SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 17

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’ve been collecting along or are at all Sigmar-curious and just want to pick up a few models, I’m gonna swoop in here to recommend Warcry to y’all. You’ve already got the models, so why not double dip? Hell, I’d almost be more into a Warcry magazine like this that dropped part of a warband each week. In my last game I had a pack of dogs maul a haughty aelf’s crotch to death. Big recommend.

The Narrative Materials

Kruleboyz from Age of Sigmar: Dominion. Credit: Colin Ward

It’s a big issue for “bad guy” enjoyers this week, as our first article concerns Kruleboyz Warclans. This one is fascinating to me, because it’s the first I’ve read of Kruleboy military organization. Their most common formation is the Klaw, where each mob represents one finger on a Kruleboy’s hand, gathered around their boss at the thumb. Naturally, the Middul Finga represents psychological warfare, taunting and insulting their enemies into folly. I’m still waiting for The Double Deuce Warscroll Battalion to drop, but maybe they’re saving it for the next battletome. Some of the Kruleboyz tribes get brief explanations that give you an idea what they’re about – Grinnin’ Blades are the stealthy ones, Big Yellers are the shooty ones, and Skulbugz are the, uh, amateur entomologists.

This is followed by a centerfold showcasing the various armies of Grand Alliance: Destruction. We’re pretty familiar with Kruleboyz at this point, but the rest haven’t gotten a ton of attention thus far. We get some art and photography of Ogor Mawtribes, Sons of Behemat, and a few other flavors of Orruk and Grot. It’s nothing too in-depth, but the double page spread of Gargants smashing through an Ossiarch fortress is cool.

Varanguard. Credit: SRM

Some of the bigger bads of the setting get a spotlight next, as we take a brief trip to the Age of Chaos. You may have noticed it’s Sigmar’s Age now, and if you thought things were rough now, the Age of Chaos was the apocalypse having its own apocalypse. Sigmar peaced out to lick his wounds and gather power in Azyr for a few hundred years, and meanwhile the Mortal Realms burned. For good reason, there are people who still aren’t wild about their would-be god-king hero-savior because of this. It’s part of Age of Sigmar’s creation myth, and gives plenty of room to fill in backstories.

The Hobby Materials

The Heroes of Warhammer Quest: Lost Relics. Credit: Fowler
The Heroes of Warhammer Quest: Lost Relics. Credit: Fowler

The hobby section begins with some general painting tips and techniques, such as proper paint thinning, tidying basecoats, keeping brushes clean, and so on. The photographs showing properly thinned and overthinned paint are genuinely helpful in a way a simple written instruction would not be. The main tip here that I wish I knew as a wee one was to change your water more regularly, especially after using a metallic paint. I have lost more than one pot of wash because it got contaminated with metallic flakes and was no longer useable.

It’s a paint issue this week, and we’re going to be adding Abaddon Black and Agrax Earthshade to our toolbox. Abaddon Black is the first black paint I’ve ever used with poor coverage, and I am not a fan of it at all. Black and white feel like the first colors any paint maker would try to get right as they’re so foundational to any paint range, but this one kinda bites. I use P3 Thamar Black instead, which covers like the old Chaos Black GW made in the 90s and 2000s. Agrax Earthshade is the brown wash we all know and love, and while I’m not pulling the Frank’s Red Hot “I put that shit on everything” move anymore with it, it’s still a hugely important paint to have. Instantly putting a muddy shade on a surface is pretty appealing, and there’s definitely a “talent in a bottle” aspect to it that many painters can come to rely on. A painting tutorial walks us through where to apply these two paints in our collection, not relying too heavily on either. I wish a little more instruction was given to emphasize the problems with overloading an area with washes, however. Tide marks, cracking and fogging from the shade not curing correctly, and clogged details are all hazards a painter should watch out for. Some images showing these would have been appreciated.

The Gaming Materials

Lord Imperatant and Gryph Hound. Credit: SRM

We’re getting into the meat of it this week with Battle Traits, the faction-specific rules that turn your collection of dudes into a proper army. Scions of the Storm grants Stormcast Eternals the ability to teleport directly onto the battlefield, and the Lord-Imperatant we use this week makes that ability even better. Dirty Tricks is the Kruleboyz equivalent, blunting enemy attacks in the first round or hiding their own units from retaliation. These are by no means complete summations of either army’s abilities, but they’re a start. They’ll come in handy when Lightning Strikes Twice, which is the title of this week’s mission. The mission is simply to kill each other, but the goal is to discover how useful these Battle Traits really are. I don’t mind a simpler mission when there’s a pretty important concept like this being taught.

Final Verdict:

These two paints will cost $12.35 on their own, so you’re paying a bit of a premium with the $13.99 cover price here. They are useful paints though, and if you’re going to stay in the GW ecosystem, Abaddon Black is kinda all you got. The lore dump early on is fun, and the painting advice is genuinely great, so even if the straight dollar value of this issue doesn’t make my eyes bug out like a Tex Avery cartoon, it’s an easy recommend.

See you next issue, warhams.

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