Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Warhammer Holiday Bundles (2022 edition)

 Warhammer Holiday Bundles (2022 edition)


Hey, we’re going to be breaking down the holiday bundles this year from Games Workshop. These are curious this year (at least for the 40k crowd) because they all feature a special character.

Now a reminder that none of these toys pass the Christmas morning test. Once you’ve gotten the kit you still need to get them out of the box, cut them free and put them together. There are additional things needed to fully integrate into the hobby.


This means if you’re doing this for a Christmas present for a new gamer or trying to placate the kid you’re not sure what to buy something for (and their parents said something about Warhammers), Do Your Research! You’ll be happier, they’ll be happier, and maybe games will get played (around new years).  


Also remember your hobby checklist


  1.  Safe Workspace

  2. Models

  3. Clippers and Cutters

  4. Glue

  5. Primer

  6. Paint (and Brushes)


All right, let’s dive in and see what we can see


Bundle #1


Adepta Sororitas Sanctorum Guard 



Images Courtesy of Warhammer Community

Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. Morvenn Vahl ($60)

  2. 6 Paragon Warsuits ($140)

  3. 5 Celestian Sacresants ($60)

  4. 10 Battle Sisters ($60)



Total Price: 320$ Retail


Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication). Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  


What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Morvenn Vahl (HQ Slot)  280 points/14  Power

  • Battle Sisters (Troops Slot) (multiple builds), 131 points/9 Power.  10 models. Alternatively, you can build them as Dominions or Celestines. 

  • Paragon Warsuits (Elites Slot) 3 Models, 240 points/11 Power.

  • Paragon Warsuits (Elites Slots) 3 Models, 240 Points/11 Power.

  • Celestine Sacresants (Elites Slot)  5 models,  70 points /4 Power

This assumes the most expensive Wargear options, your points may vary.  


Totals=

22 models

Points:  900 ish, depending on Wargear selections

PL: 49


How does this meld with the combat patrol?


This holiday bundle will double up your troop choices available with the 2nd battle sisters squad and provide a warlord, Morvenn Vahl. The 2 squads of Paragon Warsuits add a solid block of heavier armor and weapons to your patrol and the Sacresants add some melee capabilities to support the Repentia. 


Bundle #2


Adeptus Custodes Watchers of the Gate



Image Courtesy of Warhammer Community

Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. 15 Custodian Guard ($180)

  2. 3 Vertus Praetors ($60)

  3. 3 Allarus Custodians ($55)

  4. 1 Captain General Trajan Valoris ($42)


Total Price: 337$ Retail


Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication)


Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  


What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Captain General Trajan Valoris (HQ Slot)  200 points/8 Power.  

  • Custodian Guardians (Troops Slot) are 225 points/11 power for 5. This uses the cheaper of their Wargear option (the Spears, though the Shields are only 25 more points for the squad). Note, you can turn a Custodian Guard squad box into a host of special characters and other choices. So, it's entirely possible that you build 2 Custodian Guardian Squads and 5 character choices with the 15 provided in the box.  

  • Allarus Custodians (Elites Slot) are also buildable as several distinct characters.  180 points/9 Power. These have the most expensive Wargear choices selected, you may save a few points by making other choices.

  • Vertus Praetors (Fast Attack Slot) are 255 points/12 Power with their most expensive Wargear selections. Like most of the Custodes Kits, you can build these as characters besides the Unit described, making the power level and points skew wildly.


Totals=
Models: 22

Points:  1310 on the normal side. Custodes can get wildly point intensive if you build them as special characters instead of units and that can throw things wide. This point valuation (and the PL below) represent them being used as squads, not broken into characters.

PL: 62 on the normal side. Again, with multiple build variations, you have a lot of potential variety in how many points your units are going to end up costing, depending on the selections you choose to build.  


How does this fit with the Combat Patrol?


Doubling your number of Custodes Guardians ensures you’re going to have approximately 5 squads of guardians and a group of characters. The second set of Vertus Praetors allows you to do similar things, or you can go for redundancies in your force building.

