Just finished my first Storm of Magic game and wanted to get my first impression down before I forgot it.
Ok, I'll be honest, I wanted to get my first impression down while I was waiting for dinner to finish cooking.
Ok, fine, while I was waiting for the frozen pizza to warm.
My first impression goes a little something like this. "Wow look at all the cool stuff I can try to do. Too bad I just kept blowing myself up trying."
Actually, it wasn't even that cool. The two worst miscasts of the game came when both I and my opponent were trying to do completely routine things, as opposed to any of the new shiny spells. I turned one of my casters into a rampaging monster while trying to case Power of Darkness, and my opponent blew his caster and the fulcrum he was holding off the table while raising six zombies.
In the other game that was going on at the store today, they managed to turn all the casters on the table into toads three times. They spent half the game turning their casters back to normal only to have them turn into toads again.
It was fun, it's got potential, but I'm afraid unless you have just the right mindset or are in the right mood for it, it's just going to annoy the heck out of you.
The monsters are cool, the spells are impressive, but mostly you play the game if you want to watch a comedy of errors unfold before you.
You also need to make some serious adjustments to your normal lists for this game. 'I need more casters' is going to be said by pretty much everyone after their first try. I took three and felt like I should have taken 4.
For my monster allowance I took a Great Black Dragon and a Hydra. The SoM Hydra is more expensive and lacks Hatred and Handlers, but you can spend even more and give it a better ranged attack. I think once I get a hold of some of the other monsters I'm going to skip the SoM Hydra. The Dark Elf ones are better. I suspect that when they get around to re-writing the Dark Army book the Hydra will cost the same as it does in SoM and lack Hatred, and in all honesty I think that would be more balanced, but in the meantime I think there might be better monster choices available.
I'm going to make some more list tweaks and give it another go.
At this point I see this expansion as providing a little different flavor and some spectacular moments every once in a while. Which is really all I expected from it. So I think it's safe to say that it accomplishes that goal. Whether it will be worth the money or not depends on how often I feel like playing it versus normal Warhammer, and it's still too soon to know that.