Last Saturday saw the world’s first Virtual Mantic Open Day. After our traditional spring Open Day had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, we decided to take the event online so that Mantic fans around the globe could join in with the fun.
Although nothing will recreate the chaos and fun of an actual Mantic Open Day, we absolutely loved being able to hang out with so many of you. Throughout the day on Saturday, we had Q&As, live streams of games, painting sessions and sometimes Rob even managed to work the technology properly!
Just in case you missed anything from over the weekend, we just wanted to recap some of the highlights and share some pictures in juicy high-definition.
Rob kicked off the day with a brief Warpath Universe Q&A. This chat covered everything from Deadzone to Firefight and a little bit of DreadBall for good measure.
The star of the show was most certainly the upcoming Asterian Spectra. This is a new mech for the Asterians in Deadzone and it’s already got heads turning.
There are two weapon options (sword and gun), plus two head options that can be mixed and matched. That awesome blue shield is actually going to be translucent resin to give it the appearance of an energy shield. Also, it might not be clear from the pictures, but the Spectra is an impressive 11cm tall. We cannot wait for this to go up for pre-order once release dates have returned to normal.
Elsewhere and there were a number of questions from viewers about the future of Firefight and Warpath. Both Rob and Ronnie confirmed that neither games are going anywhere and Mantic will continue to support them. It was also mentioned that Firefight is getting some further development to make the link between Deadzone and Firefight much closer. Stay tuned for more on that.
Finally in the Warpath Universe, Rob confirmed that DreadBall will be getting a brand-new supplement in early 2021. The concept is an update of the old Challenge Cup, with a mix of new planets/locations for teams to play on. Each of these new environments will have different ways to play too. Exciting stuff, even though it’s early days for that one.
You can watch the full video below:
LIVE SCULPTING SESSION
Luigi held a fascinating live sculpting seminar and answer questions from viewers. During the seminar, Luigi sculpted a Ratkin birthing daughter. This is a new miniature for the upcoming Ratkin Vanguard warband. Birthing daughters are mentioned briefly in the Uncharted Empires supplement but their role will be greatly expanded in Ratkin lore. Here’s a little extra about the birthing daughters…
The inequality between the roles means that enmity is rife among the birthing daughters – as they fight to become the Brood Mother’s favourite – and gossip constantly swirls around their ranks. Most is petty jostling for recognition but occasionally a would-be Brood Mother will challenge the lair by gathering other birthing daughters around her. The fighting is vicious as the rival camps brawl amongst each other and after a bloody scrap, the victor and her followers will eat the losing leader and her supporters. As an extra precaution any pups recently birthed by the rebels are devoured too – lest the desire for rebellion is passed on. The remaining birthing daughters and Brood Mother gorge themselves on the sweet meat of young flesh in a frantic display of cannibalism. One of the birthing daughters I questioned confessed that when her sisters were hungry, they would spread rumours of a rival Brood Mother just to trigger a challenge so they could feed on the pups.
From the safety of her lair, hidden deep on the seventh level of the nest, the Brood Mother leads with a ruthless cunning. She dispatches her birthing daughters to scurry throughout the clan and deliver her commands. However, it appears it is not uncommon for these messages to be interpreted in a way that will greatly benefit the receiver. The war chief that first receives the message often claims the Brood Mother has given his battalion the easier flank in battle or extra troops, for example. There are shrieks of treason if any dare questions the legitimacy of the Brood Mother’s instructions. The birthing daughters are keenly aware of their own powerful influence in this process and will readily accept bribes from recipients keen to ensure they’re first in line for the Brood Mother’s diktats.
Can’t wait to hear more about those! And here’s the video of Luigi sculpting a birthing daughter.
NEEDY CAT GAMES – GAMES DESIGN SEMINAR
While Luigi was busy sculpting, James from Needy Cat Games was giving wannabe games designers an insight into how to get their games made. This was actually the first part of a six-part games design course and you can find details about the rest of the course on the Needy Cat website.
KINGS OF WAR AND VANGUARD
In the afternoon, Matt Gilbert gave us plenty of scoops from Pannithor. We started with a quick update about the upcoming ogres for Vanguard, including some work in progress pictures of the painted Berserker Bully, Boomer Sergeant and Matriarch.
