Start Collecting Age of Sigmar

For new players, starting an army can be daunting: There are tons of different army boxes and deals out there, and figuring out how to build an army can be a paralyzing experience for players who want to expand but don’t want to throw money away on bad units or weapon options they won’t use. In today’s article, we’re looking at the different Start Collecting boxes that Games Workshop offers and evaluating them both in terms of their contents and how useful those units are, their savings to the purchaser, and the amount of points they give players for their investment. 

Start Collecting

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  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Black Ark Fleetmaster (Hero), 10 x Black Ark Corsairs (Battleine if General is Scourge Privateer), 1 x Kharibdyss (Behemoth) and 1 x Scourgerunner Chariot (Battleline if General is Scourge Privateer)
  • Contents RRP: £100
  • Savings £40
  • Points: 370

The Start Collecting Anvilguard box is a (Dark Elf) Scourge Privateer themed Cities of Sigmar box, that was one of the two new Start Collecting boxes released with the Cities of Sigmar Battletome. If you run the Hero as your general you have the minimum a Hero and 2 Battleline. If you choose to run the titular Anvilgard army the Kharibdyss is also battleline.

Please note dear reader that this box does not have to be run as Anvilgard, unlike what it says on the tin. With Cities of Sigmar you can run any unit in any of the cities. That being said Anvilguard is focused on the Scourge Privateers, so it would make sense to use that rule set.

This box gives you a solid backbone for a Scourge Privateer focused list. Corsairs are run best in blocks of 40 and the Chariot is an excellent buy for the points. The Kharibdyss is useful and a great looking distraction piece that can hold its own if sent off on a solitary mission.

While it’s not the biggest points sink of the Start Collecting boxes it gives you a great taste of what units you’ll actually be using. Shouts to Luke Stone.

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Beasts of Chaos

  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Great Bray-Shaman (Hero), 10 x Ungors (Battleline) / Ungor Raiders, 10 x Bestigors (Battleline with Bray-Shaman or Beastlord General) and 1 x Cygor (Behemoth) / Ghorgon (Behemoth)
  • Contents RRP: £95
  • Savings: £35
  • Points: 470-620

If you run the Bray-Shaman as your General and build the Ungors as regular Ungors, you’ll get another legal list from this box as he will turn your Bestigors into Battleline giving you the required Hero and 2 Battleline again. Ungor Raiders however are one of the few ranged units available to Chaos and certainly to Beasts of Chaos in particular so if you want to do anything in the shooting phase you might want to build them as Raiders.

With an additional purchase of of Gors/Ungors/Chariots or Centigors you can make 3 of the 4 god marked Battalions that will let you include the contents in a [Nurgle] [Slaanesh] or [Tzeentch] army too, as it adds the god keyword to the units in the Battalion.

In the top 3 of repeatable Start Collecting. If you’re getting into the Bray-Bois you’ll end up with many of these. Great buy.

Beastclaw Raiders

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 Stonehorn (Hero, can be assembled as Frostlord, Huskard, or Thundertusk Beastrider), Mournfang Pack (4 x Ogors riding Mournfangs)
  • Contents RRP: £87.50
  • Savings: £32.50
  • Points: 500-680

Another good value box. There are 4 different leader builds and 2 non-leader Behemoths that can be built from the first kit. Assembling it has the Huskard on Stonehorn or Thundertusk will give you a command ability that adds 2 to the damage of the Mournfang pack’s charge rather than 1. Taking the Huskard will also make the Mournfang pack battleline as well as any Beastriders you make from the leader kit.

2 boxes can be assembled to make a legal 1000pt list (you’d have to drop 4 Mournfang Pack models otherwise you’re at around 1260pts). You can make close to 1000pts if you assemble 2 boxes as the following: 1 x Frostlord on Stonehorn (400pts) – General 2x Mournfang Pack (140pts) 2 x Mournfang Pack (140pts) 1 x Thundertusk Beastrider (300pts) Leaving 4 Mournfang Pack models spare for when you move up to 2000 points.

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Daemons of Khorne

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 Herald on Blood Throne (Hero), 10 x Bloodletters (Battleline) and 3 x Bloodcrushers (Battleline if General is Skullmaster)
  • Contents RRP: £103.50
  • Savings £48.50
  • Points: 370

This box won’t give you a legal list if unless you run the Herald as Skullmaster to make the Bloodcrushers Batteline. The units in this box will combine nicely with one of the other Mortal SC Khorne boxes to build up a Blades of Khorne list though. Also quite good savings on the RRP of the individual units, and currently the only way to get the Herald on Throne model. Also usable in Warhammer 40k.

