Wednesday, 28 August 2013

White Dwarf (400) - April 2013

As you can tell by the fact I'm reviewing April's edition in the middle of August, I haven't written a review in fucking ages. I guess I just lost interest in the new format, and it's fairly standard layout. It's a shame because there have been some great releases over the past five months, so I'm going to do a quick re-cap of each month, hopefully in time for the release of September's issue and the coming of the Space Marines! So let's crack on with Aprils.

This was the month of the Tau. I'd been dabbling in this anime-inspired army for a while, I had a few Devilfish and some Crisis Suits, but didn't enjoy the codex too much so I was eagerly waiting for the new 6th edition update to come around. On the front cover is the new hotness, the Riptide, first among many new releases. Speaking of which...

New Releases - The Tau get a huge amount of new kits, from the two flyers, the previously mentioned Riptide, a redesigned Broadside suit, and a host of new characters (including the finecast, and sadly mono-pose commander). The update to Farsight is great, and the new plastic Cadre Fireblade is a neat little kit. One of my favourites though is the new Pathfinder box. Loads of cool options, a few new drones, can't fault it! There's also a load of stuff for the Hobbit.

Forge World show off all their new Necron goodies for Imperial Armour 12: The Fall of Orpheus. I've had the book since the Open Day and it is epic. They've got photos of the Night Shroud Bomber, the Tomb Citadel and the Sentry Pylons which are all lovely kits of kit for any budding Overlord.

Army of the Month - Because it's a 40k month, the army is Beastmen for Fantasy. They look nicely converted and painted, I'm just not a fan of the army generally.

Jervis Johnson - I really enjoyed this article. It's the first of two parts on having a Games Master as part of your games, and what that could bring to the table (ahem!). Nothing ground breaking, but plenty of food for thought and putting a different spin on things.

Battle Report - The new Tau test their metel against the Tyranids on some great looking terrain (including Forge World's city scape boards). Both the armies look great, in unusual colour schemes, however the look of the battle doesn't really come across in the photos. They included a GM surprise of an Inquisitor popping up towards the end of the game too. I'm sure I'm not giving the game away at this late stage by saying the Tau won.

Blanchitsu - More beautiful minis from the mind of John Blanche. The Nurgle Lord makes yet another appearance, but there's great use of the chaos cultists.

Rise of the Battlesuits - A great little article about the different types of suit available to the Tau. Led by Adam Troke with heavy input from Jes Goodwin that's lots of great information, although they missed the other two stealth suit types! They put in the FW XV-9 but didn't include any of the -8 variants available which is a bit of a fail in my opinion.

Hall of Fame - The Khorne lord on Juggernaut. Not the actual classic, the recent remake. Not worthy at all. Please start using this section for actual classics, not as another chance to show recent releases again.

Parade Ground - Part 4 of the 2012 Golden Demon coverage. There's some incredible entries here, like the Eldar Seer Council, and the Warlord Titan diorama.

Kit Bash - Apparently a 400th issue extravaganza! I'm not sure if 5 models on 5 pages an extravaganza makes, but oh well!

Parade Ground (again) - This time looking at monsters that some of the guys at FW and GW have painted, and a couple from readers.

Battle Ground - A look at how the WD team built and painted the gaming table for this month's battle report. It was great to see the effort they put in to making a cool table, something that I feel often gets overlooked, with people using table cloths, green sheets etc. It was also refreshing to see the citadel scenery painted in a different colour than normal. Some of it looks like it cost a bomb, with one photo showing someone just carving up a perfectly good Devilfish to make debris!

Paint Splatter - All kinds of alternate Tau paint schemes, some I remember from previous Codexes, others newer like the one featured in the battle report. There's also a look at how they painted some of the scenery from the board.

Jeremy Vetock - A tongue-in-cheek like at some of the superstitions of our game. Fun but pointless.

This Month In - Beth's Reaver Jetbikes look awesome, and there's a quick interview with legend Ian Livingstone to celebrate the big milestone this month. There's also a few snippets from previous editors of the magazine, however they miss out quite a few of the better known ones from the golden era.

In the design studio Vetock comes back to talk us through his Tau codex, and two chaps tell us about the Sun Shark / Razorshark. The FW section looks great but was already out of date, and in Black Library corner there's an incredible looking Dark Angel Contemptor Dreadnought.

In the back there's a shot of the FW Thunderhawk which got everyone on the forums wetting themselves about a plastic one which was hilarious. I hope Jes and co do that kind of thing on purpose.

I really enjoyed this issue. I liked how they tied most of the sections together. Each one revolving around the battle report, from how the table was built, to how it was all painted, to Jervis' ideas about GM games. Blanchitsu was inspired, but the fourth month in a row of Golden Demon felt a bit flat. Keeping my bias for the Tau and Forge world's Necrons out of it, I'd give a 7/10. On to the next issue now!

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