SRM’s Ongoing Stormbringer Review: Week 32

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.

Oh hell yeah we’re goblinmaxxing this week, it’s straight up funguspilled squig gang hours. God, why didn’t I play goblins when AoS launched, I feel like I missed my calling.

The Narrative Materials

Gobbapalooza. Credit: Bair

It’s a goblinoid issue if you couldn’t tell, and our first article concerns the environments they live in. Tunnels, caves, and anywhere else dank and dark are where they make their home. These burrows grow into subterranean cities called Lurklairs – ideal breeding grounds for grots, troggoths, squigs, and all the critters and fungi they feed on. They hate the sun and call it Glareface Frazzlegit, which as an extremely Irish and sunburnable dude, I can relate.

Our only bit of non-goblinoid content this week concerns The Varanspire, Archaon’s personal Mortal Kombat arena. It’s an impossibly huge fortress at the center of the realms in the Eightpoints, high enough to pierce the clouds and open up to the Realm of Chaos itself. Here is where the first batch of Warcry warbands came from, each a tribe of Chaos cultists fighting for Archaon-senpai’s attention. I kinda wish that game stayed in the Eightpoints since it was a cool little realm to explore, but it’s opened up a bunch of new units for other armies so I ain’t gonna complain. It’s like if Necromunda turned into Kill Team.

We’ve got a new unit this week, and it’s a mob of Moonclan Shootas. These Gloomspite Gitz have bows, and what they lack in accuracy, power, bravery, armor, and, well, anything else of value, they make up for in numbers. I love them.

Murt’s Loonatics marched in a ragged column out of their cave, their bells and poorly made shields rattling in the wind. It was time to go lootin, and Murt’s mob had to set an example for the gitz behind them. Murt looked around – he would have looked back, but no grot worth their fungus beer leads from the front. He was trying to find his mob’s Loonsmasha Fanatic and keep some dinstance from the wild grot. Apparently they were so kunnin’ that even Murt couldn’t find where he’d hid the git. Just then, a volley of lightning came from behind, stikkin a dozen of Murt’s Loonatics. A Stormgit ambush! Without missing a beat, Plog opened his robes and revealed a wreckin’ ball, and he started spinning towards the ambushers like a grot possessed, knocking half a dozen grots into the air on the way. Maybe if they lived through this, Murt would be able to grow some new mushrooms on the corpses of his foes, but the odds weren’t looking good for Murt’s gitz.

The Hobby Materials

Moonclan Grot Stabbas Credit: Bair

This week’s models are likely the oldest ones we’ll see in Stormbringer, dating all the way back to 2006. These are old Warhammer Fantasy Night Goblins, now old enough to vote and die for their country. Fascinatingly, due to whatever vagaries dictate what models are kept for Age of Sigmar and which go to The Old World, that game uses even older Goblin models that haven’t seen production in nearly 2 decades. The age of these (comparatively) newer models can be seen in the assembly guide, where instead of 3D renders of the models, it’s all photos of bare plastic being assembled, presented similarly to the typical instructions we get. There’s even some caution that these models are different, with flat joins and a variety of options instead of the peg-based 3D puzzles that represent modern miniatures. It’s a charming reminder of the lower-case world-that-was back in the early days of digital sculpting. I think they more than get the job done, and their simple details and quick construction (their heads are part of their bodies!) are exactly what you want for hordes of gobbos. It’s kind of a design they nailed in one, even if I like the more modern iterations of this concept. My only concern is the mold lines on these guys, which are definitely more prevalent than they are on newer models. The paint guide will get you to a reasonable basecoated standard identifiable as Gloomspite Gitz/Night Goblins. There’s a helpful tip to work in smaller batches of 5-10 models at a time, as taking on 20 at once is a handful. I’ve done that before with Gretchin in my old 40k Ork armies and I don’t super recommend it either.

The Gaming Materials

Gloomspite Gitz Loonboss. Credit: SRM

Our rules section mostly concerns wizards this week, filling out the rules for magic, Endless Spells, and universal spell lores (RIP). There is also, of course, a Warscroll and tutorial for our new Moonclan Shootas, the configuration of Goblin we were meant to build this issue. They’ll be part of the greenskin horde in Swirling Darkness, this week’s mission which has some lovely old Adrian Smith goblin art. Ulgu’s magical darkness has overtaken the battlefield; a murk so thick that not even the mystically gifted Stormcast Eternals or gloom-dwelling Gloomspite Gitz can see through it. Think of this like when your DM tells you that your character’s Darkvision (that you were so enthusiastic to remind them of) won’t work here. Each turn, you roll a die, with 1-4 corresponding to a quarter of the battlefield. The matching quarter will be shrouded in darkness, in which no models can shoot or cast spells. On a 5 or 6, the entire table is affected. It’s otherwise a simple objective holding affair, but this should have a huge effect on the battlefield, as well as your new regiment of ranged gobbos.

Final Verdict:

A box of 20 Grots is normally $45. This issue is less than a third of that, at $13.99. I believe this issue represents the best value in this entire magazine – or something close to it. It also helps that these models, despite their age, are absolutely fantastic and will find the core of just about any Gloomspite Gitz army. Hell, I remember when this issue came out in the UK there were people scooping up as many copies as they could for the cheap goblins. If you like cheap goblins, some charming narrative material, and an interesting mission, then you’ll like this issue. I certainly did.

See you next issue, warhams.

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