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  1. #38
    Inquisitor Lord Damocles's Avatar
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    Re: General White Dwarf Feedback Thread

    White Dwarf #450

    Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

    Seeing that issue numbers have returned from their inexplicable exile, and after a cursory flick through the issue, I dared to entertain a flicker of hope.

    I won’t be making that mistake again.

    ---

    Editorial – An editorial about new years (hobby) resolutions, coming alongside yet another (soft) reboot* might have been an obvious place to talk about resolutions for White Dwarf. But no; there’s a half-page picture of the last page of the issue encouraging us to paint stuff.

    *I’ve honestly lost count – are we now up to four reboots, plus digital and Visions in a bit less than four years?

    Contents – More than half of the two pages dedicated to this is pictures copied from elsewhere in the issue.

    Contact – Contact and Readers’ Models have been mushed together into a four-page waste of space.
    What do we have in the mailbag today? ‘My five year old can use Contrast paints (ignore that I did all the details, basing, highlights, conversions)’; ‘What colour are Triplex Phall trousers?’; ‘Say hello to a GW staff member’; ‘Sell me Warcry: Monsters & Mercenaries’; ‘I’m in Hawaii!’

    Worlds of Warhammer – Phil ‘The Hack’ Kelly spends four pages (one and a third of pictures) pontificating about how he used to have really terrible bases on his models (which I don’t entirely believe – he hadn’t based his Eldar when he got a job in the studio, he claims – really?) He’s just like us it turns out – so relatable! The last page-worth of text is mostly ‘Buy GW basing products!’

    The tagline for this article says, [i]’Worlds of Warhammer delves into the background of the Age of Sigmar and the 41st Millennium[/s] [sic], looking at how stories are created and legends are born...’ I don’t really see what relevance Phil’s stories about Egyptian sand and sugar basing have to do with this..?

    - Double-page introduction to 40K section –

    New Rules: Kill Team Dispositions – Rules for narrative play games of Kill Team to give your team an extra set of tactics, and then six new narrative missions which give even more tactics. We heard you liked tactics, so we’re giving you new tactics to go with your new tactics!
    I don’t see why these rules couldn’t have been balanced so that they could be used outside of narrative games. I also don’t see why the missions are required to be narrative restricted.
    Is Kill Team lacking missions and tactics? I don’t know. Maybe people were crying out for this content?

    Last of the Silent Kings – Six pages of background about the Silent King. In the course of this background article, the only new background material we learn is that Szarekh came from the Szarekhan Dynasty (whether the dynasty is named after him, or he is named after the dynasty isn’t clear – no other dynasty appears to be named after an individual); and he has a ship the size of a planetoid (not that the existence of such craft is new information) – (are we supposed to associate this ship with Lyriax which houses the Outsider?)

    There are three pages of material presented in the form of in-universe sources, reminiscent of the original Raiders material, which I really like – although the quality of the writing here isn’t great.

    Page 31 takes the form of a log describing a series of carvings – we are clearly supposed to deduce that the carvings show Triarch Praetorians, but almost half the page is taken up with a picture of a Praetorian just in case we’re too dumb to get it. The space would have been far better utilised by including an image of one of the carvings in question.
    Page 33 is a conversation between an Inquisitor and a Shadowseer (only a little over half the page is actually text). There is a clear implication by the Eldar that the Silent King created the Tyranids – which the main text of the article makes clear isn’t the case, so this looks suspiciously like an attempt to stir baseless controversy or create hype (which it did – thanks internet!)

    There is no mention at all of the fact that Szarekh appears to have been back in the galaxy for quite some time – we learn in The Word of the Silent King, for example, that he had dealings of some kind with Sanguinius.

    Overall, this article is extremely disappointing. It looked so promising at a glance. There is a lot of wasted space (about a page and a half filled with pictures), and despite not being directly lifted from elsewhere, there is nothing new of substance in the bulk of the text.

    Additionally, you would have thought that this would have been the perfect place to provide some new information on the Szarekhan Dynasty, or the forces of the seven Phaerons who have pledged their support to Szarekh, or the Praetorian battalions and High Judicator – colour schemes, some conversions?

    It’s certainly no Translations of Pertinent Eldar Mythic Cycles.

    Galactic Warzones: Urban Battlefields – Eight pages on making you army themed around urban warfare – paint them grey/blue and put rubble on the bases. Codex: Cityfight did essentially the same thing in a couple of pages.
    It’s disappointing that apparently all cities are grey and Imperial/industrial – what about feudal worlds, Ork scrap settlements, Eldar craftworlds? Codex: Cityfight even managed to cover those a little bit too.
    If you want urban camo schemes or basing, you can find that in almost unlimited quantity online.

    - Double-page introduction to Age of Sigmar section –

    Fiction: Red Prospects – A four-page short story about floaty stunties fighting a mysterious enemy. Most of the first two pages is spent setting up the question of who the enemy is going to be; unfortunately the full page picture of a Bloodthirster fighting an airship might give away the reveal...

