Another month has gone by, and with it has come another installment of the venerable White Dwarf. Has it managed to maintain the momentum of last month’s issue, or has it slipped back into the bad old habits of yore? Read on to find out!
For a full review of the features and photos, feel free to pop over to my blog Languor Management.
The September issue built up a lot of good will with readers old and new through a much vaunted and celebrated marketing mechanic – free stuff on the cover! The October issue also comes with a seemingly handsome freebie, namely a new 40K comic.
I confess I am not a fan of comics – I dabbled in graphic novels when I was younger, and I much appreciated the efforts of the ABC Warriors and Aliens universes, but the comic genre is something that has never really hooked me. However, I like to think I am open-minded about being down with the kids, and so was looking forward to giving this 40K comic a fair shake of the stick.
It started off well, with the action coming thick and fast, lots of BOOM’s, KRAKOOM’s and BRRRAPPA’s thrown in for good measure. It then descends into a series of snippets showing how the comic was developed and illustrations made. While I did find these later bits interesting, they are not what I wanted to find in the comic. More BADOOM’s and less ‘behind the scenes’ please. I may or may not give the comic a chance, but given the small impression it has made on my short attention span I would imagine the chances of doing so are slim.
So, on to the magazine proper. In an issue that coincides with the release of Genestealer Cults, you will be unsurprised to learnt that they dominate the content. In the news section alone they get eight pages alone. They also get the Ultimate Guide section (six pages) and Designers Notes (six more). If, like me, you are interested in them but not likely to buy the Codex then these pages are good as they give plenty of interesting info on the models and their development as well as fluff. If you have the codex however, it may we be just rehashed material from within and of very little interest to you.
They also dominate the Modelling & Painting Section, taking the hole of the Sprues and Glue section and sharing Paint Splatter with their old nemesis the Blood Angels. The final section in which the cultists also appear is of course the Battle Report, where they face off against last month’s big release, the Deathwatch.
The return of the Batrep has probably been the single biggest talking point of the new WD format, and the thing most fans were looking forward to. Last week’s AoS offering was a bit of damp squib, and not well received even by AoS fans, so I was looking forward to see how a 40k offering sized up.
First up, the game itself looks amazing. The models on display are obviously top-notch, as is the scenery the game is played on. The write up itself is well done, although it does end up repeating itself and can be quite hard to track what happened and where/when, which leads us to the general issue of the format with the new bat reps. On the whole the pages are a mess – text, pictures and the number annotations are all over the place, and is in desperate need of a old school tactical map with symbols to clear it up.
That said, I rather enjoyed this batrep. The game itself looked like great fun, and it was obviously played from a fluffy perspective rather than a competitive one. I think the post game discussion could be a bit more in depth and I would like to see little things added to the battle report, such as flames and smoke on top of wrecked vehicles as well as visible objective markers. The inclusion of a free mission specifically design for the batrep is also a nice touch.
So, away from the Genestealer Cults we have a number of other articles worth of mention. Army of the Month is a superb Space Wolves force, while Hall of Fame looks at a great Smaug model.
The Interview this week is with Jes Goodwin, a worthwhile read with some decent insights, while four pretty awesome armies are previewed in an early Armies on Parade Section. Illuminations looks at some good artwork of Champions from AoS. Temporal Distort is sadly nothing of note, while Golden Demon: Classic, Readers Models and Parade Ground offer more painted plastic treats for the eye balls.
Blachitsu takes a slight tangent, this time looking at some Inquisitorial retinues inspired by Johns Blanche’s work. While the models are beautiful and well worth an article of their own, I do worry that this focusing on the periphery of Blanche’s work might become more common in the issues ahead.
And finally we come the to the Four Warlords feature. I was quite excited by this at first, but I find my enthusiasms ebbing ever so slightly this month as it just seems to be more of the same – the painting standard is amazing, and I am shamed by how much they manage to get done in a single month. This is undoubtedly the source of my disenfranchisement, and should probably be interpreted as jealousy.
Overall it is not a vast improvement on last month’s issue, but neither has it squandered the good will which it has built up. It will be interesting to see what they do in an issue that does not coincide with a major release, but for now I am still reasonably optimistic about the future of WD, and despite the freebie flop this time around I will probably go on to buy the next issue. Why? Well, because I believe in something…