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Wintermute
27-07-2013, 08:56
Its time for yet another White Dwarf Feedback thread, this time for the August 2013 issue.

If any of you wish to make more general comments about WD, please will you make them in the General White Dwarf Feedback Thread (http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23972).

You may have noticed this thread doesn't have a poll.

This is intentional.

A number of members were posting scores in the previous feedback threads and not explaining why they had awarded their scores. Therefore I think it would be much more useful for members to post their opinion on the current WD and not just a score. This will make the thread more interesting for WarSeer members reading the thread and it may also provide useful feedback for others who read the thread which may include GW Staffers (even though they will ignore it).

As always do not criticise people for posting views about WD, I believe we are all entitled to voice our opinions without the the fear of them being criticised.

All off-topic posts and spam will be deleted without notice as will any posts which are just a score without any explanation as to why its been awarded.

Wintermute

Tae
27-07-2013, 10:30
I downloaded my ipad version if this WD at about 12:05 last night and by 12:10 I was done with it.

The new models are okay, but don't inspire me to collect Lizardmen anytime soon. The accompanying descriptions were, as usual, vague in the extreme. I'm not necessarily asking for full stats but something a bit more 'this is how it works ...' Would be appreciated.

The two articles by JJ and JV were, again as usual, felt like they were aimed solely at new gamers and/or children. JVs in particular - you can't please everyone all the time - felt cery 'slap in the face'ish as it was like being told some obvious fact in a way which suggests its a big secret. It's not, if there actually is anyone who thinks they can please everyone all the time I suspect they're so delusional they're probably not going to take the article on board anyway.

The terrain article was boring, most of what they showed I've seen numerous times before, if not all collected in one place to that scale.

The painting tips were focused around the new lizards, which I'm not getting so I'm not interested in knowing how to paint.

The new GD model w unveiled - Marco Columbo. Really? REALLY?? Not only is it virtually useless it's a poor model. Compared to the last few this was massively disappointing.

FW stuff is already out of date as more stuff has been released since. I accept this will occur due to printing/distribution timescales, but still disappointing to be told about stuff I've been looking at on FWs website for the past month.

I have honestly tried to ignore all the WD naysayers over the past few issues. I've not been blown away but felt it was still worth holding out for an improvement. Unfortunately this issue has just left me utterly depressed and lacking in belief as to its future. As it stands I have zero interest in renewing my subscription when it expires.

3/10 tops.

Marked_by_chaos
27-07-2013, 20:59
I have read most of the new white dwarf and would have to say its an improvement on the last few issues. I would say its a 6 or 7. Honestly.

In terms of the articles ...

The front end was a little better. The prose was a bit more informative and closer to designers notes than some of the hyperbole form recent issues.

Army of the month - ok. Decent army with some interesting conversions.

Jervis - ok for what it is.

Battle report - the introduction was a little more informative. As for the style, it is what it is. They are clearly going with an accessible style designed to look like a well presented version of type of game many gamers would play. A jungle themed board might have been better though.

Armchair general - good

Battleground - decent. Some good wip shots and nice buildings.

Hall of fame - mice to see a forge world model and a great one at that.

Making monsters - great development if this is a sign of things to come. Designers notes in the main body of the mag.

Armies on parade - decent

Parade ground - nice models but a little too marine centric

Kit bash - ok.

Paint splatter - increasingly good section. Good tips for a quick tabletop quality finish. Don't expect 'eavy metal (sadly).

Jeremy - ok for a column type piece.

This month in - decent. Design studio section is longer and the hobby team section is a nice addition. Forge world is good as well although considering they give sneak peeks in real time its a bit silly that the finished models were on sale before white dwarf featured the seek peeks of models as they were 3 months ago.

All in all a marked improvement on the last couple of months I have read. The language is better and more informative. Still room for improvement though with some form of 'eavy metal team wisdom and perhaps some form of campaign,scenario or tactics article.

Patriarch
28-07-2013, 11:52
Rather oddly my copy is missing several pages, including all of the battle report after the "choosing the army list bit". Bit annoyed that it hadn't lost the store finder pages instead, but oh well. 26 years of WD and that has ever happened to me before...

shelfunit.
28-07-2013, 12:13
Rather oddly my copy is missing several pages, including all of the battle report after the "choosing the army list bit". Bit annoyed that it hadn't lost the store finder pages instead, but oh well. 26 years of WD and that has ever happened to me before...

Print or digital copy? Sub, or "off the shelf"? Either way an email or a trip to where you got it should mean a fix or a replacement copy. As to whether the missing pages are worth the effort on the other hand...

Orrinocco
28-07-2013, 15:07
Paint splatter - increasingly good section. Good tips for a quick tabletop quality finish. Don't expect 'eavy metal (sadly).

