Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review

Last Updated on June 23, 2022 by FauxHammer

The most anticipated Warhammer release of 2022 has arrived. Travel back to where it all began with The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness and witness the civil war that tore the galaxy asunder. Brother turns against brother, and a father against his sons, as humanity pushes itself to the edge of annihilation. See everything in this hotly-anticipated box from Games Workshop in out The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review.

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Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Summary

The future of The Horus Heresy looks bright with the arrival of the Age of Darkness box set. Games Workshop have pulled out all the stops with their latest release in order to deliver a jaw-dropping set, overflowing with show-stopping miniatures.

Despite being a prequel to (set 10,000 years before) the more popular Warhammer 40,000. This set shows that The Age of Darkness has truly begun.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Introduction

It’s been a rumour for years, but it’s now finally here.

From the original leaked blurry images of some yellow and green beakies, to the epic moment it was finally announced at Warhammer Fest 2022, the journey to the Age of Darkness has been a long one for those who have been invested.

Set ten-thousand years before the events of Warhammer 40,000, The Horus Heresy is where it all began. It’s a long and fascinating story, full of twists and turns, magic and myth, and heartbreak and betrayal. Above all, it shows where the humans of the 41st Millennium came from, and the sheer chaos that one familial squabble left in its wake.

The Horus Heresy has only really been a Forge World thing until now. With only a couple of plastic boxed-games releases, the range of resin miniatures never had the same appeal as the plastic Warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 ranges (because it’s comparatively a nightmare to build). But now, with a new range of plastic miniatures, times are changing.

The Age of Darkness has never been so real and accessible. Now is the time to choose your side, for the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Unboxing

It’s a big one today, folks!

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing 1

Weighing in at a higher value than my kitchen scales can read (they’re only cheap), this beastly box is by far the biggest one we’ve seen from Games Workshop in recent years.

And what delights lie within!

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing 2

Beneath the red plastic measuring sticks and the sprue of damage templates (which we’ll look at closer later), lie no fewer than 24 sprues.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing 3

Ladies and gentlemen, 24!

That is a lot of plastic.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing 5

With the sprues removed, we come to a divider – and the box seems pretty empty. The divider is double-sided, one bearing the new Warhammer: The Horus Heresy logo, the other showing everything that you can currently purchase in the range.

Removing the divider, we find our books and other paper-based goods.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing 6

The rulebook and reference sheets are shrink-wrapped together to keep them safe. There’s also a single-sided advert for some of The Horus Heresy Black Library releases tucked in there too.

Underneath the book is the build guide, which is a simple black-and-white document printed on plain paper.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing 7

And finally, with the build guide out of the way and the cardboard frame removed, we find everything else.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing 8

A packet of dice, a heap of bases for all the soon-to-be-built miniatures in the box, as well as a transfer sheet.


Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Contents

As you’ll see in the unboxing above, there’s an absolutely vast amount of stuff in the Age of Darkness box. There is, in fact, so much stuff in the new Horus Heresy box that there was absolutely no way I could get it all in my lightbox. I’ve had to swipe the promo photo from Games Workshop’s webstore for the sake of this review.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Contents GW Photo
Source: Games Workshop Webstore

We’ll have a true-to-form, FauxHammer-style, up-close and personal look at every part of this set in a moment. First off, here’s everything you get:

  • 54 x plastic miniatures
    • 1 x Praetor with Power Axe
    • 1 x Praetor with Power Sword
    • 10 x Cataphractii Terminators
    • 1 x Contemptor Dreadnought
    • 1 x Spartan Assault Tank
    • 40 x MKVI Legion Tactical Marines
  • 1 x 336-page hardback Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Rulebook
  • 2 x 4-page Warhammer: The Horus Heresy Reference Sheets
  • 20 x six-sided dice and one Scatter dice
  • 3 x weapon templates
  • 2 x red plastic measuring sticks (or, “Whippy Sticks”, given their true name)
  • 1 x Warhammer: The Horus Heresy transfer sheet, with more than 300 transfers
  • 1 x 36-page construction guide

By the Warmaster Himself, that’s a lot of stuff!

The Literature

Front-and-centre, we’re going to have a look at the books and reference sheets that come in the Age of Darkness box.

