Age of Sigmar 3.0 has arrived, and with it comes a whole host of new Starter Sets, just as we saw following the launch of Warhammer 40,000 Ninth Edition and the Indomitus launch. With three brand-new Starter Sets now available to be picked over by the wargamer, the hobbyist and independent online blogger/reviewer alike, let’s see just how, if at all, lost in the shadow of their magnificent forebear the new Starter Sets are,
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Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Summary
Sure, it lacks the bells and whistles of the other two Starter Sets and is barely a pimple on the proverbial of its Domineering parent, but the Age of Sigmar Warrior Starter Set is quite possibly the single most significant and important of the three new Starter Sets.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Milennial Edition
For those of you who abhor the written word. We have now included a very basic video for you to watch which will walk through the content of the box and give my (FauxHammer’s) opinion of the contents.
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Warhammer Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition Dominion Starter Sets Compared
If you’re not sure about the different starter sets for Age of Sigmar as it enters its third age (iteration) check out our article below comparing the 3 editions directly.
Which edition looks like the sweet spot for you?
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Introduction
Dominion was exciting, wasn’t it?
Well, perhaps not quite as exciting as Indomitus’ blessed/cursed release. That really was a rollercoaster: pre-orders sold out everywhere in no time at all and hundreds of thousands of people were furious they didn’t get a copy. Scalpers running riot on eBay, offering the box for eye-wateringly jacked-up prices. And then, like one of the Emperor’s Avenging Angels, Made to Order.
Much unlike last time, there are still (at the time of writing) copies of Dominion available. If you’re a hardcore wargamer, painter or modeler, there’s still time to grab yourself a copy before stocks sell out everywhere. Just remember: once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Perhaps predictably, and more on-topic for this review, Games Workshop have once again picked out some of the best bits out of the Dominion box to be included in three Starter Sets – just as they did with Warhammer 40,000 Ninth Edition and Indomitus.
This time, we’ve lost the run-of-the-mill Warhammer 40,000-themed military ranks and gained some glittery fantasy-themed names for these new boxes. We have the appropriately fantastical (and much harder to follow) Warrior Edition, the Harbinger Edition and the Extremis Edition.
So, let’s start at the beginning and work our way up. First things first: the Warrior Starter Set.
Who is Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set for?
This, of all the three new Starter Sets, is the most beginner-friendly. Unlike the larger Starter Sets, which are geared to also appeal to people with established armies and perhaps a little more time and drive to dedicate to learning the ropes of the new edition of Age of Sigmar, the Warrior Starter Set is pitched at the complete beginner.
This is the friendliest, least intimidating box so far announced for the new edition. If you’ve never held a paintbrush in your life, haven’t even heard of TTRPGs, or the wider world of wargames, the Warrior Starter Set is for you. It doesn’t have an overwhelming volume of figures in it, nor does it overload you with hyper-technical wargamer rules and regulations. There are dice, range rulers, and a few books and sheets of rules for those interested – but nothing so domineering and assertive as to place all the emphasis on the game and not the hobby.
Most importantly, though, it’s not too expensive. There’s nothing worse than trying to get into something new and spending a boatload of cash just to discover you’re not interested. With the Warrior Starter Set’s reasonable price, even if you decide painting, modeling, and/or wargaming aren’t for you, you won’t have broken the bank – and won’t resent yourself for spending a fortune every time you catch a glimpse of the discarded box out of the corner of your eye.
At the same time, should you be more geared toward the Harbinger Edition or Extremis Edition – this set doubles down your rank and file units whilst giving you two command-level units not available in either of those boxes. If you already dove in with one of the more expensive sets, this is a great little project box to buy as a suitable next purchase.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Contents
The Warrior Starter Set comes with everything the fledgling hobbyist or wargamer could need to dip their toes into the murky and grimdark waters of the Age of Sigmar.
With a handful of books, cards and papers on offer to guide you through your first few games as well as a modest offering of figures, there’s nothing about the box that’s intimidating. It’s designed to be easy to pick up and put down, and not be too much of a domineering presence upon whichever shelf or in any cupboard you decide to keep it in.
So, inside the Warrior Set, you’ll find:
- 1 x 80-page softback Warrior Edition Book
- 1 x softback Core Rules Book
- 6x Warscroll Cards
- 2x Allegiance Ability Cards
- A 30″ by 22.4″ double-sided gaming mat
- 2x range rulers
- 10x dice
- 18x Plastic push-fit Citadel miniatures
Any eagle-eyed readers will notice that amongst the rules, cards and so on, there is some considerable crossover from box to box. All of the new Starter Sets contain an 80-page book, a Core Rules book, the Warscroll and Allegiance Ability cards, a pair of range rulers and ten dice. The Warrior and Harbinger Sets come with gaming mats, whilst the Extremis Set comes with a thick card board of the same dimensions.
Moving on, the figures in the box are as follows:
6x Stormcast Eternals
- 1 x Knight-Arcanum
- 5 x Vindictors
- 1 x Killaboss with 1x Stab-grot
- 10 x Gutrippaz
1 1 x
Upturned Cardboard Box Sorry, a “Dawnbringer Bastion Cardboard Terrain Feature”
And that’s it! Whilst there may not seem like masses of stuff in the box when compared to the other AoS 3.0 Starter Sets, there’s just the right amount of figures and papers in here to get the completely uninitiated started on their first journey into the Mortal Realms.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Unboxing
The Warrior Starter Set is, as you might suspect, the smallest of the three new Starter Sets. It comes in the smallest box, which makes it easy to store tucked away on whatever shelf you keep your hobby supplies or inside the cupboard you hide your piles of unpainted shame in.
