Thursday, 1 March 2012

Games that currently intrigue me: Warpath


This was another game that went down on the old Christmas present list late last year, and good old Saint Nick obliged. I have the Fate of the Forge Fathers starter set and there is a review of that pending. But, for now lets pretend I'm looking at this with fresh eyes and a view to purchasing it. I have to accept the very real possibility that this game intrigues me for all the wrong reasons. Let me explain:

  1. Mantic is run by an ex-Games Workshop staff member, who I happen to think was right about their business plan.
  2. They're now taking Games Workshop on directly at their own game so to speak, but doing things 'Ronnies' way as opposed to 'Toms' way.
  3. I really hope Mantic succeed, if for no other reason than it forces a very long overdue rethink in tactics at Lenton Lane.
  4. Plus they're making a better job of their breakaway from Games Workshop than Ian Bailey and Gary Chalk did with the Folio Works published 'Fantasy Warlord'

I freely admit I'd take some personal glee in seeing Mantic become more successful than they currently are, because I've felt for years now this was the sort of direction Games Workshop should have been heading in. Still it's all about the games for me, and while Kings of War shows some early promise as a fantasy based battle game, I still have some grave reservation. So how does Warpath stack up? Lets find out...

This doesn't seem fair, 1 Forge Father against that horde...

Company: well I'm guessing all of you will have heard of Mantic Games, it's pretty hard not to have done considering how much promotion Ronnie Renton has done. They started out in 2009 I believe when Ronnie decided enough was enough at Games Workshop. There are some amusing tales that have flown around the hobby describing how he made his exit from the Lenton Lane Behemoth, but... I don't know if any of them are true! It's all part of the Ronnie legend I guess. Mantics first pitch as a company was to produce some insanely reasonably priced plastic miniatures for Fantasy settings. They weren't crappy looking either and I still really like their Undead range. They eventually released their Kings of War rules in 2010 to accompany the fantasy range of miniatures. They've also published the Dwarf Kings Hold games that I enjoy so much, and now they've set their sights on taking a slice out of the biggest hobby pie, 40k.

Website: Mantic Games Warpath

Starting cost: Here's where things get a bit hinky I guess. Reality is the rules are free, and if you already have a corresponding 40k army then it'll cost you nothing at all to play Warpath. Although I'm not too sure Ronnies business plan is designed around us all using Games Workshop miniatures to play his free game. I'm sure he'd prefer it to be more the other way round! There is the 'Fate of the Forge Fathers Battleset', which I'll be reviewing in the coming weeks. That has a RRP of £49.99, and gives you a printed set of rules, some dice and two starting forces, the Forge Fathers (Dwarfs in space) and the Marauders (Orcs in space). It's not bad I guess for what you get in the box, but I'm not too sure how it'll fair in terms of value for money against Games Workshops 'Assault on Black Reach' and the inevitable 6th Edition 40k Boxed set. There are army deals on Mantics website ranging from £49.99 to £150, and giving you anywhere between 30 soldiers and 2 vehicles to 90 odd soldiers and 6 vehicles. It might not sound it I guess, but it is a cheap game to get into, especially when you consider this is a huge mass combat game with 28mm miniatures and similar sized armies from Games Workshop would cost upwards of £400... but it's not as cheap an entry point as other product out there.

Game: Ah, but you know me, after the shininess of the new toy soldiers has warn off it's the game that keeps me hooked or turns me off. So just what is Warpath like? Well it's a mass sci-fi shooty game, and to be honest if you've seen or had experience with Kings of War there won't be huge amounts in here that will surprise you. As with Kings of War everything is based around unit profiles rather than individual model profiles. Now I've had people tell me that this is unrealistic and that it's not an accurate representation of war, you know, that it's 'abstract'. Guess what, to an extent I agree with them, but then again having Wounds or Initiative etc is quite an abstract concept. I mean What actually happens in real war? Hopefully not too many of my readership have had to find out, but what the hell does a 'Wound' on a profile represent? If its gone is that miniature dead? Too badly injured to carry on? Or just too freaked out to be combat effective after having a bullet ping off of a helmet to be any use to anyone, frozen with fear? When you think about it, there aren't any games which truly represent the massive complexities of real combat, and why should they? Surely all we are after is an 'impression' of war that is fluid and entertaining that retains a consistent approach and has a fair degree of balance and tactical depth. Beyond that does it really matter about the mechanics used to achieve that?

