Monday, 3 February 2014

White Dwarf Weekly Issue 1 Review.

Doubtless you've all seen plenty of opinions on the two new publications from Games Workshop. I'm sure I'll be voicing a few of my own over the course of these two posts, along with many many questions. I won't really touch on the format, and number of pages except to say I  really don't understand this change in schedule. It'll fuck up my lovely display of White Dwarfs, and because of the lack of a spine I won't be able to easily access the right issue quickly if I ever feel the need to revisit them. I think the only reason for this change would be that GW were always going to change up their release schedule for the models, and so needed Jes and the gang to fall in line. I'm really excited to see if we do get a genuine release every weekend of the month.

The previous version, only going for about a year, was a solid publication. It could've gone a lot further in terms of depth, but was a fun read once a month, and I always looked forward to it landing on my door mat. With that said, let's delve in and see if I'll be as excited to pop down to GW Cardiff every saturday before work to pick up this...

The cover looks the same, and turning over the front page we're greeted with the usual Opening salvo and contents page. A quick once over and it looks like a lot of the old articles have made the transition. The price guide shares the contents page, and all the new releases are available to buy next Saturday when you get the next issue.

Dwarfs are finally getting some love, and might help rekindle my vague interest in fantasy battle. There's only three new releases and no Army Book. The first is the dual kit of Hammerers and Longbeards. The models look fantastic in terms of detail, they're covered in plenty of ornamentation, but they seem to all be in the same pose with the hammer raised over the right shoulder. Maybe it's because I'm not used to having to rank my 40k guys up but shouldly the could've thrown in the odd lefty?
The Longbeards also look like very repetitive poses, but at least you get a variety of hand weapons to choose from.

Belegar Ironhammer is a brand new character release, and he looks fantastic. He looks proper impressive, and his oath stone adds some much needed height to the army.
The final dwarf of the week is a brand new Dragon slayer. This chaps beard and mohawk look very ginger and impressive but there's omething about him that doesn't sit quite right with me. I can't tell if it's the pose, or the stupid paint job that makes him look like he's wearing pijamas, I'll reserve proper judgement for when I see some alternative schemes online.

Black Library get to show off their latest wares as usual, and it's the Horus Heresy novel Scars which is the lead title. It was released as a serial only a month or so ago, and I really wish BL would give the info on when they're going to bring out regular versions ahead of time. If I'd spent that money on the ibooks and then saw this I'd be really fucked off.

I'm glad to see Jervis Johnson is still allowed into the WD to have his say on things. He sometimes loses his way, but recently has been on top form, with his thoughts on GM games, his random tables last month, and now a whole mini game to decide who goes first. Seems fun, and good to see some creative thinking going on.

The next section is from Adam Troke and it's a look at last month's Tyranid release. It's nothing too spectacular, and in places gets a bit too gushing, but it's an interesting read and great to see more than just a few sentences per page. A few other studio faces chip in, and it's almost a solid 4 sides of writing, winner!

Paint Splatter returns next and it's a look at Dwarfs. Yes the stages are basic but I don't see the problem in that. If you're a beginner then they're easy to follow to get adequate results. If you're an experienced painter you either don't need the guides, or should be clever enough to fill in the gaps.
Attached to this there's a handy section with about hobby tips in, about using plastic cement. Again it's not for everyone, but it's a definite attempt to introduce some hobby into the magazine, something everyone has been crying out for. I'm hoping that they run with this idea.

The Rules! Holy shit they've actually gone and printed rules for the new Dwarf Lord in the mag. They haven't done this as far as I can remember since the Daemons update, and it's a breath of fresh air. I don't know if this is the only place his rules will be, or if it's a preview for the army book, and it doesn't really matter. If I wanted to I could play a game of fantasy tomorrow and use him without having to fork out the 30 quid on the book.

Designers Notes. Yet more writing in large quantity. They focus on just the dual kit, and cover two pages, which is amazing considering a whole army would previously get about the same amount. There's also a tasty preview of what's coming next week tucked at the bottom of the page - Engineering madness apparently.

The Week in WD (formerly month) was one of my favourite sections alongside the army of the month. Yet again they've kept the size and quantity of the photos to a minimum, and added a fair amount of info. There's more notes on the Dwarf Lord, a reader's model of the week, and plenty of tongue in cheek cut-outs. It seems like they're trying to inject the mag with some character and humour again finally.

And so we reach the back page. Yes it's short but it's actually rather sweet too. It seems like they've packed as many words into 32 pages as they did in the whole 150 of last month's issue, and there's real promise here that it'll be a solid weekly purchase. I hope that they rotate the articles to switch it up and stop it from stagnating, and I hope they take on reader feedback, and can sift through the hatred it seems to have received. To be honest I was dreading what I'd find but I'm pleasantly surprised. I think as far as 'first' issues go it's a good one, maybe a 7/10, above average.

Up next, probably tomorrow night I'll be taking a close look at Warhammer Visions. From a brief flick through I'm not sure it'll come out as well. Stay tuned to find out. Cheers!

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