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Sabbad
09-03-2007, 21:29
No, its not a typo. This is the feedback for WD 311, the issue from back in November 2005.

I heard someone comment in a recent WD review that people were deluding themselves over how good the magazine used to be. I also heard someone comment that WD has been rubbish ever since the WD 300 milestone.

I disagree with both of these statements. Recently, I got bored of reading the latest WD (after about a day) and have been looking at WD 311 during my few occasions of spare time. It has kept me entertained for about a week now. It is a good WD, and one that is far superior to the latest offerings from the WD team.

I'm wondering whether or not others think the same way as me. Below is my own review, and I would welcome others to review it as well.

EDITORIAL
Not very informative, and with a rediculously large text size. This is somewhat forgivable considering that this is Guy Haley's goodbye speech and last ever editorial. Still, notice the absense of pictures.

NEW RELEASES AND NEWS
Again, not that great. BUT note that the new releases section does have some background in it. And the Shadow in the East preview is text-led rather than picture-led.

BLACK TEMPLARS DESIGNERS NOTES
Wow. Look at all the words!!! Not the best designers notes ever, but still a really good read. Contains info on how the Templars have developed over time, their background (and its reflection of the rules) and the new releases IN DETAIL. Plus they've given reasons why they've made decisions, rather than just saying what the changes are. Put this side by side with the Dark Angels Designers Notes and you really see the difference.

ASSAULT ON CEPHIAN IV
A short and sweet campaign to go with the new Templars release, followed by a battle report. An excellent way to support the latest 40K release without alienating collectors of other races. The campaign has decent (if somewhat shallow) background to support it, and introduces a new set of scenarios which non-Templar players can still play in non-campaign settings. As a Lost and the Damned player, its great to see them getting some coverage too- I can't remember seeing anything on them in WD since EoT. Battle Report has narrative and a proceeding story. Map with key gives clear overview of battle. Players turns have more character, as they're told from the point of view of each gamer. This also means players can give their own reasons for tactical decisions. Yes the Templars win, but not in all 3 of the scenarios. Oh, and did anyone notice the Templar Fortress' striking resemblance to Cities of Death buildings, a year and a half before their general release (dammit, the evidence was under our noses all along...)

IN DARKNESS AND LIGHT
A Templars modelling and painting article. Other than the BatRep and Designers Notes, this is the only Black Templar article in the whole magazine.

KNOW THINE ENEMY
Thinly desguised advert for the new Wargear book. But at least there is some text and information provided, rather than just a BUY THIS! chant.

THE RAVAGES OF WAR
A nice army-generic modelling article on terrain customisation.

INDEX XENOS: DARK ELDAR
When I read this article at the time, I was quite disappointed in the lack of detail (compared to, say, Index Xenos: Genestealers). But compare this to background articles we get these days, this is superb. Plus, when was the last time you saw ANYTHING about Dark Eldar in WD? I'm thinking one BatRep kind of recently, but that's it.

RECLAIMING MORIA
A LotR article about adapting the Mines of Moria scenarios to the Dwarfs of Balin's expedition. Kind of pointless if you have Shadow and Flame, but useful if you're a beginner. And concise layout management means that its not a waste of space for players who aren't interested in it.

BATTLE COMPANIES REDUX
New edition rules for the immensely popular LotR smaller scale skirmish game. Hard to criticise when one considers how often people use these rules. Plus, two new warbands.

VALIANT ROHIRRIM/THE EVIL OF ISENGARD
Pretty poor attempt at disguising an advert, but at least there is some basic background...

FATTY BOLGER'S GREAT ESCAPE/THE GLORY OF THE ELVES
Two new LotR scenarios, one original and interesting (Fatty's Escape) one kind of bland and vanilla (Glory of Elves). Still, good if you plan to play the scenarios yourself, and the Elf one is only a page long.

ARMY OF ELROND
Painting article for a quick paint scheme for a High Elf Army. Probably not much use for experienced painters, but if you (like me) see painting as a chore to be done to an accpetable standard quickly, then this is useful.

WHFB COVERAGE
Hee hee hee. The best part of the mag for me. Two whole variant lists! One of them (Lichemaster) you don't even need an armies book for! Great fun to read and make armies for. Plus, a good solid background article on Hell Pit fills a blank sadly left behind in the new WDs.

ASTROMONICAN
The bumf at the back of the mag is substantially shorter than that in current mags of WD and has stuff of some value (eg. Letter Page that dares to suggest a way in which WD could be improved).

I would give this magazine an 8 out of 10 rating. I'd consider a WD of average quality to be worthy of a 7, and this is an above average WD (primarily due to the 40K campaign/batrep and the WHFB armies lists). Admittedly, the mag is not perfect. Adverts are there, pointless store finder is present, and there is no painting masterclass. But, shock horror, there is backround, and there are RULES! This is a great WD as far as I am concerned and far superior to any WD post-316. And to think that this was a mere four months before the terrible Giant issue, considered by many as the worst WD of all time.

So an I alone? What do you guys think of WD 311?

sephiroth87
12-03-2007, 05:03
You know, I would agree with you. I've been saying for a long time that GW is actually trying with the magazine lately. Hell, they got rid of Dirty Steve and the euphoria will tide me over for at least a few more years. I'm not a fanboy by any means, but I do like that they're making an attempt.

Also, the army of the cairns and the hell pit list were pretty cool and were fairly balanced, as far as I could tell and playtest.

fwacho
12-03-2007, 06:32
That actually sounds interesting. I may have to pick one up.

OrlyggJafnakol
12-03-2007, 15:51
I enjoyed the lichemaster stuff in WD311, I was great to see a fondly remembered character return. Never did get around to buying the model though.

I loved the letters while they lasted, reminded my of 'on the boil' in the old, old days. I particularly liked to see other reader's miniatures in the magazine. Quite an achievement, even now. I was disappointed when they were dropped.

I agree with what has been said by others, WD seems to be improving. Lets just hope they keep it up (as well as the size of the text font!)

Sabbad
16-03-2007, 18:39
Wow, four 1 out of 10s. This wasn't what I expected at all - I really quite liked the issue. Would anyone who voted this a 1 out of 10 issue like to explain their reasons for doing so?

squiggoth
16-03-2007, 20:04
Wow, four 1 out of 10s. This wasn't what I expected at all - I really quite liked the issue. Would anyone who voted this a 1 out of 10 issue like to explain their reasons for doing so?

Probably folks who didn't even read issue 311. :rolleyes:

Issue 311 was from around the time that the WD was starting to have its ups and downs (issue 308 was the first in which the flaws were becoming very obvious - the half-arsed battle report with The Six Magical Trolls Who Never Failed Their Stupidity Test And Killed Half A Wood Elf Army By Themselves ..... rush out to get six Trolls now! Or better, get twelve! :p)... but back then there was still more than enough good content in the mag to buy it.
311 was a nice one, I rate it 8 out of 10.