That's a bit more like it, they've got a bunker now!

So does Warpath achieve this? God only knows is the answer. The core rules are based as I say around units, and this certainly means that games 'flow' quicker and more easily than a game of 40k. I can get through what would be a comparable 2000pts 40k game in Warpath in around roughly 1 hour 30 minutes easily. That's IF both people know what they're doing, and it's worth pointing out that game will be played to a proper conclusion rather than some horrid unsatisfying tally chart stalemate. However, lets not kid ourselves that this game is anything other than a very rough first draft right now. We don't have all the force lists and some of the options within the game itself don't seem to be all that well balanced right now. Not even within army lists, let alone across them. So there's a lot of hard work still to do for Mantic and I guess the question people will be asking themselves is, 'is 40k really that bad?' Again, that's a question you'll need to answer for yourselves. Me, I'm unsold on large scale battles at the moment, and the hobby drudgery that comes along with them. I don't want that familiar hobby malaise to fall over me again. It was depressing the first time around. I guess I'll do what I've done with Kings of War and that's feed back my comments and concerns, get a few games in using proxies. If I then end up playing more than enough games I'll no doubt feel obliged to buy a full force.

Miniatures: This is where many people actually get split down the middle on Mantic Games approach. I've had people tell me that 'Mantic's miniatures might be cheap, but they're shit', unequivocally so for many people. Normally they haven't seen any in the flesh though. I'm going to be honest, I'm not mad keen on their Kings of War Elves, but they're not shit. I personally love the look of their Undead, and think their Dwarfs are fine. I like their Orcs, and in many ways I think they're arguably better than Games Workshops Orcs. However, I can understand some peoples disappointment at Mantic using their fantasy based Orc bodies in Warpath. I'm not overly fussed about it to be honest with you, but then again that's possibly because in games like this I just view all these miniatures as wound counters. Even if ironically in Warpath and Kings of War they're actually not wound counters at all. If I'm looking for a nice miniature to paint, I'm not going to be looking at identikit plastic miniatures for that particular fix anyway am I? But, there is an interesting piece of discord in Mantics business plan and game systems. They have made cheap simplistic miniatures because gamers viewed them as wound tokens to be taken off of the board in Games Workshop games. However, it Mantics own games that isn't the case, as units live or die as one entity. Meaning miniatures stay on the table for longer... sooooo... theoretically you'd want them to look nicer maybe.

But enough of that, their metal, plastic or plastic resin or whatever they are troop miniatures aren't as bad as people make out, and are actually on the whole quite detailed. Their hero miniatures are pretty damn good too if you ask me, and are actually good models in their own right. True, they're not up to the best the industry produces say like you know who *cough* Infinity *cough*. But they're not terrible and they're not that much worse than Games Worshop's miniatures. If they're worse at all. I do though have to accept and indeed understand that many people aren't overly impressed with the Forge Fathers or Marauders. I also happen to think their resin vehicles that I've got are poor. However, over Christmas Mantic gave us all a sneaky peak at the miniatures for their third faction, the Corporation, and subsequently we've been drip fed some shots of some really nice looking minis. Now don't get me wrong, I haven't held these in my hand so I'm not judging on first hand experience. But I actually really like what I've seen so far and I actually think that in many respects if the quality remains this high that it'll be Mantic best work to date. I actually really, really like what I've seen of them so far and regardless of whether or not they're any good, if I actually get into Warpath I think they'll be my faction of choice. But right now that is a very big IF.

Background: OK for me this is where Mantics products are actually quite weak. They clearly haven't placed a serious emphasis on fluff with Kings of War, and what they have done quite frankly I could do better than without breaking into a sweat. The background to Warpath isn't massively original or of a high quality either. What we do know is that the galaxy is in flames, when is it ever not in flames? The Corporation, or first human faction we've heard about are pretty much to blame. They go around operating as a quasi intergalactic Government promising much, but pretty much delivering servitude, poverty and slavery... all in the name of profit. You can think of them sort of like Avatars RDA or as I did Weyland Yutani from the Aliens universe. It is stereotypical corporate greed / capitalism gone wrong. Or if you're a shareholder I guess it's capitalism gone right! So that's one of the galaxies bad boys, the big bad boys I guess so far of the 3 races we've seen. There are supposedly 8 races in total. What's the betting one of them are genetically engineered super humans? Another to be elves in space, then we'll get evil / pirate elves in space I'm sure. That leaves us a 7th race and apparently the 8th race, which nobody was allowed to talk about, actually turned out to be steampunk rats in space called Ver-mynn.

