Tuesday, February 4, 2014

REVIEW: Warhammer: Visions (Digital Version)

Both Trip and I bought the newest GW publication that launched over the weekend. The internets are alive with everyone weighing in on the new format.  See our thoughts after the jump.

DeetBefore the review, a little setup- I have never had a full subscription to White Dwarf, always just downloading the issues that intrigued me on an issue by issue basis, but decided to subscribe to the new publication as all indications were that it would be full of model porn. I was especially excited to have all those Golden Demon submissions in one place.  I went in to it expecting to have less written text, and still a fair amount of GW advertising. I was expecting that a lot of the more interesting columns from White Dwarf would move to the weekly publication, but hoped there would still be some good content.
It took me a few tries to download it last night, which at 200+MB on a crappy hotel connection was a little annoying.

First the good: model porn extravaganza.  200+ pages of models, models, models. Tons of Tyranids. Lots and lots of Golden Demon entries. Some really good inspiration there. Really, that's the point of this issue, I guess.  Inspiration.  And to some extent, I'm inspired, so I can't complain too much, can I? Can I?

The bad: why do I feel like I've seen all of this before? So many of these pics feel like they are recycled from previous publications, and they even reuse some of the same pictures cropped differently within the same publication. Even if it's a new pic, it feels like it's the same model they've been showing us over and over. Where's the other hive fleets? How about some unique takes from someone outside the inner sanctum? You've got plenty of pages for crap's sake. And if you're looking for something other than 'nids, good luck. Hardly any variety at all. One, count it, one Tau pic. Only a couple of IG, and I think most of that was in the GD subs. 3-4 GK. No SOB. Eldar make a meager showing. Barely any Warhammer fantasy. Only a few pages of Hobbit. With 200+ pages, I expect some freshness and freaking variety.  And on those GD entries,there's some great stuff, but it feels like half of the models are from one guy that I don't particularly care for (probably more like 15%, but his name was notable in its omnipresence). But the saddest part for me is the complete lack of articles.  I understand all the reasons for printing in multiple languages, it's something I deal with all the time at work.  Going to a 3 language book mans no content of any value, and it's something I really miss.

I might stick it out one more issue, but if that's not loads better, I might be looking to pull my subscription.


Trip: ugh. Where to even start? I subscribed digitally to the new White Dwarf when in launched in September of 2012. As a former publishing professional, I appreciated the new layout, and as a new hobbyist, I enjoyed the content of the magazine most months. When I heard about the change that was coming, I was worried - and with good reason.

There is so much fail spread around here, that it's hard to wrap my head around it. First, the weekly publication is available digitally, but not through iBooks, and you can't subscribe to it. You have to download each individual issue from the black library. (WTF?) Worse than that is the obvious lack of effort in its creation. I paged through the print version while at the shop over the weekend, and decided to buy a copy digitally when I got home. To my chagrin, the layout of the digital version was a hollow shell of what the print version offered-- basically being no more than a word doc with a picture thrown in on each page. No columns, no design, no page layout. Unbelievable.

Secondly, my digital subscription of White Dwarf converted over to Warhammer Visions. I downloaded the latest issue to be greeted by a complete rehash of last month's White Dwarf. Same new releases. Same models. Same photos. Same descriptions. Absolutely all editorial content has been gutted from the mag, and it's now a picture book with single sentence captions (in three languages because they're too fucking lazy to make multiple language files).

GW has done some reprehensible things in the past, but the idea that they could gut their magazine of all editorial content, turning it into a giant picture book, and that it would be acceptable to substitute that to paying subscribers is unreal. I immediately filed for a refund from the iTunes store, and have a ticket pending approval. (note- refund received!)

All in all, what I've come to expect from a company that makes excellent models, and awful everything else. As the kids like to say on the internet: "EPIC. FUCKING. FAIL."


Well, Trip, tell us how you really feel. We try to keep fairly positive and refrain from too much GW bashing on this site, but sometimes...they just make it too hard. I can't imagine the reasons for the format switch, but GW obviously did it for business reasons- trying to make more money in one way or another. Evidently a ton of people are getting refunds on iBooks, and judging by most of the commentary I'm seeing I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't see the same trend in the paper versions. That's hitting GW in the one place that might actually cause them to listen: the wallet. Here's hoping, however naively, for improvement soon. 


  1. Just out of interest how did you get the refund from Apple? I've asked and been knocked back

  2. I accessed my iTunes account, selected purchase history, then chose the white dwarf purchase and clicked "report a problem". Because the purchase was more than 60 days ago, I had to write an email to customer support in the link they provided. I simply stated that the magazine had undergone a radical change in editorial content, and was no longer the product I had originally paid for. A day later they responded and said they would refund the remainder of my sub.

  3. Failing that, I've heard that contacting GW directly will resolve it.