Goonhammer Hot Takes: Mantic Summer Preview

Greetings Kings of War fans! This Saturday the 26th of June, Mantic dropped their summer preview. We got to see new models and rules for Kings of War and Armada (naval combat in the Kings of War world), as well as the unveiling of Mantics new game, Overdrive!

In this article you’ll get to read all our hot takes and hopefully be inspired to check it out.

Salamander Surprise!

In the lead up to the event, we got to see the completely new range of Salamanders miniatures, showing off the new army boxes, Rhinosaur Cavalry Regiments, the Ghekkotah Skylord, Scorchwings Regiments, and the Tyrant Regiments.

Salamanders Mega Army Box. Credit: Mantic Games


Urr: I was thinking that the Salamander stuff would have been a large chunk of the KoW preview, so seeing it come early was a big surprise, but a good one. Mantic are definitely making their own mark on the “lizardmen” style faction. I really dig the monitor lizard look of the Tyrants. The Rhinosaur Cav are great too, really looking like something that would smash straight though whatever it charged.

Salamander Tyrants. Credit: Mantic Games

Cytoplasm: This release certainly was a pleasant surprise indeed, but what I got most excited about was seeing the Rhinosaur Cavalry all painted up. We had seen renders of these models a few months ago but to see them painted and real is so much better! This is what you get when you weaponize Rhyhorns from Pokemon, which I guess is how my Salamanders army will work if I ever make one – Pokemanders!

Salamanders Rhinosaur Cavalry. Credit: Mantic Games

MasterSlowPoke: Big meaty monsters have always been some of my favorite Mantic models, and these do not disappoint! I am a particular fan of the new Tyrant sculpts. There is a lot of character in their faces and posing, and the details on the armor and the pteruges look like they would be a lot of fun to paint.


New Walking Dead!

Another pre-event pre-order is the release of the Kingdom faction for The Walking Dead: All Out War and Call to Arms. The Kingdom is a medieval, feudal community led by Ezekiel (the tiger guy!). We’ve had Ezekiel for a while but nobody else for him to lead.

The Walking Dead: All Out War – Taylor and Gus. Credit: Mantic Games

With this release we see the armored cavalry that the Kingdom uses to guard trade goods, patrol, and take new territory. The first two characters we have are Taylor and Gus. These should be interesting as they’re not huge characters in the comics but they are regular soldiers that fight and patrol. Their likenesses from the comics are spot on.

The Walking Dead: All Out War – Richard. Credit: Mantic Games

Richard is the head of security so he has some interesting abilities – including making the enemy lose actions and powering up Ezekiel with a third action. He’s a powerful character to use alongside Ezekiel essentially as a bodyguard while your cavalry goes to other parts of the board.

The Walking Dead: All Out War – Armoured Cavalry. Credit: Mantic Games

When you field a Kingdom force you may want to do an entirely mounted list – and you can do that with the non-unique Kingdom Guards. The idea of non-unique models first came about with the Whisperers and I’m glad to see it here. As the comic progressed and they came into contact with larger groups there were fewer really well-known characters. This will definitely make the game pretty interesting, as horses are more mobile but also cause Noise, drawing walkers toward them.

The Walking Dead: All Out War -Teamwork Cards. Credit: Mantic Games

The last part of the pre-order are the Teamwork Cards. These are somewhat similar to tier lists in Warmachine / Hordes, Battalions in Age of Sigmar, or Formations in Warhammer 40k (at a dramatically smaller scale). You get to choose one for your list for free as long as you include the named characters in that list. Then you get the benefits of special rules which seem to be cool but not game-breaking. There are 34 team cards, so most models should find themselves in at least one team, hopefully. This is a great next step for All Out War and really shows Mantic’s commitment to cool new designs.



Boats, boats, boats! Mantic’s naval combat game is getting a whole host of new releases coming down the pipeline, starting with a new supplement, Seas Aflame, coming in July. This supplement will come with new lore and scenarios for the game, new rules (and models) for flyers, coastal defenses and a campaign system. July will also see the release of a magic supplement card deck, adding the extra dimension of magic to all of the current factions in Armada. What this will all do is add huge levels of depth to all the fleets – with players able to focus on a number of different playstyles. The campaign system will involve the crew gaining experience but also improvements (or damage!) to ships.

