SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 14

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.

If you’re reading this, I have either emerged from the quarter-inch sheet of ice that has encased seemingly my entire state unscathed, or have perished beneath it. I often write these weeks in advance so it could very well be either. I don’t think anybody from this website has died yet so hopefully nobody has to figure this out before it goes live.

The Narrative Materials

Ogor Mawtribes.

We bring in the Everwinter this week with Ogor Mawtribes, a faction that honestly ported over from Warhammer Fantasy Battle pretty seamlessly. They are marauding tribes of Mongolian-inspired big dudes who really like to eat. To them the Mortal Realms are an Old Country Buffet, and buddy, they’ve got coupons. Big bellies are a sign of status in their culture, and even their magic is focused around eating. They somehow find the time between meals to tame the various beasts they ride to war, and regularly scavenge and cobble together various weapons to kill stuff with. I feel there’s some mix in design languages that doesn’t always work with the narrative (Guys carrying cannons is cool but how does that tie in to the whole “eating everything” thing? What’s with the pirate stuff?) but it’s a characterful army full of models that have aged fairly gracefully. Here’s to new models in 2024, I guess.

Next we get an article on the various alliances (re)forged by the Stormcast Eternals. Even god-touched demigods can’t protect the Mortal Realms alone. The various creatures of Azyr – dragons, gryphons, birds, and the Warhammer-branded versions thereof – are first amongst these allies. Others include the aelves of the Lumineth, Idoneth, and Daughters of Khaine, the duardin of the Fyreslayers, and the Seraphon of, well, the Seraphon. Some of these alliances are stronger than others, but this is where I must remind you: “Order” does not necessarily mean “Good.” Honor and duty might be important to the Fyreslayers, but the snake ladies who worship a murder god are maybe a little more grey on the morality scale, and Seraphon are literally dinosaurs.

As we get some new models this week, we of course have a new Battle Record to roll on. What will our new unit of Man-Skewer Boltboyz get up to? Let’s find out:

The Morksmen of Rognor’s Deadeyez were ensuring their weapons would be as sharp as their wits. They’d recently finished a battle with the rival Bane-Slittaz tribe, and their gear needed maintenance. Gazrag was tightening the bolts on his crossbow, while Zurrekk picked his tooth with a yet-fired bolt. A rustle came from a nearby bush, and without hesitation, the Deadeyez swung their crossbows towards the sound. The air was filled with bolts as volley after volley pelted into the brush; aim being a complete and total afterthought. After a moment of silence, a wet, meaty thump followed. Prodda Da Slaughterer, boss of the rival Bane-Slittaz, dropped dead from the bush, his body a pincushion of poisoned bolts. Killing their rival boss by accident was the most kunnin’ move of all.

The Hobby Materials

Kruleboyz Man-Skewer Boltboyz. Credit: Colin Ward

This week’s issue includes a trio of Man-Skewer Boltboyz, common ranged support troops for Kruleboyz armies. The models feel a smidge two-dimensional, with only their oodles of overlapping detail preventing them from looking flat. The details are distinctive and sharply defined though; I love their helmets and the sheer brutality of the bows. They’ve got some fiddly pieces in helmet crests and the crossbows themselves, so you’ll want to be careful in assembly to avoid snapping any spikes or bowstrings. The painting instructions offer some useful tips, like starting with dark colors and working your way up to lighter ones, as dark colors generally cover better and thus are better for fixing mistakes. It also suggests that you clean your brushes regularly, especially while using metallic paints, as they can clog your brush and affect its lifespan and shape. All of these are good bits of advice that a new painter should probably hear.

The Gaming Materials

Grotz and Bolt-Skewers – Credit: RichyP

This week’s mission is The Miracle Brew, with a Kruleboyz line of bows arrayed against Xandire’s Truthseekers. What keeps this from just being a tabletop firing squad experience is the objective of the mission: catch the Pot-Grot! This slippery little goblin is randomly placed in a spot between the two battlelines. If you have more models within an inch of him at the start of your turn, you’ve caught him and stolen some of his brew. Do this twice to win, or simply kill all of your opponent’s models. I don’t feel like Xandire’s Truthseekers are great for this, as they’ll likely never have more models within 1″ of the little guy, but I’m glad Stormbringer is trying to introduce some fun missions with more variety.

Final Verdict:

Man-Skewer Boltboyz are $55 for a trio, which makes this issue’s $13.99 cover price a banger value. They’re cheap and useful enough that you may want multiple, even if they’re pretty fragile on the tabletop. This week’s narrative section is enjoyable if a bit on the light side, the hobby advice is decent, and the mission is a swing for something different. I feel that the missions have thus far been the weakest part of each issue, but hopefully that will change as we get bigger mats to play on and more units to choose from.

See you next issue, warhams.

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