It’s a good, non-intimidating, bite-sized box. Let’s have a closer look at it.
Emblazoned with the now-iconic Age of Sigmar ver 3.0 artwork of a Vindictor Prime facing down a Kruleboy Killaboss, in spite of its humble size, the box is eye-catching and would look great propped up in your cabinet for display, if you so wished.
Here it is:
Cracking it open, you’ll find that scenery-tray inside, piled high with the promised goodies.
Veterans of GW boxed releases may be expected a printed divider with some artwork to separate their plastic from their paper. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Warrior Starter Set. There are five sprues of plastic, and then your books and cards beneath, all sealed in bags. Here are the sprues:
And beneath, you’ll find all these gubbins:
Whether or not you’re actually interested in playing the new edition of Age of Sigmar will colour your reaction to the above bits and pieces. I imagine a lot of people will be keeping their books and cards in their plastic packaging for a while yet!
Now the box is open, let’s have a closer look at the written goodies we’ll find within. There’s plenty of them, so if you already know you’re not interested in playing the new version of AoS, you’ll want to skip this section and head right on down to where FauxHammer gets into the figures themselves.
These will all be crucial resources when it comes to your first few battles of Age of Sigmar. Everything is designed to be portable, convenient, and easy to put away – likely so you can box it all up and take it along to a mate’s house (or, of course, your local tabletop gaming haunt).
It’s worth saying here that as far as the books, cards, and other paper-based bits included in all three of the Starter Sets are concerned, there is an enormous amount of similarity across the three sets. If you’re planning on reading all three of our Starter Set reviews, some of these sections might start to look a bit familiar.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Core Book
Considerably smaller and in no way as impressive as the monstrous tome that came with Dominion, the Core Book included in the Warrior Starter Set is a thinned-down, pocket-sized version of its hardbacked forebear – and is identical to the Core Book you’ll find in the Harbinger and Extremis sets.
It’s a good little book. There’s minimal fluff contained within: it gives you the rules and little else. Of course, there are still some pictures of studio-quality models inside to break up the paragraphs of instructive text and inspire you to start slinging paint at your figures, but the book focuses on the core rules – and only the core rules.
A nice inclusion, and perfect for the beginner.
Rules Reference Sheets
The box contains two Reference Sheets. These take the core-most concepts and most vital workings of a game of Age of Sigmar and strip them down further still so you can have them at your elbow during a game.
These are made of decent thick card, so they won’t rip all too easily. There are two in the box – enough for you and your foe. The instructions are well-written and clear, and clearly relate back to concepts that can be found in the Core Rules book.
Start Here Booklet – Warrior Edition
This is where the real meat of the Warrior Starter Set lies. The Warrior Edition book is your all-inclusive introduction to the world of Age of Sigmar using the figures in the box.
The book is broken into a number of sections, some of which are a little reminiscent of the lore that you would have found in the Dominion Core Book: a number of chapters are given over to AoS’ expansive lore and the events that led up to AoS ver 3.0 There’s an overview of collecting and painting miniatures for absolute beginners, and then eighteen pages of tutorial designed to teach you how to play the game, which we’ll have a ore in-depth look at later.
It’s a really nice book, actually. Well put together and with all the artwork and plenty of photos of display-quality miniatures to further entice any newbie or veteran looking to get back into Age of Sigmar.
It’s worth noting that there are very few differences between the Warrior, Harbinger and Extremis versions of this book. A handful of edits have been made in a few sections in order to include information about the figures in each set, and a few small tweaks have been made to the battleplans to facilitate the figures included in each set.
Warscroll and Alliance Ability Cards
Much like the reference sheets, the Warscroll and Alliance Ability Cards are easy references for the figures in the set.
Designed to be used on the tabletop during gameplay, these neat cards are festooned with epic photographs of the figures to which they pertain, and have all the appropriate statistics printed on the reverse.
They’re small, handy, and great to look at. Another excellent inclusion.
I mean, as far as innovative and thoughtful ways to cut down on packaging waste goes, the idea to print part of the Warrior Starter Set packaging as if it were a piece of scenery is quite a clever little idea.
It’s perfect for beginners. Plastic scenery is expensive, cumbersome and often difficult to store and transport, and if you just want to play a good, quick game somewhere, it’s not necessarily the easiest to set up. Being able to carry your army in a printed cardboard tray and turn said tray into a reasonably immersive bit of terrain, though, is great.
The problem is, it’s just not all that impressive. Games Workshop produce some incredible and detailed scenery for use in their games, and and at the end of the day, it is just a cardboard box.
First off, in spite of having a whacking great lightbox, I can’t actually fit the fully folded out gaming mat into it, so I apologise that the image below is of it folded up.
The mat is printed, one side with a dry, desert look, the other with a green, swampy texture. The print is nice and detailed, but the issue I have with the mat is its material. Because it is just glossy paper, there are some wicked fold-lines criss-crossing it when you lay it out, and no amount of smoothing is going to get rid of them.
So, all the sprues you’ll find in any of the new Age of Sigmar Starter Sets come from the Dominion box. As anyone who has read our Dominion review will be able to tell, the sprues below are all given a letter value – A through to J. All of the sprues you’ll see below are assigned the same letter value as their Dominion forebears, which is why you may find some gaps in the sprue lettering.
