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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (Sort of) A Great Introduction to Warhammer
Island of Blood is intended to be an introductory set for the Warhammer fantasy wargame, a deep and well-developed line of collectible miniature soldiers. I purchased Island of Blood as a way to get back into Warhammer after several decades away from the hobby, so I had some familiarity with the game ahead of time, but needed a good way to return to the hobby. This set...
Published on August 19, 2011 by Neil Laughlin

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5 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Longer Worth It
Games Workshop has gone down hill and really quick. I've gone from being a fan to increasingly angry and disappointed. There is quite a bit of assembly and painting required, which is to be expected, and this is probably the quickest way to get not one but two serviceable armies and the quality of the models and the sculpting have grown immensely since the early days of...
Published 17 months ago by Trevor


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (Sort of) A Great Introduction to Warhammer, August 19, 2011
By 
Neil Laughlin (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
Island of Blood is intended to be an introductory set for the Warhammer fantasy wargame, a deep and well-developed line of collectible miniature soldiers. I purchased Island of Blood as a way to get back into Warhammer after several decades away from the hobby, so I had some familiarity with the game ahead of time, but needed a good way to return to the hobby. This set is a fantastic purchase in terms of providing an economical entry into the game, delivering over 70 miniatures from two well-developed, competitive armies -- the elite, noble High Elves and the treacherous, swarming Skaven rat-men. There are some excellent models in the set: the High Elf prince on a griffon is striking, the High Elf mage will stand out in any army, and the Skaven are an impressive horde of verminous evil. Everything in the box is useful as the basis of a larger Warhammer army as well, making this set an excellent starting point for building a larger army of either force.

The minature rulebook alone is another great feature. Small and light on fluff, it's easy to carry around and use, unlike the beautiful, immense, and expensive core rulebook. The templates, dice, and rangefinder are also a handy set of additions.

The downside of this set is that in some significant ways, it's incomplete. Painting kits have to be purchased separately, but aren't strictly necessary to play the game. However, what I found a significant gap, dropping this to four stars, is the lack of complete statistics for the units in the box. The back of the rulebook contains a table of the base stats of all the units available in the Warhammer line at the time the set was published, but it includes no detailed information on any units' special rules or abilities. After the rulebook discussed the possible special rules at great length, I would have been much happier to know what my Rat Ogres or Poisoned Wind Mortar did in the game. Within a week, I returned to the nearest game store to pick up the High Elf and Skaven Army books so I could actually play with the full rules for each of the models in the set. If Games Workshop publishes another set of this sort, my hope is that they'll provide a full set of statistics for all the units so they can be played as intended.

EDIT: By visiting the manufacturer's web site, I found "The Island of Blood: Reference Sheet," which contains a simplified version of the unit-specific rules for the units in this set. It's a decent fix for my main problem with this set, if still not complete.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Island of Blood review, July 14, 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
Long ago, our plastic for-fathers died for causes they believed in.
Now, we honor their plasticity and sacrifices by re-telling their struggles and replaying the epic battle of effeminate elf versus mangy rat-man.
Lo, unto us, the gaming world, did two armies come in one box. Heed the call of a slim and manageable Battle Rule Book that does not throw your back out carrying around. Behold; 'newb' sticks!

Now, gather around, spill miniature blood, reap the honor of victory and cast thyne opponent into the pit of shame with easily the best value in the Warhammer world.
The isle of blood.

"To crush your enemies, see them flee 2d6 before you and to hear the lamentation of ze wimmen"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, March 29, 2011
By 
P. Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo, NM USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
This kit contains what would normally cost over $150. There just isn't any greater value for those wishing to get started with Warhammer Fantasy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Island of Blood 2010 set, May 11, 2012
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
This is a wonderful product for anyone wishing to start playing Warhammer Fantasy. The set comes complete with two armies. Skaven and High Elves. They are two distinctly different play styles, so it gives you a good range for types of tactics employed playing Warhammer fantasy. The set also comes with a mini condensed rule book, which does save you the $90 price tag of the hard bound rule book. And honestly, the condensed version is just as good in my opinion. Also in the set are 3 blast templates, a set of dice, plus the scatter dive needed to play. And two 18" measuring sticks, needed to determine movement and range for firing ballistic weapons like guns and bows, and even magic spells. I bought this so my wife and I could learn how to play, and because I thought this would be a nice hobby for us, even if she didn't like the game. Painting the models is a joy in itself. I would recommend this product to anyone looking to start playing Warhammer fantasy, for the amount of stuff included, if you purchased everything individually you'd spend well over $300. So the value alone is amazing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gateway into Miniature Wargaming, April 7, 2013
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
As always for my boxed game reviews, I'm directing this toward novices and parents aimed at starting in this wide, vast and often confusing world of miniature wargaming. Intermediates and Veterans may find some useful tidbits in here, but plenty of exposure to the hobby and perusing my colleagues' reviews should already solidify any decisions you've had lingering.

Games Workshop and its flagship lines, Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 (think fantasy but in space and with guns), have produced multiple starter kits over the years. The "Island of Blood" is its latest iteration which focuses on the conflict between the High Elves and the Skaven ratmen. You can already find content listings and all kinds of unboxing videos on the internet, so I'll go into more of why I think this one stands out compared to previous versions which you may find out there. I'll also go into comparisons against other systems and pitfalls of this set.

POSITIVES.

1) most detailed box contents to date-I've had the previous "Battle for Skull Pass" and felt that was bonkers, but Games Workshop (GW) keeps improving the quality of their work with each set.

