Monday, 9 August 2010

Apoplexy and the gag reflex ...

I'm long overdue an update, it seems. The hard thing about all this blog malarkey is to remain motivated and regular through the mindless wankery of retail and dickhead customers that fill my day to day hours like some kind of continuous discharge of diarrhea spewing from an invisible arsehole (akin to the Skorne Bloodworm model but less painful on the way out). I was originally going to use Aristotle's definition of hate to title this post as a nod to my old mucker Tim Matts, but he's too clever and handsome for his own good and the rest of you can fuck off.

I find myself bewildered by the heapings of praise and love some miniature ranges get. Most of my bewilderment is, admittedly, levelled at that bastion of pedestrianism Mantic Games. It appears that you really can gild a turd in some people's eyes. Now, I do know that some models are suffering from a case of that hoary old Cyberpunk maxim 'style over substance' and functionality of design is the new battle cry from everywhere on the Internet (until a model with huge tits comes out, that is) however, there is no escaping that the Mantic range is, by and large, shit.

I should also warn you that this review may not have the same amount of venom in it as the GW Minotaur post. This is because I have pissed and whined about this range already to the high heavens for quite some time. Just dial up the bile factor by about 23 and you'll be about there. I guess ennui sets in more quickly the older you are.

The spindly proportions of their first race (that guaranteed seller, High Elves) instantly put me in mind of that one kid in your school class that you just know will turn into a serial killer. One of the self-loathing, closet-homosexual cannibal variety, like a knock-off Jeffery Dahmer. Well, originality is dead nowadays. I suppose I should put a crass joke about necrophilia, dietary choice and a flask of hot water here somewhere but I can't be arsed.

Add to that the amazingly slanted eyes (like a 70's racist caricature of an oriental person of the far east persuasion) and a cranial shape that could have taught the ancient Incas a thing or two about head-binding and you have a model that should have +1 to it's armour save due to epicanthic folds alone.

Utter fucking wank so far, but don't take my word for it. Have a look for yourself:

See? As an amusing aside, a customer who actually likes this crap came in (I know, I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't happened to me, much like alien abduction and the subsequent anal probing) and actually said 'I'm not too keen on the elves (no fucking surprise there) because they are too much like the old Rackham metal elves'. That's right, he thought they were too much like the Cynwall from Rackham. I can see that they are both miniatures, but that is all. I think there may have been an element of day release or bizarre wit involved, but as I'm on a bit of a roll, here is a Cynwall elf commander for you to compare yourselves:

So, two leaders and a massive difference in quality. Unfair? Well, the Rackham model is probably about 5 years older and French. Style over substance? No, because the Rackham model is metal, ergo it has Just as much substance as the other one. The difference in scale on the photos is because the Mantic stuff is photographed much smaller than the rest, probably to hide the massive inferiority of product.

There is a cavalry unit too. Special, angry, joy-time derision goes to whoever decided that a person that's about six stones wringing wet through can ignore the laws of physics when using a spear (not a lance, a weapon specifically designed to be used as a prodder from beast back) and can hold their weapon unbraced on the back of a charging horse and not do the whole comedy pole-vault thing when they inevitably miss the target. Ahh, the agonised screams of scrawny high elves with broken shoulderblades flying through the air. Enough to warm even the most jaded cockles of one's heart.

The argument used to defend the Mantic range is that the ghoul models are better than GW's. This is true. It's also not such an amazing statement for marketing to try and sell a range. Another flea-ridden pigeon feather in Mantic's hobo hat is the way they offer better deals online direct from themselves than most retailers can match. Add to this a presence at all the shows and the little customers there are for this tosh (about 3 per million, or 180-ish in the UK) will buy directly from the manufacturer.

Aha, but what about the rules they are bringing out? Surely you aren't about to badmouth Alessio Cavatore? No, but knowing Alessio as I do (quite vaguely) I realise one thing about him: he sees the models as something different to me. He sees them as playing pieces and nothing more, like the GW models he played with. Perhaps that's the reason. I see them in the context of all the other awesome models and I should be seeing them as pawns, rooks and knights.

No, fuck that. It's a shit range that will only get more and more mediocre as time goes on. Alessio's first rules release since he left GW is saddled with utter dogshit. I feel very sorry for him, being overshadowed by such a mountain of crusty wank tissues.

I know this review hasn't been as agressive as usual, but I honestly can't work up the bile with this range. It's that bland, and my leg hurts.

Angry with his bum knee ...

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