Don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers – or results from the battle reports – but because of the short story nature of the animations the reviews will be necessarily short!
Angels of Death – Blood and Duty
I’ve got a bias to declare here… I love Blood Angels – they were my first (and pretty much only) Space Marine Chapter and their background, history and characters still appeals to me.
This is the first episode in a series, which will (I assume) be released once a week to keep interest in WarhammerTV / Warhammer+. It’s also worth mentioning that along with everything in this article, you need a Warhammer+ subscription. (Confusingly go to mywarhammer.com!)
The Blood Angels are trapped in orbit around a planet (presumably by Warp Storms), and they must decide whether to accept their fate and become engaged in the planetary system or find a way back to Baal.
It’s a really fun art style which will be familiar to those who watched the trailer on YouTube, in that it is in monochrome, with red being the only colour used. This makes the Blood Angels very striking, but still shows a lot of character in the supporting cast. I particularly liked the Ship Mistress. I think it’s great that GW Animation have put a female lead into their episodic show and I’m already looking forward to the new episode.
Hammer & Bolter – Death’s Hand
Inquisitors battling for the Imperium have a disagreement about how best to stop it falling into the hands of the heretics. It seems to be that these are going to be in different art styles and (I assume) different animators. This does bring up an issue with the credits in all four shows from Warhammer Animation… there are none! I know GW are used to this with their rules (where it is wrong as well…!) but they really should credit the people involved. I would imagine that many of the people are freelancers who need to have this work available for future employers to review.
Hammer & Bolter – Bound for Greatness
Adept Neath must count the at the library on Antioth. Can he keep to this one task and obey the rules set for him by the Prefect? And what would happen if he were to break a rule? This is the sort of story I enjoy from Black Library. No Space Marines or super-humans in sight, just the drudgery of a life in the Imperium of Man. This is not a good place to live and Adept Neath is a perfect example of why… although he is safe in his ignorance.
Hammer & Bolter – Old Bale Eye
For those who know their 40k Lore, they will already know that this is about Yarrick & Ghazghkull Thraka. The story style is similar to the launch videos for the recent Beast Snagga box set, with a Runtherd telling younger Orks (yoofs) of the story of these two enemies.
Of course, it’s a story most viewers will know, but it’s interesting to see how this is done with a ‘moving comic book’ type style which is very different to the other 3 videos.
Warhammer Animations – Overall Verdict
Overall, this is a promising start to the service, although at about 20 minutes each, there is not a lot of content. I did expect more (this is probably part of the reason for the £10 voucher for signing up before end August!) but it is fun for fans of the Warhammer 40k universe.
But that does bring me onto the elephant missing from the service… there is no AOS content from the animation studio on release day. Given the new release of AOS3 and the fact we know there are AOS animations planned this is astonishing. If you’re an AOS fan with no interest in 40k, there is nothing here for you.
Citadel Colour Masterclass
Louise Sugden shows how to paint faces, and what wet blending is. These are great videos and Louise is a superb painter who is able to easier explain what is happening and why she is doing things in certain ways. The colour theory elements of both videos was also welcome and I’m very interested to see what is next. With painting season approaching (ie winter in the UK), I’ll be trying out some of these techniques.
Also included on launch are two battle reports. This time one for Age of Sigmar. In the 40k battle report Nick & Patrick take the Ultramarines & Necrons onto the battlefield and for the AOS one, they take the Dominion box set contents (mostly… no Yndrasta!)
The battle reports last 1 hour, which had me concerned at first, but it was presented in a good way, with top down views of the action, some important dice rolls interspersed with comments from the players (presumably filmed after the end of the game). They featured some new rules from the Orruk Warclans book for the Kruleboyz, and some new artifacts which was an interesting teaser, but I assume they thought the book would be available by now.
My only niggle with it is that the graphic they’ve used for showing which combat and unit is involved is the same for 40k and AOS (and it feels very 40k). Would be great to get a more fantasy one in the future.
A good start, but this is not going to interest people not already invested in the Hobby. It’s also difficult to recommend the service if you don’t follow Warhammer 40k at all, and only want Age of Sigmar content. There’s just not enough there.
As mentioned in my previous article, I’ve signed up for a year so I’ll continue to bring updates as and when thoughts occur to me!