It's a space dwarf with guns... and not a bad miniature!

So I think we're allowed to talk about them now, right? Well I'm safe talking about the Forge Fathers and Marauders I guess. The Forge Fathers really are Dwarfs in space. They're a small secretive race that makes the best armour, awesome fortresses and well crafted shooty weapons. They are the only race not to have succumbed to the Corporation and to trade with them on an equal footing. They probably also have beard growing contests and have beer delivered intravenously into their blood stream while wearing their battlesuits. Maybe. The Marauders have a different sort of background. They were once shock troopers for the Corporation, part goose stepping goon, part slave race I guess. But as always with such arrangements things tend to go a bit pear shaped. The Corporation trained their pets a little bit too well it seems, and the Marauders have become a bit of a rebellious problem. In short they've knicked off with a load of weapons and ships. They're causing havoc for the Corporation as well and they're none too pleased, it would seem, with their former task masters. It's nothing too original or indeed in-depth, but I guess it doesn't really have to be, does it? It just needs to be a solid enough premise and background onto which, they can build a universe and gaming world.


+ Its a big fast and easy to learn game.
+ The miniatures are dirt cheap and despite what some naysayers will tell you they're actually not bad.
+ It's still a work in progress so you'll get to feedback and influence the games future.
+ The game system is quite stripped down, and is intended to allow you to play big battles in a reasonable time-frame. On that score it is successful.


- It's actually a work in progress.
- There aren't that many factions out as of yet.
- Although the miniatures are cheap the game still requires you to buy a lot of them, and that also means painting them.
- The games not as in depth or as developed as I'd like it to be, but then it is about huge battles.
- Pre-measuring, sorry I'm really not a fan. Especially when it's combined with certainty of movement and range.

The reality is that I'm not quite as enamoured with the idea of mass battle games like I once was. It no longer fits with how, or indeed where I want my hobby to go. I've done that for roughly the past 15 years or so and in the end I didn't find it a very enjoyable all round hobby experience. I guess it's because deep down I love painting and being forced to have to paint row after row of identikit miniatures fills me with dread now, no matter how I approach it. Painting them to as high a standard as I can achieve, which is what I'd normally choose to do, scares the hell out of me. Especially when I think of the time commitment I'd have to make to such a joyless task. Yet speed painting them, and just doing the basics isn't what I like doing either and I find it a bit soul destroying. Big games take a big commitment and I guess my life isn't quite in that same 'hobby zone' right now that it used to be.

Another one of the Corporation sculpts. They look nice.

Maybe I'll want to start playing huge big battles again at some point, and if I do then Warpath, like it's stablemate Kings of War will almost certainly be games that I'd consider playing. But you see whereas Warhammer Fantasy Battle and I are currently not on speaking terms, I'm actually quite cordial with 40k... and I have an absolute bucket load of 40k miniatures. So one of two things will have to happen I guess for me to choose Warpath over 40k:

  1. 40k 6th Edition sucks the big one, and Games Workshop drop the ball 8th Edition style.
  2. Mantic games really, and I mean really ramp up the quality and depth of Warpath, both in terms of the miniatures range (options), the core rules and yeah, the background.

But even then, I guess the whole huge army thing might still not be for me. Don't get me wrong, if you want those big battles then actually the design decisions Alessio has taken with Warpath, like he did with Kings of War, do work. The choice to focus things at the unit, rather than individual level do speed things up considerably and make things flow much, much better. But it still needs a lot of work. there is little in way of a clear steer on what the battlefield should look like, but right now I'm saying it should be more cluttered than a 40k table. The choices between unit types and sizes are a bit 'screwy' and don't seem right if you ask me. How this will pan out as more stuff is added and more factions come on line only Mantic will know. Truth is, they've chosen to take on the biggest most established wargame franchise on it's own terns, and as such early doors they'll take a bit of an inevitable beating. It'll be how they ultimately roll with those punches that determins the games long term future. Hopefully it'll just make the game stronger. Peace out!


  1. Warmahordes, while after several tries at it I still don't like, at least feels unique & original in concept.

    Infinity & Malifaux, I haven't played either but they both look unique & original in concept.

