Thursday, 6 December 2012

White Dwarf - December 2012

This is going to be the first time for me that the new look mag gets put to the test. So far the previous two have had 40k releases that I've been really stoked about so my excitement could've (not saying it actually did) cloud my judgement. This issue is all about the Hobbit, and while I love the book, am pant-wettingly excited about the film, and can't wait to buy the lego, I'm afraid I couldn't care less about the game. I don't know exactly what it is but it just doesn't sit right with me, maybe it's a bit too much like historical gaming. I know how the battles go because I've read and seen them, I'd be changing the course of history by playing it myself! With that out of the way let's delve in...

Opening Salvo - The usually calm but excited Jes is in full on exaggeration mode with talk of jar-dropping and dazes induced by the miniatures. Yes they look like the actors in the film, please don't hype them up so far it seems ridiculous please.

New Releases - As you'd expect we lead with the Hobbit. There's a lovely two page shot of it all set up painted but that's immediately followed by a four-pager showing the same thing only bigger. I hope this isn't a return to the old way of showing the same thing too many times. A quick page turn reveals it's not. We're treated to some amazing close ups of each of the characters and they really do look great. One or two of them seem to lack a bit of detail and the sculptor seems to have a problem doing feet but other than that they look cool.

The goblins look good too but I am a little disconcerted by the troll with the moobs! The thing that I'm most excited about in all of this release is the actual Goblin Town scenery. It looks amazing and very useful to be using in other game systems.

The Crusade of Fire is up next and boy do the page shots look amazing. It's just a shame this wasn't in last months issue to encourage more people to buy it and give us a bit more detail about what to expect. It turned out that I actually got my copy of the book three days before I got my copy of this WD, a bit of poor timing there. Moaning aside Andrew Kenrick has come up trumps again with a blinder of a book. The cover and artwork are lush, the ideas and concepts held within are huge food for thought and you can't fault it on giving us additional rules and scenarios, the back section is chock full. I'll be reviewing it soon but all I'll say now is buy it now!

The Wall of Martyrs from last month has sold out so they've broken it down into pieces to sell separately, always good to know I can expect my set as and when I need to.

BL/FW/Digital/Licensed - We get a few new books out this month with a write-up on each, ForgeWorld show off the incredible Fellblade and Typhon. There's nothing new on the digital front but for licensed games there's the launch of Talisman Prologue. It was previewed at Games Day earlier in the year and looks great, fingers crossed we won't have to wait too long for the digital version of Warhammer Quest to come out too.

Army of the Month - Yet another fantasy army (is that 3 in a row?!) and it's a chap named Keith Robertson and his Ogres. They are beautifully painted, each and every one is amazing. However I have a thing about/against goblin green bases in a warzone. Surely the grass would've been trampled?

Jervis Johnson - He continues to both infuriate and enlighten me this month with talk of unwritten social contracts. It's an interesting read, he always makes me think and often about topics I would not normally consider, but every once in a while I'd love a proper behind the scenes at the studio type thing.

Battle Report - I know many people love the battle reports, it's the part where I tend to gloss over and this month's Hobbit fight is no exception. My only comment is that the atmospheric lighting made the photos look great, and that much Goblin Town scenery on one table is amazing.

The Rivals - A return to the fold after a notable absence last month. It's refreshing to read an article comparing and debating the merits of two units without it descending into whining or shit that happens on forums.

Blanchitsu - More inspirational work, this time looking at his space marine warband. I might be missing something but I don't know what they're for! If he could include some background that would be extremely helpful.

Hall of Fame - The recently released Coven Throne. Just like last month's look at the squigs, yep they're great kits but I don;t think they're quite old enough to be a classic just yet.

Parade Ground - More 40k goodness with a focus on fliers. The asymetric ork bommer is bizarre but Dave Thomas' souped up blitza-bommer is fucking brilliant. It's also great that there's a few pages given to readers' models too.

Kit Bash - Again plenty more reader submitted entries for this article, excellent stuff gang!

Battle Ground - Let's get this out of the way, I fucking love the Somaro Starfort. It's the greatest 40k scenery I've seen and I've loved it ever since the 6th ed book came out. I was fortunate enough to see it in real life at Games Day and it also features in the Crusade of Fire. I don't know how easy it would be to play a regular game on it but I'm sure there are hundreds, well maybe tens, of scenarios and ideas for ways to play on it.

Paint Splatter - Sadly quite light on actual tutorials, it's more of a checklist as to which pots you'll need to paint some Hobbits.

Jeremy Vetock - Vetock chats about getting too hot and playing games with a sort of GM so random things can always crop up. It's funny because having a GM is also mentioned in Crusade of Fire, it's almost like they're hinting at something!

This Month In - The design studio talk Hobbit, and there's some lovely shots of Radagast, the LE model from the box set. I really wish he wasn't only available in that box as his pet hodgeheg is so cute!

FW show us a load of stuff they are working on including some bits and bobs from the upcoming Battle for Black Fire Pass, I'm getting a little excited about my Dwarfs again. BL give us more words about their recently published words and with that the issue wraps up.

The magazine still feels really fresh and exciting, and I even wanted to read about the Hobbit which is something that I probably wouldn't have done before. Jes, Andy and the gang also manage to accommodate all three main game systems which is definitely a new thing, previous issues used to be solely dedicated to the big new release. The inclusion of so many reader models is amazing and the Battle Ground article steals the show for me this month. I'm going to give it a 8/10, would've easily been a 9 but I was put off by the gushing hyperbole at the start and it left a bad taste in my metaphorical mouth. Yes we all know the models are cool and that you get paid to big them up, just please don't patronise me in future!

1 comment:

  1. Good review, I totally agree with the battle grounds, its, sadly, the only bit of 'how to' recently. It seems to me, that the Magazine has improved away from the 'catalogue' it had become, the black library and behind the scenes stuff is very good. The website, however, seems to have reverted to what the mag had been, all the 'articles' linked to each army etc has gone. I don't have an I-Pad but it seems to be getting all the hobby stuff especially good addenda to the 'how to paint' book. There should be a painting guide section for each army on the website. I had to rib Inquisitor Drake recently about the fact that 3 forgeworld tactical squads are gonna cost the thick end of £160! £5.33 a model? He must have won the Norwegian lottery!
    Tiberius out.