40K Op-ed: What GW’s New 40K Boxed Sets Mean

GW is branching out with their 40K boxed sets and it’s a very good thing for players AND the game.

I remember a long time ago when the Grimdark had two default enemies. Two forces that tore the galaxy apart. If you were getting into 40K, you would just assume that these were the two most popular armies in the hobby.  Here let me give you a hint:

Now sure GW branched out randomly over the editions, from 3rd Edition’s oddball Dark Eldar “all spiky all the time” opponents and Battle for Macragge’s Tyranid opponents and the baroque Chaos Marines of Dark Vengeance.

Tired of Marines?

Of course there have been many more starter sets, but I’m sure you’ve noticed the trend… No matter the alternative opponent – it’s always the Emperor’s mighty Space Marines who are there to kick their butt! But it’s 2018 the game has really advanced a lot in recent years with close to 20 factions, and it looks like GW is branching out.

Hello Forgebane – Where Have You Been?

With FORGEBANE we see a Warhammer 40,000 starter set that has NO Marine factions and I think it’s GREAT!  It’s a set of very cool models to get you into the game, includes the core rules and of course some new sexy plastic crack to get the old-timer’s attention.

I assume this is an experiment for GW and they will be monitoring sales closely.  I really hope to see them continue this trend and give other armies some love with dedicated non-marine boxes.  I for one am very happy to see GW step away from Marines and let the other factions shine.

~What do you think of non-marine sets and what faction combos do you think GW should do in the future?

  • A good looking box set. These sets are more appealing to me amd mpre likley to get me into different armies. I hope they continue with them. My wife and wallet would prefer they didnt though!

    • LankTank

      This model would be great for alot of armies, even with a continuation of space marine chapters.
      Orks vs Tau box,
      Daemons vs Space Wolves box
      Each could have a mini campaign in box and each could have 1 unique model (such as knight and the Crptek)

  • Boondox

    Would people be that interested if the two Knights were not in it?

    • Depends on what was jn there place. A cpuole of robots or a squad of stalkers and then probably

    • autonoise

      Probably not as much, unless there were some other cool, preferably new models in there place. The Necron side has some really nice models and the ad mech are a visually appealing army too so hoping this does well with newbies and established players…

    • NNextremNN

      Replace the Knights with Dragoons or Dunecrwaler and I would buy that too. But yeah people might be less hyped probably a reason why they are in there.

    • Andy Wise

      I think I can safely say’no’ people would not be *as* interested if there weren’t two big awesome models in there.

      • af

        I count quite a few small awesome models in there, regardless…

    • DJ860

      I’d actually prefer they weren’t in it as they’re not to my taste.

      • Haxor

        Then just throw them away after purchasing the box

      • Ultra-marine1968

        Can I buy them? Will pay half the box for only those 2!

        • Matt Halkos

          I’d be in for that deal, it you were serious.

          • Ultra-marine1968

            Yeah man, I’m dead serious. I want at least 6 of these mini Knights. You can reach me at my Facebook page; Sandor Bolink. I’ve a Warlord Titan as my logo there too.

    • SacTownBrian

      No. And I’m still on the fence. Do I really want everything else in there even if it’s all half price? Other than lots of scenic bases don’t see I’ll use any of it.

      • Cergorach

        WHAT!?!? You don’t play every army of 40k at Apoclypse scale… Heretic! 😉

        • SacTownBrian

          So far no, just one army is apoc size. I may have more AoS than 40K actually. But I do have a little bit of most other armies… except Necron. But do I really need anything more?

    • generic eric


    • af

      Why not? Too cool armies, distinctive miniatures, and not one Space Marine in sight. What’s not to like?

    • Cergorach

      If they were replaced by a Strider and a Sicarian unit (5) or Kataphrons (3) and Priests (5). Hell yeah!

      That’s not to say that there isn’t MORE interest in the knights, but they come two to a box, the other kits build two different units that can be a lot larger then they come in by default. Some wouldn’t buy it because they already would have the units, but others would buy more then even now…

  • charlesthoss

    Marines were in most boxes because they are a) the most important part of the GW brand and b) they made the starters intentionally unbalanced to ensure new players get a first win right away. I used to go into GWs on holidays or so and do ‘1st games’ with the bad faction (Skaven vs High Elves was particularly bad as the Elves would hit harder, faster and with rerolls) and watch the staffers sweat as they tried to lose without being too obvious.

    • Brother Eldrian

      And then there is the fact, that c) Marines are easy to build and paint. Same goes for Orks. Whereas Mechanicus is a nightmare for beginners with all those spikes and antennas. Necrons are easy again. So at least some balance.

