Well, the change to White Dwarf has happened! White Dwarf has become a weekly pamphlet – I don’t think 30 pages qualifies for anything else.
Warhammer Visions is the big one. It replaces the monthly White Dwarf, and is supposed to be the inspirational magazine, with almost double the page count (although at a hefty jump in price). It also replaces the iPad subscription if that’s what you’ve got.
Its also, unfortunately, a really badly implemented move. Although the page count has doubled, the size of the pages has roughly halved, so if anything, you are getting less for your money. The print quality seems significantly worse in my copy than the previous White Dwarfs, which have been gorgeously printed whether you liked the content or not.
In terms of the content … well, the phrase damp squib truly springs to mind. It is purely images of models … from Golden Demons, a show case of tyranids, Blanchitsu, and a “battle report”. All of the minimal labels on the images are in three languages to maximise international sales. Now, that’s not entirely a bad thing, of course – some people will find the images inspirational. I don’t, at this point. Why?
Well, Blanchitsu, while once my favourite article, now just seems to be pictures of his mates’ models, rather than anything actually from John Blanche, and there’s certainly no text saying why he likes them or what is special about the art.
The “Battle Report” is a atrocious – a few snaps aren’t a battle report. The setup, the army lists, the full board level illustrations highlighting the armies moves – these are pretty much vital to get a feel for an actual game. Some photos? Well, I see that on twitter as mates play with more information than here.
There isn’t any return of Heavy Metal – it still uses paint splatter and fairly simple colour guides to illustrate a few of the themed models (tyranids in this month’s case).
The photos themselves are reasonably well taken (if viewed on the iPad edition), but a lot have been seen elsewhere. It doesn’t feel fresh.
I didn’t think it’d be a big deal for me, but I hate the multiple language labels. It feels like we’re losing out on actual information about the models and paint choices for basic labels that work in three languages … its a sales move, and it shows.
I feel its a real shame, because I like the core concept behind Visions. If we had a monthly magazine focussing on the cinematic and aspirational side of the hobby, that could be good! What would need to change to keep me subscribing?
Well, some actual artwork, and short stories, would help too! When I visualise the various worlds, I don’t just think of the models – I want to see the universe. I want to paint an army of Crimson Fists because of the Rogue Trader cover, not because of someone else’s models. With a bold title like visions, I wanted to see a new view of the fantasy and 40K worlds.
I’d scrap paint splatter in the monthly, and go back to the really advanced heavy metal guides. Could I use them all? Probably not now – but the techniques show that with practise I can get there. Paint splatter is for the battlefield if I lack any inspiration – heavy metal is for dreamers.
I’m not sure visions is the right field for battle reports at all, but imagine if you used a short story from the heresy with shots of the battle deployed with models? That might get me excited to get me playing.
At the moment, I’m afraid its a damp, expensive squib, rather than a visionary firework. The best thing GW did was deliver it on a saturday, when their lines were closed so I couldn’t cancel right away.