    Warpath? My problem with warpath is it looks like it was designed to be a cheap imitation from the outset. The lackluster background, lack of depth, etc., (I've never looked @ the rules beyond what you have above), why bother with it when it really seemed to me like 'here, buy our minis they're cheaper than GW's' was their primary emphasis initially (if not still).

    The fact that the basic forge father grunt is just a kings of war dwarf with a different torso doesn't help either (sounds like the Marauders are much the same. You stated on several occasions that their miniatures 'aren't that bad'. Does that really make them 'that good'?

    Either way, its not a very good sales pitch...

    1. I think that's the way a lot of people feel about Warpath. In all honest though when people call KoW a clone I think it is beyond ironic, given how derivative Fantasy is as a universe. I'm with you on many things though. The original sales pitch would have worked and still would for many. I mean I actually really do think that the KoW Orcs are just as good as GW's in many respects and a hell of a lot cheaper too. Are they Studio McVey mini's? Nope. Are they as good as Infinity mini's? Hell no. But individually they don't cost as much either. It all comes down to what people want at like at the end of the day doesn't it? I guess KoW and Warpath aren't really for me because of the scale, there's little joy in painting rank after rank of soldiers for me. I like my individual sculpts. But as a game Alessio has made some interesting design choices that GW should have considered long ago.

  2. "The reality is that I'm not quite as enamoured with the idea of mass battle games like I once was. It no longer fits with how, or indeed where I want my hobby to go. I've done that for roughly the past 15 years or so and in the end I didn't find it a very enjoyable all round hobby experience. I guess it's because deep down I love painting and being forced to have to paint row after row of identikit miniatures fills me with dread now, no matter how I approach it. Painting them to as high a standard as I can achieve, which is what I'd normally choose to do, scares the hell out of me. Especially when I think of the time commitment I'd have to make to such a joyless task. Yet speed painting them, and just doing the basics isn't what I like doing either and I find it a bit soul destroying. Big games take a big commitment and I guess my life isn't quite in that same 'hobby zone' right now that it used to be."

    You've just nailed my attitude exactly. I can't tell you whether it's a general trend or just a few of us, but I'm over the whole fill-the-table-with-28mm models thing. It's an excess I can no longer afford either time-wise or cash-wise.

    So I'm looking for games with well written rules, affordable models, and less of a time commitment putting those models on the table with a great paint job. I liked Kings of War and had high hopes for Warpath as a game, but it's gone off the rails because the rules are crap. I know Alessio is taking it slow and doing an iterative approach, but they're acting like they've never designed a game before. Take some leaps guys!

    So Flames is filling the void right now. It does company-sized battles so much better, and the prices are reasonable. I do miss the fantasy/sci-fi elements of 40K, but what can I do? GW's prices and time commitment are just too high right now for a game that's losing it's variety very quickly.

    1. Heya SandWyrm, that FoW logo is sitting at the top of my Blog but I haven't done much on it have I? Perhaps when my 3rd Ed rulebook arrives I'll look to sort that out. It's a good solid game system though, and you're right it does do company-sized battles better, but I'd expect it too. After all the mechanics 40K was built on were designed to cope with two 10 man squads at best, with a character and maybe a tank.

      As to whether what I've expressed and you've experienced a trend? I couldn't honestly say. But it feels like it is becomming a trend. The more people I talk too about my own particular hobby malaise the more people tell me they feel the same. So that's a trend in and of itself, whether it's a major shift though I still don't know. Probably not though. It's probably just grumpy sod like you and me!!! :P lol.

    2. I'm in the same space as well, I love 40k models and fluff, but the army size has gotten rediculous for 28mm. Even Warmachine armies have been getting too big for my tastes. I love the scale though (of the figures that is), so skirmish and small-scale sci-fi has been what I've been most interested in. Flames is ok, but sci-fi and fantasy are WAY more interesting. Unfortunately it's generally frowned upon to try and use mechs and aliens and power armor as stand-ins for germans. Stupid history, why do you have to be so well-documented and realistic? Ruining my fun!

      At least the 15mm sci-fi scene has been picking up last few years, TONS of new figure lines and rulesets coming out. If I could just convince a few more players to give GRUNTS an honest shake I'd be a happy man.

