White Dwarf, Issue #76 (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Warhammer: 40,000
Publisher: Games Workshop
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 07/11/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library (Or your local Games Workshop retailer
Another week, another review of White Dwarf. This week continues the look at the brand new version of Warhammer Fantasy – Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. I still haven’t purchased (which came out on 7/11) the Starter Set and I won’t be getting any of this week’s miniature releases, but that’s because I already have four fantasy armies. If I get it as a gift or my upcoming birthday, then sweet, but the only Stormcast Eternal mini I really want is that baby Griffon, and it is not out yet. I will be buying a lot of the scenery though, as it looks fantastic. That said, I did get that free Liberator that came in last week’s White Dwarf and I did a review/paint job of it which you can view here. Now, let’s look at this week’s issue as the Age of Sigmar prepares for its second week of existence.
Things are back to normal this week as the soft sell advertisement slash articles are back in the front of the issue. They take up a full THIRD of the magazine this week, so expect a lot of reasons why you should buy next week’s releases to be hitting you full force. Of course, Games Workshop NEEDS Age of Sigmar to be a big success. I hope it is, but there is one release I’m getting this week and it’s the big Age of Sigmar Rulebook Why would I do that when you can download the rules for free off of Games Workshop’s website. Well, it’s not just rules. It’s battlescrolls of figures, battles that you can play and a lot of fluff detailing what happened between The End Times and the new novella that came out on 7/11 – The Gates of Azyr (Which I will be reviewing. Keep checking the site for that.)
First up is a look at the new Liberators boxed set for the Stormcast Eternal army. You get five figures for $50, which is quite steep. That’s ten bucks for a tiny piece of plastic. However, you can pose these figures in a multitude of different ways. There are hammers, swords, shields greatswords and two handed hammers that you can mix and match on your figures. If you want a Liverator with a sword and shield, you can make him with this kit. Want one with a greatsword? You can put a figure together with that weapon set. Want them to have two hammers, two swords or a hammer and a sword? Again, you can do that with this kit. Each weapon configuration does give a Liberator a slightly different set of stats that we will talk about later. The fact remains though that $50 for five little guys is a LOT. You can get twice as many in the Starter set along with thirty-seven other figures for $125, so going the route of the Starter Set IS the better deal. You just have to decide if you want all your Liberators to have the same weapon set, extra do-dads and customizable poses. You get what you pay for, I guess. Me? I’d go the boxed set but I can see people picking this up for the weapon options, extra poses and Liberator Prime upgrades.
The next piece is the $33 Lord-Celestant. Again you get one on riding a dracoth (think wingless dragon) in the Starter Set which I feel is the far superior sculpt. This stand-alone plastic kit only offers one post, but he does have a different outfit, more detail and a warcloak. I still prefer the Starter Set version but for those wanting something different in their Stormcast Eternal leader – here you go!
Next up are two articles on the actual purchase I made this week – the Age of Sigmar hardcover rulebook. There are two articles because there are two versions of the book. One is the $75 normal version and the other is the $130 limited edition version (only 2,000 made). The LE version comes with a slipcase, different gold embossed cover and a separate set of rules. That’s really about it. Obviously I went with the standard version since they’re both the same content-wise. Each book is 264 pages in length. The first half of the book is going to be fluff about the end of the previous Warhammer world and the state that caused the new one to be in its own post-apocalyptic phase. Yes. Age of Sigmar takes place during the new world’s End Times where Chaos reigns over all. Can Sigmar and the forces of Order (like my Lizardmen) take the world back? I would think so. Chaos has always been the lamest army fluff-wise in the fantasy side of things. The other half of the book is rules and campaign battles for the Age of Sigmar. The rules are already free in PDF form, but for those that like physical versions, we should get those and a lot of battlescrolls in this book. I am excited because my Hallowed Knights paint scheme appear to get a good amount of time in the spotlight with this book and if I liked what the contents, I might actually pick up the starter set. A lot of Chaos armies are promised to show up in the rules section, along with the Sylvaneth (woodmen, dryads and the non elf side of the Wood Elf army) The rule/campaign book sounds a lot in style and scope at the award winning End Times books, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what all it entails. Expect a review of that in two weeks or so.
