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A friend of mine is interested in getting into 40k, so I thought I'd get him a battleforce for Christmas to start him off. He doesn't really care what army he starts off with, he left that up to me, so I thought I'd get a little feedback about the various battleforces to start off my search. I've talked to him about the different armies, and I think he's leaning slightly towards Eldar, but I wanted to get a few extra opinions from here. In terms of what you get, point values, competitiveness, and all that, which Battleforce box do you think is the best deal for the money?
For sheer value nothing touches the necron battleforce - the main reason being is it comes with 3 destroyers who (unlike most other bikes in battleforces) work on their own as 3 strong. If I can count the necron battleforce clocks in at 738 points (assuming all models buy no upgrades at all).
The eldar battleforce is alright - but a lone war walker is pants in the extreme. It doesn't make for an easy way to start the army but it is an excellent way to add to an existing force.
The chaos battleforce is pretty damn solid, bolt on a HQ and a rhino and you have a working (albeit CC focused) army. People dislike possessed but if you are just starting out they'll do their job well enough.
The IG battleforces are a mixed bag - they have a decent number of men (but not enough for a legal army unless you count the men as veterans - but that then renders the heavy weapon teams illegal). If you were to buy 2 of them then you'd have the backbone of a solid IG army, but meh.
Personally I don't rate the ork battleforce worth it that much unless you are planning to build a speed freeks style army, otherwise what use are the 3 bikes and only 20 boyz? The trukk is the best part of the set.
The space marine battleforce is also excellent, it comes with plenty of bodies, a decent spread of weapons - though 15 tactical marines is a bit odd those extra 5 are still a legal choice and can work in tandem with the scouts (or perhaps throw them in the rhino).
The space wolf battleforce is also good (IMO) - 20 troops with a decent enough spread of weapons (the important part here is the even split of 10 dedicated CC models and 10 shooty models). The scouts are nothing spectacular but the drop pod does open up some interesting tactical choices unusual for a starter force.
The tau force is good as everything does what it is supposed to - add in a couple more crisis to act as a bodyguard for the commander and you have a basic working tau army.
The tyranid force is a very mixed bag. On one hand its a legal force and coems with plenty of bodies but on the other it lacks anything big and chunky that the other battleforces come with. Certainly a good basis for a tyranid army but bolting on a carnifex or some other meaty choice would be the immediate next step.
I bought the Chaos Space Marine Battleforce about two months ago and I found the army it came relatively competitive right out of the box. I comes with a Rhino, 8 Khorne Berserkers, 15 Marines and 5 Possessed. I had a Daemon Prince, some lesser daemons and a Soul Grinder I proxyed as a Defiler and it was easy to use. The price was right too as it is one of the cheaper Battleforce sets you can buy. I got to tell you, I've had a lot a fun and success with this set since I got it.
The 'marine' battleforces are definitely better out of the box than the Xenos ones, aside from the Tau battleforce, which is alright (except for the obvious glaring flaw that it comes with Tau).
The Imperial Guard and Tyranid battleforces are a good way to get the starting troops you need for the army, but don't come with much else. The Ork battleforce is fairly poor, actually. 3 bikes? Who the hell runs squads of 3? All in all, you're better off splitting a couple assault on black reach sets with a marine player.
All in all, the best battleforce is probably the basic Space Marine one. Chaos comes close, but possessed troops aren't very good. Perhaps if you add a bit of green stuff and run them as Plague Marines...
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
Ill say this much : DO NOT GET THE NID BOX!!!! Not only do you not get a massive saving, but the models cannot be all be used in a semi decent list if you go for a full army. Oh and outsider the nid box doesnt actually make a legal list.
So yeah dont go there.
Your friendly neighbourhood gargantuan creature
As far as Marines go: the Ravenwing box is a very decent box for the money and can give you a legal albeit small army (you get a named character in the box which makes your bikes troops, if you don't want Dark Angels or named characters it still a good fit in every marine army once you got 2 troops and a HQ, be wary of modelling your Land speeder then )
I know it's too late for his present, but if he now has marines and would want to expand Ravenwing is a very good box