    3. Heya, funny you should mention HoMachine (it's what I call Warmachine and Hordes) I'm currently writing an article about how PP seems to be ramping up the scale of their games. I'm also researching the increased interest in 15m sci-fi gaming and Gruntz is definitely a game I'd love to take a deeper look at. Have you considered Heavy Gear Blitz? I've actually started to find that an easier nut to crack of late. Any thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my article, Much appreciated.

    4. Heavy Gear has been generating a lot of buzz lately, but I refuse to give DP9 any more of my money no matter how fun the game apparently is. I still own a lot of Jovian Chronicles figures and books and they've just been stringing the setting/system along in limbo for years, saying that they're intending to do more with it, not doing anything, announcing new figures in the works, never mentioning anything about them again, showing test figures of a fleet-scale version of the game at GAMA, silently pretending they never did.

      I understand it's almost an entirely different set of people working there now, and they do support Heavy Gear pretty well. Honestly they always have supported Heavy Gear, but I'm still bitter about how JC players have been handled over the years. As I understand it the Gear Krieg guys have been in a similar boat. Hell, even GW had the decency to announce they were no longer supporting Specialist Games!

    5. Hmm... there seems to be an awful lot of bad blood over the whole JC thing. I've not been burned yet I have to be honest but I do know what being burned over a wargame is like. Especially after dumping a load of cash on it. Very frustrating.

  3. Really good review, maybe one of your best ever.
    Like Sandy and yourself, I think some systems place too much emphasis on putting tons of models on the table.
    It looks cool, yes, but there's little tactics and strategy occurring when the points value in-game allows you to take pretty much anything you'd like, and dealing with maneuvering all that stuff around becomes an issue in itself.

    Funny that Sandy should say he misses sci-fi elements in his games...That's why I plan on playing soon as my 3rd edition FoW headrush wears off.

    Can't say I'm very interested in playing Warpath, but I have no issues with the models. Space Marines and Orks (Orcs?) all look pretty similar to me...Dwarf Space Marines, whatevs...
    I like what Mantic is doing, though. I like to see the post stirred....makes things interesting.

    I always get a laugh when someone says something like this"
    'Oh, that game doesn't have the depth of background that this other game has.'
    So...that affects gameplay how?
    Enjoy yer 'background.' I like to play GAMES. Good ones.
    I can't play 'background.'

    1. You certainly can't play background unless... it's an RPG.

      I agree to an extent that I'd rather take an awesome game over an awesome back story any day with my wargames. But right now I'm inclined to say that background is important to a degree. Maybe not necessarily to the likes of you and I, although I get the feeling it might be more important to me, but it is to others. As such if it's weak, it weakens the appeals of the product to a broader demographic. So from that perspective it's important to help give rise to a healthy community... still personally rather take an awesome game over a decent backstory though!!! :P

    2. I might give Infinity a try, but I've still got a bunch of Malifaux stuff that I've not actually played a game with yet. I'd like to though. That intro-game I played at Adepticon was a crapload of fun. And Wyrd's minis are so fun in design.

    3. Yeah, Mofaux can still be fun, as long as that's what you and your opponents are both in it for. It has it's own specific weaknesses like most games do, but it has it's own strengths too. As everyone round these parts knows, I love me some Infinity.

    4. You totally can, though, Sin. Good background is implicit in game mechanics, in the design of forces and scenarios, in the systems of campaign play and the organisation of forces. The flab that sits around the mechanics, forbidding the game to be embedded in it, creating a dissonance between fluff and crunch? That's the kind of background you can't play, and that's the kind that most failed novelists turned game developers because their Highly Original Genre Work was deemed unpublishable end up foisting on players.

    5. All very good points Von... but you know SinSynn, unless it involves Megan Fox and / or tentacle porn he's not interested in 'narrative'. :P

      Just pulling you 5th tentacle SinSynn.

  4. God damn it, Blogger just ate my comment so now we get the tl;dr version:

    Looks like knock-off 40k, I think that was a bad move, even if it has nothing in common with 40k. Want a more unique setting than "fantasy in space", I have that already. Wow, those "Corporation" sure aren't the Imperial Guard, no-sir-e-bob.

    Add some flowery language into there, and that was about what I said. In four paragraphs (grumble, grumble).

