As part of the annual tradition, Games Workshop releases a bunch of Holiday boxes each year, the models included are huge savings over what they would cost individually. The caveat is they’re not always great boxes. Whether the theme is a bit misguided or the models just plain aren’t great, sometimes it’s good to know if they’re a solid foundation to start a new army, or if you should look elsewhere.
For this I will be operating under the assumption that they will cost a MSRP of £135 GBP/$230 USD as that’s what they cost last year, but they might go up a little bit. We’ll list the Total Value if purchased separately at full price, how much of a savings it is, the point value and then a summary if it’s worth looking into.
Vengorian Court – Soulblight Gravelords
Total Value: $320/£192.50
Point Value: 880 Points
This is an excellent box for getting started. The Vengorian Lord is a fantastic centerpiece model and sees a ton of use in game by pretty tanky with its 3+ save that reduces rend by 1. Deathrattle Skeletons and Dire Wolves both fill your battleline tax and while some may swear more by zombies than skeletons, it’s a very competitive matchup. Fell Bats may seem an odd inclusion, but they’re an extremely popular take due to their ability to screen out opponents from your battleline, requiring an extra step to even get on the point. Finally the Blood Knights may be the weakest spot here, they’re not unusuable by any means, but have had a tough break in the current battletome. If you want to use them though, you certainly can find a use.
This box does feel like it’s missing a bit without an on foot vampire lord or Wight King, but that’s an easy inclusion. Once you got those, you can focus on padding out your battleline to have more bodies, or more monsters.
Warhorde of Eternus – Slaves to Darkness
Total Value: $310/£192.50
Point Value: 960 (940 with Chaos Lord on Daemonic Mount)
Another strong start for beginners. First, I strongly recommend building Eternus as a Chaos Lord on Daemonic Mount instead. Eternus’s respawning gimmick can be fun, but you need some Furies or Chaos Legionnaires to get full value out of him. A stock Chaos Lord on horse synergizes great with the Chaos Knights who fulfill your battleline and can hit quite well on the charge, adding some speed to your pretty sluggish army (give them mark of Slaanesh).
The humble Chaos Warrior will be your workhorse unit and is definitely a great inclusion for a unit you were going to get anyway (give them mark of Nurgle to function as a tarpit for objectives). And of course the notorious Chosen which you will never leave at home (Give them Slaanesh and the banner for faster speed and more attacks!). The Theridons are the weakspot here, I’d argue they’re not unusable but just mediocre.
Even that aside, Theridons are quite playable and I’d go so far as to say two of these boxes is a good deal. You’ll already want to reinforce Warriors and Chosen, and there’s a strong argument for bringing 2 squads of Knights. A second box would let you build up the Chaos Lord with the build you didn’t use before, and honestly? 6 Theridons is not the worst investment. Get a Chaos Sorcerer Lord in there and you have a fairly competitive list.
Primordial Starhost – Seraphon
Total Value: $325/£202.50
Point Value: 1030 (can be much lower with Hunters with clubs and Kroxigor instead of warspawned)
A good dollar value, though the contents…are a bit suspect. The Slann Starborne is obviously the unquestioned star, few lists are gonna leave home without it. Saurus Warriors are your bread and butter battleline, but it starts to go down a bit here.
The Aggradon Lancers and Kroxigor Warspawned are your bruisers and they do a decent enough job, build them however you want. The Hunters of Huanchi are solid as well (definitely give them blowpipes) and creating distractions and scooping up objectives your opponents might try and leave. The Terrawings are cheap screens at best, and are really only here because they come with the Hunters.
Overall it’s…fine. You probably won’t double up, and need to go out and get a lot more support pieces like an Astrolith Bearer and Skink Wizard. I think theres better infantry you can include, but if you like the units, theyre not completely worthless either.
Praetorian Spearhead – Ossiarch Bonereapers
Total Value: $380/£230
Point Value: 1240 (1230 with Liege-Kavalos instead of Zandtos)
The best value per dollar and everything in here is really good! The lack of Immortis Guard/Stalker kits might drive a few people away but I’d argue it shouldn’t. There’s good value here.
First the Liege-Kavalos, you definitely want to build his generic form so he can benefit from the command trait/Artefact. The Endless Duty command ability makes him far more useful than Zandtos. Accompanying him will be the Kavalos Deathriders which are mandatory in any list, they help unlock one of the easier battle tactics in the book and their impact wounds can make the difference between wiping a unit and getting stuck in.
The Mortek Guard are perfectly functional for what they are, resilient battleline to hold objectives. While the Gothizzar Harvester gets a lot of flack, I think when accompanying a squad of 20 Mortek Guard he can really put in work ressurecting them. Finally the Morghast are your elite hammers. Build whichever unit you like, but use spears over short swords regardless. Their ability to shut down command abilities is incredible and cannot be overstated.
The only really obvious problem is the lack of a wizard, which you can fix with Arkhan, Boneshaper, or Ossifector (the former for knowing all the spells and the latter for their incredible artefacts) and of course some Immortis Guard. If you can find them, throw those in and you’ll be on your way to a solid collection
This year was really generous for Sigmar. If you want to start any of the armies available I’d highly reccomend all of them, even the Seraphon box has the parts for a good starting force. If you’re a newcomer to Age of Sigmar looking at these boxes as your intro the Mortal Realms, welcome! Otherwise, I hope to see you on the field of battle.