Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance review

The much anticipated 6th edition boxed game for Warhammer 40,000 is finally here!

The standard version of Dark Vengeance contains 48 miniatures, all of which are snap-fit plastic models (meaning that the use of glue is optional). The box also contains a mini rulebook, an introductory guide entitled “Dark Vengeance”, two quick reference sheets, assembly instructions and all the dice and templates you’ll need to play the game.

The boxed set contains the following models:

  • Dark Angels:
    • 1 Dark Angels Company Master
    • 1 Dark Angels Librarian
    • 5 Death Wing Terminators
    • 10 Dark Angel Tactical Marines
    • 3 Ravenwing Bikes
    • Exclusive to the limited edition (available at launch): 1 Interrogator Chaplain
  • Chaos Space Marines:
    • 1 Chaos Space Marines Lord
    • 6 Chaos Space Marine Chosen
    • 1 Chaos Space Marine Hellbrute
    • 20 Chaos Cultists
Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Space Marines Hellbrute
Chaos Space Marines Hellbrute

All the models in this boxed set are of great quality – the sculpts all being of a standard that would traditionally have been thought of as superior to those expected in an introductory boxed set. The models lack the mono-dimensional aspect of some of the models in the old Assault on Black Reach boxed game – I’m thinking particularly of the Ork Boyz models from the Black Reach box.

Games Workshop continue to improve the sense of depth in their plastic kits with the 8 part Hellbrute being built in layers, making this model extremely intricate for a model comprising so few parts. The thought that goes in to doing this is impressive as I’m sure it needs to be considered throughout the design/sculpting process.

From a personal perspective, I like about 90% of the models in this boxed set, (and am crazy about 50% of them) just one or two of the Chaos Cultist models don’t work for me, but this is just my opinion and I have spoken others that have no problem at all with these selfsame miniatures. The highlight for me are the Chaos Chosen, these are truly beautiful sculpts.

Here are the sprues for you to look over:

Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance Sprue 1 (the box contains 2 of these)
Dark Vengeance Sprue 1 (the box contains 2 of these)
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance Sprue 2 (the box contains 1 of these)
Dark Vengeance Sprue 2 (the box contains 1 of these)
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance Sprue 3 (the box contains 1 of these)
Dark Vengeance Sprue 3 (the box contains 1 of these)
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance Interrogator Chaplain sprue (only contained in limited edition)
Dark Vengeance Interrogator Chaplain sprue (only contained in limited edition)

Just as an observation – I have to say that I am surprised to see the Chaos/Imperial models grouped together on the sprues, making it easier for people to break up the boxed sets and sell individual armies on eBay etc – this reverses the situation with Island of Blood which mixed up the Skaven and High Elves quite extensively. Maybe Games Workshop didn’t want to make life harder for those that wanted to split a box with a friend…

It’s not just about the models however – also included is a mini rulebook that includes the full game rules. The difference between this book and the full Warhammer 40,000 6th edition rulebook is that it doesn’t include all the background and hobby information but more importantly it doesn’t weigh over 2kgs (weighing in at a couple of hundred grams) so is easy to carry around.

Warhammer 40,000 Dark Angels Company Master
Dark Angels Company Master

Also included in the boxed set is an introductory guide to Warhammer 40,000, entitled “Dark Vengeance”. This book helps those that find the 156 page mini rulebook a bit intimidating learn to play. It contains 6 missions, the first focusing on individual elements of the game and the last two represent two larger battles that can be played once the basics have been mastered.

Above and beyond this are the usual accessories you expect from a Games Workshop boxed game, dice, templates etc but an unexpected gem is the  quick reference sheet (of which there are two), these are really useful and will save wear and tear on the rulebook when looking up some of the most commonly used charts and tables.

With regard to value for money – some of the models in this boxed set don’t have a direct equivalent available separately so it is difficult to calculate what they might cost if bought individually, but by using logical equivalents – Hellbrute for Dreadnought, Cultists for Imperial Guard etc the models could be valued at approximately £175. Add to this the mini rulebook – worth £10-£15 of anyone’s money and the boxed set represents great value for money.

Summary

All the models in this boxed set are of great quality – the sculpts all being of a standard that would traditionally have been though of as superior to those expected in an introductory boxed set.

Also included is a very handy mini rulebook that is much more portable than the full hardback rulebook.

The models could be valued at approximately £175. Add to this the mini rulebook – worth £10-£15 and the boxed set represents great value for money.

The only potential downside is if you don’t want to collect either of the included armies…

Overall score: 10/10

10 out of 10