There’s a huge amount of printed goodies in this box, all of which are vital to giving you the ultimate “new edition” experience.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Rulebook

Just like Dominion and Indomitus before it, the new edition of The Horus Heresy means a new rulebook. The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness rulebook weighs in at over 300 pages, and counts for most of the weight in the Age of Darkness box.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Rule Book 1

Whilst the cover doesn’t bear quite the same zeal as the Indomitus and Dominion special edition rulebooks before it did, there’s a lot to excite within the pages of this tome.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Rule Book 2
The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Rule Book 3

When I first tried getting into Warhammer aged about 10, I had the 40K 4th Edition rulebook. I didn’t have a clue what any of the rules meant, but as a kid with a love of all things sci-fi and fantasy, I loved looking at the pictures and reading about the setting.

My inner child is very pleased to report there’s still plenty of his across the pages of The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness rulebook.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Rule Book 4

There is a vast amount of information on the 31st Millennium, the Horus Heresy, and the Imperium of Man in this book. Time is spent going through each Space Marine legion in turn. In fact, the first 145 pages of this huge book are given over to the lore and setting of the game – the Core Rules only begin after that.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Rule Book 5

In terms of the rules themselves, the core rules for Age of Darkness are based off the Warhammer 40,000 Third to Seventh Edition ruleset. As such, regular and veteran players of 40K will likely find plenty here that’s familiar.

There are a few larger changes to be aware of. First off, and this one’s a biggie, are Reactions.

According to this Warhammer Community post, players can “make one Reaction during each Phase of [their] opponent’s turn – though specific special rules can give you extra Reactions, up to a limit of three per Phase.”

This basically means you can do stuff when it’s your opponents turn. If you were playing a game of Warhammer 40,000 and you were in the Shooting phase, you’d be the only player who got to shoot. According to this new rule, however, your opponent may be able to pull a fast one (or three) and do some stuff to your army.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Rule Book 7

The rules for Overwatch in the Age of Darkness illustrate this perfectly. Overwatch – the ability to take a pop at a unit charging at you – is now classed as a Reaction. So, when there’s a unit charging at your miniatures, you’ll have the opportunity to try and whittle them down with a few shots before they engage.

There are more changes, too. Dreadnoughts no longer follow the traditional vehicle hull rules, and instead have Wounds and Toughness values. Their stats are formatted to be much more similar to those of a soldier.

Dreadnoughts aren’t the only thing getting made beefier. Back in earlier editions of Warhammer 40,000 – before Belisarius Cawl and the Rubicon Primaris – most Space Marines only had a single Wound. For Age of Darkness, the same article states that “Legion-specific Elites now sport two Wounds to represent their robustness in the face of withering fire.” This means certain troops will be able to take more punishment than others.

There are more specific changes available in both the Liber Hereticus and Liber Astartes, but we don’t get those in this box.

In all, though, this is a stunning book. It feels very special – and extremely official. No matter your reason for buying the Age of Darkness set, there will be something in this book you can enjoy.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy Reference Sheets

Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigmar, Warhammer Fantasy, Kill Team, the list goes on and on. The Warhammer universes are as diverse in their setting as they are filled with rules.

No matter which variant you play, Warhammer is a big game. So, it’s nice when someone gives you something to help you remember what’s supposed to be going on in each turn.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Reference Sheet 1

The reference sheets are small enough to be slipped into a bag, and not so large and cumbersome to be a nuisance on the tabletop. Whilst they don’t have all the minutiae you’ll need to play with your favourite Horus Heresy faction, they do contain a good run-down of the core rules to prompt you should you need it.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Reference Sheet 2

They’re very plain and no-frills, but that’s the point. They’re rules references, they’re not supposed to be daubed in distracting artwork and loads of colour. The information presented is concise yet thorough in an easy-to-read format. These will save gamers a lot of time.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy Construction Guide and Army List

We don’t tend to look at construction guides in any real detail in these articles, but today we’ve decided to make an exception. There are two reasons for this.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Build Guide 1

The first reason is that there’s so much stuff to build. A comprehensive and well-written instruction guide is absolutely vital to a release this size. With individual models or small squads, you can forgive one or two mis-numbered components. But when you’ve got a whopping 54 miniatures to build, you’d better hope the guide is perfect.

