Review - White Dwarf 301

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Well, the new WD century starts with something of a whimper (or a scream of
horror from those who've got to the New Releases section). I can't even be rude
about the Wave Serpent until next month (when I will also be able to complain
bitterly that someone beat me to the Biel-Tan fluff article and moan about all
the bits that should be there and aren't. This is the thousandth time I've said
it, but now I really have to get on with polishing and submitting the wretched
Iyanden piece. The new submission guidelines say "NO FICTION!", but does that
include fluff as well as just stories?).



Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms £12
Ogre Kingdoms Batallion £50
Ogre Tyrant £18
Ogre Hunter £18
Ogre Bulls (6) £20
Ogre Leadabelchers (4) £20
Gnoblars (24) £18
Gnoblar Trappers (4) £6

Urgh. Where to start? Good things...good things...good things? Hmm. Well, the
weapons are decent enough. The Ogre Bulls aren't the *most* offensive models in
the range (save for the bellower head). Um. What else? Leadbelcher cannon would
make decent cut-price barrels (4 to a sprue, presumably) if you could find a
cheap carriage and the barrels would be good as scenery pieces. The gnoblars
look quite fun, and the Tyrant with two-handed weapon adds decent head, arm and
body components to the range. Sadly, as complete models only that Tyrant is
good enough for me to even think about using were it not for the price tag
(good thing he can be taken as a DoW). The truly abominable Butcher, Yhetees
and Gorger have been held back to save our sanity this month, but what we have
is bad enough - the *other* Tyrant components, the Leadbelcher heads with the
lit matches behind the ears, the Sabretusks, the bellower head and the plastic
bodies, for instance.

The Batallion isn't the attractive deal in terms of its contents that most are,
and I'm not just talking visually - with four plastic sets to fit in one
Batallion GW didn't give themselves many options. I agree with the apparent
consensus that, based on the leaked rules, Leadbelchers are fairly dreadful,
and while it's true that they could be used as four more Bulls instead, a full
six-pack of Bulls might have been better. However, if there's anyone here
planning to buy an Ogre army, ignore the tactical considerations or the fact
that there are perhaps 200pts less troops in here than in other races'
batallions - with the increased price of the regiment boxes (but not the
batallion) you get £78 of contents in a £50 box, which has to be among GW's
best deals of recent years.


Space Marine Techmarine and Servitors (5) £15
Servitors (2) £6

Right, I'm already bored with the lacklustre Marine releases this edition. I
think all of these servitors are new models and they include two with heavy
bolters, the missing weapon option for gun servitors. They look even more
Borg-like than their predecessors; the only one I much care for as a model is
the one with power cable arms. As for the Techmarine, even with the Dr. Octopus
harness removed he's not great - a stilted pose and those chunky stabiliser
legs that don't fit the SM range.


Terminus Est, Death Guard Battlebarge £15

Most of this is new, though it has been sculpted to look essentially essential
to the Despoiler Battleship save for the addition of Nurglesque bits. I don't
much care for the Destroyer Hive smokestacks and overall it doesn't look
sufficiently different from the original to warrant a new miniature, but it's
not too bad a model.


Dark Elf Poison Blade £4
Skaven Poison Blade £4


Ork Character Pack £8


Bounty Hunter £12


Halfling Thief £5

Okay, I like Hired Swords as much as anyone, but can we please have a
moratorium on new Hired Swords and warbands for Mordheim? There are so many
existing ones that need revisiting before they're officialised, and lots of
gaps in the model range (including in the 'official' Orc & Goblin and
Averlander warbands and two official Hired Swords, the Imperial Assassin and
Tilean Marksman). As for the Halfling Thief, I can't say I'm hugely impressed -
I don't like his face or hair.


Slann Mage Priest £6

This is wholly unnecessary since an old-style Slann exists for the Lizards in
Warmaster, but this way at least GW is releasing at least one figure for each
of its systems (save Necromunda) this month. However, considering Fanatic's
supposed manufacturing constraints and the forthcoming cut in model production,
how can they justify superfluous models like this and, to an only slightly
lesser extent, the Terminus Est?


