Did you know one was out? I certainly didn’t. I came upon this by complete chance, while doing a little research for my special project. No fanfare. No hype. Just a quiet slip into the stream.
First point of order. This issue is firmly Hobgoblin themed. Obviously this is a bastardisation of the old White Dwarf ‘Black Gobbo’ concept. And if this was any other webzine I don’t think this idea would work. But the relationship between the Chaos Dwarfs and the Hobgoblins is such an interesting, and striking, one that it really works here. It is also good that this wasn’t just a visual takeover, but used as an opportunity to explore the facets of the Hobgoblin portion of the Chaos Dwarf equation. It isn’t just used as an excuse to slap ‘Hobgoblin-ised’ graphics over regular articles.
But let us get to the meat of the issue, shall we.
There is an interesting mix of articles. I think The Word of Hashut have certainly hit their stride and are managing to collect a good range of interesting and informative pieces. I especially like the piece on the actual history of Hobgoblins. Not just their Warhammer background, but the real-world creation, inclusion and evolution of them in the setting. It is extremely well written, and possibly wins the award for most original and informative webzine article of the year.
Also of note, a helpful article on converting Sneaky Gits. It is written clearly, with images that are easy to follow. Though I did feel a little bit of horror to see a Plague Monk sliced up so.
I noticed that there is an increase in the original artwork, which is nice to see. There are some quite striking pieces in there, and I am glad that The Word of Hashut is building a stockpile of artwork it can call on.
As always though, there are things I don’t like.
While the webzines page design has been improving, there are still some odd decisions that creep in. Some articles have a black and white illustrated border, which looks good, except for when the article text overlaps it in the top left hand corner. Unfortunately to me, it demonstrates a lack of forward planning. There is a similar problem with the pages of The Slave Hurler, where the text treatment makes the article an uphill battle to read.
Also a problem, there are some articles with content spread over two pages. This would be fine if the file was hard-coded to display as a spread by default, but it isn’t. Also a possible issue, at least for me, setting the PDF to display as spreads put the wrong pages together. So for instance, the Cover and Page 2 together, so by the time I got to the articles spread over two pages, they weren’t together.
I also didn’t like that some pieces that required some explanation had none. Like the Chaos Dwarf preview models from Forge World, or the Artisans Contest. Not everyone who reads The Word of Hashut is necessarily going to be up to date with all the happenings on Chaos Dwarfs Online, so some kind of an introduction would be nice.
Overall though issue 10 is looking good. A nice collection of interesting articles, which is the main thing, with some good supporting artwork. It is also nice to see a webzine make it to double digits. Good work The Word of Hashut.
A little heads up. I’m not too sure if I jumped the gun a bit, but you can’t find issue 10 on Chaos Dwarfs Online. I was alerted to it on Issuu, so you can pop over there to download it. I will stick another link up here if it becomes available later.
Those wacky Chaos Dwarfs are at it again! Issue six of the Word of Hashut has hit the scene, and it is quite a corker. More fun than a daemonically possessed mechanical bull.
As always the content is really well done. I particularly like the article Chaos Dwarfs and the Ogre Kingdoms in the Earthshaker Canon section (man, I love an awesome pun in print. Good pun!). It is an interesting, real world account of the developing back story of the Dawi Zharr. Quite an accomplished piece of writing, all things considered.
There is also an article on the runes used by the Chaos Dwarfs, including quite an involved breakdown on how they look, and the rules behind them. Whoever sat down and figured this all out, particularly if they engineered this from nonsense already placed in the setting, I tip my hat to them. You, sir, are an obsessed Warhammer nerd beyond reproach. We salute you.
The model pages are also interesting, though the moniker ‘Eavy Hat’ is disappointing. Couple that with ‘Golden Hat’ and you have two of the most woefully named things I have ever encountered. Personally I wouldn’t be caught with such obviously named features in my magazine. But that’s just me.
It is worth noting, though, that this issue contains the most impressive and readable battle report I have seen in a webzine yet. If I ever have to point someone to a battle report as an example, this is currently the standard they will be expected to deliver. Bar suitably raised!
Oh no! He is finished with the content, and is onto critiquing the layout and design. Egos have been crushing in the past with mere words from this blog!
To be honest, I am quite happy with the overall look of this issue. There seems to be some odd, self imposed greyscale template activity going on, but they are certainly working it for all it’s got. Theres a lot of space, making everything easy to read, which is terrific. I am also a big fan of the article titles, and all the images are used appropriately. Odd anomalies crop up now and again, like single lines jumping to the next column (in the biz, we call that a widow), but these are obviously just oversights and don’t affect the overall enjoyment of the webzine.
I would like to see a little more flow in the content, though. At the moment it kind of juts occasionally, and there are a couple of places where it is difficult to tell if a new article has started. While not necessary, in a perfect world a magazine flows well. The articles and other content smoothly transition into one another making the whole thing a lot easier to digest. There are plenty of publications out there that do not achieve this, amateur and professionally made, but it is certainly something to strive for.
Overall I highly recommend giving this issue of Word of Hashut your attention. This publication is clearly evolving in leaps and bounds. Keep up the good work guys.
Here come the Chaos Dwarfs again. The Word of Hashut hits the streets again, so prepare yourselves.
I have to admit, these guys are picking up their game. The visual style has certainly improved in this issue, and so has the art selection. In particular I am loving the full page illustrated introductions.
They still persist with setting up the pages as A4 portrait and presenting it as double page spreads. If you are going to do that, you might as well just do it A4 landscape and be done with it. They are also persisting with running the same aged paper background throughout the entire thing, but at least it is used a bit more intelligently than normal.
Nice work Word of Hashut.