- Part 1: Initial Thoughts
- Part 2: Last of the Monthly White Dwarfs
- Part 3: Warhammer Visions
- Part 4: Weekly White Dwarf
So there you have it: a Brave New World of weekly Dwarfs and a “visual feast” once a month in case you missed anything. After looking at the old Dwarf, the new incarnation and the Warhammer Visions that replaces the old Dwarf on the newsstands, what do I think overall?
Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag and, I would argue, a missed opportunity.
The best thing is the new life that White Dwarf seems to have found. It’s a tone thing rather than a specific page reference, but it’s crucial in making something worth reading. Perhaps it’s the excitement of the change, perhaps it’s the impending panic of wondering how they’re going to do this every week – I don’t know. Whatever the cause, I thought that the last of the monthlies was half asleep, and the first weekly had woken up fresh and cheery after a long rest. Long may that continue.
The weekly format also had a lot less chaff in it, though it could still prune back just a little more. Even though it’s short, at least most of it is actual content (and yes, I do count the promo stuff at the front as content – WD is all advert so why be picky?).
Not So Good Things
There are two main things:
- Warhammer Visions.
- Restricted WD distribution.
Warhammer Visions, hmmm…. Collectable? Yes, but only in the sense that my local council collects my waste paper every fortnight for recycling.
All the good things about the new WD are lost because they have gone from something that could be sold in every newsagent and every supermarket in the country to only being available in their own stores and a few approved stockists (I’m talking physical copies here, not digital). I don’t know the exact difference in numbers, but it’s got to be pretty big. This means that the best of the new changes is hidden away. If you don’t go into their store every week then you’ve missed it. As has been mentioned in comments on the earlier parts of this article, that doesn’t generally encourage customers to go to your store, it drives them to the competition or out of the hobby altogether. It will be worth watching to see if WD creeps back into wider distribution in a few months.
Whether this makes more money for GW or drags more customers into their stores doesn’t really make much difference to me. I started this series wanting to know if these magazines would be a more or less interesting read after the change, I think that it’s pretty clear.
The new WD has regained some of its verve, which is good. If it was easily accessible then I would probably buy at least some of them. Perhaps not every issue, but I’d add it to the ones I looked at. As it isn’t they’ve shot themselves in the foot as I’m a long way from the only one who won’t be bothered to make a special trip to get it.
I’m trying very hard to be polite about Warhammer Visions. It is a strain.
As far as I can see, leaving WV as the only thing on the shelves of newsagents and supermarkets (ie making this the most widely available GW promo item) seems like a very Bad Thing to me. Certainly I won’t be wasting any more money on it myself.
Luckily, there are many other magazines to look at. We, as gamers, are not stuck for choice. If you can see outside the narrow confines of Games Workshop’s games then there are many, many options for painting, modelling and gaming advice and reading. I’ll be looking at some more of these over the coming weeks and I, for one, find the excuse to trawl through them all in detail quite exciting 😉