This brings your Power level of deployable units up to around 107, depending on how you built some of your units. This army has most of its elites and all of its Heavy Support choices available. Depending on how you allocated your character choices from your floating squad of Guardians, you may run low on Elites choices.  

 

Bundle #3


Adeptus Mechanicus Elimination Maniple


Image Courtesy of Warhammer Community

Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. Belisarius Cawl ($60)

  2. 2 Kastelan Robots (with Datasmith) ($80)

  3.  6 Kataphron Destroyers (or Breachers) ($120)

  4. 10 Skitarii Vanguard (or Rangers) ($50)


Total Price 310$ Retail


Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication).


Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  


What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Belisarius Cawl (HQ Slot)  180 points/9 Power. 

  • Kataphron Destroyers or Breachers (Troops) are 165 points/7  power for a squad of three. You get six of these models in the box, and you can customize them as breachers for fewer points.  

  • Skitarii Rangers or Vanguards (Troops Slot) 150 Points/6 Power. Again, these are the most expensive point upgrades you can get, building as Rangers. Your build may be cheaper.  

  • Kastelan Robots (Heavy Support Slot) They are 200 points/10 Power for 2. Your points may vary depending on how you kit them out.   

  • Cybernetica Datasmith (Elites Slot). 40 points /2 Power.


Totals=

Models: 20

Points:  900-ish on the high end. This one is harder to calculate because there are multiple kits that are buildable into different units that will affect your total point cost. Wargear selections may also influence total points.

PL: 41 on the high end. Again, with units with multiple builds, you have a lot of potential variety in how many points your units are going to end up costing. Depending on the selections you choose to build, you may end up spending less or more.  


How does it fit with the combat patrol?

 

It plumps out your troop choices as the Combat Patrol comes with another box of Skitarii Vanguards (Rangers) and another group of Kataphrons. The Tech Priest adds another HQ for letting you experiment with a forge world that isn't Mars. The Onager Dune Crawler adds a big gun to your forces.   


Bundle #4


Imperial Knights Chainbreaker Lance

        


Image Courtesy of Warhammer Community


Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. 1 Imperial Knight Perceptor ($170)

  2. 2 Imperial Knight Warglaives ($85)

  3. 2 Imperial Knight Helverins ($85)


Total Price 340$ Retail


Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication). 


Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  



What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Canis Rex (Lord of War Slot)  440 points/22 Power. This assumes you build the special character in the Formation, though the kit allows you to build any of the typical knight variants, adjusting your points and Power up or down.  

  • Helverins (Lord of War Slot) are 320 points/16 Power for 2.  

  • Warglaives (Lord of War Slot) are 320 points/16 Power for 2.



Totals=

5 models

Points:  1060-ish on the high end. This one is harder to calculate because we can build Canis Rex a bunch of different ways and that will jack with your points cost.

PL: 54 on the high end. Knights are PL heavy and can warp a game environment.  


Verdict:

This box will probably sell out quickly, and is a good start for an Imperial Knights army. Further, for the painter in your life, the large armor panels of the Knights are canvases for expressive art. Note, Imperial Knights don’t have a Combat Patrol, so you won’t be able to grab one to add this to. However, there are several knight kits in the price range of a combat patrol that would add 500 or 600 points to your army.  


Bundle #5


Death Guard Council of the Death Lord



Image Courtesy of Warhammer Community


Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. 1 Mortarion ($160)

  2. 5 Blight Lord Terminators ($60)

  3. 14 Plague Marines ($110)



Total Price 330$ Retail


Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication). Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  


What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Mortarion (HQ Slot)  490 points/25 Power.

  • Blight Lord Terminators (Elites Slot) come in squads of 5 to 10 and are 200 points/10 power for five. Wargear and other selections can change these values.

