Review – Ravage Gaming Magazine #5

Time to review the Ravage Miniatures Gaming Magazine. Or, more accurately, share my first impression. This is the first time I held and read this gaming magazine. The copy I have is the English language version released by CoolMiniOrNot.com. Specifically, I have issue #5 for December 2012 – January 2013 of this bi-monthly magazine.

I recently reviewed Games Workshop’s January 2013 White Dwarf. There, I made grandiose boasts to do a sorts of “hobby magazine month” on my blog. Well, that didn’t work out as planned. So much things to write about, so preciously little time!

Still, this weekend, I found time to read my copy of the Ravage magazine.

Time to share my thoughts!

Ravage Miniature Gaming Magazine #5 Review

Summary: Though Ravage magazine has half the page-count of a current White Dwarf, it is a far more fulfilling read. It’s packed with content. However, as all content is “branded” to different games, the value of different issues will vary a lot for different players. Scarcity of generic hobby content would keep my away from a subscription. ‘Ravage Miniatures Gaming Magazine’ #5: 3.5 / 5 stars      

#1 – Sizing up Ravage Magazine

CoolMiniOrNot's Ravage Miniatures Gaming Magazine #5

Ravage Miniatures Gaming Magazine vs. White Dwarf

Combining the two magazines, Ravage magazine #5 offers 65 pages for USD 6.99. I don’t think it is sold in the UK. The January White Dwarf has 150 pages and sold for USD 10,- in the states. If it were sold in the UK, Ravage would be about one pound cheaper.

As said in my review of the White Dwarf, its thicknesses deceptive. With that much space (i.e. almost all of it) given to large pictures and product shots, it ends up being a surprisingly light read.

Ravage is the opposite. It is just packed with content, almost bursting its low page-count. Scenarios for Kings of War, Zombicide and X-Wing. A review of the 40K Dark Vengeance starter box. A complete Dark Age army expansion, etc.. .

Unlike the White Dwarf, Ravage clearly passes the “airplane-test” of keeping me busy for a two-hour journey (or longer).

In-depth background for Dark Age’s Kukulkani. Imagine this page in a White Dwarf!

#2 – What Is Inside?

Where to start?

If you never read a Ravage magazine, note that there are (almost) no “generic” or “independent” pages in the Ravage Miniatures Gaming magazine. Exceptions are perhaps the opening editorial, the magazine’s review of the Dark Vengeance and a closing 1-page column by Quirkworthy‘s Jake Thornton.

If a White Dwarf is a company paper for GW, reading Ravage is much like a series of company articles from other miniature game companies, bound into a single magazine.

There are, among others, 4 pages of Dust on Operation Hades. A 2-page Malifaux primer on the Neverborn. Several one-page game-scenarios for games like Kings of War, Zombicide and X-Wing. And, of course, the ~30-page army rules for Dark Age’s Kukulkani.

The quality of the articles thus varies a lot. Some are, inevitably, nothing but glorified ads, leaving the reader with very little other than the information that – yes – game X exists and has this or that new models out now.

Others are surprisingly good. I really enjoyed the Zombicide and Kings of War scenarios. The latter – only one page – was better at making me want to play “something fantasy” than most things I came across in the White Dwarf recently.

The best, or ideal article is clearly the Infinity-article on building a tower-like sci-fi building by Louis Stéphane. Sure, it has Infinity all over it. Yet it is a complete terrain-building article that doesn’t need any purchase from Corvus Belli. It even has the schematics to cut out in the magazine itself or – if you’re not into snipping up your copy of Ravage – links to download them as print-files! That is truly an old-school, quality hobby-article at its very best.Infinity Ravage Magazine Article

Making terrain from scratch – an Infinity article

#3 – The Verdict: A Great Read with Unpredictable Content

This is a very tough one for me to rate on a 1-5 scale. 3.5 stars is a compromise score.

  • The Good: Lots of Content

Ravage does a lot of things right, not least those I criticized with the White Dwarf: It’s full of content. It kept me busy reading for many hours. Some articles, such as the Infinity one mentioned above, bring back nostalgic memories of the best DIY-White Dwarf articles of yore. Not all articles were as good, yet on the whole it was 7 dollars well spent.

  • The Bad: You’ll Never Know What You Get

What makes Ravage a good one-off read, might not work for an extended subscription.

I enjoyed reading 30 pages on Dark Age and their new (Star-Gate-esque) Maya faction. It is well written and gives interesting glimpses into the Dark Age setting and game. However, I don’t play Dark Age (nor do I intent to). Reading ~30 pages in-depth background and rules on a game I don’t play will likely lose much of its charm the 2nd or 3rd time around.

A similar caveat applies to the other articles. The entries for Kings of War or Infinity in this issue can easily be used by any gamer for almost any game. The X-Wing scenario, however, is obviously rather useless for anyone not playing X-Wing. As are, unfortunately, some of the other articles that offer nothing but “product advertisement”. ‘Ravage Miniatures Gaming Magazine’ #5: 3.5 / 5 stars      

In summary, the long-term value of Ravage is likely low, unless you play a lot of the miniature games out there. Even so, I enjoyed it a lot more than the recent White Dwarf.