    • DJ860

      So you used to go in and pretend it was your first game? Otherwise, why would they care?

      • Haxor

        pretty dickish

      • Zethnar

        No, because it never really happened.

        • MarcoT

          Can’t image this being true either. I was a GW staffer for quite a while and always ensured a bit of balance by taking or adding units, and as the customer started it was likely they usually won (as you start at a short distance as well). And if they didn’t it was due to epic dice rolling on my part, which can be a lot of fun too.

          All staff probably do this.

          • memitchell

            Confessions of a GW Staffer.
            More arousing than Fifty shades of Grey Knights.

          • EnTyme

            I just want you to know that I got chewed out by my supervisor for laughing so hard at that post. I hope you’re happy.

  • PiotrekEtoo

    With the introduction of start collecting boxes, the two player starter set are not a necesity anymore. Surerly there are rules included in them but core rules are free now and there are profiles included at the end of asembly instruction leaflet. Yet, this set is very good looking for a new player (or a pair).

    • NNextremNN

      These are two player starter sets? Considering many want to buy more then one this seem to be a 0.5 player starter set XD

      • SacTownBrian

        The contents seem to mesh very well with the start collecting boxes as a logical next step. It looks like a lot of thought went into contents to compliment the new models and give an easy path to a larger army. Actually quite brilliant…

        • orionburn III

          Oh, it is. I’ve been on the fence for years about doing both Necrons and Ad Mech. This definitely pushes me over the edge to start up both, albeit smaller, forces for each.

        • NNextremNN

          Oh yes it is a brilliant move. This set + a Start collecting should get you into 1000 Points. The Warglaives should even make knights playable at lower point levels. GW business actions and plans are very good … sometimes too good for the players.

    • Munn

      You shut your hoar mouth! Every discount box set is a gift! Anything that drops their ridiculous prices down is amazingly wonderful.

    • Fergie0044

      Plus this set pairs very nicely with the necron start collecting box. Not so much the ad mech thought, but GW can be confident that people will buy it for the new mini knights.

  • Aaron Hopkins

    I LOVE this and ya will be getting multiples

  • ectoplasmic gyrator

    I’m really hyped about this box set, more than any box set every actually barring Prospero (but that was just because Talons debuted).

    I’m buying one, a friend is buying one, and another buddy is buying two lol

    • I was thinking of getting Prospero, but now the boxes are available separately, should I just get a Mk.III box and a Chaplain?

  • ohhpoong

    now they can go a step further and release xenos vs xenos box! 😀

    • autonoise

      What I particularly like about this box is the imperial force is one of the more unusual ones, but with the inclusion of the knights, and the fact they will be Lords of War, means a high number of imperium players, whatever faction, will want to pick this up. If you do xenos vs xenos you’ve potentially got a smaller pool of existing players that will pick it up. I would like to see one though!

      • NNextremNN

        The superheavy detachment of one knight and two warglaives with +3CP could bring some punch to any imperial army. And chances are good than may imperial players already have a knight.

        • SacTownBrian

          My thoughts exactly. No more having that detachment be 3/4 of your army. Hoping now these will be under 200 points so the entire detachment is less than 1000.

        • autonoise

          Whilst I don’t have a knight this boxset is making me consider picking one up, damn you GW and your cunning ways of making me buy plastic!

        • EnTyme

          I know after Renegade came out, I started seeing Knights in pretty much every Imperial list at my FLGS. The Armigers are finally going to give me a way to field my knights without having to start a new Imperial army.

      • bad mood

        Not necessarily. In my group we play narratively and there is only so much Imperium vs Imperium action one can stomach. I’m already at the point that if there was a new starter with Tyranids, I’d buy in because you don’t need any more explanations and they are different no matter what you play elsewise.

  • el_tigre

    I don’t collect either of those factions but I’ll probably buy one anyway. A little mechanicus force will make for some more unusual allies for my blood angels and the necrons … I’ve always wanted to paint some. Plus, I can sell anything I decide I don’t want on ebay, probably make a chunk of my outlay back. Love this kind of boxset, already got the angels/tyranids and quins/deathwatch, didn’t regret either.

  • el_tigre

    Never realized before how insane the step up in content from macragge to vengeance was.

    • Rainthezangoose

      That’s because vengance was 6th edition, and macragge was 4th. Black Reach was 5th, plus Macragge comes with scenery which is why you get less models.