As far as I can tell, the numbering is spot on. I didn’t notice any issues going through the guide. However, I don’t think the formatting is great.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Build Guide 2

Let me explain. As we know, there are a lot of miniatures in this set. There are also a lot of alternative builds and optional extras for the vast majority of the models. Most of these optional extras or variant builds have been squashed into as little space as possible, likely in an effort to keep the guide concise and easy to follow.

It has the opposite effect. Instead, blurred, greyscale images of half-completed models are surrounded by dozens of arrows with occasionally poorly-illustrated components dotted about them. It can sometimes be quite difficult to ascertain the orientation of certain pieces, which is both irritating and means dry fitting is essential – which takes more time.

It frustrates the build process. GW usually produce excellent, colour-coded and high-res assembly guides that are clear and easy to follow. The Age of Darkness guide, however, is a real step down from this and it does occasionally undermine the quality. My advice would be to take your time and, as I said above, dry fit everything you can to avoid gluey messes.

That’s the first reason we’re looking at the guide. The second reason we’re taking a peek at it here is that it features an introductory army list. This is the first time GW have ever done something like this (as far as I know at least, and I’m happy to be corrected if mistaken).

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Build Guide 3 (2)

The army list section has a lot of detail in it, with datasheets for all the units, as well as further weapons information for some of the units. Though the average gw-hater will likely whine “look at this upsell”. For those new to HH (the primary target audience here), It’s a rudimentary but very useful resource to have, and will enable gamers to get playing with their new miniatures the moment they’re built.


The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness is meant to be played. Whilst miniature painters will delight in the mountain of new, colourless plastic that they can bring to life with their acrylics, there’s so much stuff in this box designed to get you gaming.


As I’ve said a thousand times before in these articles, I like a nice die. A themed die – even if it’s just a different colour plastic! – can help make a box set feel just that little bit more complete.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing Dice 3

Unfortunately, Age of Darkness’ dice isn’t that. They’re just plain old white dice with black spots. Boo.

There is, however, a unique one amongst their number.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Unboxing Dice 2

This is a Scatter dice. Scatter dice are used to make using powerful weapons, like cannons or other heavy artillery a bit more exciting. They work hand-in-hand with the templates that we’ll get to in a moment.

To use a Scatter dice, what you do is make your attack with your big gun and place your damage template on the target. Next, you roll a scatter dice and move the template a certain number of inches determined by the dice in the direction the dice lands. Finally, anything under the template at this point gets hit.

This is an old-school 40K rule (though it was also used in Warhammer Fantasy) that many people will be glad to see a return. This also leads rather nicely on to…

Weapon Templates

These translucent orange shapes are what you’ll be using to measure your area of effect damage.

There are three of them in the set: one with a 3″ diameter, one with a 5″ diameter, and a cone-shaped template for use with weapons such as flamers.

Big guns, flamers, cannons, you name it: these guys are your friends. The plastic they’re made from is surprisingly brittle, so be careful when removing them from their sprue as they may crack if you’re heavy-handed.

Red Plastic Measuring Sticks

The iconic whippy stick also makes its return in the Age of Darkness box.

Ancient weapons from the Dark Age of Technology, these feared instruments of warfare have sent a chill up the spine (and a sting up the calf) or many gamers.

Some say that when they were first forged, they were white in colour, and that they grow redder and redder for every drop of blood they shed. They have not been seen for many years, and many thought them gone forever.

Until now.

The 12″ whippy sticks – sorry, Red Plastic Measuring Sticks – herald a true return to the old school. In recent years, we’ve seen the odd cardboard range ruler sneak into every other battlebox, but we haven’t seen a good old whippy stick for ages.

These plastic rods serve two purposes. The first is measuring everything on the battlefield – be it movement, range, or anything else, the whippy stick is there for you.

All measurements are in inches, and these are clearly displayed on the side of the measuring sticks.

Its second purpose is flaying the flesh from the bones of the unworthy. After all, should you be a really poor loser, you can always take out your frustration on your enemy with one of these bad boys. Welts for days.

