Saturday, 22 September 2012

White Dwarf 394. October 2012.

Hello and welcome to the new White Dwarf. Before we begin let's get this out of the way, i fucking love it!

Now I've had a moment to compose myself let's start with the changes. Andrew Kenrick is still on board but is now deputy and Jes Bickham is at the helm. From what I gather he used to work on computer games magazines which is funny because this issue really reminds me of Edge. For those not familiar with that publication it is a high quality gaming monthly which takes the high road with it's content. Here's hoping the content of WD live up to it's stunning looks! I suppose there's only one way to find out, lets jump straight in...

Opening Salvo - Jes introduces us to the team with some cheesy photos of them on the rhino at Warhammer World, looks like we're in safe hands! This is followed by the contents which feel roomy and easy to read. The previous contents always felt like an afterthought and weren't always helpful.

New Releases - It kicks off with a double fold out spread of the Forgefiend and the Maulerfiend, the models look sweet and the way that they're photographed adds a lot of life to them. Next is the Helldrake, a flier for chaos. Two different schemes are shown and the write-up feels friendly and not too gushing.
The Raptors and Warp Talons look just as good as the Chosen from Dark Vengeance and the numbered box-outs for the details are great for looking at the specifics.

Onto the characters now with the Warpsmith, Aspiring Champion, Dark Apostle and Sorcerer. These all look super dynamic and beautifully painted. My only negative is that none of them look Nurgley enough! The Mutilators look strange. They come in a box of 3 but only have a choice of 2 heads meaning that there will always be repetition in your squad, so far that's the only dropped ball of this release! Loads of older characters and squads have been given the finecast treatment and they make it clear that they have created new moulds for them, hopefully that will improve the hit rate of quality although it's probably more down to their technique of spinning rather than pouring.

Finally it's the paperwork. They released two options for the codex, the basic £30 hardback and a £50 limited edition which has already sold out! There's also a chaos psychic cards pack just like with fantasy releases. It's also limited edition and I ordered mine this morning!

Digital Products - White Dwarf has gone digital and you can now get it on your Newsstand on ipad/iphone. I'm definitely going to get this issue to give it a try. There's no mention of price or any subscription discount so far but will be worth it just for the ease of doing screen grabs to make a pdf for the laptop too!

Black Library - This is a much expanded section. They used to be lucky if they even made it over a page, now they get 4 whole pages and while they do contain some large pictures it's definitely a step forward in giving the writers their dues.

Forge World - Again, 4 pages for these guys (so there's no jealousy between them!) with a look at the Spartan Assault tank, Cataphractii Terminators and a few other bits. Great to see some proper shots of the FW resin and we've got more coming up in a few pages!

Licensed Games - I suppose this section will mostly cover Fantasy Flight Games but could also cover video games and suchlike. They take a look at the new Relic boardgame and it looks like a lot of fun.

Army of the Month - This is a showcase of Ben Johnson's Skaven army. It's fan generated content which is amazing, and it's given way more space than the old Armies on Parade section was.

Jervis Johnson - He's dropped the Standard Bearer title for a simpler, more honest approach and it pays off. Somehow it feels like it's really him writing, without the use of a prompt (or tazer).

Battle Report - Chaos Marines v regular Marines. Kenrick v Troke. The army lists look pretty reasonable and there's a page of explanation to with each side. As an aside it looks like someone's been painting White Scars as the Attack Bike isn't the same old one that looked like it was caked in shit. While there aren't actual maps there are plenty of small photos showing each stage of the action accompanied by captions and also the two chaps discussing the battle. There's the What we Learned page at the end which shows just that, and the post-battle review where other members of the team have their say on the action. It's a breath of fresh air. The only criticism I have is that the narrative wasn't forged nearly enough.

The Rivals - It's another new article, this time featuring even more non-GW folk. Two people go head-to-head to discuss tactics of their fantasy armies. There's sample lists, diagrams of unit layouts and a small battle, a great idea for an article.

THE HORUS HERESY!!!1!!! - They warm us up first, teasing us with a couple of pages about where the Heresy has been featured before such as the BL novels, the board game and other places. Over the page they launch straight into the new Forge World book, Betrayal with some amazing photos and an interview with Simon Egan about how he sculpted Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters. He looks amazing, although his face reminds me of an angry Michael Stipe!

Blanchitsu - John gives us a brief look at some Inquistitorial warbands, not a huge amount of content but cool anyways.

Hall of Fame - A port from the old WD, this month it's the Nightbringer.

Parade Ground - A look at some themed units, featuring some stunning Necrons and Death Korps of Krieg.

Kit Bash - Fuck yeah, GW recognise that there's more to the hobby than what's in the box. They look at the Ork Fighta Bommer and some little tweaks you can do with it. A promising start.

Battleground - A look at the amazing Urdek Refinery from the 6th edition rulebook. Again, the same as with Kit Bash, there's small hints and tips but it shows that they are acknowledging the more experienced hobbyist.

Paint Splatter - This looks like it's the new 'How to Paint' article with the usual base/layer/wash/layer layout as before.

Jeremy Vetock - That's now 3 vets that have an article in WD and it doesn't feel like they're just humouring any of them. Yes they speak enthusiastically about GW, that's just enthusiasm with no motive in my opinion.

The boring bit - Yes it's still here, every store worldwide listed for our reading pleasure. Yawn.

This Month In - A behind the scenes look at GW HQ. This month we get a look at what the Dwarfers have been up to, a great looking game of Zone Mortalis, Phil Kelly's bit about the writing of the Chaos codex, Jes Goodwin's bit about designing the Chaos miniatures and a Forge World section with a lovely Death Guard army.

At the back there's no clear 'next month' page but there is a picture of Gandalf with an impressive pipe which can only mean one thing, Hobbit time.

So there we have it. I was and still am genuinely excited about this change to White Dwarf. It's a brilliant shake-up of the format and something that I hope they manage to sustain through the upcoming months. Part of my love for it was the way it didn't solely focus on the new releases, they spread the love around to all areas of the hobby (except LotR, sorry guys!) which gave a much more encompassing feel. The free poster was great too, I want more free posters please! A definite 9/10. The only thing missing is a bit more depth here and there but I'm really not complaining.

Finally, here's another plug for my painted special character give away. All you have to do is become a follower of this blog and when it hits 100 I'll randomly select someone to receive a model of their choice painted by me! So what are you waiting for, hit the follow button!

1 comment:

  1. Great review, glad to see someone else out there saying such positive things. I really liked this new look and feel for the magazine. You're right they could Forge the Narrative a little stronger in their Bat. Rep. but otherwise pretty win! As you said, a lot of pro GW views put forward that come over as genuine not advertising. :)

    I've copied you gig and written a review of this issue myself, bur don't worry you get credit in it. ;)