Let's get into this, shortform. Skip to the end if you want scores.
Looks as though the issue number is still MIA. At least we've got renumbered. LotR still turns up in the system run down, and still fails to make any real showing. A pause before the short, hairy footed storm I suspect.
The cover image just doesn't work for me. I think it's the blue background, as it doesn't sit well with the predominant red of the Juggers or the yellow of the title.
Lets deal with the Warriors Of Chaos supplement. Running to only a single folded page of A4 it provides rules for the two new mounted units, Skullcrushers Of Khorne, and the Hellstriders Of Slaanesh. Fingers crossed we'll see additional units for the other two Gods, and a bit more variety (rather than just cavalry) when the new Army Book comes.
The Opening Salvo falls back into old habits, and talks mainly abut what's in the issue.
44 pages of New Releases mainly cover the Chaos releases, with the gatefold featuring the Warshrine. The new White Dwarf model for 2013 looks good.
The Imperial Defence Network doesn't really seem to get the showing it deserves, as it's not hugely obvious how the set goes together/comes apart into it's parts.
Forge World have a few models shown off, but they really need a model next to them to show their scale.
Digital Products this months cover the Vampire Counts Army Book.
The Black Library section covers Pariah and Angel Exterminatus in detail and the other new releases, including the interesting looking Emperor's Might.
Licensed Games is going to be Fantasy Flight Games' two pages of advertising for it's RPG series, with the launch of Only War, their Guardsmen centric core rulebook.
Army Of The Month is Rich Packer's Empire Army, with a range of conversions, old models, and rank upon rank of identical models,
Jervis talks on the niche topic of army Composition in Tournaments.
Right, the damned Battle Report. It's another annoying "Test" for the latest models. As I said last months, it's a bad mix of formats. The actual report covers only 4 pages, for all four turns of the battle, and it's perfunctory, short, and the photos are useless.
Blanchitsu eats two pages on it's intro, which I could gladly see stop. The actuall conent is goof though.
Hall Of Fame inducts the first model I don't like, the Mangler Squigs.
Parade Ground focuses on tanks, although there's not a lot of note.
Kit Bash looks good, with a fairly simple bit of work on a Hive Tyrant, followed by another four pages of some brilliant conversion work. White Dwarf could double this and it wouldn't overstay it's welcome.
Battleground moves into Fantasy this month, with the focus mainly on a kitbash between many of the Warhammer terrain kits, to make a huge imposing tower.
Paint Splatter is far to brief in it's descriptions, with far too much reliant on pictures. There is a page on salt weathering though, and it's good to see different techniques getting an airing.
Jeremy Vetock talks on joining different gaming groups.
There's then the weird pages of hobby store news and index that feels like it should come right at the end of the issue.
This Month In... is once again amongst the best features. We get to see what the White Dwarf team have been up to. The best bit is the Design Studio section, with pieces on the Warshrine and the Wall of Martyrs/Imperial Defence Network. The Forge World misses a beat, trying to cover too much. The Black Library interviews Graham McNeill, focusing on Angel Exerminatus, and Dan Abnett, focusing on Pariah. BL could do with breaking away from covering only the new releases, as they seem to have way more than that going on.
This month feels a step down from last month.
I make it a 43, and seeing as last month was a 71 it is definitely a drop in quality. White Dwarf seems in part to have reinvented itself for the sake of it, with the baby thrown out with the bath water. I'm not sure if this is me being properly critical, or instead wanting a mix of the best articles I remember. I'm afraid at it's new price, White Dwarf is going to out live its welcome soon. We'll see how it handles the Hobbit launch.