Another year, another round of White Dwarf reviews. If you follow the “what’s new today” blog on GW.com, you already know there are four new people in the White Dwarf team and that they got big plans for 2014. Well, let’s check the all-slimey and tentacle-y January issue and see if we can find anything new.
The main focus of this month’s new releases section are of course the new Tyranids. The gatefold section is taken by the Harpy and Hive Crone. There are lots of nice pictures to drool over, some of the new models are shown with alternate paint jobs of hive fleets Behemoth und Kraken. There are also a couple of pages dedicated to new Finecast Hobbit blisters, digital products, Black Library (including a short interview with Gav Thorpe about the Path of the Eldar omnibus), Forgeworld and licensed games. All in all 48 pages, about a third of the issue.
Army of the Month
…are the Angels of Darkness, a combined Dark Angels and Blood Angels force by Christian Byrne, displayed on 8 pages. I’m a big fan of Christian’s paint style, please dear WD team, bring more of his models into the magazine (he has a great Evil Sunz army as well I heard). His Blood Angels have been shown about two years ago, but now he expanded his force with allied Dark Angels that sport a matching paint scheme. I really love it when the allies rules are used to create an army where character comes first and rule effects second. This article reminded me that I have to paint an allied contigent for my Ultramarines eventually as well.
… talks about how fond he is of random tables on 2 pages. Another 2 pages with 5 tables for random magic items that can be used for Warhammer Fantasy. Yeah, optional rules in White Dwarf, when was the last time we have seen that?
Can we find any of the big plans in this month’s battle report? Dubbed “Last stand at T’ruen”, it’s an epic scenario where Jes’ Tyranids clash against Dan’s and Glenn’s Tau. There are no force organisation charts, the Tau army is made up of only battle suits (including six beautifully painted Riptides), and Jes’ Tyranids consist of only monstrous creatures (and there show up even more on the battlefield later). The article starts as usual with an overview of the armies and the setup and ends with a debrief, but inbetween it’s more written like a story than an actual report.
I’m a bit indifferent to this, it sure has potential, but it’s definately not for people who like to closely follow the process of a game. There is no indication of turns, so it’s hard to track what happened when. If the WD team wants to keep this style up, I suggest adding subheadings for each turn for more structure and some player comments inbetween the “story elements”, so it would retain a little sense for the gameplay .On the positive side, I noticed the photography is much improved. More cinematic perspectives, better illumination, and they even took the time to edit out the background on pictures where you see the whole table (so you won’t get distracted by the messy WD hobby room ;). 20 pages.
Hall of Fame
This time it’s the Techmarine model that was released with the 4th edition Space Marine codex. As his sculptor Juan Diaz no longer works for GW, ex ‘Eavy Metal painter and sculptor Neil Green discusses the model instead. 2 pages
4 pages dedicated to Johan Egerkrans’ Witch Hunters. As usual, there are some cool and very gothic conversions in there, but as the themes of Blanchitsu don’t vary much, I think this section doesn’t need to be in every issue.
… features the second part of Army on Parade entries from Games Day Memphis on 14 pages. And guess what, Tale of Painters makes another appearance in White Dwarf: This times it’s our very own Xoxtile with his gorgeous Night Goblin army, showcased on four pages. Apart from Xoxtile, there are seven other entries: the well-known Adeptus Mechanicus display from Dave Taylor, also Chaos Space Marines of Nurgle, Dark Angels, two more Chaos Space Marines armies, Imperial Guard, High Elves and Space Wolves. There is only one problem I have with Army on Parade entries in WD. You want to take a picture of the whole board, but then the individual models are so small that you can hardly make out any details. Maybe the next time they should constrain the number of entries and have more close ups like they did with Xoxtile’s Night Goblins.
… is 8 pages dedicated to Ogre Mournfang cavalry this month. Maybe it’s because I’m not a big Ogre fan, but I thought limiting an article to only one specific unit was a bit one-dimensional.
Is all dedicated to painting Tyranids. There are techniques for painting hive fleet Leviathan, Kraken and Behemoth on two pages each, displayed on the new models. Last but not least there are two more pages of batch painting Termagaunts. I really like how this section has evolved over the time, what used to be a mere conglomerate of step by step pictures, has become rich with advice and little hints here and there. A solid article, but wait for Garfy’s more detailed painting tutorials on Tale of Painters, he will cover all three hive fleets in more detail 😉
… talks about how he breaks the hobby gently to other people. Another amusing read penned by Mr Vetock. 2 pages.
This month in…
… the White Dwarf team: 4 pages with the latest painting efforts of the team, including an orkified fortress of redemption by Dan most notably.
… the design studio: The first 4 pages are an interview with the sculptors Mark Harrison and Matt Holland, who sculpted the Haruspex/Exocrine and the Hive/Tyrand Guard. A good read, but I’m missing concept art and was a bit disappointed that they didn’t mention the Epic prototypes of the Haruspex and Exocrine. The next 2 pages are an interview with Robin Cruddace, who muses about the horror of the Tyranid race, there are also two new artworks from the codex shown. As usual there is no talk about rule mechanics.
… in Forgeworld: There are WIP previews of a Sicaran Venator, Mechanicum Myrmidons and a Dread Saurian on 2 pages.
