White Dwarf, vol 1, Issue 100

To celebrate my 11th review of White Dwarf we have the 100th ever issue (of volume 1). In this issue you could win a chance to get White Dwarf magazine for life starting 1988. I wonder if that continued after it became weekly, you would have to find the winner and track him down somehow.

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Adverts this month are the Imperial Guard Rapier, the Eldar D Cannon which looks more like an autocannon and the Eldar Dreadnought which must be one of the most enduring models ever released it will have resculpted guns but remain in production until it’s replaced 18 years later by the plastic Wraithlord kit in 2006.

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Talking about things that are enduring Steve Jackson writes about FIST, Fantasy Interactive Scenarios by Telephone, these adventures will pop up in adverts in White Dwarf for the next year until finally vanishing out of existence with the rise of the computer. The premise is that you phone up and complete a chose your own adventure campaign by phone and at the end of a section get given a password to allow you to save your progress. The picture of Steve Jackson here is nightmare fuel.

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There is a preview of a game called Highway Warriors which will eventually become Dark Future, it’s the Mad Max style road combat game that will launch, flop and eventually be rebooted in 2016 by another company called Devils Run, Route 666. The Mad Max style game genre has been strangely under serviced by the games industry, the only other I can think of is the thematically excellent but mechanically flawed GorkaMorka.

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At Games Day in 1987 a special Warhammer Fantasy Role Play scenario was played out with some gamers so the rules are published here so you if your group wants to be a cannibalistic Pygmy who starts the adventure eating a Watermelon. Some of the Pygmy characters are called Rubba Dubb and To-Ka Bong, it’s not the most comfortable thing to read about these days but instead of getting into the complicated issue of racial stereotypes in board gaming and role playing I’m just going to press on and pretend it never happened.

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In the middle of this was yet another competition, the third this issue, this time for producing a shield and banner design. Thrud for once produces a welcome relief and drinks a potion to become a farmer, presumably he later contributes to the EU butter mountain. More Space Marine and Ork miniatures, again they aren’t good.

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Eavy Metal provides quality content once again, this week talking about inks and glazing and washing. It has a nice list of what to use the different colours on for best effect, as I’ve said before this must have been life saver for painters at this time.

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Critical Mass gets an extra page this week so Dave Langford can vent his frustrations at generic sci if and fantasy titles he was sent to review by imagining a computer program set to generate book titles out of the products he gets given, and then another that trawls through his previous columns to write reviews of them. The title “Trillion Year Sneer” is my favourite of the speeches /essays he collected together for these reviews, I’m dying to use it myself as its been out of print since 1988 so it can easily be repurposed.

The next part of the WFRP adventure takes us up the rules for the Eldar Distortion cannon rules for 40k followed by dwarf gyrocopters in fantasy battle followed by an advert for Warhammer Siege which is very strange as it starts off talking about fantasy battle races besieging stone fortresses but later gets into using them in 40k with a picture of the Eldar Dreadnoughts breaking down the stone walls. It sounds quite interesting with foraging, construction and mining rules as well as making sure your armies have enough supplies. They are tricking things to capture in the space of a miniature wargame. If you have an interest In this I recommend Stronghold the board game.

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Next a colour section on well painted miniature dioramas with some pretty far out themes. The letters page returns again this issue where White Dwarf staff defend their decision to cut out other company’s games to concentrate on their own products.Chapter approved talks about dreadnoughts and their rules this issue, it’s highly detailed as you would expect and there are rules for generating the power coming out of the power plant and hard points for extra equipment. These miniatures at their time were the alpha male of the sci fi wargame as no dedicated anti-armour squads or vehicles existed to stop them with the ease they can be stopped today. Finally, we have an art page with colour schemes for the models, a couple of which belong to Yriel’s Eldritch Raiders, I think this makes him the third named special character (not including the Primarchs) in the 40k canon behind Calgar and Pedro Cantor.

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This is of interest to you if:

  • You wanted to feel awkward reading that roleplay scenario.
  • You needed indepth rules for giant armoured dreadnoughts in your sci-fi role playing game.
  • Two page of Dave Langford.

As you can tell this wasn’t a great issue for nostalgia, old competitions, previews for games that flopped like FIST or Dark Future and the cringe worthy role play adventure. It was probably great at the time but a magazine full of shortform content has no value in rereading. In the last 10 issues White Dwarf went from a magazine publishing great thought provoking roleplay and hobby content to a company trying its hand at selling miniatures, this is a huge transition and therefore it’s not without problems, there are some shining lights like Eavy Metal but the company still has to find its feet again in a new market. The main issue here is that none of this stuff is being advertised in a way that makes me want to go and buy it.

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