Another holiday season is upon us, which means more Battleforce boxes for Age of Sigmar. This year you have seven different boxes to choose from. For the uninitiated, these usually sell out very quickly and are usually fantastic deals for starting a new army, often over a hundred dollars (or pounds) in savings over buying everything included seperately.
But not all battleforces are created equal. It’s only a good deal if you intend to use most of the models included, and while some are absolute bargains, others can be filled with chaff that will never see the table. So which to choose? With the boxes going up for preorder tomorrow, our team has gone through all 7 and helped you decide which to buy.
Daughters of Khaine
- 10 Witch Aelves/Sisters of Slaughter ($60/£36)
- 5 Khinerai Heartrenders/Lifetakers ($60/£35)
- 5 Melusai Blood Sisters/Melusai Blood Stalkers ($60/£35)
- 5 Doomfire Warlocks ($42/£26)
- 1 Bloodwrack Shrine/Cauldron of Blood ($80/£47.50)
Total Separate Cost: $302/£179.50
This box’s best and worst trait is that its a grab bag of everything. The positive of this is it will get you a solid head start on basically every unit in the army. The downside is that due to being just a collection of minimum sized units, it lacks focus. Daughters of Khaine tend to double up or reinforce units, due to their fragility and general gameplay style of casting all their buffs on a single death star and sending it in, so just having a collection of minimum sized units doesn’t jive well with the faction.
If you’re starting fresh, grab it and prepare to buy some separate boxes to augment the stuff you like: grab a second one of these, or a vanguard box. You won’t regret the reinforced Witch Aelves, Blood Sisters/Stalkers, and 2 units of Heartrenders for the easiest battle tactic in the book (arguably the game). A second Cauldron of Blood can be built as a Bloodwrack Shrine so you have all 3 heroes on foot as well. The warlocks are unfortunately not great, but one bad unit out of the bunch isn’t a bad ratio at all.
- 2 Mangler Squigs ($85/£52.50 each)
- 10 Squig Hoppers ($55/£32.50)
- 12 Squig Herd ($50/£30)
- Loon Boss on Giant Cave Squig ($38/£24)
Total Separate Cost: $313 / £191.50
This is probably the coolest set: all squigs all the time. How good this will be is yet to really be seen with the impending Gloomspite Gitz box on the horizon so it’s hard to gauge. If you’re just getting started in the faction, don’t have many squigs in your Gloomspite army, or are getting it as a gift for someone that simply loves squigs then it’s a pretty great box. Mangler squigs are maybe one of the coolest models in the game and since it’s two full sets of them you can turn one or both into Heroes as well if you really wanted to.
Adding on to this you won’t be able to go wrong with just about any other box available to the army; there’s not anything that immediately leaps out as a must-buy yet.
Traditionally gitz boxes have been disorganized piles of whatever models GW had close by. The most generous interpretation the the disorganized results was a thematic devotion to the mushroom addled nature of the faction itself. Less generous critics could call them thoughtless and random. Whatever they are they certainly were not an entry into a playable subfaction like moonclan, squigs, troggs, or spiderfang. This box is the most thematic and usable collection of gitz models one can purchase in a single box.
With a new book coming out during “winter” it is impossible to say if this force will be competitive, but the box itself follows the “rule of cool” putting in some of the best models to build and paint in all of Sigmar. Unlike some other boxes released all of the models are new or resculpts. Due to the thematic unity this is a great box to get if you are thinking about getting into gitz or Age of Sigmar in general. More experienced loonboss’s will need to count how many mangler squigs they have. The value of this box for experienced gitz players goes up significantly if Mangler Squigs become conditional battleline.
- Black Coach ($130/£80)
- Lady Olynder, Mortarch of Grief ($50/£30)
- 10 Bladegheist Revenants ($50/£30)
- 10 Grimghast Reapers ($50/£30)
- 10 Dreadscythe Harridans ($50/£30)
Total Separate Cost: $330 / £200
This box is conflicting. As the only box that has a named character it can potentially lose a lot of people’s interest off the bat, as there really isn’t anything to be gained by buying multiple, or for established Nighthaunt players who may already have her. Olynder herself is fine mind you, so if you’re coming into this army fresh she’s a solid starter hero.
I have less nice things to say about the black coach, again it’s fine but it’s a lot of points and dubious in its role as a Behemoth.
Where this box does succeed is its choice in foot troops. Both Bladegheist Revenants and Dreadscythe Harridans are the stars of the faction, and this can get you started with both of them. Many lists run somewhere around 40 of one or the other (user’s choice), but you can certainly mix them up, too. Grimghast reapers used to be the army’s golden child and have fallen off a bit since then, but for starting off they’re certainly fine.
To sum it up, if you’re looking to get into the army totally from scratch this is a perfectly fine box for laying the foundation of a bigger force. It pairs well with a vanguard box, but established players probably already have all the good stuff here.