Let’s get on with the breakdown shall we
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set – Building Guide
Once again the guide is straightforward here. Most of the models are easy to build with very little needed in the way of clean up. which is fantastic for a starter set. as you progress through your hobby journey you’ll find more inclination to remove sprue-gates (the little stumps left on a mini after cutting it from its sprue) and mould lines (the track marks around a mini which is a product of the 2-plate plastic moulding process. Keeping these on a mini before you paint them leaves for poor results at the end, these parts stick out like a sore thumb.
For beginners this set is great. Thanks to some really intelligent design from GW, most of these mould lines and sprue gates are hidden away by the naturally sharp edges of the model itself.
Though there are some exceptions we’ll note below
The guide itself 9and I have this complaint with all 3 beginners guides) proved multiple options for some of the models, allowing you to build 1 of your rank and file units as a leader. However, neither this guide nor (as far as I have seen) suggest which is the best configuration for you to have from the start. The Killaboss has the option of a shield or flail for example. As a beginner, you may select whichever one looks cooler, but when it comes to the game you will soon find that your unit loadout has an impact.
as these are push-fit, you can (carefully) prise them apart and reconfigure them. but be careful as they do not come apart easily and you can easily damage them.
Another step back with these models is that the push-fit nature is not great. Often the plastic pins are just slightly too long or wide to neatly fit their respective recesses on another part of a model. leaving small gaps. but small gaps on miniature look huge in their own scale. With Indomitus they seemed to solve this issue entirely as the pegs were all completely flush, allowing for a sound fit whilst not being so tight that removing parts to paint in sub-assemblies was not too difficult.
Now if you want a flush model, you are back to trim down the length and width of those pins. or just removing them completely and using glue.
If you want to build the “defaults” then just aim for matching the pictures at the end of each section in the build guide.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set – Sprue A – Gutrippaz
The first sprue in the set is the main exception to the above rule. the Gutrippaz feature more smooth curves than any other model so you will find some extra trimming is needed on parts of the skin.
Nevertheless, we have 10 models here
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set – Sprue B – Vindictors
The Vindicators is a straight forward easy sprue with very little cleanup needed thanks to the intelligent placement of the pins and mould lines.
2 of your models (though there’s only 1 appropriate shield) can be built as a unit leader or standard Vindictor. Another can hold a unit’s standard or again, just be a normal spear dude.
Each unit can be built with a fleshy head or a magically metal helment
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set – Sprue C – Knight-Arcanum
Twinned with Spruce D in the box, this is the collections sole magic user, which will come into account when you get to the guide.
Another easy to build model but watch out for things like the fingers when you cut this out. the spikes on the top of the staff are also somewhat precariously placed.
Again this model can be built with a head or (easier to paint) mask
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set – Sprue D – Orruk Killaboss & Stab-grot
Finally the coolest looking model in the box. The Killaboss and his wee mate.
Again a simple model to put together and the Killboss hmself has the op
Because the sprues found in this Starter Set are taken straight from the Dominion box, a lot of what you’ll see below will be quite similar to what we originally wrote in our Dominion review – plus a few inserts of hindsight now both Rob and I have built all our figures and started painting them.
Because of the similarities across these Starter Sets as well, anyone who reads all three reviews will noticed further similarities between them. We’ve done this to ensure that the information given about the figures is the same in each review – we don’t want to miss anything out between articles!
By and large, the figures you’ll find in the Starter Sets are great. Their builds are straightforward and intuitive thanks for the push-fit format, so they’re ideal for brand-new hobbyists.
As stated above, there are six Stormcast Eternals figures in this Starter Set: five Vindictors and one Knight-Arcanum. They’re all great figures and will look awesome on your shelf, desk, tabletop, or wherever it is you decide to stash your (un)painted models.
Let’s have a closer look.
You get five Vindictors in the Warrior set, but each model can be assembled in one of two ways. Here’s the picture from our Dominion review, which shows each Vindictor partnered up with their variant build.
So, you’ll be able to build either the figure on the top row or the one directly below them. This is great, as it means there’s lots of scope to personalise your new fighting force.
Building these guys was easy. The sprue gates are put on sensible areas throughout. Whilst there is come clean up to be made on the odd curved surface, all the gaps covered by sensible armour joins.
The Knight-Arcanum is a great model: straightforward to build and everything fits together relatively snug.
There are, however, a few difficult parts to her build. Primarily, these are focused on the robe skirt and the sleeves, where you’ll find some gaps. Using decent plastic glue (Tamia Extra Thin because it has a brush applicator, not a stupid spout) you can meld these joins together .
On the left sleeve, the parts you have joined will need clean up. but there are other parts in the way. You’ll need a sharp hobby knife, patience, and a good deal of flexing to get in there.
This is an issue with push-fit figures. One thing some people have suggested doing is shaving a millimetre or so off the very end of the joining peg using a sharp hobby knife or some sprue cutters.
There’s nothing on this model you can paint in sub-assemblies. Parts like the inside of the robes do not look fun, but can be made easier by not gluing the figure to the base, as I have not done in the image above.
Much like the new-look Stormcast Eternals, the twelve Orruks you’ll find in this set look great and aren’t too difficult to put together, which is great for beginners.
These are delightful models to build and go together with ease. They only had the odd join-line visible, but these have all been carefully designed to hide in natural armour gaps anyway.
What’s really great about this set is that each unit in the group of ten has distinct sculpts. Whilst there are similarities from figure to figure – as you would expect there to be – no two are the same.
