The Dwarf Gyrobomber – White Dwarf 02 February 2014

White Dwarf Gyrobomber

Welcome to the second week of Games Workshops all-new weekly White Dwarf + Weekly Miniatures release schedule. Obviously enough, the second week of the month sees releases that add to the ones unveiled last week – Warhammer Fantasy Dwarfs.

For all intents and purposes, Games Workshop still revolve around 1-army-per-month, just staggered over the different weeks.


#1 – Gyrobomber & Grimm: New Dwarf Miniatures

Grimm Burloksson

It’s (another) Dwarf week, so let’s talk about the new Dwarfs. There are a total of 4 new (non-digital) Dwarf releases going up for pre-orders today with the new White Dwarf.

  • Gyrobomber / Gyrocopter kit
  • Dwarf Runelord plastic blister
  • Grimm Burloksson plastic blister
  • Warhammer Dwarfs Army Book

The Gyrocopter/bomber… well… it’s a terribly cute miniature. I am certainly not against a nice chibi-steampunk look, but it feels a bit out of place in the grim Games Workshop universe, and seems more fitting for a more lighthearted setting. That said, it was fun to read about wooden grudgebuster bombs, steam guns and reckless young Dwarfs who yearn for the skies.

The two characters, the Runelord and Grim Burloksson come loaded with options and variant builds. It’s amazing how much they squeeze into these character-plastic-blisters these days. Together with last weeks Slayer and Dwarf Lord, Dwarfs now have 4 new plastic characters!

The Dwarf army book finally arrives, and the much-speculated cover is revealed. There is (of course) also a limited edition. The article about the new Army Book doesn’t give much information (though there are rules for the Gyrobomber and Grimm Burloksson in this issue).

Still, the idea to lag the Army Book itself to the second week is (to me) among the most puzzling choices in the new weekly-release approach. Will people buy loads of rank-and-file miniatures (like last weeks Hammerers) before they read the book? More than did previously with the more regular pre-orders?


#2 – All About Dwarfs

Dwarf Army Book Warhammer Fantasy

To state the painfully obvious, this White Dwarf is all about … Dwarfs. The new White Dwarf really takes the “mono-theme” idea to the extreme. In the 32 pages total,

  • 12 pages detail the new Dwarf releases,
  • 4 pages add a Jeremy Vetock article on the “history, heritage and heroes” of Dwarfs,
  • 2 pages Paint Splatter tell you how to paint Dwarfs,
  • 2 pages Sprue and Glue assemble a Dwarf Gyrobomber ,
  • 2 pages preview Dwarf rules (Gyrocopter and Grimm Burloksson and
  • 2 more pages give you some designer notes on the Dwarfs.

Last year, when I was doing reviews for the “old” White Dwarf, I kinda lamented the strong focus on the given release, which severely limited the old White Dwarfs appeal as a general-purpose (GW) hobby magazine. The new format clearly amplify this focus, and I wonder if (or how) that would work for Games Workshop.

Without a subscription and a weekly release, people can only really pick these up at the store. The White Dwarf – obviously – promotes the release of the week. But as there is absolutely no content except the releases of the week (one Phil Kelly column aside), I don’t see how anyone would buy this, if there aren’t interested in a given week’s release (i.e. Dwarfs) in the first place?

No?

How can the magazine promote Dwarfs to GW customers not interested in Dwarfs, if there’s nothing in there to tempt (as of yet) non-Dwarf players/fans to buy a  copy (and nobody will get you via subscription)?

White Dwarf, as a GW-hobby-exclusive, has always been preaching to the choir. The new weekly “extreme-theme” WD may well end up doing so even within the GW-fanbase.


#3 – Thoughts?

I continue to be a bit puzzled by the new White Dwarf format.

Personally, I don’t think it is all that bad (unlike the complement Warhammer Visions, which truly has no point as far as I can see). True, White Dwarf is never going to return to become a hobby-magazine in a broader sense, less so now in the weekly format than before in its latest monthly iteration.

It just doesn’t strike me as a smart format for promoting things either.

This White Dwarf, like last week’s, is a fairly interesting little pamphlet, that I would recommend to people who are excited about the upcoming Warhammer Fantasy Dwarfs. Future White Dwarf Weekly will, presumably, continue to appeal to fans of a given week’s release. Yet this weeks is utterly pointless for anyone who isn’t heavily into Dwarfs, and thus unlikely to persuade anyone into buying some Dwarfs, who didn’t plan so before.