A slow few weeks a busy month ahead

Well reviews haven’t been flowing as thick and fast as I had hoped. Got a few in last month. But the next four weeks let’s see what have we got.

Well Mantics Mars Attacks is sat on the coffee table awaiting spray paint delivery, what else from Mantic, oh the Asterians hoping to get a game in with them soon, painting status is nearly there, plus anything I buy at a demo day I am running so expect a little something there. Pictures will go up on Facebook.

Hawk Wargames have very kindly (although the long haired general and the delivery drivers may argue) provided me with one of the new plastic starter sets, for EACH faction, they sit on the coffee table awaiting glue…. and to make it worse I am still working full time and doing the equivalent off an extra weeks worth off work every four weeks as well as an extra three days worth of time in travelling. But never fear I have a cunning plan, yes annual leave to hobby it large, I’m not entirely sure that’s a correct phrase but it sounds as close to the mark as I can get for the second week of October’s plan!

Mars Attacks

Mars is attacking, get ready to be invaded!  
Topps and Mantic Games have joined forces to bring MARS ATTACKS to life as a miniature-based tabletop wargame – and in the early weeks of October it arrives in retail stores. This comes just a year after its smash hit Kickstarter campaign!  
The game combines high quality, pre-assembled figures with fast and fun tactical gameplay.  With clip together terrain, this exciting new game is playable right out of the box!  The retail set comes with 20 Martians, 10 Earth Soldiers and 9 assorted heroes.  One player takes the role of the invaders, the other the defenders and they fight it out to the death! There is also a full colour play mat marked with a grid, and quick-assembly plastic scenery.  Included too are dice, a rulebook and a full card deck featuring spectacular all-new art by renowned fantasy illustrator Jeff Miracola!
Mantic Games – makers of the popular DEADZONE, KINGS OF WAR and DREADBALL tabletop games – launch with MARS ATTACKS as their first licensedproduct.  The Mars Attacks product range was funded using Kickstarter with $558,076 pledged to create the release. After achieving it’s initial funding in just over 12 minutes, the campaign reached enough stretch goals to add such exciting extras as Flying Saucers, Giant Robots and Mutated Insects that will all see retailers’ shelves via a selection of game extensions.
“After Mars Attacks raised more than 1100% of its initial goal on Kickstarter we were able to bring a complete retail range to market from the onset, even with the prohibitively high costs of plastic tooling. If Mars Attacks follows the same patterns as our previous  ranges on Kickstarter, we expect crowd funding will account for only 20% of the total sales – the majority we anticipate will be seen in the local hobby and comic shops in the coming months and years,” said Ronnie Renton, CEO Mantic Games.
Topps originally launched Mars Attacks in 1962 as a series of collectible bubblegum cards, which later served as the basis for a feature film in 1996 by Warner Brothers and directed by Tim Burton.  Since 2012, to celebrate the brand’s 50th Anniversary, Topps has been working to bring the Martians back into the mainstream through new trading cards, comic books and a variety of licensed partnerships, including this one with Mantic Games.
 “Mantic’s Kickstarter allowed us to reach a new segment of fans, expand our audience and create a viral excitement that might have been tough to achieve otherwise” said Topps’ Head of Outbound Licensing Adam Levine.  “The end result of the crowd-funding campaign speaks for itself, and illustrates the affection fans have for Mars Attacksafter more than 50 years.”

Straight from Spartan Neil

The Helix Effect

Written by Spartan Neil |

A game of Firestorm Planetfall is played using what we call Battle Groups. In turn a Battle Group is made up of Helixes, and at the heart of each Battle Group is what we call the CORE HELIX. It is this Core Helix that you can then wrap other Helixes around, and these are known as Attached Helixes. Different Attached Helixes include:

• Aerial Helix
• Heavy Helix
• Assault Helix
• Recon Helix
• Strike Helix (the Helix which will contain Leviathans)
• Support Helix

A Basic Battle Group is composed of ONE Core Helix to which a Commander can attach up to SIXAttached Helixes, ONE of each of the listed options. In its simplest form this Basic Battle Group is as simple as it gets to field a Force in Firestorm Planetfall.

NOTE 1: A Force is assembled using a Maximum Force Value (MFV) and this will dictate the number of models inside a Helix and, depending upon the MFV chosen by players, the number of Helixes that can be attached to the Core Helix.