Killaboss with Stab-Grot
The Killaboss and his pint-sized companion are another pair of easy-to-build and awesome-to-look-at models. With so many details across both figures, there are a handful of mould lines that fall in detailed areas. But, once again, the join lines across both figures are carefully designed to be hidden within the texture of the models.
The Killaboss comes with a small variant: either a shield or flail in his left hand. With so many units already having shields, I decided to go with the flail option – though I think I may mount this shield on his back after a few knife carves.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Playtesting
If you cast your mind back to about a year ago, I did my first boxed game review for FauxHammer.com: the excellent Warhammer 40,000 Command Edition. As part of this review, I decided to play through the tutorial battle scenarios laid out in the book that accompanied the box with the help of my girlfriend, Lizzie.
This proved to be a very popular part of the review, and as such BossHammer has given me the go-ahead to do so again. This time, though, because I managed to swipe a copy of Dominion at release, instead of dull grey figures being pushed around the gaming board, I’m pleased to report that (after a mammoth effort this week), I’ve got all the figures included in all three Starter Sets painted up and ready to be used in these reviews.
As my avatar dictates, I took command of the Stormcast Eternals, whilst Lizzie, fuelled by the power of the Sunday morning Waaagh!, led the Kruleboyz.
As a note, before we get into this, I won’t be using the gaming mat that comes in this box for these playtests. Having reviewed all three Starter Sets, I’ll be swapping the mat out for the board that comes with the Extremis set, as it’s much nicer to both play on and photograph.
The Start Playing section begins on page 60 of the Warrior Edition rulebook and contains five scenarios designed to teach budding players the basic ins and outs of Age of Sigmar. We’ll have a look at each of these in turn, starting with…
Tutorial Battleplan 1: Stranded
The first Battleplan is designed to teach you the fundamentals of charging and fighting in the course of a game of Age of Sigmar. It pits two Gutrippaz against a long Vindictor-Prime. With the board set up to the specifications outlined in the book, we were ready to begin.
We rolled off to see who would go first. and I won with a 6 to her 3. In hindsight, we realised the book actually instructs the Kruleboy player to go first, but we missed this. This would cause a small issue further on it the battle report, as you’ll see.
Charging is a straightforward affair: you roll two dice, and the sum-total displayed on the dice is how far your unit can move in inches. There are a couple of caveats: your unit must be within 12″ of your target, and further than 3″ away from all other nearby hostile units.
I rolled a 7 to charge my Vinditcor-Prime, which was enough for me to charge at a Kruleboy, both of which were 6″ away. If your unit cannot finish a charge within 0.5″ of the targeted enemy unit, it cannot charge that phase.
Now, we could begin the fighting. Fighting comes in four parts:
- Rolling to hit
- Rolling to wound
- Rolling to save
- Inflicting damage
So, first of all I had to roll to hit the Kruleboy. The number of dice you roll is determined by the Attacks characteristic assigned to your unit. As my Vindictor-Prime has two attacks, I rolled two dice and scored a 5 and a 6 – both of which are enough to hit the target.
Next, for every dice that rolls high enough to hit, roll it again to see if it causes a wound to the target. A Stormspear has a To Wound value of 3+, and I rolled a pair of 4s, meaning both hits wounded.
Finally, it was over to Lizzie to see if she could save her Kruleboy. For each wound inflicted, the player can attempt to save their model by rolling a D6 against their model’s Save characteristic. Gutrippaz have a save of 5+, meaning only a 5 or 6 would negate the wounds. However, only able to roll a 1 and a 4, though, Lizzie could not save her Kruleboy as he was impaled on the end of the Vindictor-Prime’s Stormspear. One down, one to go.
With no further Stormcast Eternals units to move, it was time for the Kruleboyz to have their turn. Now, here comes the small issue I mentioned earlier. Remember I said how the Kruleboyz were supposed to go first, but instead we rolled off for the honour? Well, using only the rules laid out in this battleplan, Lizzie now had a problem. Because this battleplan only focuses on the Charge and Fight phase, and not the preceding Movement phase (which you can read about in the Core Book or the Reference Sheets), she now had to try and charge 12″ to engage the Vindictor-Prime – a very high, very low-probability roll.
Usually in a game of Age of Sigmar, units would have a Movement phase before a Charging phase. That this isn’t covered in this first Battleplan seems a little odd, but this conundrum was caused by my error, so we overlooked it. We decided to deviate slightly from the rules laid out in Battleplan 1 here and said Lizzie could move the full 5″ her Gutrippaz Warscroll said she could, so she had a better chance of making the charge.
With a roll of 6, she was able to charge the last remaining Vindictor-Prime. She then rolled a 5 and a 3 to hit against her To Hit characteristic of 4+, and a 5 on her To Wound characteristic of 4+. I failed my save with a measly roll of 1 and my Vindictor-Prime lost a wound.
Now, with my Vindictor-Prime on one wound and Lizzie’s Kruleboy still on two, things were looking dicey. It was my turn to fight, and thus the dice were rolled.
I wish I could have videoed what followed. After I rolled to hit and to wound, Lizzie promptly saved her Gutrippa from the two wounds I had lined up. The dice passed back to her. She rolled to hit, landed one attack, and then promptly failed to wound. The dice passed back to me. I rolled again, and landed no attacks.
We must have rolled the dice a good two-dozen times each before I finally rolled a pair of sixes to hit, a 4 and a 3 to wound, and Lizzie landed a paltry pair of 1s in an attempt to save and her second Kruleboy was slain, passing the win to me.
