SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 24

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.

Hold up a minute; is that a mother fukken goblin on the cover? We’re on gobbo watch, boyz, girlz, and non-binary gitz, and we just hit a code red on code green.

The Narrative Materials

Moonclan Grot Stabbas Credit: Bair

We’re starting off strong this week, delving into the caves and tunnels beneath the Mortal Realms to learn about the Gloomspite Gitz. These grots, troggoths, and squigs are hopped up on hallucinatory fungi and are here to party. They attack seemingly at random, and nobody knows where or why they’ll attack next – to understand either would require being as mad as these mushroom-addled goblins. Their celestial deity, The Bad Moon, is equally bonkers. It flies around the cosmos seemingly at random, sending grots into a frenzy and driving regular folks mad. Basically, next time you’re feeling off and your cool friend with a nose piercing tells you it’s because Jupiter’s in retrograde, place your blame instead on The Bad Moon.

Next is an article on the Grand Alliance of Chaos. This umbrella covers both the plate mail and leather-wearing mortal followers of Chaos, as well as the daemons from one of no fewer than four Space Hells. You’d think they’d find common cause with the forces of Destruction, but Orruks and the like break stuff seemingly at random instead of from some greater plan. Basically, the forces of Chaos are like your dad watching protests on TV, saying “I like what they’re saying, but I don’t like how they’re doing it.” There’s also a brief rundown of the five Chaos gods and what they’re all about. Khorne doesn’t care who wins or loses, only that blood flows. In this regard, he’s none too different from a narrative player. Tzeentch is all about plans within plans, ambition, and magic, like the most tedious prog rock fan insisting a 13/8 time signature is impressive, actually, and not at all annoying. Nurgle’s followers believe they’re bringing life and improving the Realms, but are in truth plague-addled and bile-spewing colonies for parasites. Slaanesh is all about sensation and fulfilling your darkest desires. When you ask Slaanesh’s followers what their guilty pleasure is, they insist there’s no guilt involved. Lastly is The Great Horned Rat, whose followers are plague-ridden rats legally distinct from Nurgle, but far more enthusiastic about unsafe and unstable technology. Think of them like the kind of people who stan Elon Musk instead of developing a personality. In truth, I still feel the Great Horned Rat becoming a Chaos God never really fit. There’s no rat daemons, no mortal followers of this god who aren’t themselves Skaven, and the Great Horned Rat stands perfectly fine on his own. Maybe by the time this goes live Games Workship will reveal some sick new rat daemons for 4th edition, but at time of writing, I still don’t buy it.

Credit: Silks

The Hidden Gloaming is the subject of our third narrative piece, a place where Hysh, the realm of light, and Ulgu, the realm of shadow, overlap. This middleground is where gods of light and dark can meet, and where the cursed denizens of Shadespire got yeeted to. It’s also where the Geminids of Uhl-Gysh Endless Spell comes from, and where Slaanesh was held captive by aelfkind. If memory serves, Slaanesh busted out in Broken Realms: Morathi, but it’s all a little floaty and questionable, since there’s still Slaanesh units you can take under the “godseekers” faction trying to free their imprisoned god. Maybe they just didn’t get the memo.

Our final narrative section this week concerns a Gloomspite Gitz hero, The Loonboss. These little bastards urge their fellow grots to fight all the harder, with unpredictable and seemingly insane plans that few generals can react to. Of course, he has a Battle Record to fill out, so away we go!

Agarik Brain-Maker had, many times, been called dumb as hell. “Dumb as hell like a fox” thought Agarik as he carefully drew a fistful of blastcap mushrooms from his pouch. “Oi! Stormgit!” the diminutive grot shouted at the surprised Stormcast guard. As the servant of Sigmar drew his sword, Agarik threw his blastcaps on the ground, causing an explosion that launched him directly toward the Stormcast Eternal. Agarik’s boots burning, he swung his Moon-Slicer at the Sigmarite’s waist, severing their legs as he flew off target. “What did you – how did you…?” the bisected Stormcast sputtered as Agarik Brain-Maker picked himself up off the ground. The grot finished off the confused warrior with a sneering cut. “Not so tall now, are ya?” said Agarik atop his fallen foe, as a bolt of lightning returned the Stormcast to Azyr, its brilliant glow incinerating Agarik in the process.

The Hobby Materials

Gloomspite Gitz Loonoss. Credit: SRM

This week we get a Loonboss, a diminutive foot hero for the Gloomspite Gitz with powerful Mac Tonight energy. I built mine in 16 minutes, hardly needing to look at the instructions. The paint section will get you by, certainly getting him to a respectable basecoat with a bit of shading. The guide has painters start by coating the whole model green, which I do not recommend, as he’s honestly not got that much green on him. It’s a common pitfall I see with Orks, Orruks, Orcs, and all other varietals of lower case-o orcs and goblins out there. A brown or black would be a better starting point, as the models are often wearing robes, leather, and armor, with only faces and maybe bare arms exposed.

My experience painting the Loonboss reinforced this preference, as only a smidge of green is actually showing beneath his plate mail tank top and capris. Aside from his arms and ankles, the prevailing textures are steel and mushroom – neither of which are going to be green, I imagine. That said, it’s a fun little mini to paint up, and if it weren’t for the big fungi below him, he’d be a remarkably simple miniature.

The Gaming Materials

Kruleboyz Hobgrot Slittaz. Credit: Colin Ward

It’s funny that this week’s rules content largely focuses on Heroic Actions, when our included Hero is one of the least heroic Heroes in the entire game, and one that can’t do much with the Kruleboyz we’ve amassed thus far. We also get a Warscroll for the little Loonboss, with some tutorials for his rules. These abilities all have precedent with other units we’ve gotten so far, so he should be pretty easy for learning players to figure out.

This week’s mission sees our little pal trying to get the high ground with Commanding Vantage, in which a small Stormcast force meets a handful of Kruleboyz and the Loonboss on a hill in Ulgu. Whoever can take the hill will be able to build a watch tower with a commanding view of the area, and the only way to do this is by fully destroying the other army. I wish this mission just had a central objective instead of a “kill ’em all” win condition, since that would make more sense for a literal King of the Hill match. The twist is one where the first time your general dies, they respawn back in your territory. It’s not a particularly interesting mission, but I like the deployment zones of a pair of Tetris L-blocks diagonally opposed to each other.

Final Verdict:

The little Loonboss in this issue normally costs $33.50, so you’re spending less than half to get him here. Now is that a lot of money for a rather small model? Yes. Is that model a goblin? Also yes. You decide the value prospect there but I think it’s a pretty good one. The rest of this issue contains some of the most fun lore we’ve encountered thus far, a middling mission, and a decent paint guide. It does get the gobbo bump for me though, as I’m all about these little idiots.

See you next issue, warhams.

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