SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 18

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.

Well nuts, we’re getting a new edition of Age of Sigmar this year. GW unambiguously announced this at Adepticon, but you don’t come here for breaking news. Hell, I’m not entirely sure why you come here at all, but I appreciate it. Back on topic, this means we’ve got an expiration date on the rules content of this magazine, and like Imperium before it, the new edition of the game will likely eclipse the magazine’s pace. We’ve still got 62 weeks of this series left, give or take bonus issues, so maybe if AoS 4.0 is delayed to *checks calendar* June 2025 we’ll still be in business.

The Narrative Materials

Steelheart's Champions Credit: Alfredo Ramirez
Steelheart’s Champions Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Our first article this week is about Stormhosts, the individual armies that make up the forces of the Stormcast Eternals. Each have their own culture, heraldry, and history, and we get about a paragraph each on five of the more significant ones. The Hammers of Sigmar are the first Stormhost, and are exemplars of all the honor, glory, and general heroics of the Stormcast Eternals. The Anvils of the Heldenhammer are the spooky bois, all about death and fear. The Hallowed Knights are zealous crusaders, able to shake off plagues and corruption through faith alone. Celestial Vindicators are the angriest of Sigmar’s lads and lasses, made entirely of people who want revenge on Chaos. Lastly are the Astral Templars, monster hunters who seek the thrill of the hunt. Obviously you’re encouraged to create your own – I did anyway – but the brief narratives and artwork here sell these Stormhosts well enough. More interesting is a quote at the bottom of the page:

“Sigmar has taken the peoples to whom he once promised peace and turned them into the Stormhosts.”

I don’t know if this kind of philosophizing will ever be explored in depth in Stormbringer, but I’d love it if we could explore the hypocrisy of Sigmar and the peoples’ doubts in him more. Even the so-called “good guys” need those shades of grey.

Next is another article on the Realm of Beasts, entitled A Savage History. Cave paintings portray Drogrukh and Draconith at war, with the bodies of worshippers strewn about and the mountains themselves breaking. I like how this gives the setting some scale. Pitting Kragnos, last of the Drogrukh, against Karazai or Krondys is like refighting this ancient war in microcosm, and each are table-dominating threats on their own. The rest of the article is about the Ironjawz running roughshod over Ghur and giving Archaon the boot, which, while somewhat incongruent with the first part of the article, is very funny.

Last in this section, we have a Battle Record to roll on. This week’s addition are Da Kunnin’ Krew, a mob of Kruleboyz led by Mannok Da Kunnin’.

Mannok knew the best way to get a git was to baffle them. If he could make Xandire’s Stormgitz doubt his motives and plans, he could finally put an end to his gilded rivals. But before Mannok could fool the Stormgitz, he knew he had to fool one orruk first:

Himself.

Mannok took a draught of Forget-Me-Grot, a fungus potion brewed up by Gikkit and Krookgrin. His vision swam, murkier than the swamp, and next he knew he was face down in the muck. It was the next morning now – the potion had worked. Mannok’s reasons for joining up with this mob were so brilliant, so kunnin’, and so cruel, that even he didn’t know why he was part of it.

Just as planned.

The Hobby Materials

Da Kunnin’ Krew. Credit: Rich Nutter

The stars of the show this week are Da Kunnin’ Krew, another Warhammer Underpants Underworlds warband that has found its way to the larger battlefields of Age of Sigmar. They’re a pretty primo example of the Kruleboyz aesthetic, really leaning into the “swamp trapper” narrative. The simple construction and small size of the grots (hob and otherwise) in this fivesome lets the sprues breathe and have a little more room for the full-size orruks, and none of these models look flat or 2-dimensional as a result. Building them is going to require a deft hand, however, as they’re a spindly crew with a lot of fragile pieces you’ll need to push together. The assembly guide doesn’t go too in-depth since none are more than a handful of pieces, bases included. The painting instructions are only somewhat more detailed, and will get some basecoats down on your models. They’re nothing special, but I appreciate the honesty in showing us the “ugly phase” of model painting. Compared to the “just draw the owl” level tutorials I grew up with, these are welcoming if slow. My only gripe with this kit is Mannok da Kunnin’ and his stupid head cage, which I would not want to paint around at all. The instructions tell you to be careful, but with the brushes supplied by Stormbringer thus far, there’s only so much you can do.

The Gaming Materials

Stormcast Eternals Xandire’s Truthseekers. Credit: SRM

Predictably, we get new Warscrolls for both Da Kunnin’ Krew and their leader, Mannok da Kunnin’, as well as an update to Xandire’s Truthseekers. These two warbands will bring some friends along and face off in a Battle of Wits, where we’ll use the full deployment rules for the first time. The mission is simply to kill each other, with the strategic focus instead being on where best to deploy your units. We’ve also graduated past the boardgame-esque mat with its printed circles, and are now playing on a pretty standard (if small) style of game board.

Final Verdict:

Da Kunnin’ Krew will kost you $40, so you’re getting a hell of a deal with this issue’s $13.99 cover price. Similar to Xandire’s Truthseekers, they are pretty easy to come across through both Warhammer Underworlds: Harrowdeep and the Rivals of Harrowdeep set. They’re a characterful set of models, and if you’re into the Kruleboyz aesthetic, few boyz are kruler.

See you next issue, warhams.

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