… in Black Library: 2 pages with an interview with Raymond Swanland, the artist of all the recent 40k codex covers and lots of Black Library novels.
I felt this was a solid issue with good hobby content and neat model showcases. Most of all I enjoyed the army of the month and Xoxtile’s Night Goblins. However, with over a year of the new direction of White Dwarf, with every issue I grow older of all the miniature showcases that make up most of the page count, despite the obvious quality of the displayed models. I would like some more written content to sink my teeth into, like tactic articles that help you with the first steps of a new army, as they had them when the Dark Eldar or Necron codex was released. I would also like to see more gaming material. Jervis’ magic items table was a good start, and with all the supplements and dataslates GW is pumping out at the moment, surely they could find some dropped off scraps for the magazine? I feel it would make White Dwarf much more attractive to a group of buyers that draws their enjoyment of the hobby more from gaming. That would be a big plan for 2014.
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Yeah, I'm also dead tired of power armor showcases. But supposedly they make up 50% of GWs sales, so that equals 50% exposure in WD I guess…
- Kamikaze Fish
I agree, I want to see some Eldar, Tau and Orks instead of the same army painted different colours.
I find the 'Marines make 50% of the sales' statement a bit odd.
Does that occur because they are popular, or because they get more exposure compared to anything else?
- Colonel Winterborne
I'm starting to find it difficult to differentiate between the white dwarf issues at the moment. It's always space marines either being kit bashed or as army of the month and always the same Tau and Tyranid white dwarf team armies, and a strange recurrence of ogres.
You only have to look at the huge variety of blogs out here to see fantastic armies that are deserving of being army of the month.
I wish they would go back to using the eavy metal armies instead, and also write proper battle reports.
I struggle to make a white dwarf last more than an hour or two, I always look forward to it every month but am never quite satisfied. Like many TV shows I remember them being much better when I was younger!
The content problem is made worse by the rules that have found their way onto app stores. Once you remove the rules and cool stories from the dwarf it is little more than a trade mag pimping the latest toys. I really enjoy Blanchitsu but it doesn't justify paying for advertising they should giving me for free. This doesn't mean everything should be free but If GW wants to justify even printing this rag anymore (let alone putting a price tag on it) they should be producing worthy content.
I started picking up "the new white dwarf" when they introduced the new format (two years ago?). What appeared to be a decent start gradually slid back into the, "Buy this /exposition" crap that it was before. Two pots of paint will make a more useful contribution to my hobby even if I don't paint on the toilet.
So it would seem that the only plus for this issue is a certain painters night goblins AOP entry (which has been suitably documented rather well by this esteemed collective) I'm rather annoyed that they have barely bothered with the AOP entries from the UK (in fairness I'm only interested to see if my own entry makes a fleeting appearance) but the only showed a few of this year's entrants and most of those were before the day.
Don't forget White Dwarf is written and produced 4 months before it goes to print. If your board made it to Games Day UK at the end of September and let assume they started writing about it in October, you're not going to see it before February.
Fingers crossed for you. You could always take your own pictures and send them into White Dwarf. The email is email@example.com. It's what I do.
Yeah you will have to be patient a bit more. US Games Day was very end of July and the first we saw of those photos was December with the rest in January.
Shamelessly picked up five copies this weekend 😀
Nothing shameful in that, except perhaps only 5 issues after all its not every day that your work gets to feature rather heavily in white dwarf. Still think the tale of painters readers get the better end of the deal as we got to share to the eye candy that is your AoP long before mere normal white dwarf readers.
Great Night Goblin army! I loved the Squigs and the bases. Congrats Xoxtile!
'll accounts this will be the last white dwarf you ever review……. I am a little bit saddened by this as white dwarf has been around almost since the beginning to be replaced with warhammer visions the monthly mag (with a huge price rise to boot) and either a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter (or more realistically sales brochure). This seems an odd choice for them to kill off such a well known brand as white dwarf but who knows what they are thinking
This is strange news and sad if true. I guess we have to wait and see now.
I just read on the GW site that they are going to release a weekly issue that has rules etc for the price of a pot of paint. So about £2.20 and then a regular monthly magazine. Would be a little sad with the name change, but I am glad if they change the format of the regular magazine as bringing back extra rules etc would freshen things up a bit. I like the current WD, but its getting a little repetitive. In some ways I actually preferred it more before the change.
It looks like they are going to keep the name white dwarf for this weekly rag – looks like that one is going to be more New releases, paint splatter, battle reports. Whereas the monthly is almost going to be 'eavy metal, armies on parade, blanshitsu and army of the month style work
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As much as I love seeing well painted miniatures in White Dwarf, I am getting a bit tired of Space Marines being the Army of the Month. At least 50% of the armies featured (40k only) have been Space Marine, and that figure increases further if you include Chaos Space Marines in the count.
I would love to see an Eldar army featured in these pages one day to inspire my own collection.
If you consider that Fantasy has been featured in Army of the Month too, and the only multiple featured army has been Ogres, it makes you wonder why a 40k army in this article *has* to be Space Marines. Does no-one who collects a Xenos army submit there forces to be considered, or is that not how you get picked?
For those that are wondering, I did go through each issue of the reformatted White Dwarf to find out which armies were featured in each regular article and collate the information.