  • Plague Marines (Troops Slot) are 147 points/12 PL. This value is highly malleable, Plague Marines are highly customizable and your points/Power may vary. Also, remember there are enough to build two 7 man squads.


Totals=

Models: 20 (but Mortarion is a thick boy)

Points:  990-ish on the high end, plus drones. This one is harder to calculate because there are multiple kits that can build into different units that will affect your total point cost. Wargear selections may also change total points.

PL: 59 on the high end. Again, Plague Marines have a ton of options for building their individual squads and that can sway point and Power Level totals. 


How does it work with the Combat Patrol?


The Death Guard Combat Patrol adds Typhus as a secondary HQ (to Mortarion, echoing their relationship in the heresy). It also adds a Biologious Putrefier as an Elites choice (some medical options for healing your expensive units). Where it shines is adding another squad of Plague Marines (Bringing your total to 21) and 20 PoxWalkers to your force. The additional Marines let you take the fight to your opponent and the PoxWalkers make excellent objective campers.  


Bundle #6

Thousand Sons Court of the Crimson King



Image Courtesy of Warhammer Community

Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. Magnus the Red ($160)

  2. 20 Rubric Marines ($120)

  3. 3 Exalted Sorcerers ($60)


Total Price 340$ Retail

Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication). Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  


What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Magnus the Red (HQ Slot)  450 points/23 Power.  

  • Exalted Sorcerers (HQ Slot) come in a box of three with a host of options. They clock in at 405 Points/21 Power. These assume the most expensive Wargear options chosen and your points may vary. 

  • Rubric Marines (Troops Slot) come in squads of up to 10 (with a sorcerer).  12 Power for 10/293 Points for all the options. Note: There are enough Rubrics to build 2 full squads.  


Totals=

Models: 24

Points:  1380-ish on the high end. This one is harder to calculate because there are multiple kits that are buildable into different units that will affect your total point cost. Wargear selections may also change total points.

PL: 68 on the high end. The Exalted Sorcerers are a wild card as you don’t have to use all of them in your force.  


How does this fit in with the Combat Patrol?  


Infernal Master does an adequate job as an alternative HQ choice (though you already have the Exalted Sorcerers for that). The 5 Scarab Occult Terminators, while expensive, can hit hard and provide a unit to sweep the back lines of your opponent’s deployment zones. The 20 Tzaangors are like the PoxWalkers in the Death Guard Combat Patrol. They are cheaper units you can use to hold your objectives while your more expensive Thousand Sons go on offense.  


Bundle #7


Imperial Fists Bastion Strike Force



Image Courtesy of Warhammer Community


Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. Tor Garedon ($42)

  2. 15 Heavy Intercessors ($195)

  3. 3 Aggressors($55)

  4. Imperial Fist Upgrade Sprues ($54) (This is a guess, as I believe there will be 2 full upgrade sprues for the troops in the box)


Total Price 346$ Retail

Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication). 

Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  


What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Tor Garedon (HQ Slot)  135 points/8 Power.  

  • Aggressors (Elites Slot) come in a box of three with a host of options. They clock in at 135 Points/6 Power. These assume the most expensive Wargear options chosen and your points may vary. 

  • Heavy Intercessors (Troops Slot) come in squads of up to 10. 7 Power for 5/140 Points for all the options. Note: There are enough Heavy Intercessors to build 3 short squads or 1 full squad and 1 short squad.  


Totals=

Models: 19

Points:  690-ish on the high end. Wargear selections may change total points.

PL: 35 on the high end. This force is deceptively tough, relative to its power level.  


How does this fit in with the Combat Patrol?  


Realistically? It Doesn’t. The Space Marine Combat Patrol runs an abundance of Phobos Marines (and they mesh in other places a lot better). If you are looking for other things to expand out from this box, a Redemptor Dreadnought and 2 Boxes of Heavy Intercessors are close to the price of a Combat Patrol.


