I don’t usually do any straight reviews or comments on Games Workshop projects, but the starter set is such an insane bargain I thought it was worth a quick mention. After all, being cheap is what this whole blog’s about...
which, these models are pretty solid.
There’s not going to be a lot of customization without a lot of serious work. At best, you might get a few hand/weapon swaps. I think it may be possible to do a head
swap on Veteran Sergeant Raphael (we’ll find out for sure later this week). If you have some accepting friends, you could
paint all the Terminators silver, make their various “wings” gold, and call
them Grey Knights, but you’d still need to figure out some close combat
On the Dark Angels side you’re getting two Headquarters units (figure they’re probably averaging $20 each), a tactical squad ($35), a Terminator squad ($50), and a bike squad ($35). So with just this one side of the equation, this box set saves you about sixty bucks. If you went for the deluxe set with the chaplain, that’s another $20 fig for just ten dollars more--$70 dollars off individual prices.
Coming at it from the Chaos angle, there’s a headquarters, we’ll call the Chosen another tactical squad (just for easy reference), the cultists (if they’re priced like Guardsmen, there’s $30) and the Hellbrute. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the Hellbrute would be a dreadnaught- or flier-sized kit with all the options, so there’s about $46. Around one hundred thirty dollars altogether.
So no matter which way you look at it, there’s a fair argument that you’re getting one army at 2/3 price and another one for free. Plus the free rulebook. And dice. And templates. Really, this is close to $350 dollars worth of stuff you’re getting for just under a hundred bucks.
That’s a pretty amazing deal.
Many folks have commented that Dark Vengeance is an oddly unbalanced set. A bunch of cultists vs. Space Marines and Terminators? I’d point out that it’s also unbalanced towards Headquarters units. If you bought the deluxe version, you’ve already got more Dark Angels HQ units than you can use in a regular game (barring some interesting Force Organization amendments in the upcoming Dark Angels codex). Buying two sets isn’t going to help this problem. You’ll just end up with a lot of models to sell on eBay.
Not to mention the fact that these are firmly Dark Angels models (or arguably a close successor chapter). With all the iconography, there isn’t a lot of flexibility unless you want to do a ton of remodeling... probably enough that it won’t be worth the savings in the long run. Dark Vengeance doesn’t just lock you into an army, it locks you into a very, very specific subset of that army. It is to the overall gaming experience what the snap-together models are too customization.
|UPDATE: The head and hand swap|
were pretty easy on this model.
I'll put details in another post.
In my own, they’re going to be added to my one squad of Fallen Angels that I made many years back (all metal models in robes). With these models I’ve essentially got a small army of these black-armored heretics to use as an allied force for Chaos games. And I know my friend Marcus—a long, long-time Dark Angels player--will appreciate getting to fight against an assembled host of the Fallen.
So, if you like Chaos and/ or Dark Angels, this set’s a fantastic bargain. Just be aware there isn’t much else you can use it for.