Wednesday, July 4, 2007

REVIEW: UK White Dwarf issue 331

This issue comes with two free Mighty Empire tiles. They are bigger than I imagined and come with some 'special' markers representing a Dwarf brewery, a Wizard's tower and an Ork idol. These freebies fit Games Workshop's strategy with White Dwarf in their effort to make it an essential purchase.

As you might expect, a large portion of the mag (12 pages) is given over to promoting Mighty Empires. The first part of the article looks at the box contents and ways to paint them. There are some good ideas here, although the Empire and Bretonnia paint schemes look so similar it's pointless to include both. Perhaps a Lustrian or Norscan paintjob would have been more useful. The second part of the article examines a GW run example campaign. This is very lightly covered. Maybe this is just a taster for the later turns as only the first three turns are described.

The other new releases are the Warhammer Chapel and Watchtower. Forgeworld also shows off it's own Warhammer terrain but it is inferior to the new Games Workshop stuff. The Empire gets much love, with the Wizard boxed set, flagellants and Helblaster and Helstorm prominent. The kits are dissected later in the mag.

This Might of the Empire article is basically a big advert for the new models with army lists, tactics and painting tips.

The battle report is another advert for the Empire and pits them against the Beastmen led by Morghur in a Nemesis Crown scenario. It's mildly diverting and an improvement over previous reports as it has lengthy turn by turn descriptions of the action.

The Lord of the Rings is barely covered, with only one piece on Dragons. Again, basic tactics army lists and paint schemes are shown.

The main 'meat' of the issue is part two of the Blood Angels codex. While this is a welcome addition to White Dwarf it is a shame that it has been overshadowed by controversy. First the list was leaked on the web, so many people saw it early. Then there have been the discrepancies between each country's magazine and the mistakes in the list itself (incomplete drop pod and psychic hood rules for example). So we'll have to wait for the PDF on the Games Workshop website for the definitive list. All in all a bit of a damp squib.

Jervis' Standard Bearer column talks about painting and how far more people just paint the models than actually game with them. This will be quite a surprise to the 'GW cynically improves the rules to sell more models' crowd; for the majority of collectors this is utterly irrelevant.

The modelling workshop article is on desert gaming boards. It shows you how to build the table and then adapt it for each of the major game systems - by buying GW terrain. Useful for beginners I guess.

The final article of note is on tournaments. There is an explanation of the new scoring system, an interview with the Flame on! club and a look at Andrew Taylor's stunning Chaos Space Marine army.

I think White Dwarf is steadily improving but has some way to go before it matches it's previous heights.

I'd give this a score of 6 out of 10.


All of my reviews end in a score out of ten for the product. The table below explains what that score means.

  • 10/10 Perfect, absolutely nothing better
  • 9/10 Excellent, highly recommended
  • 8/10 Very good, recommended
  • 7/10 Good
  • 6/10 Above average, some problems
  • 5/10 Average, some good points some bad points
  • 4/10 Below average, some redeeming features
  • 3/10 Poor, major flaws
  • 2/10 Very poor, avoid if possible
  • 1/10 Absolutely appalling

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