Friday, 5 October 2012

Vintage White Dwarf 200. August 1996.

It's been long overdue but I'm finally getting around to reviewing this issue! It's been sitting on my bedside table for a few months but time always seems to be against me. That and my knack for extreme procrastinating. The front cover proudly boasts that it's the biggest white dwarf ever and they're certainly not wrong, it's rammed with goodness so let's jump in...

News - Necromunda first and the release of the Wyrds and Scavvies to go with the Outlanders expansion from a few issues back. For fantasy there's a few Wood Elves and a special White Dwarf miniature to celebrate the milestone. 40k is still on a chaos tip, mostly plague marines and the still available Fabius Bile. There's even a box-out previewing next months release of Kharn the Betrayer. On the hobby side of things they released a book called How to make wargames terrain and there's an article all about it later.

Another box-out tells us that games day is coming soon and that tickets cost £10, a far cry from today's prices!

An eternity of madness - Andy Chambers talks chaos dreadnoughts, going over the fire frenzy rules and showcasing some lovely converted Night Lords. Chaos got tons of love back in the day and I've been doing plenty of reading to get inspired for the upcoming new codex. There's stats included for the Mk1 heavy plasma gun, I'd totally forgotten guns in 2nd edition had short and long ranges and that they didn't just use a D6. A heavy plasma gun did D4 damage and you also had to roll a sustained fire dice!

The White Dwarf - An article all about the beardy guy they created especially for the 200th issue. There's shots of the greens and some background, then Nigel Stillman! What a legend, shows us the rules. In total with equipment he comes to a whopping 390 points! You also get all his magic item cards in the card section.

Faith in the Emperor - Ian Pickstock begins his article by talking about playing 40k in the spirit it was intended, Apparently prompted by numerous letters about people being mullered by beardy armies. he talks about staying true to your army and codex, be it through using the background or photographic material for reference, or just simply not looking for loopholes. This article spoke massively to me as I feel I'm not a competitive gamer, I don't look at net lists and generally play with what I think is cool instead of what I think will destroy my opponents the best.

He then leads on to apply this way of thinking to his Imperial Guard army with tank companies and Storm Trooper platoons. There's even a nice related scenario included.

Wayne's World - Adrian Wood interviews Wayne England. A man who did a lot of the logos and icons for GW. One logo I loved seeing again was the Citadel Combat Cards one, like top trumps but more geeky!

Tales from the Underhive - Inspired by the latest Scavvies and Mutants release 'papa' Steve Anastasoff looks at inspiration for exciting Necromunda scenarios, gives us some cool rules and a really fun article in general. Plenty of B-movie influence and even a Lictor thrown in for good measure!

'Eavy Metal Masterclass - Mike McVey takes two iconic pieces of artwork, Des Hanley's space marine bike and John Blanche's Eldar Exodites and combines them into a sweet diorama. I remember staring at these pages in awe wishing that they would release Exodites properly as my younger self had no clue about kit bashing and scratch building.

Meet the Dwarfers - A quick look and brief interview with each of the WD team.

Assault on Black Skull Mountain - Chaos Dwarfs versus regular Dwarfs in a little story led mini-campaign penned by Jervis. Great ideas and a quick, to the point battle rep.

Golden Demon 96 - McVey is back looking at some of the finalists. The Eldar are amazing and the IG diorama is seriously cool.

Space Hulk: Fangs of Fenris - A whole 3 brand spanking new missions for Space Hulk to include, wait, you guessed it, Space Wolves in the game. Looking at the price of the game on ebay nowadays I might build my own set to try some of these old missions out. Will probably start with pen and paper first before getting the plasticard out!

Warhammer Quest: Getting a Breath of Fresh Air - This is another game that I would love to play but cost is very much a factor again! This article talks about how to convert our dungeon dwelling heroes into open world fighters. I remember being really inspired by this article and wrote up a whole campaign system based on it but using my Heroquest box as the basis rather than WHQ. I wonder if it's still kicking around anywhere!

Manflayer - Andy Chambers chats Fabius Bile and gives us the full downlow on his rules, sweet!

A Word from our Sponsor - A look back at issues gone by, some great free posters and even a battle bunker (which I now have!). There's even a reminder that the WD team used to put out more than just the magazine, with their WD Presents... range, much like the Blood in the Badlands book recently.

Modelling Workshop - This heralds the launch of the How to make Wargames Terrain book.

Q&A - From a time before the interwebz for online FAQs. They do seem to be genuine questions someone would actually ask though. Such as - Can an Eldar Avatar use it's Wailing Doom to make a parry, since it's a really big sword?!

Kneel Before Me! - Orks versus the brand new (well 2nd ed. new) Chaos marines. There's maps, conversions, scratch built terrain and a real sense of fun. Also in the background of one shot you can see all the old Datafaxs, wargear cards and mission cards blu-tacked to the wall!

And that's that! I love this issue, it's so packed with all kinds of cool things, ideas and rules that really caught my 12 year old brain and haven't let go ever since! For a pure nostalgia trip I'd be tempted to give it a 10/10, but think I'll make it a more realistic 9/10. On a par with the latest one then.


  1. This brings a little tear to my eye, it's the golden age of Games Workshop as far as I'm concerned. I miss those times, I preferred the rules, I preferred the miniatures.

    1. I totally agree mate, it was a wonderful time, with so many interesting ideas, and a lot more freedom it seems. Have you ever gone back and tried to play a game of 2nd edition these days?