I'm... not sure what some of you guys are expecting from the magazine.
Is it 150 pages of nothing but useful articles geared precisely toward the armies I play? Naw, there's not a lot of 40K in this one and even less for an Ork player.
Is it the same as the magazines from a year ago, which regularly had NO hobby content whatsoever, and were 50% comprised of "articles" that boiled down to "we have released models from this army, they're all awesome and you should buy them now!" Not hardly.
I do think a lot of people are dinging it because the models aren't that great this go-around. I'm not really... lemme rephrase that. I'm impressed by the technical quality of the paint job on the blue Warshrine, but from an artistic standpoint I'm not in love with the result at all. I think if they'd used the flesh-colored one that you see in some of the pictures instead, it would have looked a lot better. I also wonder if this isn't one of the models that will end up better on the table than it does in WD... everyone remember the first impressions of the Dreadknight? That turned out better than it might have.
I'll take Parade Ground, Kit Bash, and Paint Splatter over the ten pages we used to get on this month's army, telling us things like "Nurgle is the god of plague" and "Genestealers are a great assault unit!"
Finally, what's the point in complaining about the army composition of the armies in the battle reports? GW isn't interested in building a competitive army, it's interested in showing off as many different types of models as possible. It's ALSO limited in that they only have so many of (x) painted up, so spam lists are basically right out. Do we really need every army report to be "here's this month's army against the latest GK/Necron combo we found off the net!"?
Decent, with room for improvement, but also very much improved over last year's offerings.
(also, I recently came across a cache of old White Dwarf magazines and went through them. Yes, granted, there was some zany scenario content in there, and I'd like to see some of that again. But the old painting guides were... or more like, the old painting STYLE was damned basic, no? I mean, I don't consider myself a good painter but even the orks I bodge out are better than the three-color-and-done guides from back then! And there's plenty of pages devoted to catalog numbers and prices of models. I think that some people may be wearing the rose-tinted goggles in their memories of how it used to be...)