Bundle #8


Raven Guard Ravenstrike Battle Force


Image Courtesy of Warhammer Community

Okay, this boxed set contains the following models (and their price in U.S. Currency)


  1. Kayvaan Shrike ($42)

  2. Librarian in Phobos Armor ($35)

  3. 10 Primaris Reivers ($60)

  4. 2 Invictor Tactical Warsuits ($130)

  5. 3 Eliminators ($55)


Total Price 322$ Retail

Bundle Price:? (as of the time of publication). Historically, these are usually around $210 U.S. and they sell very well at that price. A price hike to $225 would not be out of line with what we’ve seen GW do with other pricing this year.  


What does this breakdown look like for points and PL? Let’s see


  • Kayvaan Shrike (HQ Slot) 130 Points/7 Power.  

  • Librarian in Phobos Armor (HQ Slot) 100 Points/5 Power. 

  • Primaris Reivers (Elites Slot) come in squads of up to 10.  12 Power for 10/220 Points for all the options.

  • Invictor Tactical Warsuits (2 separate Warsuits).  16 Power/ 320 Points for the pair.  

  • Eliminators come in a squad of 3.  5 Power/120 points for the most expensive options.    


Totals=

Models: 17

Points:  890-ish on the high end. This one is harder to calculate because there are multiple kits that are buildable into different units that will affect your total point cost. Wargear selections may change total points.

PL: 45 on the high end.


How does this fit in with the Combat Patrol?  


Unlike the Imperial Fist Bundle Above, this Set dovetails nicely with the marine combat Patrol. The Lieutenant adds to the Marine aura bundle. A double helping of the Eliminators allows you to prioritize targets that have to be removed. The Infiltrators lean into your Phobos armor theme. Suppressors add mobility while the Impulsor gives you a transport to get one of your units around the table.  


Overall Opinion: 

I don’t think there’s a “dud” box this time. The Fist box has the lowest points/PL in the box, but that can be deceptive with how tough Gravis armor marines are. The Knight box will probably go fast because it’s a savings deal. Almost none of these boxes are things I would want 2 of (especially not the 2 chaos boxes). The special character focused theme of them means that most people are going to pick up one and then grab other units that support the character in the box. Other options exist. Remember that none of these boxes come with the rules for the army, and I once again point out to GW that they’re missing a way to upsell their product with the addition of the codices. I would prefer these sets worked like the new army sets like Cadia Stands! Where you also get a Codex with your models so you can get started with that aspect of your hobby-ing.  


Overall, we’ll have to see what the price points look like, but so long as they’re under $250 US, then they are worth the savings. Unlike previous years, these are coherent army groups that work well within the set.  


Friday, February 4, 2022

Tamar Rising (Review)

 Hey folks, today we’re back with a review of the brand new Sourcebook Tamar Rising for Battletech. This is the first of the Sourcebooks for the new IllClan Era, (if you want to check our review of that book, you can find it over here) and it focuses on the Interstellar map around the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone and the Lyran Commonwealth. Things start off with a bang, and they really don’t let up from that opening salvo. Let’s dig in, talk about what’s in this book, and what you’re going to need to turn it into something you can play games with. (Editor’s Note: My Girlfriend was nice enough to get this for me for my birthday, and i am very pleased with this present, 5 star GF experience)



The Story So Far…


The Jade Falcon clan’s Warrior Caste has emptied out of their occupation to a battle for control of Terra, leaving behind small units of paramilitary police, sibko cadets, and solahma warriors to control their territory. They are a wreck of their martial power.


The Lyran Commonwealth has suffered from mismanagement in the previous decades, and the current Archon, Trillian Steiner-Davion, is on the brink of being unable to hold her realm together. Internal descent from her nobles, the predations of the Free Worlds League, and the ever present threat of the Jade Falcons have reduced her ability to act as she would like to quell internal rebellion and fend off external threats.  


The Hell’s Horses, snubbed by their exclusion from the IllClan trial, seek to show their martial capabilities on the battlefield. Many targets wander into their crosshairs before they make a decisive campaign against their former neighbors.


