SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 18.5: Premium Issue 1

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 a young proto-warham, I played in an event called Fantasy Rules! at Historicon. A selection of fantasy armies were arrayed for our selection, from classic knights and men-at-arms to armies of ogres, orcs, dragons and monsters. I immediately gravitated towards the trolls and dragons, betraying future me’s fascination with platemail and heraldry. I believe my reasoning was “dragons are cool,” an opinion that has stood the test of time. Age of Sigmar now asks, “Why do the bad guys get all the cool monsters? Why should they have all the fun?” and has given the Stormcast Eternals a growing bestiary of monsters to choose from. One of these is the focus of this premium issue, which we will crack into in just a moment.

The Narrative Materials

Yndrasta, The Celestial Spear – Credit: Colin Ward

The narrative section here is exceptionally brief, with its first piece concerning a smattering of Stormcast Special Characters. Each gets a couple sentences and a piece of art. The Celestant-Prime (who might be Karl Franz?) is the first and arguably greatest Stormcast Eternal. Aventis Firestrike is a wizard and a politician of Hammerhal. Yndrasta, The Celestial Spear, is Sigmar’s prime huntress and never seems to do as much as I’d like when I use her in-game. Neave Blacktalon is Sigmar’s… slightly less prime huntress? Subprime huntress? The art predates both her miniature glowup and TV show. Lastly, Vandus Hammerhand led the very first assault by the Stormcast Eternals on the Mortal Realms, and he hasn’t been coasting in the meantime.

Krondys, Son of Dracothion, gets a smidge of lore and a Battle Record justifying his presence in our little partworks battlefield. The Draconith are allies to Sigmar, with their father Dracothion being Sigmar’s oldest ally. Krondys has been fighting alongside Sigmar since before his titular Age, cleaning up Azyr then sitting a few ages out. Now, Krondys and his people are here to help ol’ Siggy out, joining the Stormcast Eternals in their crusade to reclaim the realms. Let’s see how he’s gonna do that and roll up his Battle Record:

The haggard hedgemongers of Garagevale looked up at the massive dragon before them, pitchforks and rusted swords in hand. “COME, SCIONS OF SIGMAR” boomed Krondys, fearsome in aspect and titanic in size. “A GREAT EVIL IS HERE IN CARPORTIA AND ONLY YOU CAN HELP PUT AN END TO IT!” Skub Gubbins uncovered his ears only to immediately plug them again with his fingers. No amount of protection could muffle the booming basso profundo of Krondys’ orders. “I SHALL PUT MY TEETH, TAIL, AND TALONS TO THE TEST IN A SAVAGE FRONTAL ASSAULT. YOU SHALL FOLLOW. WE FLY!” and with that, the great dragon took off, sweeping away half of Carportia behind him, the massive gale force winds of his wings far too much for the thatch-roofed cottages of the village to bear.

The Hobby Materials

Draconith Box. Credit: Dylan Gould

Included in this issue is Krondys, Son of Dracothion. This is the largest model in all of Stormbringer; a truly monstrous centerpiece that stands far above every model that’s come before. This model is also going to be a lot of work for a newer hobbyist, taking me roughly three hours to assemble when I included the time to detail the base. That time was largely pleasant, however, as this kit is beautifully engineered and goes together smoothly. Gaps disappeared as I pushed the pieces together, and moldlines were minimal. His head was a bit finnicky, the wings are enormous and hard to hold together as they dry, and his armor does not like to go on at all, but these represented maybe half an hour of my time constructing this kit.

The painting instructions are similarly thorough, showing us how to use glazes with thinned Contrast paints. Funnily enough, that’s what Dylan did for his Karazai, so I really do recommend you read his article in companionship with this one. Alas, I have been unable to paint my own, though he’s built, primed, and lurking in my closet amongst countless projects all equal parts pressing and frivolous. It was my intent to have him painted for this article, but unfortunately some real life things take priority over plastic dragons. I hope to have him finished this year, or at least in time for this series to reach its conclusion.

The Gaming Materials

Karazai the Scarred. Credit: Dylan Gould

In addition to being far and away larger than anything else in the entirety of Stormbringer, Krondys is proportionally as powerful. We get a full warscroll for him, nearly indistinguishable from the full Age of Sigmar equivalent. The only change is the lack of points value, as Stormbringer has him count as a simplified “4 Hero Selections” in Stormbringer‘s take on army construction. A full page tutorial follows his equally lengthy warscroll, and then we’re off to this week’s mission: Prince of the Heavens. Krondys has been ensnared by Kruleboy magic, and he is chained to the center of the table. The Orruks have him surrounded, with a Killaboss, Swampcalla Shaman, 10 Gutrippaz, a Beast-skewer Killbow, and Da Kunnin Krew all klosing closing in for the kill. Until Krondys can cast the Break Curse spell on a 7 (which he likely will on the first turn, as he has a +3 to cast before taking damage) he can’t fly and has restricted movement. It’s quite possible for him to break his chains and melt 2 Kruleboyz units a turn, but what’s the point of getting a Godzilla-sized monster if you can’t go on just a little bit of a rampage with it? The Orruk player gets points for wounds caused, Krondys gets points for models killed, and that’s pretty much it. It’s not a hugely inspiring mission or anything, but it lets us play with our new toy and show how he stacks up to your average schmucks on the board.

Final Verdict:

The Premium subscription of Stormbringer contains four of these bonus issues, all for just $3 more per issue. That equates to $60 per Premium issue, which when compared to the sticker price of $170 for Krondys/Karazai, represents about 65% off. This banger value stands in contrast to what is a fairly weak issue from a narrative and gameplay perspective. However, if you want to follow along with an exceptionally thorough tutorial, this has got one of those, and it genuinely ain’t bad. Those tutorials will be needed, however, as while I had a great time putting this model together, it represents an order of magnitude more scale and complexity than the models we’ve received up until this point. It lives up to the Premium moniker though, because Krondys is primo as hell.

See you next issue, warhams.

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