I will score this issue 2.85 out of 5
TL:DR – You will like this issue if you like looking at painted miniatures, receiving new rules, or reading explanations of how various aspects of Warhammer came to exist.
So, another New Year and yet another ‘the best White Dwarf yet’. It doesn’t seem that long ago that they were making similar claims for when they returned to the monthly format after going weekly for a while.
This ‘new’ monthly format brings the return of some old favourites and the introduction of four new regular articles.
The regular articles are Worlds of Warhammer, Rules of Engagement, Glory Points and Echoes from the Warp. This new White Dwarf also sees the return of New Rules, Index Astartes and short stories.
Worlds of Warhammer is the first of the new articles and it is written by Phil Kelly. Phil is a senior background writer. The banner for this article states the following: ‘Worlds of Warhammer is the first of four new regular columns in this month’s issue of White Dwarf. In this article, Phil Kelly delves into the background of the Worlds of Warhammer and what it’s like writing stories about the heroes and villains we use in our games’.
For me this article is the weakest of the new stuff and I am struggling to see the point of it. I can’t say I learnt anything of value from it, or even found it interesting. Next month this article is to be about how to name your heroes.
The banner for the next new regular article reads:-
‘Rules of Engagement is our second new column, this time penned by veteran games designer Jervis Johnson. Each month, Rule of Engagement focuses on the creation, design and evolution of the rules for Warhammer Age of Sigmar – this time around, Jervis tackles FAQs’.
This article was well written and interesting, so I enjoyed reading it. If future articles in this series are to this standard then I will look forward to them.
The banner for the third of the new articles in White Dwarf has this to say:-
‘Glory Points is our column all about Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault. Curated by games developer Dave Sanders, it delves into the development of the game, plus rules tactics and gameplay. This month, Dave explores the game boards.’
This, in my opinion, is the second best article in this month’s mag. This article on how to choose your Nightvault game board and the reasons for doing so is pure hobby brilliance and we need more of this. It doesn’t matter that I do not play Nightvault the quality and content of this article makes me feel that if I were to have a game then I wouldn’t be a complete novice. For me that is a sign of good writing.
The introduction to the last of the new columns has this to say:-
‘Echoes from the Warp is a regular column about the rules, tactics and ongoing development of Warhammer 40,000, hosted by games developer Robin Cruddace. This month, Robin shares some insights on how this edition of Warhammer 40,000 came into being.’
This is a solid article. Informative and interesting if you like this sort of thing, which I do. I think the only thing that lets it down is that the subject matter is too big for the allotted four pages. If it is not clear the article is all about how the eight edition of 40K came to life.
The only other thing wrong with this article is this White Dwarf. That is, the article is all about how one of the driving forces for 40k eight edition was ‘accessibility’. The end result of this drive for accessibility being that once a 40k player has read the Core Rules all they then need are the datasheets for their models and they have all the info they need to play a game. It seems to me that by including new rules in the White Dwarf that they have nullified three years of development work.
Index Astartes: Crimson Fists – what can I say about the return of such an iconic article? Nothing as there is no need to say anything, I suspect everyone reading this knows and loves Index Astartes. I applaud the return of this fantastic article. This is the best article in the mag this month.
Another article that I enjoyed is the 40k Battle Report. This was a Matched Play game between two tournament players using armies chosen, for the most part, from the Studies miniature collections.
One army was made up of two Blood Angel Captains, a Catachan Battalion Detachment and as many Imperial Knights as the remaining points would allow. The other army was a mixed Aeldari army and it contained a mix of eleven Jetbikes and flyers and a unit of eight Dark Reapers.
This Battle Report has got to be the best Report I have read in a long while. In my opinion the information provided in the army selection and deployment sections of the Report, coupled with the blow by blow account of each round makes for a more interesting Report than the narrative type.
Know your Stratagem’s is the overwhelming lesson I learnt reading this.
The only problem I have with this Report is that the maps are far too small to be useful.
Another welcome return is the inclusion of the two short stories. I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of these and they are a welcome inclusion as they break up the flow of the content quite nicely.
The articles that make up the remainder of the mag: Children of Chaos, Readers’ Models, Illuminations, The Pinnacle of Painting, The ‘Eavy Metal Challenge, Inside the Studio, The New Sons of Dorn, Painting Crimson Fists & Golden Demon – are, in one way or another painting articles. This is too much in my humble opinion and needs to be addressed if they truly want this run of White Dwarf to be the best yet.
This issue essentially has two Army of the Month articles and coupled with Readers’ Models that is just too much. I would like to see Golden Demon and Army of the Month dropped to be replaced by a decent conversion or terrain feature. To be clear that does not mean that I want to see the return of Battleground as that was just a painting article in disguise.
I forgot to mention the poster that was included with this issue. Whilst there is nothing wrong with a free poster I feel that this one was a bit of a let down.
If you are the type of person to frame your posters (which I have in the past - GEN13, Bone & Babylon 5 to mention a few) then you might not be a fan of the double sided nature of this poster.
If you are the type to just stick posters on your wall then I think you would think twice about this one due the crease marks. Whilst on some posters you can iron out any crease marks there would be little point on this one as the ink has come away at all of the crease lines leaving a white line.