Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2016/08/15/the-golden-d6-issue-5/
I go through phases with my hobbies. I tend to cycle between video games, pen and paper RPGs and miniature wargaming as my activities of choice. Currently I’m on miniatures (primarily Warhammer and Batman Miniature Game. However, it’s hard to find a good magazine on the subject. Sure, there are countless mediocre blogs that are mostly fanboy fapping without any shred of understanding journalism, but that’s 2016 for you. There are two UK based tabletop gaming magazines, but again, there is very little quality content in either. It’s mostly just “I LIKE THIS GAME AND SO SHOULD YOU.” Occasionally they have a good how-to article or an actual in-depth look at a system’s rules, but these are rare rather than the norm. So imagine my surprise when I found a DriveThruRPG review request for this magazine I had never heard of entitled The Golden d6. It turned out to be an Australian based miniature gaming magazine. I flipped through a list of their back issues and found one covered Amy Snugg’s fantastic Lizardmen/Seraphon army (that is one of my big WFB/AoS armies myself) and that this issue had a miniature of Bad Ash from Army of Darkness on the cover! That was all I needed to agree to give this magazine a look see. So after flipping through the 55 pages of content and covers, have I finally found a quality wargaming magazine other than White Dwarf (which should tell you something right there), or The Golden d6 more fanzine than magazine?
The first article in this issue of The Golden d6 is about Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars Imperial Assault. Granted I’m not a Star Wars person, but I was happy to see this was a full battle report. Battle Reports are the best way to envision how a game works and flows other than actually playing it. So few publications do these anymore, which is a shame and I was happy to see The Golden d6 started right off with one. In this case we see the writer and his friend play through a scenario entitled “The Art of Robotics” from the Wookie Warriors pack. The Empire side was Boba Fett and some Bantha Riders against some nine wookies. The pictures in this article showcase exactly what is being played. This way even if you are not familiar with any of the miniatures’ names, you will be before you get to the meat of the article, which is fantastic. Both teams are laid out, along with their strategies and then the breakdown of each gaming turn occurs. The battle lasted four turns with both the Wookies and Mercs switching the lead several times throughout the game. I really enjoyed reading this, and as I have said, I’m not a big Star Wars fan. This was exactly what a battle report should be and other publications should take note.
After this is a quick interview with Osprey Publishing’s Andrea Sfiligoi. It doesn’t really talk about his games. It’s more a personal interview than dev commentary. After that is a seven page article on Guild Ball. There are lots of Fantasy football games out there made by companies like Games Workshop and Mantic Games, but Guild Ball is a fantasy Soccer game. Each player has a team of six characters who try to score goals or maim their opponents. This is a pretty in-depth article, discussing rules and miniatures alike. It’s very informative but the writing/editing in this article could use a little work. Sometimes it’s called Guild Ball, while other times it is Guild Ball. The official name is indeed Guild Ball, which can be seen from the original Kickstarter, but I’m not sure whether to blame the author or editor for the numerous run-on sentences and mistakes like this in the piece. A little cleaning up would have gone a long way with this article, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.
The next seven page article is coverage of the Australian X-Wing championship. Again, not my game of choice, but the article was well written, flowed nicely and was easily to follow. The latter is especially helpful if you’re not a diehard fan of the game. After all, pieces like this are intended to interest new people in the game, not preach to the choir. In this respect, the article did its job and then some. Again, I have no inkling to play X-Wing (I have enough minis games in my life, thank you), but I had fun reading this article.
After this comes a five page look at a new range of paints from WarColors. It’s an interesting look and I was very intrigued by the colored metallic paints (not just silver, gold, steel, etc). The paints seem to be well made and cost less than a lot of others like Citadel, Reaper and Vallejos (the three main kinds I use), so it may be worth picking up a few for my Stormcast Transformers army.
Next is the feature article, which covers a Deadite (as in Army of Darkness) for Frostgrave, including a one of a kind Bad Ash sculpted by Bob Olley just for this article (make it available to the public Bob! I only have the Zombicide: Black Plague one!). I have a few of Bob’s figures, including his recent Undead Dwarves from the Dungeon Monsters Kickstarter. I’ve strongly considered getting a Vampire Hunter D, Zartan, Serpentor or Cobra Commander style miniature made by him, so it’s great to see a custom like this in the magazine. There isn’t a lot of depth to the article if you’re looking for an explanation of Frostgrave‘s rules or how the army will be used. No, it’s just the author talking about how we assembled his army for Frostgrave, which studios made the models and how it all came together. There’s a very brief overview of Frostgrave fluff at the beginning, but otherwise it’s all personal anecdote, which is what an article of this nature should be. There are lots of lovely pictures and commentary. About the only thing missing was a paint guide to how the author spiffed up Bad Ash. Well, maybe a link to buy the mini too. What’s here was a nice article on a personal customization of an army and I enjoyed it for what it was.
Three articles left. The next is a fictionalization of Warhammer battle between Dwarves and Elves. I would have preferred an actual turn by turn breakdown, especially since this is the third in a third part series, but that’s my fault for coming late to the party. The article REALLY needed an editor as punctuation and grammar are missing throughout the piece. As a blog post of fanfiction, this is fine. In a professionally done magazine that people pay for, this is not. This was easily the weakest piece in the magazine and highlights the one issue I’ve had with The Golden d6: it’s needs far better editing if people are going to pay money for this.
The penultimate article is “Build Me a River” and it is a lovely how-to create your own water terrain from scratch. Lovely! The article spans seven pages and has a LOT of step by step pictures to help you if you decide to follow suit and make this yourself. The end result is quite nice and this might be the best article in the issue, along with the Rebel Assault battle report.
The final article is simply a collection of pictures from one man’s World Eaters army for Warhammer 40,000. The paint jobs are excellent and the conversions are quite nice. The best part of the piece however, was the author talking about his personal fluff for his army. It’s well done and something you would probably see in a White Dwarf at some point.
So there you go. That’s this issue of The Golden d6. It a new magazine, so there is room to grow and certainly room for improvement as well. I enjoyed it for what it is and there were some fun pieces in here. Right now though the magazine costs a little more than the physical version of the now defunct weekly White Dwarf and twice as much as the digital, so if price is an issue, you might want to wait for a sale on these issues – especially since there is nothing time sensitive here. That said, I love the range of games and products covered in this magazine and it’s great to see both variety and quality here. I will probably pick this up on occasion depending on what the article list is in future issues. You might want to consider doing the same.