Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thoughts on the current Mantic kickstarter #1

This is going to be a series over the next maybe two weeks. Where I look to see how the newest Mantic effort compares to others and whether or not I will back the project. A large part of this is due to a lot of thinking I have been doing since some great comments on this blog were posted and after talking to some old friends. There a quite a few people looking at the newest kickstarter and scratching there heads. Not because of the idea of the project, but more because of the price point and basic contents seem far apart. Especially when compared to other products not only from Mantic itself but also there competition. Today, I plan on looking at the basic contents of the currently available Mantic games and price compared to what is coming in the current Kickstarter without extras.

Lets start with the current New project: Dungeon Saga- The Dwarf King's Quest for $100 + depending on where you live. The initial advertised contents were 22 minis, an unknown number of tiles, cards counters, rule book and advanced rule book. There have been more then a few comments saying the tiles look very similar to the ones already in existence for the other games made by Mantic. The models themselves are stated as not needing assembly and the only pictures we have of the unpainted versions are not close enough to really tell much about there quality level.

Next up is Dreadball. This one is a weird one. You can no longer buy just the straight game you have to cobble it together in there web store. Originally you could buy the game for  $49.99, now to get the same two teams, board and some other stuff in there limited edition box for $99.99 or cobble it together from the store with a few less minis for $92.96. This includes, pitch, balls, two teams and rule book. The limited edition has a bit more models and such for few dollars more but the set has still almost doubled in price.

Now for my newest project Deadzone, also retailing for $99.99. 23 multi-part models, 28 scenery tiles, chits and rules and such. I'll be honest I was interested in this for a multitude of reasons. But the only reasons I definitely ended up getting it was Mantics promotion last month (free shipping and discount) and it was a present from my wife. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have bought it new.
Mainly because of the cost+shipping. Many of the early boxes also had a lot of quality issues with the figures and tokens.

Following this a more similar game: Project Pandora: Grim Cargo, retailing for $24.99. 20 multi-part models, 24 color floor tiles, chits, dice and rule book.  Quality of the minis is same as warpath because they are warpath minis. The tiles are often described to be like the ones for DKH but made scifish.  Big complaint I here on this one is only 6 missions and no bases with the models originally. Additional tile sets with rules and counters can be bought for $7.99. Many complaints about the card components have been made though.

Finally the last and most similar game they sell is Dwarf King's Hold: Green Menace, retailing for  $24.99 at the moment. There used to be multiple other games in this series but this is the only one they still sell. Even when presented with links for the others on the web store the connections are dead links. This set included 28 multi-part minis (orcs/elves), 28 card components, dice, rule book etc etc.  Many complaints have been found about quality of the card components and miss cut tokens. Extra tiles, counters and rules are available for $11.99 on this one.

After doing all this research on what is going on just with the Mantic games it really did have me scratching my head and saying WTF? The theories of Mantic losing there way or intentionally shorting the base set in this for the purposes of add on goals started sounding more and more likely. It has also disappointed me because I have had a pretty good relationship with Mantic, so far. I want to see them succeed and I know this Kickstarter will succeed no matter what. But it does really make me wonder if they are on the path to becoming what many people will hate. What further interested me on this is how this topic keeps popping up in various places on the web. It also worries me because the cards and tokens are going to be a big part of this game and I know the token issue hasn't been worked out because mine are all cut off center in my Deadzone set. I am also confused by the fact that the two games that they sell that are the most similar in general are $75.00 cheaper than this set and this set seems to add very little, in fact I would argue it's worse since all the minis are single pieces. This to me is very damning, never mind the craziness that has happened surrounding dreadball. In the issue next week on this topic I will look at what other companies are offering that is similar to this new game.

Feel free to drop me a line or a comment. As a side note the current kickstarter is at Just under $250,000 and I haven't backed it yet.


  1. I like how the paladin on the cover of the game shows up as a 275K stretch goal.

  2. I think that -- as they did with Mars Attacks -- that they set the box contents low to start with on purpose to be able to have lots of stretch goals.

    One of my main gripes with MA and which caused me to drop out of the kickstarter was that you had no idea how much stuff were needed to have a good game, nor how much stuff the game was designed to be played with. This could be a side effect of the rules being written at the same time as the kickstarter, but to me that was a big put off.

  3. I actually asked about the size of the retail release of the box/weight etc, to try and get an idea on that one and the only answer I received only reflected the kick starter set, with basicly " it depends". I rephrased and sent it back, no response after almost 3 days.

  4. They have gotten the mini contents up to about the same level as Descent or the Ravenloft but the card components look weaker and those games are between 50-60 dollars after common discounting.