Uncrating Terrain

So after a long weekend out of town, I come home to a big box.  Interestingly enough, though the label is from Mantic, it was shipped from Ohio, and doesn't have any of that Mantic tape around it that we all love seeing on our doorstep.

I open it up, and it is a big box of crates - Terrain Crates to be exact.  Two layers deep!

So let's take a look inside!

First, the extra $60 crate.  This was for the bundle of the three extra sets that weren't part of a full crate.  I wonder if the plan had been to originally do 4 full crates, but they just never unlocked the rest?  I got in on the early bird, so I got three crates for $180 - or $60 each - so they ended up being a much better value than this one.  Still - cool stuff.

The boxes are solid, but the lids don't quite seem to fit (more on that below).  Inside each of them is a Mantic flyer, describing all their different games.  I'm not sure when this was originally printed, as it says Dreadball 2 is coming in April (which it did - though this was supposed to be here two months ago - but delays are simply part of kickstarter).

The 'full' crates have a sheet listing everything in them, but this one didn't as it was all extras.

Underneath all the baggies of toys are some cardboard dividers.  They mentioned the boxes would include them. 

They slip together and fit right in the box, making six sections.  They do stick up a little over the box edge however - but now when you put the lid back on it fits perfectly!

The spaces are plenty big enough for everything included,  each has its own compartment, though I like keeping them in the bags (for now), though I did consolidate some sets.

The first of the sets is the temple.  This is a double set - so two of everything below

The pieces are very detailed.  They are made of the same softer plastic as the Dungeon Saga and Star Saga terrain.  As such some pieces are bent and need to be warmed in hot water to get them back into place.  I find that the little pieces - like the book and the set of candles/chalice/etc really make these stand out.  Be careful when you are unpacking yours - it is very easy to drop some of the very tiny pieces.

Where it makes sense, the pieces have their backs detailed as well (bookshelves though, for example, do not as they would be standing against a wall).

The first figure that came to mind for a temple was my High Priestess of the Abyss from the old Twilight Kin line (now discontinued until they are redone at a later date (go ahead and restart the clock :-) ).  You can see her next to a few pieces to show the scale.

The detail goes all around.

Next is the Dark Lord's Tower.  This was in two bags.  The first held the pentagram, portal and altar, as well as the little tiny accessories

I really like the Efreet being summoned (or vanquished) that fits right in the circle.  He is from the Forces of the Abyss for Kings of War, and is one of several subtle references to tie these all into Mantica (but not so much as to make them so they can't fit into any fantasy setting).

Such cool little details, including the webbing, raven and magic orb (and even a spider)

The second baggie held a big boulder (because we all want a big bolder after seeing "Raiders of the Lost Arc").  In addition it had two sets of traps.

You can see the marked improvement over the resin traps that were an add on in the Dungeon Saga kickstarter, though blades appear to be the same basic design.

Lastly was the Torture Chamber (because what evil fantasy dungeon (or castle) is complete without one?).  This was again a double set - there are two of everything shown below EXCEPT the cage - that is actually two halves (so one per set), but it is already glued together at the top and bottom (it is flexible enough that you could actually squeeze a figure in through the bars if you wanted to).

I like that there is a 'standard' coffin, with a corpse that fits in it, and a sarcophagus that doubles as an iron maiden depending on which lid you choose to use.  Of course it comes with a mummy figure reaching out for the poor adventurer who was unlucky enough to disturb his crypt.

Continuing the theme comes the Dungeon Crate - all the stuff you need for the well equipped dungeon!

As you can see, it has a sheet showing everything you get (this is, of course, only the front).

We'll start with the Wizard's Study.  Maybe not actually part of a dungeon and more a tower, still a place where a spellcaster can study - be it healing or necromancy.  (I saw an interesting thread on Facebook (copied from reddit) about a party with a necromancer instead of a cleric.  It couldn't help anyone who was injured, but once they were dead he could bring them back.)

Anyway, everything a wizard needs, including a scrying pool and a comfy chair.  The detail on the astrolabe is amazing.

Even more so is the bookshelf - with skulls, potions, scrolls and even a chest.  Very detailed.

Lots of little pieces as well - candles, an owl, more potions and scrolls. 

In addition to the wizard's study is a set of the Library - because one book shelf isn't nearly enough for any self respecting wizard - so this adds five more, a desk, ladder (for those tall shelves) and a stack of books.

Now, my thought was that they would just use some of the dungeon saga terrain here, but no, it is all new sculpts.  You can see the pair of shelves from Dungeon Saga first

Then the Terrain Crate shelves.  The detail is sharper (and they don't have the shine that the DS ones did). 

I like the smaller shelf, and the corner one as well to keep things interesting.

Next up is the scatter terrain.  Again a double set (so two of everything you see below).  Barrels, boxes, logs and even rats and skulls.

All of these are nicely detailed on both sides, so you never have to hide them against a wall or anything.

No adventurer wants to find old junk (though they all do), what they really want is the Treasury.  This is molded in a gold plastic, to easily distinguish it from the ordinary debris scattered about.   Again, a double set, including a huge pile of chest, three piles of coins, magical armor and even a sword that someone had managed to get stuck in a stone - not like there could ever be anything important about something like that!

There is also a single set of traps included.  These are the same as in the Dark Lord's Tower, except for the boulder.

