Yup more stuff from Mantic Games. I might as well be on their payroll for the amount that I talk about their stuff here on my blog. Heck I sorta wish I was. Maybe at least I'd get a discount or they could pay me instead of the other way around. Ah well, I digress.
I'm not much of a fantasy gamer, but with all those Reaper Bones figures sitting around from their first campaign, I felt like I needed to do something with them. The only rules I have for fantasy gaming is Song of Blades and Heroes, but I wanted something a little more structured, mainly because otherwise I'd take months just figuring out what figures to use in my war bands!
With that in mind I was browsing over on Beasts of War and I found a game play video of Dwarf King's Hold: Dead Rising. Sadly for me the game seemed to be out of print only year or so after it's release. The second core game, Dwarf King's Hold: Green Menace, is still available from Mantic but I wanted to start at the beginning. After a little searching on the internet I was able to track down a copy of Dead Rising for very close to the original retail price.
Already having experience with the figures from Dwarf King's Hold: Ancient Grudge I had a good idea of what to expect from Mantic's plastic fantasy figures. I had already put together a pair of elves, a pair of dwarfs with firearms, and some ghouls. Dead Rising's skeleton sprues I was quite impressed with, and found that the first batch of ten went together with very little effort. The two skeletons from Ancient Grudge I accidentally mixed in with the revenants below.
Next up were the dwarfs and their little mastiff hound. I was less impressed with these mainly due to some of them having rather large gaps between upper and lower body pieces. I did a little filling with plastic glue and in the end I'm sure the gaps won't be all that noticeable.
Finally came the sprue of revenants. It appears that this sprue shares the same lower bodies as the regular skeleton on but has different upper bodies, and some ornate armour options. Overall I have to say I'm very happy with Mantic's fantasy figures. The prices seem high for what you get in the DKH game boxes, but you have to consider that you're getting an actual game in addition to the miniatures. The Dead Rising box included enough dice to play as well as the rule book (obviously), several sheets of map tiles, and a sheet with all the counters you need for the game.
I might as well cover Ancient Grudge and Green Menace while I've got you here. I bought Ancient Grudge first so I'll start with that.
I've already built some Mantic zombies for the Judge Dredd Miniature Game, so the ghoul sprues looked extremely familiar. Even though the box came with materials to do ghouls and zombies (enough for 4 ghouls and 3 zombies) I opted to mix them all together so that I could build 7 ghouls in total.
There were two elf archers (seen below with the squad from "Green Menace"), two dwarfs with ranged weapons (could be kitted with rifles or crossbows; I opted for one of each), and the metal dwarf berserker.
I found the elves to be a little fiddly to put together at first, and they are very skinny looking when compared to some of the Reaper Bones elf figures. However, now that I've also put together the sprues from Green Menace they have grown on me quite a bit. I'll probably mix my Bones elves in with these, because I have no use for the elves if I don't use them in this game or Kings of War. For example, the Ancient Grudge rule book has profiles for an elven king, princess and ranger captain (among others for the rest of the races). I'll have decide how I want to base them so that they sort of fit in.
Speaking of bases, I ended up ordering some 20mm bases from Mantic to base all of these on. It's a shame they weren't included in the game box in the first place...particularly since I realized that I didn't order any 25mm bases for the Orcs!
Next up, and finally comes Green Menace.
It doesn't really seem like you get as many figures in this box. Five of the orcs are 'ax' figures, the other two are 'moreax' figures. I'm sure you'll be able to tell the difference in the photo.
As I mentioned earlier the elves are fiddly, but they look very good. I'm interested to see how well I can paint them, as a lot of the detailing is very small and fine. If I had to choose between the two squads I'd likely choose the spearmen. I'm probably biased though because they took me the longest and I quite like the banner-man that I put together.
It'll be a while until I get these painted, but in the meantime I intend to play the game a few more times. I've only had the chance to play the first scenario from the first game twice. It's fun and I'm looking forward to playing it again soon.