Mantic Open Day, 30th November

A bit late, but here’s a short review of the Mantic Open Day.

It was chuffing brilliant!

OK I’ll write something a bit longer …

My weekend kicked off on Friday night by meeting up with the splendid folks from the excellent Beasts of War down the Trip to Jerusalem. In attendance were Warren and Lloyd from BoW; James from Mantic; Alessio from all the games companies; and a host of gamers from around the country. We boozed, chatted and played a few games. I haven’t laughed so much in ages!

I was up early, without any post-pub ill-effects, for hotel breakfast the next day. Registration for the Dreadball tournament was at 9am, so there was no time for lazing around in bed. The crack-of-dawn start wasn’t entirely welcome, but the extra time to see the rest of the open day was well worth it.

We were straight into the Dreadball tournament, which I’ll write up in another post. Between games I had time to nip into Mantic’s shop and pick up some more Dreadball bases – hopefully enough to finish the teams for Seasons 1-3. I’d taken tons of cash but managed to resist buying, say, a ton of goblins for Kings of War. I’ll save that decision for the next one in May.

After a couple of games it was time to get to the burger van and into its epic meat-feast cob: an artery-hardening mix of bacon, burger, sausage, fried egg and cheese shoe-horned into a massive cob (a cob is what Nottingham folks call a bread roll). Wargamer food at its absolute finest!

The queue to pick up Deadzone was huge! I’d planned to pick it up myself, but Mantic stole my thunder by delivering it before I’d set off for Nottingham. I’d initially moaned about this but was very, very thankful to miss this:

Gamers wait to pick up Deadzone

Gamers wait to pick up Deadzone

The long lunch break meant that, as well as eating, we got to see Ronnie and Jake’s seminar at Mantic towers, just round the corner from the open day venue). While we waited, the fellas from Purple Guerilla were showing off the version of the Dreadball rulebook for iPad and Android tablets. Given I was schlepping all three DB rulebooks with me, this looks very promising. We also had a bit of time to gawp at the studio minis-painted (and, oh my, aren’t they nice?), some of the new sculpts for Kings of War and Dreadball and – best of all – the mighty Fisty Glue Man (do not Google that if you’re at work!).

The seminar itself covered Kickstarter (most future releases are expected to continue to be released in this way); Dreadball (next major update will be Dreadball Extreme – Dreadball meets Fight Club, with a plastic pitch and blocking terrain); Deadzone (future expansions to include Veer-myn); Warpath (nothing much for a while); and Kings of War (another Kickstarter to follow). No doubt there was a load stuff I’ve forgotten but it was very interesting and got me all excited to see what’s coming next year. Beasts of War were filming, so I’ll look forward to that, to jog my memory.

Ronnie and Jake spill the beans about the future.

Ronnie and Jake spill the beans about the future.

Seminar over, and after game three, I had a look at the Warlord room. My wallet was grateful that they’d not brought over the full range (I’d a half-assed shopping list for more stuff for my fledgling WWII British army). I did pick up their ruined hamlet (enough plastic to make about 6 ruined farm buildings for £30 – great value!). Next door were a couple of fine chaps showing a Bolt Action demo. I had a chat and a quick game. I had to cut it short for Dreadball game four, but enough to be completely smitten by Bolt Action. It’s superb!

Bolt Action demo

Me unexpectedly papped while playing Bolt Action (in the olive hoody)

Hawk Wargames also had a stand – I didn’t trust myself in there with a bundle of cash and the car nearby. I’ll absolutely check out Dropzone Commander when the painting table looks less shameful.

With game four done there was just time for the prizes for the Dreadball and Kings of War tournaments; and to present the money raised from both to Nottinghamshire Hospice, via Gamers for Life. There was lots of prizes, lots of laughs and lots of smiles – the day ended on a massive high note. It was a great day out and I’m already looking forward to doing it all again in May.

Well played Mantic. Well played!

(Photos by Mantic Games, used with permission)

(Part 2: my Dreadball tournament results is here)

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