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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Battle for Valhalla has arrived!

An enormous parcel arrived today from the Troll Trader. Under the 4" layer of bubble wrap (you could have dropped this off a building and it'd have been ok!) was the rather large and heavy (1.8kg) Battle for Valhalla boxed starter set. This is considerable larger than a standard Patrol Fleet (probably about twice the size, which would make sense as the set contains effectively two Patrol Fleets), but comes in the same double-walled cardboard box and sleeve format we've seen become the SG standard over the past 6 months or so.

On the cover is a decent photo of the fleets and station, and on the reverse of the box is the usual contents of the box;

A quick opening of the box shows the box is absolutely packed to the brim;

Unpacking all of this from the box you really appreciate how much is in there!

So in addition to the ships, the station (complete with acrylic parts) and rulebook, we also have two sheets of asteroids, two token  sheets, two battle logs, resin SRS tokens, two bags of dice - one standard and one tiny (for the SRS tokens) - and finally the Battle for Valhalla scenario book. It covered a good section of our kitchen table!

OK, taking a closer look at the resin, let''s start with the station. This is a single-piece resin casting, together with the acrylic parts. The single-piece resin is a nice casting, and a fair size;

There are some differences between the top and bottom, but you'd be forgiven if you missed them, they're pretty subtle.

Turning our attention to the other Terran ships, the one that interests me most is the new Tyrant-class. I like the homage to Hawker and their designs, together with the more traditional Terran elements - it's a nice blend of fluff and design. It gives the feel of a solid, chunky ship, which (with its multiple shields) it is!

It looks good from top or bottom, and fits together very well (the three main elements above are only placed together) - the insert and vertical "fins" on the hull are included in the accessory pack bag, together with the flight inserts for the other ships.

Next up on the Terran side are the regular cruisers. These are also really nice castings, and come in two distinct pieces. There are no heavy cruiser upgrades in the Battle for Valhalla set, so these are all standards. As others have mentioned, each ship has two inserts which are just the right size for 3mm magnets, allowing you to magnetise them, which is a great feature.

Finally on the Terran side are the all-new resin frigates. These are unmistakably Terran, but I like them much more than the old Pilgrim.

For the Dindrenzi, the big-hitter of the set is the new Praetorian, a monstrous vessel cast in three main pieces, a main central hull and two drive sections. In addition are the gunracks, bridge, and engine inserts.

Onto the cruisers, these are again three-part castings following the same vein as the battleship.

The Dindrenzi ships finish up with the three frigates, which are very nice single-piece castings

The other resin pieces are the SRS tokens, and there a whole bunch of these - a lot more Terran than Dindrenzi, which I presume is down to the wing capacity of the station.