SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 06

Stormbringer is a weekly hobby magazine from Hachette Partworks introducing players to Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. In this 80-week series, our intrepid magazine-receiver will be reviewing each individual issue, its included models, and gaming materials. A Premium US subscription was provided to Goonhammer for review purposes. If you want to follow along at home, US Customers can check out Stormbringer here.

As I have been looking forward to future Stormbringer materials and collecting each individual issue, I’ve come to a delightful conclusion: this is an incredible selection of random badguys and weirdos for RPG campaigns. Orcs of all sizes, goblins, trolls, terrain, and even some player characters are in there amongst the complete Stormcast army. Hell, I’m already thinking of how to use the Stab-Grot model to play a Goblin Paladin. On this website, we use every part of the magazine.

The Narrative Materials

Hobgrotz – Credit: RichyP

We open with a brief article on the twin-headed god of destruction, Gorkamorka. It always amused me that they recycled this moniker from the long-abandoned game of the same name. This god of brutal cunning and cunning brutality is worshipped in different aspects by different varietals of orruk, with the Kruleboyz being more on Mork’s brutal cunning side. This is best exemplified in their ambush tactics, disorienting magic, and ranged weaponry, as opposed to Gork’s more direct approach.

We’ve got a new unit of Hobgrots this issue, and they’re in need of a Battle Record. Let’s roll on some tables and see what we come up with:

Hobgrot Boss Zurrekk Murdu was oblivious to the extra bangstikk on his waist. He was equally oblivious to its missing pin. Before he could even realize it, he was painted across the walls, floors, and ceiling of the ruin he had just been skulking about in. Jagga Rakk cackled with glee at his handiwork – planting that scrap grenade was a dead kunnin’ move. Zurrekk’s Evil-Eyez were no more; they were Jagga’s Evil-Eyez now!

The Hobby Materials

Kruleboyz Hobgrot Slittaz. Credit: Colin Ward

If you couldn’t guess, this week contains 10 Hobgrot Slittaz, a name which still feels uncomfortable rolling off my tongue. I love the detailing on the models – their faces are characterful, their physiques are alternately kinda flabby and kinda yoked, and their weapons and armor are sharply defined. I still prefer the classic Goblin/Gloomspite Gitz aesthetic, but these little jerks fit perfectly with the Kruleboyz. Some of their poses are a bit 2-dimensional, but these are some of the cheapest chaff out there so they don’t need to all be pirouetting off hero rocks or anything. There are a few head options and you can build one as a leader or a regular dude, nothing too fancy. The instructions are straightforward for these push-fit models, but glue is of course recommended. There’s little bits of flavor text throughout the build instructions, talking about how much hobgrots like to slit throats (hence the unit name) and throw their grenades. The painting instructions only walk us through two colors – basing the models in Orruk Flesh and picking out the metallics in Leadbelcher. We’ll see how this works when we finish these models later, as Hobgrots are typically portrayed with a sickly yellow skintone instead of the traditional Orc/Ork/Orruk green.

The Gaming Materials

Hobgrot Leader. Credit: Raf Cordero

This week we learn all about the Shooting phase. I can already hear a 12 year old shouting “that’s not fair!” as a Hobgrot mob hucks a bunch of grenades at their Stormcast Eternals. Had I been born some years later, I may have been that 12 year old. To save the tears of that alternate universe tween SRM, the scenario this week has steps to curb any perceived imbalance. Explosion of Violence sees 10 Hobgrots join a cadre of 10 Gutrippaz and a Killaboss against a woefully outnumbered group of 5 Vindictors and a single Praetor-Prime. To represent the fickle nature of these gobbos and level the playing field, the Hobgrots won’t engage in melee combat, and if they’re the last Kruleboyz left, they retreat and cede victory to the Stormcast. This forces the Stormcast player to make the decision of preventing enemy shooting or actually playing to the mission by attacking the Gutrippaz. The Kruleboyz player largely gets to focus on getting the shooting phase down. There are helpful little tactics tips suggesting what units you should activate first and why. It’s a good tutorial, and with such a limited unit selection, they’re able to give more specific advice. I’m looking forward to getting off the little mat that came in the first issue, as shooting units get a lot more interesting with cover and movement areas bigger than a pizza box.

Final Verdict:

20 Hobgrot Slittas will run you $60. This magazine’s $13.99 cover price will get you 10 Hobgrots. Last I checked – and I’m no mathemagician here – 30 is half of 60, and 10 is half of 20. What I’m getting at is these little twerps would normally be $30 for 10, and you’re spending less than half that here. If you want a load of cheap grots, this is a great way to get ’em. The instructions on the shooting phase are thorough and easy to follow, and while the lore section is scant, it’s enjoyable reading.

See you next issue, warhams.

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