Saturday, September 01, 2012

Dark Vengeance - First Impressions

Like a lot of people I got up this morning and headed straight to my FLGS to pick up my copies (yes I bought 2!) of Dark Vengeance. I was pleased to get both kits for £104 with a 20% discount. I've been looking forward to this for ages and I have to say I was not disappointed. Whilst the box wasn't as packed as some people were saying there's still loads of stuff in there. Having had quick flick through the A5 rulebook (which matches the page numbers of the big book), I went straight on to the models.

The first model I went for was the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain. Despite only being made of a few pieces it's an absolutely stunning model. I was particularly impressed with the sculpted base that was supplied with the miniature. The model's feet slot nicely into place and the rest of the assembly was a breeze. Personally I hope that the rest of the characters that are released for 6th edition are plastic and this detailed. The moulded base did make me wonder if this is something we'll see more of when the new kits arrive. Let's hope so anyway as I'm too lazy to make my own and too tight to buy resin bases for my whole army!

I've since assembled the rest of the models and each one was a dream to assemble. The models are incredibly detailed when you consider they're a) plastic and b) in a starter set! Now, I have to agree with others that it's a shame that there are duplicate models in the set but with some conversion work and varying paint jobs we can make them look individual. Frankly the amount of detail on each model quickly made me forget their were duplicates. When you look back to 2nd edition with the crappy mono-pose Space Marines and Orks.

Aside from the sculpted base for the Chaplain there are some really nice ideas here that I hope we see again. The terminators all come with a little trinket for their bases ranging from a pile of spent shells for the assault cannon to severed cultist heads on another terminator's base. This is a really nice touch and helps make your bases more interesting. The bikers are beautiful models and are leaning slightly to make them seem like they're moving quickly. This is where it's the biggest shame about duplicate models as you'd have thought they could make 3 different bikes. Mind you the way everything is packed onto the sprues it's a surprise they got in what they did.

It's a bit of a shame that the helbrute base is a basic flat round base but the model itself features some scenery underfoot to make it seem like a sculpted base. I'd have expected something more akin to a dreadnought base though. The cultists are nice miniatures considering they'll be mainly used as cannon fodder on the battlefield. I hope they don't end up being to costly in terms of points values though as that statline isn't too hot.

When you add up the miniatures on the GW website you're getting about £210 of models for £65 (or £52 in my case). Whilst there are duplicates I'd be pretty happy to field two of the tactical squads and with a small amount of converting I'll be using my further 3 bikes and 5 terminators. I wasn't really planning on starting a DA army from the DV box but the models are too good to pass up. I'm less excited about the Chaos ones and frankly I don't think I'll do Kranon and the Chosen justice with my meagre painting skills. That's something worth pointing out I think, the models are very detailed and someone who's new to the hobby and getting this as a way of getting into 40K might finding these a little daunting to paint. Don't get me wrong I'm not asking for simpler models but you see my point.

Putting the models aside the paperwork is decent too. I'm impressed that the mini rulebook is still full-colour and is essentially just a shrunk down version of the rules section of it's hardbacked older brother. I've yet to have a full read of the missions in the box but I'll try and give the solo ones a go over the weekend and then see if Matt or Jamie can be persuaded to give the other 4 a go. The mission book itself is nice with a basic guide to the rules in the front for new players and then some fluffy mission descriptions.

There's a couple of summary sheets in there too which for some reason are printed on different weights of paper but appear to be identical. The limited edition Chaplain model get's his own laminated reference sheet with assembly instructions on the back. All in all everything seems high quality and you feel like you're getting your money's worth.

I'm hoping that next month's White Dwarf has some painting guides as these are sadly absent from the box. I'm sure I can figure something out myself mind you but it's nice to have them as a bit of a clue! My main problem now is persuading myself to focus on painting my Dark Eldar army for Blog Wars 4 (tickets still available by the way) rather than getting distracted and painting my new shiny models.

All in all I'd have to say that this is the best starter set GW have produced. Griping about duplicate models seems a bit impotent when you consider how varied they are compared to early editions. Right time to go read the mission book and work out a paint scheme.


  1. i shared a box of these with my friend. i got chaos i love the cultists they are amazing i wont 50 of them. i played against my friend and if the squad guns down at least one term there job is done any more and they are just awesome

  2. i was wondering if it is possible to change or hide the DA markings and if so how easy.The set looks really good just dont really want to do DA.Any advice cheers



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