Both the Bloodletters and the Bloodcrushers work best in large units but I think a box of these is still a good purchase for newer players as they’ll want them for summoning purposes. Get some games in with them as summons and see if you like them enough to bulk up the units.

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Daemons of Nurgle

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 Herald of Nurgle / Poxbringer, 10 x Plaguebearers (Battleline), 3 x Nurglings, and 3 x Plague Drones
  • Contents RRP: £90
  • Savings: £35
  • Points: 540

Another great box when it comes to versatility as they can be used in a pure Daemon army, in a Maggotkin army or in [Nurgle] army (Marked Slaves to Darkness, Maggotkin, Beasts of Chaos with Nurgle Mark and Clan Pestilens). Plaguebearers are your only Battleline unit in the box so you will need additional purchases to make it legal, and as a Battleline unit Plaguebearers work much better in maxed out blocks so it maybe not the best start collecting for a new player.

As with the other Daemons boxes, these are usable in Warhammer 40k.

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Daemons of Slaanesh

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh (Hero), 10 x Daemonettes of Slaanesh (Batteline), 5 x Seekers of Slaanesh
  • Contents RRP: £55.50
  • Savings: 50p
  • Points: 450

Another pure daemon Start Collecting box and another one that’ll work in both AoS and 40k. Only one Battleline unit here so you’ll need additional purchases to make the contents into a legal list. Not a great saving vs all the other boxes either so it’d be hard to recommend more than one, unless you really want additional Hero chariots, which is also currently the only way to get that kit.

Any Hedonites of Slaanesh force is going to want at least one of these boxes, as when you first start out they can form a nice little core to your forces – but when you eventually develop out your forces to a full 2000 points you can phase some of these models out and use them as forces to bring on thanks to your summon mechanic – an essential buy in our opinion.

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Daemons of Tzeentch

    • Price: £55
    • Contents: 1 Herald of Tzeentch (Hero) + Chariot (can be built as a separate unit), 10 x Pink Horrors (Battleline), 3 x Screamers of Tzeentch (Subfaction locked Battleline) and 3 x Flamers of Tzeentch (Subfaction locked Battleline)
    • Contents RRP: £85
    • Savings £30
    • Points: 640

The last of the Daemon boxes and yet another one that’s fully usable in both AoS and 40k. This is fantastic value box because not only does it provide at least 2 battleline if you pick certain sub-factions within the Tzeentch allegiance, but most of the units contained within are core units to a powerful Daemons based Tzeentch list. The box can let you either build a herald on chariot + an exalted flamer, or a herald on foot and an exalted flamer on chariot – this degree of flexibility is always great in a start collecting box because it means that buying multiples often doesnt end up in redundant copies of a unit you don’t want. The one caveat here is that the points cost of Horrors are priced as if you are splitting them into blue and then brimstone horrors when they die, which you obviously need the models for. Keep that in mind when collecting this faction! This box is similar to the Slaanesh one in that grabbing a box if you’re arcanite based is still very good value as having the option to summon these units to the battle is a core part of the army and this gives you a nice base of summonable daemons to work from.

The new battletome has cranked up the usefulness of all the contents in this box. Pink Horrors have become essential and flamers are now powerful top-tier shooty bois.

Excellent buy for someone starting out with the Changer of Ways.

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Flesh-Eater Courts

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 Terrorgheist (Behemoth, Batteline in Gristlegore) / Ghoul King on Terrorgheist (Leader, Behemoth)  / Zombie Dragon (Behemoth, Battleline in Gristlegore) / Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (Leader, Behemoth), 3 x Crypt Horrors (Battleline in Blisterskin)/ Crypt Flayers (Battleline in Hollowmourne) / Vargheists (Battleline in Soulblight) and 10 x Crypt Ghouls.
  • Contents RRP: £92.50
  • Savings £37.50
  • Points: Massive variation depending but around the 650-850 mark based on build options.

This is a really versatile box as many of the units can be build in a different ways and can be slotted in to different Death lists depending on how they’re built. In a Flesh-Eater Courts army the big beast of the box (Terrorgheist/ZD) can be built as a standalone behemoth with a freestanding Ghoul King or as a mounted leader of either the FEC variety or as a Vampire Lord/the named Vampire Lord, Prince Vordrai.

The Crypt Horrors can built as 2 different FEC units (Horrors and Flayers) or as a Nagash/Soulblight unit the Vargheists.

In fact the only unit that can’t be built for 2 different allegiances, are the ghouls and at £25 a box it’s probably still cheaper to buy this box and never use them if you’re looking at Soulblight or Nagash, it’s that good.

