Saturday, 8 February 2014

Visions of Terror - Further Thoughts on White Dwarf

Greetings wargamers and hobbyists, and welcome to the boiler room...this is where the furnace that fires the boiler that heats the water that travels through the pipes that travel all the way through the manse that keep the whole place nice and toasty when there is frost on the ground and teeth in the biting wind it located.

I'm thinking...

Following on from my previous post on the subject, I have now read right through Warhammer Visions. Bearing in mind that as a subscription holder, this is what will be replacing my traditional monthly White Dwarf magazine, and having given up looking for secret extra pages and hidden articles in some pictorial code language, I am thinking dark and unfortunate thoughts.

Lots of people have said plenty about the changes made to White Dwarf, how that affects subscription holder and non-holders alike, and what that leaves us with at the end of all things. I personally have only rarely been one to criticize Games Workshop or White Dwarf, except occasionally on pricing and the odd clanger of a model, which being fair are typically few and far between. I'm a bit of a Games Workshop Fanboy you might say, but late on this week I came to simple realisation about how I judge my White Dwarf Magazine.

I have a veritable library of White Dwarf magazines going back years, and have had a subscription for probably close to a decade. I have analysed my own reading of White Dwarf over the last twenty years, all the great battle reports, campaign articles, army building and Tale of Four Gamers, Gathering of Might, Global Campaigns etc, and made a terrible discovery...

The new Warhammer Visions magazine (and the White Dwarf Weekly Issue 1 for that matter), represent the first and only time in all my long aeons in the hobby that I have come to the end of the magazine and, instead of sliding it under the coffee table, into my bag, or on the shelf with the others, my initial and natural urge was to pop it in the recycling bin...I mean 'heavily embellished gothic cast iron furnace'.

This is a really sad thing for me. Not only that, I got through Visions in about twenty minutes. Even the most recent editions of White Dwarf gave me a few hours leisurely reading, a bit here, a bit there, and always reading in a strict order of reverse-priority.

I always saved my favourite articles till last, so it would always be a regimented routine of: start at the front, and read through to the back, but skip Blanchitsu, Jeremy Vetock, Jervis Johnson and the battle report, then read back to front, picking these up as I went, and always, always finishing with the battle report, being ultra careful not to stumble onto the final page of the report that gave the result. This was my bible.

Yes, White Dwarf has changed a lot over the years, sometimes for good, and sometimes ill, and of course everyone has their own views about what the liked and didn't like. I am very forgiving hobbyist, and a big fan of Games Workshop and White Dwarf, but at the moment I am most troubled about the changes.

I have never been a person to get rid of or throw out models, and have only sold models I wasn't using to fund other gaming purchases. I have always been able to justify my expenditure by considering it an investment, something I get enjoyment out of over many years, and hopefully one day will share with my son. Hell, the models even hold their value pretty well, so if the worst ever came to the worst, at least I could get something back from all that investment.

As I said at the end of my previous post on the subject, I haven't yet cancelled my subscription, and this is mainly in the hope that things pick up (quite drastically I might add), but by that simple measure - do I keep it, or does it go in the furnace? - at the moment, I may finally be saying 'fairwell' to Grombrindal. It will be a sad day indeed if it comes to that, but I am not one to spend money on something that doesn't enhance my hobby. Facts are facts, regardless of how much I wish they were otherwise.

The flames roar, the crisp pages begin to curl in the heat...