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BoK Reviews: White Dwarf Issue #89

White Dwarf Issue #89: Death From the Shadows

White Dwarf reviews operate differently than other Blood of Kittens Reviews. The goal with these reviews is to place a value for each issue. The rating system is one to four stars, each star represents $1 in value, to a max of four dollars. The review values are also Warhammer 40k based; Age of Sigmar dedicated issues will still be reviewed, but valued for Warhammer 40k players. It means you could see many low valued issues, with the general Games Workshop hobbyist actually valuing more. Keep this in mind when deciding if a particular White Dwarf Issue is good for you.

Contents: New Releases

WD Issue 89 jumps us right into the fantastic new Tau kit: XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit. This is the big brother of the average Stealth Suit, armed with new toys and a new kind of Stealth Drone. The new Tau white paint scheme is a vast improvement over the classic desert yellow we have seen for over 10 years. GW rightly focuses us on all the little details when it comes to this model, from the male or female pilots to the different weapon options. The Ghostkeel uses similar modeling techniques  as the Riptide, allowing modelers the option to create unique and dynamic poses for each Ghostkeel.

Next we have Macragge’s Honour graphic novel getting a ?re-release? and a spread for new White Dwarf subscriptions. Forge World is also releasing the Solar Auxilia Medicae Detachment, specialized medics for Horus Heresy games. The Medicae are not up to the usual Forge World great standards. The sculpts look very mono-build, compact, and the details  are overall pretty generic.

Contents: Paint Splatter

This issue of paint splatter gives details on how to create the new Tau White paint scheme. This is very similar to painting white on any Warhammer model;l a key difference though is creating red/rust highlights within the grooves of the Tau models. There is also a blurb for painting the intricate control panel you will find on the Ghostkneel kit.

Contents: Army of the Month

Godsmote’s Crusade Force is a preview for the army you will find in the next issue of Warhammer Visions. This is one good looking army. The actual skills on display on are not earth shattering, but the sheer variety of models is. The main force is Space Wolves, with Vostroyans, and a Imperial Knight making up the rest. The highlight is the custom built Wolf Lord Godsmote, bringing together various kits to create something unique yet familiar.

What does GW have to say?

Released Oct. 10th 2015

White Dwarf 89 drops its stealth fields and blasts into view – and with it, the Tau Empire XV95 Ghostkeel, a new, bigger and even deadlier Tau stealth suit. We’ve got the complete lowdown, including Paint Splatter and full rules for this deadly new alien threat. Not only that, but we’ve also got an exclusive minigame in the shape of Godbreaker Clash, pitting the Tau Empire’s Stormsurge ballistic suit against the ancient might of the Imperial Knights. We look at the unfolding events of the Age of Sigmar with a timeline of the story so far, plus there’s Armies on Parade and still yet more. Get one now, while it’s still in plain sight.

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Contents: The Age of Sigmar Timeline

This is one little handy chronology for the Age of Sigmar. As many know, much of the Age of Sigmar is written in a style both mythical sounding and full of hyperbole. So to have this handy timeline is actually pretty helpful, just too bad you have to like Age of Sigmar to really enjoy it. We also get a hint about the next stage for Age of Sigmar: The War of Allpoints, funny name when you consider certain game design choices.

Contents: Godbreaker Clash

Hands down the best part of this issue, this is the best mini-game since last year’s “No Time for Peace” rules. Especially, if you always wanted more Battletech in your Warhammer 40k! It also hearkens back to a certain 2nd edition vehicle rules book. The game is played with one Imperial Knight vs. one Tau Stormsurge. You start by putting your models 24″ apart and use a three point system to perform actions. Each action has a value and does different things, but they are everything your models can do. What makes this mini-game really like Battletech is the location maps. The goal is to destroy six body parts. Like Battletech each location destroyed could have an effect on the unit, so it is important to pick your actions correctly. The rules are simpler than Battletech, so it makes it easy for anyone to pick-up.

What could make this game even better is expanding to other Super-Heavies. At the current level you have rules for all the Imperial Knight variants, and there is no reason you cannot field more than one Knight in a battle.

Contents: Armies on Parade

Armies on Parade shows the amazing Dakka Jet Squadron of Nick Bayton, based on the graphic novel Deff Skwadron. Each jet is expertly done, but the centerpiece is a kit bashed three Dakkajet Bomma model. You have to see to believe.


Contents: The Rules – XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuits

Here we get the rules for the Ghostkeel and boy they look fun. The stacking stealth bonuses, to cool weapons, and of course taking them in squadrons makes this Monstrous Creature pretty special. I like so far how the Tau are shaping up, with rules design with hidden weaknesses if exploited. The stealth bonuses get worse if you kill off Drones and the closer you get to the Ghostkeel. At 130 points base the model seems about right, but everything is up in the air until we know what exactly the new Tau Support Systems look like.


Contents: This Week in White Dwarf

This is a recap of the issue with the usual useless tidbits. The only good information is how best to assemble the Ghostkeel. Finally, we end with the hint for next week.

Next Issue: The Third Sphere Expansion Hits the Damocles Gulf

Final Verdict

Issue #89 is a very good WD issue, with lots of Tau love. The Ghostkneel is obviously front and center with GW doing a great job explaining and promoting the model. The Godbreaker Clash though is a great bonus, with tons of potential if GW chooses to build on it.

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