Last month, our review of White Dwarf, in which we compared February's issue of White Dwarf with an issue from 1998, sparked a huge controversy. It was debated heatedly not only in our comment section, but on Warseer, Tabletop Gaming News and others. This month we decided to deliver a more conventional look at the latest offering from the White Dwarf team (which doesn't mean we won't do such a comparison again ;) Read on to find out what to expect from March's issue.
As the White Dwarf's pattern is pretty much set since the relauch, this time I go through each section and share my thoughts on them.
New Releases Section
As usual, a long section of 42 pages covering the this month's releases from Games Workshop and Black Library, plus a selection of Forgeworld and licensed games news. I noticed the photography has became a lot nicer and clearer, they still use coloured or painted backdrops but don't distort the paint jobs with coloured lights. The fold out pages show a huge army shot with the new releases in the centre. I still think they should merge this section with the design studio pages at the back.
Army of the Month
It's power armour again, just as last month. Did the sales department force the WD team to show more Space Marines? At least it's a combined force of Lamenters and Grey Knights. The yellow armoured Blood Angels successor army features lots of Forgeworld models including Tartaros pattern Terminators, Deimos pattern Tanks, a Land Raider Prometeus, a Thunderhawk and three (!) Warhound titans.
... talking about why rolling off when facing rules questions is often best.
Adam Troke competes with his collection of Chaos Daemons against Matt Hutson's Imperial Fists (yellow Marines again). It's like the last couple of battle reports: focus on trying out new models, no point values, no maps, no narrative, lots of small pictures, no serious outlining of rule changes.
Four pages; again a showcase of models not painted by John Blanche himself, plus a short interview with their creator. Imaginative models, but Blanchitsu every month is a bit too much, as it's always the same style and the same set of themes.
Hall of Heroes
Neil Green nominates Juan Diaz' Urien Rakarth. Some interesting concept art and insights on the sculpting process, but nothing that hasn't been told or shown in GW's blog when Dark Eldar were released.
As with the last two issues, they continue with their showcase of Golden Demon entries, again from the UK. 16 pages with a lot of cool models and paint jobs, but having the third issue in a row with a majority of the editorial content dedicated to Golden Demon models gets boring. And there will be part four in the next issue...
... features the Ork Bommers (again) on 6 pages. Granted, the double-decker conversions are cool, but this article essentially shows the same model four times, a bit bland for my taste. Plus I never got the praise this model got from the community. I don't like its proportions, it could be more ramshackle and the three builds look hardly different.
As last month, more Armies on Parade entries from the UK Games Day 2012. There is an Empire, a Tau, an Space Orks and Imperial Fists (third yellow Space Marine army this month) army, each with a two page feature. Quite nice, but I would have liked more close ups. Also I hope next month we'll see a cool gaming table again, as this is what this section is actually about.
For the first two pages, they show the three new Daemon plastic kits in their 'Eavy Metal paint job and present a random selection of paints that was apparantly used to paint them, with no further explanation. So it's of no use at all, it seams the paint lists are even wrong, as for example noone could tell where they used purple on the Screamers that pull the Burning Chariot of Tzeentch, as they appear as blue as the Flamer and the Blue Horrors. Then there are two pages where Adam shows how to paint a lesser daemon for each Chaos god (he basically applies a base colour and adds a wash... seriously?). Followed by one page of painting various details on Chaos Daemons, one page of painting Warriors of Dale for The Hobbit, and two pages where Matt Hutson explains how he paints the yellow and red of his Imperial Fists, with a one page tutorial on using the Citadel Spray Gun to basecoat the yellow areas.
... talking about awkward hobby moments, like dropping small parts while assembling and never finding them again or accidentally glueing yourself with super glue. I think his writing style is amusing.
- Pages at the back everone skips-
This month in...
The White Dwarf team presents a couple of their nicely painted models (and some really bad looking plague drones by Adam). On the design studio pages, John Blanche talkes in two pages about the imagery of Chaos Daemons - not much new to learn in comparison to his WD article when the first edition of their army book and codex came out. Then there are two pages where the sculptors talk about their inspiration for the new plastic kits. Sadly no concept art. Then there is a single page about John Michelbach's map of the chaos realm (quite nice), and a single page with more models painted by various people around the studio. Irritatingly, there is no interview with authors Mat Ward and Phil Kelly about the new Daemon codex and army book, where they could have gone into more details about expanded fluff or rules concepts. Closing this section are two pages with (in my opinion) rather bland Forgeworld models, a single page interview with Black Libary writer Ben Counter, who talks about Egrimm van Horstmann, and a single page of models painted by various Black Library people.
Something special this month?
This issue is as entertaining or as dull as the last couple of issues, depending on your point of view. At this point I'm desperately craving for more variety, especially after the third issue mainly consisting of Golden Demon and Armies on Parade showcases (if you don't count the new releases section ;). How about some articles expanding the background? How about some narrative, some behind the scene looks how the sculptors, 'Eavy Metal painters and writers work at the studio, interviews with other people than Jervis or Jeremy, painting masterclasses or army workshops. I feel the "new" White Dwarf issues make a good read, but I rarely come back to them once I read them through (mainly because the tutorials are so basic and forgettable). But you can't say the WD team doesn't make an effort, so 6/10 for me.