I just recently received both the Original Core set and the Revised Core set...here are my first impressions regarding both. Since I have not yet fielded any armies or played a single minute of the game, my observations and opinions are solely about the production quality and
ORIGINAL Core Set:
1. FFG Production Value: This set just has that FFG style of quality from the very first moment you open the box. The sheer size of the box, the choice of corrugate stock and full color mural artwork on the box top draws you into the whole experience.
2. Volume of Resources: When I was unpacking this set - it felt like it went on forever (and I mean that in a good way). From the unit models, to the walkers, to the rules manuals, numerous heavy stock cardboard scenario tiles (which really add the gravitas to the tabletop), all the way down to the tank traps and dice - this set just was packed with everything you could possibly need for a unique, out of the box, immediate playing experience. If I opened this box at a friends house, I would probably still be playing
CONS: None that I can speak of at this time.
REVISED Core Set (again, these are my impressions on the dollar value of the set - not the mechanics)
PROS: The internal components: models, stat cards, poster scenario maps, tank traps, dice - all high quality production items as seen in the Original Core Set. In some cases, I think the sculpts and final presentation of the models out of the box are high quality; better in some cases than the Original Set.
1. Overall Presentation is much weaker than the Original Core Set. The cardboard quality is really quite thin, and feels like it can be summarily dismissed and discarded once the contents are removed.
2. Scenario Posters - NOT Tiles: A real departure from the heavy stock quality tiles from the Original Set.
If the goal in the REVISED Core Set was to offer the consumer a new, inexpensive entry point into the DUST Tactics world, then I feel that this was accomplished. I think everything you need to play this out of the box is there.
However, I am glad that I opened the ORIGINAL first. The Original Core set reminded me of what board games used to be; not just a product, but an experience that made you feel good about what you purchased and good about the company you purchased it from.
I think the REVISED is a fine set. And if this was the ONLY version released, I probably would be singing its praises. However, you definitely can feel the production value stripped from it in several aspects, in order to reduce the cost and pass that savings along to the customer. I think by comparison, the REVISED set could have been even more inexpensive, based on the apparent cost savings measures.
Truth - if you can afford to - buy both. If you have to decided between the two - I would recommend the Original and downloading the new rules from the support page.
EDIT: I just wanted to be clear - that there are no model duplicates between the two sets. Each set has its own specific unit sets and walkers.