White Dwarf

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White Dwarf is a magazine published by British games manufacturer Games Workshop. Initially covering a wide variety of fantasy and science-fiction role-playing games (RPGs) and board games, particularly the role playing games Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D), RuneQuest and Traveller, the magazine underwent a major change in style and content in the late 1980s and is now dedicated exclusively to the miniature wargames owned by Games Workshop.


Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone initially produced a newsletter called Owl and Weasel, which ran for twenty-five issues from February 1975 before it evolved into White Dwarf.

Originally scheduled for May/June 1977[1] but first published one month later on a bimonthly schedule with an initial (and speculative)[2] print run of 4,000, White Dwarf continued the fantasy and science fiction role-playing and board-gaming theme developed in Owl and Weasel but, owing to the increase in available space, began to produce reviews, articles and scenarios to a greater depth than had previously been possible.

The magazine was hugely influential in the 1980s when it helped to popularise role-playing games in the UK. This included material for the 'big three' role playing games of the time: AD&D, RuneQuest and Traveller. For a time White Dwarf also contained material for those American RPGs for which Games Workshop had the UK licence, competing directly with TSR's own UK publication, Imagine, and various other mainstream UK and imported fantasy and science-fiction gaming magazines.

In addition to this a generation of writers passed through its offices and onto other RPG projects in the next decade, such as Phil Masters and Marcus L. Rowland. One huge attraction of the magazine was its incorporation of mini-game scenarios, capable of completion in a single night's play, rather than the mega-marathon games typical of the off the shelf campaigns. This would often be in the form of an attractive and interesting single task for either existing or new characters to resolve. These could either be slipped into existing campaign plots, or be used stand-alone, just for a fun evening, and were easily grasped by those familiar with RPG rules.

During this period the magazine included lots of features such as the satirical comic strip Thrud the Barbarian and Dave Langford's "Critical Mass" book review column, as well as a comical advertising series "The Androx Diaries", and always had cameos and full scenarios for a broad selection of the most popular games of the time, as well as a more rough and informal editorial style.

In the mid-late 1980s, however, there was a repositioning from being a general periodical covering all aspects and publishers within the hobby niche to a focus almost exclusively on Games Workshop's own products and publications. The last Dungeons and Dragons article appeared in issue 93, with the changeover being relatively abrupt and obvious by issue #100. In this respect it took over some of the aspects of the Citadel Journal, an intermittent publication that supported the Warhammer Fantasy Battle game. The magazine has always been a conduit for new rules and ideas for GW games as well as a means to showcase developments. It often includes scenarios, campaigns, hobby news, photos of recently released miniatures and tips on building terrain and constructing or converting miniatures.

White Dwarf Today

Today, the magazine focuses exclusively on miniature wargames and thoroughly covers the models, miniatures and related paraphernalia created by Games Workshop. It has carried the tagline "Games Workshop's monthly gaming supplement & Citadel miniatures catalogue".

Chief Editors

Editor Period No. of Issues
Ian Livingstone 1st 1 (6/1977) - 74 (2/1986) 74
Ian Marsh 2nd 75 (3/1986) - 77 (5/1986) 3
Paul Cockburn 3rd 78 (6/1986) - 83 (11/1986) 6
Mike Brunton 4th 84 (12/1986) - 93 (9/1987) 10
Sean Masterson 5th 94 (10/1987) - 107 (11/1988) 14
Phil Gallagher 6th 109 (1/1989) - 116 (8/1989) 7
Simon Forrest 7th 117 (9/1989) - 139 (7/1991) 22
Robin Dews 8th 140 (8/1991) - 189 (9/1995) 49
Jake Thornton 9th 190 (10/1995) - 214 (10/1997) 24
Paul Sawyer 10th 215 (12/1997) - 301 (1/2005) 86
Andy Stewart 11th 302 (2/2005) - 310 (10/2005) 8
Guy Haley 12th 311 (11/2005) - 330 (9/2007) 19
Mark Latham 13th 331 (7/2007) - 365 (5/2010) 34
Andrew Kenrick 14th 366 (6/2010) - 393 (9/2012) 28
Jes Bickham 15th 394 (10/2012) - present 10i
Uncredited n/a 108 (12/1988) 1

iAs of July 9, 2013.

White Dwarf Magazine Index

The primary index can be found here: Category:White Dwarf it contains an index of 100 issues.

Subject Indexes