- Gobsprakk or Killaboss on Corpse-rippa Vulcha ($150/£90)
- Swampboss Slumdrekk or Snatchaboss on Sludgeraker Beast ($60/£35)
- 10 multi-part Gutrippaz ($55/£32.50)
- 3 multi-part Man-skewer Boltboyz ($50/£30)
Total Separate Cost: $315 / £187.50
A solid grab bag of things, but that is to be expected in a new, limited model range. This is basically tailor made for people who bought Dominion and are looking to expand their Kruleboyz set as a second squad of Gutrippaz will get them where they need to be with their 3 required battleline, and a reinforcement of Boltboyz would not go unappreciated.
What Dominion did lack was the big models, Gobsprakk is a great character and vastly underrated, with the Swampboss or Snatchaboss is the linebreaker you need to bust open some of the tougher enemies you have to contend with.
What it does lack is the basic foot troops you need to support your army, like the Swampcalla Shaman, so if you already got the Kruleboyz half of the Dominion box, this is a great way to expand the force. If you’re starting fresh, see if you can get half of the Dominion box. They’re still littering the shelves of many a game store around the world, and you can probably get them off someone’s hands for much cheaper than they would be individually.
- 40 Clan Rats ($42/£26 for 20)
- 40 Plague Monks ($42/£26 for 20)
- 3 Stormfiends ($70/£42.50)
- Warlock Bombadier ($30/£17.50)
- Screaming Bell ($70/£42.50)
Total Separate Cost: $338 / £206.50
Hoo boy, that is…a lot of models. Good news too, they’re all good! 40 Clan Rats and 40 Plague Monks is a killer start for your battleline, if you build the included Grey Seer into a Plague Furnace instead (and between the two, probably the better choice). Stormfiends are as terrifying as ever, allowing you to kill tough enemies at a variety of ranges while the Bombadier casts More-more-more Warp Power! to juice them up. Grab a Vanguard box and you basically got a solid start to a Skaven list, barring a few more heroes you might need to grab, like a Warlock Engineer for the Vanguard’s Warp Lightning cannon.
Great as a starting point or for adding yet more Clanrats (you can never have enough) and Plague Monks to the army if you haven’t got them yet for experienced players. A really solid investment no matter which group you fall into. The previously mentioned Vanguard box or the Rat Shaped Half of the Echoes of Doom boxed set are both great to fill out the contents of this box.
- Stormdrake Guard ($115/£70)
- 10 Vigilors ($60/£37.50)
- 10 Vanquishers ($60/£37.50)
- 3 Annihilators ($55/£32.50)
- Knight-Relictor ($35/£21)
Total Separate Cost: $325 / £198.50
I’m not going to mince words, this box is…bad. It’s going to try and pull you in with the Stormdrake, and hey even the Hammer Annihilators are actually pretty good. Don’t be fooled.
The Knight-Relictor is one of the worst characters in the game with an absolutely laughable “ignore prayers on a 4+” ability. Vigilors and Vanguishers are both pretty awful battleline in a faction noted for having very good battleline (Stick with Vindictors and Liberators. Even Judicators do better).
If you want this box just go buy the annihilators and Stormdrake and something actually good with the leftover cash, instead.
- 2 Treelords ($70/£42.50 each)
- Drycha Hamadreth ($60/£36)
- 10 Tree-Revenants/Spite-Revenants ($50/£30 for 5)
- 16 Dryads ($50/£30)
Total Separate Cost: $350 / £211
Of all the boxes, this is liable to be the best bang for your buck. It’s also a really solid box. With the last tome, Treelord spam was the way to go, due to it being some of the most reliable damage after the nerf to Kurnoth units in 3.0. As of the current tome it’s not quite the way to go, but Drycha and at least one Tree Lord still do a lot of work. The Dryads and Revenants will nicely fill out your battleline. Grab a couple Kurnoth units and you got yourself an army.
One wise word of warning to you would be woodlands warriors, don’t let the eye-popping value cause you to miss the forest for the trees. Treelords seem to be in literally every box for Sylvaneth and it is difficult to imagine anyone needing more than seven kits in a lifetime. This box uses two of your kits and without the value they provide it becomes more of an average box. This is the third box released just this year with at least a treelord in it and GW shows no signs of stopping. Drycha is out of favor competitively but is a wonderful centerpiece model. Tree-Revenants/Spite-Revenants both have roles in the current book and are nice models, if difficult to put together for first-time hobbyists. Dryads are old kits that make one ask where sculpting ends and moldlines begin.
This is a great box to start collecting Sylvaneth, a good box to add on if you lack treelords and the Drycha, and an ok box if you’re new to Age of Sigmar.
Overall, this is a good year for boxes. A whopping 7 and I think of all of them only one is truly, laughably bad (Stormcast). Most are good for people starting out, for a New Year New Army challenge, with very little filler that will get left on the shelf.
Any of the boxes get your attention? Sound off in the comments below.