NOTE 2: The Core Helix is an important part of any Force, and as such it is one of the most flexible Helixes you will have access to. Inside the Battle for Proteus Prime Boxed Set is the equivalent of ‘half’ an Aquan and ‘half’ a Directorate Core Helix. You could therefore take TWO Battle Boxes and combine them, allowing both Commanders to field a FULL Core Helix of each of the two races.

Optionally, when the Aquan Prime and Directorate Core Helix Boxed Sets come out in our Wave 2 Release they can be added to the contents of a single Proteus Prime Boxed Set to again turn the supplied intoFULL Core Helixes, for each respective Force.

But as we all know, building armies is never that simple AND can also much more fun when you inject mechanics that make Commanders think about what they are trying to achieve from their Force.

Step forward Adaptive Battle Groups. A capable Commander does not always want to follow the doctrine of Basic Battle Group creation, preferring instead to adapt their Force to better suit the strategic challenges presented, and to perhaps complement their tactical approach. This is achieved through a process of substitution within the Battle Group and is known as an Adaptive Battle Group.

Should a player wish to add a second Attached Helix of the same type it may only be done at the expense of a Helix that is directly opposite on the Helix Map. See the diagram below:


In this example of an Adaptive Battle Group, the Commander is making a number of choices, deciding to forgo Assault, Heavy and Aerial Helixes for access to 2x Recon Helixes, 2x Strike Helixes and2x Support Helixes! Clearly this is going to be a large engagement and the Commander wishes to have a some heavy hitting Leviathans coupled with an array of fast moving forces supported by elements such as Command Barges and Field Guns to help win the day.

Next up in our Blog Series will be looking at how you create Battle Groups using Allied Helixes, allowing such forces as Works Raptor, Terquai, Hawker Industries, RSN, Ba’Kash and Veydreth to be added.

Oh When the Brits come swooping in

Thought I would try out a new contributor this month. So here goes his first attempt.

Kingdom of Britania Arial Fleet Box models.



5 x merlin interceptors, a single piece metal model which need only some minor flash removing from them, after washing the models they were undercoated black before painting. whilst painting i was pleased with the over all detail on the model, especially the small wooden decked are on the rear of the model. the small flying bases were easy to put together after a small amount of redrilling to allow the plastic rod to fit. Having played a small game with these i found they were ideally suited to their interceptor name, perfect for hunting down other smalls.


3 x hawk scout rotors. the model is a main resin hull with metal turret and rotors, again due to the high quality of the resin casting there was very little clean up work to do and only small amounts of flash on the 3 metal components of each model. as with all resin models i gave them a wash and good clean to remove any remaining residue from the molding process. again they were black undercoated before painting. I had a similar problem with the medium flying bases but again was only a minor issue. Again the level of detail on the models really make for a nice looking model even whilst just in basic colours. I found the hawks very useful in game for flanking and dropping thier mines in choke points.  overall they offer a nice opertunity to get round the back of a enemy fleet and attack more vunerable units. having a 360 degree fire arc on the turret and piercing MAR they can cause criticals to help slow and hinder the enemy.


1 x Illustrious sky fortress. This model is by far the main weight to the entire boxset, having the main hull which was easy to clean up with only a slight mold line running round the side of the whole model. the only issue i found with this main part is where the rotor arms join the hull there was a uneven surface that needed a little attention to get the part to fit flush. other parts on this model were the resin superstructure, 6 resin rotor arms, 6 metal rotor props, 2 metal turrets. In the box there were actually a couple of spare rotor arms and a spare prop. all of the parts only required a quick check over and clean up of the small amounts of flash. When putting the model together I opted to magnetize the rotor arms so when transporting the model there were 6 less things to break off. The illustrious sky fortress is a massive model and as can be expected of a carrier type model isn’t the fastest thing you can field but what it lacks in speed it certainly make up for in its support capacity. having access to 6 SAW tokens, 2 turrets, 3 magnetic mines, bomb bays and verious options for a generator, standard being a pulse generator to set off mine ment for a intresting way of combining with the hawks to set a mine field in one activation close to the enemy and then setting them off in the next.
also included in the box were 16 SAW tokens,3 SAS movement tray, a resin objective mark, 9 x 7mm dice 3 of each colour (red, white and green) 3 sheets of token and template printed on think high gloss card, and a set of the TAC cards which include the 6 victory condition cards.