The Here and Now

In this landscape, there is a great deal of danger, but there are also opportunities for those willing to take risks. This entire book covers 3151-3152 in what used to be the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone. New Powers spring up, old ones re-emerge and there’s many people playing a great big game of chess on a giant board. We will not dive into every power that springs up (Because you should go buy the book and read it yourselves) but some highlights include.


  • A resurgent Tamar Pact (complete with Lyran Commonwealth officers who finally did something about the worlds the Commonwealth has abandoned to the Clans)

  • An interstellar crime syndicate (With holdings on multiple worlds and forming up their military to enforce order)

  • A new Clan Jade Falcon (forming around a wayward soldier who finally has his moment to change the Clan forever)

  • A mercantile empire formed by the leader of Clan Jade Falcon’s Merchant caste (The hybridization of Clan and Inner Sphere politics in this group is fascinating)

  • The Arc Royal Liberty Coalition (Founded by the returning Kell Hounds)

  • The Vesper Marches (and that conniving statesman, Vedet Brewer)

  • Pirates!

  • Mercs!

And a host of other folks willing to gamble on themselves for a massive payout.  


There’s a lot of spinning plates in the air right now, and there are a lot of hot spots a play group could find to jump into for any of battletech’s game systems. That’s a fantastic thing, and I am very much a fan of the scale of this book.


Something that Battletech does very well is small stories: One company of Mercs on a mission behind enemy lines, One Trinary of Clan Warriors trialing for control over a world. These stories are contextually small (Realistically these are units so small that they rarely get mentioned by name in the sourcebooks) but the ramifications of their actions can reshape the interstellar map, especially in this IllClan era.


Military forces are returning to pre-republic sizes. However, the ability to deploy massive formations is hampered by the communication failure of the HPG Network, and reduced transport availability. Often, forces on world will decide the battle, and the decisions their commanders make shape those battles. This is the perfect environment for Battletech (Total Warfare, Alpha Strike, A Time of War, or Destiny).


The book gives us enough details to paint up forces, (always a plus for a miniature wargamer), put together lances and companies, and it even has a campaign reference (including Random Assignment Tables) for playing through battles in this region. There is a lot to enjoy about this book, but there are some weaknesses in the follow through on this one.  


The RATs are always hard because they run by faction and weight class (they include vehicles, Fighters, 'Mechs, and Battle Armor). The main point (and this is a minor point, I will admit) of my issue is the RATs have units on them I have never heard of (and had to look up) and I have been playing for close to 35 years. A new player (and this book is actually fantastic for new players) is going to spend time tracking down those units and trying to figure out how they play.  


The other “major” issue I have with this book (and again, this is minor) is that all the actual campaign mechanics are references to either Campaign Operations or another book in the Battletech Family. Again, for new folks just starting out with a starter set or a Clan Invasion box, there are a lot of missing parts to get them started. In the hands of a group who has access to those resources, and someone willing to do all that math, the campaign is playable.  


Those two issues aside, this book is a fantastic start to the IllClan Era. One thing that I liked very much was the fact that there are no clear cut “Villains.” There are some bad people (and most of them run into problems of their own making), but the people that are building nations are people who believe in their individual causes and are doing the best they can to take care of the people and the worlds they control.  


If this indicates the quality of the forthcoming Empire Alone, and further books in this line, I will reiterate what I said with IllClan. Everything Old is New Again, and everything is fun. That’s it for us today, if you like what we do, you can buy us a Ko-Fi hereShare this with your friends, your coworkers, people you want to play Battletech with.


Rating: 8.5/10  This book is a solid purchase for the new IllClan era, and will give you a lot of scenarios and situations to play through with your friends. There are going to be additional books you need to get the most bang for this buck. Plan accordingly.  


You can find Tamar Rising at your FLGS (Hopefully, and if not, you can ask them about it) or if you don’t have one of those close at hand, you can always use the Catalyst Game Labs store here