Sunday, February 2, 2014

The True Ending of an Era

 WARNING! Nostalgia heavy article incoming!

Lo Pan is not pleased!

Well folks, today it is with a heavy heart I report on the new White Dwarf Weekly and Warhammer:Visions. Let me first state that I purchased the digital edition of White Dwarf Weekly from the Black Library, and I did not purchase Warhammer:Visions though I have perused it through various means. That being said, let us take a look at the new White Dwarf. What do we now get for $4 a pop? Well, you get approximately 30 pages worth of content with a focus on what new releases came out during the week, Paint Splatter, Jervis Johnson's column, a two page blurb about the new Tyranids, a small assembly guide for the new Dwarf kits, a brief rules section on a new Dwarf character, Designer's Notes, and in a most unusual return of a reader letter section. I read the entire magazine in around the time it took for my pot of coffee to finish percolating this morning (disclaimer: I am a quick reader, but this is a very short publication). So what do I think of all of this?

While I realize that this was going to be a short publication, I did not expect it to be this short. If you add up the pages of each magazine (assuming 30 as the average) you get a whole magazine of roughly 120 pages. While I welcome the return of a rules section, I have a sneaking suspicion that the rules included will in fact turn out to be extracts from a forthcoming army book, rather than anything novel. I do hope I am proved wrong over the coming months, but I hold little hope. As for the reader letter/question section, I could really care less about it in the current format. One reader submission was met with a product plug, and a modeling question regarding how to properly model Tau Battle Suit support systems, I spit upon the response they give! Just stick something on and make sure your opponent knows what it is?! Are you kidding me!! Let us go ahead and chunk the entire concept of modeling out the window shall we? This half assed response to a serious question, and a question that hits on a glaring problem with GW kits, is to my mind unacceptable. Given the now weekly release schedule, and the focus on new releases to the exclusion of most everything else, I find it highly unlikely I will be purchasing this on even a semi-regular basis if this is the level of content to expect.

Specialist Games on the cover!

Now we turn to Visions. While I enjoy a good coffee table picture book as much as the next person, and be assured that is what Visions is, I am wholeheartedly disappointed that my 12 years of subscribing to White Dwarf will end with this. Yes, the pictures are very pretty as to be expected, and there are a lot of them. The battle report, if it can indeed be called that, is basically a photo spread with a few annotations. While it could be argued that this is indeed a good resource for painting and modeling, what does purchasing this magazine solve that a Google search could not produce? And let us look at the store listings section. We get Europe, Canada, and NO North America. I really hope this is a mistake and not a sinister precursor of things to come.......

What up new White Dwarf?

 Now should anyone be truly surprised by what each magazine contains? The answer is "no". GW was very upfront about what each magazine would be like. I think a lot of the disappointment that myself and others feel is based off of hoping for something that was never promised. As I already stated, I have a back catalogue of White Dwarf's going back over ten years. The White Dwarf magazine of my youth was a completely different beast to what the magazine contains now.  White Dwarf used to be a truly hobby oriented magazine. Battle reports with point values and turn by turn analysis with charts of movements and actions, conversion projects, new rules to be tried out, exploration of background lore, and an honest to the warp reader mail column featuring "Dirty Steve". You got content for all the primary game systems as well as the odd Specialist Games article. New releases were of course  highlighted, but they were not forced down your throat.

So as always, where am I going with this? I am very disappointed in what I am seeing so far. The very notion that a skimpy weekly magazine is supposed to draw people into the stores to make purchases that they weren't already going to make is ridiculous. Why would I purchase a weekly magazine that contains little that could not be seen through the GW official website for weekly releases? Why would  I purchase a physical copy of a small publication that I undoubtedly will not keep when I could just get an electronic copy? Why would I spend money on a picture collection that in all likely hood could be seen via a quick image search online? Did anyone even ask these questions before they made this decision? Am I bitter about the direction GW has decided to go? Damn right I am. While I may come across in this article as a bitter old gamer who just wants the rose tinted past to come back, and in some very justifiable ways I am, I feel that anyone who has been around the hobby for any amount of time will have to ask some serious questions. I am reserving judgement on the new release schedule as far as models and books are concerned, though I already have a few thoughts on it. Until next time dear readers! Be well and happy gaming!   


  1. I agree on your thoughts to the readers question answer they sounds very cheap compared to the whole fanatical teachings of WYSIWYG. The prices still bug me as the weekly price when added up with tax is almost $20 I think and the monthly WD is almost $10 tacked on.

  2. Yeah that sounds about right on pricing. Though the GW price structuring is a whole different rant.......