• Robison Wells

5 Best Value Start Collecting Boxes--and the 5 Worst

When we dive into a new Warhammer 40k army, there are a lot of choices to make. Veteran players may make their 2000 point army lists before they ever buy the first model, while other players might just buy what looks cool and let it grow organically. But whether you're a rookie or a veteran, you would do well to look at the Start Collecting boxes offered by Games Workshop. We did a little number crunching and came up with some results.

The Method

We looked at all of the Start Collecting and Combat Patrol boxes that are currently available on the Games Workshop site. We included boxes that were listed as "Temporarily Out of Stock" but we didn't include any that said "SOLD OUT" as that often seems to be Games Workshop code for "this is never coming back."

The Start Collecting and Combat Patrol boxes that we looked at, in alphabetical order, are:

Adeptus Mechanicus

Astra Militarum

Blood Angels

Chaos Space Marines:


Daemons of Khorne

Daemons of Nurgle

Daemons of Slaanesh

Daemons of Tzeentch

Dark Angels

Death Guard



Genestealer Cults

Militarum Tempestus

Space Wolves

T'au Empire

Thousand Sons


So, it doesn't cover every army, but it covers an awful lot of them.

Next, we looked at everything in the boxes--all the units listed in the Start Collecting and Combat Patrol boxes--and figured out what the cost would be if you purchased them separately. Then we did a little math to figure out the value that you're getting, and we've come up with this list.

The 5 Best Value Warhammer 40k Start Collecting Boxes

#5. Genestealer Cults 173% Value

The Genestealer Cults Start Collecting box comes in at $95 and contains an Acolyte Iconward, 5 Acolyte Hybrids, 10 Neophyte Hybrids, and 1 Achilles Ridgerunner. While I wouldn't say this is the most interesting army list in the bunch (I would have loved to see Aberrants and especially the Atalan Jackals that are some of the best sculpts to come to Xenos in a long time) they definitely made it worth the price. This $95 box, purchased separately, would set you back $164, meaning that you're getting a 173% value for your money. There is no one unit that is really running up the cost (except for maybe the Acolyte Iconward at $30, but we're used to characters being expensive). This was just solid prices across the board. And that Ridgerunner looks fantastic.

#4. Craftworlds 174% Value

This is, overall, a good looking box despite the fact that so much of the Aeldari units are SO OLD. Everything in this box holds up pretty well to time, and they made the wise idea to go with walkers and vehicles rather than the incredibly old infantry sculpts. With this box, for $90, you get a Farseer, 5 Wraithguard, a Wraithlord, and an Aeldari transfer sheet. If there's an asterisk next to Craftworld's place on this list it's that transfer sheet that comes in at $18--a steep price for something that isn't a model. Still, the Wraithguard and Wraithlord look great. This is clearly an elite force: high point cost for tough units, but it makes the grade. Costing $90, you get $157 in models, at a value of 174%.

#3. Thousand Sons 177%

Not a bad box at all, but it has one big drawback: it costs $95 and is worth $168, but $25 of that value is in not one but two Tzaangor upgrade sprues. If it weren't for those sprues, it wouldn't fare nearly as well. (But, to look on the bright side, if it weren't for those sprues, the Tzaangors wouldn't be nearly as good.) The box contains Ahriman on a disc, 10 Tzaangors, 10 Rubric Marines, and the two upgrade sprues, brining it to a total value of 177%. It's really not a bad way at all to start a Thousand Sons army--you're going to want all of that stuff anyway, so why not take the value discount?

