Saturday, 29 June 2013

White Dwarf just needs .........................

July's White Dwarf is here. The glossy fat format introduced last autumn continues. This format has been met with little enthusiasm at least on the internet. Why so? There are at least 156 pages. The photography of the miniatures is superb. The set piece double page displays of models are amazing. What else is there - besides the editorial there are as regular features Jervis Johnson and Jeremy Vetlock's opinion led columns, Paint Splatter advice on painting, War Diary - the preparation of 7 hobbyists to produce a display army, then there are the design studio, forgeworld and black library sections, and not to forget the apocalypse battle report.

Why does it all seem so flat when clearly a lot of effort seems to have been put in to producing a high quality product. What exactly are its weaknesses?  Well, on the downside its not a coherent read. It makes no attempt to hide that its prime role is to advertise the latest releases, and that is at least honest, but there are so many, many of them each month leading to new model shockitis. Games Workshop seems to have gone into overdrive in the last 12 months in creating new and excellent additions to its ranges of miniatures, which is a good thing from the hobby point of view. But as a result the reader of White Dwarf is overwhelmed with the new product. Clearly this is seen as a good thing in the marketing plan, but too much shock and awe will overwhelm the reader who as a human outside of the 40k universe needs a comfort zone from which to appreciate the latest development. And that comfort does not exist at present. There is no attempt to soften the blow for the hobbyist with, possibly some sort of a heads up, as used to be on the last page or probably more importantly some sort of continuity from issue to issue. Last month was Eldar this month it is Apocalypse. In the past White Dwarf offered both continuity and a comfort zone, often with an army featured over several issues and a wider range of core systems covered in each issue.

Is this a fair analysis of what is missing from White Dwarf, or are there other ways in which it could be improved?

One final thought is that with the prices of new releases always edging upwards the minis must have moved out of most people's pocket money range. Which market segment is the target of Games Workshops apocalypse formations.


1 comment:

Zzzzzz said...

The other killer about the apoc formations is that the prices they are listed at are (for example) 10 x RRP. Which is not really helpful; If I want to Fist the Emperor, I'm still going to buy ten LRMBT from Wayland, not one Emperor's Fist from GW.

Even at 10%, people would begin to think twice about that.

As for WD; You're correct, each new release has to be mega, each new release has to have the movie star treatment.

Why not an article on the discontinuation of the various IG lines ? Giving people who want a non Cadian army adequate warning to collect the figures for their army ? Nah, 'cause then people who don't know about them might become interested and they'd have to keep making them, which is obviously not a part of the bigger game plan.

Thank god for Infinity, as looking at the direction of the Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle (as opposed to Malleus and Hereticus codices that came before), we're going to loose all of the assassins and the like.

I'll be referencing your article Tuesday after next. Just off to compose my rant.