The Lord of the Rings Compilation 2005 £12

LotR gets an annual this year - why none for any other system? Okay, 40k4 and
Epic haven't been around long enough to warrant one and there's not been much
going on for WFB, but Mordheim hasn't had an annual for two years and the other
specialist games are waiting on theirs for this year.


Right, seven years are up (we're told) and WD's entering a new era. Yes, Fat
Bloke is stepping down as editor in favour of Guy Haley (the chap who wrote a
couple of last month's better articles, including the history of White Dwarf).
It's true that Sawyer presided over some pretty dark days for WD - the era of
price hikes, the loss of useful content in favour of adverts and hyping the
latest releases - but the last year or two has seen a genuine effort on his
part to make the magazine relevant to gamers, with hobby sections, more fluff
articles and (a little earlier) Chapter Approved/Warhammer Chronicles. Granted,
a good deal of it is redundant to long-time 'hobbyists', but WD is moving in
the right direction. In fact, I was looking back at WDs from an earlier era not
too long ago (back in the era of Space Marine 2, 10 years or more ago) and the
magaazine's glory days were long past then, before Sawyer took the helm. The
selection of articles was small and almost all focused on a new release, while
fluff was nonexistent. The best that could be said is that back then the
preview articles (at the time mostly for Epic) actually included useful game
content, but good luck finding any anywhere else. That, and the mail order
section in those largely pre-internet days was pretty good. I suppose nostalgia
about WD has less to do with a deterioration in quality than an increase in
price - WD's quality has been more or less constant for a least a decade as
near as I can tell, but the price has more than doubled in the same time.

As for Haley himself, he starts by coming straight out and saying that WD was a
catalogue for too long, and that he wants it to follow the recent trend of
becoming more of a hobby mag.


Pictures of new Terminators; still not a fan. The great disappointment is that
the dog head wasn't changed - one of the best features of Typhus (the best
old-style Terminator model released to date) was his more knightly helmet

WD will be starting a three-month Necro campaign next month, and 'a selection
of Necromunda miniatures' will go on sale in GW stores (if this follows the
trend of campaign-based rereleases for BFG and Warmaster, expect just the two
gangs used in the campaign - shown here are Cawdor and Escher).

Advertisements for not-quite-GW games: The Old West miniatures game from
Warhammer Historical and a second edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay due in
March. The latter interests me more than the former, to be sure.

Finally, there are previews of the Epic Scorpion and Cobra (the Swordwind
releases begin next month) and two new HE characters for WFB. The mage is the
one shown in the Sneak Peaks, based on a Warmaster model in the act of using
magic. Not sure why she's balancing on a floating ball and I'm not wholly sold
on the pose, but it's not a bad model and Elves need more female wizards in
general. It will probably stand out in an army, though (how does she hide in a
regiment, I wonder?) The other model is a hero on foot with white lion cloak,
axe and armour that looks remarkably like Valten's gromril armour. I hope the
arm can be reposed (and the weapon replaced, for that matter), but otherwise
this is a decent model if not in the same league as, say, Eltharion. We are
promised a selection of new mages and heroes, the latter based heavily on
Special and Rare infantry choices (so presumably as well as the White Lion we
can hope to see a(nother) Swordmaster, a Phoenix Guard and a Shadow Warrior).
We're promised that this will allow the models to use more of the options
allowed by the army book, which is good (but then what's wrong with Korhil?).
No word on whether the Swordmasters or White Lions will themselves be redone,
or whether we can expect new special characters (if we're getting a Shadow
Warrior, why not make him Alith Anar?)


A guide to the new-look GW website for all those who, like me, can't tell the
difference from the old-look one.


Rather late rundown of Games Day 2004. Most of the things mentioned in the
seminars have since come to pass, though I hadn't heard of the promise to give
'less prominent races like the Dark Eldar' more coverage in WD. One
not-very-prominent race that is mentioned is the Wood Elves, who will get heavy
cav (those blasted elk-riders, I suppose) and will become darker (what doesn't
in any revision? I'm guessing all those High Elves due out in the next few
months will be wearing dark grey rather than white...)


