Tuesday, 4 October 2011

White Dwarf: A gentle rant

Before I start, let me get some things straight...
  • GW are not an evil empire
  • I would not be in this hobby without GW
  • This hobby probably would not exist (in any meaningful sense) without GW
Having said that I do have a minor gripe that is gnawing away at me. This background noise of discontent has now not to the point that I feel the need to vent. Albeit, vent is a very English and gentle way.

The source of my discontent, GW's sales magazine, White Dwarf

White Dwarf & me (a personal history)

Let me take you way back to a simpler time. Once upon a time GW pushed a little magazine, which covered most of hobby. To encourage customers to subscribe they gave away a quaint little cartoon booklet.

If you wanted the magazine, you could buy from the shops or you could get through the post with a reward for your loyalty.

Time passes and GW withdraw the freebie and limit their coverage to only GW products.

That is fine, if you like the products and like the magazine it is still worth getting and I continue to subscribe.

Time passes and I drift away from the hobby for a few years.

When I return it is 2005 and the hobby appears little changed, GW have reduced their ranges to core games only, but all is still fun. Occasionally, when I am attracted by an article I buy White Dwarf, otherwise I let it pass. The painting standard of the models in the mag appear to be set to a very low level, but I take this as a deliberate ploy to encourage those that cannot paint to well.

More recently my interest increases and at the same time the quality of the modelling and painting articles increases.

Yes! It is time to resume subscriptions!

Then within a year......

No real 'eavy metal articles, and then the worst blow, they decide to send out subscriptions after they go on sale in the shops!

I receive a little letter last month pushing the dreadfleet, and near the bottom they slip in the news that subscribers are to receive their copies after they hit the shops!

Is this deliberate?

I hear that there are a whole range of articles giving guidance on how to paint the dreadfleet in this months copy.

Can I read it?

And the reason I cannot is because I have shown some product loyalty to GW and subscribed to a magazine. I can go to the shop and look up at the shelf to see the product I have already paid for, but GW no longer want to send it to me on time!

Of course I could buy and extra copy, but how is that going to make me feel?

Is it going to ruin my life?

Is it going to ruin my week?

But it will make me a little grumpy now, and it does not encourage me to rush into pre-ordering products again.

Gentle rant over, if nothing else I feel a little better....


  1. GW has said that this is due to an outside company handling the mailing of their magazines, and this is the cause of the delay due to GW's new policy of not letting information get out ahead of time.

    Yep, the new GW rumor control and information blackout policy means that in order to prevent news getting out to the public before it is revealed at a GW store, they cannot trust the post office because you might get your magazine a day or two early and blab about what's inside before GW says it's okay.

  2. Yea, shame. I would have thought that the odd scanned image posted on a forum every now and then would be seen as free advertising. Nevermind, no harm done. Maybe postman will come tomorrow....

  3. I scratch my head at GW's actions over the years. Even from a business standpoint its hinky. The printer has the information ahead of time so between the information leaks, on purpose most of the time, and employees of the printer being able to snag a copy for internet posting, you still get images before the official unveiling.

    Regardless I think they really shot themselves in the foot by cracking down on previews. people hardly know whats coming out. I hardly ever read white dwarf anymore so I only really see new models on the net and when they just show up in the shop.

  4. The two reasons I used to buy WD were the painting guides (i.e. the 'Eavy Metal guides) and the battle reports.

    Since the quality of these two went downhill (and disappeared,) I've stopped buying it.

    I do miss reading it though, usually in the pub with a pint, but not that much.



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