I’m going to review both magazines side by side, section by section. At the end of each section I’ll write a brief paragraph about the section and then give it two scores out of 10. One score will be for usefulness, the second will be for rereadability (I think I just invented a word). Read on to find out if the rose tinted specs are on or off.
New ReleasesJune 2013
A massive 42 pages of all this month’s releases including a huge fold out section on the Wraithknight. The pictures are perfect now unlike earlier incarnations of White Dwarf which had red light and heavy shadows on the models obscuring detail. It has all the information in this one section for GW, FW, BL, Franchised games etc with prices at the back of the section all in one place.
Usefulness – 8/10 (need to know about box options and prices).
Rereadability – 4/10 (Prettier pictures then the old issue gives this the edge).
New Releases/News November 2006
This section features 19 pages of pictures and prices. The end of this section has a release schedule which also includes the next month’s releases. It’s interesting that it mentions Empire is the next release in January 2007 releasing information like this is something that Games Workshop doesn’t do anymore. The new releases section is lacking some information. For instance the War Walkers just say comes with various weapons but doesn’t say what. They also like big red ‘call outs’ and ‘bubbles’ to get information across. It’s not as sophisticated as the new issue which has a cleaner design and more information.
Usefulness – 6/10 (missing key information for some entries like weapon options).
Rereadability – 2/10 (no need to return).
Armies on Parade June 2013
Nick Bayton’s impressive Orc and Goblin army is a good gaming quality and gets six pages to display his models. The army is lacking in the conversion area apart from a centre piece giant who is sporting a cobbled together helmet and is puking everywhere. His Purple Arachnorok is really nice and the article is informative.
Usefulness – 7/10 (More aspiring than useful, but it makes me want to pick up my brushes).
Rereadability – 6/10 (Yeah I’d glance over the pictures again later to see if I can pick out anything new in the sea models).
Grand Tournament Army Showcase November 2006
This feature actually shows off three Lord of the Rings armies from a Tournament. Dwarves and Mordor forces painted by Matt Hooton and Chris Pert Bicks’ Guardians of Gondor. Some nice text goes with the pictures explaining some of the victories and defeats of the Tournament. It could do with more close ups though and some guidance on painting would be nice.
Usefulness – 5/10 (Lack of painting information lets this down).
Rereadability – 7/10 (Always interesting reading about other people’s hobby).
Battle Report June 2013
Glenn the White Dwarf photo editor pits his Ulthwe Strike Force against Jez Bickham’s Necrons. These are ancient adversaries according to the Necron Codex because the Eldar fought the Necrons and C’tan alongside the Old Ones. They added a little bit of narrative and set up a gaming board with a FW necron tile. Big double page spread picture for deployment is better than old White Dwarf but the lack of overhead maps is still a big loss. However turns 1 and 2 do have photos of the entire battle showing the position of everything, so this is a step in the right direction from previous months.
Usefulness – 6/10 (More information on the capabilities of the new units would have been nice).
Rereadability – 6/10 (Pictures are bigger and clearer making this better than previous months).
Battle Report November 2006
In the old issue the Eldar take to the field of battle against a crusading Blact Templar army. Nice big battlefield picture with the armies deployed on some custom Eldar terrain. There is another big red ‘call out box’ saying you can find out more about the terrain online, which is a shame it’s not in the magazine as a terrain feature. This battle report features ‘birds eye view’ maps of turns 2, 3, 4 and 6. The article is written in a narrative way, which is easy to follow but doesn’t give an insight into new rules or abilities.
There is a second battle report in the old issue for Lord of the Rings. Harad and Orc Allies battle a Human and Elf coalition. Once again nice big clear pictures and ‘birds eye view maps make this very easy to follow.
Usefulness – 6/10 (The lack of actual rules info and special abilities is a shame).
Rereadability – 7/10 (The pictures really help make this easy to follow).
Eldar Articles and Designer Notes June 2013
A lot of the information for the Eldar release is in the New Releases section (makes sense) and a separate article called Culture of the Eldar (8 pages). The designer notes (5 pages) are at the back in the ‘This Month In’ section. The culture of the Eldar article is very informative as Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin (the dream team who also worked on Codex Dark Eldar) tell you their thoughts. All the pictures are unique to White Dwarf and you won’t see them in the Codex or online (unless leaked). This gives extra value to new White Dwarf. There is a fantastic guide to the decal/transfer sheet explaining what all the alien icons mean. A great touch. The designer’s notes section features a Jes sketch and comments from Oliver Norman and Jes himself. Phil Kelly gets a page to talk about the Codex.
Usefulness – 9/10 (A high score but it’s a shame they no longer do the multipart kit diagrams).
Rereadability – 8/10 (Unique pretty pictures that aren’t available in other publications is nice).
Eldar Articles Designer Notes November 2006
Thirteen pages featuring advice on starting an army, with example army lists. Example rules and weapon profiles, and designer notes. Lots of cut out images which are straight out of the (old) codex which is a shame. There is a really nice Index Xenos article with 8 pages of fluff on Eldar and some multipart painted kit pictures showing the unit options for Dire Avengers.
Usefulness – 9/10 (Very informative).
Rereadability – 7/10 (Extremely interesting, but most of the pictures are from the codex).
