Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #87 (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar/Warhammer 40,000)

White Dwarf, Issue #86
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost $2.99 (Digital)/$3.99 (Physical)
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 09/26/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library (Or Your Local Games Workshop Retailer)

Man, I sure hope you like the Daemon Skarbrand, because that is all this issue is about. That’s right, a single model gets 95% of the coverage this week. However, it’s a dual model that can be used with Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, so it’s versatile…in addition to costing $130. Yeesh. Now, there is a tad more content than Skarbrand coverage, so let’s take a look at what it is.

First up of course are the sales pitches for next week’s releases. To no surprise, Skarbrand the Bloodthirster is first. I personally think the model looks hokey, but then I really don’t care for the look of most Khorne figures so I’m probably not the best judge. There’s a lot of fluff in this piece so you get a strong sense of Skarbrand’s history. There are also a lot of pictures of the model and drawings of the character so you the cover the figure to a depth you rarely see in a White Dwarf article. It’s actually impressive. I just wish they’d have done this with say, the Red Duke, Settra or the Slaan. If you’re interested in Chaos, this is a good read in addition to being a very heavy sales piece.

Other items up for next week include an audio drama called Blade of Purity which contains two Grey Knights stories and the new issue of Warhammer Visions. There are also some plugs for the Black Library’s digital shorts that you can download which is obviously filler since there are no specific releases covered. Finally, we get a look at the Forge World Magos Macrotek Enginseer and his (or her…It’s hard to tell) and Servo-Automata. They’re very cool looking but they also come with the Forge World price tag which…is a lot. There’s also a piece on the new 124 page Horus Heresy gaming book Mechanicum: Taghmata Army List, which allows you to use the Mechanicum in 30K games. That’s it for your sales articles this week.

“The Exiled One” is a very long fluff article on Skarbrand. It tells his history, hubris, fall and eventual lobotomy at the hands of Khorne to where he is essentially a beatstick used by Archaon when he really needs it. It’s a very long article, perhaps the longest I’ve ever seen in a modern style White Dwarf and I loved it. THIS is what I want to see in each issue. Not short filler pieces that have no substance. Again, Chaos Daemons do nothing for me, but I was enthralled with this piece, which tells you how good it is, along with what White Dearf should be allowed to do each week. The writers have talent; it just seems they’re forced to do other things that write comprehensive articles with it. By the time you are done “The Exiled One” you will know everything there is about Skarbrand.

“Paint Splatter” covers how to paint Skarbrand properly. Again, even though I have no intention of getting this figure, there is some fantastic advice here. I really loved the part about the skull painting because it’s like the twentieth version of bone painting I’ve seen from the WD team. I’m always impressed by how different you can make things. The beard painting was also well done. I enjoyed seeing the way they greyed the hair. Another great article, especially for newcomers.

“Parade Ground” is a look at some painted figures from Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar. The Knights of Azyr are first and I really don’t like their blue/black/white paint scheme. It’s just not for me. Next is a Scar Veteran on a Carnosaur which is very loverly. The Scar-Vet is nearly white while the Carnosaur is blue, white and purple and looks great. Finally there is a set of dwarves in metallic colors which look okay. I’ve never been a fan of the modern Warhammer Dwarves though. Good paint job, just not my thing.

“Armies on Parade 2015” continues looking at people’s boards for this event. This week it’s a look at a 40K Orks board. It’s very yellow and there is some information about the paint scheme and style if you care to read about it. Next WD looks at an army of Tyranids (which has been featured before in this series of articles). It’s such a different paint scheme from the usual Tyranids you see that I love it. It’s great to see this kind of creativity. It’s mostly pictures of these guys with little tips of descriptions though.

“The Rules” is next and here we get Skarbrand’s stats. There’s a Datasheet for Warhammer 40,000 and a Warscroll for Age of Sigmar. Skarbrand plays very different in each game, so it’s worth looking just to see how varied the two systems are now. The 40K version is pretty mucht he same statline he has had for a while but the Age of Sigmar version is insanely powerful. He pretty much breaks those attempt at fanmade tourney rules I’ve seen on the web since AoS came out. At 14 wounds and his insane rage building attacks, he’s going to be very hard to put down. Total Carnage alone is pretty freakin’ broken and will one hit kill nearly everything in the game.

This brings us to “This Week in White Dwarf,” the usual motley collection of sidebars and filler. To start we get a tiny snippet of a Battle Report (instead of the real thing) where they tested Skarband against various characters. He murders a Treelord and Verminlord with no problem, barely eked out a win against the Celestant Prime(!) and lost pretty resoundingly to Nagash. Of course, I’d rather they fill this space with actual battle reports. That would be more fun to read and more useful to the average Warhammer fan.

After that we get some sidebars about Khorne’s infernal legions, mortals who actually follow Skarbrand and a “Paint Splatter Extra” where they quick gloss over how to paint Skarbrand’s axes. Why not put that in with the full “Paint Splatter” piece? I never understand the flow or layout of this magazine. Then you get model, bit and weapons of the week and then the magazine ends with some advice on keeping your brushes in good shape. That’s your White Dwarf for the week.

So even though I could care less about Khorne and Chaos, this was a terrific issue of White Dwarf and showcases how the magazine should be written rather than how it usually is. It was full of substance and really went in depth with both technique and fluff. Here’s hoping we see more of this down the road.



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One response to “Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #87 (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar/Warhammer 40,000)”

  1. […] of Sigmar seems to be over and now we move back into the future, where there is only war. Like last week’s issue, this one focuses only on a single model for the majority of the page count, so if you’re not […]

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