I deceided to go for a glossy red and black colour scheme with gold trim and dark steel turrets and metalwork. All of the models had a great level of detail that ment once the were dry brushed leadbealcher and washed nuln oil with the basic colours for the metalwork the detail really stood out which made the model easier to paint on the whole. after getting the metalwork finished with a light dry brush of leadbealcher on all the models i moved on to the main red colour, which was easily achieved by using vermillion vallejo paint with a red ink wash over the top.


I then added some black details and stripes to the hulls and wings to give unit markings and break up the red. the gold details on the hull and engine components were a base coat of vallejo bronze washed with reikland fleshshade followed by a detail coat of vallejo gold. the final thing to do was the decks, which were again a simple 3 stage process, first a coat of vallejo german camo pale brown with a reikland fleshshade wash and a quick light dry brush of the camo brown again.


Overall to sum up the models are of a great standard and with only a small amount of work were ready to put together, painting was easy as the detail allowed me to pick out areas for each colour. The amount you get in the boxset is at first what appears to be smaller than other sets but once you open it up and see the amount of metal and resin used in these models it soon makes sense why its contents are limited. whilst play testing them i came to the conclusion that each unit has particular roles they are best used for. whilst the idea of a purely aerial kingdom of britannia fleet seems like an appealing idea it does unfortunatly lack the long range punch that can make all the difference. I would suggest that even with the future release of a heavy bomber that truely the strenght of the box set is as an addition to a land or naval fleet to provide some support and not as a stand alone fleet.

Tabletop Towns new Kickstarter

Tabletop Towns new kickstarter is now live and we’ll on the way to be funded. If you haven’t seen there previous kickstarter here is a quick pic.


That’s what was produced last time. These little shipping crate modules are easily made and fit right it to almost any 28mm system.


This is what aimed for this time. As you can see it’s the same scale scenery, on a much grander scale now while I thought it might not be quite as sturdy as moulded scenery like the GW or Mantic scenery,Morris the Lost has linked a YouTube video to prove that that’s not the case, plus this stuff is so much lighter.

I would really suggest that you check it out here.

If you go in to the woods today..

…you had better be armed with these.


Wizards of the Coast is releasing it’s new fifth edition books at the moment, so far we have the starter set, players handbook and Hoard of the Dragons with the monster manual due very soon.

The Starter set includes a small campaign and enough to get you going upto about level five. With a few dice and some prepare character sheets.

The Players Handbook which is billed as the ‘essential referance’ over 300 pages of D&D goodness with everything needed to take your character from bumbling idiot through to Master of his or her fate.


The Horde of the Dragon Queen is a campaign adventure designed for heroes between level one and seven, presumably with The Rise of Tiamat will take your character from level seven onwards.

All three books, and future releases are designed to seamlessly work together, with gloriously beautiful artwork and more options for character design than you can shake a forest at.

The campaign books have everything a dungeon master needs to spin a fantastical place for their fellow players to adventure through.

Are you scared of Spiders?

The fleet patrol box from Firestorm Armada I decided to look at this month is the Retholza. These spider like creatures rely heavily on nanites and firm one of the three main forces of the Zenian League.

Employing advanced, nanotech Cloaking Fields the Relthoza fleet advances toward the enemy shrouded from their attacks. Lethal torpedo volleys pick off outliers as the Relthoza stalk their prey, drawing them forward into a deadly trap.


Then, when they have acquired optimal firing solutions, the Relthoza ships drop their cloaks and channel all power to their weapon systems. Banks of hydroxide cannons line the flanks of the Relthoza vessels, primed to unleash millions of hull-devouring nanites on their targets. Seconds after the flash-frozen shards bury into their prey, its hull will begin to dissolve, exposing gaping wounds to the void.


The picture above shows the Widow class frigates the box sets Tier 3 selection. Although singly not able to put out much damage they can be cloaked and are difficult targets and four of these combining there fire could well be a threat to most commanders.

Next up we have the Assassin class cruiser with one upgraded to the Huntsman Heavy cruiser.


