Friday, 28 September 2012

White Dwarf October 2012

Over the last couple of days - there has been much written about the new layout White Dwarf from Games Workshop. Given the relaunch issue, I was sure that I would pick up a copy, just to see for myself how the revised layout and content worked.

Earlier today I had the opportunity to pick up a copy from WHSmiths. Most readers/followers will know of my Love-Hate relationship with this in-house magazine. I have collected White Dwarf for well over twenty years and still have a cherished collection of nearly every edition stored in box files in the attic. They are a testament to a life-long interest in wargaming, painting miniatures and model making. I doubt I will ever get rid of them (although I have come close on a number of occasions). However in recent years I have not been buying it. There are always opportunities to pick up second-hand editions at knock-down prices should the urge grab me.

When I read about this re-vamp I was intrigued and read a number of short reviews to see what others thought, knowing that I would find it very hard to miss out on this issue.

Presentation 8/10
I thought the New cover and presentation was OK, but I am not sure that it is enough to award a 10/10. WD readers will know that this issue is packed in a clear plastic bag with a Free Poster - The Horus Heresy. the bagged format does not allow for a quick browse prior to purchase.

I reserve judgement on the new design/layout until I have seen a couple of different versions or editions to judge if the new design is better.

Internally the paper is of very high quality and every page just screams quality, there are some that are saying this is a direct result of WD going Digital and now available as an e-magazine to be read on Tablet and I-phones.

Content 6/10
Don't get me wrong, here, there is loads of content - just little that I found engrossing. Any gamer interested in Chaos (I'm not and never have been) will find this edition crammed full of cool new models. Unfortunately there just wasn't enough to keep me interested. In fact I may have been too generous with a 6!

Layout 9/10
OK - I admit it the layout is clear and easy to follow, the illustrations are as good if not better than previous issues. there is still an awful lot of adverts - GW adverts and the usual lists of stores that now take up 20 pages!

Value for Money 6/10
At a whopping £5.50 for 150 pages. I think it it a little overpriced, not much but definitely over-priced.

As a lapsed buyer of WD - there was little to tempt me to purchase another issue or subscribe, however as I have stated in previous WD reviews. I am obviously NOT their target audience.

I am pleased that I have this first edition of the new layout, but am not convinced that I would have bought it if I had been given the opportunity to browse the content prior to purchasing - in this case the bagged magazine format has worked for GW.

My major complaint is the small text - No I am not a moaning old fart! and I regularly read both paper magazines and on-line publications with no problem. This magazine taxed my eyesight to the limit and some of the white text on coloured background were almost impossible to read clearly.

Overall 7/10
Could do better. I am not convinced that the re-launch will tempt me back but as stated above. I am pleased I have such an iconic edition in my collection.

I hope that this review helps others who are thinking of picking up this issue.



Relic said...

I bought the ipad version and it's one of the best white dwarves I've read during ~20 years.

Way better than print ones since you get extra pics, 360 model views, interview videos etc. I haven't been liking the WD in years but for me this eas a definite leap forward. And I mean only the tab format.

Rob Alderman said...

I think you are right to say it is aimed at a specific target audience. That is what makes it GW's own magazine!
As a GW staffmember, I have had pretty much nothing but positive feedback. Only 1 negative one today, claming he wasn't willing to pay the extra £1 when he felt he was getting nothing 'new'.
I am a sucker for all things GW now, so I really enjoyed it. Chaos are not really my 'thing', but it was a good read. The tactics section also isn't for me, but again, it is aimed at GW hobbyists. Same goes for the Battle Report, which now really goes into detail with the gaming side of things.

I actually quite liked the step-by-step painting guides and the lovely photography. It was a breath of fresh air to see Forge World included quite significantly too.

It would be great to see a 'proper' fantasy wargaming magazine, with the same production quality as WI, but I think the problem with Fantasy games, is they go through 'fads'. Warmachine and Malifaux would dominate it, perhaps in the same way FOW and SAGA dominate WI... Hmmm... Very hard to get the perfect magazine!

For me, I enjoyed WD, but completely understand your comments and think they are very raional!

Nice one Tony, hope you are well! :)