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Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance Box Set
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White Dwarf Issue #25 Review
Garfy is a British hobbyist with over twenty years of experience. He is a regular contributor to White Dwarf magazine, which includes a 4 Armies of the Month feature, and has contributed articles to the Warhammer Community. He holds 3 UK Golden Demon finalist pins and 2 Armies on Parade Gold awards. His other passion is photography and videography, which he uses to great effect to bring quality content to the blog.Games Workshop released the 6th edition Warhammer 40k rules earlier this year, as well as a newbie’s best friend, Assault on Black Reach. (ABR) boxed set. Games Workshop has long offered a beginner-friendly starter kit that includes everything a beginner needs to jump right into the Warhammer 40k hobby. The value has been so good that veteran players routinely buy the series for the fantastic point-per-dollar value of the included miniatures. Starter sets in the past have been fantastic values and easy starting points for new players, but they’re also good value for long-term players. The biggest question I had going into this review was whether the additional cost of the latest kit is justified compared to the outgoing ABR kit ( full comparison here .) For this review we will mostly focus on the Dark Vengeance (DV) kit alone. , Is it worth the price?
The biggest change made in DV is getting rid of the long standing Ultramarine army for Dark Angels. Rounding out the most important changes is the introduction of Chaos instead of Orcs. The overall mood of the more subtly packaged set is more serious and darker than the outgoing set. Orcs are inherently comical and overwhelming, while Chaos and even Dark Angels are more sinister. For me, ABR was a call back to the early 90s with the bright blues of the Ultramarines combined with traditional ork. Chaos and Dark Angels definitely sets a new tone going forward, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out for the new crowd (and the parents buying it for their kids.)
Games Workshop decided to lose the war diorama that has traditionally graced the front of their boxed sets with chins to promote a traditional replica of Warhammer 40k. The box looks more serious and showy than previous sets, almost as if it was made of something more substantial than the cardboard of the game box. The box’s matte finish gives it a high-quality look and feel.
When the box is turned over, a table top with all the models painted by the Eavy Metal group can be seen at the back. Boilerplate Warhammer 40k Lore features two close-ups of the most anticipated models in the Chaos catalog, the Chaos Lord and the Helbrute.
Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marines Dark Vengeance Conversion Plague Mar
When you pull the top off, we see a mostly unchanged set of dice, models, and rangefinders. Neatly packed, there are four sets of boxes on the right, which can hold all the miniatures. Under the play equipment, there is literature attached to strong cardboard in a vacuum-sealed package. This is a nice touch as it puts the booklets on the bottom of the box and prevents them from bumping around. The booklets were in good condition and had sharp corners.
The biggest value for new players is the accompanying literature. The standard rulebook now costs over $70 USD, so the bundled abridged version is almost worth the entire entry fee for new players. Also important to new players is the vastly improved Quick Start Booklet, which guides new players through their first game and provides basic introductory tasks. Both booklets are sprinkled with a bit of story to give an overview of the Warhammer 40k universe. There’s not much new there for veterans, but a copy of the abridged 6th edition rulebook is a must for most players. Carrying a 5-pound, $70 tome to every fight can be both tiring and expensive.
New in the box is an assembly guide, which makes putting all the parts together very easy, especially for new players. I’m still tinkering with kits that don’t include assembly instructions, so a guide is a good addition. Finally, my kit included two quick guides. One is made of cardboard, while the other is made of shiny and fragile paper. I’m not sure if each set includes both as the back of the box says only one is included. The card version is much better, so hopefully that will be the standard version included in the set.
The included rangefinders, templates and dice are all a new player needs to get into the WH40k game. Not much has changed here, except that the color of the models has been a little more vibrant than in the previous series. Although the products are practically the same, there was little need to change them. The dice are smaller than I usually play, but are completely serviceable.
Warhammer 40,000 Dark Angels: The Lion’s Guard
The meat of the DV series is of course the mini. Let me start by saying that the models are very well done and detailed. GW has been constantly improving their plastic casting process and it certainly shows in this latest series. The roses are absolutely full of miniatures and parts. They have carved as much usable space into these pipes as possible.
On closer inspection, the models are more “dimensional” than the previous series. It’s hard to miss, but the models are thicker and heavier than previous series. They must have been able to extend the z-axis height when designing these models to allow for better poses. Details have also been improved, which is best seen in the Chaos models. The sharp and precise cuts in chain mail, twisted flesh, and rune weapons are superior over previous sets. The Sword of the Chaos Lord is a work of art that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
In terms of points, the armies involved are well matched. It’s strange that the Dark Angels army has two hero units with so few points. It looks great, but the functionality of multiple hero units with few troops doesn’t work too well. Chaos is definitely a more balanced army. There aren’t many extra bits, so new players are pretty much stuck with the default gear list. I was a bit disappointed with the customization options. It would have been nice to have a power fist for the sergeant. The Ravenwing Bike Squad could also use more separation. However, this is really silly because the value of a set is the sum of all the parts that come with it.
As a value proposition, Dark Vengeance adds much needed value to the aging ABR pack, especially after ABR’s recent price increase. ABR launched at around 65 USD but slowly increased over the years to 99 USD. What used to be a great offer started to turn into a very mediocre one. GW managed to add enough power to the DV box series to bring it back to the type of value veterans and new players it was when ABR and Macragge first launched. The improvement in model quality, the increase in point value and the completely revised rulebook and expanded quick guide make the WH40k boxed set a fantastic value again.
K 6th. Edition Box Set
For new players, there is no better time than now to jump into WH40k. DV gives you everything you need with the best detail GW has ever done. For veterans, the pocket rulebook and ~1500 point miniatures are well worth the price of admission. We are pleasantly surprised by the significant improvements and would definitely recommend checking out this great WH40k range.
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