19 March 2006

Battle for Macragge Box Set

I was at Hobbytown the other day (I am at Hobbytown at least 3-4 times a week) looking at the Space Marines. I had two evil plans on this particular trip. The first part of the plan was to get my brother-in-law to help me move our insanely heavy love seats and my giant desk from our apartment to our new trailer. The second part of the plan was to get him some minis of his own.
I was looking at the basic box containing a Tactical Squad of Space Marines when I noticed that for only ten dollars more I could get the Battle for Macragge starter set, which had not only 10 Space Marines, but also:
  1. A Space Marine character model.
  2. 24 Tyranid Miniatures
  3. A bunch of scenery bits.
  4. Templates (which I'd been meaning to buy eventually anyway).
  5. Dice (I already have a set, so I could give them to him).
  6. A small rulebook.
  7. Another book containing several scenarios meant to introduce the rules slowly, which would be good for both of us, as neither he or I is familiar with the rules.

My wife approved the purchase, so I grabbed up the box and ran for the counter before she could change her mind. Upon arriving back at the trailer park, I got out of the car at my brother-in-law's house and took the box set in to show it to him. I also convinced him that moving our furniture would be an awesome experience and make him into a manly man (the kind of man whose chest hair is so bristly it pokes right through his shirt). He was pretty excited (about the miniatures, I don't think my manly man speech really got the point across). We moved the furniture and then he and my sister came over to eat dinner with us. The food was awesome because my wife is a grand master in the kitchen.

Afterwards, I threw a huge pile of White Dwarf magazines onto his lap and showed him some of the Space Marine paint schemes that he could consider, as well as reminding him that he could make up his own. He kept pulling the Space Marine sprue out of the box and saying, "I wish I could get them off of here," so I pulled out my sprue cutters and let him have at it. He also started cleaning up the flash and mold lines while we sat around and talked. My sister finally dragged him away from the X-Acto knife at 3:00 am and they went home. I sent the Space Marines Codex with him so he can read up on the fluff and think about some models he wants to put in his future army.

I slept for a couple of hours and then had to wake up for my Fantasy Baseball Live Online Draft. Then I did homework. It was great. My sister and brother-in-law came over for dinner again tonight, and after dinner he pulled out the box and started in on cleaning up the figures. Once again, my sister had to drag him away. I think I've got him hooked. Now I just have to get my hobby shed set up so we can start painting the figures and terrain and playing the starter scenarios.

I guess I could do a little review of the components in the Macragge Set. This is of course colored by my own personal biases. It's a good value for the money. Like I mentioned earlier, the whole thing costs only ten dollars more than the basic Space Marine squad. The Space Marines in the starter aren't as detailed and don't feature the customization options or extra bits, but they're still Space Marines. The Tyranids so far don't fit together very well, but some cutting and some glue will fix that. I realize that the battle for Macragge is a big part of the 40K mythology, as is the battle between Space Marines and Tyranids in general, but I don't really care about the Tyranids at all. Having to buy 24 of them is sort of lame when I don't plan to pursue a Tyranids army at any point. I have the same problem with the Warhammer Fantasy starter. I just don't care about the Empire vs. the Orcs. But the Tyranids may be useful at some point, even if it's just to play the starter games with my little brother or broken into parts to serve as vanquished foes on my Witch Hunter bases. The terrain and scenery pieces are kind of cool and we'll be able to get good use out of them, especially now as we don't have any other terrain. The templates and dice are cool, as well as the little rulebook so you don't have to lug around the big hardcover beast. From reading through the little introductory booklet, it seems like the scenarios do a good job of covering everything in manageable chunks, as well as giving out some hobby information as far as assembly and painting the minis is concerned. It would be a good way to get a friend into gaming, as everything is included except the paints, glues, and other hobby tools. I highly recommend it, with the only real negative being a complete lack of interest in the Tyranids.

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