Kings of War Armada Seas Aflame and Magic Cards. Credit: Mantic Games


We’ve also got word of the new ships and factions. Empire of Dust and Dwarfs will be getting their single ship packs soon, and new fleets are coming.

Twilight Kin are out in August, and they look suitably terrifying. Notice how the Assassin’s prow is fashioned in the shape of a Nightstalker? Well apparently the Twilight Kin have such a thing for Nightstalkers that they build their likeness into all sorts of things… like ships! These guys will be all about getting close to ram and board the enemy. Part of their durability will be making shooting at them harder, thanks to shroud. A new playstyle for Armada.

Fleet of the Twilight Kin. Credit: Mantic Games

Elves are on their way in October. These sleek ships are all about speed, as the Elves are the masters of the waves and certainly have that reflected in their rules. They will be zipping all over the ocean with nary a penalty to their shooting. Oh, yes, and they are really good at shooting, because Elves! So watch out for when this lot hit the waves.

Fleet of the Elves. Credit: Mantic Games

After that, Salamanders in Q1 of 2022, and there are plans to bring all Kings  of War factions into Armada (except Nightstalkers).  

Urr: These announcements have got me excited for Armada. It’s a bit of a shame Nightstalkers won’t get a fleet, as they’re my main Kings of War faction, but I get why they don’t. Eldritch horrors from other dimensions tend not to have an organised navy. Regardless, the Twilight Kin ships more than make up for it. Look how cool they are. We also got some hints at tying in Armada games with the Kings of War summer campaign (more info on that coming soon).

Cytoplasm: Oh yes! Suddenly I’m a naval combat fan, and I would be happy to jump in with the current Orcs. If the Forces of the Abyss get a bunch of demonic castle boats, then who knows how much money I may throw at this game? Just look at these ships! The detail is just enough to have fun painting, but not so overwhelming, especially when there’s not all that many models required to have a game. With the campaign system coming in Seas Aflame, I can see this game really having legs as people lovingly craft their fleets and bring them to life across a campaign.

MasterSlowPoke: Armada is a game that makes me wish I lived in an area with a more established wargame scene. Naval combat sounds like a nice change from the 28mm soldiers I’ve been playing the last decade, and painting a fleet or two wouldn’t be a huge diversion. Maybe that is the key for me – just grab a couple small fleets to share among my newer hobbyists in the area. These elf ships in particular don’t do it for me, but they are well styled and detailed for those elf lovers out there. Empire of Dust ships sound far more up my alley, and I’m glad to know they’ll be more available soon, and the promise of a Northern Alliance/Varangur multifaction ship release is intriguing.


Kings of War

Lots of big news here, we started off with a quick recap of the Salamander previews, and got a release date of July 26th (preorders available now).

Then, Halflings! Most of the Kings of War preview was focusing on the newest faction in the game. We got to see a bunch of new models, and hear a bit about their playstyle and strengths.

We saw the basic infantry configurations, the engineer hero, and a “Sauceror” on Aralez (giant ride-able dog), as well as the general Aralez cavalry unit. 

Halfling Core Troops, Engineer and Sauceror on Aralez. Credit: Mantic Games

Urr: The Sauceror is awesome, I’m down with the sideburns. We also heard he’s a Gastromancy wizard, giving 1 of 4 different auras to units around him. This will be the first time we’ve seen anything like this in Kings of War, hopefully it works well. 

Mugginns: I’m all in on Halflings. I’ll be buying the biggest set available as soon as they’re out. Halflings have always been my thing since EverQuest. I’m worried as a terrible newbie to play a finesse faction, but this is the one that speaks to me. It’ll be interesting to see what we get for Vanguard as well because they’ll make a sweet themey warband with plenty of cool conversion opportunities.

Cytoplasm: Mantic described the approach to Halflings as being equal parts Middle-Earth Hobbits, food-crazy Halflings (Warhammer) and something a bit more unique. We get all of that, but I am definitely in for the doggos. Can paint them all different colours, name them, pet them and avenge them with the harshest justice known to Halflings when your opponent lightning bolts them.

