Kings of War Trolls on Advance Order from Mantic

By Polar_Bear
In Fantasy
Jun 7th, 2013

Mantic has started taking down names of those that want their new Trolls for Kings of War as soon as they’re available.

From the announcement:

Over the course of the next three months we’re going to be introducing new Undead, Orc and Goblin units to the range PLUS we’ll be launching our Ogre and Human armies into the world!

We kickstart the Summer of Kings of War off with the Trolls…

Trolls are large, feral humanoids of dim wits and insatiable appetite – perfect allies for the armies of Goblins, which use them as shock troops. Trolls can regenerate almost any wound and only fire can truly destroy them, while their crude war-clubs smash through armour and crush bones with terrifying ease.

The Trolls are released on the 29th June 2013 and are now available to pre-order both as an individual set or as part of two fantastic value Army Deals.

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  • Gallahad

    These make me sad every time I see them. So much potential, such bad proportions.

    • Veritas

      My problem is the arm/torso connection. The ball and socket joint is glaringly visible and makes them look comical.

      • Gallahad

        Yeah, they look like action figures based off of a kids cartoon.

  • 4tonmantis

    I actually really like the proportions..but that’s entirely subjective.. However, the ball and socket thing is pretty unforgivable. One could obviously greenstuff in the supporting muscles but that’s fairly poor design on their part and has me nervous about the money I just spent on the DZ kickstarter.

  • KelRiever

    Well, what is going on here is they cost less than half of what 3 Ogres/Trolls from Games Workshop would cost if metal, and still less than the same amount of plastic trolls.

    Mantic isn’t doing the best sculpts, but they seem to be more interested in targetting lower prices. Which, honestly, I’m all for. If I want better scults, I’ll go somewhere else. But if I had ever wanted cheap, I’d go to Mantic.

    • Gallahad

      Why can’t we have both cheap and good quality sculpts? Unless they hired someone who just isn’t technically proficient (which this guy isn’t, as it is the same guy who sculpts the PP Trolls), this is an art direction problem, and lax standards for what gets the thumbs up. Even if they doubled whatever they paid that guy to sculpt the trolls to get a better sculptor, it would likely only add a couple cents to a dollar or so onto the cost of each troll, with the amount decreasing with the number of trolls they sold.

      I would bet that for these trolls the bulk of the cost of each troll is in the molds and paying to spin, sort, and package them. I just don’t believe there is necessarily a dichotomy between good quality sculpts and price.

      • Ghost

        Agreed. They don’t need to look cheap to be cheap.

      • KelRiever

        They don’t have to, maybe. Or maybe good sculptors want to be paid more so they work for companies who charge more per mini.

        I wouldn’t know because I don’t know the business. But the last good sculptor I knew who put out minis that weren’t expensive was Chris Fitzpatrick and he gets a litany of hate for not putting enough stuff out quickly enough.

        Somewhere, there’s a price to be paid. In money or time.

        • Ghost

          I suspect time=quality is a factor for amateurs. A lot of these guys sculpting for a living are able to produce quality work fast enough to make a profession out of it. I think what we see here is a deliberate design choice by an art director; “Yes this design is okay”.

  • Ghost

    Personally I found the Werewolves to be a greater disappointment as their sculpt is quite far from their concept sketch.

    But both these Trolls and those Werewolves represent lost potential and do nothing to attract Warhammer fanboys over to try Kings of War. Worse, they damage the rest of Mantic’s range.

    • 4tonmantis

      After having a brief chat with a few people at Mantic.. they really aren’t trying to be GW. They’re not trying to make Warhammer-lite or anything.. they’re trying to do their own thing.. which is probably one of the reasons the design on these is so far out of what most people would consider normal for a fantasy creature. I am not turned off from buying these, just annoyed that I have to sculpt. I normally do a little bit of sculpting anyway but for a specialized unit like this, I prefer the base model to be nice enough that I do not have to do that. Again.. the design thing is all about personal taste.. so yeah.. a lot of people don’t like it… we don’t know how many do because they will likely just quietly buy up the ones they’re going to buy.
      This would be less of an issue if it wasn’t a company gamers seem to have endeared themselves to. It’s like most gamers (myself included) just don’t want to see Mantic fail.. (presumably because they’re doing things we wish GW had done) yet when they do things to distinguish themselves from GW, some seem to get upset.

      • Ghost

        While it’s true Mantic is not trying to be GW it’s obvious they have learned a lot from what many gamers would consider to be GW’s mistakes (to be fair to GW they’re still doing okay as a business). Future waves of Kings of War will reveal a divergence from Warhammer and will do a lot to attract fresh blood to a new thing – but at the time of writing that distinction hasn’t made itself clear so comparisons are natural (and reinforced by KoW lists deliberately designed to use at least a few neglected Warhammer armies). We like to think that non-gamers will spontaneously discover Kings of War and make no comparison to Warhammer but I think the reality is that anyone who has an interest in blocks of plastic toy soldiers fighting in a fantasy setting is already playing Warhammer so ‘new’ players are still converts from other systems. Tomorrow may be different, elemental and angel armies will help… shitty sculpts will not.

  • blkdymnd

    I like the werewolves myself. Neither damage the line. Hell, PP have been the kings of crappy proportions for years and have done ok.

    • Veritas

      That’s true. Poor Vlad hasn’t had peripheral vision for a decade!