SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 21

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.

Listen, we all know fourth edition is coming soon, but can we hang out in third for a minute longer? It’s a shame these partworks magazines keep starting 2/3 through an edition and ending months after the game has fundamentally changed. Maybe Combat Patrol will be the first one of these magazines to finish its run before the end of an edition. Still, I will remain your dutiful Stormbringer-bringer and continue this series of curiously in-depth articles until either the magazine ends or I do. Which will happen first? Tune in each week to find out!

The Narrative Materials

Octren Glimscry. Credit: SRM

I had to check to make sure this wasn’t already the name of a book on my wife’s bookshelf, but A Practical Guide to Magic is the title of our first article this week. This article is merely an introduction, but the goal is to dispel any fears the reader may have about the less known magics from outside Azyr. Alvius Voy is our wizard narrator for this series, and the style of writing is laden with wordplay and dripping with haughty superiority. I love it.

We are next greeted by a centerfold about the armies of Ulgu, the Realm of Shadow, with plenty of detail on the realm itself. We open on a map of the Shadrac Convergence (I’m more of a Shadrach man myself), a region with places like the Gate of Vipers, Slitherdwell, Misthåvn, and Witchwhorl. This realm is literally made of deception and illusion, and resultantly is hard to navigate, let alone survive in. Cities are largely at the intersection of Crime Alley and Pirate Bay, and battles will never be won by strength of numbers alone. It’s a realm where only the cunning can truly thrive, which is why it’s all the funnier that the supposedly kunnin’ Kruleboyz don’t make an appearance in this article. Instead, the mall ninja Skaven Clans Eshin get focus, with a bushel of ancient Gutter Runner models from Mordheim on display. Idoneth Deepkin also do well here, being so used to the deep sea that the shadows of Ulgu don’t bother them much, and they even get away with stealing the souls of their supposed allies. Daughters of Khaine are naturally at home in Ulgu, with much of the realm in Morathi’s control around Hagg Nar. How that will change post-Dawnbringers is unknown, but we’ll probably see some Khainite civil war in our future. The dark(er) mirror to that faction are the Hedonites of Slaanesh, as Ulgu is prime hunting ground for aelf souls. Said elf souls can be found in the Darkling Covens, bringing up the rear and reminding people that those Dark Elf models from Warhammer Fantasy still have rules. I appreciate the focus shifting away from Ghur for a minute, as well as the “which elves are most goth” contest.

The Hobby Materials

Marshcrwla Sloggoth

This section begins with a refresher on building best practices, such as cleaning up excessive amounts of plastic glue, gap filling, more basic assembly techniques, and proper tool usage. I wish this was included earlier in the magazine’s run, as it’s a handy little guide for newcomers.

The main attraction this week is the paint tutorial for the Marshcrawla Sloggoth, which can now be assembled using the included second half of the kit and last week’s instructions. Specific locations are given for where to place sticky tack, all the better for painting in subassemblies. The results are decent, with a focus on getting clean basecoats down and a series of reminders for painting the easy to miss details. It’s an in-depth guide that will get the model technically ready for the tabletop, but more work is yet to come.

The Gaming Materials

Marshcrawla Sloggoth. Credit – @mamikonpaints

The intro to the real deal (soon to be outdated) main rules for Age of Sigmar is given, along with instructions for how to utilize these updated rules in the future. Essentially, any time something similar has been covered in the Basics rules we’ve received up to this point, these updates supplant those Basics. Of course the most important rule is to have fun, and I’ll give you that one for free.

Rules and tutorials are provided for our newly-acquired Marshcrawla Sloggoth, and he makes up a healthy portion of the Kruleboyz force in this week’s mission, Pits of Peril. Following up with the short story last week, the Stormcast Eternals and Kruleboyz are duking it out over a realmgate to Ulgu. The shifting shadows of the realmgate are represented by a -1 to hit debuff for all units in the first two turns, and victory is earned by both destroying enemy units and getting your own units into enemy territory. I wish there were more pieces to play with here – only three units per side means there won’t be many scoring that objective – but I like the flavor of the mission rules.

Final Verdict:

The value prospect this week is tied to our last issue, as only by their powers combined will you get a full Marshcrawla Sloggoth. The good news is that you’re getting one for just under half of its $60 retail price, as these two issues will run you $27.98 all told. The rest of this issue was solid, with a fun lore section, helpful construction and painting tips, and a mission with more flavor than our typical smash-em-ups.

See you next issue, warhams.

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