    1. If the squats hadn't sucked, I'd have started a new Marine army with them. If I was keen to start a new Guard army, the Corp troopers would do nicely. But I'd still have to use GW's crap rules. :(

    2. Thank God for that I can now reply on my own Blog... AWESOME!!!

      @Ant, yeah it's a shame it's just 'fantasy' in space again. To be fair to Mantic though I think there are two things I'd say in defence of their Corporation figures:

      1) Guard are original? Really? No sorry ain't buying that one, there as derivative as looking at any period of modern human conflict and copying the look. So can any one else be accused of copying the Imperial Guard look when they themselves are copies? I don't think so.
      3) I actually think the corporation range looks a little bit more futuristic and sci-fi laden than the Imperial Guard range. If anything they look more Aliens Colonial Marine to me.

      That's devil's advocate by the way. I do believe they look more like colonial marines, but I also think they were designed to be used as potential Guard figures by 40k players. It's part of Mantic's business plan. Some people will be cool with it, others won't. Like you though I'd hoped for something a bit different from them and a little bit more creativity and invention.

      @SandWyrm, talking of rules how goes the M42 project you were doing? I haven't heard anything about it for a while. Is it still going?

    3. To me an M41A defines a Colonial Marine, and Lasguns define an IG trooper, and that's a Lasgun. But that's not really important to what I was saying (and is a whole other debate about originally when drawing from shared sources).

      My point isn't that "OMG THEY'RE RIPPING OFF GW" it's that they made a decision to look similar to 40k on purpose and I think they should have struck out and given us something different. It would have avoided anyone accusing them of producing knock-offs and put something new out there for everyone.

    4. Don't want to get side tracked into a debate about the look of the Corp mini's as that's not the real point I was making. That was mainly just Devil's advocate as I said, for what it's woreth I agree the Corp's machine guns look an awful lot like lasguns. The point I was making is that it's clearly Mantic's business plan to produce miniatures that could be used happily in conjunction with GW's games. Some will be OK with it others won't. I personally don't care one way or the other if I'm being honest. Although as I said above my preference would have been for something more original myself.

    5. "It's part of Mantic's business plan."

      At first, I thought the entire point of Mantic was to undercut GW by producing cheap plastic troopers that could be used with GW's rules. The cynic in me believed any rules they released would be skimpy little things, released so they could say "nuh-uh, we make this stuff for our game!" if they were ever called on it.

      Understand that I'm not calling shenanigans on them - I think it's a smart thing to do, I own some Mantic models m'self (their Ghouls, which I prefer enormously to the Citadel ones), and they genuinely surprised me with Dwarf King's Hold, which is a fine game and gives the lie to my initial "they'll just toss some rules off to cover their own arse" reaction.

      But I did, at the start, think that's what Mantic were all about...

    6. Von that would be you and me both then. I too thought they would just churn out cheap alternatives for GW's units. Didn't really bother me one bit if I'm honest, although the gamer in me always wants to see interesting new stuff. I again like you thought any rules they put out would simply be lip service to the gaming community and not taken seriously. There KoW pamphlets sort of confirmed that for me when I saw it first time. However, there are some nifty ideas in there and while I take issues with some of the design decisions it's not totally off track. I'll reserve judgement on Mantic for now, because they do listen to gamers and are slowly evolving their games... oh yeah and I also agree with you that DKH is actually a fun little game.

  5. To me Warpath walked straight into the "main thing that's wrong with 40k" section - can't decide if it's a skirmish or a battle game*. It needs movement trays. Other than that, broadly speaking I like it, probably more than KoW** which IMO has the most tedious movement phase rules I've yet encountered (a little part of me dies every time someone describes it as a "tactical" game).

    *And here is where I think both companies are missing a trick, by not offering some sort of skirmish ruleset to keep people playing with their models when they aren't in battle game mood. Fortunately DKH is very easily modded for "outdoor" free play.

    **I like KoW, just not every part of it.

    Personally the whole recycled-fantasy sprues thing doesn't bother me, the character models are ace, I like the RnF models, I haven't examined my vehicles in detail yet.

    (I haven't ignored your e-mail btw, just been busy as hell last couple of weeks ;-) )

    1. To clarify the movement trays thing: as the game size increases, the time/effort needed to move models increases substantially, which IMO is not desirable. Obviously with KoW the relative increase in models to move is a lot less as the game size goes up.

      Yes, I need more caffeine at this juncture....

