Warhammer 40,000: Assault on Black Reach - Board Game Box Shot

Warhammer 40,000: Assault on Black Reach

| Published: 2008
110 9 17

An ideal first purchase for anyone new to wargaming or existing gamers who want to begin playing Warhammer 40,000, the enclosed starter booklet has easy-to-follow examples and a step-by-step introduction to the game, while the rulebook contains all of the information you'll need to play the game proper. The two armies provided will allow you and a friend to begin playing right away - these finely detailed, plastic, citadel miniatures have been specially designed to allow you to quickly assemble an army ready for your first battle. For existing Warhammer 40,000 players, this set provides a handy, pocket-sized rule book, great for taking along to tournaments and events.

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5
Professional Grader
Miniature Painter
8
30 of 31 gamers found this helpful
“”We'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostly.” - Newt”

It is important to note that unlike most games featured on boardgaming.com this box gets you into the game but there is a bigger world with many dollars to be spent.

GAMEPLAY
40K is a war-game based on the turn sequence of move, shoot, and assault. Each player takes their turn with a small amount of response or interjection from the other player. The rules are fairly complex with each phase containing rules to cover almost every eventuality. The basic elements of the game can be grasped through the scenario book included in the box. Each scenario adds rules and models to build comprehension.
COMPONENTS
In the box there are Space Marines and Orcs. Space marines are the prototypical good guys super-humans fighting for humanity to the end. Orks are the colorful chaotic aliens fighting for fightin’s sake. The plastic is well molded and durable. Most of these models are only one or two pieces, easy to put together. Games Workshop makes some of the best sculpted models in the world; these are not their best but considering the quantity there is a ton of great modeling in the box.
THEME
The future is a dark place. Way way in the future. Warhammer 40K is an expansive setting and the rulebook begins as all of their books do, “In the darkness of the far future there is only war.” 40K is the best science fiction setting out there. Its gothic, gritty, and huge. There are adult elements to the world including demons and half naked ladies. These can be avoided for the younger crowd and do not have much if any presence in this box.
WHO IS IT FOR?
I have had a lot of experience with young kids trying to assemble models and remember rules and its very difficult for anyone under 12 to really grasp and enjoy. Small games last an hour. This box is for gamers who are interested in modeling and are able to spend much more of their disposable income on painting supplies and more models.

There is a lot to say about 40K beyond this box. I want to discuss two issues beyond the normal scope of a review. First, cost. I have watched the yearly price increases through the years and every time it makes me wince with pain. Unfortunately the company gets to make the prices and we as hobbyists have to decide whether our dollars are worth trading for their plastic. There are an ever increasing number of good miniature games and companies out there. If Games Workshop has, in your opinion, over stepped their bounds by out-pricing themselves try some of the other cool miniature games. Second, rules. 40K is a complex set of rules which tries to cover every eventuality. With the main rulebook plus over a dozen army books there is a ton of variation in the types of models. It is difficult to cover every rule conflict eventuality, could they do better? Sure. Does it kill the game? No. No other game system has the army variety of 40K and been able to keep as many armies competitive and relevant in the tournament community. And thats only if you require your army to be a tournament success.
Finally, If you do decide to jump into the world of 40k or any war-game there is a ton of satisfaction in the modeling, painting, and playing.

 
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2
Scorpion Clan-Legend of the Five Rings
9
27 of 28 gamers found this helpful
“The gateway drug into 40K”

If you ever want to get into the Warhammer 40 tabletop game this is one of the best ways to start. The box brings some of the most needed and common parts of the game in a single box set.

First thing to tell you is the rulebook. The main rulebook with fluff and paint schemes and pages and pages of slightly useless information is retail cost of $50. You get all the rules for the game in a smaller and condensed version without the useless stuff in this kit. So basically half the cost of the game is paid for in this rulebook. 😉

Second of all the actual figures. They are mostly a single model with maybe an arm or weapon to attach. Very simple for beginner modelers and players alike. No options for new weapons is annoying if you buy into the game later. But the weapons provided are the basic ones you will be using anyways. Just no room for upgrades. The figures themselves are a high quality model just like all the other GW product. So don’t think because it’s a beginner box you are getting a lesser product. One note, this is the only way to pick Deffkoptas, the Ork helicopter model, unless you pay like $13 for a single Deffkopta model.

Simplicity for this game is not really a problem. There are some beginner rules to get you started before jumping into the full rules for the game. So don’t worry about reading a full rulebook before you can play. There are like 3 pages of basic rules that anybody can pick up in a few mins and get a game going. Once you get a grasp of the basic rules the main ones aren’t much different. They just open up more options for how to defeat your enemy. Also, most 40K players are eager to teach and help new players learn the game. So head down to your local hobby shop to ask a few questions, watch a game or even participate with your new army from this set. This game has a huge community of players and painters alike, and we are always happy to add a new member to the family.

