What are White Dwarf Magazines?

Simona Gerasimovska

Posted on January 26 2022

What are White Dwarf Magazines?

White Dwarf Magazine is the monthly hobby magazine of Games Workshop. Each publication is packed with exciting articles such as hobby guides, step-by-step paint guides, a battle report and more. In addition, you will be able to see the photographs of the latest Citadel miniatures and read everything that the designers, writers and artists of the Studio are carrying.

The History of White Dwarf Magazines

Ian Livingstone, and Steve Jackson, founded Games Workshop and began publishing a fanzine called Owl & Weasel dedicated to players. But when the company grew, they realized that they needed a more professional magazine, so after 25 issues published by Owl & Weasel, it was decided to cancel it in April 1977.

The first thing of the White Dwarf was published in June 1977, with the wish that the magazine had a name that represented both fantasy and science fiction games. Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone argued a lot about the name, eventually being chosen as White Dwarf for its double meaning: it is a small star and also a character from their fantasy game (the White Dwarf). 

That first issue was a magazine of 24 pages in black and white of which 4,000 copies were printed, a very optimistic circulation, because the fantasy games have just been born and were taking their first steps, However, all the copies were sold.

In its beginnings the White Dwarf could not be more different from the magazine we know, had articles like Open Box, a review article that was maintained for more than 10 years, pastimes and a class of unforgettable characters for Dungeons & Dragons. 

In fact, D&D was the focus of the magazine and one of the most extensive articles it included dealt with a complicated series of equations that could be used to reduce all the characteristics of a monster to a single number.

Warhammer’s first article

In the number 45 of September of 1983 was published the first article of Warhammer: a scenario called "Thistlewood". The first edition of Warhammer was released and extended a set of rules that had originally been published in a series of brochures.

In "Thistlewood" the forces of King Amias face the evil coalition of the Necromancer Vassago as both armies launch in search of a stolen magic chalice. The backdrop to Warhammer’s world does not yet exist and the scenario has a very RPG feel, but the rules are recognized as the precedents of the current game. 

The article ends with a list of the recommended miniatures to use with armies, most of which are from Citadel, but not all, because the Citadel miniature catalog was far from as extensive as it is today.

The rest of the pages are no longer dedicated exclusively to D&D. Articles about Runequest, Traveller and the Cthulhu call have begun to occupy about half the pages. This issue also includes "Critical Mass", a literary review page, and the strips of Thrud, Travellers and Gobbledigook, all of which are unconditional sections of the White Dwarf of the time.

Check out White Dwarf Magazines in our shop and let us know what you think!

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