This preview article is written as an interview with the designer (Phil Kelly,
not Gav Thorpe), so there's a bit less "hey, this new army is so kewl" and more
"hey, I think this new army is so kewl". Kelly says that he wanted to make the
Ogres as nasty and brutal as possible, "but it's done in a good-humoured way",
and that "Ogres ... don't want to eat you because they are evil, they want to
eat you purely because they are hungry." Ogre grammar seems to have rubbed off
on Haley - "there are, according to Phil, more Ogres now than there has been
for a very long time" (the Warhammer World's equivalent of the obesity
epidemic, I suppose). Whoever edits this rag should be shot...

Many years ago, 40k pinched Ogres and Halflings and now WFB returns the
compliment - we learn that WFB Ogres and Halflings share a common origin
(they're both abhumans, of course), rather than ogres being creatures of Chaos.
We have the daft idea that ogres are fond of halflings, and not just as food,
and that they belong together - don't tell me that this is an allusion to the
Tau and Kroot in 40k. Like the Tau and Kroot the Ogres and Halflings were late
civilisations created by the Old Ones, and so not human mutants. Does this mean
the next incarnation of Halflings will try to make them less human, I wonder?
Still, at least the similarities between Tau/Kroot and Ogre/Halflings end there
- after all, one is a race of diminutive hominids who are skilled at range but
poor in close combat, accompanied by a race of larger, primitive, cannibalistic
barbarians who stop to eat anything they kill, while the other ... oh, bugger.

As for the more interesting members of the Ogre Kingdoms, Gnoblars are
apparently a sort of 'missing link' between Snotlings and Goblins that are
either eaten by just about everything or enslaved by the Chaos Dwarfs (whatever
for? I doubt they can do much useful work and the CDs have Hobgoblins for
lackeys anyway). With all these references to the CDs popping up, can we please
have a projected date for the army book?

For some reason, in another triumph for the new editor, this part of the
article ends in mid-sentence without warning, to be followed by a section on
the inspiration for the ogre look (surprise, surprise, fairy tales and fantasy
art. But not Shrek). Then we get the sculptor's comments. According to Brian
Nelson the ogres were designed to look Slavic, but I for one don't see it (they
certainly don't look much like the Czechs I know...) From what we're told here
the Leadbelcher cannon may not be so useful after all - apparently they come
attached to the arms.

The main article continues as abruptly as it stopped - why they didn't either
stick the other bits at the end of the article or add a 'Continued on page ..."
clause I don't know. There is actually some interesting fluffy stuff here - a
prehistoric ecosystem in the Mountains of Mourn and the idea of merchant
caravans along the Ivory Road to Cathay (if you can't guess where that
particular bit of inspiration came from Kelly will tell you) using ogres as
bodyguards. There's also background on giants, Cathay and Ind. However, there's
no rules content whatsoever beyond confirmation that Bulls, Ironguts,
Leadbelchers and Maneaters are Dogs of War (not Tyrants? Oh, well, he could
still be a unit leader). I can't help feeling it's time the DoW had another
revision themselves, actually...

On the final page we're shown pictures of GW's previous incarnations of ogres -
one of the 1991 ogre range, Blood Bowl's Morg 'n' Thorg, one of Golfag's bunch,
one of the dire Chaos Ogres, and the Mordheim Ogre Mercenary as well as an Ogre
Bull. I have to say looking at these I was in for a surprise - the new Ogre
Bull is indisputably the best of them, despite being ugly as sin and poorly
posed. Only the Ogre Mercenary is close to the same quality, and that's another
Nelson Ogre.

We're shown some concept mock-ups made before the finished models, which is
probably a mistake - the Great Taurus + Boar Chariot + Spear Chukka
scraplauncher mock-up is better than the finished version, though looks perhaps
a little too sophisticated.


Ogres and Gnoblars. These are rudimentary three-step guides with a bit more
detail on tattoos and rusty weapons.


An ogre yurt.


Right, a proper article. Month 2.