    2. I think Warpath has probably tipped its hat at Battle games as opposed to skirmish games. The fact it works on a unit level tells me that. But you're right one of the major breaks for this is the fact you still have to move each individual miniature. I just wander when people are going to realise that 15mm scale is just so much better at handling large scale battles than 28 or 32mm.

      I'm with you on KoW as well. Some very good ideas in there but the whole pre-measuring thing and certainty of ranged weapons and movement just doesn't work in my opinion. Faster movement in that scenario becomes a stupidly powerful tool, as does greater ranged weapons. I just don't think Alessio and Mantic have thought that one through properly. I also lament the total lack of 'proper' magic mechanics.

      I'm not too fussed about the reuse of plastic spru's etc from one game to the other. I know some people really, really are and blew a complete gasket when the news came out. Part of me can understand the disappointment because when you see new toys you want them to be 'new' I guess. The Orc characters I have for the KoW range are actually really really nice looking.

      PS. Don't worry about the email matey.

    3. "I just wander when people are going to realise that 15mm scale is just so much better at handling large scale battles than 28 or 32mm."

      When the ubiquitous fantasy and sci-fi miniature wargames we know we'll find players for wherever we go aren't 28mm jobbies with chronic scale issues, mate. When the challengers don't sooner or later start inflating themselves, or are designed as if the scale revolution has already occurred.

    4. Indeed. I'm currently researching the 15mm sci-fi games that seem to be picking up of late in terms of popularity. Some of them actually have some pretty darn sweet rule sets. At that scale as well on a 6' by 4' board they open up massive tactical possibilities with air strikes, proper close air support, anti-air, full platoons, tank squadrons... *swoon* ... mercy I do believe I've got the vapours!!!

    5. I was always sad that Warmaster never caught on and Deamonworld was so expensive. 28mm, whether based individually or on a tray, is for skirmish level play.

      Mantic went the exact opposite direction from what I was hoping. I know it makes sense to try and sell more models especially if they are trying to be something more than just an alternative figure line, but hundreds of the same or nearly same fig with simplified, abstract stats is for 15mm. Everything I hear about the game makes me think it may be something better played with Critical Mass or Ground Zero Games figures, but then there's other rule sets out there that are more fleshed out and already meant for that scale.

    6. Ah yes Warmaster. I quite liked Warmaster. turns out nobody else did!!! lol. I think half of the problem there was that they tried GW's normal release schedule of, do this army and then 3 months later do another army. By which time everyone was board of just playing with the first few things. They needed to get the range out on the shelves much uicker than they did. The launch of that game was awfully handled. their incompetence killed that not the mini's or rules. Now I'm getting angry at GW again... I better put the topic down and step away from the keyboard. lol.

    7. Lies, lies, and statistics! I liked Warmaster, and I know a bloke in Manchester who did!

      Admittedly I've never known more than one person in one place who appreciated it, which was a crying bloody shame because it was a very, very, very solid game.

      One day, I want to play a fully integrated campaign using either Warmaster or something similar (Hordes of the Things, Hordes and Heroes?) for the big battles, Warhammer for the flash points, assassination attempts, stop-the-ritual stuff where single pieces are the point of play, and Uncharted Seas to move the game into the sea and sky.

      ONE DAY...

    8. lol. So there may have been more than 3 who liked it Von and we can say with certainty that there were at least 3 people who liked it. Woo hoo, somebody contact Lenton Lane there's a market for it now!!!

      All joking aside, like you I thought it was a good game, but couldn't find people willing to start up. Most would say I'll wait until 'X' race are released and then I'll see. Just didn't happen like that.

      I often wander whether or not Games Workshop would know how to launch a new product now. Given all they really do is keep their current systems in perpetual cycle and then try to 'jump' start them again periodically... Dreadfleet would say they haven't got a clue.

  6. Great read, and yep 15mm is the way forward for large scale actions. Its great having tanks and walkers that can move around the gaming table. Unlike28mm where they shuffle forward a few inch all game. At the mantic open day the forge farthers in all Demo games never moved just shot the marauders to bits very one sided. Hope things change on that front. Cheers.

