We hope you’re all getting in some additional hobby time during these unusual times. Here at Mantic we’ve been busy of lots of stuff – Ronnie is preparing for a big Kings of War game, Martin has been painting even more Nightstalkers, Kirsten is starting a Forge Father force and Rob has made a crazy pledge to paint a goblin a day.
On the sad side, we couldn’t head out to Adepticon last week, our Open Day has been postponed and Salute is pushed back for a year. Normally these would have been great opportunities for us to reveal what’s coming up. So, last week we had our own virtual Adepticon – full of reveals and more. Just in case you missed the videos, we’ll also be covering the previews on our blog too and showing off a few of those sexy renders.
Today, we’ll be starting with Deadzone. Last year was a super year for everyone’s favourite sci-fi skirmish game using cubes. We had the launch of Containment Protocols: Escalation (currently half price, by the way) and two brand new sub factions: Volt Chasers for the Veer-myn and Alpha Strike Team for the Rebs. Escalation was such a mighty update, that we’ve decided not to publish a new Containment Protocols this year so – so make sure you grab it while it’s half price.
The sub faction idea has worked really well, and we’ve seen a number of people using both the Volt Chasers and Alpha Strike team in various tournaments/battle reports. It’s worked so well that we’re continuing the idea this year with the release of the MATSUDAN!
The Matsudan are a sub faction for the Asterians. To be honest, Asterians were one of the forces we felt needed a little love. And what’s more lovely than a group of giant, sumo-wrestling space lizards? First up then, a bit of background.
One of the few races to regularly treat and form pacts with the Asterians are the Matsudan. This ancient race of large, lizard-like creatures is thought to be almost as old as the Asterians themselves. They have a culture steeped in tradition and honour, so the actions of the profit-hungry corporations of the GCPS regularly come into conflict with the Matsudan’s venerable sense of integrity. To say the Asterians exploit this animosity is perhaps harsh, but they certainly don’t discourage it. Matsudan are often seen fighting alongside the robotic Marionettes favoured by the Asterians.
The idea is that the Asterians are using the Matsudan to fight back against the tide of GCPS expansion without actually getting their hands dirty. To help the Matsudan in their quest, the Asterians load them up with Marionettes to use as disposable troops. Rather than being controlled by a single Asterian, the Marionettes have been upgraded with the latest artificial intelligence. Likewise, the drones have also been upgraded from a Commodore 64 to a Commodore Amiga (with extra ram), to allow them to fight with the Matsudan.
A little like the special rules for the Matsudan captain in DreadBall – the GCPS have named the Matsudan using sumo wrestling terminology. After all, it’s easier to shout ‘Yokozuna!’ rather than “Grffff’grhurkl’ma’jrk” when you’re being shot at on the battlefield.
This is the leader of the Matsudan and one of your command options for the Matsudan sub faction. You’ve also got the option of the Marionette Prime too. The Toshiyori can boost nearby Marionettes to help them shoot and survive a bit better.
Ok, this is one model we haven’t shown before! Although some of the Matsudan are armed with massive guns, the Sekiwake has a couple of Shock Mauls. You really don’t want to be on the wrong end of these.
Originally the plan was for the Matsudan to be released in July but obviously plans are a little fluid at the moment. However, if you still want your giant, sumo-wrestling space lizard fix, Ota Sora is included as part of the Terror in the Deep expansion for Star Saga (which also gives you a decent Nameless Strike Team too).
But that’s not all for the Asterians. We’ve seen a few people saying they wish the Asterians had their own mech. After all, the Forge Fathers, Rebs, Plague, Enforcers, GCPS, Mazon Labs and Marauders all have their own big, stompy robot.
Well wish no more, sad Asterian players! Let’s welcome, the Spectra!
Deployment of a Spectra is an extreme measure for any Asterian Clade. These bio-mechanical constructs are similar to Cyphers, but their size and power output creates dangerous feedback for the Asterian remotely piloting them. The strain on the pilot’s brain is intense and any sensation is dramatically enhanced – including damage to the Spectra. Physical destruction of the mech is almost certain to result in the pilot’s death, as their mind is overwhelmed by the powerful feedback.
To avoid this the Clades are careful to ensure that each Spectra is equipped with the latest stealth and energy shield technology. Each Clade will only deploy them in swift, surgical strikes when the need is dire. However, even with the inherent risks, more and more of these warmachines have been sighted on battlefield with each passing cycle, as if the Asterians are becoming more desperate to maintain the galaxy’s fragile balance.
We’ve also been working hard with the Deadzone RC to ensure this isn’t your standard mech. Rather than plodding along like an Iron Ancestor, the Spectra will be super agile… and even has the ability to fly. For interested, it stands around 10cm high, will be made from resin and features a translucent blue energy shield.
Again, the Spectra was originally due for release in July but we’ll have to wait to see if the world returns to normal!
Tune in tomorrow for another recap of our Adepticon reveals.