Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #88 (Warhammer 40,000/Tau KV1287 Stormsurge

White Dwarf, Issue #88
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $2.99 (Digital)/$3.99 (Physical)
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 10/3/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library (or your local Games Workshop retailers)

So this is an interesting issue. Not only is it the sixteenth straight issue of White Dwarf that I have covered, but it is the first issue since #73 (the same one I started this long run with) that actually focuses on Warhammer 40,000 instead of Age of Sigmar. The Summer 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 interested in the new Tau walking tank thingy, this should be an easy pass for you. That said, I have no interest in a Tau army but holy hell is this thing gorgeous. It’s an extremely tempting purchase…until you see the $150 price tag attached to it. Sheesh. Now, let’s learn a lot about the Tau Stormsurge.

The magazine starts out with a blurb called “Unstoppable Might” detailing the fact this will be all Tau Stormsurge for the issue. Unfortunately, we also get to see the bad editing in this week’s issue right off the bat as well “…and in age of Imperial Knights and Warlord Titans…” You’re missing the article “an” there, guys. Usually I’m not so picky about my grammar, but this week’s issue was so bad editing-wise, you might think it was a Catalyst Game Labs release rather than a Games Workshop one.

“KV1287 Stormsurge” is the big sales pitch article of the week and it is by far the longest piece in this issue of White Dwarf. You get a lot of fantastic pictures of the Stormsurge in various configurations, from weaponry to exhaust vents. It’s a fantastic piece and the pictures are jaw droppingly gorgeous. Usually white is not the color you want the majority of your model painted in,but here? These things are not only fantastic, but the models in these photos look like someone captured an Invid battlesuit and painted it up in Veritech colors. It’s great.

Now don’t make the mistake of thinking this article is just eye candy. Oh no. There is a lot of background information and in-game history on this piece in addition to actual information about the plastic model kit itself. So for those of you who like the vernacular, there is crunch as well as fluff. You get to learn about the two person crew, the two amazing cannon options here, and of course, visuals showcasing the amazing details on this sculpt. I love this thing and if I was going to start a Tau army, I would definitely start with this sculpt.

There is more on sale this week besides the Tau KV1287 Stormsurge though. Forge World has two new Techmarine sculpts, and there are three new fiction releases for Warhammer 40K. “Wolf King” is a new Horus Heresy novel, “Shas’o” is a Tau Empire anthology and “Legends of the Dark Millenium: Sons of Corax” is an anthology on The Raven Guard Space Marines. There is also a re-release of two other Horus Heresy titles in paperback, but they get a single sentence each in White Dwarf so that’s all they will get here as well.

“Sprues and Glue” this week focusing on assembling the Tau Stormsurge. There are a lot of great tips here. When you should use plastic thin glue vs plastic thick glue, what to do when the glue spills over, how to keep a piece still while glue sets, ways to use mouldline remove and that you should glue, assemble and paint the figure in sections rather than do it all at once. There is a lot of fantastic advice here, especially for newcomers or people who prefer to paint over wargame. This is a great article to read, even if you have no interest in the Stormsurge model.

“Paint Splatter” was, for the first time ever, a disappointment to me. Not that the advice and tips shown weren’t great, but the fact they swerved readers by not using the Stormsurge mostly white paint scheme used in the first third of the magazine and its cover. Instead they give us this hideous vomit ochre color paint scheme. Again, the tips are good, but the coloring is so god awful, I can’t imagine anyone using it. Why on earth would you display one paint scheme for the bulk of the magazine and then not use THAT as your “Paint Splatter” focus? What a horrible disappointment.

“Golden Demon” is an interview with Richard Gray, winner of this year’s tanks competition in the Golden Demon awards.”Battleground: Doom of Perdita” is a look at one player’s game board, which is the interior of a Space Hulk. It’s lots of twisting corridors is not only very different from your usual 40K playing field, but it looks fabulous. You get a lot of info on how the board was made in case you want to make your own. Fantastic.

“Armies on Parade” continues to look at Games Workshop’s in-store October visual fest. This week we have a look at a Nurgle army let by Gutrot Spume and a Vostroyan army. It’s interesting, but it’s mostly filler. There are no real tips or advice to be had here. “The Rules: KV128 Stormsurge” is exactly what you think it is – all the rules and mechanics for fielding a Stormsurge in your army. At 360 points, it is far from cheap, but it’s a pretty powerful piece of equipment.

This brings us to the tail end of the magazine with “This Week in White Dwarf” As usual, it’s space that could be used for another one or two full articles instead of sidebar and useless filler. We have some Tau fluff, a look at the different components you should assemble your Stormsurge into before you paint it (actually really good advice, this) and then the model/bit/weapon of the week stuff. In fact the Thunderbolt Crossbow is the only mention of Age of Sigmar in the whole issue. The magazine then ends with a bit of fluff on Necrons and this is it for the week.

Again, unless you are a Tau fan, there is nothing here for you think week. The articles on the Stormsurge are really well written though, so while I am a primarily a fantasy player, I really enjoyed reading and learning about the new model. I still won’t drop $150 on it though.



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