out with the old, in with the new

Mantic has made a few announcements that, while not exciting themselves, do imply something much better.  Of course I'm not going to talk about that first, that would spoil all the fun.  No, just like all those stupid news teasers, you have to sit through local updates and boring recaps of local sports teams before they get to the actual weather you care about.  And even then, they split it into two segments just to make you stay up even later to see what the weather will be (well what they predict, and seem to miss so often) when you have to drag your tired butt out of bed before even the sun is up.

Ok, where was I?  Oh yeah, new announcements.

Mantic is redoing some of their boxed army sets.  They have done this before, and will continue to do it (I remember ordering a new orc army from the War Store a few years back, and they shipped me the old one instead.  When I contacted customer service they shipped me out the new trolls (the new box had a regiment of trolls and 10 fewer orcs) to make up for the mistake).

First off are new starter and mega armies for goblins.  First off is the £59.99 / €79.99 / $84.99 starter army.
old vs new goblin starter
The old starter (which is no longer available) had a
  • regiment of fleabag riders
  • regiment of spitters
  • regiment of sharpsticks
  • regiment of rabble
  • goblin mincer.
The new starter set has
  • 2 regiments of spitters
  • regiment of trolls
  • regiment of fleabag riders
  • goblin mincer
  • goblin biggit
So you are trading in 20 goblins and the metal bits for sharpsticks and rabble for three trolls and a hero.  Comparing the prices on the mantic site, rabble and trolls are both $29.99, and the biggit is $12.99.  The new upgrade packs for goblins are $17.99 - so it unfortunately looks like the old set was $5.00 better value.

Then there is the new £99.99 / €129.99 / $149.99 mega army
old vs new goblin mega army
This, unfortunately, looks like the deal goes down a bit more.  The old mega army (still avalaible until stock runs out) contains:
  • horde of spitters (or 2 regiments)
  • 2 regiments of rabble
  • 2 regiments of sharpsticks
  • 2 regiments of fleabag riders
  • 2 regiments of trolls
  • 2 goblin minces
  • 3 goblin heroes (I love these sculpts by the way)
The new set is a bit less
  • 4 regiments of spitters
  • 1 regiment of fleabag riders
  • 2 regiments of trolls
  • 1 goblin mincer
  • 3 goblin heroes
So the new set has 40 fewer goblins, 10 fewer fleabag riders and only one mincer.  The difference then between the sets comes to $162 - so if you are looking for a goblin army get the old one before it sells out.

Now I don't want to say that any of these new sets are not a deal - the mega army, if bought separately, would be $238 - a savings of $88.

In addition to the new army sets, Mantic is also releasing smaller reinforcement packs ( £39.99 / €54.99 / $64.99) for when you need a few more troops, but not an army box worth.  The goblins get a raiding party, consisting of a regiment of spitters, a regiment of fleabag riders, and a goblin biggit.
goblin raiding party 
For a goblin player, it seems better to spend $20 more for a starter army (with $80 more stuff in it) than this set, however this set is perfect if you want to add some red goblins into your Ogre force. And speaking of Ogres, they get new army sets as well.

The ogre starter army box
old vs new Ogre starter army
The old box comes with
  • 9 warriors
  • 6 shooters / boomers
  • 3 Ogre command (I so love the bagpipes, though I have found that over time they end up bending the model due to the weight).
  • Grokagamok
The new box comes with
  • 12 warriors
  • 6 shooters / boomers
  • Grokagamok
  • Ogre Warlock
So you are trading in the command group (3 ogres + metal bits) for a warlock - $19.99 for $17.99. Since the release of 2nd edition when standards and musicians were removed as paid for upgrades to units, I have been seeing fewer and fewer new armies with command for their units, which I think is a bit of a shame.  I have always thought units look better with command.  So while you technically lose a little value, the new set is better for playing the game, as the warlock is MUCH more useful than the now purely decorative command.

On another aside - I am curious as to why Mantic had the studio model Grokagamok standing on a big rock on his base - when he comes with a plain empty base?  This is a tiny bit deceptive to me - especially since the only difference between Grokagamok and a normal warrior is the left arm. Seriously - it is the 'come here' gesture that is the only new part of this model.  Ok for a regular hero, but they missed the opportunity to do so much more with this broken overpowered character.

So how does the mega army compare?
old Ogre mega army vs new
The contents of the old mega army:
  • 12 shooters / boomers
  • 21 warriors
  • 1 set of command
  • 1 regiment of Ogre Chariots
  • 20 red goblins (i.e. goblin spitters)
  • Grokagamok
The new set has:
  • 9 shooters / boomers
  • 18 warriors
  • 1 regiment of red goblin scouts (goblin fleabag riders)
  • Grokagamok
  • Ogre Warlock
So you lose a total of 9 ogres (with metal command bits), the chariots and goblins for goblin scouts and a warlock.  This is a whopping drop in value of $87 (though again the mega army saves you $56 over buying these separately).  The figures here may be a little off, as ogres are now ONLY sold as hordes, not regiments - so I'm assuming half the price of a horde for a regiment.

There is also a reinforcement pack for Nature / Neritica - the Naiad patrol
Naiad Patrol
This consists of 
  • 30 Naiads
  • 3 Water Elementals
  • Naiad Centurion/Envoy
Again, for $20 more you can get the starter army, which adds $50 more value (again assuming a troop costs half a regiment) with 10 more naiads and 10 riverguard.

So writing this up is kind of depressing me, as while Mantic still makes models that are a great value, the value is getting less.  Inflation is affecting us all.

So is there a shining light at the end of this tunnel?  Well, I think so.  See, there is one more thing they announced that I kind of glossed over previously - and that is the new Goblin sharpstick and rabble metal upgrade packs - for £9.99  /€14.99 / $17.99 each.
Goblin sharpstick upgrade pack
Goblin rabble downgrade pack
The old sharpstick packs are sold out, though the rabble regiment is currently the same price as a regiment of spitters (so again, grab them while you can).

I like having these upgrades separately, though I don't necessarily like the additional prices.  No, it isn't these that excite me, it is this line from the Mantic blog (what, you didn't think I actually had any inside information, did you?)
These metal upgrades will be the first in a new line of metal upgrades for Kings of War and Warpath. Over the coming weeks we’ll be introducing more sets, including command upgrades, different weapons options and more. So stay tuned to the blog for more details.
They specifically mention Warpath - which I am hoping means we will soon see
  • Enforcer Arbiter Interceptor upgrade pack (only available in the Kickstarter Interceptor battlegroup)
  • Strider Heavy Burst Laser
  • Enforcer 'Ajax' Siege Strider
  • Enforcer Enforcer Breach and Eradicate Team (only available as an add on in the Kickstarter) (ok, I'm a bit meh on this one)
  • Forge Father HammerFist Team
  • Forge Father Doomstorm Pattern Iron Ancestor (ok, you can make this by cutting off the Forge Hammer on the 'normal' one)
  • Forge Father Thor Pattern Iron Ancestor ( left handed Forge hammer )
  • Forge Father Hellermal Pattern Iron Ancestor (Twin Magma cannon and Dragonbreath Flamer)
  • Marauder commando w/ Ripper Talons
and other weapons / upgrades that are still unavailable if you did not happen it get them at the correct time.  This news I'm excited for.  (However if you were planning on starting or upgrading either goblins or ogres, now is the time to get the old army boxes because once they are gone only the new ones will be available.

Because it is all fun and games . . .