.

This makes me wonder about the schizophrenic attitude GW display though.

On the one hand, the excuse I keep hearing for poor rules and balance is that GW is a premium model manufacturer - the games are secondary.
On the other hand, their hobby tips have descended to making us thankful for how to get a tabletop standard only. Which doesn't exactly convince that they care about the modelling and painting side too much

MiyamatoMusashi
31-07-2013, 22:49
I've had the magazine sitting on my desk for like five days now, and just can't bring myself to read it.

A brief flick through shows that it follows exactly the same format as the last few, which were all abjectly terrible. (In last month's review, I made the comment that you could copy and paste any review for the last few months and just swap in the name of the latest release; looks like this month you could do the same, with "Lizardmen"). For whatever reason, the WD team have settled on something they think is appropriate and just will not change it. And as a result I don't want to read it. (The only reason I still buy it is because I own all 400+ issues of White Dwarf, and 3 a month on Direct Debit is a small price to pay to keep that claim alive).

Is it really doing so amazingly well for them that they flatly refuse to listen to (or take action on) any feedback at all that might improve it? They've certainly had the feedback, they've just done nothing with it. I can only assume that it must be considered a success internally, but I can't for the life of me understand how... I'm clearly not alone in struggling to summon up the energy to read and review it; it seems that barely anyone else can, either. Technically, this is not a review as I can't in good conscience "review" something I've not read, but I've skimmed it, and that skim tells me that it's got all the same problems as last month. And the month before that. And the month before that. And the month before that. And the month before that. And...

Torga_DW
31-07-2013, 23:12
I think a lot of things can be summed up from the first four words of opening salvo: from the steaming depths....... comes this steaming pile.

But again, for what it is and who its meant for, i think its another job well done. If nothing else, i get a good amount of entertainment from reading it.

Rogue Star
02-08-2013, 20:05
This makes me wonder about the schizophrenic attitude GW display though.

On the one hand, the excuse I keep hearing for poor rules and balance is that GW is a premium model manufacturer - the games are secondary.
On the other hand, their hobby tips have descended to making us thankful for how to get a tabletop standard only. Which doesn't exactly convince that they care about the modelling and painting side too much

I've rather see a neat, basic tabletop standard than bare plastic/metal armies, so it's always a plus. Personally I think GW should release an 'Eavy Metal style painting guide, instead of these "Hobby Team" painting guides, like "How to Paint Citadel Miniatures: Tau Empire, Lizardmen", etc. and expand Paint Splatter to include the above, rather than making them separate, digital-only and trying to make a bit extra out of them.

This issue's paint splatter also benefited from being Army focused, all the tips being for Lizardmen, sans a bit bits on (more) Imperial Buildings. This is much more sensible than what they started as, which was a four to five step guide on "how to paint Elf/Eldar gems, how to do rust, how to paint Ork checker-pattern". If I need to learn to paint the gems on my High Elves, it's fairly likely I'd want a guide on how to paint their armour, robes, etc. If I already know how to paint white robes, blue-tinted armour and Elf flesh, what makes you think I'd need to know how to paint gems?

Either make the entire section dedicated to the army of the month, or something more experimental. Half-hearted "bits" don't help anyone.

RainSong
03-08-2013, 10:17
I thought it was pretty good. I like the high res zoomable pics on the ipad, Jervis' article was interesting, the painting/modelling section was nice (especially the conversions from various bits) and I appreciate the focus on attainable quality painting. Army of the month stuff is nice too.

You should get both print and digital copies when you subscribe, like other magazines do, and price should be 5. They should also offer a voucher subscription system so you can skip editions that don't interest you. Then I'd probably subscribe.

MiyamatoMusashi
03-08-2013, 20:31
They should also offer a voucher subscription system so you can skip editions that don't interest you.

I'd rather they just came up with something interesting, than allow me to skip it if it isn't.

Mastodon
03-08-2013, 20:33
I thought it was pretty good. I like the high res zoomable pics on the ipad, Jervis' article was interesting, the painting/modelling section was nice (especially the conversions from various bits) and I appreciate the focus on attainable quality painting. Army of the month stuff is nice too.

You should get both print and digital copies when you subscribe, like other magazines do, and price should be 5. They should also offer a voucher subscription system so you can skip editions that don't interest you. Then I'd probably subscribe.

They have a voucher subscription, its just redeemable in GW stores only.

I still havent read my copy properly. I've flicked through it, looked okay but as already pointed out, its a bit samey.

lbecks
04-08-2013, 10:57
Best part is always the design team interview(s). They really need to do EM Masterclasses again.

carlospictor
04-08-2013, 13:04
Personally, I think they're getting better. They're starting to expand the designers notes. Paint splatter is demonstrating less crude looking results/techniques. The photography is improving (and I quite like the themed backdrops as opposed to plain white, which are available on the website anyway).

