Apr 27

Mantic’s Terrain Crate Kickstarter

We’re taking a break from the little narrative of the last few posts to check out the Terrain Crate from Mantic that has just gone live on Kickstarter.

Who’s going to want it? Definitely RPG players and dungeon delvers. This terrain translates well to more open wargames, and even the likes of Guild Ball. It’s set to a 28mm scale so good with most mainstream games.

What you get is effectively scatter terrain for your gaming table. There are three options to choose from: dungeon, battlefield and town, all based on a fantasy setting. We’re talking, books, fences, crates, chests, mirrors, archery targets, forge equipment, kegs of ale, weapons racks… For me, hands down, the dungeon set is the shining star of the lot. That’s not just because the individual pieces look fantastic but because pieces like the mine and the dungeon debris can easily be repurposed for an exterior battlefield. You also get a wizard’s study with the dungeon set, complete with candles, bookcases, arcane apparatus and pointy hat. And Frostgrave players are going to drool over the treasure pieces!

Some of this stems from Dungeon Saga, a previous Kickstarter from Mantic. I’ve played through the Dungeon Saga campaign so can personally attest to the quality of the scatter terrain. It’s all single-piece and pre-coloured so you’re good to go right out of the box but if you wanted to paint it (of course you want to paint it) the detail is decent with pronounced recesses and edges so even a quick job using washes and drybrushing will make a great finish. And it’s robust. You can throw this stuff in a box of other terrain without having to worry about it getting damaged. On Mantic’s interview with Beasts of War, they even took a hammer to some of the pieces and they came out unscathed. Here are some more from the town set:

$75 gets you one crate which is quite a lot of kit, even excluding stretch goals which are already being smashed through. Adding more crates to your pledge will get you a little more discount on top. It is a Kickstarter, however, so you’ll be waiting an age to get your stuff. May 2018 is listed as an expected delivery date but you do get a hefty saving on the retail price so it’s worth weighing up the options. Kickstarter is tried and tested territory for Mantic so it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re going to see your order with minimal fuss.

Other Options
The Gothic Ruins set from Escenorama (Spain based so factor in shipping) caught my eye recently. This works at the same scale and gives you more of a mix and match approach where you can just choose the bits you want. Check these guys out for pillars, arches, statues, ruins, and my particular favourite, the Altar of Great Arconte which is made up from a few of the individual pieces:

Tabletop World also do some high quality terrain, both scatter and larger buildings. You’ll generally pay a bit more for this, and they are resin so you need to treat them with more care than the hard plastic options, but they look very high end. For me, the larger buildings are where Tabletop World shines, but since we’re talking scatter terrain here, this is part of their furniture set (priced at 18 euros):

Apr 22

Penal Hive XN-34217, Encara Tertius, Segmentum Auxa

‘Tell me exactly what happened.’

Her voice invited no argument, no deviation, only a straight answer.

Sat at the chipped, plastic table in his superior’s office, Loader glanced to his colleague beside him before taking in a stuttered breath. Both of the prison officers sat bolt upright in their chairs, dripping in cold, fear-induced perspiration. Thick bolts held the chairs down and the single picture on the wall, a pict showing the moment of their dead superior’s elevation to office where he had led Arbites in a brutal firefight against Novus Encara gangers, hung secured with smaller bolts. Nothing to improvise as a weapon. Nothing now the mounts for an Arbites shotgun lay empty beneath the desk across the room.

And the rightful owner of the shotgun lay sprawled atop the desk, his brain matter decorating the otherwise grey wall behind.

‘Finch was already down ‘fore we knew what was goin’ on,’ Loader blurted. He was the larger of the two, a brute of a man, possibly genhanced judging by his width of his round shoulders. Something looked off with his head though. Genhancements failed to take or stabilise, most likely.

His colleague, Jensen, took courage from his lead. ‘Yeah. Nothing to do with us.’

The woman stared down at them. Another two women stood either side of her wearing jump suits of green so dark it was almost black. Each carried swords crossed over their backs and their faces were covered by expressionless masks. A squad of PDF troops marched past their open door and saluted to the sentries outside.

Loader shuffled in his seat muttering, avoiding the stare but Jensen buckled under its intensity.

‘They’d already taken the armoury before we heard anything. I was out–engineering consignment came in not long before–needed sorting out because it came from from that mine. What’s it? Gillean’s Reach. Had nothing to do with us. Stuff was supposed to go off-world. That’s when we got jumped. Gangers jumped straight off the train. Loader here took one in the eye.’

‘Ay, shut up,’ Loader snapped, jabbing his elbow into Jensen’s ribs.

Jensen jabbed him back. ‘She asked, I’m telling. Unless you think that big, bloody letter I on her coat doesn’t mean she ain’t got ways of getting answers out of you. So this ganger, Novus Encara, I reckon, skinny streetcat of a woman, gives Loader here that black eye. Few dozen of them jumped off that train, tooled up and meaning business, if you catch my meaning? Well, a few of us managed to get behind the loading gear and give them a few slugs before they split. Had us pinned though. It was all quick from there. Too quick, yeah? You ask me, they knew about this inside.’

Their interrogator leaned forwards. The wide brim of her hat nudged Jensen’s forehead. Her breath smelt of stale Caf. ‘Who on the inside?’

That voice! It made Jensen want to spill every secret from stealing bread as a kid to failing PDF recruitment and slacking off on his order consignments. He clammed up though. Her mere presence put the fear of the Emperor Almighty through him and clamped his throat shut.

Then Loader found something resembling his backbone. ‘Whole damn officery is corrupt. You want my call? That jumped-up clerk’s at the heart of it. Slimy thing, he is. Gets in the governor’s pocket with something he set up at the mine and he’s throwin’ his weight about like he’s Lord bloody Commander. Brought a load of his own lads in too, mucked about all the shift rosters.’

He shrank back at suddenly gaining the Inquisitor’s attention.

‘Do you have any military training or combat deployments?’ she asked

The prison guard straightened his back and scowled. ‘Let me tell you somethin’. I got eight years holed up with naught but hive scum. We got the toughest, most vicious criminals and gangers in the sector here and I ain’t never let one slip. I been shivved, mobbed and bludgeoned and fought my way out every damn time. I done all that undermanned and under-resourced. If that ain’t military trainin’, I don’t know what is.’

The Inquisitor stared back, expressionless. ‘No military experience.’

‘What’s this about?’ Jensen asked and regretted it before the words even left his mouth. ‘…If I might be so bold, ma’am.’

‘You are relieved of your duties with immediate effect and under the command of the Inquisition. My infocytes will contact you.’