Buying 4 of this box isn’t out of the question. This is in the top 2 of repeatable boxes to buy and it ain’t 2.

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  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Auric Runefather/Runemaster/Runeson on Magmadroth (Hero, Behemoth), 1 Auric Runesmiter, and 10 x Vulkite Berzerkers (Batteline)
  • Contents RRP: £115
  • Savings: £55
  • Points: approx 560 depending on builds.

The naked dwarves are excellent value for money with a massive saving on the RRP for the units at almost 50%. The Hero can be built in 3 different configurations but the rest of the units are single build options. Notably, their is a set of legs to build one of the Runefather/Runemaster/Runeson on foot in addition to the rider, which makes this rather a fantastic box.

The flexibility is always appreciated as it reduces likelihood of redundant copies of heroes, and Vulkite Berzerkers form the core of many Fyreslayer armies so buying 2 or 3 copies of this makes a nice little core to add to and a suite of heroes to bring to the table. Consider expanding this box with a few boxes of Auric Heathguard to add some extra punch to your forces.

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Greywater Fastness

  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Warden King (Hero), 1 Cogsmith (Hero), 10 x Ironbreakers (Batteline) and 1 x Gyrobomber
  • Contents RRP: £90
  • Savings: £30
  • Points: 380

The second of the 2 Cities of Sigmar boxes that came out with the Battletome, this time its the chance of the old plastic Dwarves to take the turn in the spotlight.

Unusually, this box has 2 hero units and one battleline. The Ironbreakers can be be alternatively built as Irondrakes which will also count as battleline if your general is a Dwarf (Duardin). Iron drakes are one of the best shooting unit in Cities of Sigmar, and the Gyrocopter is excellent for clearing off the weaker troops in your enemy’s army. The gyrocopter can be built as a copter or bomber, though we recommend you stick with the copter (we secretly think it’s an absolute steal at its price point).

A couple of boxes of these serve a great core to a Cities of Sigmar force, and brave converters can take the extra Warden King and convert it into a Runelord for some anti caster potency and buff potential.

This, like Start Collecting Anvilgard before it can be used in any Cities of Sigmar army. Don’t let the name fool you!

A solid start for the stunty lover in Age of Sigmar.

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Idoneth Deepkin

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 x Ishrann Soulrender (Hero), 10 x Namarti Thralls (Battleline) and 3 x Arkhelian Guard (Batteline if General is Arkhelian Hero)
  • Contents RRP: £77.50
  • Savings: £20.50
  • Points: Approximately 380 if Eels built as Morsarr Guard or 350 otherwise

A good all-round box with a decent hero, the main battleine and a dual-purpose eel kit, which can become battleline if you purchase a different hero (either the giant turtle, or one of the Kings, Volturnos or generic).

One of the better SC boxes around. Eelbois of both kinds are a mainstay of Idoneth lists and while army building via the boxes will leave you with too many of them, Thralls find their way on the table to bulk out the bodycount. The Soulrender tends to get dropped, but isn’t an awful pick.

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  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 x Orruk Warchanter (Hero), 10 x Orruk ‘Ardboyz (Batteline) and 3 Orruk Gore-Gruntas (Batteline in Ironjaws or Big Waagh! army)
  • Contents RRP: £98.50
  • Savings: £38.50
  • Points: 360

This is one of the original Start Collecting boxes and pre-dates the new Battletome. The new Battletome makes the Gore-Gruntas batteline in an Ironjawz army or a Big Waagh!, so you can now add in other Orruk units without losing the battleline status of this box, maybe combine it with the Savage Orruks one. A solid start for one of the sneaky best armies in AoS.

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Kharadron Overlords

  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Endrinmaster (Hero), 5 x Grundstok Thunderers (Battleline in Barak-Nar), 3 x Skywardens/Endrinriggers(Battleline if Endrinmaster in Dirigible Suit is general) and a Grundstok Grundhauler (Battleline in Barak-Urbaz)
  • Contents RRP: £97.50
  • Savings: £37.50
  • Points: 440-460

What was once one of the worst Start Collecting boxes has transformed into one of the best with the release of the AoS 2.0 Overlords battletome.

Everything in the box, other than the Endrinmaster hero, can one way or the other become battleline. The balloon boys and Thunderers are a great backbone for lots of KO lists and the Gunhauler is essential for many battalions. Much like the Beasts of Chaos and Flesh Eater Courts, this is a box work buying multiple times. Good savings with it too.

