Review: Warhammer +

Warhammer Plus logo, edited to ask the question "More Warhammer, more often?"

Warhammer +. Subscription service. Games Workshop, 2022.

In August of 2021, Games Workshop unleashed their Warhammer + subscription service upon the Mortal Realms. I was interested; I theoretically play Kill Team, and I have been known to enjoy a battle report from time to time. The trailer for the service promised access to out-of-print publications via Warhammer Vault, access to the Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar apps, an exclusive free model if you subscribe for a full year, and a streaming service for shows. The streaming service was the thing that caught my attention. One of the exclusive shows announced was Angels of Death, an animated series by Richard Boylan, the guy who made the Helsreach fanfilm. If you haven’t seen it, Helsreach, an animated film made with the Helsreach audiobook, was RAD. Go find it on YouTube.

I decided I’d wait for the Warhammer + libraries (vault and streaming) to get some content, and then I’d put down $5.99 for a single month. And now, you don’t have to. (Note: I did not try the Age of Sigmar app, and I’m not getting a model, so I will not review those).

What’s Going On Here?

It’s Warhammer content for $5.99 a month, or discounted at $59.99 for a full year.

What’s Good Here?

ANGELS. OF. DEATH. Seriously, this show is better than I had expected. The whole thing is rendered in black, white, and red. It’s very dark, extremely atmospheric, and brutal as hell. I won’t go into too much detail (this is a review of the service, not of the individual content), but it’s about a squad of Blood Angels who are lured to a planet that’s been overrun by a Genestealer Cult. Lots of space marines pledging oaths to the Throne of mankind while mowing down thousands of Genestealers and hybrids. Seriously, this is RAD.

Black, Grey, and Red image of Space Marines entering a Cultist temple. It's RAD.

Hammer and Bolter, an animated anthology of Warhammer stories, is kind of cool, too. I was glad to see an episode where the Ultramarines were depicted as the bad guys, and there’s even a horror-themed episode with no real action, just the weirdness of Tzeench.

Battle Reports! Well-produced, and not too long. I appreciate a good battle report that is edited down to 30-60 minutes.

Loremasters is a series of lore videos, taken from both 40K and Age of Sigmar. They’re well-produced, but there are plenty of lore videos for free on YouTube.

Citadel Master Class teaches you how to paint! So does YouTube.

And that’s what’s good. You’ll notice that I only mentioned the shows. I’ll explain why below.

What’s Not So Good?

Let’s go down the list.

On the Warhammer TV side, the interface is a problem. The app (on Fire Stick, at least) doesn’t remember the last episode you watched, so you have to advance to your episode, then click over to “play” to play it. Most apps let you click on the thumbnail, so this feels counter-intuitive. Also, I often have to press a button two or three times to get it to respond. I don’t have this problem with other apps, so I’m sure it’s Warhammer TV‘s problem.

Another huge issue is that besides the two animated shows, THERE ARE NO SUBTITLES! Now, my hearing isn’t great, so I always have subtitles on. Why the hell, in 2022, would a major corporation release paid content on a streaming service they control and not include subtitles?

Loremasters is fine, but there were times when the artwork being shown did not match up with the lore being discussed. If you are new to Warhammer, that could be confusing.

The Loremasters logo.
I would have called it “Only Lore.”

The Battle Reports are fine, but there are only 3 Kill Team battle reports. Meh.

The Master Class episodes are great…if you plan on only using Citadel products. If you use any other paints, your mileage may vary.

For Hammer and Bolter, the stories are good, but the animation on this show is awful. Fight scenes are often shown as a series of stills, or when there is movement, it’s impossible to tell what’s going on. When there’s no action, it looks like an early 2000s flash animation. Also, strangely, all of the episodes focus on the 40K universe. I know that there are AoS episodes planned for season 2, but it seemed kind of silly to ignore the entire fantasy setting. Also, you have to manually turn on the subtitles for each episode.

For Angels of Death, I have no notes besides the subtitles thing.

Looking at the non-Warhammer TV side of the subscription, The Warhammer Vault is hard to navigate. Issues of White Dwarf are listed by the date they entered the vault, not the release date, which means you have 2013 issues right next to 2018 issues. It’s sloppy, and there is not nearly as much content as you would think. I mean, the service has only been around for 5 months, but they only seem to release a few books a week. Also, any of the game supplements that are released to the Vault only feature the lore sections, no rules. I understand that they want you to buy the books for the rules, but these are mostly older edition books.

Image of a bunch of magazines in random order. Oh wait...that's a screen cap of the Warhammer Vault.
This is a mess.

The Warhammer 40,000 App is notoriously broken. Not just that, but it offers no Kill Team support. It’s useless to me.

What do I think?

For $5.99 for one month, I’ll do it. I’ve had it for a week, and I’ve just about exhausted the streaming content. The Vault is frustrating enough that I’ve only spent a little time on it, but I’ll look at it some more over this month. Next year, after there’s some more content, I’ll probably sign up for another month to catch up. Ultimately, the lesson here is that the grimdark future of the 41st millennium is a nice place to visit, but I don’t want to live there.


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