Tuesday, May 14, 2013
White Dwarf sucks
First, I will say it's bigger and a higher quality print. Not that that was an issue with the old version, but it's there. They're about 30 pages or so bigger then the old version. What's in the extra pages? Well there are more pictures...and new ads for Forge World and Black Library releases. Surprising, the store listings are no longer in the back of the magazine. GW must want people to use their store finder online instead. Surprising since GW is usually hesitant to acknowledge that that quaint little internet thing exists at all.
So what's changed? The content just isn't as enticing as it used to be. In the old days when a new army gets an update, there were articles that talked a little about new rules, new units and gave you a taste of what the new army brought to the table. Obviously there weren't many details given, but it made people want to play the army. It got us excited for the new release. These are gone,to be replaced by more stock photos then you'd ever want to see. Now as GW models look better every year (unless they're failcast) this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not the substance we've gotten used to and definitely not worth $10 when their website is free (for now...)
There's also the battle reports. The old book actually had them and while they had gone downhill in more recent issues, they were still battle reports and not a dozen pictures of a battle, a few paragraphs and an abstract army list. They don't even tell us what point value the game is played at. Again you don't get a feel for the new army so it doesn't make them any more interesting or desirable.
Of course they need to bulk up their new catalog so there's plenty of filler. There's blurbs about the new Black Library releases and what's going on at Forge World, but again there's little substance. Why not have a few pages from a featured novel in the magazine to whet the appetite? Maybe a printing of one of the experimental rulesets from Forge World with heavy coverage of the model? That way at least there would be something in these sections that would be worth reading.
Now, I'm not saying it's all bad. Toward the end of each issue is a much improved painting guide that unlike the old ones, actually has more of a step-by-step tutorial. They are well structured along the lines of last year's "How to paint Citadel models, 2.0". These are fairly straightforward, though as usual a novice painter shouldn't expect miracles. Still it does present techniques in a fairly straightforward manner.
Basically what we have is the paper form of failcast...an inferior product at an inflated price. White Dwarf went from being a $9 magazine with catalog tendencies to a $10 catalog with occasional aspirations of being a magazine. I've basically gotten to the point where my sense of value has overtaken my completist nature and I skipped an issue for the first time in 4 years. If this low-quality farce of what was once a decent publication continues, I'll be skipping many more in the months to come.