Then we got to see the amazing units, Jetpack Halflings (Grenadiers) to give the army a bit of speed (and give those little legs a break), as well as look great. Halfling Forest Troll Gunners to make the enemy come to you, and then smash them for daring to get so close. And finally the Halfling Harvester, which looks like it’ll harvest anything it wants.

Halfling Grenadiers, Forest Troll Gunners and Harvester! Credit: Mantic Games

Halflings are intended to play with a focus on synergies and auras, making it a more finesse army. An army of individually weak components, comparable to goblins, that work together to buff and support each other. This is different to goblins which instead rely on sheer numbers.

MasterSlowPoke: One of my favorite part of Kings of War is that they allow more unique armies like Halflings to flourish, rather than being a barely acknowledged part of the world. I was super excited when they were first seen Uncharted Empires, and these little guys live up to the hype. The basic kit providing both 10 infantry and 5 calvary is a great use of the sprue frames to hold the Halflings’ small frames. There’s a great mix of clothing style and hat choices available, and I love their flintlock rifles. The addition of Trolls to the list is an interesting idea, and using them as mobile gunnery positions is a great choice.

Importantly, there will be a demo list available so everyone can participate in a “public beta” style testing of the Halflings, and presumably the full finished list will be published in the Clash of Kings supplement coming towards the end of the year.

And finally for Kings of War, we saw a silhouette of a new model for a secret army, coming some time in winter, with further updates being released as we get closer.

What is it!? Credit: Mantic Games

Urr: Definitely a scorpion tail there, so a manticore rider seems likely. No idea which army it’ll slot into though. Horns on the rider could be a bit viking, so maybe Varangur?

Cytoplasm: Who’s that Pokemon? Uhh… whatever it is, it looks dangerous and I hope it’s for me.

MasterSlowPoke: Mantic does like to do curveballs, so I could see this as being some sort of Good-aligned Manticore.



The final part of the summer preview was focused on Mantic’s new game, Overdrive. This is the first time we’ve seen anything about it.

Overdrive is a gladiatorial, king-of-the-hill, WWE style board game spun off of Mantic’s DreadBall, a futuristic sci-fi sports game. Coming in September this year, the initial release will see a box game, with the 6 player models, board, dice, tokens & rules. 

Overdrive Board Game! Credit: Mantic Games

Intended as a quick, 60-90 min beer-and-pretzels game, you play as a coach, drafting from the available players, with each coach getting 3 of the initial 6 players. Each of the players have different abilities, so your strategy will have to change based on who you can get.

To increase replayability, there are different scenarios. These include: 

  • Capture the flag
  • Killing streak
  • Hot potato
  • Invade
  • Dodge brawl        

As well as one off games, league play is also available, and completing tasks for sponsors offers a variety of rewards.

Urr: My definite favourite goes to Karadon, the sharkman. What more could you want?

Cytoplasm: The Spawn is my player of choice – for anyone that has fought an octopus, you know it’s impossible and so clearly this player is superior to all others.


If this grabs your interest, further info will be coming out soon with a gameplay video out on the 12th of July, and more teasers throughout the week.

Urr: Definitely seems like this could be a pretty cool game. I love the idea and theme of the game. I’ll definitely check out the gameplay videos and see if it’s for me. 

Cytoplasm: I love drafting in card games like Magic, so drafting in a tabletop game with models would be fun! The delight when you get the players you want while depriving your opponent of theirs sounds good to me.

MasterSlowPoke: I’ve avoided the call of of sports board games for the most part *hides unplayed Dreadball kickstarter boxes further into the closet*, but a game of Big Dudes slamming into each other looks like a great way to spend 60-90 minutes sounds. The draft style is good to avoid having to build up a team or an army for everyone that wants to play, and it sounds simple enough that kids could get into it too. Definitely something to watch for!


Deadzone 3.0

In the last few minutes of the steam, they played a video teasing the announcement of Deadzone: Containment Protocols 3.0. The details were super scarce on anything beyond Veer-myn and something called the ‘Magnetar Rangers’ being involved. We last saw Magnetar in the Dreadball Galactic Tour Series, but it’s not entirely clear yet what these Rangers will be like. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for the full announcement!


Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at