Hello and welcome to the inaugural Motivation Monday!
This series of blogs will delve into the wonderful Mantic fanbase to find stories and interviews with some of the most well-known and loved members of our community, with the hope and intention of inspiring the rest of us to dust of those sprues, pick up that brush or take the leap into a new game.
Today we speak to Marijn Bierhof…
I started with this hobby back in 1994. It was on a rainy day, I was 14 years old and I was bored. So I grabbed a HeroQuest Chaos Warrior and painted it with my old Revell paints. And I loved it! In school I learnt from a mate about miniature games, visited a local gaming store and the rest is history.
Me and my gaming friends were always interested in all the miniature games released all over the world and we have played a ton of games during the years. I always followed all the news sites to learn of cool new rules and models and that’s how I learnt of Mantic Games and the first release. I believe it was the Elf Spearmen. Back in the day producing HIPS models was a rarity so they had my interest straightaway. I think my first purchase was the old Enforcers set with 30 Enforcers and the metal Peacekeeper captain. I believe that was before Deadzone even existed. I played a lot of Mass Effect back then on PC and these reminded me of the Cerberus forces. I just had to get them. And now I am glad I still have them, because they see a lot of action in Deadzone.
What is your favourite Mantic game and why?
Deadzone! In fact, it’s my favourite game I own.
I got into it back in 2015 when I bought a lot from a fellow gamer. We tried it out and thought it was okay. It had potential, but we didn’t like everything about it. So we didn’t really play very much. But then 3 years later I played a game of second edition during an event and was blown away. I quickly bought the book and command dice, a lot of scenery and I still had a lot of Deadzone models around. We tried some games and we were sold. A couple months later Mantic began the ‘Battle for Starfall’ campaign and we had to join in the fun. It was an absolute blast! I hope there will be another online campaign soon [Ed – watch out for one of our Christmas blogs!]
By now Deadzone is my favourite game in my collection. Games are always tons of fun with cinematic moments, absurd ‘8 trains’ and often great endings. And you don’t need a special table for it, it plays fast, and I think it is the game that uses height the best. It truly is the best 3D game.
And as for other Mantic games, I also have Dreadball, Dreadball Xtreme, Star Saga, The Walking Dead: All Out War and Here’s Negan. These are also fantastic as they offer different experiences, all have great rules sets and the miniatures are a joy to paint.
What is your favourite faction or army and why?
For Deadzone it has to be the Asterians. I’ve never been a big fan of the frail pointy eared species in games, but somehow in Deadzone I was immediately drawn to them. I like how diverse the models are and how they play in the game. You have the frail but eagle-eyed Cyphers, the feral and fast Kalyshi, all kinds of drones and the Marionettes as fillers. You have so many ways to play the faction, I think I like that the most. You can go for a lot of scary firepower, but you can also bring a horde of Kalyshi lawnmowers. The faction never bores me and I always have more ideas for the next game.
Do you have a favourite mini?
That is a very hard question…Mantic Games produces so many awesome miniatures. But for my favourite game I think it is the Ogre Mercenary Warrior. Its a great sculpt and the minigun is just too cool. It was not the easiest model to paint, because it’s so heavy! But I like how he turned out.
What’s on your hobby desk at the moment?
Always some Deadzone! I have a dedicated hobby space and I always have Deadzone models on it to paint. I am now working on an Asterian Matsudan Inashi and once he’s finished I have some more Enforcers lined up. And then probably the Spectra. That one really deserves a paint job, what a gorgeous miniature.
What’s your next hobby project?
I have two ‘bigger plans’. One is that I have quite a few buildings from the Red Brick Terrain range. I will be using these for Deadzone for a Mazon Labs city district. So the buildings are mostly intact with some small ruins around them. I bought the new TerrainCrate Battlezone Street Accessories to decorate the buildings with. These should really fit with the look and make the buildings look more realistic. Once this project is finished, I have another Deadzone table finished. Enough to play 2-3 games here simultaneously.
For Walking Dead: All Out War I am also working on a bit of a ridiculous project: a hobby store filled to the brink with Mantic products. I printed out designs to create boxes for the games Mantic makes and place them on shelves. This is very fiddly, because everything is resized to fit in with the 30mm models! And there will be tables with Mantic Games being played, arcades with Dreadball, the Ronnie walker model will be a golden (or rusty?) statue in the shop, etc. So a lot of work and totally unnecessary as you don’t see it most of the time, but doing such “dollhouse” projects now and then gives me joy.
And finally and opportunity to plug your local club, events or anything you’d like.
I live in the north of the Netherlands and only go to one event each year and that is Poldercon in Utrecht. It’s a Dutch event that hosts about 30-40 different miniature games during a day and only attracts fellow miniature gamers. You have a large hall filled with fellow geeks who have a passion for painting and gaming. And you meet up with friends, enjoy lunch together and have a chat and a laugh. If you are from the Netherlands or close by, I highly recommend Poldercon. I think it’s the best day of gaming!
And I would like to raise my glass to the staff of Mantic Games and Deadzone’s rules committee. First, one of the reasons Mantic always makes me smile is that they are gamers too and are amongst the communities of their games. So very approachable, kind and always with a good amount of humour.
The Deadzone rules committee deserves a mention because they did such a fantastic job with all of the Deadzone books that were released during the last years. Every time the game became better, more fun, and richer. I can imagine it is hard to make everybody happy with changes, but these guys are doing a stellar job. With them doing the rules, the game is bound to stay strong and being the best game there is!
Thanks Marijn, what a fantastic insight into your hobby and some great painted miniatures to get us all in the mood. not only has it given me the encouragement to get painting, its also given me an idea for a new punk band – Kalyshi Lawnmower!