The Battle for Skull Pass, the box-set heralding the 7th edition of Warhammer, was obviously designed as a rather enticing entry point to the world of Games Workshop and fantasy miniature wargaming in general, but also as something veteran gamers would consider buying over/along the proper 7th edition Rulebook. Apparently GW did a pretty stellar work too, as for less than 60 euros (or 40 pounds or even 60$) you get all the stuff pictured (unpainted of course) above, meaning you get:
- 1 getting started booklet
- 1 pocket-sized Warhammer 7th edition Rulebook
- 2 (pretty shitty) standard plastic rulers
- the 3 plastic templates required for Warhammer
- 10 six-sided (d6) dice
- artillery and scatter dice
- 40 Night Goblin Spearmen
- 20 Night Goblin Archers
- 10 Forest Goblin Spider Riders
- 2 Night Goblin characters (Big Boss and Shaman)
- 1 Troll
- 12 Dwarf Warriors
- 10 Dwarf Thunderers
- 8 Dwarf Miners
- 1 Dwarf Cannon with crew
- 2 Dwarf characters (Thane and Dragon Slayer)
- Dwarf and Night Goblin themed scenery
The miniatures themselves are all in plastic and quite frankly they really do add value to Battle for Skull Pass. To give you an idea just how cheap the box set set actually is, I'll let you know this pretty little secret: 2 new Night Goblin boxes and one Spider Riders unit -if bought separately- will cost you more than 80 euros. Granted these expensive minis will definitely be better, more detailed and featuring quite a few more options and extra decorative pieces than the ones you'll get here, but, still, the Night Goblins included in the box are beautiful enough to be included in any Warhammer army, and you'll be roughly getting 500 points of them, enough for quite a few small scale skirmishes, as 500 points is the standard WHFB "small" army.
The Dwarfs (another 500 points worth of troops) unfortunately aren't of the same quality, even though they will make a decent starter's army, especially if painted to an acceptable standard. Oh, and you won't be finding their outstanding pirate-y cannon anywhere else... The included scenery pieces, on the other hand, a Goblin Idol, a Dwarfen wall and a silly treasure-pulling pony, are of pretty high quality.
Interestingly, all of them models, be they Goblins, Dwarfs or ponies don't have to be glued together. No, they push together without any need for glue. Damn! [still, glue should make them quite a bit sturdier]
That's the miniature part of the box set covered then. As for the books, well, both veterans and beginners will be pleased to know that the included pocket-sized Warhammer Rulebook covers every single rule the full book does. Rulewise, there's absolutely nothing left out. Then again, its 128 pages cover almost nothing but rules and are printed in such a small font anyone over 60 should have trouble reading them, even though the layout is ace, the imagery grim and Gothic and the sheer compactness of the book will make it a must among tournament players. As for the rules themselves, they are easy to grasp and quite elegant, being more of an update and clearing-up of the latest edition, than a complete rewrite.
The Battle for Skull Pass booklet, the one subtly subtitled Read this First, on the other hand, is what will mostly be of interest to new players. In its 32 full-coloured pages they will get to know the key Warhammer rules through excellent examples and while playing, basic modelling and painting skills, a few things about the Warhammer universe and finally experience their first battle. Cunningly avoiding a couple of ad filled pages, they should then head on to the Battle for Skull Pass website for further battle scenarios (and other freebies), that'll have them use every miniature included in the box.
A word of advice though, before you (the ones thinking about getting into Warhammer) go and spend your cash on this one, regardless of what an excellent product this is... Warhammer is a very (and I do mean very) expensive hobby. Getting a PS3 should probably be cheaper than a fully painted army. If you are ok with this, then, by all means... be my guests (yes, all of you).
Veterans... uhm.. you lot don't need any advice, do you?
Related @ Gnome's Lair: Warhammer 7th edition FAQs, White Dwarf issue 1 PDF, WHFB begginer's tactics
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