Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review

Take command of Calthia Xandire’s Stormcast Eternals or Prince Duvalle’s Soulblight Graveloards in the new Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set. Journey deep into the mountains of Shyish in search of the Crypt Noctis and fight for domination in this frozen, death-cursed wasteland. Find out more – and whether or not this new starter set is the perfect introduction into Age of Sigmar’s skirmish combat game – in our Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review

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Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review – Summary

Crypt of Blood has a lot going for it: two highly-desirable and otherwise near-unobtainable Underworlds Warbands (now upcycled for use in Warcry), some smashing new bits of scenery, and a comprehensive guide to the Warcry system. This is, undoubtedly, the best way to get into Warcry currently available. It’s a shame, then, in a set this good that Games Workshop cheaped out so hard on its paper gaming mat.

Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review – Introduction

Warcry, Games Workshop’s high fantasy skirmish game set within the Age of Sigmar universe, takes centre-stage this week with a brand-new starter set – arguably, the first of its kind within the range.

Whilst Warcry has enjoyed several complete sets over the last few years – such as Red Harvest and Blood Hunt – it has not in recent years had a proper dedicated starter set. Whilst complete boxed games like the aforementioned pair are great for getting stuck right into Warcry, as they come with tons of miniatures, scenery, tokens, dice, the rules and so on, they don’t show you how to play Warcry.

Enter Crypt of Blood, a much smaller (and cheaper) box containing two slimmed-down Warcry warbands (that were originally meant for Warhammer Underworlds, but more on that in a minute) and a couple of bits of scenery to introduce you to the whole system. It’s designed to be an unintimidating, lightweight introduction to the system that neither breaks the bank, nor terrifies the life out of the inexperienced hobbyist.

Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review – Contents

So, what joys await within the new box?

Featuring Prince Duvalle and Calthia Xandire, the two leaders of the opposing sides who adorn the front of the Crypt of Blood box look splendid. Both seem to have made the transition from Underworlds to Warcry with ease – and help set the tone for this set rather nicely. The image will have painters old and new reaching for their brushes, and gamers itching to get their hands on dice.

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Box

Inside, you’ll find everything you need to jump-start your Warcry experience. You have a double-sided gaming mat, some (fairly plain) dice, a Crypt of Blood starter booklet, all the carsd you need to take command of your two new warbands, as well as a range ruler and all the tokens you need to start waging tabletop warfare within the Age of Sigmar Universe. You’ll also have some sprues of miniatures and scenery, but we’ll get onto these in a moment.

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set All

The dice aren’t particularly exciting, but they’ll get the job done (and there’s also absolutely loads of them so you needn’t worry about losing one or two under the sofa). The cards and tokens are as Warcry collectors will expect: good-quality, clear to read and easy to understand at a glance.

For new Warcry players, however, the most important thing in this pile is the Crypt of Blood starter book. Weighing in at 73 pages, it is perhaps a little larger than the utmost beginner might be expecting. However, don’t be put off by this – there’s a great deal more going on in this book than just rules.

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Book 1
Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Book 2

The first chunk of the book is given over to the Warcry setting, as well as getting you familiar with the basic concepts surrounding Warhammer, such as building and painting your minis. Players are then gradually introduced to the concepts and rules of play by the way of 7 missions. These missions take you through each aspect of the game, showing you how to set up for a battle each time before gradually building in more rules until you arrive at the final mission and are let fully off the leash to test what you’ve learned.

Concepts are explained with clear diagrams, with examples, and with well-written, clearly-worded English. Should you still find yourself a little unsure of what to do during the game, however, there is a more thorough core rules-style breakdown for everything included in the final third of the book. These will be really useful in your first few games once you’re fresh out of the tutorial missions when you just need to remind yourself of something quickly.

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Book 4
Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Book 3

So, the book is good, the tokens are good, the cards are good, and the dice will do exactly what you need them to do.

The only thing I have a qualm with is the gaming mat. First, the good bits.

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Mat Full 1
Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Mat Full 2

As you can see in the images above, the print quality is very good. The graphics are detailed and varied on each side, so there’s plenty to like there and keep your games just that little bit more visually interesting.

However, the mat is paper.

Sure, it’s glossy paper, which makes it a little more durable, but ultimately this gaming mat simply won’t survive much wear and tear. You’ll notice damage beginning to emerge along the fold lines very quickly, and exactly because the mat has to be folded to be stored away means that there are some pretty beastly creases in it. These creases mean the mat can never be truly flat, which may make placing your miniatures a little bit more difficult and might prove to be a bit of an obstacle to play.

It’s a real shame, actually. Everything else in the box – the cards, the tokens, and the book – are all really high quality. It’s quite surprising, then, that the mat in particular does not match up with everything else – especially when we see just how nice the miniatures in this set are, which we’ll get on to in a moment.

Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review – Miniatures

Unlike all previous Warcry releases before it (at least all those that we’re aware of), Crypt of Blood includes two Warhammer: Underworlds warbands.

Underworlds, Games Workshop’s Age of Sigmar-themed deck-building, small-scale skirmish game, pits small groups of warriors against one-another in the crucible of card-based combat. Think Hearthstone or Magic: the Gathering but with miniatures squabbling over objectives and scoring points by beating each other up. Warcry, on the other hand – and it’s important to remember that Crypt of Blood is a Warcry product – takes larger forces and has them do battle with one-another, factoring in larger features such as larger pieces of scenery and without the deck-building element.

However, for the sake of the starter set, Games Workshop have decided to recycle two older Underworlds warbands. This is a decent idea for a starter set: first off, if you’re completely new to Warhammer as a whole, or at the very least have never played a game of Warcry before, suddenly finding yourself in command of a 10-strong warband might be a little overwhelming. Secondly, if you’ve never painted anything before, starting out with a select few miniatures you can cut your teeth on is far less intimidating that suddenly finding a whole unit thrust upon you.

What’s more, these are some nice miniatures. Luckily for you, potential buyer, the two warbands that have been chosen are both rather special. Both are quite difficult to get hold of: Xandire’s Truthseekers can only be found in the Rivals of Harrowdeep (though this is currently listed as out of stock) or in Issue 10 of Stormbringer Magazine. The Crimson Court, however, can’t be found anywhere.

Anyway, here they are.

Xandire’s Truthseekers

We’ll start with Xandire’s Truthseekers. Rendered in blue plastic, these detailed miniatures are push-fit, meaning they require no glue to assemble (but we’d always recommend using glue anyway). They’re a good couple of figures to start out with, but do be aware of the bow (wielded by the figure in the bottom-right of the image below) as the strings on this are fragile and liable to breaking.

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Xandire's Truthseekers All

One criticism often levelled at Stormcast Eternals miniatures is that they’re boring. Afflicted with the nickname “Sigmarines” because of their parallels in design to Games Workshop’s iconic Space Marines, as the poster-people of Age of Sigmar, Stormcast Eternals have a lot of units. The actual armoured soldiers within those units, however, often don’t share that many stylistic differences compared to other forces (take Tyranids, Soulblight Gravelords, or Ossiarch Bonereapers for example).

Xandire’s Truthseekers prove, however, that you can have a bunch of models in uniform-style armour, and they can all still look really different and super cool. Characterisation is key, and you get such a strong sense of the character each miniature is supposed to represent via their poses: Xandire is leaning forward, lantern in hand, clearly leading and searching. Dhoraz Giant-fell is stout and resolute with his huge hammer, planted firmly on the ground: intractable and imposing. Luxa Stormrider is quick and keen, posed low, mid-stride – she’s almost off the ground. Taros, the bird, even though anchored to their base by a hefty stump of tree, oozes poise and agility.

There’s no doubt that these are some lovely models, and very much prove just how diverse and characterful the Stormcast Eternals range can be.

The Crimson Court

But, we have to admit, in the battle for the coolest miniatures in the box, the Crimson Court take the victory.

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Crimson Court All

It’s easy to see why, when first released, the Crimson Court sold out very quickly – and how every FLGS since has had their stock resolutely plundered. These miniatures are absolutely spectacular in every sense of the word, and ooze the same amount of character and detail as the Stormcast Eternals before them. Each model is itself a display piece, and the arrogant haughtiness of the vampires oozes out of every model.

That each model manages to seem so disdainful and superior, and yet each be its own character is a fantastic example of just how excellent these models are. Prince Duvalle is more interested in his own hand than the act of iconoclasm he commits, foot arrogantly stamping on the head of a fallen statue. Gorath the Enforcer looks down his snub nose with equal command and disgust at his foes, leaning on his enormous hammer. Ennias Curse-born leers towards an unseen victim, wings spread, moments from a strike, the bestial savagery all vampires are capable off breaking through his haughty exterior, whilst Vellas von Faine, weapons drawn, is so assured of her imminent victory she has one blade at her shoulder, pose relaxed as she glares at whatever foe is approaching her.

Here are mine, all painted up:

Warcry Crypt of Blood Starter Set Crimson Court Painted

That these models are also push-fit makes them just as beginner-friendly to assemble as the Stormcast Eternals before them. For an experienced builder, these models will slide together without so much as a thought. Complete novices will also find themselves with four completed – and truly spectacular – vampires in no time at all.

Terrain and Scenery

The good news doesn’t end there either, model fans. See, Crypt of Blood also contains some brand-new stuff.