Now for the other new items this week. We get a Warmachine style combat gauge for measurements and two different (overpriced) dice shakers that come with a set of eight dice ($40 for one!!!). I have no need for either. I’ve only ever purchased GW dice once in my life and that was my Skaven Warpstone Dice. That set was less than half the cost, I got TEN dice instead of the EIGHT in this set and I got a nice metal container instead of…whatever the new shakers are. That’s all the sales pieces for this week. Now let’s check the actual articles.
This week’s “Codex Apocrypha” is about Azyrheim, the realm of Sigmar and those that dwell there. This article also gives a slight spoiler that Azyrheim is actually the previous world you knew from Warhammer Fantasy 1e-8e. You also learn that because a fragment of the world survived (thanks to Arkham the Black and the Everchilde), this was the get out of oblivion free card for a lot of characters from the previous version of Warhammer Fantasy, which is why you’ll encounter characters like Nagash, the other incarnates and ever Archeon in the Age of Sigmar eventually. It’s a fantastic piece and I’m just happy to see Bretonnia’s pocket dimension survived! This is a very long and detailed article and in many ways, this is reason enough to purchase this week’s White Dwarf. For those not purchased the pig 226 page book of fluff and rules, this issue should have you covered.
“The Forces of Order” is our next article. In this piece we get a look at the other good aligned armies that stand between Chaos and total domination. First of course, is the Stormcast Eternals since they’re the newest army and the big selling point for Age of Sigmar right now. There’s a great piece of art with the Hallowed Knights taking on the forces of Nurgle which keeps inching me closer to considering a Starter set…but I don’t need another two armies, damn it! After that, the Great Alliance is spoken of. Here, while it stood, all the Incarnates, from Nagash to Gorkamorka stood together in an era of peace and harmony reigned over many worlds and even other planes of reality. Of course both aforementioned Gods eventually left the alliance for their own reasons and Chaos was able to enter the new world and tear it apart as it had the previous one. It is here we learn that even why Sigmar fights an uphill battle to prevent this world from falling into darkness like his previous one that his army of warriors is not alone. He has other armies still allied to him trying to stem the tide of evil. These include the Seraphon (Lizardmen!) who appear to have some neat new powers. There are the Sylvaneth who are the archenemies of Nurgle as they represent purity and life. Perhaps more armies will be revealed in the new rulebook or later issues of White Dwarf. I’m sure Dwarves and Elves (sorry Duradin and Aelfs) won’t be far behind.
Next up is “Warscrolls” and we get new stats and mechanics for the miniatures that will be released next week. This is especially helpful if you didn’t pick up the Starter set as you get the rules for Liberators and Lord Celestant here. Of course, the Lord Celestant rules are only for the new model and not the mounted one in the Starter Set, but you at least get an idea of the baseline stats. The Liberator version has options for the next more expensive set since it comes with difference weapons than the hammer only versions in the Starter set, but hey – free mechanics continue. You can also download these warscrolls from Games-Workshop.com so that way you can get each version.
This brings us to the tail end of the magazine meaning it’s “This Week in White Dwarf.” For the second week in row, the content here is actually worth reading instead of being unnecessary filler. You’ll find short pieces on ideas like how to incorporate Battleplans (pre-designed battles/missions for you and friends to play through). They sound a lot like the battles in The End Times books and should be a lot of fun to try out – IF you have the right armies for them.
There’s also another sales pitch for the Age of Sigmar starter set (like #75 didn’t have enough, right?) a look at both Lord Celestants next to each other and an article on how to paint the Hallowed Knights version of the Stormcast Eternals. I loved this part since I tried my hand at painting one last week and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Games Workshop version was almost spot on with what I did. I just used Auric Armor Gold instead of Retributor Gold (since the latter didn’t come out until 7/11) MacCragge Blue instead of Calgar Blue. Reading this made me feel like I’m finally becoming a decent paint instead of a sub-par one. You also get a quick look at two other paint schemes for the Stormcast Eternals – one White and Black and the other in Purple and Gold. I love them both. If I DO get the Starter Set, I’ll probably do each Liberator in a different color scheme just for the fun of it. There are so many great color schemes for the Stormcasts – it’s like they were inspired by Space Marines or something. Oh wait…
Well, that’s it for this week. It’s another fantastic issue, making it two in row! Age of Sigmar really seems to have inspired the White Dwarf team and I can’t wait to see wait is in store in future issues. Now when will those scenery pieces get here? That’s what I’m really hankering for. We will be back next week with another issue of White Dwarf to look at. Hopefully I’ll see you back here then.