Today we review Stormclaw. A Games Workshop boxed game containing two armies and all the rules you need to play. Read on after the jump.
The front of the box has some really nice cover art depicting the two antagonists. Space Wolves and Orks. It's awesome to see exciting art on the cover of the box. It's an improvement on Dark Vengeance 1.0 and Games Workshop seem to agree because Dark Vengenace 2.0 now has box art as well. The height of the box is just under 3 inches (Dark Vengeance was just over 3 inches).
Removing the lid the first thing you notice is the sprues. There are a lot! It's reminiscent of my unboxing of 2nd Edition Warhammer 40,000. This is great to see. The next thing you notice is the lack of new box smell. The printed materials are shrink wrapped, denying you that smell of freshly printed ink. I love the new box smell, it's a big part of opening up these boxes. I want those smell induced memories of my childhood filling my head as I open the box.
Taking the sprues out of the box, you realise these are full models. These aren't beginner's push fit models. You get all the weapon options and all the spares. This is great for converters. You can truly personalise your models how you see fit. It reminds me a lot of 3rd edition where you got actual Space Marine Tactical squad, Land Speeder and Dark Eldar sprues, not push fits. The Space Wolves sprues consist of one Wolf Guard Terminators sprue, two Space Wolf Infantry sprues and a Limited Edition (only available in this box) Krom Dragongaze Wolf Lord.
The Ork sprues are equally impressive including a sprue to make three Killer Kans, a mob of five Nobz sprue, a Runt Herder and ten Gretchen sprue and the Limited Edition Ork Warboss; Grukk Face-rippa. You actually get a total of eleven Gretchen because their is an ammo runt on the Nobz sprue, bonus!
As well as a mountain of sprues, you also get bases, Space Wolves transfers (decals) and a shrink-wrapped pack of printed goods. Notice what's missing? That's right, no dice, range-rulers or templates. How can this cost £10 more than Dark Vengeance but not include the items required to play?
Opening the printed materials, now we get that printed smell! Included in this pack are detailed assembly instructions for all the models. A 208 page mini rulebook containing the complete rules and missions and a 32 page campaign book. You can read my review of the rules here. What is interesting is the campaign book. It's the same number of pages of White Dwarf Weekly and of similar print quality (pages are a thinner paper stock but not an issue). It contains background information for the campaign. It has three missions and it has all the rules for all the models included in the box as handy data-sheets. These data-sheets are what we saw in the Ork Codex and will be how future Codices display the units and rules. This campaign book also includes an armoury section with the rules for all the weapons and options including Attack Squigs, Mob rule, Belt of Russ etc. What is truly great is the inclusion of points costs. This is the first time they've done this since the 3rd edition rulebook.
This is almost the complete package. It's almost the perfect game. The models are fantastic. The modelling options are brilliant. The box art is great. The complete rules package and full colour books are amazing. The downsides are: no dice, no measuring sticks, no templates and no painting guides. For me personally these aren't deal breakers because I have all this stuff.
As for the painting guides. Well I'm going to create those myself and post them on this site. Expect to see Blood Claw, Wolf Guard Terminator, Nobz and Grotz guides real soon.
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