Cost is the only thing I would warn potential players about. This game is not cheap. It is a very expensive hobby, so understand that before you begin. However, a wise man once said, most video games you play are outdated in a few months, and if you’re lucky even a year, until you trade them in for a new one. Warhammer 40K always keeps its value and usually increases in value over time. The models you buy now, you will be playing for years, 7 in my case. And you will create memories, fun experiences and moments in time you can’t really enjoy with a video game. So with that being said, it’s expensive to get into, but the models retain their value. They actually increase in value if you paint them well. So there’s something to think about.

Overall, this is a great way to break into tabletop miniature wargaming. If you only want Orks, sell the other half on eBay, you will make up the cost, and vice versa if you want the space marines. The price varies but usually costs $100 retail. Look around the internet for places that sell GW product for 20-25% off and save some cash though. I recommend this becasue you get everything you need to play minus paint for the figs. You get the main rulebook, models, dice, beginner rules, templates and measuring rulers. Find a buddy to go in half cost or pick up the box and sell what you don’t need. Either way you really get your money’s worth for the models supplied in this set.

A SIDE NOTE OF IMPORTANCE: the new 6th edition of Warhammer 40K is set to release in July of 2012, and there are rumors of a new beginner box set being released with two different armies. So know this before buying, you may be able to pick up this set at a price drop since a new beginner set is planned to be coming out soon.

 
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1
Rated 5 Games
7
19 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Depends on the type of battle game you want.”

As a standalone game, this is a solid, if pricey set. The rules are better written than previous editions and the two forces are actually pretty well matched, with only a slight tilt in favor of the Space Marines. The figures are fun to paint if you’re interested in modeling- it’s a hobby in and of itself.

Warhammer 40K as a whole is another matter for me. This box is a starter set- to play at the scale Games Workshop intended you will end up spending a few hundred dollars more at minimum (other miniatures games cost much less to get to a so-called full size game).

While the rules are better than previous editions and more suited to competitive play, there are still significant balance issues (mainly due to the way GW releases additional rulebooks). Certain rules, like wound allocation and line of sight, are handled better in other games. “I go, you go” rules can be frustrating- individual turns can take a long time and new players will struggle with learning to counteract perceived first-turn advantage.

I think 40K plays well at smaller scales but falls short at the scale GW feels is ideal (about 3-6 times the size of the armies in this box). An important component of enjoying any game is finding good players. You will find this to be especially true of Warhammer 40,000.

My verdict:For 40K as a whole: try before you buy. Miniatures games are often more detailed and expensive than board games so finding one that fits you is important. I prefer smaller scale games and most 40k players “play big” so it is not for me, but that might be right up your alley.

As a standalone game, it’s good, but there are other miniature games that are better at this price range.

 
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3
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Novice Reviewer
7
17 of 18 gamers found this helpful
“A Great place to Start!”

I have several friends who are almost constantly neck-deep in Warhammer 40k. So I’m glad they finally came out with a set that I can get and play without completely breaking the bank. Although even at $99 the entry fee is still pretty steep.

Like the description says, it includes everything you need to start. If you need a comparison to other games, this is much like the pre-constructed deck packs of Magic. enough to play, but certainly not the best ‘deck’ available.

The one thing I find extremely intimidating about Warhammer is all the painting. While I’m a graphic designer for a living, I find the process daunting. If you don’t mind unpainted mini’s, then this point is rather moot.

It should be noted, while the rules do cover how everything within the kit works, it doesn’t go over how the various abilities interact outside the scope of the kit, so if you plan on going forward, you’re still going to have to cough up for the faction(s) rulebook(s).

 
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6
Scotland
Champion
The Gold Heart
Rated 100 Games
6
21 of 28 gamers found this helpful
“A Downward Spiral You May Never Want To Leave”

40k is to tabletop gaming as Magic: The Gathering is to CCG’s.

It is too large to fail.

It is the grandfather to the genre and holds in its sway myriad gamers as intensely as any narcotic. It is complex, full of history and detail and will always have more for you to consume, even when you THINK you are done collecting.

Let me clarify: there is a strong community to this. If you don’t mind figures and rules changing occasionally as the parent company’s answer to stagnant sales, this can really be the place for you. Lots of choices, lots of stories, evolving and escalating books and figures…and none of them really wrong or bad.

But be prepared to commit. You do not play this game halfway. This is not a “I’ll play with the 12-unit team I have completed”. Unlike many other similarly themed miniatures games, you will learn quickly that hundreds of dollars and man-hours will be invested before you are ready to play with the big boys…and that’s BEFORE you’ve fully figured your strategy.

In the end, GW’s 40k is like owning Apple Products (IMHO). Either get in wholly and enjoy the ups and downs of a tested and revered juggernaut of a system (at an expected greater cost), or go find something else and take your chances whether it will be supported next year.

 
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6
I play orange
Miniature Painter
Veteran Grader
Intermediate Reviewer
1
41 of 59 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“The identy crisis cluster continues”

40k, the giant mutating beast of a game that consumes all in it’s path. A game that started off as a joke, has had more designers yank and pull on it to become the GURPs of tabletop wargames. A game that holds the strangest of powers over people because it still sells well when almost every facet of it is a death knell for any other game.
But this only shows you the power of brand recognition and ability to prey on gamer’s insecurities.

