Forged in the Storm

Just in time for christmas, comes bigger, meaner orcs straight from Halpi's Rift.  So of course I had to pick some up!

I am actually splitting this box with a friend who is VERY excited about them and building them for her new army, so she has half the plastic sprues, and the Riftforger (which, unfortunately, I gave her without taking pictures of the model first).

But lets dig into the new hard plastic Riftforged Orcs hard plastic sprues!

This is a double sprue that makes 10 models, with either hand weapon and shield (the classic "sword and board") or 2-handed weapons.  What makes these orcs different is the heavy armor, and they have switched out their axes for hammers (so Orcs with Dwarf envy?)

There are three army lists entries that these fill - Riftforged Legionaries, Reborn Legionaries and Riftwalkers.  For my 1000 pt demo army, I'm taking a regiment of Unforged Orcs (i.e. regular ax), a regiment of Riftforged Legionaries (sword & board), and a regiment of Reborn Legionaries (2-handed weapons).  To me this is the standard way I would expect to see them - 2-handed weapons to represent the CS(2) of the Reborn.

Something I did not notice from the sprues themselves, but did as I took some pictures, was that the heads are centered on the sprue, such that they have mold lines down the center of their faces.  Some of them are not noticeable, but some stick out quite a bit.

The new halflings avoided this for most of their heads - I wish they would have done this with these as well.

Otherwise the mold lines are not bad, and the assembly is quite straight forward with 2 arms and a head for each body.   With five unique bodies, five hammers, five shields and 13 heads, that gives a whopping 1625 combinations (without putting shoulder pads on them!).  Though since I only need 20 of them, I am only going to use the un-armored heads to help differentiate them from the Reborn.

This head suffers from the center mold line, and it almost looks more like a miscast than (I'm assuming) an injury that took his left eye (which is how I plan on painting it).

For the Reborn Legionaries, I used the 2-handed weapons.  I also added the shoulder pads to them as additional armor to make up for them not having shields (but still be De 5+).   These did not fit as well as I'd hoped however - you will have to play around with them to see which fits each shoulder best.  Or maybe just put them on one shoulder each.

With the arms all being matching pairs, there are only 325 combinations (again without the shoulder pads) with the 2-handed hammers - still plenty of variety for ANY army.

I also used the armored heads.  Some of the mold lines on the faces are a little more prominent on these.

The arms are lettered A-E to match the weapons, and assembling the two handed weapons was probably the easiest of ANY 2-handed weapons in the mantic range - I did not have any issue at all with them (well, the angle of the hammer heads seems a little off, but that is me).

One more minor issue is one of the 2-handed hammers has a separate head, and it is mislabeled - the handle is B, but the separate head is A (however this is a minor, trivial detail, as this is the ONLY separate hammer head, so can't go anywhere else).

The sculpts are fairly dynamic, and can actually rank up if you go full model count in your units, though I still probably do 4 to a rank (i.e. 16 per regiment) anyway.

Now these are orcs after all, so it is natural to compare them to the existing orc range.  A few points - the standard orcs only come with 3 bodies on their half sprues, and one of them has the head molded on.  These were some of the very first plastics Mantic created, and were meant to be push-fit - the bodies have pegs on them and the arms have appropriate holes for the pegs.  (Of course I didn't think to take a picture of the ONE sprue of them I had left BEFORE I built them).  They do have two more bodies on the great ax sprue (which is a quarter of a full sprue), and you can use leftover arms, shields and axes to make them ax (or in this case, unforged orcs).  These also have the 'infamous' round bases, meant to fit into the plastic bases - that so many people have complained about removing (though it isn't difficult, especially with the orcs).  The riftforged orcs are also wearing shoes - it always seemed strange to me that orcs and goblins would go into battle with their feet exposed.  The old heads are a bit less vicious than the new ones as well (and I have really gotten tired of the molded on visor-helmet!).  Finally the old shields were all smooth - some companies had made decals for them.  They were also very pointy - like they could also be used as weapons.

So here are some comparison shots:

The riftforged definitely still have a lot of the same orc feel - just bulkier and meaner - and their rules seem to fit that.  They appear to be more of an elite army and not the hoard that normal orcs are.

Come back next time to check out the Thunderseers (giant cyclops) and the Stormcaller on (not winged) Manticore.

Because it is all fun and games . . . 


  1. The plastic looks soft on those, i imagine they will be hard to clean up.


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