Mantic Games has confirmed that a new edition of Warpath, a sci-fi wargame of massed battles between tiny, ‘epic’ scale infantry and vehicles, will come to Kickstarter in “early 2024”. The game was already in development in July when Games Workshop announced the extremely similar Legions Imperialis, causing Mantic to put the project on pause to seek community feedback.
According to Mantic’s announcement in August, the firm had started development on this edition of Warpath around February 2022. While earlier editions of Warpath used the same 28mm miniature scale as Mantic’s games Firefight and Deadzone, the firm decided to shrink its models to enable bigger battles with more troops and tanks on each side.
Mantic heard rumours of Legions Imperialis ahead of its reveal in July 2023. When Games Workshop announced the game Mantic sought community feedback to determine if Warpath would be financially viable. “If you want us to bring this to market, we’d love to, but we’re going to need some support and some validation that we’re not totally insane”, Mantic owner Ronnie Renton says in a video statement about the decision.
The result of that feedback is now in, and it’s the reason the project will come to Kickstarter: “we’ve heard loud and clear that you wanted a big launch, alien races, terrain, a core of great new hard plastics, STL support…”, designer Matt Gilbert says in a blogpost from Wednesday. He adds: “crowdfunding will allow us to launch this game system in the big way that we now know that everybody wants”.
Gilbert is working alongside former Games Workshop designer Alessio Cavatore to develop the rules, which have been open to community feedback. “The first four armies (Enforcers, Plague, Asterians and Forge Fathers) all have their draft stats”, Gilbert says, adding: “we are already moving beyond the core mechanics and into things like army construction, points values, and scenario development”.
Warpath is set in Mantic’s own sci-fi universe. There is a certain design overlap with some Warhammer 40k factions: the Marauders are very similar to40k’s Orks, and the GCPS are not far from Astra Militarum. Mantic’s Forge Fathers – sci-fi dwarves – were released years before Games Workshop’s Leagues of Votann, and the Veermyn are as close to Warhammer 40k Skaven as you can currently get.
We’re eagerly awaiting the Legions Imperialis release date, but the confirmation that Warpath is going ahead has us stoked as well. Mantic’s Kings of War has a place on our guide to the best miniature wargames, and Cavatore has had a hand in many high quality games. Even if Warpath turns out to be anomalously bad, we’ll gladly add Mantic’s new small-scale scenery to our collection, and our Legions Imperialis terrain guide.