Friday, February 11, 2011

Tales of Battle #8 review/thoughts

For some reason, I'm on a magazine-reviewing kick.  I promise I'll have other articles up soon.

I recently received the latest issue of Tales of Battle magazine.  It's an independent magazine generally covering independent GTs and various other events concerning Fantasy miniatures.  Previous issues have really impressed me with their production quality and content, with very well done battle reports, army thoughts, and even allied army lists that could be fun to use.  One thing to note, however, is that Issue #7 came out over 6 months ago- it's been a LONG wait for this issue.

Let's take a look at the various inclusions in this issue.

First, the issue is 20 pages.  1 1/2 pages are ads.  Not a bad ratio, especially in a magazine that costs five dollars.

Coverage of Reaper Con.  The coverage of this was fairly mediocre, I thought.  I don't care how many females were at the event.  I don't need to read about Aliens invade ReaperCon.  Also, given that the issue came out in January, and the Con took place in May, it's a bit dated.  Tales of Battle runs a Reaper ad, however, so I assume they are one of the sponsors.  Maybe he didn't have a choice?

Review of Warhammer Ancients Battle 2.0.  Four pages.  This is mainly coverage of how the book and rules changed from the first edition of the game, as opposed to the basics about the system as a whole (which, seeing as how it's so similar to WFB is probably not necessary anyway).  The article does make the system sound fairly interesting, and since one of the biggest complaints about the current WFB system isn't present in historical games (magic), there may be some reason to take a look at the system.  Still, if you haven't played WAB, this article is going to be pretty uninteresting, even if you have interest in the system.

Interview with Marlon Subieta.  An interview with someone who has won a GT.  I find these interviews to be pretty interesting, it's nice to see how they think, get an opinion from them on strengths of various armies, and also to get a feel for how these people are.  This guy is a big elf player of all sorts, and loves Wood Elves, apparently with an army based off 2 Treemen.  Not a bad read.

8th Edition Observations.  A pretty good article covering the basics of how the new 8th edition rules have changed the game.  I'll point out, again, that the article is a bit too late (8th ed has been out for a while), but the thoughts are good, and if you're just NOW starting to play the new edition, it's probably a worthwhile read.  Takes up three pages, covering a lot of different points.

Painting Guide for a GameZone Chaos Hound.  Basically an article on how to paint a Chaos Hound with Reaper Paints.  It's not very long, but it also doesn't have enough interesting going on in it (various reds, ooooh) to make it something you'll be looking back to from time to time.

Battle Report- Daemons vs Vampire Counts.  At 6 pages, this is the longest article of the magazine, and is probably the best written piece in the whole thing.  Great coverage of the game, with a very close ending, and you get to read a lot about the players' thoughts about the game while it's going on (always a fun time, in my opinion). 

Overall, I found the issue a bit disappointing, compared to how good the last couple of issues have been, but for 5 dollars, we're not talking a huge waste here.  The Battle Report is the best article in the issue, but that's hardly a reason to pick it up.

I really want to support independent magazines- I think they add a lot to the hobby, and I want to see them succeed. Unfortunately, this issue just wasn't so good.  I'm hoping that the long delay probably screwed with it, and when Issue #9 comes out, I'm going to be able to write a review about how great it was.  Look for it, whenever the issue comes!

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