I was emptying my spam folder this morning when I noticed that Mantic have a big announcement.
Excitedly I wondered if they had had an original idea - but sadly not, it was just some blather about a new sci-fi ruleset they are bringing out as a figleaf for their IP camping GW.
Clearly not everyone is as jaded as me, because according to the interwebs the news is the greatest breakthrough in wargaming since.... well ever.
This coincided with the 'accidental' 'leaking' to Beasts of War of sketches for the proposed figures and vehicles to accompany this 'breakthrough'. And as Mantic is the new black, numpties across the net have been literally bowled over that one of the proposed vehicles is a Humvee in space. 'Wow' they cry, 'I'm going to buy fifty of them....'
Then why not get one from Antenociti’s Workshop.
Indeed purchasing from this excellent online shop has two very distinct advantages over purchasing from Mantic.
a) You can buy it now.
b) It is much better quality than the half baked lump that Mantic will create.
(Shame really because I really like Renedra's work - they are clearly highly skilled craftsmen, as can be seen in the quality of Warlord, Victrix and Perry plastics, whereas Mantic don't appear to worry about such things as design and proportion - if you took the clothes off a Mantic figure I swear they would all have anorexia - a novel twist on the maxim, 'never mind the quality feel the width'. )
I realise that criticism of Mantic is heresy, but what strikes me reading through the threads of people chattering about this proposed ruleset, is how narrowly focused people are. There is of course no reason that anyone should know about Antenociti's Workshop - I only found it because I was looking for some brass etched leaves - but I do find it slightly ironic that in this age of nerd rage at GW, people appear unable to think for themselves. Perhaps when you have been institutionalised into believing that you can only play with one company's figures, using net approved lists, in standard sized games, in a limited number of scenarios - it is natural that when seeking an alternative, you seek to find a game that imposes the same restrictions. Which is obviously Mantic's plan - in part.
I also find it rather strange those defending Mantic point at their prodigious output - four or five figure ranges, a dungeon crawler, 'a set of rules' etc. Whenever I have seen any of these figures reviewed, the review will usually be fairly negative but invariably ends with a reference to how cheap whatever it is, in comparison to 'competitors' and for some reason people think that makes it all alright.
To Mantic Rolling Stones fans I am a Beatles GW fanboi, for daring to point at the Emperor's willy, which makes me chuckle when I am painting my Napoleonics.
Oh well, what can you do?
I think I might go and dig out my old copy of Soldiers of the Queen, which I seem to recall had some really interesting game mechanics.
Oh and apparently all of this was announced on Beasts of War, which is back up and running - it seems they were pulled by Utube because of a legal letter, or something.
Oh and apparently the new scifi rules have the same name as Mantic's US distributer - which is perhaps another indication of the lack of inventiveness. I suppose we should be thankful that the invoice happened to be on the table when they chose the name, and not the gas bill or a birthday card. But then if it is anything like Kings of War, there should be no problem with copywright, as they will be giving it away.
Oh and for those attempting to break out of the flock, if you check through the Chance of Gaming podcast archive, you'll find plenty of sci fi rules discussed and reviewed.