I bought heavy into the Castle system. There were a lot of gaps in my purchases that I didn't notice until I had the actual pieces in hand. Sometimes, you can't imagine what you truly want until you have something to play with! I tried to fill in those gaps as best as I could, but the add-on packs within the store simply made more holes.
Now this new configuration for castles I think are great for newcomers. They can easily see what they want and buy exactly the right number of sets that are needed.
However, once they get the pieces in hand and they have time to play with things, most people will start to realize just how many gaps are left open. Let me be clear, if you want to make a set castle, out of the box, then buying the various packs will work wonders. If you want to buy the castle of your dream, then you'll find that getting the pieces needed is going to take some work.
For example, let's examine one of the builds, the Inline Tower. It gets you basically three straight wall sections, and a 3 level small tower. Of course, crenelations all around. The problem comes in when you want to build that tower away from the wall. You can only build a 2 level complete small tower. Or if you want to move that tower to the end of your wall, you'll find that the inside walls can't complete the seamless look. You'll need cube spacers or wall spacers to make up the width.
It's not a perfect system but it is very good for newcomers. It's a great way to configure the complex castle system into more bite-sized chunks. Unfortunately, for people like me who have a lot of castle system already, it doesn't fix the problems I already have.
No they are not. They were offered in the drawbridge pack, both manual and motorized.
I took a look at the long wall unpainted prices and it seems to be about right. The old add on sets offered 2 long walls. So taking half the pricing, they come out about the same. Half of the old sets would end up costing about $9 more than the new long wall set.
I noitced that none of these new sets offer cauldrons to the builds.