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White Dwarf has been a part of Warhammer since the very beginning*, and during that time it has taken many forms. With Issue 490 of this illustrious publication, the team are revealing their latest creation, and perhaps one of the most significant changes to the magazine ever. It’s time to enter the Bunker. We caught up with Lyle, managing editor, to give us the lowdown. Before that, here’s a video with the man himself about what’s changing.
Before the Bunker took shape, we started thinking about what it would look like if White Dwarf ran a Warhammer club. We immediately realised that if we did it, it would have the chance of being the biggest Warhammer club in the world thanks to our huge audience. And it could be the best Warhammer club in the world since White Dwarf is embedded in the Warhammer Studio, and that allows us to closely collaborate with the Studio teams to generate official Warhammer content for the Bunker.
We took that idea and ran with it and created the Bunker. It’s essentially a meta-club created by a network of individual satellite clubs worldwide connected through the magazine. Your local Warhammer store or friendly local game store, Warhammer Alliance or independent gaming club – even your friends at your house – can all participate in a range of activities published in Access Granted (essentially the Bunker’s newsletter within White Dwarf) every month. We’re offering an activity pack that everyone can use, taking some of the pressure off organisers to create their own leagues and campaigns while also giving them a chance to interact with the wider community.
Every month we’ll present activities focused on Warhammer 40,000 or Warhammer Age of Sigmar. This month, we’re launching a Combat Patrol League to coincide with the release of the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. You can compete to score points by playing games, winning games, playing with a painted Combat Patrol, and playing multiple unique opponents, so it’s not entirely based on how many wins you get. Then there are titles for the person who won the most, played the most, painted the best collection, defeated the most Warlords, and so on. We’re also playing the Combat Patrol league in our Studio satellite club, so everyone’s doing the same activity, and you can have a look into our league and compare your results with ours!
It won’t always be a league format. We want to take our readers and the clubs and gaming venues worldwide on this massive Warhammer journey with us, so we’ll have different formats, like narrative campaigns for example, with a variety of things to look forward to.
Every instalment of the Bunker also comes with scenarios for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Age of Sigmar, which you can use with your club or friends, so this month, everyone can try out Shield and Blade and The Gates of Azyr.
There will be rotating support for skirmish games like Warcry, Warhammer Underworlds, and Kill Team, starting with three battleplans for Warcry this month. Many of these will also be available in pull-out sections, which means over time you can create your own collection of official scenarios from the Warhammer Studio.
We wanted the Bunker to have an element of a monthly club newsletter as well, and so every month, we have a bunch of additional content that isn’t just about playing games. We’ll have a tactics article every month, and in White Dwarf Issue 490, we’re happy to have Stephen Box on board to help you in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. Every issue will have a game state puzzle for you to solve, too, with our recommended solutions in the back.
Naturally, there’s also a hobby section which will feature a variety of painting styles and techniques, with an emphasis on speed and painting armies rather than individual models. This month, Lewis from the studio is helping readers paint their Leviathan Termagants in just 20 minutes per model.
We want the Bunker to feel like a worldwide, interconnected club. That’s where Satellite Uplink comes in. This section is an interactive part of the newsletter, where we give readers a look into what we’re painting and playing in the Studio satellite club, as well as what people around the world are painting and playing! It’s also a place where we can showcase the cool and exciting things individual clubs are doing. Basically, it’s a celebration of the whole community!
The Bunker also features a set of challenges that you can take on to level up your Bunker rank, an overarching scoring system that tracks your Bunker experience. First up, we have a painting challenge that will cycle through six topics. For July, you’ll see what Rank and File units the Studio has been working on alongside Rank and File units submitted to us from our readers, and then join in yourself after getting inspired. You can paint your own Rank and File and submit them to us, and when the next Rank and File hobby challenge comes around in six months, we might be showing off your miniatures as well!
You can also score points for every Bunker scenario you play, every club event you take part in, every unit you paint for a club event, and so on. Every issue of White Dwarf will come with a challenge tracker card, and by taking part in these activities you can earn points and rank up from Trooper to Castellan, then share your rank and score online with your friends and in your local satellite club.
We’re really excited at White Dwarf to give Warhammer enthusiasts everywhere a new avenue to connect, share and play. We can’t wait to see how people engage with the Bunker!
Thanks for all the information, Lyle. The Bunker will open its doors in White Dwarf issue 490, which will be available to pre-order soon. Check in with Warhammer Community for a heads-up on what the contents of each month’s White Dwarf will be.
*White Dwarf magazine actually predates the very first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle!
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