Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mars Attacks

Disclaimer - I am a Mantic Pathfinder, and have been asked to post about the Kickstarter.

First off - to get the requirements out of the way - go and pledge for the Mars Attacks Kickstarter before it ends Nov 10, 2013 at 6:59 EST.  It looks to be a fun, light hearted game, and a great transition from traditional board games to miniature games.

Ok - now for something real.

I first heard about Mars Attacks back in 1978.  I was a whopping 13 the summer that Star Wars had just come out, and I couldn't get enough of it.  So much so that when I found a magazine (you remember what those were) call "Space Wars" I had to have it.  Looking back realistically, it was a quick and dirty rag put out to capitalize on Star Wars without actually having to pay any royalties or anything.  I ate it up, and bought several issues.  Living in a small town that was the biggest within 2 hour drive - and still did not even have a McDonalds until I was in high school, this was great.  In the third issue was an article by James Trever and Len Brown, about these Topps trading cards issued in 1962 - Mars Attacks.

To my 13 year old brain these were some of the coolest things ever - and to make them even better, they were completely unobtainable!  "Although unintentional, that article saw the price of 1962 MA cards go from $1 to $10 almost over night!".  And this was way before the internet - it just wasn't going to happen.  But those cool cards - from the #1 The Invasion Begins to such classics like #36 Destroying a Dog I was hooked.

I know they reprinted and reissued the cards later, but I had grown older and wasn't into it anymore.  I did greatly enjoy the 1996 movie - as campy as the cards - but being an adult now it wasn't like I was going to collect it or anything.

I then became a Matic Pathfinder, responsible for demoing their games and bascially being a cheerleader for the company, in exchange for some a bit of free product and maybe some sneak peaks.  And what does Mantic go and do but make a licensing agreement with Topps to make hybrid board/miniature game out of Mars Attacks, and put up a Kickstarter for it.

Yes, my 13 year old inner child freaked.  Martians.  Death Rays.  Flying Saucers.  Giant Robots.  Giant Bugs.  This must be mine - and I have to have it to demo anyway, right?  Yeah, like I needed that excuse.

I did the first Mantic Kickstarter for Kings of War, and wish I had been able to do DreadBall and Dead Zone if for no other reason than the fantastic deal on the games and miniatures.  Now my wife questions how many more I need, not realizing that if I ever get all my miniatures painted then I'll die - so I have to keep buying more as I paint more. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it).

This isn't intended to be a "hard core" game - it is more a beer and pretzels version.  I don't see where they will have multiple factions to collect, and all the miniatures in the base game are colored plastic and pre-assembled (except for the clear martial helmets) so it can be played right out of the box.    It is using the latest Topps IP (intellectual property) for this, so has figures from the recent comics and the new cards that just came out for the 50th anniversary.

I'm not that excited about the martian or the human models - I don't really like painting humans (and the martians are pretty much humans) as I find them boring.  Giant stompy robot - that is cool.  Giant Bugs - they currently only have one funded (in the Attack from Space! expansion) but have another one as a future stretch goal (based on the silhouette in the Martian Attack Force expansion).  Flying saucers are also cool.  And they even have some other awesome stuff - such as models for flaming cows from the original #22 Burning Cattle card (now an event that happens in the game).

The $475 stretch goal is for team and solo play rules - so that you can do games with (instead of against) your friends, or even when you are by yourself (and now that I'm an empty nester, that is more often than not).

Even if I wasn't a pathfinder, I would want this game, because it takes me back to when I was a 13 year old boy, and the summer was filled with Star Wars and martian Death Rays.

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