So here we have the latest Warhammer 40K starter set from Games Workshop. This is the limited edition version that contains an extra chaplain model for the Dark Angels. I've had this for a few weeks now and have even painted up some of the figures, and it's fair to say I'm happy, this is good.
What do you get then? well I'm going to start with the paper an first the mini-rulebook. If you have island of blood you'll know what to expect, it's an A5 size full colour rulebook containing all the rules from the expensive full rulebook but without the background sections, it's what I wanted, no more, no less, but I'm really glad it's included and I don't have to fork out for the big rulebook. The other major booklet is a 50 page A4 'starter booklet' which contains an intro to 40K and 6 scenarios using the models in the book, it's a nice touch that the first 2 scenarios are one-player so you can get gaming striaght away without even the need for an opponent. There is also a black and white booklet on how to construct the models, a couple of reference sheets (oddly one on card and one on paper) and a laminated colour card sheet with the rules for the chaplain on.
You also get the usual whippy sticks, a template sprue, a few dice and of course the miniatures;
The models are very nice and the set contains the start of a chaos space marine army and a dark angels army. The chaos side for me is the star of the set, with all of it being fantastic, the giant helbrute steals the show and is really rather awesome. The chosen are also great with 5 of the 6 being indivual scuplts and the cultists are something a lot of poeple have been waiting for for a long time.
The dark angels aren't as interesting, but are still pretty good, with the standout pieces for me being the librarian and the limited edition chaplain (the only model in the set to come with a moulded base). And whilst they might not be as exciting as the chaos, it really is a good start to an army or as in my case a good boost to an existing one.
It's not perfect though, there are some ways that the set could have been even better. First off the two sides aren't closely balanced enough in points for my liking, with the dark angels enjoying a clear advantage, a simple switching of the librarian for a chaos sorcerer would have helped. Secondly I find the choice of Dark Angels as apposed to vanilla marines very odd as it will limit their use for a lot of players and I think will reduce sales. I plan just to add them to my army anyway and not worry overly about any inconsistant iconography (I'm sure there's an interesting story behind it in my chapters history), but I know a lot of people wouldn't be happy with that. Finally only 6 D6's is just mean, really 6 dice, shameful.
not enough dice, sigh...
Overall it's a great value for money boxed set and a great intro to 40K. The models are fantastic, the mini rulebook is great and the intro book is much better than the previous versions. The limited edition seems to be sold out already, but the normal edition that lacks the chaplain will be nearly as good and a bit cheaper.