    1. Well I've been playing the Fate of the Forge Fathers starter set and honestly To give the Marauders a chance of winning I've been putting Infinity levels of terrain down on the board because the Marauders were just getting blown to bits every time they moved forward. Again, very one sided and even with the terrain to get them into combat they still struggles a bit as the Forge fathers with one or two rounds of shooting do more than enough damage to wipe them out. I did have a few confused face moments with it o_0

    2. Sounds like the exact issue Starship Troopers had when it released: only launches with 2 factions, a shooty and an assaulty one both with limited unit options. The assaulty faction just gets shot to hell and back before they can close the distance. That was the main thing that caused ST to fail, it was so imbalanced at launch that a lot of players quit after only a few games, before the newer releases could bring the game into balance. Same happened with AT-43, although it was a slightly better in that regard than ST was, both games launched with only 2 incomplete factions and both took far too long to get new releases out. In both cases it ended up killing the game and nearly the company that made it. For any game to survive you it needs to have at least 3 or 4 factions at launch. Infinity had 3 at launch with 3 more out not long after and still really only survived because of the incredible models. Only very recently has the game itself has been making it big on the gaming scene.

      The only thing that will keep Warpath going is the unofficial but implied emphasis as cheap alternate 40k models. Until they expand their line enough that people are willing to look at them as a stand-alone game, they might as well be Wargames Factory.

    3. Indeed, the core to Starship Troopers was actually ver, very good in my experience. It was just very badly handled as a launch. I think AT-43 had way more issues than just the piss poor launch of the game... but that's a different topic altogether. I was sad to see Rackham go the way of the dodo. Very sad as they made some truly lovely miniatures.

      I actually think Corvus Belli handled Infinity's launch very well. They had a game but emphasised the great mini's first and foremost initially. They still had more than enough to whet gamers apeptites but they knew the only way to see them through to the next stage was to entice collectors to buy their mini's. I think it's a good text book case for other's to follow actually.

      Any who I've just noticed you've got a Blog so I've had a read and liked what I saw. So I've followed you and I'll plonk your Blog on my Blog roll.

  7. Mantic aren't cheap at all... Any amount of money is too much for crap you don't want. I rate them as way too expensive cpbecause I can't ever imagine myself ever wanting to own any.

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinion, but would you mind not sitting on the fence and tell us how you really feel? lol. :P

      TBH with you I had the same thoughts when Mantic Miniatures first started coming out. I wasn't impressed and didn't really want any. Their Elves didn't impress me and still don't. Plus I didn't care how cheap they were because they were rubbish and it didn't matter that they were cheap because... I didn't and don't buy rubbish.

      However, their miniatures aren't all bad. I think the Corporation miniatures for instance are actually really quite nice looking, especially when compared to GW's old IG figures. Their Undead range too is actually really, really good and in many respect significantly better than the various Vampire Count options GW have put out. I'm also a personal fan of their Orcs.

      I guess what I saying is I can fully understand your opinion, and I wouldn't seek to try and change it. But, I can't agree with it totally. Some of Mantics stuff is OK to good and for the price they charge very reasonable. Would I buy another Mantic army if I had the money? Nope because I'm not too sure I'd enjoy the games. Cheers for taking the time to comment.

  8. Oh i did giggle at that post...

    1. Which one? The main article, Mr Anonymous or my response to him? There are a lot of very angry people in our hobby sadly. Many of them feel the need to let others know just how angry they are. I'm OK with that and I don't mind this Blog being a place for people to vent, as long as they keep it civil and don't resort to insults etc.

  9. A very fairly balanced review. I like Ronnie as a person too - but I don't like Warpath for the same reason I don't like 40k, I'm just not into that generic sorta setting that is kind of a derivative mix of LOTR and starship troopers - each to their own, though right? I will say that the sculpts don't look half as bad as people made them out to be (hell, they are better than what I can do!). I'm finding my attention is drawing more towards stuff like MERCS, and of course Theres always great call of cthulhu miniatures coming out for when I want proper weird aliens.

    1. Yep each to there own, and any game that makes somebody happy and gives them a hobby fix is OK in my opinion. I guess my own gaming is naturally gravitating towards smaller games with nicer individual sculpts. I've looked at MERCS and it interested me, but did quite snare me, I wrote an article on it which you can read here if it takes your fancy:

      I guess I'm heavily invested in Infinity and a few other things to the point that realistically I haven't got the time or the energy for it. I'm so glad to have met yet another H.P.Lovecraft fan... ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

  10. Both TBH we all feel very strong about our gaming. And he was taking no prisoners.

    1. Hell yeah. Give me a passionate response over indifference any day. I thought it was funny too. lol.