#2. Blood Angels 177%

This is the first box that is not a Start Collecting but is a Combat Patrol, which means that the box costs $140. But they pack it with a lot. The first big money sink is in the $35 Primaris Librarian, which, we all know, is kind of a rip off. But it's a rip off for all characters in all armies, so we deal with it. But the next big ticket item is an Impulsor. That's not a bad piece to start your army off with, especially when it's coming with so many Primaris: a squad of Intercessors and a squad of Incursors. 3 Agressors round it out. (And then we get the requisite $24 worth of Blood Angels upgrade sprue--but what were we expecting when it's a box of Blood Angels. You've got to have the iconography.) The $140 box is worth $248 bringing its value to 177%

#1. Chaos Space Marine 201%

Now this is far and away the best box of the bunch at a whopping 201% value, but that comes with a big caveat (which could be good or bad): the bulk of this box is not available for sale as individual units on the Games Workshop store. we've got a Master of Possession (exclusive), a Venomcrawler (exclusive), Obliterators (exclusive), Greater Possessed (exclusive). Only the 10 man unit of Chaos Space Marines can be bought separately. So how did I come up with the dollar amounts? I looked at each of the individual units for sale on eBay and took the lowest Buy It Now price I could find for each unit. So, there's obviously a markup. But you've got to admit this box, which retails for $95 is worth it when you look at those models. The total box price tallied out to $191 for a value of 201%

What Are the Worst Value Warhammer 40k Start Collecting Boxes?

So now we've looked at the best value in Start Collecting and Combat Patrol. What came in dead last, the least value in the box?

#5. Deathwatch 149%

This is a Combat Patrol box that really feels like it should have been a Start Collecting box. So, it starts at $140, but we immediately drop $35 on Primaris Lieutenant and another $35 on a Primaris Apothecary. That increases the value, but it feels needless to have two expensive single characters. Of course we get our 10 Intercessors to make up the squad of Deathwatch, and of course they need 2 upgrade sprues to make sure they match Deathwatch look and feel. Toss in 3 Agressors, and that rounds out the box. It just... doesn''t feel like much. So, this $140 box tallies to $208 -- a 149% value.

#4. Dark Angels 149%

Another Combat Patrol box coming in at a low value--and don't be surprised when we see another further down this list. The box comes with one Primaris Chaplain, 3 Inceptors, a Redemptor Dreadnought, 5 Intercessors, two upgrade sprues, and one transfer sheet. So, for those keeping track, that's only ten models. Only 5 Intercessors. That hardly seems like something you'd need two upgrade sprues to manage. Either way, it comes to $208, which is a 149% value.

#3. Space Wolves 143%

The final Combat Patrol box on this list, and it suffers from the same problems the other Combat Patrol boxes do: not enough units to justify the price, and a big sink into upgrade sprues. Admittedly, you do get more soldiers: 10 Intercessors and 5 Reivers. But add in an Invictor Tactical Warsuit (you know--the Dreadnought with the open cage) and a Primaris Lieutenant (and two upgrade sprues which, admittedly, Space Wolves really need) and you come to $200. That leaves the value at 143%

#2. Daemons of Khorne 140%

This is a Start Collecting box, and the vast majority of it gets sunk into a massive HQ unit: the Herald on Blood Throne. Aside from that you only get 3 Bloodcrushers (which are a stupidly expensive unit--three of them are $50) and 10 Bloodletters. Yes, that's probably a good intro into a Daemons of Khorne army, but for $90 retail you're only getting $126 worth of models. Which comes to a low 140%

#1. Daemons of Slaanesh 129%

The worst value of them all, by far, is the Start Collecting Daemons of Slaanesh. For your $90 you get 10 Daemonettes, 5 Seekers of Slaanesh, and an Exalted Seeker on a Chariot of Slaanesh. Altogether, the loadout doesn't look all that different from the Daemons of Khorne: 10 infantry and a few beasts and an HQ. But the Slaanesh units just aren't worth as much. For $90 you get $116 worth of models, brining the value to 129%.

Now, of course, all of these ARE still values. You're still getting more by buying the Start Collecting or Combat Patrol boxes than you'd get if you purchased the units individually, so can any of them really be said to be a bad deal? I guess that comes down to whether the units offered in the box are units that you really want to field. With Space Wolves you're getting $200 worth of units for $140, but many people really hate the Innvictor Tactical Warsuit and wouldn't have paid money for it otherwise, which means that's $47 you wouldn't have spent. So it's really up to you and your tastes.

What do you think of these values? Would you buy any of these Start Collecting and Combat Patrol boxes if you were starting a new army?

Leave a comment below!