More background/fluff would be great, and I still think that Jervis' column either needs ditching or a complete overhaul.

It's a magazine - no great work of literature. Bad bits, mediocre bits and good bits.

MiyamatoMusashi
07-08-2013, 21:58
For fun, try counting how many times Jervis manages to crowbar in the word "collection" in something like seven paragraphs of writing. (Clue: more than seven). I'm not sure if I subscribe to the theory that GW are trying to encourage us to consider ourselves "collectors" instead of "gamers" or "painters" because collectors need to buy everything for their collection, or if my tinfoil hat has deflected that particular conspiracy; but I will say that it's painfully awful writing. He ran out of interesting things to say well over a year ago, and ever since then it's just guff... which still contributes a plus-two to the page count, every month... they just won't for one moment countenance changing things, will they?

Tarax
08-08-2013, 06:47
Jervis is too busy with other systems, outside of GW, to be able to write something about GW proper.

duffybear1988
08-08-2013, 13:06
Busy, lazy, or told not to write it in the first place by the GW thought police?

Clockwork
08-08-2013, 22:04
I suppose GWs no-leaks policy is working, as I actually bought this WD for the first time in 10 years (being a Lizardman player, I wanted to get a good look at the new pictures and whatever rules I could glimmer).

And I have to say that I wasn't completely offended by it. First off, the production value has obviously increased: the front and back covers look especially nice, and the double page spread was a pleasant surprise (although the folding pages themselves were quickly creased).

I kind of enjoyed the article on designing Lizardmen, although it was far too short. I remember when High Elves got re-released for maybe 6th editoin (I think? Whenever the army-wide T3 got implemented), and there was an extremely lenghty article by the author on what he was going for. Vetock's was mostly just more fluff - in fact, some of it was copied word for word from elsewhere in the magazine (or vice versa).

That being said, the article on sculpting the new models was really good. Again, deserved much more space and detail. Equally, I'll find the Paint Splatter really handy in the coming months.

The best read was probably Armchair General. Although it was light on tactics (put two units into something rather than one for better results? No way!), it was actually a great source of inspiration. A friend and I have already been out to get the Bretonnian books and are seriously considering our own knightly armies. It was the attention to detail and sheer immersion that really got me, and it seems like Bretonnians play really well to that.

The Battle Report was pretty terrible, though. That they don't even show total points (why bother having points and restrictions at all, if you should just bring whatever you think is cool like White Dwarf says?) or their own FAQs isn't the worst part. I could see what they are going for, and they do a good job of maintaining a narrative - but its extremely difficult to understand what's going on without maps. What happened to the maps? Surely these would be really useful in grounding a new player?

It was good to see the Kit Bash article; although the actual models used aren't of interest to a Fantasy player, I do respect that they are encouraging customization and showing guidance on the use of green stuff. So credit where credit's due, its a good piece for someone new to the hobby, and good inspiration for existing players. I know I've run more than one conversion based on WD articles in the past, let alone internet PLOGs.

I think I would have enjoyed War Diaries if I'd followed it from the start, but I was really switched off from about this point when nearly every single page that followed had Space Marines of some kind. Grey Space MArines, Pink Space Marines, more Grey Space Marines, some Red Space Marines (look, an Eldar!), more Grey Space Marines, some Yellow Space Marines, how to customise your Space Marines!

Both Vetock and Johnson's articles, however, were pretty insulting drivel. Johnson's, especially, felt like a barely-concealed attempt to make us buy the expensive terrain (Its not just terrain, its part of your collection!). I resent the brain cells I exerted reading Vetock's.

I did find it amusing how Forge World could show off upcoming releases in advance, but there's diddly squat about the main games :D

Coldhatred
09-08-2013, 18:21
It's turned into such a formula that I was able to skip quickly through over 2/3 of the content, glance at Vetock and Johnson's articles (added nothing) and then move to the back section where the smallest glimmer of old White Dwarf content attempts to live on via bed-ridden life support. I'm not even excited about White Dwarf anymore and that makes me sad.

Host Tar
28-08-2013, 11:08
I liked this one - 7.

The new release was well done, the bretonnian article was excellent, the battle report was better than I've seen in a while, I approve of the non-heavy metal, but still quite detailed, paint splater. On the downside, the JJ & vetock articles were ok & there's a lot of stuff I skip, but I've always skipped stuff so I shouldn't complain about that. Overall, compared to what happened in the 90's-00's, I'm exceedingly happy with WD.