I am usually very dubious about “grab bag” type deals. They always sound amazing value, but when it comes down to it you can never guarantee that you will get anything like what you are hoping for… So initially I dismissed Mantic Games Crazy Christmas Bag (£24.99 + shipping) and promptly forgot about it!
Still, after spending the festive season putting together the Mantic/Warlord German zombies I have acquired a something of a fondness for Mantic, both there apparent attitude, there fantasy figures and more recently the pictures that are trickling out of their new Corporation figures. So when I saw that the Crazy Bag deal was finishing, I jumped on board and ordered one!
It arrived today, and I have just had a quick look at the contents. For shear quantity there is no denying the value. I received 173 figures, two bolt throwers and of course the bag. Totalling up the figures, if I had bought them via Mantic’s website today they would have set me back over £98 (not including the bag)! Now there are, of course, some caveats to that. Firstly, you don’t get any bases for the figures. Also you don’t get the plastic boxes that Mantic use as packaging, that they say you can use as figure storage. However, the catch on the box I got my German Zombies in broke after a fall from my desk, so I wouldn’t want to put much faith in them protecting my figures anyway…
I wasn’t really worried about the bases (although I do like Mantic’s bases, they are nice and solid), as I still have a stack of the white-metal bases that I used to make and sell. So they will give the figures the weight that is often lacking from plastic figures!
So what did I get? 84 Elves (40 spearmen troops and command, 40 Bowmen troops and command and 2 two-man artillery crews)and 2 bolt thowers, 60 Undead (40 Skeletons troops and 20 Revenants troops and command), 10 Dwarf Ironclads (troops and command), 9 Orc Ax Troops (and a command sprue), 2 Orx Marauders (command sprue).
Basically, that is the guts of two skirmish forces and a good selection of bits for conversion, scenery decoration and anything else I can think of! I would have been happier with a little more Sci-fi in the mix, as that is where my main interest lies, but I can see myself using a lot of these figures for Song of Blades and Heroes skirmishes, as well as probably trying out Kings of War.
Now, I must admit that from the photos I had never been very impressed with the Elves. The poses looked a bit stiff and fairly boring. However, now that I have them in my hands my opinion has changed somewhat. They are actually very nice and I think that once I put them together they will have real possibilities of becoming one of my favourite armies. So my initial disappointment upon opening the bag and seeing so many Elf sprues has been somewhat overthrown. If nothing else I will be able to use them to supplement my GW Dark Elves, and possibly even my Dark Eldar…
I was hoping for plenty of Undead, a force that I seem to get around to with any of the fantasy games I play. So now I have no excuse!
The Orcs and Dwarves are fine and will be useful for adding a some variety to my games, but I have never been a big fan of either race so I suppose I am biased against them anyway.
As for the 2 lonely Orx Marauders (Sci-Fi Orcs), they may well end up as mercenaries, or alternatively there are enough interesting parts on the sprue they may just get raided for parts.
Overall I am pretty satisfied with the haul! It may not have fitted in exactly with my tastes, but I don’t think any of it will go to waste…
Mantic, if you do it again next year, how about doing two different bags, one for Fantasy (Kings of War) and one for Sci-Fi (Warpath)?