Transfer Sheet

There’s also a transfer sheet tucked in with the box.

Unfortunately, this transfer sheet only has transfers for the Sons of Horus as well as the Imperial Fists. If you were wanting to play any of the other Space Marine Legions, you’ll need to source some other transfers elsewhere.

I imagine we’ll probably see some more up-to-date transfer sheets for each legion released in the near future. Forge World used to have transfer sheets for all Horus Heresy Legions, but a quick search on Games Workshop’s webstore shows they’ve been moved homes. These have been (kinda in and out of production) knocking around for quite some time, so may be due an update with the new edition.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Miniatures

And at long last, we finally arrive at the bit we’ve all been waiting for.

With no fewer than 54 miniatures in the set, Age of Darkness box contains the largest offering of figures we’ve seen in a box in a good while.

Compared to recent new edition box releases, Age of Darkness doesn’t actually do quite as well in terms of numbers. Indomitus had 61 miniatures, whilst Dominion had 60. However, Age of Darkness A) doesn’t have Hobgrots and B) does have a tank and a dreadnought. I think we can still consider this one to be a fair cop.

The Sprues

Every time there’s a new edition of something, we like to try and provide colour-coded sprue pictures. We do these for some of the larger, multi-figure sprues included in the boxes. This is because we know some people prefer colour-matching than tracking down individual numbers as per the instruction manual.

Those of you who do like this alternative will be pleased to know our coloured sprue pictures make their return in our Age of Darkness review. However, the first thing you’ll notice on the images below is that, well, there’s only two of them and there’s not much is coloured in on either one.

The only sprues we’ve done are the ones for the Cataphractii Terminators and the MKVI Legion Tactical Marines. This is because the other units are on their own unique sprue(s) and only build a single model. There isn’t masses coloured because there’s a great deal of choice as to how you can assemble your miniatures. Nice!

Cataphractii Terminators Sprue

The Captaphractii Terminators are built around a pair of legs with part of a tabard attached. Each pair of legs requires a single foreleg to be attached, and then the tabard attached at the belt.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Cataphractii Terminators Sprue

As far as the rest of the model goes, it’s pretty much up to you. The build guide will make a number of suggestions as to which heads, arms and bodies to use with each Terminator, but you don’t need to follow this if you don’t want to.

MKVI Legion Tactical Marines Sprue

Each MKVI beakie is constructed around a torso, two legs, a pair of arms, and a gun.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness MK VI Space Marines Sprue

Similar to the Terminators, guide and sprue will try and push you towards a certain head, shoulder, and backpack for each miniature. However, you do not have to follow this and can attach any head, shoulder, and backpack you wish.

This sprue in particular is extremely versatile. If you wish to go a bit off-piste and do your own thing, don’t be afraid to. in fact when sergeant, the guide actually sees you cut the tabs off the model so that you can orient the arms how you wish.

The Miniatures

Here we are, ladies and gents. The bit we’ve all been waiting for. We’ve been teased with the brand-new Horus Heresy-era plastic miniatures for months now.

Get comfortable as there’s a lot to talk about!

Praetor with Power Sword

I must admit, I did not get along well with this model.

For a start, there are a lot of fiddly bits. There’s a sheathed sword attached by a very small contact point, individual armour panels, and more. But what really irked me with the Praetor with Power Sword was his cape.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Praetor with Power Sword 1

The cape lines up with his pack, and also lines up with both his shoulderpads. There are cutaways on the shoulders where the cape sits. Still, it took a lot of re-jigging and twisting partially-stuck components before the cloak lined up with where it was supposed to sit. Whilst I was doing this, the sword with small contact point, which sits under the cloak, kept falling off.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Praetor with Power Sword 2

The instructions do not help either. So many instructions are rammed into one A4 side, which makes some steps very unclear – such as, for example, how you apply the tail of the helmet plume to the head. The build guide tries to do too much in too little space, which made building this figure very frustrating.

That said, once complete, he certainly looks the part.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Praetor with Power Sword 3

There’s a staggering amount of detail on this figure. From the extras around his waist to the textures on his armour – and his face! There’s a lot to love here, and plenty more to paint.

