As I said in the previous post, I wanted to start by looking at the last of the monthly versions of WD to see what that was like. A benchmark, if you will.
Here we are: January 2014, Tyranid issue. Like most issues of WD this is heavily themed with the major release of the period it covers. But what is there that I can take away from this if I’m not a Nid player? What if I don’t play anything from GW? Are there any interesting tactical ideas, thoughts on campaigns, painting or modelling tips?
Well I’ve now read as much as I can cope with. I looked at lots of pictures and admired the rather nice printing. Spot varnish on the cover and good fit throughout on the printing, so technically pretty enough.
Not So Good
Inside it’s a big shopping list till page 50. Nothing in there for me. 40K players can bask in the Hive Mind’s wonders, but there’s no tips, just a showcase of new toys to buy. That’s fine. This is, after all, what WD is mainly for.
Eight pages of Army of the Month tells me nothing useful or non-obvious. Armies on Parade were no different from those I’ve seen hundreds of times before (I’ve judged painting comps at several GW tourneys and looked at a great many armies in my time).
The battle report was very disappointing. It doesn’t seem to have changed format since before I worked on the mag, and this wasn’t a desperately engaging account either. I used to read battle reports even when I didn’t play the game in question because they were often just good reads (and I’m a geek). They have a nice idea of mini objectives and rewards, etc, but overall it’s just a bit flat.
Eleven pages of shop listings, plus many other pages of “what’s on” adverts are the absolute nadir of this issue. I’ve long thought these a waste of space.
So no real surprises so far. Lots of stuff that is of no real interest to me.
Not So Bad
I’m stretching here.
Jeremy Vetock’s ramble about hobbies was amusing for 5 minutes. It reads very much like a blog post. OK for a tea break.
Paint Spatter had some useful pics of what each layer of paint does to change the model. I don’t want to paint those specific models, but this reference could, potentially save me a test model. The techniques themselves are all standard stuff.
The highlights for me were Jerv’s article and Blanchitsu. I am, however, of a similar vintage to Jerv and have had plenty of similar conversations with him over the years. This, therefore, is amusing, but nothing I don’t know already. It does seem to be the only thing for Warhammer players though.
Blanchitsu was far, far better than the Kit Bash article with loads more of interest in half the pages. It showcased the only different painting in the whole issue, which was possibly why I found it so interesting. Variety being the spice of life and whatnot. A moment’s Google and you find that the featured chap is a professional illustrator, so it’s not surprising that he’s a bit useful with a brush.
Not worth it for me.
To be honest, if I was a Warhammer player (as I mainly was) then I don’t think it would have been worth it either. In fact, if I wasn’t a Tyranid player I’d have struggled to find much to get excited about in this issue. As it stands, there is zero of interest in terms of tactical thoughts, and the only moderately interesting painting bits are neither new nor telling me anything I can’t find done just as well (or better) for free, in more detail and better explained on the net: Romain’s painting videos on BOW, the massive gallery at CMON, WAMP painting forums, and so on. There is a massive amount online.
Actually, thinking about it, there is nothing in this issue that I can imagine opening the covers for again. This in stark contrast to many other gaming and modelling mags.
Am I surprised or dismayed? No, not really. I’m nowhere near their core audience. Still, I doubt I’m the core audience for AFV modeller either, but…
So, if this is the benchmark, then different can only be better. Right?