The Mantic Journal


The Mantic Journal is a fantasy gaming  quarterly I edited in a freelance capacity for Mantic Games. This is a relatively new wargames company run by Ronnie Renton, who was, simply speaking,  my boss’s boss at Games Workshop. Its aim is to provide good quality, fantasy miniatures for wargaming, RPGs and suchlike at affordable prices.

Ronnie approached me about making him a magazine shortly after Death Ray folded. After much talk, some planning and the kind of crazed effort you only find in small businesses, the first issue came out in June, 2010.  Each issue focussed on an event from our new gaming world. Called “Mhorgoth’s Revenge”, issue one detailed the plans of the evil necromancer Mhorgoth (developed by Anthony Reynolds), to raid a desert-choked ruined city in the desolate southern kingdom of the Elves and raise its dead to add to his army. Each following magazine has a similar theme.

I put the magazine together with designer Sean Turtle and photographer Adam Shaw, also late of GW, plus input from sundry others, some of whom also used to work for Games Workshop. Nottingham is a funny place like that, many smaller model firms have budded off GW and make their homes there. It’s a little annoying, actually, that having left the place to come back to Bath, most of my work stems from the place! Bath’s the same, with dozens of small publishing houses set up by former employees  of Future, SFX‘s owners. It’s easy to see how certain cities come to specialise in certain industries.

Sadly, the Mantic Journal ceased publication after a few issues, and Mantic decided to put its money elsewhere. The magazine market is a tough one to crack. Still, the magazine held to its brief and did the job required of it.

Although the magazine is now defunct, still Mantic pays some of my bills as I do some writing for them. Through them I get to develop a fantasy gaming world, although we must give credit to Anthony Reynolds for his initial writing work on Mantic’s  Elves and Undead ranges (and let’s not forget the artists and sculptors who designed and actually made the models), and others who have contributed since.

Creating a games world is an interesting proposition because many games are completely typical, Dungeons & Dragons-inspired  “heroic fantasy” — basically, sub-Tolkien cod-Medieval settings with Orcs, Elves, Dwarfs etc mixed in — but the criteria for gaming fantasy can be even more restrictive, especially if you want your models to sell across multiple gaming systems. You can’t make it too different. For example, the expensively produced Lobsterkin of GulgulThrax will only sell to people who play your game. A generic High Elf type will do much better commercially. On the other hand, if you just rearrange the cliches your creation is going to be a bit crap. Deciding where this line lies — originality versus the truly generic — is a tricky business. So developing the world of “Mantica” is fascinating and fun work. Why don’t you check it out and see for yourself at Mantic Games?

Comments
  1. [...] the Red Death (film, 1964)Things to Come (film, 1936)TVThe MagazinesDeath RaySFXThe Mantic JournalWhite DwarfDON’T POKE [...]

  2. [...] HomeAboutJournalismThe MagazinesDeath RaySFXThe Mantic JournalWhite DwarfFeaturesLand of the Lizards (2009)FictionBlack LibraryChampion of MarsRichards & KleinA timeline of the futureReality 36Short StoriesA Small Question of WaterInterviewsAlaistair Reynolds (2007)Joanne Harris (2007)M John Harrison (2007)Michael Moorcock (2007)Mike Mignola (2007)Richard Morgan (2008)Robin Hobb (2007)Simon Morden (2007)Steve Jackson (2007)Steven Erikson (2007)Steven Moffat (2007)Terry Brooks (2007)Ursula Le Guin (2007)OpinionClose Encounter of the Yorkshire Kind (2008)Firstborn (2008)Game off (2009)How NOT to write comics (2010)How to get ahead in consumer journalism (2007)Know Your Enemy (2009)Life online (2009)Looking Backwards, Going Forwards (2008)Lovecraft’s Hate (2009)Rollerball Rules (2007)The Alien Among Us (2009)The Bionic Now (2007)The Emperor of Dreams (2008)The Ends of the World (2007)The Magic of… Science! (2008)The Write Stuff (2008)Welcome to 1984 (2009)ReviewsBooksA Kingdom Besieged (book, Raymond E. Feist, 2011)Absorption (book, John Meaney, 2010)And Another Thing (book, Eoin Colfer, 2009)Black Hand Gang (book, Pat Kelleher, 2010)Black Man (book, Richard Morgan, 2007)Black Tide (book, Del Stone Jr, 2007)Breathless (book, Dean Koontz, 2009)Children of Húrin (book, JRR Tolkien, 2007)Chung Kuo: Son of Heaven (book, David Wingrove, 2011)Contract (book, Simon Spurrier, 2007)Elves: Once Walked With Gods (book, James Barclay, 2010)Entangled (book, Graham Hancock, 2010)Equations of Life (book, Simon Morden, 2011)Farlander (book, Col Buchanan, 2010)For the Win (book, Corey Doctorow, 2010)Haggopian and Other Stories (book, Brian Lumley, 2009)Hyddenworld Spring (book, William Horwood, 2009)Naamah’s Kiss (book, Jacqueline Carey, 2009)Renegade’s Magic (book, Robin Hobb, 2007)Shadow’s Son (book, Jon Sprunk, 2010)The Eternal Prison (book, Jeff Somers, 2010)The Five Greatest Warriors (book, Matthew Reilly, 2009)The Hammer (book, K.J. Parker, 2010)The Holy Machine (Book, Chris Beckett, 2010)The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (book, NK Jemisin, 2010)The Inferior (book, Peadar O Guilin, 2007)The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions (book, Robert Rankin, 2010)The Lost Fleet: Dauntless (book, Jack Campbell, 2011)The Mammoth Book Golden Age Science Fiction (book, various, 2007)The Nemesis List (book, R.J. Frith, 2010)The Price (book, Alexandra Sokoloff, 2007)The Steel Remains (book, Richard Morgan, 2008)The Technician (book, Neal Asher, 2010)The Terror (book, Dan Simmons, 2006)Timeriders (book, Alex Scarrow, 2009)Under Heaven (book, Guy Gavriel Kay, 2010)Wolfsangel (book, MD Lachlan, 2010)FilmA Boy and His Dog (film, 2005)Cold Souls (film, 2009)Death Ship (film, 2007)Fantastic Four Extended Edition (film, 2007)Forbidden Planet (film, 2007)Frostbite (film, 2006)Hellboy: Blood and Iron (DVD film, 2007)Highlander: Search for Vengeance (DVD film, 2007)Malefique (film, 2005)Mio in The Land of Faraway (film, 2007)Shrek the Third (film, 2007)Shutter (film, 2007)The Beast Must Die (film, 2007)The Breed (film, 2006)The Hamiltons (film, 2007)The Jess Franco Collection 2 (film, 2007)The Last Lovecraft (2010)The Masque of the Red Death (film, 2007)Things to Come (film, 2007)TVGoing Postal (TV, 2010)Hyperdrive (TV, 2007)Life On Mars (TV, 2007)Nightmares and Dreamscapes (TV, 2006)Robocop: The Series (TV, 2007)The Guardians (TV, 2010)The Martian Chronicles (TV, 2007)DON’T POKE THE TIGER! [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s