Continuing the Vanguard theme, Matt confirmed the next warband after the ogres will be Ratkin and that a Salamanders warband is about to go into playtesting too.
Moving onto Kings of War now and there was plenty to take a look at, including some new miniatures for the Nightstalkers.
The Dreadfiend is the champion version of the standard Fiends. It stands roughly twice the size of a normal fiend and it’s suitably freakish. Like the Fiends, this will be available in resin.
Up next, the Soulflayers are the cavalry equivalent for the Nightstalkers. These are six-legged mounts able to flit through reality and will also be available in resin.
Matt also mentioned the Well of Souls for the Forces of the Abyss. We reckon this unit/terrain piece could find a home in a lot of different armies or even used as an objective in your RPGs.
Finally, Matt showed off this stunning piece of artwork featuring the goblins fighting against the Ratkin. The piece is called War in the Holds and Matt hinted that it might have something to do with a new two-player starter set. Let the wild speculation begin! You can watch the full interview with Matt below:
WINGED HUSSAR Q&A
Our next interview featured the best moustache in publishing owned by Vince Rospond from Winged Hussar. Vince gave us a great update on all the Mantic tie-ins coming from Winged Hussar, including the recently released Drowned Secrets by Ben Stoddard. He also confirmed that more books are coming, including a DreadBall novel and the second part to Christopher Verspeak’s Warpath trilogy. Talking of that, if you want to read the first part (First Strike) then it’s currently free to download from the Mantic website.
Vince also gave some tips and advice if you’d like to see your own novel published by Winged Hussar, so make sure you watch the interview (it’s split into two parts because the internet broke).
UNIVERSAL BATTLE – KINGS OF WAR
While Rob was busy interviewing Vince, the Dash28 crew was previewing some of the new magical supplement rules for Kings of War on Universal Battles. These new magical rules were due to appear in a new summer campaign book, which is currently a bit in limbo due to lockdown.
However, Matt James from the RC has done a great job creating some bombastic magical rules that really add a different gameplay element to your battles. Now, don’t worry hardcore tournament fans, these magical rules are designed for narrative play and come with a big health warning: NOT DESIGNED FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY. So, before you start worrying the sky is falling (possibly a spell in the supplement) please remember these won’t be appearing at your next tournament.
Instead, they’re designed to tie in with the online campaign, whenever that comes and are meant to be a lot of fun.
So, with that in mind, enjoy the video below:
The action-packed day wrapped up with the main event: Ronnie Renton. Once he got his connection working, Ronnie covered a whole host of topics including the Walking Dead, current Kickstarters, Kings of War, sci-fi, Hellboy and more!
There’s quite a lot to digest from this one, but basically:
The Walking Dead – push the tournament scene more next year, possibly more coming from the Telltale videogames and we’ll look back at the filling in gaps from the story
Kickstarters – TerrainCrate 2 is about to go on boats, while League of Infamy is still on track
Sci-fi – Ronnie mentioned again that we’re looking at reworking Firefight to make it more accessible and improve the link between Deadzone and Firefight
Charity auctions – this week we’ll be launching some charity auctions to help raise money in light of the coronavirus outbreak. We’ll have more details on that in the days to come.
Hellboy – Ronnie announced that we’re making Giant Robot Hellboy! This is based on a drawing Mike Mignola recently did to raise money for charity and we’ll be following suit. More details to come shortly, but Giant Robot Hellboy is designed for solo play and part of the proceeds will go to charity.
Talking of Hellboy, Ronnie also played the Hellboy Dice Game live. This will be coming out later in the year and you can watch Ronnie play at home in the video below.
Phew, so as you can see it was an absolutely action-packed day… and we’ve probably missed something. Thank you again to everyone that popped in to watch or ask questions. As much as we were disappointed that we couldn’t hold a normal Open Day, this was still a great way for us all to hang out. The good news is that on the back of this virtual Open Day, we will be ensuring there’s a virtual element to future events too.
OPEN DAY DEALS
Finally, we’ll be keeping the Open Day deals up for the rest of this week, so make sure you check them out here.