2) quick to assemble-as a novice, you really want to be able to put together your forces and play, with the characters being the most tricky to put together, you can have a skirmish in an hour or really take your time with the modeling aspect of the hobby at your own pace.

3) tidy rules-the contents are not designed for you to master the game in one sitting, they're to get you playing and enjoying with as little frills or difficult interactions as possible.

4) good thematics- I really felt both factions capture the feel of Warhammer well. Gallant and elite Elves with the martial mastery and magic versus the rat Horde and their fiendish weapons of war.

5) good springboard- if you've never heard this before, buy boxed sets that have at least two sides: good vs. evil. This set gives you a taste of what they can do and can expand your forces accordingly, but being able to try it out from the other side of the table makes a world of difference. As with anything two or more player, being able to provide a force for an opponent means getting more players into the hobby

NEGATIVES.

1) Doesn't quite fit back in the box- I've become more and more of a stickler for boxed sets being able to repack themselves in as you don't want to lose the contents if this is your one and only time owning any Warhammer kit. Everything will lay flat and with a little gift wrap liner, stay neat. If you don't glue the wings and the flying stand on the griffon, you can disassemble it and be ok.

2) still need hobby supplies- if GW ever figures out how to pack a tiny syrette of plastic glue and an inexpensive clippers, this thing is PERFECT. I would keep stacks of this as back-up for holiday and bday gifts to gamers and hobbyists. It's fine as a snapfit kit without glue, but you can get a pair of wireclippers from your local hardware aisle and do the same thing.

3) slightly unbalanced forces- GW has historically favored good guys over bad guys, so even in the box using the stock rules it favors the Elves (advanced rules HEAVILY favor Elves over Skaven). However, remember this is a scenario skirmish and more about the learning and the fun factor. Personally, if the Skaven had a cannon and a handful of their "gutter runner" scouts, you would have a COMPLETE and BALANCED set that details characters, flyers, cavalry, infantry, shooting, warmachines, and skirmishers along with detailing the difference between an Elite strategy against a Horde strategy. If you want to add to it, yes, both are available as kits from GW.

4) no starting scenarios- This is my biggest gripe. GW used to pack every starter set with some loose scenarios that would string together into a mini-campaign and ramp up the level of the game to start with a handful of troops to using everything in the box. It would have taken them no more than a 6 page color leaflet or at least directions to download them from their website, to really make the play process seamless. After all, not every buyer has the means or the access to a dedicated hobby store and learn the rules properly. That being said, rules are not hard to learn, but introductory scenarios really add volumes to the experience.

Overall:
-great value (several faction fans often double up to get the contents in the box for their own personal armies)
-good starting points for the hobby (figures, rules, background)
-would have benefitted from smoother introduction for the complete novice

If it means anything, I own two boxes: one for the figures and the other box to teach beginners. Veteran hobbyists often buy these sets for nostalgiac reasons alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Place to Start Warhammer, January 29, 2013
By 
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
The starter kit is a terrific starting place for anyone getting into the Warhammer hobby or wanting to start a High Elf or Skaven army. The models included are great minis, and you get a lot more bang for your buck with these than many of GW's other sets. This generation of starter kits has impressive quality and variety in the miniatures, unlike previous sets, and may include more models as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, June 10, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
Totally worth it, comes with plenty of very well done figures. Only problem is the armies are not technically legal armies, so in a real game you'll have to choose between some pieces. And the High Elves are a much greater force by point cost, at minimum it's almost double.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great value, November 18, 2011
By 
Maori (Albuquerque, NM USA) - See all my reviews
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
As much as I like 4th and 5th edition Warhammer minis, I have to say that the plastic miniatures provided in this 8th edition starter set are easily the best of any of the past sets, detail is amazing!
Warhammer can get quite costly - Citadel figures have never been cheap and their prices have almost doubled in only 10 years - but, as in previous editions, the basic starter set is still a great buy.
Especially if you realize that there are indeed other manufacturers out there who make such figures whose prices are a little more down to earth, letting you flesh out your armies with qulaity minis at a more reasonable cost than buying nothing but GW.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intoduction, June 1, 2014
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
This is a great way to get back into tabletop fantasy games. This pack includes two "full" armies of two factions (Skaven and High Elf). I put full in quotations because if you're anything like myself when shopping online you know to research things to death.
In short this intro pack is pretty one sided as it pertains to the actual armies. My research tells me that Games-Workshop tends to favor the good side, so the High Elves are pretty much a powerhouse of units and characters in comparison to the Skaven army that is supplied. I've watched two videos of people play these out of the box, one tried to equalize the armies by beefing up the Skaven, but they ended similarly with those poor, evil little buggers get crushed.
That being said, there are a lot of great models in here for those looking to paint and/or field some great looking pieces.
Everything is supplied unprimed, unpainted, and on plastic holders that require cutting, trimming and configuring (by the way of coding around teh models). There is a mini-rulebook (as in it is sizably smaller than the regular format GW sells) as well as artillery dice, two red rulers, three artillery templates and a handful of d6. There is nothing included to do any of the trimming, assembling, priming, and painting required at minimum to showcase the great models in this kit. This is an expensive hobby, but a very fulfilling one to take!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good product, December 3, 2013
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This review is from: Warhammer: The Island of Blood (Toy)
Product came as it should but the min rulebook that came with it was ripped and the pages are falling out.
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Warhammer: The Island of Blood
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