Jervais Johnson / Jeremy Vetock and Blanchitsu June 2013
Three regular features where highly regarded members of the design team/art studio share their thoughts. Jervis loses the plot and tells us how his models have personalities and how he tells them “well done” all the time. Jeremy talks about collecting models and Blanchitsu features the quirky work of Mikko Luoma. These ‘chatty’ articles are nice and break up the magazine with some different discussions.
Usefulness – 5/10 (Gets you thinking and you try to relate your own hobby to what is being said).
Rereadability – 5/10 (These are definitely read once articles ).
Standard Bearer November 2006
A badly concealed Christmas advert for stocking fillers. It’s an article about Dave Cross. His job is to source materials. He gets to go on trips to China and Hong Kong. The advert… sorry article is showing all the latest things you can buy (at the time) like Rule Book holders and tins of markers.
Usefulness – 2/10 (This should really be in New Releases).
Rereadability – 3/10 (It’s not thought provoking in the slightest).
Gaming Articles June 2013
It’s actually a good read, it’s just it’s not a true gaming article. It’s actually Army of the Month by a different name. Nice to read the thoughts of Dan about his Tau army but this article needs to evolve into a different beast, maybe they take the force to a Tournament and document the experience. The title would need renaming though.
Usefulness 6/10 (Insightful but not useful)
Rereadability 5/10 (Read once and only return for the pretty pictures of Dan’s lovely Tau army).
Gaming Articles November 2006
March of the Goblins / Tactica Part 1 Army Selection / Annals of War
These three articles are all about gaming. The first is abut Night Goblins, it shows some great images of painted multi part plastic kit components, gives advice on army selection and shows an example army list. The second is a generic guide to selecting an army in Warhammer and the third is all about cavalry in Lord of the Rings. They are really interesting articles but are weighted towards beginners.
Usefulness – 7/10 (Useful if you’re a beginner).
Rereadability – 2/10 (Not advanced enough to warrant returning to, you will quickly outgrow these kinds of articles, pictures aren’t unique enough, you can get the same imagery in codices and army books).
Paint Splatter June 2013
Ten pages packed with close ups on how to paint the models featured in this magazine. Very detailed guide to painting Saim-Hann with a great trick for painting white (actually really similar to how I do it with glazes). This is showing that the tips aren’t just for beginners anymore. Also a guide on applying decals/transfers using gloss varnish and lahmian medium. Nick Bayton also explains how to paint his Goblins.
Usefulness – 9/10 (This is really turning into a useful feature, I hope White Dwarf continues to add more detail and pro tips).
Rereadability – 9/10 (Yes, worth a look again and worth keeping for reference).
Eavy Metal November 2006
This is a really poor article for painters who want to know how models are painted. Firstly the focus is on Dark Elves, which had no releases in the issue. The advice throughout the article is common sense based for instance it says “Each scale on the Sea Dragon Cloak was picked out and individually highlighted”. There are two colour wheel graphics telling you which paints you need for clothing and skin and some close up cold one colour schemes with the colours for just the base colours listed. No highlighting or shading advice.
Usefulness – 2/10 (Some close up images might be useful to painters but seriously lacking in advice).
Rereadability – 1/10 (One of the worst painting articles I’ve ever seen).
What’s on and Where to Buy/Hobby Calendar June 2013
The monthly Hobby Calendar is on the inside back cover and features useful Warhammer World dates. The only blatant adverts are the double page spread for online services, one single page for subscriptions and a single page saying they’re recruiting. That’s roughly a quarter less than old White Dwarf.
Usefulness 8/10 (really useful if you want to know what’s on and where)
Rereadability 2/10 (no need to ever return to this because they will put it in next months issue).
Frontline (Store and Community News)/Adverts November 2006
There is a really nice double page calendar for the whole 2007 with notes down the side for each of the tournaments. It has some Hawk Lord Space Marines from a hobbyist, but apart from that it’s just lists of stores and gaming clubs which are in every issue. Useful to some but in the day and age of the internet I don’t think it’s needed. I would rather see more articles on the page. Throughout the magazine there are blatant adverts (this doesn’t include new releases section). I counted fifteen full page adverts in total.
Usefulness – 8/10 (really useful if you want to know what’s on and where).
Rereadability – 0/10 (The adverts are really annoying).
That’s all for old White Dwarf but New White Dwarf is still giving…
I didn’t even get to compare This month in the White Dwarf bunker/Forgeworld/Black Library, parade ground, readers’ parade ground, kit bash, Hall of fame and a new article following 7 painters as they embark on their armies on parade boards. So much more to read and be inspired by. 152 pages of new White Dwarf beats 128 pages of old White Dwarf.
New White Dwarf is definitely more painter orientated. It doesn’t include many gaming articles. It doesn’t feature any new rules or scenarios. (You have to buy these on the iPad) Old White Dwarf has the feeling of a catalogue. Whilst it does have more gaming and tactica articles for beginners it mainly features eavy metal models and very few models from the community. New White Dwarf should be praised for not including as many actual adverts and it’s improvement in painting tutorials which go from strength to strength. I wish there was more Hobbit stuff though (maybe I’ll send some in rather than complain about it). Some people will consider this a bonus it’s not in the magazine though.
My advice is subscribe to the iPad version, it’s one of the cheapest ways (£3.66 an issue is almost £2 cheaper than individual issues) and the extra content like videos and 360º views really make it stand out and you can carry your entire White Dwarf collection around with you. Failing that it’s the same price to subscribe and pick up in store.
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