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Khorne Bloodbound Goreblade Warband

  • Price: £50
  • Contents: 1 Mighty Lord of Khorne (Hero), 1 Bloodsecrator (Hero), 1 Bloodstoker (Hero), 1 Khorgorath, 5 x Blood Warriors (Battleline) and 10 x Bloodreavers (Battleline)
  • Contents RRP: Approximately: £100 (assuming £17.50 for the characters and half the price of the 10 and 20 boxes of warriors and reavers)
  • Savings: £50
  • Points: 530

A great value box and currently the only way to get the Bloodsecrator, Bloodstoker and Khorgorath. The contents of this box where the Khorne half of the original Age of Sigmar starter set and many people do/did (help me out here players) consider the Bloodstoker an autoinclude in Khorne armies.

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Maggotkin of Nurgle

  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Lord of Blights (Hero), 5 x Putrid Blightkings, 2 x Pusgoyle Blightlords (Batteline if Lord of Blights is General) / Lord of Affliction (Hero)
  • Contents RRP: £91
  • Savings: £31
  • Points: 500 (In both builds)

A good example of a Maggotkin army, and would mix brilliantly with the Daemons of Nurgle box for a nice flavourful Nurgle list. If you build one of the Pusgoyle Blightlords you’l end up with a spare). If you build them as the Pusygoyle Blighttlords and make the Lord of Blights your general you’ll have a game legal 500pts army out of the box as they become Batteline.

The Lord of Blights also bestows a ranged attack to a unit of Blight Kings in range so the synergy in the box is a great example of how units interact with each other.

With Nurgle abilities now on unmodified 6’s this box is an excellent choice for all the puss fans out there.

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  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 Mortis Engine (Behemoth) / Bloodseeker Palaquin (Leader, Behemoth), Coven Throne (Leader, Behemoth), 5 x Hexwraiths (Battleline in a Nighthaunt army) / Black Knights and 3 Spirit Hosts (Battleline in a Nighthaunt army)
  • Contents RRP: £72.20
  • Savings: £17.20
  • Points: Varies if Legion of Nagash or Nighthaunt, approximately: 550-600

This is another one of the older boxes and though it predates Nighthaunt as an army, is probably the closest box to a Nighthaunt Start Collecting one.

Unfortunately this box is pretty lousy for pure Nighthaunts. Hexwraiths are underwhelming on the tabletop and Spirit Hosts are usually passed over for the more disposable and flexible Chainrasps. Pure Nighthaunt can’t even take the Mortis Engine either, leaving it a dead weight for the brunt of the box’s cost.

All the units can be used in a Legion of Nagash and Soulblight army too, but if you run the Hexwraiths as Hexwraiths you have 2 Battleline units for a Nighthaunt army but no Hero to lead them and a spare Behemoth as none of the 3 builds have the Nighthaunt keyword. All other build combinations will fit into Legions of Nagash just fine though. a solid box for someone who likes to convert, but tough to use in these modern times.

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  • Price: £55
  • Contents:  1 x Oldblood on Carnosaur (Hero), 12 x Saurus Warriors (Battleline in units of 10) and 8 x Saurus Knights (Battleline in units of 5)
  • Contents RRP: £97.50
  • Savings: £42.50

Points: Varies depending on Carnosaur build but approximately: 390

This was always one of the best deals and an easy recommend for multiple purchases, the only real issue being the unit sizes being off due to the sprues being based on the old WHFB unit sizes.

Besides the wonky unit sizes, the biggest downfall of this box are the Saurus Knights, who are a wet dinofart of a unit. However, since you’re virtually getting them for free they can make a nice display piece of you’re so inclined.

The Carnosaur can be built in different ways with one option giving you a foot mounted Hero and a separate Carnosaur, built this way you’ll get 2 x Battleline units and a Hero at approximately 500pts and a great way to start playing with Seraphon.

Claws crossed for a new battletome this year!

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Skaven Pestilens

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 x Plague Priest Plague Furnace (Hero) / Grey Seer on Screaming Bell (Hero), 1 x Plagueclaw / Warp Lightning Cannon (Artillery), and 20 x Plague Monks (Battleline in a pure Pestilens army)
  • Contents RRP: £85
  • Savings: £40
  • Points: 480 (Varies if build is different)

Another really old Start Collecting box. Clan Pestilens has been rolled into the Skaven Battletome and can now be mixed with other Skaven units, meaning you can build the Furnace as a Screaming Bell or the Plagueclaw as a Warp Lightning Cannon if you wish. Keeping the build as per the box art will give you a valid Clan Pesitilens list though because in a pure Pestilens army Plague Monks count as Batteline if all other units have the Pestilens keyword and you can run them as 2 bocks of 10 though this is probably not recommended.

