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I'm an old GW vet from the UK who has moved to the US and is slowly getting back into the habit...
I've been using ebay to build a comprehensive GW publication collection ($1 per item is my limit! for reference etc...
I was just wondering how people felt about the various editions of GW publications, particularly the difference between US and UK White Dwarf. It seems most people think that WD USA is better but has this always been the case? One idea suggested to me was to collect UK WD's upto 200 then switch over to the US edition as it became better from that point.
What a pain that GW had to create not only slightly different regional editions but change the issue numbers too!
Anyway, I'm keen to have some sage advice.
And if any of you know a good gamers club in Los Angeles let me know.
I don't know if one is officially "better" than the other, but I do know that collecting a mix of them is frustrating. Reason is that they often repeat articles, and the UK edition seems to usually be one issue behind. Thus, what is in UK White Dwarf 302 was mostly in US WD 301. So if you're going to collect them in sequence (and I would recommend that you collect them if you're into research - they're goldmines of info), stick with either the US or UK editions and don't bounce around, else you'll probably get duplicates of many of the articles.
The way White Dwarf is put together was mostly detailed in WD 300 (North American edition, though, since it was a cornerstone issue, I assume most versions were the same). Different editions have their own articles, but often they all borrow from one another at some point. This explains why an article that was initially written for the US edition shows up in the UK edition a month later. I'm sure that there are some UK articles showing up in later US editions, but it just seems that the UK version is usually the one lagging behind (which is strange, you would think it would be the other way around, what with GW's offices being in the UK).
Anyway, all I can say is that I collect the North American issue (cause I...live in North America ), and it ain't not too bad. I've been buying WD off the shelf since issue 296 and have also bought scores of backissues off eBay. Hope to have a subscription soon as this is one magazine that constantly holds my interest.
Slightly off topic...I downloaded a pdf of White Dwarf #1 the other day. Quite funny...there's an article urging for a competitive D&D system and another detailing an extremely complicated formula for calculating how hard a D&D monster is to beat. The back inside cover features an unassuming ad for a little London game store called Games Workshop. I wonder what ever happened to that place...
Houston, thanks for your input about the US/UK editions of White Dwarf. Do you know at what point they started producing a dedicated US edition because earlier UK editions just had the price in $ below Â£. Also earlier US editions seem to be identical to their UK counterparts in content whereas more recent ones, as you say, are often different in content or have articles which appear at different times.
I'm in a similar position as yourself and will soon be signing up for a subscription. Make sure you get a good deal when you do so, either over the phone or at a GW even such as Games Day. The UK subscriptions always seem to have more options and freebies than their US counterparts (Though of course they're pricier too!
And as for early White Dwarf mags... who could have known that of all the wargaming fanzines, D & D spinoffs etc that were rolling around in the early 80's it was White Dwaf which went on to spawn the wargaming behemoth that is Games Workshop. A lot of purists hate GW for only selling it's proprietary gaming systems and miniatures, for forsaking 'older' gamers, for being too expensive, too exclusive and too corporate. But at the end of the day, their miniatures, their artwork, their games and their publications are the best out there at the moment (and they have the resources to keep going). Wargaming is different from role play and though some games like Inquisitor blend the two a little I've always preferred tangible miniatures to role play.
ok rant over, apologies
I guess I'm a bit of a purist. I genuinely feel that White Dwarf was a better magazine pre issue 100 I know that.
Its not simply a case of disliking their corporate mentality - I've no problem with that to be fair. Nor is it a case of hyping up their own ranges, that of course is understandable bearing in mind the corporate psychosis.
The whole problem is that GW are the pre-eminent 'tabletop gaming company' on Earth (in my opinion, others will disagree etc...). They have more resources, talent and visibility than anything else comparable out there. That having been said, they do not have it all and there is a lot of other talent out there and there is a lot of material other than Warhammer that is crying out for exploitation (in an intellectual rather than a commercial sense) and that material and talent rarely gets a mention in dispatches.
Pre 100, talented designers, authors and gamers from all genres got a fair crack of the whip and a fair hearing of their side of the story. The consequence being that the gaming public could see a lot more of what was available on the market and an insight into different systems and stories.
In addition GW was a far broader company at that time and they still created miniatures and games that were nothing to do with 'Warhammer' and they did it very well. Moreover the games themselves did very well and the miniatures were still very good but with more variety.
Basically they gave their designers and authors of all types their heads. Their artists, developers and authors worked for the joy of their hobby rather than as a job and the difference showed and still shows.
Well I guess they still let their creative people's juices flow but only in one flavour- anything else is forced to be just a part time hobby - to the detriment of everyone else who might have liked to have seen what was they were thinking.
The sad thing is most people will never even accidentally see any of the alternatives.
louiscrusoe, I agree entirely. GW is the best there is...now maybe that still doesn't justify their constant price hikes and whatnot, but I'm still not going to complain. If I really didn't like it, I'd stop buying their stuff, and I can tell you that ain't going to happen anytime soon.
And as far as when the two White Dwarf versions diverged...sorry, I have no idea. Read the article in Issue 300 that details how they put a WD together. It may have something in there that I missed. The other hint may be when they started making an Australian version of White Dwarf. If you can find out when that was, maybe you could discover when they started sharing articles between versions, and that would probably be about when they changed. All I know is that I have some back issues going back to White Dwarf 230 or thereabouts and there is some content in them that WD Internet Issue indexes for the UK editions don't describe. So pretty well all of the 200+ issues are at least a little divergent. I can't tell you how disappointing it was to receive the UK edition of issue 254...the US edition featured some heavy duty info on the tyranids, but the UK edition was either one issue ahead or behind, because although I got some of the articles I wanted, many of the key ones were missing. Here's a tip. If you're buying off eBay, cross-reference the picture of the mag with the inside cover of your White Dwarf 300 -- it has all of the issues' covers, presumably in your edition (if you live in US, then the US covers). Just make sure that if you are buying issue 275, that its cover matches that of issue 275 in your WD 300. Reason being often the different editions use different covers.
Good luck collecting. I'm currently salivating for WD 302.