Just goblin them all up

Way back in time, before the 1st edition of Kings of War came out, Mantic was producing miniatures.  The first miniatures they did where their elves, with hard plastic sprues for spearmen and archers, with command option sprues for both of these.  These reused over half the sprue (the bodies), changing the lower half for the weapons options.  They then did the same thing with their skeletons, again reusing the bodies for the revenants and command sprues.  For both the elves and undead they also made some smaller sprues for war engines and their crews, as well as some other units - such as zombies, ghouls and elf scouts.

They used the smaller sprues then for orcs and dwarfs - going from 10 models per sprue to 5, or 3 for orcs.  They also came out with a couple of alternate armies (the Abyssal Dwarfs and Twilight Kin) that used the existing plastics with metal bits to make them unique.

I believe that all the hard plastics up to that time were made by Renedra, a molding company in the UK.  Because of the high quality of their products, they became more and more popular, until the wait time for them to produce new models began to approach a year or more, so Mantic had to look somewhere else to meet their deadlines.  As so many do, they found what they needed in China, and the first thing they had the produce was the new hard plastic goblin spitter sprue.

Unfortunately this was not up to the same high quality of their previous plastics.  They also used them for the Basilean Men-at-arms sprue that was funded from their first kickstarter, and once again did not get good results.  However this was the product they had.  For the goblins, they produced metal spears, shields and hand weapons to allow you to convert the spitters to sharpsticks or rabble.

With the Vanguard kickstarter in 2017 they redid the basilean men-at-arms plastic sprues, and now, eight years after the original goblins came out in 2012, Mantic has finally replaced the goblin hard plastic sprues.

For a lot of their newer plastic sprues, they are going with a double sprue model - one with bodies and a second with heads and weapons.  These new sprues allow you to build 10 spitters, rabble or sharpsticks (without the need for any metal conversion bits), and they even managed to squeeze in two mawbeast pups onto the sprue as well.

I found it a little interesting that, once again, the half the sprues were duplicates, holding the arms and weapons.  These sprues are excellent in both design and quality.  There are five bodies, 13 heads, five shield arms, five spear arms (one design has 3 on the two sprues, making for 11 total spears), 6 hand weapons (2 of five designs, and one more different one (for a leader or hero), five bows and five hands holding arrows, as well as five quivers.

This allows you to create (without the variation allowed by being able to position the arms as you like because of the flat joins) 1625 different sharpsticks, 1950 different rabble, and (if you include the quivers) 8125 different spitters - so the double sprue creates 11,700 unique combinations of goblins - more than enough to fill anyone's army with wave after wave of greenskins.

The only thing I found to criticize are the mawbeast pups.  I won't call them mawbeasts because they are significantly smaller than the metal versions.  For both Kings of War and Vanguard mawbeasts use Cavalry bases (125 x 50mm), and as you can see, while the models are excellent - they are just overwhelmed on the cavalry bases.

EDIT: Of course since I got these in a vanguard Goblin starter, I didn't think to look at the Kings of War rulebook - which DOES have mawpups as an option for sharpsticks, rabble, luggits and fleabag riders.  These are normally one-shot items, but a mawpup launcher can be used to give them on the fly to units capable of taking them, so it may be important to have markers you can remove AND add to your units.

The goblins are excellent, period.  They continue the same design that was introduced with the goblins for Vanguard last year.  You can even see how the bodies from the metal goblin reinforcement pack (which had a spitter, sharpstick and rabble model) are almost duplicated in plastic (as are the weapons - in fact only the heads from those models are not in plastic).

One of the best design decisions was to incorporate pieces from the other Kings of War armies (most notably the sword and shield from the Basilean men-at-arms) to help to give them a scavenger look.




more Spitters

The goblins have now gone from some of the worst hard plastics to some of the best.  They don't have options for a standard or musician, but then only old farts like me seem to care about these since they removed them from having any game effects after first edition.

These are already shipping for Vanguard and the brand new 2 player starter set (also featuring brand new ratkin hard plastic models), and will begin shipping new regiments as well as new army boxes (and mega army boxes) featuring these great plastics.

Because it is all fun and games . . .


  1. While i alrdy have well over 200 goblins of various manufacturers painted these new ones still gets me excited to get more!

    1. I still have to decide how many regiments I will replace in my 1000 pt goblin demo army with these great new models- 2 or 3! I don't "need" them, I want them!

  2. They need to redo that elf sprue now. Only thing stopping me from a Mantic Elf army!

    1. I have not heard plans for that, however I do expect the new elf sculpts from League of Infamy to make their way to Vanguard (at least), if not Kings of War.

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