Monday, 13 April 2015

Mars Attacks the miniatures games by Mantic Games unboxing and Review

Today we have a treat for you all, so get yourselves comfy, and settle down.  We Look at Mars Attacks the miniature game from UK based company Mantic Games.  As most readers know I love 50s/60s Americana. The war of the worlds, the day the earth stood still, Them! all the nuclear age goodness.  Mars attacks was originally an uber violent trading card series from the 1960s, and I loved the look of it. It encapsulates the age so well.
Mantic say....

They came from another planet and now they want ours! Hundreds of alien soldiers run rampage as the Martians launch their invasion of Earth. In the small town of Greenville, the streets are choked with rubble and civilians are dead or in hiding. The army is on its way, but they may already be too late. This is the day that the people of Earth will remember forever more. This is the day that Mars Attacks!

When the Martians hit Earth, they hit it hard. Fighting now rages all across the globe and the tales of devastation and despair are many.

Our story focuses on a little place called Greenville…
Take one look at Greenville and all you’ll see is a friendly American Town. You might not think it’s anything special, but you’d be wrong...

While the world’s governments stood idly by, a secret organisation called the Novas Vira was preparing to defend Earth from the Martians. In hidden locations deep beneath the planet’s surface, they built a secure communications grid using reverse-engineered Martian technology supplied by a mysterious benefactor.

The Martians that planned the Invasion never knew about this hidden network, but now, as their Saucers surround Earth, a Martian General named Tor has learnt of its existence.

Tor knows about the Novas Vira, and plans to use this information to find their leader’s hiding place and become one of the greatest heroes of the Invasion of Earth. His first clue is the relay station he discovered… right in the centre of Greenville.

Now, the invasion has begun. Saucers have landed and the death rays have started firing. It’s time to pick your side and prepare for battle!

Mars Attacks – The Miniatures Game is the crazy tabletop game of Martian Mayhem, played with miniatures ready to game with right out of the box.

With Mars Attacks – The Miniatures Game, one player controls the might of the Martian Empire’s vast army of invaders and the other the brave defenders of Earth, battling against impossible odds.

You will guide your forces through a number of playable scenarios and the devastated ruins of Greenville using our simple and wacky rules set, culminating in a fierce battle to capture the Novas Vira Communications Center.

Will you persevere with your human forces in a desperate bid to push back the Martians, or will you guide General Tor to his ultimate objective and uncover the leader of the Novas Vira? Only you will decide the fate of the planet!


When I finally heard Mantic had a kickstarter for this game it was already over, but it is now on sale here in their store and in good game stores.  And it is also here to share with you!

Look at that box art, its beautiful! colourful,  eye catching and iconic.
Now as the sharp eyed amongst you may have noticed it states " A tactical miniature Boardgame"

So is this a minis game or a board game?  Join us in finding out!



Lets take a look at the box then, we have seen the great art on the cover, and it continues....
 I love this little player label on the side where one is dressed as a martian.  Nice touch Mantic.
 There is great artwork all over this box
 A nice list of contents, some pictures of the models painted, and more artwork.
 
As you slide the box open each side of the inside also has great artwork in it, here we see a couple of the Human Heroes.
 
Now onto the contents.  This box is really packed full of goodies
 Lets look at the paper goodies first.  Here we have your Mantic points and leaflet.  Your victory point tracker and Hero ability gage.
 A couple of sheets of card tokens... Yes that's right burning cows.  The ! tokens are activation markers for your models. and we have critter tokens for the Martians to test on and alien tech tokens for the humans to capture.  The cows, bugs, civilians and car are all random events that can happen.
 We also have this foldout play mat.  Nice thick paper.
 Also as you can see its directly split into squares which you use for movement. Troops can move one square per action, and can move anywhere within the square to use cover. you can move diagonal as well.  No tape measures needed in this game.
 Its a really detailed mat, with some lovely little touches, debris in the street, dirt, blood splashes.
And the best thing of all of course, its ready to play straight from the box you have your game board.
The Rulebook again features fantastic artwork
It is comic sized, full colour glossy pages with pictures of great art and the painted models in
The rules are laid out in an easy to read and follow fashion.
As you can see everything is clearly laid out and easy to follow with diagrams to help
It does not take long to read the rules, and the book contains 10 scenarios that follow a story line and introduce you to the game as you go, expanding the model use and rules knowledge each time
 On the back cover you have a quick reference to what the different tokens are

 Now for all the goodies in the rest of the box!
 Loads of plastic goodness!
 Plastic stands for the civilian card tokens.  D8s, the game uses these in a success system.  you roll a number of them starting at 3 dice, looking for a target number 4 or 5 or 6 or so on.  you roll your pool and any for that number and over are a success.  If you roll an 8 you keep that as a success and roll again.  Its good as the number you are looking for never changes, so you don't have to think ohh I need a 5, but long range or cover makes that a 6 and so on. You never take dice away, so always have your 3, you just add them for bonuses.
 You get a deck of cards you can play from to boost you and provide other options.
 They have an option for the human player and Martian player on each card
 As you can see they feature the same great artwork
 Then you have event cards which must be played as soon as they are drawn
 Everything from a herd of burning cows (which you have the tokens for from earlier) rampage across the field, to giant bugs attack.
They add a random element of fun, and also puts into picture your little piece of the battle still has things going on around it.
 

