This week I go my hands on an Ex Illis starter set and couple of additional boxes. I haven't had much time to dig into it properly yet, but I thought I would share my first impressions.
Here is a shot of the starter box that I found on another site. This box is about the size of the Warhammer starter sets, but is a much sturdier box. I don't know why, but the fact that it was a much sturdier box made me excited to get it open. Inside the box is a TON of plastic minis - somewhere just over fifty. The models are PACKED onto the sprues in the box. Since I didn't have time to put together any of the minis I started looking for the rules.
I dug around in the box and I didn't find a rulebooks, but I did find the starter guide. From what I have read you don't really need a rulebook though there is detailed information available on the Ex Illis wiki. You are supposed to just learn as you play. Since that is usually how I really come to understand the rules of a game this sounds right up my alley. In order to play you have to set up an account on the Ex Illis website, and you can then build an army and play a game. In order to play you have to install their software on a PC, MAC, or smartphone. So far I have the software installed on my phone and have created an account, but haven't got much further than that. This weekend I plan on checking out the mechanics of the game more in depth.
One note that I need to make is about the two different starter sets. One of the sets costs $80, and the other costs $170. There has been some misconception that I have heard that you NEED to buy the more expensive set. This is not the case. The sets are the same, except for the game board. The more expensive set comes with a molded plastic board, and the cheaper set comes with a laminated folded mat. I received the set wtih the mat and it is of very good quality - we will see how it holds up over time though.
All in all I have been impressed with this system so far. The models look neat, the system has a very interesting mechanic, and I look forward to digging in deeper and checking it out properly.