Praetor with Power Axe

The Praetor with Power Sword’s axe-wielding compatriot – or adversary, depending on how you paint the box – is easier to assemble.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Praetor with Power Axe 1

There are still a few fiddly bits, but the guide is, on the whole, much clearer. There are some irritating bits with the cloak (again), but these are less annoying than those on the Praetor with Power Sword.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Praetor with Power Axe 2

Again, the model is superb. There’s so much malice and threat in this figure. Once again, there’s a stunning level of detail across the model that will delight painters the world over.

The model is also sufficiently different to the Praetor with Power Sword, so people won’t feel as though they’re just two of the same model.

MKVI Legion Tactical Marines

Where to begin with these guys…

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness MK VI Space Marines 1

There’s just so many of them.

With 40 MKVI Legion Tactical Marines in the box, you’ll spend the majority of your time building these little guys.

The kits are actually very good. There are five poses around which you assemble your miniatures, pictures below. There is also an alternate build for a sergeant.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness MK VI Space Marines 3

“Only five poses?” you may be thinking. “I’ve got 40 marines! They’re all going to look the same!”

This isn’t true. There are so many heads, shoulders, and other extras available, that you’re unlikely to end up with two of the same figure.

There’s a great variety of accessories available: weapon holsters, grenades, pouches, scrolls, breather masks, and scanners to name a few. You also have the option to equip some of the miniatures with banners or communications units, should you so wish.

Kitbashers and converters will also be able to go to town on these guys. Their builds are very simple and modular, which makes chopping and changing parts very easy.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness MK VI Space Marines 2

But there are just so damn many of them.

It took me hours to build them all – though I have to admit, having them all lined up in neat ranks side-by-side once they were all built was a singularly satisfying experience.

Still, I didn’t appreciate having to assemble 40 shoulderpads. As, in case you weren’t aware, the studded pads all come in two halves. whilst this is done in an effort to make them clearly more rounded when formed in the factory (rather than slightly elongated attempts done previously). The average modelser may become frustrated and annoyed by these so much so their attempts to glue them may either leave a gap down the centre or end up with the part covered in glue – overall it could make them look worse.

Cataphractii Terminators

After the slog that was building 40 MKVI Legion Tactical Marines, the Cataphractii Terminators were an absolute breeze.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Cataphractii Terminators 1

Each model is made up of a small number of large parts, so there’s nothing too fiddly with these guys. Their larger-than-average size makes them quite tactile. Even the badges attached to their left shoulders aren’t too difficult to glue on.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Cataphractii Terminators 2

You will need to hold each component in place for a little longer in order to account for the weight of some of the pieces. Huge Terminator arms are more likely to slide out of position if left unsupervised. Save yourself the hassle and make sure you hold everything in place for a few seconds.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Cataphractii Terminators 3

There are alternative builds for each Terminator: either armed with claws, or a single-handed gun and a suitably grim melee weapon in the other hand. I built five of each, as you can see above.

Contemptor Dreadnought

The Contemptor Dreadnought is a striking model. A fusion of futuristic Warhammer grimdarkness and 80s sci-fi, the Contemptor Dreadnought looks as if it’s stamped its way out of an episode of Doctor Who and been equipped with enough firepower to single-handedly wipe out the Daleks once and for all.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Contemptor Dreadnought 1

I particularly like how in-keeping with the idea of the evolution of the Dreadnought this model is. The 80s sci-fi echo in its design gives the sense model is a progenitor, whilst not being so removed from the Warhammer 40,000 Dreadnoughts of the last ten years to seem like a different unit. It’s like a walking piece of archaeology, like putting a steam locomotive with a neutrino bomb strapped to it next to a Primaris bullet train.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Contemptor Dreadnought 2

The Dreadnought build is quite overwhelming – especially when you arrive on the page with the instructions on how to build the vast number of weapon variants it has. As such, you’ll need to assemble a lot of bits and set them aside for later. The legs are the worst for this, however, as each leg is made of three or four parts, all of which are made of three or four parts themselves.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Contemptor Dreadnought 3

Take your time and read every step carefully. You might also want to try leaving assembled components on or next to the set of instructions that create it. This is what I do, and I found it helped with the Contemptor.

