This issue seems to have come around incredibly quickly. It doesn’t seem like two minutes since the last one was out and I can quite honestly say that I look forward to each new issue being delivered. * Before Games Workshop switched back to the monthly format I think I bought White Dwarf each month out of habit, more than an eagerness to read it and it’s never a good thing to have habit as the only reason to do a thing.
A big, bold picture of a Stormcast guy graces the cover and it’s a nice, eye-catching piece of work that puts me in mind of the type of art you’d get on the cover of a comic.
Contents pages; why do you continue to vex me so?
Planet Warhammer has an awful lot of releases this Month. There’s a mountain of Death Guard stuff, including the Deathshroud Terminators and the new tank, the Plagueburst Crawler, which I must admit I quite like. Also, Shadespire, which I’ll go into a bit more detail about later. I should also mention the Astra Militarum Codex, a release which seems to be getting a nice warm welcome from all and sundry. Although no new model releases for them, which is a little disappointing.
There are a few new books out, but the one that stands out he most is the new Horus Heresy book, Ruinstorm. I’ve fallen behind somewhat with the Horus Heresy series and it’s something I to want to rectify. I didn’t even stop for any discernible reason and just kind of drifted away from them.
The letters page was a standard barrage of praise, with the only thing to stand out being a smirk-worthy reply to the Ask Grombrindal letter.
I should make a brief mention of the Warhammer Total War 2 feature. There are loads of lovely screenshots and a fair bit of reading and it does certainly look amazing, but not being able to play it means my interest in it has been lukewarm at best.
Having mentioned my lack of enthusiasm for Age of Sigmar before I’m not going to go into it again, but Shadespire has really caught my eye. It has a very intriguing ruleset, using elements of deckbuilding alongside the board-game aspect and it seems like it would be a fun game to play. It’s also very nice-looking and that’s not just the models. The board sections, all the cards and tokens all have the look of a well-produced game. Of course, I only have the pictures to go on but I have no reason to believe the same would not hold true in the flesh.
The Death Guard designer’s notes follow the usual format, with an in-depth look at the design process, the models, artwork, rules and Codex. It’s an interesting look at the development of an army and as such, a good read.
Thirty Years of Golden Demon serves as an intro to the Golden Demon Classic stuff that comes after it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good read and it stands up as an article by itself.
I haven’t entered anything in Golden Demon for years and haven’t even been near Games Day / Warhammer Fest since 2001 and if I’m being brutally honest, what I did enter wasn’t up to scratch. The Nagash diorama however, is amazing. It’s difficult to put into words how good it is, so amazing will have to do.
It’s a sign of the quality of this year’s entries that on any other year the silver and bronze winners might have walked away with the Slayer Sword. I harbour half formed ambitions of entering Golden Demon again at some point, but if I want to be in with a chance of winning anything, I’m really going to have to pull my socks up and put a shift in. I’d be buzzing about the place like I’d won the sword if I even made it to the final cut (I’m easily pleased).
It’s the last part of A Tale of four Warlords and it’s finished with a battle report, which sees the two Imperial armies defending against the Eldar and The Iron Warriors, both of whom are doing their own thing and it was a hecka entertaining read.
There’s a duo of Battle Reports this Month, thanks to the concluding part of A Tale of four Warlords, but this Age of Sigmar battle, pitting the Skaven against the Sylvaneth is the main one. It was an enjoyable battle, with models from both sides dropping like flies and the pace was fast throughout. It certainly wasn’t one that gave you any time to get bored with it.
The Gretchin Revolution is a feature about Maxime Pastourel’s Gretchin army and it’s quite a ridiculous spectacle to behold. ** It’s one of those articles that I’ll keep going back to for a while and it reminds me of the ridiculous armies of old that featured in White Dwarf on a semi-regular basis, many moons ago. I’d say it’s probably one of my favourite articles of the Month.
As always, Illuminations is a treat for the eyes, with lots of pretty pictures to look at and this selection of Age of Sigmar stuff is no exception, but I must confess to being in no hurry to see a dwarf in his undies, though it’s a very nicely done piece of art.
Blanchitsu is a round-up of some of the warbands that took part in the Pilgrym campaign and covers three different warbands. As usual they are exceptionally well converted models, with a visually striking paint scheme.
The Clash at Marrowbreak Spire is a massive battle scene, which shows the airships of the Kharadron Overlords attacking mountaintop tower belonging to the forces of the Flesheater Courts. It’s a visually stunning battle, with loads of cool vignettes playing out across the whole board. Mention should go to all the little tricks they used to make the airships look as if they’re flying; from clear plastic flying stands concealed by the stuff the made the clouds out of to the airship kept upright by nothing but the boarding ladder that the little blokes use to get in and out of their ship.
The article about creating your own Space Marine Chapter at first glance seems like a bog-standard space filler, and to a certain extent it is just that. However, it does have some very useful advice on the sorts of thing to consider when putting a Chapter together; Chapter markings, home-world or fleet based, Codex adherent or not, that sort of thing. Also, it mentions an invent your own Space Marine Chapter competition on the Warhammer Community website and it comes with a pretty spiffy prize.
Paint Splatter has a guide on Typhus and on Death Guard, in pre-Heresy cream. There are also guides on three different Guard regiments. The Guard stuff is interesting, as it covers two regiments that are made from converted models and conversions are always nice to see.
Temporal Distort features another vintage issue of White Dwarf that I remember well. The cardboard Battle Bunker only saw action a few times on our table-top before it met its end; either sat on, or stood on, its true fate forever obscured by the mists of time.
The Reader Models are the usual eclectic mix of styles, awesomely painted and the segment includes a feature on the models from a painting competition held by the manager of the Shanghai Games Workshop. The highlight of this is a Battlefleet Gothic ship, with some very impressive lighting effects.
In the Bunker is, as always, an interesting little window into what the White Dwarf team are getting up to. This month covers the second half of their Warhammer 40,000 league and is presented in the same diddy battle report format as last Month. Also worth a mention is a really strikingly painted Stormsurge battlesuit, showing just how eye-catching grey can be if it’s done right.
In summary; not quite the tour de force of awesomeness that the previous issue was, but still a very solid issue. I’m willing to admit that my bias towards 40K might’ve coloured my opinion a wee bit, but last month’s issue did set a very high bar.
That said, this issue did have some very high-quality content. The Death Guard designers notes and the Gretchin army were both favourites of mine. With regards to the Death Guard, I’m very glad the design team decided to keep the World War One, trench warfare aesthetic, as it’s what I’ve always liked about them.
This issue gets seven and a half picklehaube’s out of ten. ***
*That may sound like the sort of syrupy praise White Dwarf gets on the letters page, but it’s true, I do look forward to it. It’s far from perfect and there is room for improvement, what I said isn’t a fib though.
**Ridiculous in a good way. The silly armies are awesome.
***As far as marks out of ten are concerned, I aim to keep it as nerdy as possible.