So we here at Dice Commander were very fortunate the other day; we were actually able to get our paws on a copy of Warhammer 40k’s StormClaw. This battle box is a lot like a starter set and we’ll get into it’s contents below. It features two armies, the Space Wolves (a chapter of Space Marines), and the Orks clashing in a series of battles for Sanctus Reach. Produced in limited numbers, we were worried we might miss out on doing an article unboxing StormClaw; but luck was with us, so enjoy.
The StormClaw box itself is slightly smaller (in all three dimensions) than the Starter box set, Dark Vengeance. As such, we lucked into one hidden behind one of the new Dark Vengeance boxes. Clearly the Emperor guided the shop search that day!
Box Contents consist of the sprues for the armies and the books and instructions; so lets take a look at each and discuss what makes or breaks this as a valuable addition to your collection. Obviously if you have no interest in either faction, it’s probably not for you, but both armies are versatile and the forces contained within make for an allied attachment (particularly the Space Wolves for any Imperial faction).
Above we have the Ork sprues; you’re getting quite a few of them, though all are the same build sprues contained within the normal kits. For example, the Killa Kans are the same sprue set, same with the nobz and the rest. The only new piece here is the HQ for the Ork force, Grukk Face-rippa. A pleasant fellow to be sure.
Not a lot of variety for posing with any of these HQ’s, but you can improvise with a little tool work (we hope to get some photos up later of work here on this set). Grukk’s a real tank and a fine HQ in every Ork-y sense; from his Claw to his “pet”; he’s a good time for anyone who enjoys face smashing. A lot.
The Space Wolves sprues consist of the contents of a Wolf Guard Terminator box and one of their squad boxes with the addition of their limited edition HQ, Krom Dragongaze. A ferocious leader, Krom is a good match to square off against the Orks and lead his men into glorious battle.
I really like the sculpt they did for the Space Wolf HQ. Not to detract from the sheer intimidation Grukk brings, but I thought this was the better of the two sculpts (full disclosure: Space Wolves collector). I’m actually pretty stoked to build him in the intended pose. Now, no one’s quite sure exactly why, but both HQ’s are on the larger 40mm bases instead of the standard 28mm. There seems to be some disagreement as to exactly why, but after a discussion here, the consensus seems to be with our staff that it was more a modeling decision than a game-rules decision. The larger base supports the large, dynamic poses of both leaders (and helps them stand out amongst their troops).
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for picking up the whole kit was the inclusion of a mini rule book for 7th edition. Since a lot of players don’t “need” the fluff book or the painting showcase (yes yes, heretics, the lot of them); many have waited for a separate purchasing option for just the rule book. Since that didn’t initially ship out when Games Workshop released the three-book set, this becomes an option at only slightly more money. The set also includes building instructions for each army and a campaign guide.
The guide takes us through three hard fought battle between the Orks and the Space Wolves when their forces run into each other on a somewhat remote portion of the battlefield. Included are the stats for all the units, weapons, and order of battle for all three principal engagements that defined the battle. With these, you and a friend can reenact the pivotal fight or create your own!
So lets add it up:
3 Killa Kanz
5 Wolf Guard Terminators
5 Grey Hunters
5 Blood Claws
7th Edition Rulebook
StormClaw campaign guide
Given that the Terminators alone are around $50 (US) retail; and the Kanz aren’t much cheaper; that’s already most of the cost of the box without adding in any other units or the books. Of course the trade off is you’re getting the Orks and Space Wolves even if you only wanted one; or both unwanted if you just wanted the book. Of course, eBay is alight with resales of these too.
Ultimately, this is a good buy; the battle scenarios are interesting and the fluff is entertaining. Check out StormClaw while supplies last at your local retailer!