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.
Has anyone made a ska-themed Kruleboyz army called Rudeboyz yet? If not, you can have that idea for free. The Morky Morky Waaaghtones found their way into head58’s Boston Ork Army, but the vein is still rich, and I implore you to dig.
The Narrative Materials
Our first section this week is about the various types of Realmgates that dot the Mortal Realms. They are magical gateways that link these spheres of reality, and they are understandably hot commodities for warring armies to fight over. There are several other means of traversing the spaces between Realms, from Sigmar’s lightning bolts to Skaven gnawholes, but Realmgates are the most stable and understood. They also don’t sell the terrain piece for them anymore, which is a shame.
Next we learn a thing or two about Kruleboyz culture and society. In some ways they’re about the same as any other varietal of greenskin in a Warhammer publication – they love fighting, they love looting, and they value strength. The Kruleboy Difference™ is in how much they love looting, and how they value cunning just a smidge more than your average Orruk. Their only frustration is that they can’t loot Stormcast Eternals very well, since their stuff usually turns into lightning when they die. Kruleboyz are also more adept at inventing stuff, hence all the poisons, crossbows, and other contraptions they have. I wonder if they’ll get some kind of wackadoo pump wagon-style war machines down the line.
Our last article in this week’s narrative section is about the Stormstrike Chariot. Operating as scouts and linebreakers, these gryph-charger drawn war machines are crewed by Stormcast of the Angelos Conclaves. Think of these as the cavalry divisions of a Stormcast army. Of course, we wouldn’t get a new unit without a Battle Record, so away we go:
Neor gripped the steering handle on the Stormstrike chariot tightly, her Gryph-Charger steeds pulling the chariot hard around a rocky outcropping. By some stroke of fortune, Khamsin, her husband, also found himself gifted by reforging at the end of his old life, and stood beside her on the deck of their chariot. It was no 3-bedroom 2-bathrooom in Hammerhal, but it was theirs. The two spotted their quarry – an Orruk scouting party – at the same moment. With the practiced precision of a couple who had been together longer than most mortals had been alive, they coordinated their efforts, dashing through the mob and leaving nothing but arrow-strewn and trampled corpses. As the chariot turned back towards camp, Neor looked down. “N+K 4ever” was scratched into the back of the carriage. She smiled beneath her helm as she steered them home.
The Hobby Materials
This week we receive a Stormstrike Chariot, our most impressive model yet. This very well may be the model that sold me on Stormcast Eternals, where their art deco and ancient Greek design influences truly started to click for me. The chariot looks fantastic, conveying a wonderful sense of momentum. The details are sharp and feel reasonably plausible as well, at least for something with such a high fantasy vibe.
Constructing this model is simple, its push-fit construction being well suited to subassemblies. The instructions here suggest that one should paint each gryph-charger, each crew member, and the chariot itself separately, which is exactly what I did with mine. They want us to build one of the crew members with a bow instead of a spear, which is the only set of options in the kit. I built mine with a spear for gameplay purposes, but the bow looks better, in my opinion. Smartly, the painting instructions also ask us to basecoat each model in different colors. This is a huge time saver and I’m glad they were so willing to lean into this style of painting. My only extra tip would be to glue, pin, or otherwise attach your subassemblies to spare bases or corks so you can paint them without handling the model itself. This is the first chariot I’ve ever owned that I actually found enjoyable to work with, and should be reasonably easy for an inexperienced hobbyist to build and paint.
The Gaming Materials
We take this new chariot out for a spin in this week’s mission, Line Breaker. A Kruleboyz force consisting of everything we’ve collected so far sits at the far end of a long deployment mat. The Stormstrike Chariot needs to bust through and kill them while a couple Stormcast characters lag behind. I feel this is a somewhat missed opportunity for a narrative game, maybe something with the classic “rolling roads” mechanic we see in games like Speed Freeks or Necromunda’s Ash Wastes. As is, it’s disappointingly straightforward, with the chariot just ramming into dudes and hoping it can weather 5 turns of combat. I feel that to adequately show off a fast moving unit, it should be given the opportunity to maneuver more. We also don’t get any of the Chariot’s special rules this issue, so it doesn’t really sell itself as the linebreaker unit it so clearly is meant to be.
A Stormstrike Chariot will run you a hefty $55, so $13.99 for one represents a genuinely fantastic deal. They’re also a useful and cheap enough unit that you might run a few in an army, making this price point extremely appealing. This week’s narratives are breezy but fun, and the hobby tutorials are full of good advice for getting the most out of this week’s model. I found the mission disappointing as you can likely tell, but I think this issue hits far more than it misses.
See you next issue, warhams.