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
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...
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
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
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.