Last in this crate is the Mine.  This is a triple set - three of everything.  I did notice a couple of things though.  First was the mine cart was broken - which fits a dungeon scene perfectly.  Secondly the load of coal doesn't fit the top of the cart, it slips inside of it.  However if  you put it inside, you might not be able to get it out - so make sure that is what you want before you do it.  The detail is simply great here.

As I was sitting here writing this up and looking at the sheet showing what is in the crate, I did notice that the mine cart is NOT supposed to be broken down (so it can actually run on the track).  I ran back down stairs and checked - and the other two baggies did have both sets of wheels on the cart.  So I managed to grab the one defective one! 

Now I know that Mantic customer service is fantastic, and I could get a replacement - but honestly with two other working mine carts having a broken down one is almost better, so I won't worry about it.  It isn't a critical piece or anything after all.

What I liked most though was all the track.  A total of 18 pieces of track in the crate.  My son Jon had talked about doing a dwarf army based around a mining theme - and these would be great for bases or the display board

Moving out of the dungeon we head into Town, for the Town Crate!

The town starts off with two copies of the Library set (see above), because we all know that you can tell how civilized a community is by their library.

Then is the Guard Room.  Another triple set, it has what any guards need for practice and rest.  Not a full barracks, but enough for a single outpost or station.  (yes, the weapons rack needs to be warmed and reset - it won't quite stand on it's own).

In another case of fitting the terrain into Mantica, if you look at the weapons and armor in the rack, you will see they are all from Basilea - a Paladin's helmet, man-at-arms shield, swords and spears, and an ogre guards halberd.  Nice way to fit in, but no so obnoxious that they can't be used in other settings.

What are the guards guarding however?  Why the Throne Room, of course.  Another set in gold, this has a pair of thrones, a pair of elaborate mirrors (or paintings), a large rug and a tapestry.  Just what you need to spice up you audience with the king and queen.

So when your adventurers are in town, they, of course, are looking for supplies.  The Cart set has a cart, horse, and a large and smalls stack of goods to go in them.  The cart definitely needs some hot water - but then it is also the most complex piece out of all the sets.

How many times have your adventurers encountered a wandering monster on the way to the dungeon that attacked their cart and provisions.  Well now you have one to use!

Of course, where did you get the cart - but at the Blacksmith & Stables.  This is a single set, but has a lot of pieces, including a tool rack, forge, anvil, water pump, trough, wagon wheel and hay bales.  Everything but the sweaty blacksmith and stable hand.

Of course most of the time in town will be spent in the Tavern.   Because we have all had that player that just wants their character to get drunk (and if there are any girls there he wants to do them!)  Of course you get that reference - but just in case you haven't seen it again lately :-)

Attacking the darkness.  LOL

Anyway, the Tavern has a bar, liquor rack, kegs, bottles and a fireplace (with removable fire).  You get three of these in the crate - so you can make a very long bar indeed.  Enough to get any self-loathing dwarf drunk (at least for a little while)

Of course, your characters need a place to sit, so there are two sets of Tables & Chairs.  This also includes a set of mugs and dirty plates.  I would have liked to have two more benches and chairs so there are enough for all the tables, but that is a very small thing.

One little detail is the braziers - they have hot coals molded on them, but also include a bit of fire to make them glow more brightly if you choose to glue these in place (I like that you have the option).

Once you have sobered up, it is time to hit the Battlefield!  This is all outdoor terrain, and will come quite in handy once Kings of War: Vanguard ships (and Vanguard even includes some as well).

Of course, to get to the battle field you need a Cart - and so this crate includes the same cart as the town crate did.  Be careful driving the cart however, if you happen to hit a bump (or break a wheel) then all your provisions will be thrown on the ground, so they include a set of the Scatter terrain (from the dungeon crate)

Once you decide to stop for the night, they provide a nice Campsite set.  There are three of these in the crate.  This includes a large and a small tent, two bed rolls, provisions, a cook fire, and even a chicken roasting on a spit!

While great for your RPGs, and even for your war games, this set also has an even better use.  The small tents are almost the perfect size to use for The Walking Dead: All Out War - Days Gone By  expansion.  This expansion is where Rick finds the survivors in a camp outside of Atlanta.  There are several scenarios in the camp that use tents (and a campfire) as part of the terrain - so here is a place to use these.  (I'm not sure how they are molded and produced - so I don't know if it would be economically feasible, but it would be nice if Mantic could package 4 of the small tents and the campfire specifically for TWD:AoW).

Next up is a double set of Fences.  These actually include a hedge, signpost and set of defensive stakes.

The last set are three copies of the Walls.  These include a gate, a broken section, a short section (to go with the gate to make it the same length and four corner posts (if you wanted to make a little fort out of them).

The first things I'm going to try to get painted up are the fences and walls, to use in my Kings of War terrain (since Mantic now makes them, I want to try to use and show them off).  It isn't like I have four units to paint for my Abyssal Dwarfs (so that I'm not using my tournament army for demos) before Gencon.  Nor did I go and sign up for the Lady of the Lake tournament up in Duluth MN the weekend before Gencon (Duluth is about 20 miles south of the North Pole - or at least it will feel that way after the 13 hour drive (even if split into two days and stopping to see my nine month old granddaughter)).  Because I just need to add some extra pressure to myself :-)

Now all this terrain is fantastic, but you know Mantic loves their retailers, and so saves some as retailer exclusives. 

So look out for new pieces in November to put in the center of town.  These will only be available at your FLGS or the Mantic web site - you can't get them from kickstarter no matter how much you went into debt for this one!

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