Foreword: I don’t know if somebody else reviewed this issue. Anyway, I think it’s good for everybody to hear different bells, than just one.
This is the first issue of ToB I’ve the chance to see, so my judgment is limited.
If I infringed some copyright by publishing the pic of the front cover, please inform me.
I bought the second issue of Tales of Battle after reading some good comments on the first one.
I’ve to say that it has been some time since I bought a magazine concerning Warhammer, and taking a look to what White Dwarf has become (imho not worth of the price) made me a bit cautious. But I putted apart my doubts, and ordered ToB.
I was pretty amazed to receive it after only one week after my order. After all, it had to make his way from Dallas TX to Milano, Italy. And knowing how bad is italian post service, I didn’t expect it before two or three weeks.
By my point of view this was a first point for the magazine.
Another thing to say before reviewing the contents is that the price is very affordable (and had his role in making me click that “order” button), 7.50 $ (around 5.50 �,�), oversea shipping included, is pretty honest.
Now, onto the contents.
As you may know, ToB aims to be the magazine of the Indipendent GT circuit in the USA. That makes it more interesting for the people who’s less interested in just looking at splendidly painted minis (for that CoolMiniOrNot is enough, I think). So, its articles are about games, tournament armies and tactics.
Evidently it cannot be specific as an army-dedicated forum could be, but you get the chance to see more different armies without roaming in different forums topics.
In this issue there are the review of the first Austin GT, with an interesting interview to the organizers, a cool gallery of the Player’s Choice army of that GT (a cool templar-themed Warriors of Chaos army), a nice small article about reforming, which I found very interesting, the army lists of the top 3 players at the Colonial, with interview to the winner, and a battle report (Vampire Counts vs Wood Elves).
I must say all the articles were well done, the tactical article and the gallery of the army being my favourites. Also, the photos are of good quality, except for a couple that were a bit blurry.
Of course it isn’t all roses and flowers, as we say. The main problems of ToB are two, imo: the first is the very limited amount of pages, only 17. Considering that is an indipendent magazine, with almost no sponsoring (only one page is taken by a Reaper Miniatures ad), the price remains reasonable, though in the long run it could be a problem. The second problem is the quality of the printed diagrams, which are sometimes difficult to understand, especially in the battle report.
I would add that the guy that interviews the GT winners could avoid the "lol"s in the written text (it isn’t a forum), but this isn’t a deadly sin.
In the end, the overall quality of the material included is worth of a try. Also, this kind of initiatives from indipendent figures should be supported by gamers, because it’s another chance to hear a different voice than the one of Mother GW.
I’m waiting the next issue to have a complete opinion on the magazine, for now I’m enough pleased