- Part 2: Last of the Monthly White Dwarfs
- Part 3: Warhammer Visions
- Part 4: Weekly White Dwarf
- Part 5: Parting Shots
I’m sure that most of you will have seen, heard or otherwise assimilated the news that Games Workshop’s famous White Dwarf magazine is undergoing some drastic changes, starting tomorrow.
Let us assume for a moment that this change in format presages Global Calamity, the fabled End Time, Ragnarok, Armageddon and so on. Go on, wail, gnash your teeth, cry out and rail at the skies with impotent fury (always a favourite). When you’ve got that out of your system I’ll carry on.
No need to rush. Vent that spleen (just not in the comments, please). I’ll wait.
Now that everyone has calmed down, let me explain why I’m interested. I don’t play any GW games and haven’t for a while. And no, I’m not going to count Dreadfleet. I do, however, have an interest in gaming in a wider sense and still play many figure games. This means that I’m interested in painting and modelling as well as tactics articles and what-have-you. Every month I buy a few magazines on similar topics (which I really should review as there are some excellent ones). Would the new WD/Visions be something worth adding to that mix?
I also spent five years working on the White Dwarf itself, back in the day, so I have a sort of professional curiosity to see what they’re up to with the old chap. Are they helping the old duffer across the road, or pushing him under a bus?
These interests leave me with a slightly different outlook on the whole change to many bloggers. To start with, I’m not reading WD these days anyway and haven’t for years. This means that I’m not losing anything if it is rubbish. Instead I’m thinking of this change as an opportunity for GW to do something cool and interesting. They have a chance here to produce something that will appeal to a wider audience than their own limited fan base. Large as it is, there is more to the world of gaming, painting and modelling with toy soldiers than GW, and there is no reason why they couldn’t appeal to that audience as well – even if the products and models they use will invariably be their own. Because let’s face it, GW make some perfectly acceptable models, paints and so on. They may or may not be the best, and they are certainly not the cheapest, but they do have a range that covers most of the bases in terms of tools. They also have a large number of extremely talented sculptors, artists, painters and so on working for them. Why not leverage that into a wider audience? Who knows, you might even spread the GW brand wider, win some converts, and sell a few pots of paint?
So, where do we begin?
In case you’ve missed out, this change is quite simple to explain in principle. To start with, White Dwarf goes weekly and drops from its current size to a slender 36 pages. Quite the diet. In addition, a new magazine appears called Warhammer Visions. This is a 230+ page monthly (though some of the page area is lost by going to a smaller format – see the picture below from GW’s site).
I thought that I’d look at these new magazines one at a time when they were released (officially tomorrow). But to start with it seemed worth writing this intro to try and defuse a little of the inevitable fury that appears whenever anything GW is discussed online. I also thought that it made sense to look properly at White Dwarf before this change as a reference point – something I haven’t done in some years.
The plan, then, is this:
- Intro (you’re reading it).
- Review of the last monthly WD
- Review of new WD
- Review of the new Warhammer Visions
I want to break this up in order to focus on each bit separately. Some articles will doubtless be longer than others. There will certainly be digressions along the way. However, my main interest here is not whether it is a better or worse magazine for fans of GW games (I don’t really care), or whether it is more expensive (which it will be if you buy them all), but whether it was/is a worthwhile magazine for a non-GW figure gamer.
We shall see.