One feature of Warcry is its use of terrain. Every Warcry battlebox that has been released over recent years has contained an impressive amount of scenery – from sprawling ruins to magic-warped trees, and from the bones of fallen beasts to great sections of mining equipment and scaffolding, building a suitable battlezone for your games of Warcry is very important (after all, the games’d be over pretty fast if you faced off over a flat surface).

In order to introduce you to terrain rules, Crypt of Blood also comes with a completely new sprue of Soulblight Gravelords-themed scenery.

Buyers will find themselves the proud owners of a rather impressive Soulblight Sarcophagus (complete with pool of blood), a Soulblight Statue (that I originally thought was supposed to be of Neferata, Mortarch of Blood, but the statue’s hat is nowhere near as impressive as that on the actual model), and a few lengths of ruined fences and walls.

Scenery tends to be a bit divisive amongst Warhammer fans. Some people love it, and relish the opportunity to make their battlefields look all the better. Others (like the author of this article, I’m afraid) tend to struggle to find the motivation to paint it all. We must admit, however, that this sprue of scenery bits isn’t too bad: there’s not too much of it, and none of it is so large that it could be a pain to paint (and even more difficult to store).

There are also some rather nice details scattered across these bits of terrain, such as the candles in the wall sconces and on the statue, the scattering of skulls, and the old, wizened bits of foliage coiling across the ruins.

What this sprue really has going for it, however, is its ease to build. The statue is made of three pieces, the sarcophagus four, and all the walls clip straight off the sprue with no need for any assembly (do so with care, however: I managed to bend a few of the spikes on the top of one of my sections of ruined walls whilst cutting them off the sprue). Easy peasy.

Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review- Price and Availability

So, Warcry: Crypt of Blood costs £65.00GBP/$95.00USD/€80.00EUR. Is this good value for money?

Usually, a proper Warcry warband would set you back in the region on £37.50GBP/$60USD/€50EUR. Obviously, as we’ve mentioned, Crypt of Blood actually comes with two Underworlds warbands – which are smaller, and therefore a little cheaper. Underworlds Warbands tend to measure up at around £26GBP/$42USD/€34EUR. You get two of these in the set, so that’s a value of £52GBP/$84USD/€68EUR already.

The scenery in this set is a little harder to value. If we take the Ravaged Lands: Gnarlwood Watchcamp, which was £67.50/$112USD/€87.50, and divide this RRP by the number of sprues in the box – which happens to be 4 – we can ascribe a rough value of £16.88GBP/$28USD/€21.88 per sprue. Of course, this doesn’t factor in the cost of the board included in the set, but these are never sold separately so it’s very hard to figure out a value of this.

Adding this to our miniatures totals, Crypt of Blood has a plastic value of £68.88GBP/$112USD/€89.88EUR. Factor into this the cost of a book (you’re probably looking at another £20.00GBP/$40.00USD/€30.00EUR at least, but this book will likely never be released outside this set so we won’t know for sure), and you can be sure that you’re getting a pretty fair deal.

As it’s a starter set, we expect that Crypt of Blood might be kicking around for a while. We don’t expect it to be a limited run sort of thing like a new edition release or a battlebox, so Games Workshop’s webstore, as well as your friendly local gaming store, should have these for a while yet.

Warcry: Crypt of Blood Starter Set Review – Conclusion

The GoodThe Bad
Fantastic miniatures you’ll struggle to find anywhere else.
A fun, easy-to-build sprue of brand-new terrain pieces.
All the cards and tokens you’ll need to dive right into your first few games of Warcry.
Complete (but not too overawing) rulebook and beginner’s guide.
Cheap gaming mat stands out like a sore thumb in what is otherwise a very nice, very high-value box.

Games Workshop have been on a bit of a high with starter sets recently. Whilst we haven’t got our hands on any to review, the new Warhammer 40,000 Tenth Edition Starter Sets have been very well-received by the community. We also gave Warhammer Underworlds’ new 2023 Starter Set a five-star review for its ease-of-access and magnificent spread of models.

Crypt of Blood definitely keeps the torch burning. With an excellent selection of miniatures, an easy-to-follow beginner’s guide, and all the other gubbins you need to get started with Warcry, there’s not much to dislike in this box. The only real mark against the new Warcry starter set is the dreadful paper gaming mat, but everything else in the set is pretty superb – especially those magnificent Crimson Court models.

So, if you’re looking to get into Warcry – or, heck, just want to pick up some really nice miniatures at a decent price – Crypt of Blood is most certainly worthy of your time.

Please Note: This site uses affiliate links. Our Affiliate Partners are shown below
(Affiliate links will result in compensation to the site on qualifying purchases)

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support FauxHammer.com – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

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  • VoltorRWH

    Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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