Mantic Games is a British-based miniature gaming company which is making major waves in the sector.
Recently Dreadball, a futuristic port board game raising close to three-quarters of a million dollars on Kickstarter.com, a site focused on allowing game companies, among others, raised seed funding to launch new efforts.
Dreadball is a success weeks before even launching to stores, but it is not the first entry into gaming for Mantic.
Warpath and Kings of War are both large scale miniature wargaming systems which off battles in space, or in a more traditional high fantasy setting.
Project Pandora is really a spin-off of the space war game.
It is a stand-alone offering, so you don't need to worry about being drawn into a miniature war game setting where you are constantly adding new forces to your army.
While the game is a one-shot -- at least for now, it is a system which could be expanded with new scenarios -- the game offers significant re-playability.
The board is modular, so you can vary the 'gaming' simply by changing what the play area looks like.
The rule book also offers different scenarios to explore. With different end objectives the game plays quite differently.
The ability to keep the gaming experience fresh within the confines of a single box is a huge part of the appeal of Project Pandora. As an aside the box for this game is rather thin and flimsy, so if you are into stacking your games you best keep this one at the top of the pile, or it will crush.
The game pits 'Corporation Marines' against alien Veer-myn (rat-men). The miniatures are a touch smaller in terms of scale than some similar games, but the detail is still good.
The 'minis' are plastic, and come in pieces, so you'll need to get out the glue and go to work before playing. You can leave the minis unpainted, but they will look better with some paint.
In general terms the Veer-myn have an edge in most scenarios, and while that might bother some, it is one of the things I like here.
Rarely are skirmish battles in any war carried out between exactly even forces. Someone has superiority in arms, or numbers, or both.
But good tactics can overcome superior forces.
Project Pandora nicely mimics that reality.
It's not always easy to win this game for one force, depending on the scenario being attempted, but therein lies a challenge gamers should relish.
The game will remind of games such as Space Hulk and Doom the Boardgame in general terms, but Project Pandora has enough merit on its own to be worth gamers liking miniature action to take a much closer look.
Check it out at www.manticgames.com
If anyone is interested in this game, or other board games feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov 7, 2012