Finally picked up my Planetstrike goodies. I got the book, the Imperial Strongpoint, and the Blastscape. I'll discuss each one of these.
The book/rules: This has been reviewed to death on every 40k blog in the world so I'll cover some things I haven't seen talked about too much. Basically, I'm excited to play a game. Once I get my terrain put together I'll put a couple of games in and see how that goes. Without playing a game, I think the defender has the harder job. It seems a bit too easy to crack a bunker these days with melta being everywhere. Of course not every army has that ability, so some will find attacker far more difficult. Don't forget that flame template weapons can hit the guys inside!
There was much ballyhoo over the strategic asset that gives 2D6 Firestorms being an "auto-win" button but I disagree. First off, only about 1/3 are going to land on target. Of those, only 1/6 are going to penetrate a Bastion's armor. Of those, only 1/3 stand a chance of destroying it. Off the top of my head that's about 18 Firestorms. Of course, a Firestorm is deadly against troops out in the open, and against that kind of deployment you will have an auto-win button. Of course if you deploy out in the open, you deserve exactly what you get.
I also really liked the fluff sections. They expand on the fluff in the Tyranid codex about the Orks vs. Tyranids, and how that war is going. That part always intrigued me and I am glad to see it going somewhere. There was also mention of the Hrud for all those who want to see them made a race, and mention of a race I'd never heard of before.
Finally, the one area I think they dropped the ball was in the race-specific stratagems. The ones they have are nice, but I think they could have come up with quite a few more. I even made some up myself they could have included (Eldar Holo-fields for an Eldar bastion). It seems they want people to do that, as I quote pg. 26, "...we want to encourage our players to be creative, not trammel them with restrictive rules."
The Strongpoint: This is a really big box. It's a pretty good deal and fairly easy to put together. There's plenty of customization options, though I wish they had more. Here's an awesome thing- they include support struts in case you want to stack multiple bastions together. I've put together the whole defense line and one Bastion so far. Just be careful of gaps in the joints, I'm going to have to go over it with Greenstuff.
The Blastscape: I was both impressed and disappointed. I was disappointed with the quality. They look like when someone blows up a picture too big with poor resolution; all pixelated and blurry. It looks like someone made a terrific small sculpt and had it blown up farther than it should have. However, most of that detail is going to be obscured by flock and basing, so I will refrain from final judgment until I have painted them.
On the positive side, the pieces are huge. I was expecting small 5" pieces but was very impressed by the size. The laserburn I thought was particularly nice. The meteor one is pretty inaccurate, as meteors that size would leave a far larger impact crater- but since when has 40k forsaken coolness for accuracy?
So was the blastscape worth it? Possibly. Let me get mine painted and ready before I say.
Ok, I won't say anymore about Planetstrike until I have played a few games. Now it's time to get my new terrain painted up.