Inside Pulse 12

Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #73 (Warhammer 40,000, Dark Angels)

White Dwarf, Issue #73
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $4
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 06/20/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library (or your local Games Workshop store)

It’s been two months since I picked up an issue of White Dwarf. I’m not really a Sci-Fi person, so when the mag heavily or exclusively focuses on 40K, I tend not to pick it up. There are exceptions though, such as when Assassinorum came out. In this case, I picked up White Dwarf because the focus this week was on Dark Angels, the only 40K army I have besides my Batman themed Chaos Space Marines. Of course, my Dark Angels are actually a Guardians of the Covenant offshoot (which rarely get mentioned), but still, coverage of the parent chapter of my army made this an issue of White Dwarf I wanted to pick up. Of course, with The Age of Simgar/Warhammer 9th Edition previews starting next week, I’ll be picking up White Dwarf for the rest of the summer, so rejoice, for I’ll be reviewing it regularly again. Now then, let’s look at what issue #73 has to offer.

Usually the first third of a White Dwarf issue is devoted to the soft sell. You know, convincing you to purchase next week’s release. This week it’s a bit different. Only seven of the first eleven pages are spent selling you new releases, and these pieces are interspersed with some actual articles. First up is the only miniature release from GW this week – the new Interrogator-Chaplain. This thing looks BAD ASS, but $30 for Finecast has me has me saying no. That’s too much for a miniature material I utterly hate. Plus I already have the limited edition Interrogator-Chaplain that came with the original run of Dark Vengeance. That’s enough for me. Still, the model looks great, and GW does an excellent job of selling you on the piece. After that, there is an attempt to sell you on the new Dark Angels codex. Again, the article is well done, with some fantastic pictures and a lot of information of the book. They even include four pages of the Codex as pictures in the article, and they are large enough that you can read the text on them! Awesome. Still, the previous codex came out only four years ago. That’s way too soon to release a new version. After that comes an article on the Interrogator-Chaplain’s place in Dark Angels society. This is a bit odd since, flow-wise, it should have been after the miniature sales article. It’s even weirder when you realize the NEXT article is another Codex sales piece – this time for the (now sold out) limited edition of the Dark Angels Codex. Some weird layout/flow issues with this White Dwarf. Anyway, both of these next articles are solid. I loved the fluff on the I-C and the Reclusiam Limited Edition of the DA Codex is gorgeous. I’d never pay $165 for it though, especially since GW’s modus operandi will be to make it obsolete before 2020, so why get it?

The next page crams in four different sales attempts, one for Datacards, one for a 2 CD/MP3 audio drama collection (Dark Angels: Accept No Failure) and two books. The first is a collection of previously released Dark Angels short stories (Lords of Caliban) which bears the cover of the previous codex. The other is the third and final piece of Gav Thorpe’s The Legacy of Caliban trilogy. Unforgiven tells the tale of Cypher (the big bad for this Space Marines chapter) finally being captured by the Dark Angels and what happens in the aftermath. I won’t be getting any of these, but they’re actually sanely pried for GW releases. Maybe down the road I’ll consider them. The next article looks at Dark Angels boxed sets that are currently on the market, so it’s a sales attempt, but an unusual one, as it is hawking previously released pieces rather than new stuff. Usually White Dwarf doesn’t go that route. The final sales article this week is about Forge World’s new diorama piece for Sigismound, lord of the White Fists Space Marines. It’s very impressive.

Okay, we are done with the sales pieces. What else does this issue of White Dwarf offer you? The big article this week is “The Lion’s Blade” which covers all the fluff and history about the Dark Angels. It’s six pages long, although the last two pages are purely pictures of a massive Dark Angels formation consisting of roughly seventy-five models. Man, that’s expensive to assemble. Still, the article is well written. I loved how they went in-depth (for White Dwarf) into the history of the Dark Angels and focused on the different battle companies it contained. You even get a full page devoted to an army formation, which is always nice to see.

The next article is “Paint Splatter,” and it’s quite long compared to what you usually see in other issues. That’s because there is a lot of variety to the DA, since the have three major paint schemes. So White Dwarf devotes four full pages to showing you how to paint the Dark Angels. Of course, I paint my full DA army in Guardians of the Covenant style, so I personally won’t use this. That said, DA is a pretty complex, army paint-wise, so it is fantastic that White Dwarf showed how to paint DA, Deathwing and Ravenwing troops. This alone is worth picking up the magazine for, especially if you are new to Dark Angels. I might actually paint a small subset of my GotC army using this.

Only ten pages of the magazine left. We get a “Hall of Fame” article on the Beastman Cygor (cyclops minotaur) which is a waste of two pages. You don’t even know if this piece will be playable in a few weeks, and GW having a hall of fame for themselves just seems slimy. These are two pages that could be better spent with actual substance. Of course, I’ve been saying that for years, and this sham continues. What can you do? “Sprues and Glues” is a fun article this week. It shows how to assemble Dark Angel Veterans in a variety of ways. It also tells you how to convert a Land Speeder into the Sableclaw (which doesn’t actually have a model right now). Very nice, although with all the extras you’ll have to purchase for the upgrade, this becomes a VERY expensive customization. The final article we have is “Theatre of War,” and it gives us a new battle for you to play. You’ll need a Dark Angels and an Ork army to play.

As usual, the magazine winds down with “This Week in White Dwarf.” Usually this is second rate throwaway filler taking up space where actual quality content could be. For once, what is in this section is pretty terrific. Sure, there is the usual weapon/model/bit of the week crap, but the rest of it is quite good. There are a lot of little quick pieces on the Dark Angels here. You get the history of the Rock, a quick look at the first and second companies for the DA, the art of Interromancy, designer notes on the new Interrogator-Chaplain and a sidebar on the Unforgiven. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen my Guardians mentioned in an issue of White Dwarf, so I was pleasantly surprised. A fine issue from beginning to end.

So there you go. As usual, when White Dwarf sticks to a singular theme for an issue, it tends to excel. Issue #73 was no different. Here’s hoping the upcoming Warhammer Fantasy issues will be just as good.

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