      • Brother Eldrian

        And I love the scenery being added. Makes the experience of your first games so much more enticing. Plus it did look good. Playing with Books and stuff at least ruins my fun. Playing without any cover…oh well…

        • ZeeLobby

          Not to mention, I think Macragge came with some pretty cool scenarios as well.

        • SacTownBrian

          The crashed lander is still one of my favorite terrain pieces to this day.

          • ZeeLobby

            I liked it so much I bought 2 😀

  • OctopusVolcano

    New imperial knight models is great, this set is only missing a full knight and no admecj because of the cost of doing so. Chances are the armigers get the much-maligned questor mechanicus keyword, which is virtually useless and offers about as much synergy with admech ad the still-separate skitarii and cult mechanicus models. They’re in the same book but none of them interact, separate syrategms for each.

    Questor mechanicus is no different, separate rules and strategms that doubt interact with the rest of the army.

  • SmaggTheSmug

    Looks like they took a page from Infinity and their Icestorm/Red Veil not invalidating each other. Or MtG Duel Decks boxes. Either way having more than one two-player starter set is good.

    • barry sadler

      Not exactly new though, they did this 4 times in 7th blood and else and tyrants, ravenguard and tau, spacewolves and orks and deathwatch and eldar. Also had stormcast and nurgle in AoS last year http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/76a314928833b4bb51db2177f88a23872f4b5d6033aa7c54fd5390d5d7f9fc9b.jpg

      • ZeeLobby

        It’s like they’ll never run out of Imperial options, lol.

        • NNextremNN

          If they do they just make a new one XD

          • ZeeLobby

            There are many layers of the Adeptus Mechanicus after all…

          • NNextremNN

            New Faction Boxset Adeptus Arbites vs Exodites. Makes no sense but they already exist in the lore and have no models yet.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I might get this depending on price if I can find someone who wants the Necron half and if the mini knights get 30k rules.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I might get this depending on price if I can find someone who wants the Necron half and if the mini knights get 30k rules.

  • Doug

    Why is this being compared to a starter box when it is far closer to the campaign boxes of old that used to sit between codex releases.

  • Rasheed Jones

    I saw EgoQueenAlexis describe this as old robit men fighting over their cyber lawn…ill take 3.

  • grenstauf

    im getting two to start forces for both armies. i got a little admech right now (cawl and a few troop squads). two of these boxes and the get started box for both forces will get me started with both armies for relatively cheap.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    The Forgebane box set is a brilliant deal. However, can we please agree one thing…..


    > Is it not a starter set, in the way you guy imply, like Dark Imperium.
    > It is not branded as starter set like Dark Imperium.
    > It is not promoted or advertised as starter set like Dark Imperium.
    > It does not contain models that are easy-to-build like Dark Imperium.

    This set, and the 5/6 others that have been released before this, are more aimed toward hobbyist wishing to either: start Ad-Mech or Necrons; or of course for gamers to expand an army they already have. Alongside packaging, for a limited time, new models with a little more fanfare.

    It quite clever marketing really. As GW is encouraging a hobbyist to start something new or add to their collection through the incentive that the hobbyist that purchase the set will be getting these new kits “earlier” that their general release. These may well be hobbyist that don’t purchase very often, or if they do they only spend a little. Where as these set tempt hobbyist to spend more than they perhaps normally to

    • generic eric

      Will it have the rulebook?

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Not the full hardback, just the Battle Primer.

        • HeadHunter

          Then it’s a “starter” set. Everything you need to play – the basic rules, the campaign supplement, and the models. Unless you feel that the commonly available and non-specialized dice and measuring stick are necessary, I don’t see how it differs from a *starter* set in any way.
          Dark Imperium models from the box are not “easy to build” like the push-fit retail options and no other starter set ever was, either. The full ruleboox is certainly not a necessity for “getting started”, so guess what?

          • ohhpoong

            i think its just playing with the word ‘starter’, but when people say 40k starter set, they usually mean a boxed set that comes out with the release of a new edition + introduce you to the 40k franchise, rather than being a standalone game with its own rulebook.

            Under that narrow definition, this is not a ‘starter’ set unless there is a 9th edition coming out with it lol

            I think its more fair to compare forgebane with boxes like Deathwatch overkill

  • marxlives

    Daddy likie daddy likie alot. 🙂

  • chris harrison

    The next one needs to be Orks vs. Astra militarum. Another classic matchup.

  • Walter Norton

    Its an interesting box. Especially with two Lord of War models in the box. That being said, I am more interested in the knights. Rather weird that they are lords of war.

  • I just need the ‘crons. Not even interested in the Adeptus Mechanicus. (Not supported with our edition.)