Stahly has asked me to review the May issue of White Dwarf, and I jumped at the chance. Having just read the magazine, lets dive in!
Unless you’ve been slumbering in a tomb for uncountable years, you will know that this month’s big release is the second wave of Necrons. With nine products released for them. Other releases include, the Empire Battalion Box, Some Legion of the Damned and Chief Librarian Tigurius in Finecast. 14 pages of new releases, with the big Necron kits getting double page spreads all to themselves with some nice clear photos of the models, including close up detail shots. A nice new touch to the new releases section is a box out containing pictures of the paints you need to paint each different part. There are paint guides for Green Armour, Metal and Power Sources. Nice touch.
After the What’s new section we’re greeted by the second double page spread of Necron army… I counted up all the pages which are just a single blown up photos of a Necron army (like the picture above) and there are 5 single pages and 3 double page spreads which are just big army shots with minimal to no text on them. They’re letting the miniatures do the the talking…, less spelling mistakes that way!
Chris Peach uses 6 pages to explain how he paints his Turquoise /Gold Necrons and the extreme close ups used in the painting guides are horrific. I’m not even sure you need a painting guide to show heavy use of washes.
There are a few pages after that with some brief notes from Mat Ward about the new releases, I’m not sure why they need section after 14 pages of New Releases… Pretty pictures are always nice though.
After the Necron Catalogue pages we have part 2 of White Dwarf’s (and I quote Andrew Kenrick) “The second part of our extensive Citadel Miniatures Painting Guide and comprehensive guide to painting the State Troops of the many Provinces of the Empire”. I take offence at this. It isn’t extensive or comprehensive. It’s shows you how to paint a specific part of the model in either 3 or 4 steps. That’s basic, so basic that you don’t need the information they give. Anyone can work out that you paint a dark colour and then 2 lighter colours on top. And don’t even get me started on telling me what brush I should use… they’ll be wiping our own brushes for us next. If you’ve never painted before, then these guide will answer questions you might have. Anyone else who treats these guides as gospel will have a very limited hobby experience.
We have some Empire articles to go with last months Empire release. There is army painting guides using the awful 3 steps to painting a model I described above. There is a new section for the Colours and Heraldry of Empire book showing the different Knightly Orders of Demigryph Knights. Some lovely Illustrations showing the markings and icons. These are very useful as reference material.
Then we have an expansion for the Storm of Magic expansion called Tome of Battles. They start by describing it as a hefty tome… it’s 12 pages long, I’m not sure i’m going to be able to lift it. Joking aside, it’s basically another scenario with more rules for the Empire Wizards/Witch Hunters and Warrior Priests. No bound monster rules which is a shame.
Jervis Johnson uses 2 pages to explain about compromise. It’s ridiculous, he basically wastes our time by trying to explain common sense and why should get along. He could have done something useful like use those 2 pages to answer rules queries rather then stating the obvious. He even includes a quote from Barrack Obama, what a pretentious git.
Some Necron Hobby now, with a detailed Campaign system they’ve been playing in the studio with Necron Invaders battling Space Marine defenders. Talk about role reversal! They show some pics of the armies used. Chad Mierzwa’s washed and dry brushed Necrons get a whole page to themselves whilst Glenn More’s Eldar and Kevin Chin’s Imperial Fists get a third of a page each. What I can see of the Eldar and the Imperial Fist’s look amazing. Really high quality painting, shame they’re not flavour of the month otherwise they would have got a page to themselves.
There are a few scenarios and a few one-page battle reports in this campaign section, but the Necrons get two new Apocalypse Datasheets. Which is rather cool.
Tale of Four Gamers concludes in this issue, and the participants paint either a diorama or a monster to score extra points. I love these series and even though my interest in Lord of the Rings is minimal, I do enjoy reading about other people’s hobby. More like this please!
There is also a small section on making Death World Terrain. This has the potential to be very useful but it’s just a couple of big double page shots of each type of Deathworld with some basic notes for each piece. It also only uses Games Workshop terrain kits, which gets another catalogue style push after the article. A couple of neat things have inspired me to try some stuff on my tyranid bases, so not all bad.
The painting guides and Jervis’ Standard Bearer article left a bitter taste in my mouth. Poor quality guides with no real use other then what colour paints you should buy and a condescending games designer who isn’t talking about games has spoilt this issue.
The Necron sections are useful though because rumour control on the internet is more controlled now so these pages are great for getting the news on the latest models. I liked the colours and Heraldry of the Empire article and the magazine featured good hobby content for gamers with a storm of Magic expansion and a Necron/Space Marine Campaign with additional rules. Tale of Four Gamers is always enjoyable because it’s a window into how several people approach the same task in different ways.
There is nothing of interest for experienced painters though, which is a real shame.
I give it 6 out 10. Would have been a 7 if the painting guides were detailed and a 8 if Jervis hadn’t taught us to suck eggs.
Thanks for reading my review.
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