Charging and fighting are easy to grasp – provided you make sure you read the damn book and follow the instructions closely (as I, uh, didn’t).
Tutorial Battleplan 2: High Ground
The second Battleplan in the sequence is designed to to teach players about moving around the battlefield. Given our blunder in the previous Battleplan, I do wonder if this might be more appropriate as the first lesson, but no matter!
This battleplan is larger than the previous, pitting two units of two Vindictors against one unit of 5 Gutrippaz. This time, we made sure to check and the Stormcast Eternals are going first!
The Battleplan is set up with the orruks on the corner of the
upturned cardboard box Dawnbringer Sanctum and the Stormcast Eternals closing on them.
There is a head-scratcher in this battleplan, and that’s the charge phase. Now, whilst we’ve already mastered the rules of charging, what the Battleplan doesn’t explicitly tell you about is charging over terrain into enemies. Plus, given how close to the edges of the terrain the Kruleboyz are set up, it’s not very easy to move your figures up onto the terrain.
We surmised that, ultimately, this was the point. Stormspears and Wikkid Stikkaz have a range of 2″, and the edge of the box is 2″ high. With the Stormcast Eternals charging up to the edge of the terrain, we theorised that they would technically still be in range of the outermost Kruleboyz and this able to attack them.
Of course, as the Battleplan then points out on the following page, any units elevated on high ground are technically in cover and gain a +1 to their saves.
With the first combat phase now upon us, Lizzie was hopeful this would help keep her Gutrippaz alive. But after as singularly successful Hit and Wound phase from me, and a very unsuccessful Save roll from her, she was one Gutrippa down and another wounded, in spite of her saves.
Combat passes over to the orruks. After piling in, all but one of Lizzie’s Gutrippaz were in range to fight. Again, though, the dice were not in her favour, and she only managed to wound a single Stormcast Eternal.
This Battleplan also introduces the Battleshock phase. Now we had both had our turns fighting, to was time to see which of our units were suffering from the psychological strains of battle and were in danger of fleeing. As the Stormcast Eternals had lost no soldiers this round, they did not have to take a Battleshock test. The orruks, however, did.
To take a Battleshock roll, the player rolls a D6 for each unit that has suffered one or more losses, and add 1 to the result for each unit slain. If the resulting number is greater than the unit’s Bravery characteristic (which for Gutrippaz is 5), for each point by which the Battleshock roll exceeds the bravery characteristic, a model from that unit has to flee the field. if, for example, Lizzie rolled a 5 but had lost two Gutrippaz, the total number would be 7. This means two models would flee.
As it would happen, though, Lizzie rolled a one. having lost only a single Gutrippa, her total score was 2, and she passed the test.
The round passed over to Lizzie, and it was her turn to attack. She began her turn with a frankly phenomenal To Hit roll, where every dice landed. Even though her subsequent To Wound roll was not so impressive, she still brought down one of my Vindictors. My Vindictors responded by killing one more of her Gutrippaz. Both of us passed out Battleshock rolls with none of our figures fleeing, and the turn passed back to me.
I managed to scratch one wound into a Gutrippa thanks to the +1 granted to their save by their cover, and in her retaliatory turn, Lizzie did the same to my Vindictors. With no need for a Battleshock test this round, it was back to her.
Over the next few rounds of play, very little happened. we each managed to nick enough wounds into each other to kill another model, and soon it was jut two versus two, and my round.
In order to try and move things along, we decided to take heed of a note at the end of this Battleplan and to have a look at the abilities our units had. Whilst Lizzie’s Gutrippaz have an ability to assist them in their charge phase, which would be of little use now, I realised I should’ve been rolling an extra dice for my Vindictor-Prime, and that the Stormcast Eternal’s Starsoul Arsenal ability meant that any unmodified rolls of 6 counted as Mortal Wounds.
A timely realisation, as I then rolled two 6s and killed one of the remaining Gutrippaz outright.
Lizzie passed her Battleshock phase and the priority passed back to her. She managed to knock the Vindictor-Prime down from two wounds to one in her Fight phase, but it was not enough as a further Mortal Wound followed by three successful Hit and Wound rolls could not be saved, and the final Gutrippa fell.
Tutorial Battleplan 3: Aim and Fire
As you might expect from its name, this Battleplan introduces the fundamentals of ranged attacks in a round of play. More experienced readers among you may also be thinking “Hang on, Vindictors and Gutrippaz don’t have ranged weapons! What’s going on?”
Well, ladies and gents, for the purpose of this battleplan they do. The Warrior Edition handbook blesses all the Vindictors and Guitrippaz with all the Hurled Debris they can carry!
Here’s the stat block for whatever junk happens to come to the hands of the fighters.
|MISSILE WEAPONS||Range||Attacks||To Hit||To Wound||Rend||Damage|
With the Board set up to facilitate 10 Gutrippaz and 5 Vindictors spaced 13″ apart, it was time to see who could knock the most lumps out of their opponent with whatever discarded junk was left on the battlefield.
Ranged attacks are made more or less exactly the same way melee attacks are, except they are done so from within a specified distance. You still roll To Hit, To Wound and to Save as you would with a “normal” attack.
The book instructs the Stormcast Eternals go first. After moving their full 5″ to close the gap between them and the Kruleboyz, only the front three Stormcast Eternals were able to make a ranged weapon attack this turn. One wound was made to one of the Gutrippaz, but that was about it.