Spartan Assault Tank

The final model the Construction Guide directs you to build is the Spartan Assault Tank.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Spartan Assault Tank 1

When I first received the Age of Darkness box, I naively assumed that the Spartan would be of similar size to a Land Raider. I was, however, very wrong. This thing is massive.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Spartan Assault Tank 3

You will need to make sure all your edges are flat. As you may know, the eternal struggle for any builder of Space Marine vehicles – be they 40K or now 30K – is ensuring all the various armour panels are flush with each other. If you’re left even a slither of sprue gate attached to any of the contact points along these flat edges, you’ll soon find gaps along the seams of the model. Make sure you file everything down – even if it looks smooth!

Alternatively, check out our How to Fill Gaps and Seams on Miniatures and Models article.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Spartan Assault Tank 4

It’s a very long build, too. Whilst it’s not that complicated for the most part, a lot components go into assembling this thing. Because of this, it’s easy to overlook one or two as you go through the guide. As always, make sure you take your time and read everything carefully.

But what a thing it is once it’s complete! There are plenty of optional extras too, including different hull weaponry and the choice to have either a commander or a gunner on top of the tank.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Spartan Assault Tank 2

This is a challenging, yet extremely rewarding kit. Veteran builders will have an absolute field day with this one.

The Miniatures – Round-Up

And, take a breath.

What a lot of stuff! We’ve seen big guys with big weapons, smaller guys with massive guns, a half-dead guys in a huge suit of armour, and an enormous tank.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness All Miniatures

There’s a lot to love here. Of course, some of the builds may be a little long-winded and fiddly, but being able to see what is already an entire army, full-built and lined up side-by-side, is a singularly cathartic experience.

The new Praetor models are superb. It’s all pretty spectacular, to be honest. However, the Praetors do stand-out – two particularly large, shiny diamonds amidst a pile of smaller (but still pretty shiny) diamonds.

The miniatures in this box will not disappoint. I had originally thought chucking 40 beakies into the box to fill it up was a bit of a cheap move, but the sheer amount of optional extras available for each model means the chances are no two will look the same.

The tank really surprised me. I hadn’t expected it to be half the size that it is. It makes for an exquisite addition to the already heaving army.

This is a spectacular selection of miniatures, and will excite both painters and gamers. Grab your plastic cutters and your glue, you’ve got work to do!

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Value Breakdown

We made this extremely speculative table a few weeks ago when we wrote our Horus Heresy Age of Darkness – Price Value and Savings Breakdown article. Please note, we haven’t made many changes to it since then. Because we don’t have anything within the Horus Heresy range to make comparisons to, it’s difficult to surmise what may be worth what.

I have, however, added the rulebook.

Praetor with Power Axe1£21.00$35.00$41.50€27.00$55.00
Praetor with Power Sword1£21.00$35.00$41.50€27.00$55.00
40 x MKVI Legion Tactical Marines2£80.00$130.00$160.00€55.00$90.00
10 x Cataphractii Terminators3£72.00£120.00$140.00€95.00$196.00
Spartan Assault Tank4£60.00$85.00$100.00€67.50$140.00
Contemptor Dreadnought5£36.00$60.00$70.00€47.50$79.00
Horus Heresy Rulebook6£42.50$70.00$85.00€55.00$120.00
Total Value£332.50$535.00$538.00€374.00$735.00
1 Based on Space Marine Lieutenant
2 Estimated based on 2x 20 Marine Boxes at £40 each
3 Based on 2 x modern Terminator boxes
4 Based on Repulsor (not Repulsor Executioner)
5 Based on Special Dreadnoughts e.g. Furioso, Venerable etc.
6 Based on Liber Hereticus and Liber Astartes, and the Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar Core Rule

Whilst these values are based on prediction and the truth of what everything in the Horus Heresy box is worth will become clearer in time, ultimately this table simply serves to show that there are likely to be some jaw-dropping savings on offer.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Price and Availability

There are no two ways about it, though: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness is expensive.

It is the second set of its type that we’ve seen hit the £180GBP/$299USD/€225EUR mark. The previous was the Necromunda: Ash Wastes set, which received a lot of criticism. This was due to what the community saw as an overreliance on terrain in order to justify an increase in the price. Terrain is divisive, too. Some people like it in their boxes, other people hate it and just want more miniatures.

