Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #81 (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Warhammer: 40,000)

White Dwarf, Issue # 81
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost $3.99 (Physical)/$2.99 (Digital)
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 08/15/2015
Get it Here: The White Dwarf App (Or your local Games Workshop Store

Another week, another White Dwarf Once again, this issue focuses primarily on Warhammer: Age of Sigmar with very little on Warhammer 40,000. This means that if you’re into only the Sci-Fi side of Games Workshop, this is another easy pass for you. Even though Chaos is the least interesting part of Warhammer Fantasy for me, I do enjoy how much attention this side of the game has been getting since the switch to Age of Sigmar. We used to go months without fantasy coverage. Anyway, this is a very Khorne heavy issues, with a splash of Nurgle, so if that doesn’t sound like a purchase to you, read on so you can get an overview of what’s in this issue.

The sales pieces start of White Dwarf as always, but there aren’t a lot of releases this week. The only new piece figure-wise is the Exalted Deathbringer which honestly, looks comically bad. Of course, I think nearly every Khorne piece looks awful. Bad design, terrible names and just weird decisions, but the Exalted Deathbringer just looks cheesy as all get out. Crazy horns, a face that makes the figure look constipated, another face for a codpiece and a third for a shin guard. It’s not something I would ever buy. Of course, there are people who LOVE Khorne pieces and they might love this as well. One man’s disdain for a figure is another man’s love.

After that we get a quick look at the repackaged Nurgle Rotbringers, which now have round bases in accordance with Age of Sigmar. Then there is a look at new 40K releases, which feature two previously releases White Scars stories now in new formats. Master of the Hunt is now an audiobook and Dante’s Canyon gets a physical release. Finally, there is a look at Forge World’s Chaos Knight, which is impressive looking. If you’re going to order anything from Forge World, you might as well do it before September 30th as they are offering free worldwide shipping on any orders over 100 GBP and there’s an exclusive Space Marine currently. I’m sorely tempted to get some Chaos Dwarves or the Dread Saurian.

“Bound By Blood” is an article talking about the background of Khorne’s forces. You learn how they grew in power prior to the Age of Sigmar, but mostly it talks about how to build a Khorne based army – starting with the Age of Sigmar boxed set. There is an impressive Goretide army showcased in this article but honestly, aside from Korghos Khul and some flesh hounds, there’s nothing I really want from the Khorne side of things. Maybe that Chaos Castle that should be coming out before the end of the month… The Next article,”Blood of Champions,” is a look at major heroes of Khone. Korghos Khul, Valkia the Bloody, Skarr Bloodwrath and Scyla, each get their own section under this article. It’s a well done fluff piece.

This week’s “‘Eavy Metal” looks at a Tau Battlesuit Commander which has been modified to resemble a Valkyrie 1A from Robotech. Of course, GW can’t mention the other brand as Harmony Gold is as litigious as Games Workshop, but it really is a striking piece. They also showcase a Tau Piranha to close out the article. Again, I’m not a Sci-Fi gamer but if I do like the Tau’s design.

Back to Age of Sigmar with this week’s “Paint Splatter.” As always this is the highlight of the issue. Sure it focuses on the Exalted Deathbringer, but there are some great tips for painted reddish skin and bone. Yes, I’ll never own this figure, but any painting tips from professionals are well worth looking at. There’s always room to improve, right? “The Lords of Decay” is a look at the forces of Nurgle, now enhanced by the Great Horned Rat and Clan Pestilens. I do admit, as much as Khorne bores me visually, Nurgle’s forces are very striking and definitely the best out of the four Chaos Gods. If I was going to get a Chaos army, this would be the one I’d snag. This article is purely fluff and so it is an entertaining read showcases how Nurgle and his followers think.

“Armies on Parade 2015” continues with another look at armies people are making for it. Tau, Tomb Kings and Nurgle forces all get the spotlight here. After that it’s this week’s “Warscrolls” where we get free stat blocks and mechanics for new pieces instead of having to buy army books and codexes. Of course, you’re still paying for them via White Dwarf, but you can get the Warscrolls as free downloads from or the Age of Sigmar app. Again, the Exalted Deathbringer gets the spotlight and stat-wise, he’s as impressive as he is unaesthetically pleasing. The real choice is whether to have a counter attack that does D3 damage on a save roll of 6 or to give the character a 2+ Magic save.

Now we come to “This Week in White Dwarf” and it’s the same hodge podge of filler and left overs it always is. It starts with another attempt to sell you on a Khorne army, but it also talks about tactics, albeit it briefly and in a very shallow manner. There’s a link to a Youtube video that shows how to paint Nurgle forces (why not do another “Paint Splatter” article?) and then the model, bit and weapon of the week crap. That’s your issue.

This was a rather weak issue content-wise to me, but then the focus was almost purely of Khorne, who is the most boring of the Chaos gods to me. Hopefully next week will be more interesting to me. That said, consider I paid only $1.82 for the issue due to my digital subscription, I’d say I got my money’s worth out of this. Next week promises to be a nice issue in terms of fluff and releases (Chaos castle!) and so I’m looking forward to that. I’ll see you next week as we cover that issue as well!



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