I admire Mantic Games but sometimes they confuse me. By which I mean I don't know what they're trying to do. Are they a truly independent gaming company? Or do they intend to continuously ride on the tail coats of Games Workshop?
Of course, GW is such a behemoth that any company looking to survive in this niche market of ours needs to appeal heavily to GW gamers (Privateer Press being the one exception in science fantasy gaming). Take Mantic's latest promotion of 'zombie marines' for example. This is clearly a result of the recent Chaos Space Marines codex and the special abilities of our friend Typhus to conjure up cohorts of the undead. Mantic have even gone so far as to release this 'hero' figure, called 'Mortis', and here he is:
All fine I suppose. Yet this model looks to be pretty low quality and it's hardly inspiring, is it? And at £10 it's not exactly competitively priced, given that it's obviously modelled as a Typhus substitute.
So really this just deepens the mystery of Mantic Games. Cut price and reasonable quality in some areas (ghouls and zombies, for example), baffling in others (the Veer-Myn), and opportunist in still others (Dreadball cashing in on GW's delay in updating Blood Bowl - now a must if they've got any commercial sense).
Still, they're a young company and I wish them well. I'll skip adding Mortis to my Nurgle army though.