Tuesday, October 25, 2011

White Dwarf - renew or no?

My White Dwarf subscription comes to an end next issue (382 in the US), and I am seriously considering not renewing it. The usual reason is the cost of the magazine, and the new reason is my annoyance with their new delivery schedule, which means I get the magazine nearly a week after the stores do. 

A year of White Dwarf costs $75 which comes out to $6.25 per issue.  Pretty costly per issue, particularly considering that 1/3 of the magazine is advertisements for various Games Workshop products, most of which I am already aware of, and therefore do not need to see again.  GW used to give out "free" miniatures with a subscription, and include cardstock inserts in the magazine, but neither of those seem to be the case any more.  (although I could buy a non-useful White Dwarf miniature for more money... in Finecast too)

On the positive side, I do look through the magazine with my wife before bed sometimes, and it is the one bit of "hobby time" that we can share easily. I do like some of the content lately, as it seems to be shifting back to the "useful" side of things after a year of declining content.  I have been subscribing, and collecting, the magazine for 15 years now (since issue 200!), and it would seem strange to end that.

If I did not renew my subscription to WD, I could get a subscription to Wargames Illustrated, and get either 14 issues or 12 issues and miniatures for $96.  Slightly more than White Dwarf per issue if I go with the 14 issues.  I have not read an issue yet, but it looks promising.  The FLGS always seems to be sold out of the newest issue, so it makes it hard to get, and possibly indicates its popularity.  Seems to be fairly solidly oriented at historical games, which is not a bad thing, but might lack some of the appeal of fantasy/sci fi games.

Alternately, I could just not spend the money, and either save it or spend it more directly on miniatures.  Neither of these seems as exciting as getting a magazine in the mail for some reason.

So, decision time.  Status quo, or something new?


ZeroTwentythree said...

I haven't looked at a WD in years, but the last few times I bought them in stores, I felt like they were a waste of money as they didn't contain much that wasn't online anyway.

I do like WI, though it can be hit-or-miss, depending on the focus of any given issue. I don't do WWII gaming, so that usually knocks out half the magazine as irrelevant to me. But I usually just borrow them from a friend (who has a subscription) after he's read them.

Sean Robson said...

I've been considering whether to keep buying White Dwarf, as well. I feel that the quality has gone down a lot in the past year, and that the magazine is almost entirely ads with a battle report thrown in. Even most of the "articles" are just disguised advertisements with little real content. Now that 'Eavy Metal Masterclass is gone I have little reason, other than habit, to keep buying.

This is a shame, though, because I've been reading White Dwarf since the early '80's.