Questions regarding new starter purchases

(Long time, although currently on-hiatus player looking to eventually get back into the game)

The latest Primecast talked about the new configurations for starter boxes and how that will influence the entry point for Cryx Necrofactorium.

Where I am confused is how the new offerings will compare to the old. They talked about new starter being at the 79.99 price point for this new Starter, which seems to take the place of the existing Battlebox Starter for the army AND the Core Army Starter. They went on two discuss 2 129.99 Expansions.

The way this reads to me though is that getting the “Initial 3 sets” for new armies - what used to be Battlebox + Core Army + Expansion - changes drastically and is now Starter + Expansion1 + Expansion2. And that’s fine except that it feels like Cryx and other new armies are going to need a number of additional “catch up” boxes/releases to fill out the options in order to have a similar build/model diversity compared to the initial 6.

One of the things that stands out to me is that the old approach leaves players with 2 of each non-character cohort, where the new one provides only one of each plus the character. I’m hopeful that my concerns are a little misguided, or that Privateer Press has a plan to make sure that all the armies have a similar array of options at comparable total price points without having to buy a bunch of 'jacks one by one.

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The current starter boxes have doubles of non-character jacks, as well as some units. It would be easy to redesign the contents so that there’s a box with one of each jack, a unit (the one which is doubled in the current starter sets), a command attachment and a solo (selected from those in the starter, preferably one which you’d like to have two anyway), so you could buy two of those boxes if you wanted doubles.

Not all of the starters have doubles, but I see your point.

I think it would be great to see a standardized “Reinforcements” box for each army that had a similar configuration - basically, a stripped down starter box without any character (or FA:1) models/units in it at a slightly lower price point.

The battleboxes (One Warcaster, the named “Warcaster C” + 2 Warjacks, one of each) were not a regular product offered in distribution, stores, etc, but a Preview running a month before normal release of the Core Army Box.

Just recently (as in December) they re-released them, with the intention of making them a regular product, because there was such a huge demand for not-200$-ways to start an Army.

Now, with the Command Box, or Starter sets (Command box seems to be the name), it seems that the options are (or will be)

Starter (all characters, 80$, 30 points, one Leader, One Character Cohort, one unit, one solo).
Battlebox (80$ also, One Leader, 2 Cohort)
Expansion 1 (Army Box?): 130, , leader , 2 cohort, stuff
Expansion 2: 130, leader, stuff.

IF (big if), they make new starters with brand new Leaders, we settle at 5 Leaders per Army (we need to add the Apotheosis Leaders). And the overall cost of an entire Army seems similar.

I guess we’ll need more details, specially how those expansion boxes look, but overall the distribution seems good, and it opens to different paths of growth (you can go Cohort-Heavy with starter + battlebox, use a Magnus or Carver to expand, start with a Cadre, expand a Starter with a Cadre…

From my understanding, it’s the comparison between:

Old Format:

  1. Starter Set
  2. Expansion Set

New Format:

  1. Command Starter Set
  2. Expansion Set 1
  3. Expansion Set 2

The battle boxes, 80mm solo, character cohort upgrade kit, and cadre set will all still be offered. What I am not sure is still being offered moving forward in the new format for retail stores are:

  • Warcaster C ala carte
  • Cohort A ala carte
  • Cohort B ala carte

All this not considering each army will get their “apotheosis caster”, which would also be an offering on top of applicable merc solos/units.

From the sounds of it Expansion 1 is basically going to be a smaller version of the current Core Army Starter. Matt said on Primecast that it’s going to be a Leader, the 2 non-character modular Cohort models, and “core” infantry. That’s basically what the Core Army Starter is, though presumably this will have less stuff in it to meet the lower price point.

This is my understanding of the new release plan:

  • 1 Army Starter Box - Retails for $79.99 USD and contains a Scout Leader, a non-modular character Cohort model, a character unit, and a character solo. These will come out to about 30 points
  • Expansion Box 1 - Retails around $130 USD and will contain another Leader, one each of the two modular Cohort models, and “core” infantry. This plus the Starter Box will give players roughly 75 points worth of models.
  • Expansion Box 2 - Retails around $130 USD and will contain a third Leader, the parts for the Army’s second character Cohort model (these attach to the base cohort torsos from Expansion 1), and “elite” infantry. This plus the Starter Box will give players roughly 75 points worth of models.
  • 80mm solos will remain an individual box
  • The Battlegroup Preview boxes will still be sold with a Leader and two modular Cohort models for around $80 USD.

Returning Players Guide - Warmachine / New to Warmachine? Start Here! - Privateer Press

It seems like others are similarly confused and speculating on what the format will be. And I’m certainly not trying to be impatient - I fully understand that Warmachine is an evolving product line (and always has been).

The main things I guess I’m asking about, to sum things up are:

  • Avoiding the problem of “fewer options” for certain armies
  • Making sure that, on the whole, a new player spending a similar amount of money ends up with a similar # of options (for points and value) on the table

Even if we set aside the Battlebox Starter as a “limited edition” sort of thing, what we basically have is the Core Army Starter being split into the new Starter and one of the Expansions (including a similar total price point) - which is actually great in my opinion, except:

  • The old configuration left you with 2 warcasters and no character 'jack
  • The new configuration leaves you with 3 warcasters and a character 'jack, for roughly $10 more

Given that, and that PP is a business that needs to make money to survive, I have to wonder what amount of “value” is pulled out of the 3 boxes to make up for it. Are the new armies losing a couple of units and/or solos? Or will the expansions (combined) land you with a comparable number of units and play variety relative to the initial 6? I guess that’s my question at the end of the day.

We really don’t know until we’ve seen all the Necrofactorium teasers. We’re still a ways out from their launch and I wouldn’t be shocked if the exact content of the boxes is still in a bit of flux.

Given their track record I expect an effort will be made to make sure Armies stay roughly equivalent on # of options, especially if they’re going to go back and reconfigure existing Armies to the new format since that will involve adding at least a character unit and another character Cohort model to each Army.

It’s hard to speculate a straight comparison between Necrofactorium and existing Armies since they all have roughly the same amount of stuff but not the same of each kind of stuff. Winter Korp has way more units than Brinebloods for example, but fewer solos and attachments. Who knows where Necrofactorium will fall on that scale.

I completely trust their track record here, and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I just wanted to express the concern while it’s still early-ish in the process, and point out that the announcement has left as many questions as it answered.

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My roughly approximation is that from 200$ to 130$, and including the Cohort models and Leader like in the Battlebox, the cut is something like 10-12 models, depending on base sizes.

Seems like a good idea to me going forward, if course most of the units will probably be available individually too, but for people “getting started” it is a good idea