This is the second edition of White Dwarf’s new direction. The first issue was impressive, can November’s issue keep the momentum going? Read on to find out.
At a glance
So in Stahly’s White Dwarf review last month he went into a lot of detail of the new format. This issue month’s issue follows that format exactly. You flip through the pages of both issues and it’s startling how much of the layouts are identical. The pages fall on the same page numbers until you get to Blanchitsu and you realise they’ve dropped a feature. Last month they had a great feature called The Rivals. It took two different gamers who argued the case for their army and then put it to the dice gods. So what have they put in it’s place? Nothing! That’s not the only thing missing, last month we had the Horus Heresy cover feature. This month no cover feature and nothing to fill the gap where the cover article should be. To prove this, last month we had 152 page White Dwarf, this month a measly 136. That’s two or three articles missing and it’s still £5.50.
You do get a free rules booklet for Warriors of Chaos and a Christmas buying guide catalogue. is that a fair trade for the missing pages?
Content wise, this month is all about a new wave for Warhammer Fantasy Warriors of Chaos beautifully shown with some great photography and a full fold out section. They receive three new plastic sets, some new finecast characters and some old sculpts re-made in finecast. Not a bad release for Warriors of Chaos. They also get a small A5 4 page leaflet rules update for the new models. We saw Daemons of Chaos get this when they got a new wave as well. Now I’m going to put 2 and 2 together and make a prediction. Codex books like the Chaos Space Marine codex will have a complete range of models released for it. There is nothing in the Chaos Codex that you can’t buy from GW. Your’e not waiting for anything to be released. This means White Dwarf will cover the waves of new models with separate leaflets of rules. If you’re into rules and gaming, you’re going to have to get a subscription to White Dwarf to stay ahead of the game, or buy an iPad and buy online rulebooks which I’m sure will be updated with new rules.
Back to the releases. White Dwarf Subscription model is announced and it’s a Film Director… possible hint at the Hobbit perhaps, or maybe they’re working on an Ultramarine Movie II… lets hope not. Cultists are released in a small 5 man box set. They’re mixed weaponry, so you have to buy loads and separate out… it’s better to buy Dark Vengeance and trade.
Four Mega Forces are released. I’ve just added up the Space Marine one. If you buy the units separately it comes to £216.50. These Mega Forces are fantastic value at £150. Available are Space Marines, Necrons, Vampire Counts and Empire.
We also see some hobby products and scenery released. Edge Paint set, Ultimate Paint Set, paint Station +, Figure Cases, Basing Kits and the Imperial Defence Network. These are typical of the releases on the run up to Christmas, expect your local GW staffers to pushing these as soon as you walk through the door. We also see releases from Forge World, Black Library and a Warhammer 40,000 roleplay book plus Vampire Counts Army book for the iPad.
The release section still features the prices in a single place at the end of the section, making the section feel less like a catalogue and more like useful information.
Apart from the missing cover feature and The Rivals article the hobby content is the same format as last month. Army of the Month is Empire, which is surprising. I thought it would be Warriors of Chaos. Battle Report is Warriors of Chaos but like last month they’re trying new units out and reporting on them. It’s an interesting twist to battle reports, but with no birds eye view maps the battle reports are seriously lacking. I do like the review at the end of the battle by the Army book authors. Very cool.
Blanchitsu is love it or hate it stuff, he gets another 4 pages this month which look identical to last month, please ditch this feature. It’s stale already and John Blanch doesn’t need his ego massaging anymore.
I like Parade Ground and Kitbash, they feature real hobby content from real hobbyists. These articles are nothing to do with this months releases which further helps White Dwarf shake off it’s catalogue stereotype. This month Parade Ground is all about Tanks. Kit Bash this month is all about Warhammer 40,000 Warlord conversions.
Paint Splatter obviously has some techniques based on the models you’ve seen in the issue including a cool salt weather tutorial. I do think they’ve missed a trick though. With Warriors of Chaos and the new basing kits I would have liked to have seen them do something with the Northern Wastes Basing Kit.
This month in…
The last section of White Dwarf is the behind the scenes. This is a lovely personal touch, which helps the reader feel a part of the issue. It’s really cool to see what the team have been up to. Then you get the articles on the Design Studio, Forge World and Black Library.
The photography was better this month. Last month that horrible red cast to the chaos models obscured the lovely paint jobs and that’s been toned down this month. A vast improvement in that department. Good hobby articles about an Empire Army, kit bashing, tanks, painting techniques all go towards keeping the Magazine on track from it’s great start last month… but it’s all been horribly undone by making it 16 pages shorter. I could justify it by saying last month was a codex release and the Horus Heresy release and this month was only a wave of models but that’s poppycock. They should have kept the rivals article and kept it fresh by inventing new articles. Instead they cut the number of pages and kept ALL the articles the same. If they do the same next month it will start to go to stale. Put those 16 pages back in and try different ideas for articles and it will stay fresh. Of course it could be the Christmas Gift Guide and the Warriors of Chaos rules leaflet make up for the missing pages.
Stahly gave last months 8/10. The lack of pages means I have to score it less and I give it 7/10. Still better then old White Dwarf.
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