Saturday, 23 June 2012

White Dwarf 391. July 2012.

This must be one of the most eagerly anticipated White Dwarfs in a while. Anyone with access the the interwebz should've been well aware that 6th edition was on it's way and pretty much everyone was pinning their hopes on this issue confirming the rumours. It doesn't disappoint! Now this is just going to be my regular review, I'm probably not going to make any judgements about the new rules, I'll just put them out there for you guys to think about!

New Releases - So obviously there's many double page spreads about the 3 different ways to buy the new hardback rulebook. There's the basic £45 just the book option, this is probably what I'll be going for. Then there's the collectors edition which is £80. What you're playing for here is a higher quality of paper and finish and a box to store it in. Yes it's limited and that would normally get me onboard but I can't justify almost doubling the price this time. Finally there's the gamers edition which does look cool. It's £75 for the standard rulebook but comes with a cool satchel and some limited edition versions of the munitorum dice. I can see this one being seriously popular.

Next are the new 40k accessories. Just like fantasy 8th they've got some fancy templates and dice. What is interesting are the Battlefield objectives and vehicle markers. There must be some special missions and rules for these to have come into existence. There's also the psychic power cards. These are just like the fantasy battle magic cards, and while not essential do look like a handy addition to the game.

Finally we get onto the miniatures. Only 2 new ones this month, Anrakyr the Traveller and Orikan the Diviner for the Necrons. Both of these guys look sweet. They're going to be released on the 21st July along with a huge finecast release including Dark Eldar beasts, Ork special characters, some Grey Knight goodness, and for some reason it's hidden near the back, commander shadowsun and some other Tau bits.

There is Only War - The main event! There's a huge wealth of information here along with some amazing photos of battles and some of the great new artwork. I can't tell what's changed with the photos but they look so much more epic than epic last issue!

Here's a list of the snippets of rules included in the article -
Hammer of Wrath special rule - Jump units can leap in the air then smash down, ala the Space Marine video game.
Vector Strike - One for flying monstrous creatures to swoop down and attack.
Overwatch - A free shooting attack at BS1.
Nearest models to the enemy get removed first.
Throwing grenades are back in the game!

They've increased the force organisation chart so we can now take allies with our armies and also we can purchase scenery and terrain to benefit from certain effects or just to provide more cover and guns. Our main HQ choice is now called a Warlord and there's a choice of 3 special traits to choose from (via a dice roll) that infer either command, personal, or strategic benefits.

Scenery comes alive, much like in 8th ed fantasy and the recent awesome death worlds expansion. These rules are in the battles section of the book and are called warzone traits. It seems like a lot more can happen which is a great thing in my opinion. Always better to have all the rules there then decide if you want to use them or not rather than not having them at all.

It seems like they've expanded on the range of missions and scenarios available from the book with 6 eternal war scenarios and loads of objectives to achieve with different primary and secondary ones. In the battles section there's apparently all kinds of goodies about narrative gaming and campaigns, this is what's exciting me the most about all of it! There's also all kinds of terrain modelling pages, which seem to be way more than just telling us to buy their stuff.

There's an appendix at the back that has all the stats and gives updates to all the existing units like the new hull point values for every vehicle and all the psychic powers. There's 30 of them that tie in with the cards. I love the idea of these cards as it takes me back to 2nd edition. Maybe the missions and objectives could be made into cards too?

Armies of the 41st Millennium - A huge section showcasing a lot of the armies painted by the chaps at HQ. Most of them look really cool and it's been good fun spotting the conversions and tweaks they've made. What's really exciting is the box-out asking us to send photos of our armies to what's new today using

The Scouring of Kasr XV - This battle report was between Andrew Kendick and Simon Grant and uses the new The Scouring scenario. It's a classic Imperials v Chaos with some allies thrown into the mix along with some fortifications. There's a new way to deploy called Hammer and Anvil which goes lengthways, very handy with all these new flyers. A new rule called smash allows monstrous creatures to halve their attacks but double their strength and psykers can swap their codex powers for the new main ones. The flyer rules get showcased with the differences between zooming and hovering and there's mention of random charge distances which should add spice to the games. Looks like there's plenty of great rules and ideas for us casual/narrative gamers, and on the flip side plenty for tournament players to moan about!

Battlefield Terrain - An overview of some of the fortifications and what they can do. Some snippets of rules but it's mostly advertising.

Assault on Fellstorm Airfield - Following on from last months White Scars/Orks article we get another new scenario and a mini battle report.

Tau Sept Hunter Cadre - A hobby guide to the much neglected Tau. There's many pages of handy painting guides (well handy if you're doing the classic yellowy brown scheme, not so much if you're making it up!) including kroot and vespids.

Forge World Imperial Armour Aeronautica - A quick advert for the new FW book. I hadn't heard about this so will be checking it out as soon as I get done with this review. What seems strange to me about the photos is the inclusion of the Tau Manta. There's no price next to it, but why advertise a £900 model when hardly anyone can buy it, why not show a tigershark or the marginally more affordable Orca?

Hour of the Witch - Mat Ward talks us through the new psychic rules and how to shoehorn them into our existing 5th ed (and some 4th ed!) codexes.

Standard Bearer - Jervis is MIA this issue so Jeremy Vetock takes over telling us about what he likes in the new ruleset. At least that's how it begins but it soon turns out to be just how much he likes playing with his mates. A welcome change to Jervis, bless him!

And that's about it for this month. After so much focus on fantasy this past year it's great to see an entire issue for 40k, with not even a nod to LotR either. It's hard to separate my excitement about 6th from my thoughts on this issue so I'm finding it tough to score. I think I'm going to give it a 7/10. It's got glimpses of the new rules which is great but there's not enough depth to any of the articles. I hope that in future there'll be more campaign and narrative talk and even more new scenarios like the Airfield series. Above average but not as mind-blowing as it should've been.

As an aside, I was wondering if anyone saw any merit in a video review of each issue? Would probably involve a fixed 'top down' camera with me flipping through the pages and commenting!


  1. Good review this. As for the video - yeah why not. You can always give it a try, see how it goes.

    1. Cheers Jamie, 142 views and you're the only opinion on the idea. You're right I'm going to just go for it. Just need to figure out how to hold/secure my camera for a 'top-down' view.

  2. Put me down for a vote for giving it a go. Perhaps set the White Dwarf on the floor and have your camera on a chair angled down.