To recap, at the end of month 1 the armies were as follows:

Asger (Daemonic Legion - Nurgle):

12 Plaguebearers
Nurgling Swarm - 4 bases

Stephen (Tomb Kings):

32 Skeletons
8 Skeleton Horsemen
3 Undead Chariots

Paul (Empire):

20 Empire Soldiers
20 Empire Militia

Dave (Grimgor's 'Ardboyz):

Orc Shaman
10 Black Orcs with great weapons, inc. command:
Stone Troll

This month the focus seems to be on characters. Asger's entire allowance (bar
£4 held over to next month) goes on an Orc-headed Daemon Prince, using the 40k
model and plastic dragon wings. The result doesn't quite work to my eyes - a
lot of green stuff has gone into covering up the 40k bits, but the Space Marine
leg armour and boots and the gun attached to the right claw still stand out.
We're told he'd played some border patrol games against the Empire army, but
are given no details.

Daemonic Legion:

Daemon Prince
Daemonic Herald
Plaguebearers (12)
Nurgling Swarm (4 bases)

Stephen adds a Tomb King in chariot and a Liche Priest to his army - in
fairness these are basically essential (though the mounted Liche Priest may
have been more useful, risky or not) and his was the only army without a
leader, so his purchases aren't as frivolous as a Daemon Prince conversion. I'm
less convinced by the need for an icon bearer, let alone a single Tomb Swarm,
however - I'd have saved those £8 for next month myself. The army is starting
to take shape - the cavalry have been assembed as heavy cav and the skeletons
are arranged into a unit of 16 spearmen and 12 bowmen. Stephen's painting
skills still fail to impress - his Liche Priest in Kermit Green is rather an
eyesore (yes, okay, that model's an eyesore whatever its colour, but I mean
moreso, okay?).

Tomb Kings:

Tomb King mounted in a chariot
Liche Priest
16 Skeletons with spears and shields
12 Skeletons with bows
1 Tomb Swarm
8 Skeleton Heavy Cavalry
3 Undead Chariots

Paul moans about having to paint Empire troops, particularly as he quite
rightly states the Empire Militia plastics are among the best GW makes, very
detailed and individualistic (I've had my Reiklander warband for years and
still haven't faced painting them...) His results aren't bad (though he's not
great on faces), but I think I prefer the model shown before the final armour
highlight. A brief painting guide is included. Painting silvered metal over a
brass basecoat is something I hadn't thought of, I have to say, but it works.
We still aren't given any details of how he's chosen to assemble his previous
purchases, but this month he buys some metal Empire archers (why, when for
£2.50 more he could have 20 more militiamen and enough bits between the two
boxes for 20 plastic archers?), some halflings and a MH witch as his magic


20 Soldiers (Swordsmen?)
20 Militia (Free Company?)
5 Archers
5 Halflings

The Orc player continues last month's trend of wasting money on pricey
purchases at the expense of basic troops (his Black Orc Champion is Borgut
Facebeater). As such he still doesn't have a basic, playable army. He has,
however, started to compile an army list with points values, more than his
opponents have done (though both the Undead and Daemon armies are worth
considerably more than 479pts by this stage). In every series like this, I
suppose someone had to be picked to show how things shouldn't be done, and this
chap obviously has the short straw. Nevertheless this chap gets the first
mini-battle report in (well, he says he played a couple of games against
Goblins and won), though this wasn't against a fellow Gamer.

Grimgor's 'Ardboyz:

Orc Shaman (Level 2. Dangly Wotnotz)
13 Black Orcs (full command, great weapons)
3 Stone Trolls

Total: 479pts

Looking at the selections so far I'm still favouring the Tomb Kings - this is
the one army that seems to be growing based on issues of playability rather
than huge cool conversions (Daemons), what works thematically but probably
won't in practice(militia-based Empire) or sheer stupidity ('Ardboyz). Maybe
next month my predictions will be tested.