“Assault on Black Reach” is like a free sample of a drug……that you still have to pay for. A sample that even established customers go to get a piece.

The quality of models are fine if you’re comparing them to average boardgames, but when held up to other miniatures, 40k models are a laughable, preposterous joke. They’re one saving grace is they are easy to convert into different poses. Have fun making a bunch of space faring knights in shining armor with clown sized shoes and shoulder pads that would crush their head the moment they raise their arms.

Normally, I wouldn’t be this critical of the art design of the models and and armies, if the game didn’t take it self too seriously. As it was first designed; a white wash copy of fantasy rules over onto a silly vision of a future sci-fi. But then the revolving door of designers at GW decided that they need to make this game more dark and sinister, more gritty and bad-***. But it’s all superficial and the comical roots are still there which clash with any attempts to “re-imagine” the fluff and design which makes game suffer from an identity crisis. High fantasy, WWI, Terminators, Aliens, Vietnam, Judge Dread, Batman, historical elements are all smashed together under the banner of a “dark future”.

This same thing applies to the rules. They are an identity crisis of multiple designers who have tried to force “updates” onto a skeleton of rules that were broken and outdated to begin with. If you start off the game with this boxset, the rules seem ok for a boardgame. But then when you delve deeper into the rest of the armies and the full rule set, the rules are so unintuitive, illogical, contradicting and bloated. GW has had multiple opportunities to update the rulesets to keep up with the times of tabletop design.

None of this would be too bad if the cost and time investment into playing the game weren’t astronomical. The value of this game is so low, its a wonder it does so well. I can only attribute it to brand recognition and going after a younger and younger market.

 
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2
Gamer - Level 2
10
12 of 18 gamers found this helpful
“Long time gamer”

I started playing this game Years ago and It is one of the greatest games I have ever played. It will stretch your mind to the limit trying to think of every possible strategy, which changes from battle to battle due to terrain and armies. You can also go crazy with making you models and army unique by painting in your own style and “converting” or cutting glueing and switching model parts to make them your own.

This kit is good to start or for some one who needs to add to and army they already have. Every thing in here is on the cheap compared to buying the units one at a time. I would also suggest buying this if you wanted to start a new army that is in the box. One last thing is that the models are not painted but that doesn’t really matter when you play right?

I will also say that due to the sheer price of this hobby, not just a game, you won’t find many people that just give up playing it. When you find your gaming group you guys will get to know each other and have a lot of fun, I know I do. I think if you love strategy that you can’t go wrong with this game.

 
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2
Lion Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
4
10 of 27 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 2
“Declining Rules Improving miniatures”

I have been mesmerized by Citadel Miniatures since the mid 1980’s, The height of playability for this game was second edition, and the majority of third edition. It is a very expensive game to keep up with, but most mass combat miniature games are. The miniatures for Warhammer 40k are great, they continue to improve every year, but the power creep is constant and the rules are sub par, and at times very bad or contradictory. You will find that after a few years, your army gets replaced with a new set of sculpts and constantly changing rules. The amount of power gamers drawn to 40k is higher than most other miniature games, and the game is targeted at a younger audience. Be prepared to go up against young teenagers at the game store once you get your army ready to roll. If you just want the miniatures, you cant go wrong.

 
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3
Zealot
7
4 of 14 gamers found this helpful
“Fun Money Pit”

It is a great introduction to the 40K world…but it is a massive money and time pit. You can do a lot with the miniatures and the table depending on your skill in building them, and the set up of your armies and such means that no two games are ever going to be the same. Overall, it can be a lot of fun, you just really need to be prepared for the cost and time factors associated with this entire genre.

 
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5
Vanguard
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
I Play This One a LOT
Strategist
10
7 of 29 gamers found this helpful
“Warning. Biased Review!!!”

As stated above, I am completely biased when it comes to Warhammer 40k. I’ve played it for nearly 20 years now and withe very few exceptions, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. This is a hobby you’ll need to invest time and money into. If that’s what your looking for then this could be a great match. This box set is definitely a great starting point if you are interested in either Orks of Space Marines. The figures are of high quality, and the mini rule book and templates are invaluable. Best recommendation is to find a friend who is interested in the opposing faction, each buy the set, and trade each other the models.

 
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1
4
4 of 29 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Money Pit deluxe conplete with gamey players”

Get ready to throw piles of money out the window buying all the ‘cool’ stuff and getting more armies. Your favorite army will be obsolete at the next rules revision. Get ready to play gamey players that min-max every chance they get.

 
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4
Treasure Map
10
2 of 15 gamers found this helpful
“One of My Favorite”

Warhammer 40k is a really awesome game. Great for very competitive gamers and for those who just like to play to have fun. Kind of expensive to start up and it has a decent amount of rules.. (ok a lot). But once you get going its a whole lot of fun. And even if you are not so much into the game, the modeling and painting and be just as rewarding.

 

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