Thursday, January 09, 2014

Farewell Dwarf

I haven't bought an issue of White Dwarf since last century but even so the news that the magazine is to end in February has come as a bit of a shock. I may not have read it for over half my life but even so there was a certain comfort in knowing that it was still out there, plugging away each and every month; it looks like the magazine is going to be replaced by a weekly newsletter version but White Dwarf as I know it is going away and that makes me sad.

I wasn't even aware of it during its golden -- pre #100 -- age and my current enthusiasm for those excellent early role-playing-heavy issues is all down to going back and catching up with what I missed. Even so, White Dwarf is responsible for getting me into the role-playing hobby in a roundabout way.

I had been playing Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and reading TSR novels for a number of years but I wasn't a gamer as such so I was just the sort of person that Games Workshop and MB were after with HeroQuest; one day I'll write about that venerable game but for now it's enough to know that I loved it. Then one day while in Hailsham town centre -- probably looking for comics -- I saw the HeroQuest logo on the front of a magazine and that was it for me.

The magazine was full of games that I didn't recognise but I did know that logo and I could tell that that the orcs with guns on the back cover were akin somehow to the ones in my HeroQuest box so I bought it and read it from cover to cover. Then I bought the next one, and the next, and I bought Space Marine, and started playing Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer and Blood Bowl, and I was very much a Games Workshop man. Then one day +Timothy Coxon told me that if I liked the orcs-with-guns of 40K then I would like the orcs-with-guns of Shadowrun and I discovered a whole new hobby. Some time later I found out that the magazine I'd been reading had once supported my new pastime and so I went back and uncovered a wealth of great content that still influences me today; my own Forgive Us owes no small debt to early White Dwarf articles and adventures.

So here's a pint of Bugman's Best raised in thanks to White Dwarf for years of enjoyment -- both direct and indirect -- and I suppose that at least this will stop people saying that it isn't as good as it used to be.


  1. Yes. Bought it too back in the day when I had enough money! However on another level it died years back when it became a promotional vehicle for GW wargaming products. Arcane magazine eventually had a bash...then Kobold Quarterly. ... Arcane was actually a good rag...modern production values. ...although for pure nostalgia for moi, a grognard, it could never unseat the best issues of WD....even their adverts could be exciting to a 13 year old!

  2. Sad to hear it is going to the wall. Always thought that one day, after I'd made my millions, I'd buy it off GW and edit it myself. But the whole magazine publishing business has changed out of all recognition since I entered it in 1994. There'd be no point now. Look how easy it was to launch GMS Magazine.