Friday, September 14, 2012

Kings of War

If you've never heard of Kings of War or Mantic Games, that would be understandable, especially if you aren't into fantasy wargames. However, given the natural overlap between RPG players and wargamers, it's a situation you should correct!

Mantic Games' Kings of War is a game designed by Alessio Cavatore, formerly of Games Workshop. In some ways it is very reminiscent of Warhammer Fantasy Battles and of Lord of the Rings/War of the Ring SBG. The miniature line (which actually predates the game) includes the usual fantasy staples - Elves, dark elves, dwarves, undead, orcs, goblins, etc. Scale-wise they are the usual 28mm, but are less heroic scale than most minis made today.

Should you not care for fantasy wargames, they've also got a dungeon crawl game, a future wargame, and a future football game. Unlike GW minis, Mantic avoids grossly unrealistic weapons, and oversized hands and feet. Additionally the armor isn't ridiculously overdesigned, and there aren't skulls everywhere.

Also unlike GW minis, you can get them for a fair price. A box of 20 mantic skeletons will run you $25. The same 20 skeletons from GW costs $50. You can get 30 Mantic zombies for $35. For the same price you get 20 from GW.

20 Mantic Skeletons = $25

10 GW Skeletons = $25

So, like I mentioned on my post about Dropzone Games, I picked up a $25 set of skeletons and paints. It came with 6 colors, 10 skeletons (1 sprew) and a paint brush.

And as you can see I've already put together 5 of the skeletons.

And here's how they compare, scale-wise. From left to right we have an old GW/Milton Bradley HeroQuest skeleton, a Ral Partha wizard, Mantic Skeleton, and GW Lord of the Rings Eomer. As you can see from above, it's closest in scale to the LotR figures.

So the figures are cheaper, but that doesn't do any good if you need twice as many for a game. Well I ran some back of the envelope numbers, and while it seems like you might need a few more figures than you do for Warhammer Fantasy, you'll still end up spending less for a similarly sized (in points) army.

Mantic also offers a number of different army sets. I ran some numbers on them to see which are the best value. I saved the spreadsheet as a google doc. This is only for undead, and isn't an exhaustive comparison, but for the curious, it's here: Mantic Undead Cost Comparison Chart.

1 comment:

  1. I bought a set of dwarves because I needed a squad of dwarves with blunderbusses for my dnd game. THey looked pretty good, but not as much customization as I had hoped, although there were some options, like multiple heads and two weapon choices (crossbows or guns)

    Overall they were a good value for the money.