Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #85 (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar/Warhammer: 40,000)

White Dwarf, Issue #85
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $3.99 (Physical)/$2.99 Digital
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 09/12/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library (Or your local Games Workshop Retailer)

Every time you think the Summer of Sigmar has ended, Games Workshops surprises you. This week we have two more releases for the Stormcast Eternals – both of which I want for my Stormcast Autobots. This week’s White Dwarf is mostly filler. There isn’t a lot of substance and there are very few releases, so unless you are a completionist, you can probably pass on this issue rather easily. For those that remain curious, you can just read this issue. Once again though, if you’re a 40K player rather than an Age of Sigmar fan, there’s not much for you this week, Again.

New releases first. The magazine starts with a look at the Knight-Heraldor. He’s $25 USD and I like that the Stormcasts get a musician and a standard bearer. I know I’m getting this guy eventually. I just have to decide who I want to make my Heraldor and Vexillor. I’m thinking either Blaster and Jazz or Perceptor and Blaster respectively. It’s a hard choice. Anyway, the Heraldor looks like a generic Stormcast Eternal, but he has a long pipe, that could also be a telescope if you glue him together incorrectly. It’s a neat model.

The one I’ve already preordered (for only $14.60. Yay Ebay!) is the figure features in the next article – the Knight-Vexillor. Maybe it’s my long years of playing Bretonnia, but I love Standard Bearers and this guy is fantastic looking. I love the staff and the pose. Again, do I make him Jazz or Blaster because to me both are the standard bearers of the Autobots – it just depends on if you are talking cartoon or Simon Furman comics. Like the Knight-Heraldor piece, what we have here is primarily fluff, but it’s nice to see Games Workshop putting back story into pieces like this. I also like that the Vexillor comes with two choices for its banner – one the twin tailed comet and the other and impressive ornate staff.

That’s it for new minis this week. Crazy, right? The sales pitches haven’t ended though. Next you get reminders to download the Warhammer and Age of Sigmar apps. Both are quite nice. There’s also a mention of the White Dwarf app, which isn’t actually an app, but a section in the iOS newsstand – which is how I get my issues of White Dwarf. The Warhammer app is a bit worthless, but the Age of Sigmar one is pretty good and well worth getting if you play the game. Plus it is free. You can’t beat free. The last two sales articles include a Forge World figure for Lord Command Eidolon of the Emperor’s Children and an audio drama about Orks entitled Iron Devil. Neither hold any interest for me but hey, that’s some 40K stuff, right?

With the sales pieces done, it’s time for actual articles. Well, kind of. It’s almost all fluff and filler this week, so be warned. First up is “Court of the Crimson Serpent” which is a look at someone’s Undead/Dark Elves hybrid army and how it came to be. It’s an interesting background story and I love his Neferata, but unless you care about someone regaling the backstory of their own personal army, this can easily be skipped. I liked it, because I do back stories for my armies as well. I just don’t devote pages of a magazine to it that could be better used on something more substantive, like Battle Reports or tactical info.

“Knights of the Tempest” is a look at more fluff for the new releases coming 9/19. It’s essentially a retread of what you learn in the Knights-Heraldor and Knights-Vexillor pieces earlier in the magazine. This is followed by the Warscrolls for both miniatures. The stats for the figures are quite nice and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of both figures in Stormcast Eternal armies. The Heraldor’s battlehorn focuses on terrain pieces and can aid in the charging of units in its army. It’s interesting, but not a must have. Meanwhile the Vexillor is pretty sweet. He lets you re-roll charge rolls has a once per game massive meteor attack and a hurricane attack that does damage and moves one of your units. I really like the Vexillor, which is why I’m glad I got him for so cheap.

“Parade Ground” is a look at some of GW’s Design Studio painted figures. It’s essentially filler that is better suited for Warhammer Visions, although it is nice to see fluff behind the paint schemes for these figures.

“Harbingers of the Storm” looks at a set of this week’s releases (Remember White Dwarf usually covers what is coming out NEXT week so you can pre-order things) for the Stormcast Eternals in the Prosecutors. It’s a pure fluff piece talking about the history of these figures and some valiant deeds they have partaken in. There is also a sidebar on a Prosecutor-Prime from the Hallowed Knights. There’s also a weird breakdown of a Stormhost and its formations. Can I just say I hate the naming conventions of this whole army, even though I enjoy painting them. GW is good at making minis but not at naming things. The whole piece then ends with a sales pitch on the Celestant Prime, Prosecutors and Knights-Azyros and Venator and how you can make an (expensive) winged army.

“Armies on Parade 2015” is the same as always, focusing on minis being made for this event. This week we get an excellent Nagash, an dusty Onager (which looks really cool) and a Riptide Battlesuit for the Tau which looks straight out of Robotech. All of these are excellent looking pieces and I’ll try some of the bone painting techniques mentioned in this section for my own undead.

Now it’s time for “This Week in White Dwarf.” As always, this is a collection of snippets and sidebars whose pages usually can be put to better use. There is a look at the Knight-Vexillor and comparing his standard to that of the Lord Relictor, another piece on the Age of Sigmar iOS app, a fluff piece on the Knight-Heraldor’s horn and then the usual model, bit and weapon of the week crap. Perhaps the most annoying of all is a one paragraph middle finger to battle reports as the team quickly rehashes an Ogres vs Undead encounter. Why not write a full battle report up? That would be a great pieces and far more interesting than a lot of what is in this issue of White Dwarf. This is rather disappointing to see the WD has no idea on how to fill some of these issues’ pages. Finally, in lip service to Warhammer 40,000 we get a paragraph on each of the Blood Angels’ Successor Chapters. Whoo.

Really, this issue of White Dwarf has little to offer unless you really want fluff on the new Stormcast Eternal releases. The warscrolls will be in the Age of Sigmar app or can be downloaded for free, so there’s nothing of real interest or substance in this issue. It’s definitely a weak White Dwarf and can easily be passed upon.



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