So my boyfriend and I went to our local Games Workshop store to pick up this month’s White Dwarf (and Shadows of Treachery, but that’s for another post). I was interested to see what the newly revamped White Dwarf was like. It definitely felt different picking it up. It’s thicker for one thing and I love the different textures on the cover. It feels like more of a modern publication.
This isn’t going to be a very detailed review, I’m saving that for a time when I’m not ill and I’d like a few more issues so that I can build up a better idea of what an issue is like before I compare old and new White Dwarf.
Over all I have to say that new White Dwarf is an improvement over the old one. The pages can still feel a little crowded but the new layout is not bad. The only thing that I really don’t get is that the “This Month in” section is behind the store finder. I really think that it should be the other way round as not only is it convenient to have to store finder at the back where you know exactly where to look (and yes, I know this is the age of the internet, but the White Dwarf store finder is more convenient than the Games Workshop webpage finder), the “This Month in” section is pretty good and doesn’t deserve to be buried away at the back.
There are two things that strike me about this month’s White Dwarf, first is the rise of the opinion piece, even the adverty “New Releases” section has opinions and description in the text, the second is the increase in “outsiders” in the articles. “The Army of the Month” and “The Rivals” sections are actually dedicated to ordinary readers rather than those who work in Games Workshop HQ. This is all to the good. I don’t think I spent more than half an hour on the previous issue of White Dwarf and I’ve been dipping in and out of this one all weekend. Some of that is admittedly down to my drooling over the new Daemon Engines, which, if they weren’t so incredibly expensive would be on my “to buy” list, even though I really need to paint more Space Wolves before I think of starting another project, but a lot of it is down to the increased content.
The aforementioned “This Month in” section is really good. There is an article with Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin on the new Chaos Space Marines codex explaining how and why they have evolved the codex and the models complete with concept drawings. You get the impression that both men really enjoy what they are doing and its nice to get reasons for what has been done. I wasn’t so impressed with the Forgeworld pages but the Black Library interviews were quite good.
The modelling side of the hobby is fairly well represented. The new conversions section is interesting and I always like to see pictures of other people’s models. The Urdek Refinery board in “Battlegrounds” is rather impractical for people without lots of space, time and money but it’s there more as an inspiration than an instruction sheet.
“Paint Splatter” is the new painting section. Again, there are no actual instructions, just paint colour guides. While painting instructions are probably very useful, I can see why they haven’t included one, as while it’s good to show it once, you’d really have to include it for every issue and that would take up a lot of space. The paint guides may even be useful. I like the Daemonfire techniques. It is aimed at the beginner, but to be honest, beginners are the ones that need the leg up, not the semi-pro painter.
The “New Releases” section is still far too long, but it’s less of just a catalogue now. Another worry is that this issue is very heavily Warhammer 40K oriented. I am a 40K rather than a Fantasy player, but I imagine anybody who is purely a Warhammer Fantasy player may be a little bit disappointed. At least they get something though, unlike Lord of the Rings (I only spotted one photo of Rangers and a picture of Gandalf).
In conclusion I have to say that the new White Dwarf is an improvement over the old one. It’s still far from perfect but I’m going to give it a few issues to settle in before I make my final judgement.