Saturday, January 21, 2006

White Dwarf (UK) 314 Highlights

Just before Xmas I calculated that I was buying White Dwarf sufficiently regularly that I might as well subscribe. It being just before Xmas, and feeling (not unusually) generous to myself, I took out the offer of a years subscription combined with the Chapel of Sanctuary model, all of which kind of got discounted, but in the end I lost track of whether it was very much. The Chapel arrived earlier this week, it's a chunky resin pre-painted model, quite evocative, but with the Imperial aquila stencil painted on the chapel floor it's unlikely to pass muster in a 30 Years War recreation. Not disappointed though as despite the persistent voice at the back of my mind I'm at least a quarter convinced it was a free gift. Kind of.

The unlooked for advantage though, is you get the magazine a week early. Normally it goes on sale from our local independent on the last Friday of the month, and hits GW the day after that. Mine arrived yesterday, however.

So the only disappointment is a distinct loss of form. Partly this is because "what we are mainly trying to sell you this month" is Lord of the Rings, a game in which I'm not a stakeholder (though these new models are mighty tempting, I have to say); and partly because the magazine seems to be hurtling towards being far more of a catalogue than it's been in recent times. Accordingly, there's rather a lot of "why you should buy this package" and not a lot of "what to do after buying them", although admittedly this mainlines directly into the psyche of the average miniature buyer (me included).

OK, OK, you want to know what's in it.

New Releases

- LotR: A Shadow in the East. Rulebook, £8, released 11/2/06 (dates are European format. Can't please everyone)
- LotR: Easterlings, box of 20, £15, Perry Twins sculpts (8 bows, 8 swords, 4 spears), 11/2/06
- LotR: Easterling Kataphrakts, box of 5 mounted, Michael Perry, £20, 11/2/06
- LotR: Easterling Kataphrakts, blister of 1 mounted, Michael Perry, £5, 11/2/06
- LotR: Cirion and Madril (Gondorian heroes), blister of 2, Michael Perry, £10, 18/2/06
- LotR: Murin and Drar (Dwarvish heroes), blister of 2, Michael Perry, £10, 18/2/06
- LotR: Khamul the Easterling, blister of 2 (mounted and unmounted), Steve Saleh, £12, 11/2/06
- WFB: Dwarf Cannon, box of 1 cannon and 3 crew, Michael Footitt and Tim Adcock, £12, 28/1/06
- WFB: Dwarf Thunderers, box of 16, Colin Grayson and Aly Morrison, £18, 28/1/06
- WFB: Dwarf Bolt Thrower, box of 1 bolt thrower and 3 crewmen, Tim Adcock and Seb Perbert, £12, 4/2/06
- WFB: Dwarf Lord with Hammer and Shield, blister, Felix Paniagua, £6, 28/1/06
- WFB: Dwarf Slayers, blister of 3, Aly Morrison, £6, re-released (note) 28/1/06
- WFB: Dwarf Slayer Lord, blister, Aly Morrison, £6, re-released (note) 28/1/06
- WFB: Dwarf Slayer Command, blister of 2, Aly Morrison, £6, re-released (note) 28/1/06

Later, in the LotR section, some further releases are mentioned, due around the time of WD 315. Beyond those already on pre-order (see the previous article on this blog, there are):

- Dwarf Command, presumably 2 figs, £6
- Khandish Charioteer, metal boxed set, presumably also includes the chariot and something to pull it, £12
- Eorl the Young, Rohan warrior, mounted and unmounted, £12

News and Previews

- The Giant being previewed in various places will be designed to be set up in 4 variants - Orcs and Goblins; Ogre Slavegiant; Dogs of War; Chaos. Or mix and match. And since it can be taken as a Dogs of War you'll all need one.
- Preview of the Fall of Medusa V global campaign
- Warhammer Historicals - Vlad the Impaler. Very small picture and barely enough room for the title. Pity, as I'm quite interested.
- Sabertooth - some (again a bit small) previews of some forthcoming Warcry art.
- Black Library - two new pendants. Back to the golden age of the first 10 issues of White Dwarf when pendants and belt buckles must have made up more than 50% of the ads
- Forge World - Tyranid Trygon
- Price Changes - has its own department now, and may at some point be the 4th game in the magazine. Anyhow, 40k tanks go from £20 to £25; 40k APC sets go from £18 to £20; 40k bikes go from £5 to£6; and paint goes from £1.75 to £2. What?!! And on the same day I discover my local model train shop stocks Vallejo MC. Hmm.
- Mordheim - still exists. Yes really.
- BL publishing - previews Inheritance, Faith and Fire and the Art of Warhammer 40k. But not at any great length.