After they had finished throwing rocks, branches, dung, or whatever they could get their hands on, the Stormcast Eternals charged and managed to kill one of the Gutrippaz. The Orruks made to respond and managed to wound one of the Stormcast Eternals and passed their Battleshock test as the priority passed back to them.
The Special Rules attached to this Battleplan state that at the start of each shooting phase, units can make ranged attacks. Its not clear if said units can make ranged attacks if they are in melee range of or are otherwise being attacked by another unit, but we decided to go with it. The orruks hurled an avalanche of rubbish at the Stormcast Eternals, and whilst they landed plenty of hits, unfortunately none of the blows translated into wounds.
Their fight phase was more successful, though, as they brought down a Vindictor, though it came at a cost. The Stormcast Eternal Allegiance Ability card states that whenever a Stormcast Eternal is killed within 1″ of an enemy unit to roll a number of dice equal to the Wound characteristic of that model. For every 6, the target suffers a mortal wound. Given that the Kruleboywas already injured – likely from being pelted with rocks – the burst of celestial energy released upon the death of the Vindictor as their soul was transported back to Azyr was enough to kill the unlucky orruk.
In the Stormcast’s half of the Fight phase, they managed to slay a further two Kruleboyz, and in the resulting Battleshock phase, Sigmar’s finest remained resolute and did not flee, but the Kruleboyz, however, did not, with a single model fleeing the field.
A round later, things were not looking great for the Kruleboyz. Their ranged weapon round was abysmal, but their subsequent Fight phase was far better. Managing to roll two sixes on their To Hit roll, their Venom-encrusted Weapons Allegiance Ability brought down another Vindictor.
The remaining Vindictors responded in kind, killing another Gutrippa. Once again, the Stormcat Eternals passed their Battleshock test, but the Gutrippaz failed and another unit fled the field.
The turn passed back to the Stormcast Eternals, who killed the final non-Champion Gutrippa and wounded the leader. In the orruk part of the fight phase, the wounded Champion could do no more than roll a trio of ones to hit before fleeing the field, passing victory again to the Sons of Sigmar.
Tutorial Battleplan 4: Magic
Once again, there are absolutely no prizes for guessing what this Battleplan is all about. Designed to show you how Wizards cast spells during the course of a battle, this Battleplan pits six Gutrippaz against one Knight-Arcanum, who begins the game on top of the Dawnbringer Bastion.
Starting with the Stormcast Eternal player, this time a further phase is introduced to gameplay: the Hero Phase. The rounds now progress as:
- Hero Phase
- Movement Phase
- Charge Phase
- Combat Phase
- Battleshock Phase
As with all the other Battleplans examined so far, the battle ends when one player has removed all their models from the board.
With my Knight-Arcanum starting play, I had to try and cast a spell in the Hero Phase. To do this, I had to pick a spell from the Warrior Edition book – either Arcane Bolt or Mystic Shield – and make a casting roll. To do this, I had to roll two D6 and add the total together. If the value was greater than 5, the spell cast.
I went with Arcane Bolt, and rolled a total of 6, meaning the spell was successfully cast. The Gutrippaz on the right-hand side of the board suffered a Mortal Wound.
I skipped moving, and charging and let the turn pass to the Kruleboyz. Lizzie moved her Orruks forward and attempted to charge, but did not roll high enough to reach the Knight-Arcanum, and so the turn passed back to me.
With a roll of 6 at the start of the Hero Phase, the Knight-Arcanum killed one of the Kruleboyz with their Arcane Missile spell. This time, in an effort to take the initiative, I decided to charge. My hit and Wound rolls were abysmal, though, and the Knight-Arcanum managed to do nothing to the weakened unit of Gutrippaz. In theirb half of the Fight phase, the Lizzie rolled well, but my save rolls were better, and my Knight-Arcanum received no wounds. What’s more, Lizzie’s Kruleboyz subsequently failed their Battleshock roll, and one of them fled the field.
In the orruk turn, Lizzie moved her Kruleboyz onto the terrain and charged, ending her Movement/Charge phase both within range of and in cover from my Knight-Arcanum.
Again, she rolled well in her Fight phase, threatening to take two wounds from the Knight-Arcanum, but again I rolled better and the wounds were saved.
In the responding Fight turn, the Knight-Arcanum killed the remaining Gutrippa on the ground, thus freeing her up to focus on the three atop Dawnbringer Bastion in her next turn.
With the remaining unit of 3 Gutrippaz now within 3″ of the Knight-Arcanum, the value of 1 Mortal Wound caused by Arcane Missile is replaced with D3. The dice gods smiled upon me once again, and on a roll of 6 I delivered 3 wounds to the remaining unit of Gutrippaz, killing one and wounding another. In the following Fight phase, in spite of the +1 to their Save, I managed to inflict a further wound to the already wounded Gutrippa, killing another.
The final Gutrippa was unable to carry any attacks past the To Wound phase and promptly failed his Battleshock test, thus fleeing the field and handing victory to the Stormcast Eternals again.
Tutorial Battleplan 5: Hallowed Ground
This is it, the big one.
This is the Battleplan that takes everything you’ve learned and tested over the previous four battles and rolls it all up into one. Using all the figures and resources available in the Warrior Starter Set, the training wheels are off and it’s time to really play Age of Sigmar.
But, there’s a small problem.
As I was setting up the board for this game, I encountered a phrase in the book.
“Set up objective markers in the locations shown on the map.”
