This one is going to strictly be a 'out of the box' review as I have already done the gameplay overview HERE so check that out if you haven't already.
I was going to pick this up in GW. I saw the pre-order bonuses that they announced and thought it was a pretty good way to encourage people to buy in store, (and something I will be interested to see if they continue for future big releases). Still i've always been a sucker for shiny things and my local GW had just got a new manager that had shown me the game the week before so I thought, what the hell. I'd order it in store rather than online.
|Nice little pre-order bonus but in no way worth £260.00|
Now i was all ready to buy the game from GW, do a new manager a solid and grab some shiny pre-order cards into the bargain, but that killed that there and then. I'm not a rich man so if I could save twenty quid on it I would.
Thankfully my friendly local discounter Wayland Games was also getting it in so what can I say, they got my business and my money instead. Quick, easy, no hassles. Brief pang of guilt as I picked it up but twenty quid saved is no small change to me. And in all honesty it turned out to be a good move. Still, on with the review.
We are back to the slim box after the behemoth that was Imperial Knights Renegade. In all honesty i'm starting to welcome this due to the Sheer amount of boxed games GW are knocking out, they've all got to be stored somewhere after all!
|My GW expenditure of late has been a lot higher than usual.. Well played new CEO...|
|Much less plastic than we have been used to in all honesty.|
There are two books, The adventure book and the guidebook. I have lamented at length the absence of the Roleplaying book from the original and to me it is a nearly fatal blow to the Silver Tower ensemble but going on about it isn't going to change anything. What is there is fair enough, As I said in my overview the rules are pretty basic, no charts and no blocks of text. The Guidebook literally does the rules, a little fluff on the heroes and then the stats for the various monsters. A handy but by no means comprehensive reference sheet is on the back
|It is a nice set, if somewhat compact|
So, on to the models. We all know they are nice, we've seen the pictures and these are up to GWs usual high standards. I do think that some of these present a fascinating look as to the way that the aesthetics of some of the future releases will go and i'm sure we will see some of these models released separately a bit later on. I was also quite struck by the fact that these models look like they could have fit into the Old World. Sigmarite aside that is.
|It's not a massive amount of models, nice as they are|
The monsters are a mixed bag. The Grot scuttlers, an intriguing mix of Goblin and Spider, are the most basic, being just two halves. Sadly they are also by far the least interesting or detailed. I would have much rather had actual spiders, Never mind, nothing to stop me replacing them should I wish.
|For the most part the miniatures themselves cannot be faulted.|
The Skaven model I didn't like much in the photos but changed my mind once I put two together, it's still lovely and simple, separate arm and head but that is it, so it goes together a charm. It looks like a really mean rat-man and I know Lee is going to double up his as Assassins in his Skaven Warhammer army.
The Horrors are also two part models, the Blue Horrors are again two parts, going together in overlapping halves, in fact a lot of the models in Silver Tower go together in overlapping layers, it's clever design and engineering. The Pink Horrors are just as simple and the Brimstone Horrors require no assembly at all. A word of caution, be careful when removing the Brimstones from the sprue, all the little flames on them are quite delicate and you can damage them quite easy.
The Kairac cultists were also easily assembled being three or four parts in most cases no real problems encountered here. Another top tip is to use plastic glue when assembling this lot as the melting plastic will help disguise join lines, of which there are plenty. Some are disguised already but the cultist with shield has a particularly noticeable one.
A quick mention for the Familiars, no assembly required but each one harks back to a classic Citadel miniature from days of yore. A really nice touch and they are a welcome addition, each has different effects in the game too.
The Tzangors are great, with most of the models in the box being pretty diminutive these are reassuringly large, once again they go together in layers and one was actually a bit of a challenge, going together like a jigsaw puzzle. There were a few models I put together as sub assemblies so I could get to bits of the model easier, like the cultists shield and the Exclesior Priest's cloak, this is not an option with the Tzangors, still there aren't many bits that will be difficult to get to.
All of the afore mentioned monsters come on two identical sprues so you will have duplicate models, Due to the way the models are put together it is difficult, though not impossible, to convert them and have them unique and should you do so be careful not to change their loadouts as they have different effects in the game. That leaves the Gaunt Summoner and the Tzeentchian Minotaur
Well, the Gaunt Summoner is a piece that all seems to come together quite nicely, I particularly liked the way the hole in the mouth allows the tongue on the neck to poke through, quite clever, the robe was a bit awkward to clean up and I did have to refer to the manual as i got in a muddle with the torso but other than that it seemed to go together no problem.
|Complicated for a boardgame but you shouldn't have too many problems.|
And that's all the models, it doesn't actually look all that much in all honesty especially when you consider that many of the figures are rather small. Nonetheless they do look very nice and it is a fine collection of miniatures with many highlights and an overall high standard. No complaints with the miniatures.
|Game in progress: It's all very neat and tidy|
|The original and still superior.|
So what about value? That's the big question. GW have unleashed a fair few of these boxed games on us now so there is a basis for comparison. As I have already mentioned, Silver Tower seems a bit light on models even though number wise it is more than Overkill and and Betrayal at Calth. As mentioned though many of the models are very small and although they are as intricate as they come you do get the feeling a few more could have been thrown in. Countering this though is the six characters that you get, Two more than in the original box and they are very detailed so you could equate each of those as the twenty quid clam packs. In reality though I think those are hideously overpriced anyway as it is so I don't take that into consideration,
|Short lived but fun while it lasts, hopefully there will be expansions|
One must also consider that Descent, et al are a good deal cheaper than the RRP of £95.00 and offer a lot more for your buck. I consider the price I got it for from Wayland to be much more reasonable. HAD it had the content of the original (more quests - more models and the roleplaying section ) then it may have been worth the asking price but if we are rating this as a game rather than a collection of accomplished miniatures then I fear it seems overpriced.
- Lovely models - not overly AoS in aesthetic
- Good fit for the AoS ruleset
- Good game mechanics
- Rules for extra models included in book
- Narrative bit tight and single minded
- Lack of balance between heroes
- Thin on content and longevity
- Pricey for what you get