Reviews | Written by Ed Fortune 09/05/2022

Firefight Second Edition

Mantic Games are one of the UK’s top producers of science fiction and fantasy miniatures. In addition to many comic-book tie-in various cool comic book tie-in games (such as Hellboy and The Walking Dead), they produce games set in their own worlds. Firefight is their small scale science fiction skirmish game and it’s newly released second edition is an interesting mix of old-school ideas and modern fun.

The back-story for Firefight is that a sprawling human expansion, ran by powerful corporate entities, have taken to the stars. They face alien races that seek to halt that expansion. The races are heavily inspired (mostly) by fantasy races; dwarves, orcs and elves exist in this world, as do rat-like aliens called Veer-Myn and plague infected space-zombies. The tone is far lighter than Warhammer 40,000, being closer to Starcraft or Mass Effect in terms of style and feel.

A copy of Firefight Second Edition arrived at the Starburst offices for review courtesy of Mantic themselves, and it’s very full box. We get two books; one with the rules and the other with how to build an army for the game. We get counters, special dice  and a just over 70 models, ranging from basic troops to elite units and jet bikes. This a much better deal than it’s closest competitors, Star Wars Legion and Warhammer 40,000.

The models are finely detailed; Mantic’s quality seems to be constantly improving and these are great models. The two factions that come with the set are Enforcers and Marauders. The former are power armoured humans with a Gears of War / Halo vibe to the design.  The Marauders are space orcs, with a more Elysium / Cyberpunk vibe. Their kit looks reliable and well used, like they’ve been in constant use. They’re easy to put together (not too fiddly) and fun to paint. Mantic aren’t proscribing factions here; it’s up to you how you want to paint them and both models will work fine in other games.

The game itself is a small forces skirmish game. It’s light in it’s approach and every model on the table counts. This is the sort of game where the action can hinge on the right piece being in the right place and you rolling just right. It’s heroic in approach. The game uses I Go You Go, so it’s always your turn next. Combat resolution is simple; roll to hit then roll damage, remove models from the table if they’ve been blown up. Then it’s their turn.  This means the game moves fast and actually does play in a couple of hours.

The forces in the box are well balanced (a little too similar in places) and the game will easily scale up to about 100 models if you fancy an evening of play. The rules are simple enough that you can have a beer or four while playing, and deep enough that each game will be new.  The rules do assume you know what a minatures skirmish game is, but learning to play is pretty easy (and they are some good videos online if you get lost.)

This is absolutely worth your time for the models alone, and if you’ve been looking to get back into miniature wargaming, this is a fun place to start.