There aren’t any objective markers – or even things you could use as objective markers – provided in the Warrior starter set. Also, given my aversion to painting scenery, and the fact my copy of Cursed City remains untouched, I discovered I don’t actually have anything I could use as an objective marker, either!
Having spent so long over the last week making sure I had nice painted figures for this review, I was reluctant to throw unpainted plastic onto the board this late in the battle report. But then I had a stroke of genius. if I was an orruk, and I liked breakin’ fings and nickin’ stuff from ‘Umies, what kind of thing would I want to pinch from a Stormcast Eternal? And if I was a Son of Sigmar, what would I really not want an orruk to pinch off me?
A Celestar Ballista.
With three Celestar Ballistae set up as objectives, we set up our armies. Lizzie and the Kruleboyz would be getting the first turn.
This Battleplan also fleshes outt he rules surrounding the Hero Phase a little more. Now the Kruleboy Killaboss and his pint-sized compadre are on the field, the Kruleboyz have access to a number of Command Abilities that can be played at the start of their turn.
The game began with the Killaboss and Stab-grot squaring up to charge the Vindictors and make a play for the central objective. However, after failing their charge roll, they could do little else than stand there, whilst the Gutrippaz moved and charged the Knight-Arcanum with much more success.
The savage orruks then struck the Knight-Arcanum for three Mortal Wounds thanks to a handful of rolled 6s, and an single additional unsaved wound, reducing her from 6 wounds to two. In her part of the Fight Phase, the Knight-Arcanum only managed to strike one wound onto the pack of orruks.
With priority passing to the Stormcast Eternals, I decided it was time to see what the Knight-Arcanum’s Blaze of the Heavens ability could do. Meeting the casting value of 7, and following it up with a 6, the Knight-Arcanum blew the already wounded orruk and one of his mates away, killing them outright.
A further pair of orruks were killed when the Vindictors charged into their flank. In the subsequent orruk half of the Fight Phase, the Gutrippaz came out hard, inflicting a further two Mortal Wounds on the Knight-Arcanum and killing her. It was not enough, however, to prevent a further Gutrippa fleeing the field during the Battleshock phase.
With the first round over, the Stormcast Eternals just had the objective advantage, with three models within 6″ of the centre objective – but it did not feel like the battle was going their way.
At the start of the next round, the Killaboss and Stab-grot charged into the rear of the Vindictors. Using the All-out Attack Command Ability, the Killaboss then granted a +1 to all the remaining Gutrippaz To Hit rolls.
His own Fight phase was anticlimactic, however, when a frankly phenomenal Save roll on behalf of the Vindictors prevented two of their number from being slain. The remaining of the mob of Gutrippaz, however, had a little more luck, inflicting two Mortal Wounds and a further single wound on the Vindictors, slaying one.
Two of the Vindictors aimed their attacks at the Killaboss and inflicted two Mortal Wounds to him. However, thanks to the Killaboss’ You Hold ‘Em Off ability, both wounds were allocated to the Stab-grot. Lizzie then had to roll a 6 for each Mortal Wound to prevent the Stab-grot being killed, but with a roll of a 6 and a two, whilst one wound was negated, the other landed and the Stab-grot was killed.
The Vindictor-Prime and Banner Bearer, however, had far more success and managed to kill two more Gutrippaz in their Fight Phase. In the following Battleshock Phase, a Gutrippa fled the field, but the Vindictors remained resolute and did not flee.
Now without their commander, there was little the Stormcast Eternals could do in their Hero phase to boost them. Instead, they set about trying to slay the remaining orruks. The Prime and Banner Bearer only managed to do a single wound to the remaining pair of Gutrippaz, but the pair holding off the Killaboss managed to bring his wounds down from 6 to four.
The Gutrippaz found back hard, killing the Banner Bearer, a did the Killaboss, who brought down another Vindictor. In the face of such overwhelming losses even the stoic Stormcast Eternals balked, and a Vindictor fled the field, leaving the Prime alone to face off against three orruks.
At the end of Round 2, things were not looking good for the Stormcast Eternals. With only the Killaboss within 6″ of an objective, the orruks not only had the upper hand there, but also on the field.
The Kruleboyz began Round 3 with an all-out attack on the Vindictor-Prime, led by the Killaboss. In spite of being outnumbered and overwhelmed, the Vindictor-Prime only took a single wound from the Killaboss’ flail. It took only a single rolled 6 from the Gutrippaz, however, to bring the Prime down.
With no units left on the field, the victory went to the Kruleboyz.
Waaagh! I guess?
Playtesting: Final Thoughts
Both Lizzie and I agreed that, in spite of the Stormcast Eternals dominating Battleplans 1-4, the tutorial matches didn’t feel too unbalanced. I rolled very well in Battleplans 1-4, whilst Lizzie rolled very poorly. In the final battle, though, where it counted, the Dice Gods decided to tip their favour towards Lizzie, who absolutely dominated the field from the get-go.
I had hoped to be able to make a bit more of a difference with my Knight-Arcanum, but compared to the sheer savage might of the Killaboss – and a pack of Gutrippaz – she didn’t actually feel all that powerful. I imagine that had I been able to make full use of the command abilities I might have stood a little more of a chance, but Lizzie shut down my commander so quickly there was very little I could do about it.
Still, the game is fun to play and surprisingly easy to pick up. Once you’ve played your first round or two, you’ll find yourself rolling dice without feeling the need to check the book between every shake of the wrist. Whilst the rules can seem a little intimidating at first, with the help of the Warrior Edition book and the tutorial battleplans there, everything is broken down into easy to understand and very digestible bite-sized chunks.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Value Breakdown
So below I just want to take a quick look to give you a reminder of the value in this box. you can find all the editions compared in more detail on our Age of Sigmar Starter Sets Comparison article
Please note that all references to price is based on the RRP from GW themselves. shopping around you can find these kits and various other bits for around 20% discount.
