Tuesday 2 July 2013

White Dwarf July 2013 - Review

Apocalypse, this month is all about the re-release of the 40K expansion Apocalypse. While this doesn’t exite me anywhere near as much as the release of codex Eldar last month, it’s still giving me a little tingle. Are you into large battles with towering warmachines that dwarf even a mighty monolith? Then apocalypse could be the game for you. Anyway what’s in this month’s mag?

Let’s start with the obvious, the new releases, apocalypse means we have a new rule book, so out with the old 4th edition rules and in with the new 6th edition. But that’s not going to be cheap, its advertised at £45, now that’s a lot, but its 296 pages, which contains a good number of rules in it, so it’s hard to criticise to much before I have my hands on the book (but I probably will when I have it). We can see a few rules from the book in a preview, but It doesn’t tell us much, apart from noticing that we lose structure points in exchange for hull points, and most super heavies that it has shown have 9, which is the equivalent of 3 old structure points. Now this worries me a little as surely to god they can’t have made it that you can blow up a super heavy in a single shot? They better add rules into stating that an explodes result just takes away an extra hull point, or at worse, D3. But I’m getting ahead of myself again; I don’t have the book yet, save complaints till then.

So what are the new super heavy releases? We only get two (we got to last time, so it’s not unexpected), the Necron Tesseract Vault (which can be made into an Obalisk) and the Khorne lord of skulls. Let’s start with the Tesseract Vault, I like the idea, I c’tan shard being used as a weapon, nice, and with the new fluff it fits right in. The model I quite like, but what I don’t like it that its a flyer! Also the alternative model you can make with it looks exactly the same which I find to be very lazy. Granted I don’t know what else they could have done but still, not a fan of the obelisk. Now the lord of skulls that’s different, I really like the model, its can only make one thing but that thing... beautiful. Why they didn’t just make it an old school lord of battle I don’t know, but I’m happy with it none the less. The odd thing about it is that it’s a walker, but with tracks. Odd but I can go with that. The model is imposing and khornate, loads of skulls (a little over kill but it is a lord of skulls) and a big axe. What’s not to love? The price, that's what, its £95, Christ the old baneblade is only £85 (still not a great price). To finish off the new models we get 4 more space marines captains, except while I think the old captains we got where downright amazing and could be used by any one for anything, these new ones, they are too specific for what they are. You couldn’t use them for anything other then the apocalypse formation without a good amount of time spent converting them. Even then I don’t believe they will look that good. While I feel the lord executioner was a good idea the model didn’t pan out, great he’s got a jump pack and a dig axe, did the stupid wings on the side of the jump pack need to be added? No is the simple answer there.

To finish off the new 40k models we get 3 new fortifications which I hear are for both 40k and apocalypse, but I can’t promise that. They are all expensive and two of the three look good in my opinion but the cheapest is £30, and wile that's not going to break the bank, I don’t think I want to pay that out for a fortification. But It has to be said the Aquila strongpoint does look awesome with its macro cannon. We get some hobbit releases but I don’t care, honestly just die in a hole hobbit game.

Something which surprised me about the apocalypse release was the barrage template has changed, instead of being the old 5 templates clumped together we 5 in a row, a nice idea and will make bombing runs a hell of a lot more scary. Just a strange fuck you to people who have the old one. But the new templates are all collapsible, which can only be a good thing.

Army of the month, this section generally cheers me up. This month is a beautifully painted warriors of chaos army painted in a blue colour scheme, looks very tzeentchy and cold. I just love it. The painter is a guy called Jamie forester so well done that man. The army practically has one of every unit and it all looks astonishing. Well worth a look. And I just noticed that his army standard bearer is the limited edition archon on foot model, poor fellow got demoted I see.

The battle report of the month is an apocalypse game, surprise, but once again it doesn’t tell use a proper mission, they make their own up, I'm sure they do this to make whoever they want to win, win, instead of fighting properly. Grrr. Anyway the game is quite a large one, quite impressively so, its dark and blood angels vs Chaos and Necrons. I don’t know how many points it is (dear god tell us for once) but chaos have 2 warhound titans, 3 lords of skulls and 2 tesserect vaults. Its a big game. Now a game of this size would be hard to follow normally but they give it a good try even though it doesn’t always flow and things get blown up without any real explanation. Still its shows off the new models, unfortunately it doesn’t show the rules off much. But that's by the by, it looked like it could have been a fun game.

We have all the usual culprits, Johnson talking about how they designed apocalypse, or at least that was the tag line that got me reading the article. By the end I figured out he’s a liar and I will never trust him as all he told us was he didn’t do it alone. Vetock bored me so much I can’t really remember what it was about apart from big games aren’t always better. Now this seems like an odd thing to publish in a magazine trying to sell the idea of massive battles, seems a little counterproductive to me. But I do have to give Vetock a bit of respect for putting that across.

You know what, I have been trying to type this out, but I can’t force myself to do it anymore. Apart from the new releases I can’t say one which dwarf is any different from another. Yes most magazines are like that but come on at least the topic changes, this is just the same, maybe the colour of the paints change. What I miss is the old mini series of articles, like when they ran a necromunda campaign for 4 months, just for the hell of it. I liked that. Tale of painters, showing armies growing and battling each other, I miss that. Hell stupid little games, I remember they once published rules for a game similar to mordheim but purely between the 4 chaos gods, it was awesome. Where have theses gems of white dwarf gone? Mixing it up was what used to get me excited about picking it up every month. Yes this month is a 40k release but where is the fantasy stuff? You know you sell more than just the stuff you are releasing right? The very first white dwarf I picked up was a December issue in 1999 I think, blood angels has just been released and it had both a 40K and a fantasy battle report in it. Hell it even had a few specialist games thrown in for fun. That is what I miss, that is what needs to be strived for again, now this cookie cutter shit they are giving us month in month out.

Anyway that will do, before I rant too much.  


  1. totally understand what you mean. I have over a hundred old WD mags from around number 200-300 and most of them I'll happily read again and reference articles for hobby stuff.
    Just can't see myself doing that with this new format so I'm resolved to not get it any more.

  2. The funny thing was this new format was meant to do away with the way WD had gone. Flesh it back out to make it more of a hobbyists thing, but those stupid little articles they were doing around the time of the Chaos release arguing over which unit was better: GK Termies and Assault Termies was at least amusing.. now it's just headed straight back to "LOOK AT ALL THESE SHINY THINGS WE'RE SELLING!!"

    Sucks really =\. I ain't buying this month's one and have little intention of buying any more.

    1. I keep thinking to myself, it might be better this month, and it never is. I will probably stop buying them myself, thats what happened last time, twill happen again.