Lord of the Rings

- Out of the East - Meant to be Designer's Notes, but it isn't. Mainly pictures (with prices against each one) with some very brief comments from Mat Ward, written up as news.
- Servants of Sauron - Various Easterling armies, one of 250 points and three of 500 points. With (natch) prices. You're going to be paying around £1 to £1.20 for every 10 points, basically.
- War in the East - Battle Report. Gondor (including Aragorn) versus Khamul (is it just me that thinks this is a hokey name) the Easterling. Regaular readers of White Dwarf, used to seeing "the army they now want you to buy" against "the army they previously wanted you to buy" will not need too much help to guess the winner. Apart from, the article doesn't make it particularly clear what the victory conditions were.
- Murin and Drar - painting guide.
- Easterling Castle - terrain. Not very good. The final product, with models, looks like a siege of a sewing machine. And I've noticed that suddenly WD articles in the main don't name their authors.
- Defenders of the Realm - collecting a Minas Tirith army. No prices. Kind of OK. I've noticed, increasingly, that the painting guides assume you can't particularly be bothered. The basic army is drybrushed, including the faces, boltgun metal on black. So you're going to have them looking like the army of the dead.

Mordheim

Start of a three part series. Mordheim (Witchhunters) and Necromunda (I'm a Cawdor man) are probably my favourite GW games. This article sets the scene for the campaign (which will then necessarily be squeezed into the next two issues). It's set in the "Death's Head District". A page of fluff (scene setting fiction), a page of background + house rules. The campaign calls for each warband to be randomly allocated a particular Priest of the death god, Morr, so two more pages of fluff covering the background of each of these characters, and a rules profile which effectively covers all of them. Then two more pages of the delighted WD staff introducing their warbands, and in each case 50% is more fictional intro. So the non-fluff bits are basically "I've always liked Dwarfs, and they're still one of the armies we'd like you to buy, so ..."

I'm semi-expecting a Tau warband to turn up as special guest stars next month.

Now, I do like WD, otherwise I wouldn't have subscribed ("free" terrain notwithstanding) but this is a self-indulgent waste of time and space. I want to read about the games and everyone's jockeying for a book deal.

Pah.

Warhammer

Being mostly Dwarves. Sorry, Dwarfs.

- Secrets of the Runes - Decent article by Gav Thorpe about rune magic in Dwarf armies. Some price-free example armies.
- Out of the Mouths of Thanes - three dwarf players (Paul Sawyer, Nick Kyme, Rik Turner) talk about how their armies are affected by the new rules. Brief but decent.
- Fire Power - making and painting dwarf cannon. Mainly pictures. Not bad. Author not listed, I'm guessing it's a US article
- Painting Workshop - Slayers. Per previous comments, the painting tips are no longer 'eavy metal impossible, the stuff looks more like made-in-Shangai clix stuff. Either they are suddenly feeling threatened by Rackham and feel that they can differentiate by being less threatening, or maybe these are going to be used as briefing notes when GW goes into the pre-painted plastics space. As they surely will.
- Unbreakable - tactica on dealing with unbreakable troop types (slayers, flagellants, etc)
- Warhammer Chronicles - revolt in the Moot, 2502. Haven't heard from halflings in WFB for quite a while, they probably said, so this is a chance to reintroduce them. Little sidebars on the halftank, the hot pot and lumpin croop's fighting cocks. Finishes with the admonition "ORDER YOUR DOGS OF WAR FROM GW DIRECT!" (their capitals and exclamation mark).

40k

- Marshals of the Black Templars - an opportunity to just go through the entire BT line again, mainly pictures, and then show some conversions with associated fluff. A bit too picture heavy (a common failing of the current incarnation of WD, part of the issue being that the pictures are mostly of the regular models and could be pretty much box art. And the number of painting, conversion and gaming articles are going down - it's mainly box art and "how much to expect to spend to get the army in the picture". Not including paint at £2 a pot).
- Creature Feature Revisited - the British show that conversions are best left to GW US. A sequel to an article in WD 292 where various conversions were dreamed up as potential alien creatures. They all look pretty weak to me, maybe with the exception of the Siltwalkers of Jalgrax V (unfortunately, this and the one that I'd place second, the Grox, don't come with any information about the actual conversion process involved). Then some missions for the creatures.
- Necron Tactica - given the lack of troop choices this takes two pages, containing only two paragraphs of core text.
- Tau Preview - just the models. You'll have seen them already if you've been tracking the GW sneak peeks
- Seeing the Light - showcase article for Victoria Lamb. Some nice conversions and ideas

Other stuff

- Convershun Klinic - Exalted Demon. Fraid I didn't like it very much.

... and then significantly increased coverage of stores and clubs, as well as a restatement of recent releases.

Advance Orders

The magazine runs ahead of the website:

Following will all go on the system on 28/1/06 released 11/3/06

- Tallarn Squad £20
- Tallarn Officers £6
- Tallarn Special Weapons £6
- Tallarn Troopers £6
- Tallarn Rough Riders £5

Following will all go on system 4/2/06, released 18/3/06

- Dwarf Lord with pistol and axe £6
- Dwarf Thorgrim Grudgebearer on Throne £20

Following will all go on system 11/2/06, released 25/3/06

- Eorl the Young, mounted and unmounted £12
- Khandish Charioteer (who has indeed a chariot, and two horses, and a big hat) £12
- Dwarf Command (LotR) £6

Next Month

The Tau ... Battle report will be the Dark Eldar versus the Tau. I don't hold out much hope for the Dark Eldar on that one.

Big crowd of Tau on the back page, fighting off a very small incursion of Black Templars. Has beens ...

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