The Assassins are Tier 2 ships with Stealth systems and able to start dishing out pain from 48″ away with torpedoes that can be upgraded. The Huntsman Heavy cruiser, the upgrade is included in the patrol fleet, adds extra firepower at all range bands with its primary range bands from 24″ and closer, plus comes with the self repair rule, which is no joke as it starts with 6 points of damage to begin with a few cruiser squadrons backed up with the Huntsman can seriously dominate the mid range of the game.

Now the Tier One, the big boy, the ship that will make you fear the Retholza, the Nexus class Battleship.


Looking sleek pointy and totally alien this model, made up of only five parts plus base is slightly large, at under 200 points on the battlefield it’s also sweetly priced.

With plenty of hardpoints and upgrade options, along with its specific Model Assigned Rules the Nexus can be tailored to most scenarios. Upclose and personal battering ram, of a stand off backfield puncher.

With the ability to add MARs to its primary weapons, including Corrosive, your gaining the opportunity to start racking up problems for your opponent from 32 inches out.

The hardpoints of the Nexus can be used to bring it in close with the options of stealth or more fighters and point defense.


Just imagine your opponents face when his ships blunder into this trap. You could quite easily wipe a squadron off the board before you have even started to get aggressive.

Looking forward to setting up a few games with these going against the Terrans and their Tyrant class battleship when I have finished painting them and picking out some of the insanely detailed features on the models.

What is Planetfall

Planetfall an explosive, fast paced game that allows us to bring ground-pounding, armoured combat to the ever-expanding Firestorm Galaxy.

In this deadly, hard sci-fi setting, hordes of futuristic tanks, agile aircraft and hulking mech-walkers tear each other asunder with high-powered weaponry. Lasers burn across the tabletop, rail-gun slugs smash through armoured hulls and advanced cyber-warfare weapons hack through vital systems – the war zones of the distant future are no place for the faint hearted.

Firestorm Planetfall puts you in the role of a Grand Commander, orchestrating the manoeuvres of your chosen army. Each of your Battle Groups will contain several Helixes of stunningly-detailed 10mm scale miniatures, ranging from towering Leviathans to numerous bases of Infantry, all prepared to fight to the last under your command.
Your planetary invasion force will be formed of troops from one of the six core races, who in turn belong to one of two sides: the Zenian League or Alliance of Kurak, vast Alliances currently fighting for dominance of the Galactic sector. Each of the six races has its own complex motivations within the conflict, as well as entirely unique vehicles and distinct ways of fighting their battles.

You will even have the opportunity to supplement your force with Helixes from other races within your alliances, offsetting your troops’ weaknesses, bringing new and dangerous technologies to the field and allowing for an enormous variety of tactics. These include the Terquai, Works Raptor, Hawker Industries, Rense System Navy (RSN), Veydreth and

The gameplay of Firestorm Planetfall is rapid, fluid and brutal. Emphasis is placed on combined tactics and using the strengths of your various Battle Groups. Your Aerial Squadrons use speed and firepower to soften up the enemy, Recon teams dash forward to seize objectives which your Infantry sections can then dig in and hold. In turn, this allows your heavy hitters to effectively coordinate their attacks; Squadrons of tanks, heavily-armed skimmers and enormous walkers deliver the killing blow in an unstoppable tide of armour and advanced weaponry.

A fun and flexible game, Firestorm Planetfall can be played quickly and simply with just a dozen tanks and a few supporting vehicles, or it can be expanded right up to a titanic engagement between multiple Battle Groups – wrestling for control of whole city sectors, giant planetary defence systems or sprawling industrial complexes.
And the action doesn’t stop here – the Firestorm Galaxy is a perfect setting for tense, linked campaigns. By interconnecting a series of Planetfall battles and our exciting spaceship combat game – Firestorm Armada – you can determine the fate of whole star systems.

“Prepare your invasion forces, Commander… Planetfall is authorised…”

Battle for Proteus Prime

It’s here the email I have been waiting for.


Spartan games will be shipping Planetfall to retailers on October 22nd. This is the 10mm scale planetary invasion side of the Firestorm Armada game. RRP will no surprise, be £80 the forces in the box will be Directorate facing off against the Aquans.



As you can see as expected the minis look great, and you will get a fair few off them as well.


Looking at the box contents I am predicting the same product model as Firestorm Armada. With the Terran and Zenian Alliance and Zenian League army manuals being released soon after the two player box. Hopefully in time for the Christmas rush.