The fluff conclusion to the campaign, as posted on the Storm of Chaos website a
while ago, complete with such rubbish as Grimgor's sudden intervention to save
Valten and his decision to let Archaeon live and the Mannfred/Volkmar exchange
(Mannfred: "Resist or die". Volkmar: "We resist". Manfred: "Okay, I'll run away
then"). There are no new post-campaign rules as there were with Albion, for
instance - no rules for using the Hellcannon in Chaos Dwarf armies, no new
rules for Volkmar, no rules for important characters in the campaign such as
the Elector of Hochland or the surviving Four (Kordel Shorgaar, Cyspeth,
Styrkaar and Feytor). They shoiuld at least have killed Shorgaar, just to have
Valten do something. The final tally of dead characters in this campaign:

Valten (murdered by Deathmaster Sniktch)
Garagrim Ironfist (a giant fell on him)
Melekh the Changer (killed by Archaeon for incompetence).
Haargoth the Bloodied One (killed by Ar-Ulric Valgeir).

We're also given a list of victories by army - one of those meaningless ones
that doesn't indicate how many armies of a given race were involved. Fir
instance, in absolute terms the Beastmen actually did better than the Wood
Elves, but as anyone following their campaign performance would have gathered,
"Beastmen players reported losing more than any other army". Considering how
bad they are as a standalone army, this comes as no surprise. One surprise is
the High Elves' high ranking (third, behind Empire and Archaeon's Horde), since
they were peripheral to the fluff in the campaign (at least until Teclis
stepped in to destroy the Daemonic Legions at the end). Every existing army
type and official sub-army seemed to be represented - even enough wholly
Kislevite armies to score 553 victories.


Barely conversions for the most part, these are basically Empire Soldiers with
Chaos Marauder heads (supposedly Empire Traitors).


Mostly reprinted Index Astartes fluff about the Space Marines themselves (why
have they dispensed with the IA format?) and a rehash of the different types of
Space Marine infantry and characters. We get some sidebars about individual
Space Marines, some new (Techmarine Tomasin of the Ultramarines, Brother Damos
of the Angels Porphyr), some existing (Lemartes, Ezekiel) and one who's only
been alluded to (Tu'Shan, Chapter Master of the Salamanders).


PIctures of Rhinos in a variety of paintschemes. Does anyone else feel they're
padding this out just to fill the magazine?


Death Guard painting guide and army showcase. It doesn't look bad, and I like
the DG Terminators.


Sisters-heavy Witch Hunters v. 13th Company. The scenario we're given is a 40k4
update to the Assassins scenario for 40k3.


Iron Warriors Vindicator showcase.


Terrain article for rusty industrial structures. Some of the results are okay
but it's more of a showcase than a modelling guide.


Two more homegrown Chapters. Better than the last lot.

I think I've found the flaw in the new format with both WFB and 40k sections -
they feel obliged to fill the 40k one even when nothing's happening in that
system, with the result that we get a whole third of the magazine as filler.


Into LotR - so make that two thirds of the magazine as filler. In fairness
there is rules content here (for batttles at sea), but since it's LotR, who


The rise of the Serpent Lord fluff. Having never read the Silmarillon, some of
this background material could be interesting to read sometime, though I can't
be bothered at the moment.


This seems to be the LotR attempt at a Mordheim-scale game; a small
'Fellowship' of a given race (in this case Dwarfs) with the company gaining
experience as the campaign progresses (though individuals don't).


What it says.


More attempts at flogging a dead elephant - or even a live one.


Model of Minas Tirith.

You can tell this is a low-content issue by the fact that the Ogre Kingdoms are
the only thing here one can get even vaguely interested in (and I do mean
vaguely; I may pick up the army book at some stage for the fluff). No campaigns
this issue, no rules content and not even many conversions, making the
Astronomicon (Mail Order) section rather light on models to showcase (though
the entire Sisters range, more or less, is showcased instead of conversions).
To cap it all it's not nearly as big as last month's - what a rip-off!

Philip Bowles
4 answers Last reply
More about review white dwarf
  1. Archived from groups: (More info?)

    Having spent the last week working on Ogres I have to say that the worst
    thing about them and in my humble opinion this is what makes them look rough
    is the bloody colour that GW painted them....

