Tuesday 27 November 2012

White Dwarf December 2012 - Review

So it’s that time of month again, we have another white dwarf magazine out, December 2012. The big news which everyone knows about is the release of the hobbit game (I say release, re-name would be more accurate) and to be honest, not much else.

Last month’s review was quite negative so I'm going to try and see the bright side of the magazine, so here goes. The Big news, the hobbit, has been released. This was far from unexpected but gives us a little preview of what’s to be expected in the film. The thing that surprised me the most, was how mutated the goblins look compared to the goblins of moria from the lord of the rings film. Not for me to judge, just an observation. If you read the articles on different aspects of the hobbit, such as the modelling and reasons for what they did, a few tit bits are given out for us, such as the goblin kings throne also being a commode... nothing exiting, just things you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. And it mentions a few plot lines but if you have read the hobbit its nothing to excitingly different. Anyway back on topic, what I thought was a starter set (called escape from goblin town) was released but its limited edition so either it’s not a starter set or they will release it again without radagast the brown in it. Only time will tell on that one. The 3 trolls have been released as well as goblins, orcs, wargs etc... Nothing particularly new, or exiting. But its all there. At the back of the mag is explains a little on why they modelled certain things the way they did and they brag about going on to the set a lot. Unfortunately bar the battle report (that's next) not a lot of information speared across the majority of the magazine.

A battle report of the ‘escape goblin town’ set was the only battle report for this month (I say only, because the hobbit dominated a lot of this magazine, so I would have hoped for a little 40k or fantasy battle report for the people that aren’t that interested in the hobbit) which was short, but I feel it was the right length. I know I flew off the handle last month saying that the battle report was so short it was stupid etc... etc... but this month it feels the right length. The hobbit is a skirmish game, only a few models on each side, so saying whatever single model did would be stupid, and keeping it short was a good way of keeping the pace and keeping you informed of the slight rule changes. IT was a good pace and well done, however I do have one complaint... it was 3 pages long... while that's a good thing for this report is doesn’t explain why last month’s report was only 2!!! Please explain the logic to me. Included in the battle report as I mentioned earlier, a few new rules where explained, which I felt was a nice touch, it wasn’t heavy on the specifics but allowed you to understand what’s happening and also inform you. It was a good move. Doesn’t make up for last month though. Moving on...

We get the apparently obligatory Colum from both Jeremy Vetock and Jervis Johnson who talk about a past experience with an older edition, when he likes to game and sweating, while the other talks about peoples view of the ‘spirit’ of the game respectively. Now while they are ok to read I feel they have run out of things to say, maybe make these sorts of columns so up once every other month, or have different guys each month. It’s just getting really old, really fast for me and I'm getting tired of it.

Another instalment of Blanchitsu which also is getting tiring very quickly, no useful information is given, no hint or tips on how he does what he does, he just stats what he does and shows you pictures. That's no help to any one; it’s just a massive waste of 2 pages (just saying you could give that to another battle report...). Maybe it’s just me, maybe it isn’t, and it’s just starting to piss me off. And I don’t like his conversions all that much.
So what do we get for the 40k players out there? A little debate on what unit is better/more versatile Ork Nobs or Space wolf Wolf Guard. We have two players talking about the strengths and weaknesses about each squad and have 500 points to have a death star to take out the other one. While interesting in theory they have 500 points, they know what they are up against and the ork player takes full advantage of this like any one would... however the space wolf player acts like a tool and says he has taken the optimised unit and falls flat on his face, I can’t understand his unit choice. I can’t fault the ork choice; I would have done that myself, but the wolf guard? Why would you take a cyclone missile launcher on a model with a combie melta? You don’t have to, you space wolves, give it to the guy with thunder hammer and storm shield!! Don’t waste points, don’t make stupid mistakes and drop a couple of combi weapons if it means you get to instant kill with either a power fist or thunder hammer!! I just didn’t approve of the set up. Apparently the orks steam rollered the space wolves, I'm not sure how, they apparently did. Don’t be an idiot next time dude...

And any fantasy fun for us? A show case of a massive, and quite nicely painted Ogre kingdom army. It was impressive and shows off some old Halfling models and forge world monsters. It was nice to look at but the guys didn’t have much useful to say. I mean... I’m meant to be positive so..er.. It was nice.

Anything I have missed? Oh yer, a nice board again to look at, a space station one that you can find in the main rule book (not to my taste, but such is life) and a bit of paining for the hobbit and rust for ogres. A couple of nice conversions are show cased but nothing to write home about.

This month’s mag was quite short I felt, they were just pushing the hobbit (well what did you expect) but made no effort to prevent people who play 40k/fantasy from feeling ignored. I'm not happy with this but all I can do is bitch and moan about it. This is probably the last review I do for white dwarf as the cost of it just can’t be justified... unless Januarys magazine is rammed full of 40k fun... with a proper battle report.


  1. When I get the time I was going to do a post on this months WD, there were a few things that bugged me and you've mentioned a couple here.

    While the Hobbit is always going to be the focus this month, a bit more for us non interested types would have been nice. Jervis and Jeremy seem to be rambling a bit now, and it does need freshening up. Why not have a roundtable discussion with a few people? I remember they did a feature on the 25th anniversary of 40k where a few of the original guys talked about its creation etc... and it was really interesting reading them feeding off each other. Why, in a hobby that is so socially responsive, is there little in the magazine? Ho hum.

    The other thing was some of the photography... I applied for the job as photography in White Dwarf, had an interview but didn't get a call back. Good enough for me, but when I saw a few of the shots this month I felt disappointed. A couple of the pictures were slightly out of focus, and one of the battle report pictures you could make out some of the background. It would have taken seconds to edit this and make the focus on the table, but from my perspective as a photographer it bugged me. My blog doesn't contain much professional photography as this is my hobby and spending the time setting shots up would eat into painting and editing time... but this is a professional magazine! Blanchitsu however I do enjoy. I like his style and the way he converts things. They don't look mindblowingly out of reach from my perspective, I'm not a great converter either, but Blanche's work looks attainable which I like.

    Good post man, I shall follow thee!

    1. Thanks for the comment, and it feels good that I'm not the only one with a few of my views. I didn't even notice the pics but now you mention it I can see what you mean. I don't have the skills to comment but you do... so that's good enough for me.

      With blanch, If he did his thing every other month I would be happier. But still that's how life goes. Glad you enjoyed the review.