Tuesday, 2 October 2012

White Dwarf: All better now?

Product Review

Well it Appears Games Workshop has realized (finally) that White Dwarf has been a sinking ship for the last few years and have taken action to spiff it up and relaunch it. Let's have a look inside and see how it worked out shall we?

The first WD I ever bought

First off: The new cover.
It's of a heavier stock than they used to use, and has both a matte and shiny finish, allowing for a rather fancy and, in my opinion, many times better cover style than we've seen... well.... ever! It feels more substantial, like it could deal with a little more wear and tear than the old ones could. This is not a bad step at all, and as you'll see (or at least I did), par for the course with the new format. Close observation will also note that they've moved back to the old-school style lettering for the title on the magazine. A nice touch I say.

The All new WD
The interior:
The paper they've printed the WD on also seem to be of a heavier, better stock quality and don't seem to "smudge" as much when subjected to greasy fingers/hot days/moisture/etc as the old type was want to do. This is a good thing for people like me who tend to lend their copies out to people to borrow and leaf through their favorite issues dozens of times.


The content:
I have to say, despite myself, I was impressed with the content in the new magazine. 
Now don't get me wrong, the thing that we all hated the most, The catalogueish listing off of all the new product is still there. And worse it takes up EVEN MORE SPACE THAN IT USED TO. But this isn't all that bad actually... Because they've tuned it in such a way that it's not like looking through an ikea catalogue... or an old(er) WD. Now they have full page spreads for each model including designer notes, suggested uses for the model and even potential conversion ideas (listed, not shown) from the WD team, as well as the units "fluff" description from the relevant codex. It's actually laid out quite well I thought, and gives a more mature feel to the magazine itself. 
They have brought back the "outsider" style MULTI-PAGE army spotlights where non-GW employees get to show off their individual armies and some of their favorite units. This is indeed something the magazine has lost for quite a while unless it happened to be based on a Dave Taylor army or somesuch, so now we can finally see some of the ultra-nice tournament style armies floating around the globe once more.
Battle reports are back in style. This one covers White Scars Space Marines vs. Chaos (of course, as it's the new kid on the block).They have the individual turns listed out again, though they have them laid out in an altered lay-out with one player describing his turn and then the other does the same. Personally it's not a style I'm a fan of... I always preferred the silly P.O.V. style battle reports from the Fat Bloke/Jake Thornton days of WD... But I'll survive. In an interesting turn of events, in the post-game summary they have, not only the players words on what they would have changed, but also the thoughts of a few different outsiders such as the codex designers who wrote the codecii used in the BR as well as a few tournament players. This is an excellent concept I thought, really giving more breadth to the post-game discussions and shedding a little more outside light on the battles themselves.

The new Battle Report Style
 There is, of course, a Codex spotlight in the WD showing off the latest codex (Codex: Chaos Space Marines), but it's all from the design point of view, not the play level, meaning we see a large amount written from Jes Goodwin and Phill Kelly. It was an interesting read.
Blanchitsu is back. I love this. Many will hate it with a passion as many hate John Blanche with a fiery passion. I am not one of those and I always loved the old articles he had in old-school WD's showing off what models were on his work bench and what paintings he was working on. As a self-styled artist, I find it fascinating.

Codex Review and concepts.
 There are a few more articles laced through-out the magazine that are all completely new. A section devoted to what the WD Crew themselves are working on game wise, whether it be games or models (I remember speaking to Beth on the phone back in my GW days... I had no idea she was so cute!... *cough..cough*.. ahem... right then... uh... moving on..), which I thought was a nice touch to the mag. Another section devoted to tournament players about their armies and why they play them, and a few others besides. All great stuff.

Tournament player tactics covering Dark Elves and Vampires
I Give the new White Dwarf a B+. It's wonderful really and I would score it higher if I knew they were going to maintain this quality for the forsee-able future. I'll come back in a few months and rescore it to see how it's gotten on, but for now I remain pleasantly surprised and, dare I say... Optimistic!
Good Luck WD, I hope this lasts.

Until Next time,
What'd you think of the review? Anything to add?
C&C Below!

Bean out~


  1. Hey dude, wasn't it called "Outrider"?

  2. Was what called outrider?
    Outrider was a volunteer program run by GW to garner free demos in independent games stores in return for product. It was also the name of the letter reply section if the WD once upon a time...


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