    I used Vallejo/Andreacolour 'Brown Leather' with a midpoint highlight of
    'Vallejo' Cavalry Brown and highlighted with a mix of 'Cavalry Brown' and
    Humbrol (acrylic) 'Peach'

    Now as soon as I can walk and stand ( I broke my Knee and shin skateboarding
    on NY Eve and the wife is still livid cos I discharged myself until Tuesday
    when they operate so NO attempts at normal life for me) I'll post pics on
    the Yahoo group. They look like a cross betwixt a 'Djinn' and 'Klingon' and
    look waaaaaaaaaaay better than that bloody awful grey.

    Having bought the BIG army box and after seeing them two other Battalion
    sets and having a cursory glance at the army book OI have to say that they
    do have some great ideas and will be a challenge to play... Heh....50
    Gnoblars in each unit and
    chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge.... and die.... almost
    tempting to paint em like Zulu's

    'Look Sah..Gnoblars, Fhasends of 'em'

    Well Happy New Year to you all and all that... I am off to pop some morphine
  2. Archived from groups: (More info?)

    "P Bowles" <> wrote in message

    > Sadly, as complete models only that Tyrant is
    > good enough for me to even think about using were it not for the price tag
    > (good thing he can be taken as a DoW).

    negative. only bulls, ironguts, leadbelchers and maneaters can be taken as
    dogs of war (maneater units count as 2 rare choices instead of one).

    > Right, I'm already bored with the lacklustre Marine releases this edition.
    > think all of these servitors are new models and they include two with
    > bolters, the missing weapon option for gun servitors.

    the heavy bolter component has been around a while already, it's just the
    bodies that are new.

    > The rise of the Serpent Lord fluff. Having never read the Silmarillon,
    some of
    > this background material could be interesting to read sometime, though I
    > be bothered at the moment.

    I dunno, I've skimmed some of it and it's generally lacklustre. I mean, I'm
    sure it serves its purpose, but there's no way you could ever actually
    compare it to tolkien's writing.

    > You can tell this is a low-content issue by the fact that the Ogre
    Kingdoms are
    > the only thing here one can get even vaguely interested in (and I do mean
    > vaguely; I may pick up the army book at some stage for the fluff).

    I suspect you just read most of it ...
  3. Archived from groups: (More info?)

    On the 1 Jan 2005, "Snarfgargle the 43rd The Condottiere"
    <> wrote:


    > I used Vallejo/Andreacolour 'Brown Leather' with a midpoint highlight of
    > 'Vallejo' Cavalry Brown and highlighted with a mix of 'Cavalry Brown' and
    > Humbrol (acrylic) 'Peach'

    You know, I never expected to see Humbrol paint recommended here. The
    weird thing is that my dad tends to use the Chaos Black spray paint on
    his model railway locomotives...

    Jades' First Encounters Site -
    The best Frontier: First Encounters site on the Web. /is/ a real email address!
  4. Archived from groups: (More info?)

    "Graham Thurlwell" <> wrote in message
    > On the 1 Jan 2005, "Snarfgargle the 43rd The Condottiere"
    > <> wrote:
    > <snip>
    >> I used Vallejo/Andreacolour 'Brown Leather' with a midpoint highlight of
    >> 'Vallejo' Cavalry Brown and highlighted with a mix of 'Cavalry Brown' and
    >> Humbrol (acrylic) 'Peach'
    > You know, I never expected to see Humbrol paint recommended here. The
    > weird thing is that my dad tends to use the Chaos Black spray paint on
    > his model railway locomotives...

    Humbrol covers pretty well but seems to have a tendency to settle badly.
    I use two specific colours from humbrol ( for ww2 german uniform and
    dunkelgelb ).

    I liked the old humbrol enamels but they didn't like me.
    Having acquired an allergy to turps or thinners or whatevers in em I gave up
    painting for money back in the day when acrylics were those rare expensive
    things nobody stocked.

    If you read military modelling, some figures painters seem to use enamel and
    oils mixed.
    Both have some really nice properties.

    Andy O'Neill
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