 You get a bag of US infantry.
 I love the guy with the LMG he has a great pose
 it is 10 infantry, that contain 2 troops armed with LMGs a Sergeant, and a trooper with a missile launcher.
 They are detailed enough to paint up nicely
 But they come all ready assembled, so no work is needed to them.  You can easily play the game with them like this.

Just to show you, this is a picture from the Mantic site of them painted up and they look fantastic.
 
 
The red characters are the Hero models.  General Tor for the Martians.  He is a great sculpt to lead the Martians to victory.
 The models again come completely assembled, the only clean up you would need to do is a little scarping of the odd mould line

 You also get 9 assorted human heroes who all have their own special rules and stats in the book
 They are all lovely individual poses
 and some are very detailed as well
 They are introduced through the scenarios so you get used to their special rules
 You get two packets of clear Martian helmets so you can pop them on, or if you want to paint them you can put them on afterwards. a nice touch
 You get a squad of Martians in each bag.  It consists of a Martian Leader, 9 troops with disintegrator rifles and a heavy freeze ray trooper.  It is easy to tell them apart, and painted they would look fantastic
 Mantic have managed to capture the whole style of the classic Martians in these sculpts
 Such great characterful models, which again stand up to being superior borad game pieces, and good miniature game pieces at the same time
 The same as all the models they require no assembly and come already on their bases
 Here is your total force of 20 Martians
And here you can see how good they look all painted.  As you can see they are the match of any tabletop wargame.
 You get three bags of terrain, and one bag of Mantic connectors.  Mantic came up with this system, and it is great, its like lego! you can use the connectors to build up the scenery then take it down again, or you can glue them together. Totally your choice, I think its a superb idea.
 Just a view to show you how the connectors work.  They line up with slots in the walls
 Just quickly playing to show aht you can build

 Some lovely little touchs like the hanging basket can be put on the walls
 The scenery pieces themselves are vary detailed, and would look fantastic painted.  They look good not even painted as well! again for straight out of the box its phenomenal
 That chain link gate is great!
 more little touches to add, signposts and power boxes
 You get a bag of additional scenery as well!  The rubble piles are two piece clip together items
 some signposts, bins, post box, barricades crates all sorts.
 All very detailed as well, these pieces again are all fully assembled
What kind of game set in rural America would be complete without Picket fences!.  I love the shopping trolley barricade.
 
With all this scenery you can make your gameboard come alive
 You can fill your board up, you can switch it around, the possibilities are endless
 Getting down and looking on the board it looks like a bit of a real ruined town
 The modular terrain and the pre built parts combine to start bringing it to life
 Painted up combined with the high quality mat it will match well.
 Once the troops go down the board comes alive
 Looking at model eye view we can see how the line of sight system works in this game. It is true line of sight system.  Yes you have heard that before the models move and its abstract and so on. but this actually a REAL true line of site system.  You can fire on a model if you can see any part of it. Base, arm, leg, weapon. Anything.  If their is anything blocking a bit of the model then it is in cover so you roll 3 dice as normal.  If you can see of the model you get an extra bonus dice.  Simple, effective, elegant and efficient.  Stops many arguments.  Ranges are squares so you do not have to measure with a tape or ruler. just count the squares.
 Can the Troopers hold back the Martian threat? only you can decide
 Here is a quick look at the tokens put together, its not just our soldiers and heroes on the battlefield.
 Random civillians can wander onto the field, and be rescued by the troops, or captured by the Martians,
 Burning cows running across the field causing havoc, Giant bugs thrown cars, all adding to the
 And it all fits back into the box again perfectly for play another day.
 
 So it Packs up like a boardgame, the rules are easy enough to learnt and taught quickly like a boardgame, but have enough depth for a miniatures game.  You can play this many times and for many many happy hours.  You have the choice though to add upgrades.  Mantic is doing upgrades, new models, new books, Flying saucers, models to replace the burning cows, have a look here
 
The game plays simply, you can do a few things each turn, activate up to two models, who can move and move, aim and shoot, move and shoot, move and play a card and so on. then you alternate.  I activate two, your opponent activates up to two until they are all done.  Then the next turn begins you remove the tokens and begin again.  The scenarios add extra victory points to each scenario, you may get points for killing things, or certain characters, or escaping the board, collecting research items, so many things.  All added up on the victory tracker, and when one point gets the winning points the game is over.  None of this crazy adding up at the end of random things.
The Heroes with their extra ability and hero points add more variety to the game, you can spend a point to do another action, though the points are finite for the battle so use them wisely!
 
This is a game that has me so excited at its potential, its so much fun to play, and easy to learn.  Unlike most war games it has everything you need to play, and its better quality then most board games, for what you get the value is amazing.
If you want this as a boardgame you will have hours of fun with it, it all packs down into a box again afterwards, and unlike most boardgames you can vary the scenery in position and build each time you play so its never the same.  So if you are a board gamer, this is a must have.
 
If you want a tabletop miniatures wargame, I say again you will have hours of fun with this, and you can expand it to your hearts content with al the ace stuff Mantic have planned for it. So it is a must have.
 
 Most gamers I know recognise Mantic only from Kings of War or Warpath, their fantasy and sci-fi massed battle games. And other people on the internet who say " ohh they just copy GW"  No. There is a whole lot more to them then that, go and look at their site,  they have truly grown as a company and this is an example of the next level.  I for one can not way to see more from them.
  
We would love for you to stick with us here to see more Mars Attacks articles and follow Olivia my 6 year old daughter and leader of the human forces, and me as Martian Overlord as we play through the scenarios with a battle report for each of them to see if the humans defend their home, or the Martians crush them.