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Warhammer Space Marines Battleforce Box

Article by Paul Nortness

A few of my coworkers have been trying to talk me into playing Warhammer 40,000. Being a long time Classic Battletech player, I have resisted for the most part.

It recently dawned on me that it is near impossible to find a group of people for a game of Battletech, so I finally relented and decided to join the ranks of Warhammer players.

After some deliberation, I settled on Space Marines as my army of choice. They seem to be a perfect blend of ranged and melee combat, plus they have cool vehicles and weapons! So I went down to the local gaming shop and picked up the required books and a Space Marines Battleforce box.

When you first open the box, it is almost overwhelming how many parts there are. The box comes with one "Rhino" troop transport, ten tactical marines, five combat marines which are identical to tactical marines minus some extra options (I will cover those options later in this article), five assault marines and five scout marines.


At the bottom of the box, you will find instructions and several sheets of decals for the marines and their vehicle.

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First up, let's discuss the Rhino troop transport. Building the Rhino is fairly straight forward. If you have ever built a scale armor kit, you should be right at home here. The Rhino has options to build the hatches opened or closed. Also included is a tank commander figure or gunner figure. Unfortunately there is not enough room for both. The plastic is sturdy and goes together easily. I strongly recommend attaching the tracks after the model is built and painted. It will make painting and weathering the tracks much easier. The rear door opens to allow troops out. Unfortunately figures do not fit inside the Rhino. Though without the bases attached they would fit just fine, if you wished to sacrifice a figure.

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Since they are virtually the same, I will cover both the combat and tactical marines at the same time. They guys are your run of the mill Space Marines. The biggest difference between "tactical" and "combat" Space Marines is a couple of weapons and options. Tactical Marines come packaged with a big rocket launcher for a marine to carry as well as a standard (flag) that can be mounted onto a marine's back pack. There are a few more weapons options included with tactical marines like flame throwers, etc.

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Next up is the assault marines. These guys are basically tactical marines that have proven themselves experts in close combat and have been promoted to assault marines. Along with a big promotion, they get these cool looking jet packs and swords that look like chain saws. I don't know about you folks, but there is just something wicked sounding about a chain saw sword! Assault marines jump in close to enemies with their packs and open a big can of whoopin on the bad guys, so I will be basing some of them with clear acrylic rod so they look like they are flying.

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Last but definitely not least, is the scout marines. Scouts don't have the cool armor that tactical marines have, but that doesn't make them any less awesome. Scouts have cool weaponry like assault shot guns and heavy bolt guns and some even carry the always devastating chain saw sword! Of all the different types of marines in the box, scouts were my favorite to put together.

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The customization options on these little soldiers is absolutely staggering. They have provided all sorts of little pouches, side arms, knives, grenades and various gear to mount on the marines. The sprues also include multiple versions of heads, arms, etc. so no marine looks like another. One of the biggest knocks I always heard on Warhammer was the price. I paid $90.00 for the Space Marines Battleforce box at my local game shop. For 25 soldiers and a tank, that is a heck of a deal. That same $90.00 in my beloved Battletech would maybe get me six or seven units without a fraction of the customization options as the Space Marines have. I would highly recommend anyone looking to get into Warhammer consider one of the Battleforce boxes (each army has its own box). Even if you are not interested in playing Warhammer, but just want to paint some miniatures $90.00 is a small price to pay for the amount of building enjoyment found in this box.

Have fun and happy building!

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