Games Workshop just announced that to bring in the New Year they will have four new Space Marine Battleforce boxes to go with the Imperial Fists and Raven Guard options that were released last month. Are any of them worth getting? Let’s find out. For purposes of calculating value we’re assuming the new forces are at the same $210 USD or 130 GBP price point as the old ones, and that each one has enough upgrade sprues or transfers for every applicable model.
Bastion Strike Force
Contents: Tor Garadon, 15 Heavy Intercessors, 3 Aggressors, 2 Imperial Fists Upgrade Sprues
MSRP: $346 USD / 210.5 GBP
Savings: $136 USD / 80.5 GBP
If your preference for Space Marines starts at 3 wounds and ends at toughness 5, then the Bastion Strike Force would definitely hold some appeal. The box is also viable for anyone who doesn’t necessarily want to play Imperial Fists (which as of this article seemingly includes actual Imperial Fist players), as Tor Garadon could easily become a Gravis Captain or Chapter Master with some modification and the Intercessor power fists only require some light scraping to be used for any chapter. This box also provides the biggest reduction against MSRP, as Heavy Intercessors are very expensive.
March of Iron Strike Force
Contents: Iron Father Feirros, Primaris Techmarine, 2 Redemptor Dreadnoughts, 10 Intercessors, 2 (?) Iron Hands Upgrade Sprues
MSRP: $334 USD / 203 GBP
Savings: $124 USD / 73 GBP
Iron Hands love their vehicles, and this boxed set can serve as a viable Patrol for anyone who wants to start or expand their force in that direction. Redemptor Dreadnoughts are one of the best options available for Space Marine players, with a pair of Dreadnoughts supported by 10 Intercessors and 2 Techmarines. Iron Father Feirros could easily be converted into a generic Master of the Forge while the Iron Hands upgrade sprue has plenty of bits that make this box set viable for any Chapter.
Ravenstrike Battle Force
Contents: Kayvaan Shrike, Librarian in Phobos Armour, 10 Reivers, 2 Invictor Warsuits, 3 Eliminators, Raven Guard Transfer Sheets
MSRP: $322 USD / 195.5 GBP
Savings: $112 USD / 65.5 GBP
One of the more specialized boxes, this Battle Force’s primary source of appeal is the two Invictor Warsuits which offer a viable combination of speed and firepower. Unfortunately it’s hampered by the Reivers, as Space Marines are already quite good at killing unarmored targets and abilities that effect Leadership rarely do anything. Outside of Shrike the box is easily applied to other Chapters. If this boxed set included Infiltrators instead of the Reivers that Games Workshop loves to put into everything (no matter how few actually see the battlefield) then it would be a lot more appealing.
Note that this boxed set does not contain any upgrade sprues, as the Reiver shoulder pads are different from the Intercessor pads in the upgrade set. Instead the box comes with three transfer sheets.
Scions of Macragge
Contents: Marneus Calgar and Victrix Honor Guard, Chief Librarian Tigurius, 3 Bladeguard Veterans, 10 Intercessors, 10 Hellblasters, 2 (?) Ultramarines Upgrade Sprues
MSRP: $331 USD / 197.5 GBP
Savings: $121 USD / 67.5 GBP
Unsurprisingly the Ultramarines option features a lot of guys on foot. While obviously a decent starter set for someone who wants to play Ultramarines, this is probably one of the harder sets to apply to a different chapter since five of the characters have lots of Ultramarines iconography on them that’s a pain to convert. Existing Space Marine players aren’t likely to get much use out of this box since Hellblasters and Intercessors are commonplace.
Storm of Chogoris
Contents: Kor’sarro Khan, Primaris Chaplain on Bike, 6 Outriders, 2 Invader ATVs
MSRP: $302 USD / 186 GBP
Savings: $92 USD / 56 GBP
This is unquestionably the most specialized box set revealed, which makes it appealing for anyone who needs more bikes in their army and easily ignored by everyone else. This box also highlights how few Primaris HQ options have any real mobility; if there was an Inceptor Captain or another Primaris character on a bike then the box would have likely included that instead of forcing Kor’sarro to walk. The contents are easy to apply to a wide variety of Chapters, with even Khan being readily converted into a particularly thematic character.
While not explicitly declared, it seems unlikely that this boxed set will contain any upgrade sprues. Neither the Outriders nor the Invader models feature separate shoulder pads, and the models on the image provided by Warhammer Community appear to have transfers. If this box is sold at $210 it has the lowest discount against MSRP of the options discussed here.
Warforged Strike Force
Contents: Adrax Agatone, 20 Intercessors, 3 Eradicators, 3 Aggressors, 2 (?) Salamanders Upgrade Sprue
MSRP: $326 USD / 195 GBP
Savings: $116 USD / 46 GBP
Should you need Intercessors then this is the box for you. Featuring enough models to form a complete Patrol, this box is probably the best starter for anyone who doesn’t have Space Marines but is interesting is trying them out. The Salamanders Upgrade Sprue includes some fun bits that are applicable to other chapters, including thunder hammers and torch bits. The Eradicators are also one of the more effective units in Space Marine forces, and with the Salamanders Super Doctrine the flamer Aggressors can be surprisingly terrifying.
What’s Right for You?
While not necessarily the most competitive force at the moment, Space Marines remain a fantastic way for new players to try out Warhammer 40k and a fun way for players of other factions to try out a different play style. Space Marines also feature a lot of flat surfaces that are easy to paint, so it might be a good way to try something different if you’re burned out on your current army. Of the boxed sets I would recommend the March of Iron to start with, as it includes enough models to form a Patrol detachment, the models are easily applied to any Chapter, and big stompy robots are a ton of fun. Players could also consider the Bastion Strike Force if they like the look the Gravis units. The Ravenstrike Battle Force and Storm of Chogoris are the most specialized and seem more useful to players who have a specific need to expand their existing armies.
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