This isn’t the case with Age of Darkness. With the entire contents of the box based around miniatures, there’s very little that can be considered filler. Plus, with a whacking 52 miniatures, Age of Darkness is a complete army in a box. This can be two types of product in one: a starter set for yourself and a second player, or a full starter army in a box for you alone.

But £180GBP/$299USD/€225EUR is still a lot of cash to part with in one go, so be mindful of how and where you buy. Games Workshop have been offering various freebies and in-store exclusives for buying from them direct. Whilst this will appeal to a lot of people, do make sure you check out your FLGS to see if they’re able to offer you a 10%-20% discount. When we’re dealing with hundreds of pounds, tens and twenties of percents off is a significant saving.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Where to Next?

There’s already so much stuff out for those people wanting to plunge themselves into the Horus Heresy.

First off, there’s the iconic book series. The Horus Heresy series is massive – just take a look at Black Library’s Horus Heresy page.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but there is some necessary reading. The original Horus Heresy book series is enormous, with over 50 titles in total, many of which are not available anymore. However, the first three are must-reads for any Horus Heresy fan.

Dan Abnett’s Horus Rising, Graham McNeill’s False Gods and Galaxy in Flames by Ben Counter kick the Horus Heresy off in spectacular fashion.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Where to Next Books

If you get on with these three books, read The Flight of the Eisenstein by James Swallow, which is an excellent book but does rely heavily on the reader having read these three.

Secondly, if you feel as though your burgeoning Horus Heresy army needs some (serious) extra oomph you can grab yourself a Kratos Heavy Assault Tank. Failing that, you could always grab yourself a (very reasonably priced) Deimos Pattern Rhino.

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Where to Next Kratos Heavy Assault Tank
The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Review Where to Next Deimos Pattern Rhino

If you want to personalise your army, pretty much every one of the 18 legions has a series of Forgewold upgrades for various head and shoulder styles. The Imperial Fists and Sons of Horus specifically have had their upgrade sets plastered all over the WarComTeam media for the Horus Heresy box for a few weeks.

Though, I genuinely can’t tell if these are new sculpts or just a repaint/rebox of classics? If they are new, why oh why are they resin? I don’t want GEW to deny Horus Heresy’s roots, but they’re better than that now. Oh, and it will cost as much to kit out a box of 20 marines with these shoulders and heads as the box of marines costs itself. I love to customise my forces, but unlike the upgrade sprues for 40k, I find these personally options financially prohibitive.

As for further upgrades, however, there are sets for both Special and Heavy weapons, and these are some rather impressive sets.

Featuring 60 and 20 individual weapons sets respectively, it’s a great way to add immediate variety and strategic choice to the 40 marines you have in the box.

And Finally, there’s also the phenomenal Primarch series, which has just (finally) arrived on Games Workshop’s webstore from its old home on Forge World. Be aware they are all resin which may be an unfamiliar material for working with to those only versed in GW’s HIPS plastics. These models are something else, and will truly complete any Heresy-era army.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Age of Darkness Review – Final Thoughts

So. Many. Miniatures.
Top-quality figures
Fantastic rulebook
All the gaming accessories you need to start playing
Phenomenal value
Cloaks/capes on the Praetors are a hassle
Assembly guide isn’t up to the usual standard

I’ve said it several times already in this review, and I’ll say it again now: what a lot of stuff!

Age of Darkness brings the 31st Millennium crashing into the big-leagues in spectacular style. Containing a gorgeous rulebook, some neat reference sheets, and dice, rulers and measures, you have everything you need to take your miniatures straight from your hobby workspace and to battle on the table top. The carnage of The Horus Heresy is yours to unleash.

You’ll look great doing so, too. Aside from an iffy assembly guide, and a handful of fiddly components, the models in the box are generally straightforward (if occasionally long-winded) to build and look excellent once completed. The Praetors in particular are stand-out models. These figures will look phenomenal either commanding the battlefield or lauding over your other painted figures.

If this is what the Heresy already holds this early into the new edition, I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

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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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