Tabletop Review: White Dwarf, Issue #80 (Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000)

White Dwarf, Issue #80
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $3.99 (Physical)/$2.99 (Digital)
Page Count: 32
Release Date: 08/08/2015
Get it Here: Games

Okay, so in last week’s review, I mentioned I was going to take a break from White Dwarf for a while since I’m not interested in Chaos troops. Then something wacky happened the day that piece went live. Games Workshop announced they’d no longer be doing or .mobi versions of White Dwarf and digital copies would only be for iOS or Android apps. That made things easier on me as that was my primary way of buying the mag. HOWEVER, the new subscription rates were announced and they were too good to be true. Generally a physical or digital issue of White Dwarf cost $4 up to this point. The new digital version would finally be cheaper. In fact, a whole dollar. Then however, I saw the yearly subscription rate. $94.99 for a year’s worth of White Dwarf. That’s $1.82 an issue, which is an insanely good deal. Compare that to $3.65 an issue for the physical version if you do a year’s subscription, and so I decided to take a plunge. So surprise! More White Dwarf reviews. I will say I made the right choice as the iOS version looks fantastic where the .mobi and .epub versions were amateurish and unaesthetically pleasing. So yay!

Like all issues of White Dwarf, this one begins with the new release sales articles. There are a LOT of new releases this month, so prepare for a deluge compared to the last few issues. First up are the Khorne Bloodreavers, which are surprisingly a fantastic deal for your wallet if you play Chaos. You get a whopping TWENTY figures for $58, all of which are completely customizable. That might be one of the best deals Games Workshop has thrown at us in a while. I’m actually quite impressed how different the figures look and since I already have some Khorne guys from Age of Sigmar‘s boxed set, if I was going to flesh them out, I’d start with this set for sure. You get a really in-depth look at the options, and trust me, there are a LOT of them.

Next up is a look at the new Age of Sigmar campaign book – Quest for Ghal Maraz. I was not happy with the first campaign book as the stories weren’t very good and it was just very dull and repetitive. So I have no plans to pick up this $75 tome. The art snippets shown in these two articles (one for the regular edition and one for the limited) look great, but the book is just going to be more of the Stormcast Eterenals fighting Chaos over a Warhammer. Maybe if the book was sanely priced, I’d get it for the eight Battleplans it comes with, but there’s no way you can convince me after the last campaign book that any of these will be worth $75, or even $150 for the limited edition. PASS.

Next up we have some Warhammer 40,000 releases. Sure it’s two novels, but Age of Sigmar has dominated for so long, it’s nice to see the Sci-FI side get a bone thrown to them. In this case there’s a novel about Asurmen and a novella called The Eternal Crusaders which focuses on the Black Templars. I’m not a 40K player, but both books sound somewhat interesting.

After that, we go back to Age of Sigmar and the re-release of the Skaven Clan Pestilens – now with round bases. It’s a brief article, but if you wanted some sSaven with round bases (and more for your dollar in each box), this is your chance. Finally the sales pieces round out with a look at the new Horus Heresy figure – Perturabo, leader of the Warriors Legion. This…is not a good looking figure at all in my opinion. Add in Forge World prices and I can’t see too many people picking this up. Yuck. That’s it for the sales pieces this week, but according to my iOS device, the sales articles are about 40% of the magazine. Wow.

Now for the real articles. “Chosen of Sigmar” is first and it’s a look at how one becomes a Stormcast Eternal and what their lives are like after their transformation from mortal into essentially an Order Daemon. I feel like I’ve read this article before though. Either in a previous White Dwarf or it was ripped from the first Age of Sigmar book, which has happened before. Still it is a very long, interesting piece which again, makes Sigmar out to be as bad as the forces he fights against. Once a Stormcast Eternal is summoned to a mortal realm he or she has two options – victory or death. If one dies, they are actually reforged back in Azyr. However this immortality of sorts comes at a cost. Each time a Stormcast Eternal is reforged by Sigmar, they lose part of the humanity, their personality and their soul. More and more they become a blind automaton to Sigmar which…isn’t very Lawful Good. It’s actually really creepy.

The next article is “Paint Splatter” and as always, these in-depth guides to painting a model are the reason to pick up an issue of White Dwarf. As is no surprise, this week’s issue looks at the Khorne Bloodreavers and how to paint them. You learn everything from how to paint scars to how to paint something Brass without using Brass Scorpion paint…which granted, is a bit odd. Why use four colors and coats to make brass when a paint version already exists. Wacky. Regardless of that one bit of weirdness, this is a great piece and if/when I paint my Age of Sigmar Khorne figures, I will make heavy use of this piece.

After this is some filler for the Armies of Parade event at your local Games Workshop store. “Army of the Month” looks at some guy’s Tyrannids. Sure, they look fantastic, but this is filler better suited to the Warhammer Visions magazine and not White Dwarf. Use this for substance and Warhammer Visions for pretty pictures. This is followed by another article entitled “Armies on Parade 2015.” The gist is you paint an army that will fit on a 2′ x2′ board that can then be displayed at your local Games Workshop store. I’ve never participated but as I seem to be getting better at painting slowly but surely, maybe I’ll do an army of Lizzies or Stormcast Eternals. Right now I’m thinking of doing Eternals up as Autobots. Sounds cute, right? It’d be a very mixed color army though compared to the rigid see of characters that look exactly alike in most Warhammer armies. Anyway, this week’s Armies on Parade article looks at three crews: Tomb Kings, Orks and Grey Knights. All are very well painted but again, leave this to Warhammer Visions, not White Dwarf.

Next up is Warscrolls, which gives you free stats for your Age of Sigmar guys. This week, we get the Khorne Bloodreavers, which should come as a surprise to no one. Still, free stats. Although, this particular Warscroll is already in your Age of Sigmar boxed set, the Age of Sigmar Campaign Book and the Age of Sigmar app.

Finally we come to the usual “This Week in White Dwarf” odds and ends that are slapped together to fill out the rest of the issue. As always, I have to make the case that these pages could be better used for real articles of substance instead of quick crap and sidebars but that’s probably never going to change. Sigh. This week we get several plugs to buy the expensive Quest For Ghal Maraz, another plug for the Bloodreavers boxed set, and another plug to buy the Skaven re-releases. Sheesh. It’s almost all one sales pitch this week. Finally we get the crappy Ask Grombindal piece along with the Weapon, Bit and Model of the week pieces that all waste space. That’s your White Dwarf, Issue #40.

So, not a lot of substance this week. It’s almost all sales pieces and attempts to get you to buy. This is more like what the monthly White Dwarf was like before the switch to weekly. Still, there were some good pieces in here, especially “Paint Splatter” and a look at how customizable all twenty Bloodreavers are. Would I have paid $3.99 for this? No, certainly not. Was it worth $1.82? Yeah, definitely. The new digital version of White Dwarf cost me half as much as a comic book and I got far more out of it. I’m happy with that. Hopefully coming issues will be more substantive though. Either way, I will certainly get my money’s worth out of the subscription.


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