Thursday, June 25, 2015

White Dwarf - back to being subscribable

The White Dwarf experiment seems to be mostly over. I’ve been subscribed to Games Workshop’s magazine White Dwarf for several years and buying it monthly before that. I remember when they changed it to be a North American edition, and then the Canadian edition (where they restarted the numbering) which got merged back into the North American edition.

There has been a few hiccups along the way with having to pick up an issue here and there while they processed the renewals. This was brought about as, unlike most magazine companies, they don’t send out renewal reminder notices and it takes two months for a lapsed subscription to renew.

A little over a year ago, just after I renewed my subscription, they cancelled the regular White Dwarf magazine and split it into two new magazines – Visions and White Dwarf weekly. Visions was a smaller format monthly magazine containing all the pictures of the models. White Dwarf weekly was the same size but with a lot fewer pages and had all the rules and writing.

My subscription was changed to a Visions subscription as the weekly White Dwarf wasn’t subscribable. Since I can’t make it to the local Games Workshop every week, I would call in every month and order the issues to be delivered to them for pick up. This worked well until December, when they added cards to two issues and they sold out before I could order them. I was eventually able to track those down without having to pay too much. Then I started calling them every week to place an order and went in every month or so to pick them up.

They recently announced that they would allow subscriptions on the weekly magazine so I jumped at that. I’m still missing an issue that sold out over the weekend before I could order it but I remain hopeful that I will eventually be able to track it down.

I figured that they would go back to a subscription format but had thought that they would go to bi-weekly or even monthly again - the only real difference being the increased cost. The old White Dwarf was about $12 a month and the weekly is $5 each – meaning that it is now $20 to $25 a month. Luckily, they also offered a 6 month subscription as that is a lot to come up with all at once. I did not renew my Visions subscription as I can always get pictures of the models online if I need more inspiration.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Old West / Realms of Chaos

While at Value Village on the last Friday in May, I circled through the books. I was happy to see a stack of Time Life: The Old West books. They had an End and the Myth but it wasn't in as good a condition as the one I had finally just gotten from ebay. I was able to get the last book I needed to complete my set of the regular books - a nice copy of The Mexican War. I still need the index but I've never found a copy of that so I will have to get that online.

On the shelf below them, an orange book caught my eye. It was the Warhammer/Warhammer 40,000 Realms of Chaos – Slaves to Darkness. It had a small bit of wear on the front top corner but otherwise was in really nice shape, with none of the cover-falling-off issues that used to be standard GW HD fare. I spent a few more moments searching the shelves for its companion - The Lost and the Damned. But it was nowhere to be found. In fact, there was no other Warhammer or 40,000 books – which I found odd.

The price, either $2.99 less 30% - so $2.09, or possibly even free as it was one of the three books at that price I got for free for buying 5 books, the Old West book being one of the others. This was much less than the over $100 it usually goes for online. The Lost and the Damned usually goes for twice that. This is why I hadn’t really expected to check either of them off my list.

I am glad to find it since the two original Chaos books are the only ones I am missing from the first edition Rogue Trader set. This one has rules for Khorne and Slaanesh as well as what looks like the first Grey Knights. The other book has Nurgle and Tzeentch.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Diplomacy – plastic – wood – metal

Back in the day, I remember watching some friends at a drop-in center playing with a risk board but not using any dice. They were playing using a variation of the Diplomacy rules. This was my first exposure to the elegance of Diplomacy.

In the back of Computer Science class, they played Diplomacy in spare time with the teacher. It often got to the point where David Fyfe would have so many units that he didn’t have to write down his moves like the rest of the players so would have an advantage in that he wouldn’t forget to schedule orders for units. This was the first place that I got to play Diplomacy with wooden pieces.

I played it at GenCon a few times and had some great experiences there. I picked up a set that contained plastic pieces and was later able to find an older version that had the wooden pieces. Having two sets actually made it easier to discuss strategy on some of the games.

At Keycon this year, the Dandy Lion con suite was holding a raffle. Some of the items were dvds, cds, and games. When I saw that they had a copy of the Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast/Avalon Hill version of Diplomacy with the metal pieces, I was quite excited. I didn’t get it when it came out due to the cost plus the fact that, even though I love the game, I really don’t get to play it all that much. I bought 20 tickets for $10 and put 1 in for a cd set, 5 in for a set of 3 CheapAss games, and 15 in for this. I would have bought another 20 tickets for it but there didn’t seem to be more than a handful in already.

I wasn't at the draw - having confirmed that I didn't need to be - but popped in on Sunday to find out that my tickets had won two prizes - both of the game packs. The Diplomacy game had been opened but when I checked it out, it was unpunched. I could not see any metal figures at first but, checking under the insert, found all of them still individually sealed in the plastic.

I'm very excited to cross this grail version off of my list. I'm just torn about opening it to play, or keeping it sealed. Unfortunately, it's a choice I will probably have to wait quite a while to have to decide.