So when I heard that White Dwarf was getting revamped (again) I thought I'll get one to see if I'm missing anything.
I picked up Issue 4 on 22 Feb 14 which focuses on the recently released Imperial Knights. Here's my impression of the product.
White Dwarf is now a weekly magazine that can only be picked up at a GW store (for €3.20). I assume this was done to coincide with GW's new strategy of weekly releases.
The magazine has 32 pages broken down broadly as follows:
Page 1: Opening Salvo (Editor's intro) and table of contents;
Pages 2-13: New Releases - Imperial Knights, a couple of digital supplements and Black Library books;
Pages 14-17: Imperial Knights - info on the fluff of the Imperial Knights and their creation by the Studio team;
Pages 18-21: Paint Splatter - brief painting tutorial for two Imperial Knight houses: Terryn and Raven;
Pages 22-23: Sprues and Glue - some tips for assembling the Imperial Knight;
Pages 24-27: The Rules - some teaser rules for the Knight Paladin and Knight Errant;
Pages 28-32: The Week in White Dwarf - random stuff
I'm no Sherlock but it is pretty obvious the magazine was designed as a platform to promote the current week's new releases (or in this case pre-release).
Of the magazine's 32 pages, 26 pages is devoted to covering the week's big release: the Imperial Knights. The coverage is pretty comprehensive as it gives us lots of pretty pictures to drool over, some fluff to give us a feel for the new faction, some ''behind the scenes" commentary by the creators of the Knights, some hobby tips to give you ideas and lastly some teaser rules to wet your appetite. The last bit really surprised me as I have not seen rules in a White Dwarf in a long long time. I call it teaser as they don't actually give you enough to field any Knights. You'll still have to buy the Codex to do that.
The magazine does feel really short as you can go through it in 15 mins. However I do feel there is a good balance of photos and content. With the focus on the big release of the week there is a lack of contents on other areas of the hobby. However this is clearly what they were going for as each issue will target a specific portion of their market i.e. 40K Imperial players for this issue, Fantasy Dwarf players for the previous issue and so on.
Given that I was interested in learning more about Imperial Knights, this magazine was a satisfying read. In particular, I really enjoy the interviews with the original creators: Jervis Johnson and Jes Goodwin and their take on the new Imperial Knights.
The rules section is a bit weak in that it is not functional i.e. you can't play the unit with the rules printed. However the intent is clearly to give potential buyers a glimpse into what the unit can do i.e. Superheavy, D weapon chainsword and Ion Shield. Oh baby.
The last section is a hodgepodge of random stuff which I found a very entertaining read. The Codex Apocrypha gives some wiki like descriptions of in-universe terms relating to the current week release. In this case Adeptus Mechanicus techno babble such as scrap code and Lingua-Technis. A funny take on readers letters in Ask Grombrindal (i.e. the White Dwarf) and my favourite Gaze of the Inquisition where the White Dwarf team speculate about some 40K mysteries including who they think is the "giant of a man clad in baroque power armour" referred to in Trazyn the Infinite background. Adam Troke argues it is the Primarch Vulkan. Man I love all that fluffy shit.
This is a short magazine that wouldn't appeal to everyone. I myself will not be picking this up every week. However if there is a release you are really interested in, a copy of the new weekly White Dwarf is not a bad way to spend your hard earned €3.20.