It’s my favourite time of the year: Christmas 40k Battleforces time! They are often the best deal of every year if your army is lucky enough to be chosen by the always fickle Chaos Gods. I’m just as excited every year to pick one up as my partner dreads seeing my pile of shame climb a few inches more. But, I don’t just buy any ol’ Battleforce box. Assuming you’ve read my other posts, you know that I’m in it to win it. I want the cheapest models that will win me the most tournaments. I want to make nerds cry on a budget.
This year, Grandfather GW has been extra nice, and the boxes are made of almost entirely new(ish) sculpts. In some cases, they make little sense as a foundation for your army but more sense if you’re just interested in getting models you don’t have. This changes the calculus because unlike previous years, there’s a good chance you, dear reader, may want to pick one up even if your pile of shame is already kinda hefty.
Consequently, I shall be giving each box multiple ratings. They’re entirely subjective and based on my general sentiments surrounding the overall discount, tournament performance, and likelihood you need more of the given sculpts. If you decide you don’t like my ratings, feel free to leave a comment.
The rules of the game are straightforward. Each box will get a score out of 10 for newness of sculpts, competitiveness, and discount.
Let’s get to it.
Leagues of Votann (110% of your daily supply of muscles and beards)
In this box we have all new sculpts because the faction is still basically a wee, muscly, bearded baby: 10 Einhyr Hearthguard, an Einhyr Champion, a Land Fortress, a Sagitaur ATV, and a Grimnyr.
It’s both weird and 90% excellent because everything is new, playable, and right now Votann is doing well competitively. In fact, of the three linked army lists, all of them have Hearthguard, Champions, and Sagitaurs, and 2/3 even use the Landfortress (including the only 1st place finish). The Grimnyr is still reasonable competitive, and you could do worse, but it’s not in any of these lists.
The discount is 44% which is fantastic. If you bought it and sold it piecemeal, you’d make a killing on the open market. Basically, this is a great box to buy regardless of whether you have a ton of Votann or not. Sell whatever you don’t need.
Total: I don’t know why you aren’t buying this box right now.
Orks (I’m gonna name my second born Skragbad)
Again, all new sculpts! We have everybody’s favourite bad boy, Mozrog Skragbad, 3 Squighog Boyz plus Nob, Painboss, 10 Beast Snagga Boyz, and a Kill Rig (I love Ork names so much).
Orks are seeing more play (but no first place finishes) mostly due to Eldar and Custodes nerfs (rather than any specific buffs). However, lo and behold my Ork-loving friends, most of the Battleforce is being used in competitive lists with the exception of the Painboss… but he’s a cool model, so you’ll just have to suck it up.
Discount is respectable at 33%, but it ain’t no Votann, son. It’s about what you’d expect.
Total: Worth a look at if you’re an Ork player. You need so many models to play the army, and this is full of models you are likely to play and don’t have enough of.
Astra Militarum (Squishy Humies)
Here we have a very straight forward 20 Canadian Shock Troops, a Command Squad, and two Rogal Dorns. All new sculpts, all pretty, and again, all surprisingly competitive.
Every guard army needs its grunts, and for a very expensive army to play (either lots of squishies, lots of tanks, or both), you’ll take any chance you can get to get more front line troops. The Command Squad is also seen in every single high placing tournament list, so we’re doing good so far. The Rogal Dorns are a little weirder though. They are competitive and in every list I looked at, but every list only has one, not two. Still, they are beautiful and mighty, so I think you can probably find room for a second one in your list.
However, the discount is on the lower end with only a measly 26%. You could do worse (see below).
Total: If you’re playing Imperial Guard, you should buy this. The discount is lower, but it’s such an expensive army that you should be looking for every deal you can find. At worst, you can sell the extra Dorn.
Space Marines (I really missed Assault Squads)
Basically, we have 15 new Jump Pack Intercessors (“Jumpcessors”), a Captain with Jump Pack, 3 Outriders, and an ATV. Here we have a perfect example of something great for both new and existing Space Marine players to pick up. We also have a more mixed bag of old vs. new models if only because the outriders and ATVs all came out at the beginning of 9th Edition.
However, one problem is none of these units are competitive. Maybe the bikes would be useful if Ravenwing or White Scars were competitive, but they’re not. The ATV has basically never been competitive. The Jumpcessors are super new and haven’t been incorporated into many lists yet, but you’ll probably be seeing Blood Angels lists take advantage of the models for their Death Company troops. Otherwise, for now, jump troops and bikes just aren’t in Space Marine lists.
The discount straight up sucks with a lowly 20% off. Unless you really need the Outriders and ATV or you think you can sell them, this box is rough.
Total: Only get this if you want to play White Scars, Blood Angels, or think you can unload the Outriders and ATVs. The Jumpscessors are really cool, but too much of the box’s value is tied up in bikes.
Tyranids (Your mother is a Hormagaunt and your Father smells of Eldar Berries)
Some old, some new. Here we have a Norn Emissary, a Winged Hive Tyrant, 20 Hormagaunts, 10 Genestealers, and 2 Ripper Swarms. Only the Norm Emissary and Hormagaunts are new, which is pretty lame.
Sadly, although Tyranids are doing decently in the Tournament scene, the above units are rarely seen. A little sprinkling of everything all over the place, but not a single list with everything. So, likely these models will see play, but not at the same time.
The discount is not bad at 30%. But, considering the range of models (both new and old) and the fact that you likely already have a bunch of these, I can’t really recommend it. The older models will likely be harder to sell on the second-hand market as well.
Total: It’s an expensive army to collect like Guard. I’d only get it if you can use most of the models. Otherwise, pass.
World Eaters (Dem hungy bois)
We have all new models mostly released at the end of 9th! Angron is stunning, six Exalted Eightbound is pretty dope, and the Berserkers are just adorable. Makes you want to squish their pudgy cheeks.
Competitvely, they’ve just started to see some play, but only have a single podium finish in the last few months, and funny enough, the list doesn’t have any Berserkers! I’m not sure if you can really call it a World Eater’s list without any Berserkers. However, it does have Angron and a ton of Exalted and normal Eightbound, so you know you’re on the right track.
The discount is the same as the Tyranids at a respectable 30%. However, because the range is more limited, there’s a higher chance you can use all of these models. If you already have an Angron though, you can probably sell him for $150 CAD or more, so that ain’t bad neither.
Total: If you want to play World Eaters, you want this box. The competitiveness and discount scores seem high, but it’s because these are the units you need to compete, these are units you need more of, and you can totally sell Angron without any issue. All of these factors make the discount more meaningful.
In summary, I think it’s a good haul this year. If you waited all year for these boxes and you were planning to collect every army in the game, I think you could justify getting every one of them. However, I’d say I’m most interested in the Votann and World Eaters boxes, while the Tyranid box has a bit more meh in it. However, I’m down to be proven wrong.