Due to the amount of rank and file units you get with this kit, it is actually (by far) the best value set when it comes to price per model.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the cost per, sprue and model (not that sprue refers to the individual lettered sprues despite C & D being connected in the Warrior set, and Sprue B, the Vindictors, being snapped down to two sprue to fit in the box (however in this set, that breaks even anyway)
|Cost Per Sprue||£10.83|
|Cost Per Model||£1.63|
The comparison above is quite crude and as such unfair. Especially in regard to Dominion value. But that’s because we have stripped this down to the barest of comparisons here, a single model divided by the cost of the set.
It does not take into account the value of these models in-game or the value of an equivalent model individually. The missing sprues between Harbinger/Extremis and Dominion contain some of the more formidable units. Some of these individual units would easily retail at £20 ($25 USD) – £35 ($35 USD) each!
We already did a brief comparison of the costs in our Dominion review, but here it is again for reference
|Dominion Contents||GBP||USD||CAD||EUR||AUD||Comparable Item(s)|
|10 x Vindictors||£35-£40||$60-$65||$75-$80||€50-€55||$105-$115||Sequitors/Judicators|
|Killaboss with Stab-grot||£20-£25||$33-$40||$40-$45||€26-€30||$55-$65||Lord-Veritant/Lord-Castellant|
|10 x Gutrippaz||£30-£35||$60-$60||$75-$70||€50-€55||$70-$100||Sequitors/Judicators/Ogor Gluttons/Squig Hoppers|
|Total (Based on Estimates)||£105 – £125||$186 – $205||$230 – $240||€152-€170||$285 – $345|
|Starter Set Price||£32.50||$50||$60||€40||$65|
|Predicted Savings||£72.50 -£92.50||$136 – $155||$170 – $180||€112|
|$220 – $280|
An absolute killer of saving for this many models! this is no joke, those are the equivalent prices you could pay. For the UK alone, pay £2.50 and you are equivalently saving over £70!
If you are new you’ll very soon come to realise just how expensive things can be. Take this as a good thing or a bad thing but after buying this it may shock you how much something like the Killaboss would be on his own.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Where to Next?
Providing that I was correct in the assumptions I listed in the first couple of paragraphs of this review, and you’ve picked up this set – or, perhaps more accurately, are thinking about picking up this set – you are possibly quite new to the world of Age of Sigmar and the wider Warhammer universe.
That’s great, because Games Workshop have an absolute host of resources and products to
drag you further into their clutches further introduce you to the hobby. The first thing you will probably want to do, though, is grab yourself some appropriate paints.
Essays could be written on which paints are the best paints for miniatures – we know, we’ve done a few of them on this site. But if you are a complete beginner, there’s a lot to be said for GW’s Paints and Tools set.
If you want to know a little bit more about the universe of Age of Sigmar, you may be tempted by the new tie-in anthology, Thunderstrike and Other Stories.
As a collection of writings, Thunderstrike and Other Stories will give you a good overview of the Mortal Realms and what’s been going on recently.
Of course, if you just want to start crushing your foes on the tabletop, you won’t have to wait too long for the new Orruk and Stormcast Eternal Battletomes.
With these in your hands, you’ll be ready to make the Mortal Realms tremble before the might of your new armies.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Price and Availability
As we said in the breakdown above the savings here are incredible and on the warrior set alone, the price per model is so low that you literally can’t pass this box up.
whether you are an existing player, a painter or even if you picked up one of the larger sets. this is a great bundle to go alongside to get some slightly larger battles on the go.
You’ll soon find this box everywhere. and by that we mean in every Warhammer store across the country, it’s there now. your FLGS will be required to stock these.
Even smaller partner stores like Game, Boyes (UK shops) and even the Warhammer Escape room I went to last weekend will stock this. You’ll find them on a little display shelf tucked to the sides of stores all across the country, this and its equivalent 40k Counterparts will be in your face more than any other box GW currently makes, you can’t miss it.
Check out our affiliate links in the ads section too, all of those affiliates should be offering at least 20% off these boxes.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warrior Starter Set Review – Final Thoughts
|A brilliant introduction for the completely uninitiated|
Everything you need to start playing
As far as sets aimed at absolute beginners go, the Age of Sigmar Warrior Starter Set is, without doubt, one of the best ever made.
If you are a complete beginner, this set is perfect for you. Everything is just right: there are plenty of minis to keep you interested, none of which are particularly difficult to put together. The cards and reference sheets for use during play are written just right, and the pocket-sized Core Book has to be one of the first iterations of a Warhammer rulebook that I’ve seen that doesn’t require a PhD in TTRPG and Wargaming Studies to understand.
It’s fresh. It’s neat. It’s compact. The only mark against its name – and even this is digging deep for one – is the scenery tray thing. Whilst it’s a clever idea, there is something quite incongruous about its inclusion in the set. But maybe that’s just me. As far as a beginner is concerned, this will be neither here nor there.
Truly, this is the best introduction you’re going to get to the new world of Warhammer Fantasy and the Age of Sigmar. It is an inexpensive, honest, and thoughtful introduction to the colossal and often intimidating world of Warhammer.
If you’re new to the hobby, buy this today.
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