Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Monday, October 11, 2010

Island of Blood Review

Yup, that's nearly 3 Island of Blood boxes worth of High Elves (missing 2 Princes on Griffons and a Mage) all nicely assembled and destined to be grey for a long time. Looks pretty spiffy if I don't say so myself! So let's get down to what I think of the box as a whole and I'll chuck up a trial list using just the models available for a list which can play against Vinsanity's Skaven.

Models: fantastic

Without a doubt, these are some of the most detailed and fine looking models Games Workshop has produced. Whilst they are obviously limited in posability thanks to their snap together simplicity, the individual detail is jaw-dropping. These guys will always look great on the battlefield.

Sprues: Average

Which brings us to the sprues themselves. The snap together featuers are nice and simple (especially for new people) but the sprues were very spread out and having heads for one model on a different sprue, can be very annoying. I think Vince has some of my bits still. Clipping some of the models off was also always going to cause damage. The mage and spearmen bits were often attached at the weakest point when they didn't need to be. Consequently, there is some damage on my models which I'd prefer not to have (obviously). They still fit into a pretty small box considering what you are getting but the spearmen bits and mage really annoy me (different sprues is really only problematic when you swap).

Books: Good

You get a mini-rulebook which is obviously far cheaper and a lot smaller than the big one and is the major reasn a lot of people get the starter sets IMO. Whilst the pages seem a bit flimsy (white dwarf style), this is still a much better deal than the massively expensive rulebook for sale. The Island of Blood booklet is okay but not very informative if you're new to the game and certainly doesn't help with actually making a list out of the models you are given with the set. The only other starter set I've ever had was the 3rd edition 40k one and I recall being able to make lists from the rulebook and pretty sure the 4th edition one had a whole series of missions, etc. Not sure if this is new or what but think it would of been better for new players.

Extras: Average

No terrain is annoying (I love me some free terrain) but templates, dice, whippy sticks and bases are all standard inclusions. I'd like to see some terrain pieces (again for the newbie) in future sets but at least providing dice and templates is good.

Overall: Great

Whilst the models and mini-rulebook are fantastic, the lack terrain, rules for the models and sprues drop this set down from fantastic. When buying from overseas and with a friend they become a great deal (basically I got 3 HE sets for the price of one here) if you want/need the models provided for the armies but don't seem like a great stepping stone for a newbie player thanks to the lack of rules/missions pertaining specifically to the contents of the box.

So here's a trial list at 1500 for HE using only the IoB contents and we will work our way upwards. Hopefully Vinsanity will post one for Skaven and we can slap each other around. So I've got 15 Reavers, 30 LSG, 30 Swordmasters, 3 mages and 3 princes on griffons to choose from. Not a lot of variety by any means! We'll start with 2 units of LSG x15. This gives us a place to hide two mages and some decent shooting with the ability to quick reform and accept charges (full command obviously). We'll then take 3 groups of 10 swordmasters (full command) because MSU is win. These guys will tear apart pretty much anything they get into CC with and with 3 squads, one should eventually reach the opponent's lines intact. We don't have any scouts so we'll need the Reavers to block/etc but even with spears they don't add much in the terms of combat ability (crap save FTW) so unless we count them as Silver Helms (and then no fast cav stuff), these guys are going to be move blockers, war machine hunters and general harrassers. We'll give them bows for fun and take 2 groups of 5. This takes us to 1175 points which means we've got 325 for mages. I want a Life mage (lol) which is an expensive 260 points but I'd also like a High Magic mage which is 135 putting us over by 70 points. We'll drop one of the Swordmaster units for now which gives us some room to play with upgrades too. Let's see what we have with me adding in some upgrades:

Lv4 Archmage w/Life, Channeling Staff
Lv2 Mage w/High, Silver Wand, Ironcurse Icon
15x LSG w/FC, shields
15x LSG w/FC, shields, Banner of Eternal Flame
10x SM w/FC
11x SM w/FC, Banner of Sorcery
5x Reavers w/Bows
5x Reavers w/Bows

Which totals 1500 points. Joy. Not the most solid of lists I believe as I haven't really put much thought into the upgrades but two clear and obvious wings with some excellent combat power and good magic. Here are some more IoB pictures for you to enjoy. The greyness!!!

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