7.17.2010

Review: Warhammer Templates and Tools

Okay, folks, let's take a brief look at the goodies you MUST can purchase to supplement your games of Warhammer 8th Edition.

CliffNotes: we're going to look at or talk about the templates, the Engineer's Kit, the tokens - 3 different packs, there - as well as the dice and the card packs.

Before we get there, I just have to say something about the book.  I love it.  I really do - it's like my Warhammer Bible bible.  I like the feel of it, the weight, the formatting and the content - everything - and I didn't think I would.  As far as I'm concerned, it's a must have... but I didn't feel that way at first.  Frankly, I purchased it because I 'had' to, since I simply couldn't wait until the boxed set.  Evil Homer was telling anyone who'd listen that he'd never purchase the thing, and I think he was the first to do so.  For whatever reason, GW hit a home run with this book.  Trust me, if you haven't purchased it, you're going to want to.

I'm not usually mushy about my gaming products, but the reason I'm excited about these products is the topnotch combination of form and function.  I enjoy the weight and the texture, the art is elegant and appropriate, and each product serves a purpose and does it well.


Let's look at some pretty pictures...


The cards are simply a must, even if you can do without the rest of the products.  It's easy to pull out the cards you've rolled for...

SCREECHING HALT!  Warning!  Keep in mind, you still need to ROLL for your spells.  The Master Manipulator (every store needs one) pointed this out to me in our game yesterday... remember, you can choose the spell you want if you roll doubles, so don't deprive yourself of the chance by drawing cards from the deck!  We can now continue with our regularly scheduled broadcast.

...and set them aside in neat piles.  If it's a remain in play spell, it's easy enough to lay the card next to the unit in question, or put a token on the card - whatever, really.

The cards give you all the information from the book, so you won't need to spend time with the bible open (I'm Catholic - I've been referring to the big book as the bible, but it isn't the Bible ) to the magic section.  Also, along the bottom is a reminder of the Lore Attribute and if the spell in question doesn't affect the attribute, it will say so.  Good stuff.

Here we have a picture of the Engineer's Kit, which is a giant compass and a fold-able yardstick.  I'll admit here it's the most unnecessary of the kits but the one I enjoy the most.  Also pictured is the combat resolution calculator, but first things first.

The yardstick is a yardstick is a yardstick... still, I dig it.  I've thought of several uses, mostly having to do with blocking out deployment zones in the new missions.  The compass is real treat.  It's not as accurate as a tape measure, so don't think of it as such.  What I use it for is determining quick and dirty estimates of what I'll need to roll for a successful charge... and I can hear you thinking, "Why not use a tape measure?"  You can, of course, but for units in the middle or opposite end of the board it's hard to get a bird's eye view; you're basically holding the tape measure at arm's length and leaning over the board.  It's easy to stick the compass out there.

Basically, guess what you think the distance is and set the compass, hold it between the two units and you can judge how short or long you are just by eyeballing it.

It's also got a wheeling guide on the circular end; again, a sort of rough and ready measure.  The whole kit is nothing you need but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.

The new templates are really things of beauty.  The knock on them is their perceived fragility, but I don't think it's anything to worry about.  I like the combined blast templates, big and small, and I really like the hole in the center.  You can see the models directly instead of through plastic.  Good stuff.

I don't have the dice; our FLGS wasn't able to order any except the ones that came with the bagged set, the special order.  Since three dudes in our store ordered those - and lucky them, GW actually shipped them all - I've been able to handle the dice.

They're practically perfect.  They are very squared off and roll well, but because they don't have rounded corners they don't fly all over the place, instead coming to a stop pretty quickly.  They've got a great look and a nice weight.

The knock on them is their there is only 8 to a pack and they didn't make scatter or artillery dice to match.  Still, plenty of us would like to own a set or two but that's not going to happen.


The last set is the tokens.  They're in the burnished gold faux plastic, just like the rest of the stuff... and they're just okay.  But they have the MUST-HAVE tool of the century, literally worth buying the set for alone.  You can see it in the picture above... a beauty, isn't it?

What's that?  What do you mean, "What is it?"  It's a marker for judging 45 degrees!  You place it on the corner of a unit and voila! you know what's in your charge arc!  No more setting your tape measure up and bisecting the square, no more folding a piece of paper to lay down - just set this down and go.  Seriously worth every penny, even if you don't buy anything else.

