Goonhammer Preview- Halo: Flashpoint

You may recall that we’re big fans of Halo here at Goonhammer – some of us even maintain that the first season of the show on Paramount+ is good, actually. So we were pretty excited when Mantic announced they were working on a new tabletop skirmish game set in the Halo universe in collaboration with 343 Industries called Halo: Flashpoint.

That first reveal didn’t give us much to go on about the game, just some notes on the game’s scale and the confirmation that we’d be playing with miniature Spartans. Since the reveal, Mantic have dropped a few more concrete details about the new game. We know it’s a skirmish game, and that the game is focused on tactical firefights between Spartan teams to capture that Halo multiplayer arena feel. We even got a preview of those models in a teaser trailer a few weeks back. But many more questions remained: How does the game play? Are the models pre-painted? What does the launch range look like? Is it just Spartans? And will John Halo himself be there?

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

Well the wait for that information is over. As of this morning, we’ve been given answers to many of those questions as preorders go live and Mantic has pulled back the curtain on Halo: Flashpoint

Mantic was also kind enough to give the team here at Goonhammer some additional information about the upcoming game, we’d like to thank Mantic Games for that sneak peak at Halo: Flashpoint.

How Does the Game Play?

Mantic says their biggest focus for Flashpoint is to bring the arena shooter multiplayer to life on the tabletop. This means more than just a skirmish game with a Spartan versus Spartan theme. The goal is to really make the game feel like Halo. To this end, Mantic says that the game will include several game modes from the Halo multiplayer suite at launch, including the traditional Slayer mode, as well as objective based missions like Capture the Flag and Oddball. Other mechanics from the game also make it onto the tabletop, like energy shields and respawn points.

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

While we don’t yet know the full rules for Flashpoint, Mantic did share a few gameplay details. Halo: Flashpoint iterates on several design decisions with Mantic’s other sci-fi Skirmish game, Deadzone. Like Deadzone, the game is played on a 24”x24” map, and is divided up into a grid used for measuring range and movement during the game instead of a tape measure. For actions, the game uses d8 dice, and tests are made with three d8 and checked against the statline on the model’s card, adding extra dice to any actions that provide advantage instead of using modifiers. If an 8 on a dice is rolled, it triggers the ‘Headshot’ mechanic, and the controlling player can roll an extra dice. There’s no limit to these Headshot dice, so a runaway success is always possible even in dire straits if you’re lucky enough.

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

With this marriage of some of the best parts of Deadzone with the multiplayer feel of Halo matches, Mantic aims to create “a tactical miniatures game that is exciting, slick, and authentically models the moment-to-moment action of Halo battles.”  

Can I Paint My Own Models?

Yes. I mean, obviously. If there were models, you’d be able to paint them and no one could stop you, least of all, us. That said, they do come preassembled and in colored plastic, so if you’re not huge on painting, you won’t be fielding a team of gray plastic goobers. The Spartans we’ve seen come with a wide array of weapons and roles that will affect how they’re used in your fire team during games of Flashpoint.

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

As a nice surprise for both hobbyists and Halo fans, Mantic revealed that they have collaborated with The Army Painter (hey, we know those guys!) to launch a paint set for Halo: Flashpoint, which includes the biggest star of Halo himself: Master Chief (John Halo), in all his tabletop glory.

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

Is It Just Spartans?

Thankfully, it is not just Spartans. And as hilarious as it would have been for the game to be human separatists getting brutally suppressed by Spartans working in their originally intended roles, Mantic have made the wise decision to include the Covenant.

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

Launching along side the Spartans of Halo: Flashpoint is a team of four Elites who are members of the Banished, a post-covenant multi-species alliance of galactic raiders and primary antagonists of Halo: Infinite. These models are the first non-Spartans that will be playable in Flashpoint, and according to Mantic we will see more of them in the future. That also gives us a bit of a clue about “when in the timeline” Halo: Flashpoint is set, and that it might be a while before we see anything resembling the Flood or Forerunners. 

New releases for the game are planned through 2025 and beyond, and Mantic also plans on having organized play support for folks who want to run events for Flashpoint. 

The Launch Range

Recon Edition Launch Box Contents. Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

There are two starter boxes planned for release at launch: the Recon Edition and the Spartan Edition. Both sets include everything you need to get started playing Halo: Flashpoint, such as a rulebook, playmat, dice, reference and weapon cards, and pre colored card terrain. The Recon Edition of Halo: Flashpoint is the smaller of the two boxes, and includes 8 Spartans that are divided into two fire teams for those who might be newer to tabletop gaming or just want a smaller investment. The Spartan Edition is the big box for those who want to jump into Halo: Flashpoint feet first, including 16 Spartans with more weapons options as well as the Banished Elites. It also includes a reversible play board and extra terrain for use in the game.

Spartan Edition Launch Box Contents. Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

Other launch products for Halo: Flashpoint include a deluxe modular 3D terrain set, Dice booster pack, and the Army Painter Master Chief paint set.

Overall Thoughts

Swiftblade: As someone who sits right in the middle of the Venn diagram that is “Halo fan” and “tabletop games fan”, I’m really excited for what Mantic has going here. It’s great to see that Flashpoint is fully committing to the Halo multiplayer experience rather than doing a generic skirmish game with a Halo coat of paint. Which is neat, and the inclusion of Oddball makes me excited for the possibility of even more of Halo’s online multiplayer game types being playable in Flashpoint, like Capture the Flag or Assault. Or maybe even real weird stuff, like Zombies. Playing Zombies on the tabletop would rip.

TheChirurgeon: It’s smaller scale than I was expecting, but that makes sense given that Halo multiplayer is much more popular than Halo Wars was.

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

Also, I wasn’t expecting Master Chief to be a part of the rollout for Flashpoint on launch, but it’s a pleasant surprise for sure. The miniature rules, Master Chief is one of the most iconic characters in the world at this point. Including him with the paint set is such a smart way to get tabletop newcomers excited about painting. Seeing Chief so early in the Flashpoint lifecycle makes me wonder if other characters from the Halo universe will make it into model form, like Master Chief’s best pal The Arbiter.

Both the Recon set and the Spartan set look like great boxes, especially with the kicker that the Spartan set will include the Elites. I can’t wait to learn more about Flashpoint as we get closer to release, and I’m even more excited to play the game.

Credit: Mantic Games/343 Industries

As of this article going up, pre-orders for the game should be live on the Halo: Flashpoint website. 

What’s Next?

That’s a good question. We’re big fans of Halo, so we’re currently planning to cover this game. Plan to see something here about the launch box and a review of the game and its rules, and then maybe an article or two about the factions. Beyond that, it really depends on what support and interest for the game look like – if the game is good and you’re interested in seeing more of it, let us know! We’ll find authors to support it and write regular content for it.

On that note, we currently have correspondents at Adepticon looking to pump the Mantic team for more information and if they have test games at the event, you can bet we’ll be back with some first impressions, so stay tuned for more coverage on that next week.

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