The (Quite Correct) Allure of the Starter Set

Warhammer Fantasy Boxed Set "Island of Blood"

Not every deal is a good deal.  There are times when we, as consumers, pay more for convenience than for quality (just think of fast food, for example); or when we’ve purchased a larger quantity than we actually needed because it seemed to cost less per unit that way (all those gallon jars of mustard lined up on the shelf at Costco come to mind here).  Still, some promotionally-priced items are good deals, and no company is better at baiting the hook with these than Games Workshop.

GW’s new introductory boxed set for Warhammer Fantasy, entitled “Island of Blood“, is due out September 4.  We’ve had one of the complete sets in our hands here in the store for the past few days, and I have to say that I am impressed.  This set is a good deal:  the combined value of all the units, accessories, and rulebooks contained within the set is way, way higher than the set’s retail price of CAD$118.75.

The new armies featured are those perennial favorites, the High Elves and the Skaven.  I am no tactical genius, but it seems pretty clear to me that these two armies were chosen precisely because they represent two opposing playing styles:  the High Elves are an army known for precision, skill, speed, and magic; while the Skaven are a horde army, consisting of large numbers of relatively low point-value unskilled troops augmented by a few war machines.

The box contains 27 High Elf miniatures — none of which will be available in any other set — and 47 Skaven miniatures.  These models all snap together, as well, so that glue isn’t really necessary in order to get started.  Also contained in the set are dice, blast templates, rulers, the 32-page guide to the scenario “Island of Blood”, and a 200-page version of the Fantasy Rulebook.  Each army totals up to about 750 points, which is either a respectable core army or a substantial add-on to an existing force.

“Island of Blood” is really worth a look if you’re interested in starting or enlarging one of these two armies — it’s that good a deal.  Oh, and just a reminder — if you’ve had your eye on the outgoing starter set, “Battle for Skull Pass“, you might want to think about picking it up soon.  When it’s gone, it’s gone for good (and it was a pretty good deal in its own right).


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