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Skeleton Horde

  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 x Arkhan the Black (Hero, Behemoth), 5 x Black Knights, 10 x Skeleton Warriors (Battleline)
  • Contents RRP: £88
  • Savings: £33
  • Points: 540

A great box if you’re starting one of the lists from the Legions of Nagash book. Arkhan can be alternatively built as Neferata or Mannfred too, and if you’d rather have Hexwraiths, then they’re the alternate build for the Black Knights.

This box plus a load more skeletons will see you off to a good start towards a LoN army, Soulblight army or any of the Legions of Sacrament lists.

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Slaves to Darkness

  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Chaos Lord on Karkadrak (Hero), 10 x Warriors of Chaos (Batteline), and 5 x Chaos Knights (Battleline in Slaves to Darkness army)
  • Contents RRP: £90*
  • Savings: £30*
  • Points: 530
*Based on older models as the new ones aren't available yet.

This box is a fantastic starting point for anyone interested in Chaos in general because all three units can be used in not just the Slaves to Darkness allegiance, but Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle & Slaanesh factions because of the Marks of Chaos each unit has access to. If you want to read more about the faction, check out our deep analysis on the Slaves to Darkness battletome here.

In addition, this box gives you access to two units of 5 warriors and one unit of 5 knights to make up 3 battleline and a leader – meaning you have your battleline tax without needing to buy any extra boxes. That said, Warriors get better in swarms and you’ll want the musician and standard bearer options for both units – these options are sadly lacking in this box! To maximise the effectiveness of both units you will either need to raid your bits box to find suitable bits for these options, or go on the hunt for a box of Chaos Warriors and Chaos Knights if only to get yourself the necessary bits and flesh out both units in size.

As for the Chaos Lord on Karkadrak – it’s a fun little combat monster that has impressive offensive and defensive capabilities, a nice leader to have when you’re learning a new faction.

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Stormcast Eternals Thunderstrike Brotherhood

  • Price: £50
  • Contents: 1 Lord Celestant on Dracoth (Hero), 1 Lord Relictor (Hero), 3 x Retributors, 10 x Liberators (Batteline), 3 x Prosecutors
  • Contents RRP: Approx £100
  • Savings: Approx £50
  • Points: 710**
** The unit of Retributors is not legally sized so you're paying extra for the full sized units

The other half of the original Age of Sigmar Starter Box. This is an amazing deal, with just the single flaw that the Retributors are only in a unit of 3 so you’ll pay the full price of 5 Retributors for those 3. Otherwise this a decent starting point for fans of the armoured warriors of Sigmar. If you fancy adding onto this force with some magical reinforcements, consider splitting a starter set with a Nighthaunt player for a suite of useful units to any Stormcast player.

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Stormcast Vanguard

  • Price: £60
  • Contents: 1 Lord-Aquilor (Hero), 5 x Vanguard Hunters (Batteline if General is Lord-Aquilor), 3 x Vanguard Palladors, 3 x Glyph-Hounds
  • Contents RRP: £88.75***
  • Savings: £22.75
  • Points: 610 ****
*** Assuming £17.50 for the Characters and halving the cost of the Vanguard Hunters box (they come in 10s)
**** Glyph-hounds are minimum 6 per unit so you're paying for 6 and getting only 3.

The Stormcast half of The Blight War box minus Neave Black Talon.

As is tradition, the Stormcast box gives you a couple of janky-sized units, but this time it’s not quite as bad. Palladors are one of the most mobile units in Stormcast and give Hunters are fine, but required in a couple of the best vanguard battalions. Who doesn’t love good doggos? Best looking Stormcast as voted in 2019. All and all – a solid box.

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  • Price: £55
  • Contents: 1 Branchwych (Hero), 16 x Dryads (Batteline), 1 x Treelord (Behemoth)
  • Contents RRP: £77
  • Savings: £22
  • Points: Approximately 480 (undersized unit of Dryads of 16 vs 20)

This is a great box for starting Sylvaneth or Living City. The Treelord can be built as one of 2 different heroes too, either the Treelord Ancient or the Spirit of Durthu. You could easily buy 2 of these boxes and convert one of the Branchwyches into a Branchwraith for a decent sized 1000pt list.


The Next Steps

Whether you’re starting a new army from scratch or adding to an existing one, we hope we’ve given you everything you need to to know about which Start Collecting boxes to consider. If you’re interested in going one step further, we’d recommend digging into our Age of Sigmar content for an idea of what units, strategies, and factions are worth looking at. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to drop us a note in the comments below or email us at