    New Rules: Skies of Slaughter – Part 2 of rules for fighting aerial battles of Age of Sigmar – five missions, campaign rules, and warscrolls for all of the available units.
    I’m not entirely sure why aerial battles require an entirely separate rules system to standard Age of Sigmar?
    All of the warscrolls are for big flying monsters. What about things like harpies, screamers, balloon dwarfs? The short story we just read featured smaller flying units.
    Also; the sea elf flying turtle can actually fly like a dragon or a phoenix? So the magical invisible water can be all the way up in the air..?

    Rules of Engagement – Jervis spends four pages (one and half of pictures) talking about the Three Ways to Play™ Age of Sigmar. Like previous instalments in this series, Jervis does not provide a very good argument for why three parallel systems are required; and even contradicts claims he made in previous articles.
    This reads more like a post-hoc justification for why Age of Sigmar launched without points costs.
    I might come back to this at some point, because it deserves dissecting in more depth to peel back the layers of stupid.

    A Tale of Four Warlords: The Stormvault Warlords – Four people add monsters to their armies. Meh. Without the core principle of the original series – ie that the participants were working to a budget, these series are really just a series of army showcases stretched over an interminable length of time.

    Battle Report: Destroy The Nexus (Ogors vs Bonereapers) – The battle has a narrative (complete with small fluff introduction, and a bit less than half a page of description per game turn), but it’s a match play game, so why do we need three ways to play again?
    There is no mention of which faction traits the armies are using (if any?)

    As usual the amount of text is lacking, there are no maps, there is little or no discussion of why decisions are being made. There are some moves which baffle me – for example the Frost Sabres move out way to the ogor’s left flank where there are clearly no enemies, and then just move back towards the centre – why? Katakros just stands behind the nexus while the ossiarch flank collapses in front of him – why not move forwards and prevent the ogor cavalry from being able to have a free run at the objective? – Why does the Gorger zerg into the Deathriders? Guess we’ll never know.
    The armies not being just the standard studio fare is a plus point I suppose.

    Glory Points – Four pages (one and a half of pictures) on how to prepare for Warhammer Underworlds tournaments (plan, practice, understand the results of your games). It’s ok if you have no conception of what it is to play semi-competitively I suppose; but for most people it should all be pretty obvious stuff.

    Fiction: Fates Intertwined – Some Beastgrave warbands fight for four pages (half page of dead space). It’s fine. The twist wasn’t immediately obvious.

    New Rules: A Daring Rescue – Rules for a new Blackstone Fortress adventure with four missions. Looks ok.

    Modelling: Basing Masterclass – Six pages on basing. The bases/techniques featured are fine, but the amount of useful information given for the page count devoted to it is poor. There’s weathered industrial bases, making piles of rubble, using GW sculpted bases, and making greenstuff rocks.

    Collecting: New Year, New Army! – Four double-page spreads of armies which were obviously completed before the start of this year. Obviously the narrative is ‘Buy new dudes, dammit!’
    I don’t necessarily mind mini showcases like this, but I’d much prefer a theme beyond ‘here’s some people who have armies. You should buy an army too!’

    Terrain Showcase: Raising the Westfold – Six pages (two of introduction/big picture) about using the Lord of the Rings Rohan house kit to build a big house and a burnt house. The guide for the burnt house is good; the big house less so, since it’s mostly just pictures of the finished model. I’m surprised that balsa wood strips and MDF is used, since GW don’t sell those.

    Classic Plays: 2459 Lustrian Superleague Semi-Final – Four pages which give some background and rules for re-playing a historical Blood Bowl match.
    Not sure why the pictures seem to show the match being played in the fathomless abyss beyond reality, but still...

    Inside the Studio – Two pages of pointless pictures and notes on what the White Dwarf team have been doing when they’re not finding something else to copy and paste without telling their readers.
    Page 142 says that Sophie has been working on Space Wolves, but the inside cover said that her Chapter were called the Moon Eaters.

    There’s a pointless page for ticking off your Warhammer Resolutions from the editorial, a full page ad for the subscription, and then the back cover which relates to next month’s teased content.

    ---

    There are small bits of content throughout which might well be of interest to people, but I don’t know how many people will find value from a significant proportion of the issue.
    The magazine is [still] trying to spread content too thinly – fewer longer and better articles would be far preferable to every system/game getting a little something, and the issue ticking every box in the ‘what should be in any single issue’ list.

    It’s not the worst issue ever (not sure we can ever actually beat the level which has been set now), but it is still very lacking in any really valuable content.
    I picked it up for the Necron background, which was pretty rubbish, considering that it presented next to nothing new.
    Last edited by Lord Damocles; 28-04-2020 at 13:42. Reason: SpElLIng

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