Mantic is a hobby company – it has just one purpose, and that is to make collecting, painting and gaming with model soldiers’ fun, affordable and accessible to all. We try to make figures that look great, while still easy to assemble (or even built for you in some cases). We ensure our introductory rules are available for free, and design games that are simple to learn, yet a challenge to master. We don’t always succeed but we keep trying, and each iteration we get closer.
Watch the video or keep reading for more!
Over the past few years Kickstarter has allowed us grow the ranges in a way that would have been unimaginable without it, often the campaigns raise enough for 2 years’ worth of releases. This can be intimidating when 6 factions and 4 books arrive in just a couple of parcels. I have always tried to use KS to invest and re-invest in just a couple of gaming systems and IP’s (with just one detour via a Martian Invasion of Earth, but we got a great intro system and worked with a licensee so you have to forgive us for that!).
Mantic’s long term plan is always to make the products available from local gaming stores. We see them as our long-term partners. We design and build the ranges, and give away the free rules, so that new gamers will pick up their hobby fix from their store and clubs.
The past 6 months have seen us sending a lot of boxes out to a lot of people and my worry is that all those boxes of fantastic miniatures, beautiful books and shiny new games are so big and intimidating that they get left untouched, piling up next to the painting table. New rules need a few attempts before they start feeling intuitive and the tactics start to emerge, with 2 or 3 years of releases in one go the mountain might seem so high it seems pointless to even start climbing it!
Yet every day I see more and more amazing things on Facebook. Armies are being painted for Kings of War, Mars Attacks invasions forces are springing up everywhere. DreadBall teams are proudly displayed with conversions and colour schemes making each team unique and individual. And the quantity and quality of the gaming boards made using the scenery tiles are just astounding.
Ogre Captain by Daith
My 2×2′ board is nearly finished – but every time I go online I see something new that inspires me further. I realize now I must get on and upgrade to a 6×4 – and I need tables for both Kings of War and Warpath/Deadzone.
So how can we galvanize all these individual efforts into a community? How can we take all this potential and support and take it to the next level?
Well it has to start by Mantic saying what it is about. Are we a company that just Kickstarts, or does it believe and stand by the hobby? Does it want to create a global pool of gamers that can enjoy what we do and share it with their friends, clubs and gaming groups.
Well you can guess the answer but actions speak louder than words.
We are now at the end of a massive (AND boy do I mean massive shipping operation – those who backed multiple KS will know on a personal level just how much has been sent out). The team here are getting to the end of the missing items issues and can now look at getting back into supporting and spreading the fun.
So what does that mean?
It means Mantic has some time to focus on the hobby. We now have 4 people working in the customer service and hobby team – all long-time gamers and hobbyists (see next week’s post to meet them all, apologies in advance they are not a pretty lot!).
We have got great partners working with us on a few new initiatives. And we have a huge and growing community of talented and passionate fans.
Our job is to simply join these strands together, into an idea I came up with called ‘Hobby Time” (admittedly a terrible name but it was late – new ideas welcome!)
Hobby Time (?) Logo? Leave us your feedback and name suggestions in the comments!
All the activities, blogs, articles and posts that relate to the joy that is our hobby should be stamped with it and feel free to use it too. It should tie together the DreadBall, Deadzone, Kings of War, and Mars Attacks fans in a unified, global act.
In the next 6 months, starting now, we will make Mantic a hobby company you can be proud of:
1) We will build a dedicated website for each of the major gaming systems
Starting with Dreadball Xtreme on 17th Feb, and other rolling out in the months thereafter. These sites will all have the background setting for the game, an easy way to access the free rules, all the relevant Apps for the game (or links to get them) and an introduction and information about the major factions or teams.
There will be links over to the forums for further discussion, and videos and guides how to assemble and paint your models, with hints on how to play, and battle reports or blow by blow match write-ups – in most cases by you! Each site will be a place where hobbyists can find out more about the game they love or want to learn), the community around it and a place to share their hobby achievement, via links to social media.
2) We will add the range of Army Painter products to our site
Plus a resin line of Deadzone and Mars Attacks scenery. Over time we will add other fantasy and sci-fi orientated lines that help make hobby time easier.
3) The Mantic Journal is coming back this summer
It will be called the Mantic Journal – Annual #1 (unless we get a better name in the meantime, suggestions welcome). It will feature a section on each game, with painting guides, battle reports, strategy hints and tips and army building examples, again featuring the fantastic armies and gaming tables seen every day online (which vanish all too soon).
4) More Events, Tournaments and Shows
We have arranged for regional Clash of Kings Tournaments, a huge roster of events at Adepticon and the Dreadball tournament has just agreed to use the Mantic bunker as the venue. We want this to be just the start of a calendar of great hobby events. These are a challenge for Mantic independently but as we always have we will support any organizer who is hosting and running their own events. We will have an organized play scheme for retail stores and events, and as always our fantastic Pathfinders will be happy to turn up and help.
5) More Painting, More Gaming
The Pathfinders have been quietly running a monthly hobby oath where you pledge to paint something by the end of the month – ranging from just units or a few models up to whole teams. Personally I have been on the naughty step about as often as I have been in the good books. I hope they will make this its own Facebook page and it becomes a place where all mantic fans can post their hobby ambitions for the month ahead – and face public adoration or ridicule depending on how close they get to delivering it!
Combine all that with a global summer campaign and full re-launch for Kings of War, DreadBall getting violent and nasty, Mars Attacks turning into a full-wargame (with no soldiers needing assembly!) and other fantastic monthly releases we can be very excited about what 2015 can be.
Join in with new Hobby Time every day, starting right here on Monday. We’ll be revealing more on all of the above plus we’ll have competitions, giveaways, battle reports, videos and oh so much more.
Get in touch! How will you participate with Hobby Time?