thought of what an Elf is.
Value – 7 out of 10
As these models have a very distinctivle look from other commonly available ranges it becomes harder to add them to existing squads. Now if you want to just do a full army this way, then the value of the sprue is evident. You get extra bits, some shields, a dead/sleeping Elf and enough other bits to make for a nice overall sprue. You could always use these as a formation from a distant court or some other kind of addition to your army.
Overall I find these miniatures to be very exciting and a great addition to the gaming landscape. I am hoping for future Mantic releases to push towards some much needed horde-style army minis help. It would be great to see some kind of Evil Warrior design or maybe a barbarian. It would be great to see more Humans too as I think it would help round out the range a bit more. I am truly excited to see more stuff from Mantic as plastic is the future. The future full of jet packs, flying cars, and laser eye beams.
Have at it gang and go check out the full range and prices over at the Mantic site. Goatboy out.