Goonhammer Reviews: Mantic’s Companion and Vault Apps

Ahead of a packed slate for 2024, we wanted to take some time to do a deeper dive on Mantic Games’ digital offerings, including the Companion app and Vault. Combined, they represent a bold step from a major miniature wargaming company, offering players a way to get started with Armada without buying a single physical box.

Mantic Companion

The Mantic Companion is the first of Mantic’s major digital offerings. It’s an all-in-one website covering their current major game systems; Kings of War, Armada, Deadzone and Firefight. For each of these the Mantic Companion provides list builders, searchable rules, tournament integration and even a “Math Hammer” tool.

The Mantic Companion in browser.

The basic functionality of each of these are all available for free, yet only two army lists can be saved at a time, and only the “basic rules” are available. The Bronze Tier of membership (£2.99 / month), which is the lowest, provides unlimited list building for a single game system. The Silver Tier (£3.99 / month) unlocks all the rules and the ability to run tournaments for a single game system. The Gold Tier (£5.99 / month) unlocks Silver Tier but for all game systems, perfect for players of multiple Mantic games.
Any errors in rules or the army lists are readily fixed by the developer. This was more of an issue in the early days of the Companion, but the speed of response remains.

Army List Builders

For each of the game systems the List Builders are excellent, and are some of the best such tools we have ever used (sorry Battlescribe). To start a new list, one simply needs to pick their faction and the points limit, then all the units are presented in a clean list. Each unit’s stats can be revealed by clicking on them, and hidden again, making the whole list building experience painless, rather than needing to scroll through all the information all the time.

Each List Builder has both the full list of options (left) and the actual army list (right) visible in browser.

List building mechanics, such as the Kings of War Unlocking System, are also included. When an army list is created that violates these, a warning pops up indicating what the problem is. In Kings of War, this could be the inclusion of too many monsters versus the number of Unlocking hordes or regiments. In Firefight, too many Specialist units versus Troops would bring up a warning. For new players this is incredibly helpful, as it quickly drums in how list building works, and makes it very difficult to create illegal lists unknowingly.

It’s very obvious when accidentally making an invalid list, good for new players.

The most useful aspect of List Building is the ability to build armies for any faction in the game. There’s no codes required to access any army lists, or books that must be purchased. This makes the planning of new armies and collections much easier to navigate, compared to the need to purchase additional codexes or army books. Be careful though, it’s a slippery slope to developing MAD (multiple army addiction)!
One particularly user-friendly aspect of the List Builder is that the army lists are interactable when viewed in browser or in application. Clicking on any special rule brings it up while keeping you in the list builder. Furthermore, when exporting lists as images or PDF, the complete list of relevant special rules and their explanations comes after the army list. This truly streamlines the whole gaming process.

Special rules can be immediately accessed in the list builder.


The entire rules of each of the games are available in the Mantic Companion, organised neatly under their headings. The search function in particular enables the rapid look up of rules, which is particularly useful mid-game. Unfortunately it does not search the entire text, only headings and subheadings, hence some knowledge of the rules is required to search them effectively. Example: The word “Forest” does not bring up anything, as there is no rule specifically titled thus, but “Difficult Terrain” brings up rules that dictate forests (and all other kinds of such terrain). That aside, it is still monumentally faster than looking up a rule in a book and they are updated with every FAQ and Errata, so it’s always current.

The complete rules for each game system is presented as this table of contents, with headings and subheadings all linked.

Math Hammer

While the point of playing games involving dice is that nothing is ever certain, the knowledge of how powerful or tough a unit can be helps set up more advantageous situations. The Math Hammer tool available for Kings of War, Firefight and Deadzone in the Mantic Companion can calculate the average amount of damage any given unit can achieve. All offensive and defensive stats can be manipulated, from special rules that affect combat to magic items that might be used.

Here’s the Math Hammer output for a regiment of Soul Reaver Infantry going into a Defense 4+, 14/16 Nerve unit. That’s one dead unit!

In addition, the Math Hammer tool produces all many of statistical outputs for those that really want to crunch the numbers. The complete Gaussian distribution of hits and wounds, and the percentage likelihood of a SteadyWaver, or Rout result. Whereas before one might need to use an Excel spreadsheet or math brain to get an idea of how effective a unit of Paladins might be, now the result can be readily attained.

Tournament Companion

The Tournament Companion allows for the hosting of event scoring live in the Mantic Companion. Tournament organizers can create a tournament, link it to an event listed in the “PLAY” tab, and then attendees can sign up. From the point of view of an organizer, much of the event can be tailored to suit, with multiple scoring systems, soft score components, and pairing of players in any given round. It can event take into account player team’s, so that members of the same team will play each other for at least the first round; a common practice in most tournaments.

Scoring Systems and modifications to them can be set.

Being all in the same digital ecosystem, army lists created in the Mantic Companion can be directly submitted to a tournament, which is the best part of the whole process. This eases the workload for tournament organizers as they need not check every list for basic validity. The Companion locks these submitted lists so that they can’t be changed, and the due date for submission can be set.
From the perspective of the player, the Tournament Companion is very simple. The results of each game are as easy as answering some questions, and if that proves difficult or fiddly, the tournament organizer can still submit these results manually.
Of all the digital offerings in the Mantic Companion, it is the only component that still needs a little work, but it has come a long way with community feedback and the tireless efforts of the developer. Currently, there is still no means to find out the breakdown of the scoring per round after the event. Things like how big each win was is retained in the system for final event rankings, but getting that information is not possible at the time of writing.

Mantic Vault

Each monthly pack contains support for a number of Mantic’s ranges, including Armada, Kings of War and Deadzone. Previous months have seen the inclusion of terrain pieces and generally the packs offer a nice variety. They’ve chosen to run their own file hosting and library system, which might be mixed news for those of your already subscribed to makers over on MyMiniFactory (MMF). I personally like the Vault layout and it allows Mantic to offer freebies for subscribers and an easy link back to the Companion. While it’d be nice to have a way to see what I’ve picked up from their Armada Frontier over on MMF, it’s by no means a dealbreaker.
Wanting to give Armada a shot, and having already purchased their Armada pack over on MMF, I set sail on the resin seas and printed the contents of the starter box. The pre-supported models worked great without any changes, and while the solid models were resin hungry during printing they made for some nice, substantial feeling game pieces. There’s a good level of detail on all of them, and the sub-assemblies provided make sense for both printing and painting. Just don’t do what I did and excitedly glue your masts in to the hulls before painting, you’re only making your own life harder.
I managed to fit a good number of ships on each build plate and had the entire starter set printed in only a few batches. You’ll notice some detail lost on the Basilean Gur Panther and I’ll admit, this was me being lazy. I needed to change out the IPA I use for cleaning and have since upgraded my entire cleaning set up.
Which brings me on to my main complaint, and it’s a pretty minor one, there isn’t hollowed and pre-supported version. Larger solid layers can cause issues for users if the pieces are under-supported, running the risk of delamination or print failures. I always pre-heat my resin, and for this print run was using a fairly high layer time, so I didn’t see any issues personally but I think it’s worth being aware of if you plan to print the models yourself. I think in the future I’ll either take the time to hollow and then fix the pre-supported models myself, or start from the un-supported model.
Overall The Vault offers a refreshing opportunity to pickup models which might be hard to find in your area, and with everything coming pre-supported and support free there’s something for everyone. It would be great to see more companies offering something similar as it opens a huge space for hobbyists to engage with companies they may not normally have considered.
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