Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #77 (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000)

White Dwarf, Issue #77
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $3.99
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 07/18/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library (Or your local Games Workshop retailer)

Okay, The Age of Sigmar has been out for about a week and people are having extremely polarized reactions to it. It’s no wonder considering it’s not a new edition of Warhammer Fantasy but an entirely new game and rules system that you can luckily use your old models with. I’m really enjoying it for what it is and each issue of White Dwarf that has strongly focused on the Age of Sigmar has been fantastic. Can Games Workshop’s team make it three must-buy issues in a row? Let’s take a look.

First up is “Banish the Darkness.” This is a two page photo spread of the Age of Sigmarboxed set complete with the release that came out on 7/18 and the three new pre-orders for 7/25. Speaking of new releases, of course we start of an issue of White Dwarf with the soft sell preview pieces. The first up is a two-page spread for The Lord Castellant figure. It’s my favorite of the new Stormcast Eternals after the Retributor. I love the lantern on this guy. It’s healing properties are going to make him terrific on the battlefield. Of course, the downside is that he’s FORTY DOLLARS. For a single miniature. Ouch. The good news is that he comes with the adorable Gryph-Hound. This is just a terrific looking miniature and the fact you actually get two playable pieces in the Lord Castellant clampack makes the $40 price tag much easier to swallow. Technically you’re getting two minis for $40, which is still pricey, but that’s Games Workshop for you. I know I will get one at some point as I want it to be the centerpiece of my Stormcast Eternals. We will just have to see when I pony up for it.

The other two new pieces from Games Workshop next week are terrain pieces. We have the Ophidian Gateway which is a very striking piece of scenery and I’m definitely going to want one. I’ll have to see the full Warscroll before I do though. There are so many different ways I want to paint this though. Maybe I will get two. Note that this large piece of scenery is $40 – the same price as the two mini pack for the Lord Castellant. This is a much better deal. Speaking of two packs, we have our other scenery pre-order. You get two Baleful Realmgates for $58. They’re not as visually impressive as the other pieces this week. These do interest me, but where the Ophidian Gateway and the Lord Castellant are must-haves, I’ll have to see the Baleful Gateway’s Warscroll before I consider buying a set. I did see them in my local GW store today (7/28) and they were much bigger than I expected, which is a plus. However I just don’t know if I will personally have a use for them.

Finally we have our two Forge World pre-orders. One is the Kytan Daemon Engine of Khorne which is really unaesthetically pleasing to me. The other is a fantastic piece representing the Primarch pf the Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman. This one looks fantastic. I have no real interest in 40K though but man is this a gorgeous piece that would be a fantastic capstone for any Ultramarine player.

So only five pages of sales pieces this week. That might be a new record for Games Workshop. That means the rest of the magazine is pure content! That’s what I like to see. The first article post-sales pieces is entitled “The Forces of Chaos” and it’s perhaps the biggest single article I’ve seen in White Dwarf since the changeover in style. This is ten pages long – more than a full third of the magazine. The article is mostly two-page spreads of army photos, but there is a lot of text to read as well. The first two pages talks about the forces of chaos and the state they are in during The Age of Sigmar. Then each of the five factions, one for each of the primary gods of chaos get their day in the sun. Wait did I say five gods? Shouldn’t I have said four? Well no. The daemon of pleasure, Slaanesh is gone. Perhaps dead, perhaps absconded and imprisoned, but it is gone. Slaanesh’s remain but without an actual god of Chaos, they are a shadow of what they once were. Instead, the Horned Rat, lord of the Skaven has conspired to take Slaanesh’s place in the hierarchy of daemonology. That’s a pretty interesting development and one with just as much story potential as there is gaming potential. I’m very eager to see where GW is going with all these storylines. Anyway, each Chaos God gets their own write up. Khorne, Nurgle and the Skaven get two page articles, which is no surprise as they are GW’s favorites right now. Meanwhile Slaanesh and Tzeentch only get a single page. Guess we know who the red-headed stepchildren are, right? Either way, each section of this article is a fantastic read and it gives you an idea of the Chaotic climate that the Age of Sigmar takes place in. If you’re a fan of Chaos, this article along with well worth the cover price.

Next up is “‘Eavy Metal” and it’s a look at three painted minis – The Chimera, the Tyranid Warrior (first 40K sighting in a while!) and the Tyranid Hive Guard. There’s no real explanation or guide to achieve these paint jobs like you see in the superior “Paint Splatter” articles, but there is the occasional picture with a sidebar saying what colors were used. This is kind of a waste of space and I’d have preferred a guide on how to achieve these results instead of wankery. Keep this sort of thing to Warhammer Visions.After that is “Warriors of a Broken World,” which is a two page spread of the new Stormcast Eternals. Let’s be honest: this is filler.

“Sprues and Glues” is a look at the new Ophidian Archway. It’s three pages long and it talks about how to combine two of the arches into one big building. It’s a fun article but it would be $80 to make the design here happen. That’s pretty pricey. This is a fun piece and especially useful for gamers new to Warhammer via Age of Sigmar. There are lots of great tips on how to remove moulding and get your pieces all nice and cleaned up before the painting begins.

We have more free Warscrolls with this issue. Now, these same Warscrolls are the same ones you’ll find in the Age of Sigmar campaign book, but it’s cheaper to get this $4 mag than the big $75 book, so you might as well get the scrolls through White Dwarf. We have one for the Lord Castellant and one for Gryph-Hounds. I was tempted to just collect a whole bunch of Gryph-Hounds until I saw the Warscroll and how they need to be bonded with the Lord Castellant. Oh well, I’ll at least have one! No scrolls for the terrain though.

The last five pages are “This Week in White Dwarf,” which generally means unabashed filler. For the third week in a row, it’s mostly quality stuff. There is an in-depth (one page) look at the Baleful Realmgates’ fluff and “Paint Splatter Extra,” which is an odd title since this is the ONLY Paint Splatter article in the magazine. It’s got a lot of fantastic info on painting the Ophidian Archway and this made me want to buy one all the more. There’s also a third page article on the Gryph-Hound. Of course you have the usual weapon/model/bit of the week bits that you can skim over. The last page is “Regiments of Renown” and it’s a big picture of some Leman Russ tanks. That’s the issue.

This has been three great informative and well written White Dwarf issues in a row. Even if you’re not a fan of Age of Sigmar for whatever reason, you can’t deny the new game has really inspired the WD to a higher level of quality. I’ve been really impressed and can’t wait to see what White Dwarf has for us next week.



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