SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 28

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.

It’s readily apparent that several Age of Sigmar factions are some aspect of an army from Warhammer Fantasy Battle that got spun off into their own army. Some of these, like the Dwarf Slayer archetype becoming Fyreslayers, feel a little thin on the bone. Night Goblins and their Squig companions becoming the Gloomspite Gitz though? That, dear reader, was inspired, and I’m so glad we’re at a point in Stormbringer where we get to read all about them.

The Narrative Materials

Mangler Squigs
Credit: Raf Cordero

The narrative section is brief this month, but what’s there is delightful. First is an article on fungi, specifically the types of cave mushrooms that Gloomspite Gitz cultivate. These are used for poisons, potions, bombs, and more, and are hugely important to gobbo society. Most readily dangerous of all of these fungi are the Squigs they herd and ride into battle. There’s a Squig for every occasion, and irrespective of size or shape, all Squigs share an insatiable hunger and a similarly nasty temperament. I love them and they’re my perfect spheroid sons.

The tiniest possible lore section on Zarbag’s Gitz follows, largely serving to just show the faces and names of each Git in the group. They’re fiercely devoted Zarbag, as whatever fates they face in battle will pale in comparison to what Zarbag will do to them if they fail to protect him. It’s pretty typical bad guy stuff. Of course we get a Battle Record to roll on, where we find out just what these Gitz are doing with our Kruleboyz collection:

One night of far, far too many of Drizgit’s “Speshul Stash” had separated Zarbag’s Gitz from their clan, and Da Bad Moon was doing little to guide them home. The best way for Zarbag and his Gitz to get back to their clan would be to stick with the killiest Orruks or grots they could find. Zarbag had temporarily allied his band with Kiltoof Headbasha’s Kruleboyz, endearing his band to the Killaboss by sneaking into the nooks and crooks of Garagevale where the Orruks couldn’t reach. Maybe under one of those rocks or logs the Gitz would find a way home, but until they did, they had an awful lot of boyz to hide behind.

The Hobby Materials

Zarbag's Gitz. Credit: SRM
Zarbag’s Gitz. Credit: SRM

This week’s a good one, as it includes Zarbag’s Gitz. These were the first Gloomspite Gitz Underworlds warband and a preview for the then-forthcoming Gloomspite range back in 2019. Like any Underworlds kit, the models are all single-build without any options, and some models are even just a single piece. There’s something delightfully old-school about that. My only qualm with the kit is a minor one, and it appears on Snirk Sourtongue, the Fanatic with the ball and chain. I had a pretty bad seam on the top of his hood, and I know it’s for space reasons, but the chain on his wrecking ball feels short. I’m just nitpicking and/or gitpicking at this point though, as I do love this little set of freaks. There’s so much fun and character in every little detail, like the hood dropping over one archer’s eyes, or the mushroom roasting on the Squig herder’s pot. Hell, he’s got a brand that matches the brands burned into the two Squigs. There’s an attention to detail here that’s really something else, and whoever sculpted these models clearly understood the assignment. The assembly instructions are simple as could be, and the painting instructions are okay. They do the usual thing I don’t like where they insist on priming these models green when they’re predominantly wearing black, but the end results still make for some decent looking Squigs and Night Goblins.

The Gaming Materials

Gloomspite Gitz Loonboss. Credit: SRM

Wounds are detailed in full this week, with wound allocation, returning dead models, and ward saves among the fine print. This extends to the Battleshock phase, and we learn how to use Inspiring Presence to keep our dudes from running away. I’ve noticed the last few issues have had a lot more photography of cool models in the rules sections than before, signaling that we’re pretty close to the end of the rulebook drip feed. It’s cool seeing some of these photos though, as they’re absolutely from the back pages of Battletomes I don’t own. They’re new to me, is what I’m saying. Going back to wound allocation, part of our tutorial this week even tells us how to best allocate wounds to Zarbag’s Gitz, prioritizing weaker models before getting to the harder hitting Squigs or Prog da Netter. The Gitz get a warscroll, as do Loonsmasha Fanatics. Snirk Sourtongue uses their rules instead of something more bespoke for the Gitz.

We are invited to look skyward this week and Behold Da Bad Moon, a celestial phenomenon that has the Stormcast Eternals and Kruleboyz alike shaking in their collective boots. Zarbag’s Gitz, our Loonboss, and a collection of Kruleboyz go up against a pretty standard little Stormcast warband in a battle over the Azyrite Fountain. The fountain is in the center of the battlefield, and whoever has the most models within 3″ of it at the end of round 5 wins. However, the Bad Moon is shining down on that water feature, and every non-Hero unit within 12″ of it must take a Battleshock test at +2 every turn, save for Moonclan and Troggoth units. The strategy here is to avoid feeding your units to that woodchipper for just long enough before taking it yourself. It’s a fun little mission.

Final Verdict:

Zarbag’s Gitz are no longer available for individual purchase, but when they were, they were around $30. Newer warbands are $42, but we don’t need to have a conversation about climbing prices right here right now – this is a nice corner of the website and I like to keep it pretty positive. With either price point in mind though, $13.99 for 9 delightful character models feels good. Like most Underworlds warbands, they’re not especially great in AoS proper, but are great for adding variety to a unit or playing Warcry. The mission is fun, and I like the lore section, brief as it is. Just about any goblin-centric issue is a good one, folks, and I don’t mind showing my bias when I say that.

See you next issue, warhams.

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