With a new year, comes another new overhaul for Games Workshop's monthly magazine, and the introduction of - essentially - two new magazines: White Dwarf, Weekly and the all new Warhammer: Visions.
From the rumours I had heard, I was looking forward to the two new style magazines. White Dwarf would be their weekly advertising "catalogue", displaying the new releases (and obviously allowing for releases every week) and that Warhammer: Visisons would be more hobby orientated and more like the old White Dwarf, minus the advertising.
As I said I was looking forward to them, but now I'm not so sure...
Let's start off with White Dwarf, which has rebooted, starting again from Issue 1.
The magazine is the same size as the previous version of White Dwarf and uses the same quality paper. It's so small that there is no spine: The magazine is stapled together. So overall a well made item.
The content is generally good and does what is expected. It advertises the week's new releases from Games Workshop, Forge World, Black Library and Digital Editions. It has Jervis Johnson's regular article (This week is about alternatives to rolling for deployment); Discussions about last months releases (In this case Tyranids); Paint Splatter for this week's releases; The all-new Sprues and Glue, which is to provide modelling tips (This week was how to use plastic glue properly); Designers Notes and This Week in White Dwarf.
Last but not least it contains RULES in it once more. These are for models that have been released that week if no rules exist currently (i.e. codex or army book with rules in is not yet released).
There is no Battle Report in White Dwarf. Neither is there The Citadel Hall of Fame. We may see these in future issues but who knows. Personally I do hope they make a return.
The only real problem is that this magazine is way too short for the price you pay and the content you get. It's also too focused on the new models - which I'm not saying is bad - but having a few other articles on other models would be nice. At the same price as a pot of paint, I'd go for the paint option - it's certainly going to last you longer.
Next on to Warhammer: Visions and the utter disappointment of a magazine that it is. Firstly I need to warn anyone considering buying it to think carefully before they hand over their cash.
For £7.50 or $12 all you get is a bunch of pictures. The little amount of text you do receive is in three languages, and it comprises of little else than stating which models are in each picture. In essence all Warhammer: Visions is, is a glorified Catalogue. Rumours said that it would be more hobby orientated, but what made articles in White Dwarf good for Hobby is that they had the thought processes of the person building/painting/designing the models.
Articles wise, it contains all the other articles that the old White Dwarf did without any text. That includes last months releases and a Battle Report. That's right they created a battle report without ANY text (I can tell you the battle reports on here will most certainly have text). This makes the battle report little more than a few photos of models on a board, with a Victory result at the end. Gutted. This was my favourite part of the magazine and its gone.
The new format really works nicely for Kit Bash and Parade Ground (There is also an additional Paint Splatter), but for everything else like Army of the Month it is AWFULL.
I used to have a subscription to White Dwarf and so it has been automatically changed to Warhammer: Visions. The only possible light side to this is that I started my subscription around 2010 when the magazine was £4.50 and so subscribers paid £9 every three months (so £3 an issue), and my subscription is still running at this price so I am paying only £3 for a £7.50 magazine.
For this reason I won't be cancelling my subscription as I do quite like to look at pictures of nicely painted models. My one wish though is that they would do a subscription for White Dwarf weekly (even - dare I say it - without a discounted price) as some people just can't get down to a Games Workshop store every week.
Anyway I think we will have to wait and see which ways the magazines go, if in the unlikely event, the White Dwarf team listen to the criticisms they are bound to be receiving.
Be back soon,