Saturday, November 24, 2012

Digital White Dwarf Review, Dec 2012

Let me start by saying that yes, I realize I missed the November issue review. Also, no, I will not be going back and writing a November review. I missed the review by an entire month, so I miss out on the shot to do the review. I try and take this blog and the writing of it seriously, and a couple weeks back I missed updating the blog for the first time in a year and a half. I'm not pleased with that. So if you need a good review of the November issue of White Dwarf, for whatever reason, please visit the good folks over at Tale of Painters here. It's a solid review and worth reading.

Now that we're past that, on to the review!

It should be no surprise that the issue starts out with the coverage on the Hobbit Strategy Game. I'll be honest here, LotR has never been my favorite game of GW's. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any problem with it. I fact, some of my favorite specialist games have been of the small-squad strategy variety. The introduction of this new product, is about what we would expect from White Dwarf though, more commercial that actual information, with way too much content dedicated to it. The new Crusade of Fire campaign book though looks to be nice eye candy, but does it add anything beyond that? The coverage of it doesn't answer that question enough for me, and that most likely means that I won't purchase it on their coverage of it alone. The new Imperial terrain, however, needs no more than eye candy to sell it, and it looks just as good as it did when we saw them the first time.

Go figure, that the Battle Report is on the Hobbit. The one redeeming quality of it is a huge one though. At the end, in the digital version, there is a video report. This is a large step forward in the already interactive experience they are providing with the digital magazine. On top of the selectable table of contents, the 360 degree views, zoom and pans and hotlinks, the tease of future videos is big. What would happen if they put some of the Eavy Metal team into the Paint Splatter section in a tutorial video?

Gotta love the Army of the Month feature in each mag. This month features Orges, so I'm more than a touch biased. While there is a fairly standard army at its roots, the painting and modeling is a great example and inspiration of a well done force, themed both model-wise and color-wise throughout.

Parade Ground and Kit Bash are probably the first two articles I read each month. This time there was no exception. However this time they had an added bonus each...Reader versions. In each article there was a section that had reader submitted pieces that were amazing. This is what White Dwarf needs more of, and major kudos to them for putting them in there.

Paint Splatter. Out of all of the pages devoted this month to this feature, the only one I was interested in was the one on the Ogres. I was able to discern a clear method for painting rusted weaponry and a style of Ogre skin that was actually helpful to me. The rest was just eye candy for the Hobbit, which was disappointing. I get it, you want us to buy the new stuff. I got that from the first half of the magazine, now stop, please.

The three columnists. Jeremy's seems like his deadline caught him with his pants down as he rambles throughout his two pages. Jervis talks about playing within the spirit of the game, and addresses how he feels each of us should act across the table from each other as well. His are typically hit or miss, but I didn't mind this one so much. Blanchitsu is a column I refuse to miss. While I don't care for his rendition of Khan, you know the one I mean, his style is iconic 40K, and his models are no different.

There you have it and there you are folks. Yes, there is more to each issue than I cover in a review, but I don't want to try and give you three pages to read either. I also refuse to cover their ads and calendar and the like.

Who's got their issue? What did you think?

- Tim



  1. One more issue I think for me then if it’s not back to the level of the first re-vamp then I sadly cannot justify it. I am not a fan of digital products for reading - games yes, game supplements yes but reading hobby content sometime I just want to grab a mag sit under the plum tree and read about models.

    There has been less reading and more sigh of frustration.

    To be fair though this issue was okay but I think they need to refocus. The first issue worked as they had two themes Horus Heresy and Chaos Space Marines; there was relaevant paint content for both.

    The paint style for The Hobbit is a bit different due to scale than the regular treatment they give for 40K why not focus on that? Instead we got a list of paints to use. Which we know is not accurate as we can clearly see all the modes were shaded and highlighted.

    I am also bitter about the price of the Hobbit so that colours my perception. I LOVE the LoTR game and this latest release will kill any interest - no one can afford to buy new product in NZ at those prices it’s just saddening.

    To give you context – it now officially is cheaper to buy Forgeworld than new plastic GW releases.