Except for the angle, it's all a touch impractical, isn't it?  You already have a tapemeasure, and dice, and tokens, so it just seems like a bother to some.  Also, it costs!  I dropped $65 bucks on the three sets plus the magic cards, so add in the price of the book and multiply that by everyone else who had to do the same or better and GW made out like a bandit.  Still, I think it was worth it.  Some things are just fun to use.

I failed to mention the combat calculator after referring to it from the picture.  Basically, it actually works really well.  You can quickly count combat resolution with accuracy.  You don't have to rely on your memory - or your opponent's - and that makes this nice since combat has become a much bloodier affair.  Of all the stuff, I thought this was the most useless but it's become the most useful.

Regarding the book... let's admit to ourselves that we're going to buy the boxed set for the minis and the book, and move on.  It's still fun to sit with the bible and pour through it.

Thoughts?  Comments?

5 comments:

evil homer said...

Yeah I bought the book. I never said I wouldn't buy it I said the 75.00 is a steep price for the rules and a high barrier to entry. I still have doubts that if I had not already had an army that I would have started.

That being said, my only complaint about the book is it is hard to read in the bathroom, and I worry about how long the spine is going to hold up.

I think GW will end up getting my money for the mini-rulebook as well, or someone on the secondary market will. The bible is just to bug to haul around conveniently.

k.Blas said...

Word. The b-i-b-l-e (yes that's the book for me) made my legs fall asleep when I was sitting on the crapper.

And my pages are already pulling away from the bottom spine. Makes me wonder about who or what they're binding with...

Gauthic said...

I've found the compass measuring low (measuring a lower amount than the yard stick reads) at what should be 3 inches. Anyone else notice that?

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

Well, I have pretty much everything that they made for this and I like almost all of them.

Let me echo Brent's sentiment about the angle token. It is probably one of the most valuable tools I have ever bought for fantasy. I like the compass but as Gauthic stated it is a tad off at certain numbers (not all the same unfortunately).

I never thought about using the ruler to mark deployment. That's a great idea. Guess I will be adding that to the bag.

As for the blast markers....I don't like them. Too many fiddly bits sticking out here and there, and I really don't like that they are 2 in 1. I don't want a cd sized ninja star if I am only needing a small blast. Oh and that is even after I found out they are a tad bigger than the previous templates.

Herr Fernseher said...

As a fellow bibliophile, I have to agree, the new RB is beautiful. It's been dawning on me over the last week that I will love it, even if I end up not liking the game. My only complaint has been minor problems with writing/editing, but it hasn't been enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book. The layout is superb, with many nice touches. (Now I'm kinda curious to see the collector's edition.)

Thanks for the review, Brent. I've been drooling over the accessories, wondering if they are as cool as they look on the GW website and wishing for higher res pix. So thanks for the pix too, Brent. (Yes, yes, perhaps I should get out of my cave and look at what casts the shadows on my cavewall(computer monitor).)

Anyway, I can see I will need to get the cards soon...Oh wait, I use Orc and Goblin magic. The cards won't help me will they? Well, I've also been drooling over the Azhag the Slaughterer (biggist dragon yet!) also, so I might be able to at least use the Death magic cards.

The ranging set was the most eye-catching to me--it does look fun--but I expect it's the one I will be able to resist. At least until I've bought all the troops for the build up.

The templates, however do look irresistible. I think even if I broke it, I would smooth the back and mount it on a transparent disk. And I like the idea of having one nice blast template instead of two crappy ones.

Somehow I had overlooked the dice on GW's site. They look great. I've never really been tempted to get a dice cup, but if I had dice that looked as nice at those, I'd want a cup to match.

Finally, I'm probably going to have to get the counter set. 1)Because I'm forgetful of details and counters will help and 2) because my wife is terrible at seeing the invisible lines demarking a formation's front arc.

Damn, GW! They are going to get even more out of me than I had planned. :)

As for the Big Book, it is bound to lay open (Otabind?) and I think it is large enough to benefit from being stored horizontally to extend the life of the spine. IF my RB falls apart, I'll probably have the ruleset (~150 pages?) rebound separately. Atm, though, I think I really am more interested in the collector's edition than the minibook.

Of course, after reading some of these comments, it sounds like GW
could catch you guys with your pants down and further "make out like bandits" by issuing a special edition "ergonomic, crapper rulebook" which will more easily balance across your knees.

Dang, long comments. One last thing:
Can I still get any of these goodies locally?

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

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Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

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...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

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Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

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Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

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Ass.

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