Warhammer+ – Hammer & Bolter & Angels of Death

A week ago on thursday, I received an invitation for a pre-release screening on the first Hammer & Bolter episode "Old Bale eye", which will be part of the Warhammer+ content.

Games Workshop ordered multiple Warhammer animations, among them the previewed Hammer & Bolter series. In the first episode we meet two Orks, who try to eat a Grot and are interrupted by a Runtherd. The runtherd takes the chances to bring the two ork boys back in line, by telling them the tale of Old Bale Eye, the ultimate enemy for any greenskin - Yarrick himself, and how Yarrick became the nemesis the orks got to know, fear and respect (a proper enemy is hard to find).

WarhammerTV - Hammer & Bolter Old Bale Eye WarhammerTV - Hammer & Bolter Old Bale Eye WarhammerTV - Hammer & Bolter Old Bale Eye

Have to say, it was quite entertaining and well made. As for the animations, I like comics and animated series, but prefer the western design compared to the eastern Anime style. So it's DC / Marvel animated movies, Archer, Lower Decks and such for me, not Naruto, Dragonball or such. The artwork of Hammer and Bolter is in somewhat muddy waters, but works due to the grim darkness for me.

Mid of this week, Warhammer+ went live and along with it some further content on Warhammer TV. Two more episodes of Hammer and Bolter, Death's Hand and Bound for Greatness. The first covers an Inquisitor with his entourage, and he is on a personal mission, to find out why the Emperor's Tarot foresees his death. Good storytelling, paced well within the 20 minute format of the episodes and works well for viewers who are already around since the 2nd or 3rd edition of 40k.

As for Bound for Greatness, this episode follows an Imperial scribe in the Ecclesiarchy or Adeptus Ministorum, who prepares copies of the holy scripture, but comes across forbidden knowledge. A bit short, or better said, doesn't really go into detail. You need a bit of background information of the warhammer lore to put the pieces together. So of the three episodes probably the weakest, but still decent.

According to imdb, we're in for another six episodes in the first season. With Fangs, covering Space Wolves, In the Garden of Ghosts, not about Gaunts Ghosts but the Eldar / Aeldari, and A Question of Faith, about Sisters of Battle, currently known.

WarhammerTV - Angels of Death WarhammerTV - Angels of Death WarhammerTV - Angels of Death

The other animation series, Angels of Death, covers a spaceship of the Blood Angels, trying to return lots of recovered gene-seed  back to their homeworld Baal. The first episode is called Blood and Duty. The series has good writing, the dialogues between the marines work, but this format has a couple of issues. The animation is grim dark, very pale and monochromatic in black and white with the red of the Blood Angels, which isn't the problem. It is more the quality of the animation, especially the faces, as they are not overdrawn enough to clearly show their animated, but not done well enough to move through the uncanny valley. So it looks more like cutcsene from a mid 2010s video game (just pick one of the many, many iterations of Space Hulk). And on top of that, the sound. It is to silent, you have a 8 feet tall warrior in servo armour walking across a hall way, and he just doesn't make a sound. Not his feet touching the ground, not his armour, nothing. It completly deletes the impact of their armour, weight and stature. Similar to the ship crew, well made, good composition, but empty and not noisy enough. Still, I'm interested to see how this moves on.

On imdb a total of 10 episodes for the first season are listed. Oh, and no servo skulls were harmed during the animation.

As Warhammer+ has a dedicated TV-app, Apple, Android and Amazon, so you can watch the episodes on a larger screen as well. Signing up and getting it started went smoothly. If you have an older smart tv, you might need a firestick / chromecast or something to get things started.

WarhammerTV App

Games Workshop did not just hire anybody for the score of these series, but Jonathan Hartman, a huge warhammer fan himself, as you can see on his Instagram Shibboleth. Back in 2020 he coined the sound of the new Warhammer, and they did an article on Warhammer Community as well as a podcast about it. So if you want to know more, there's plenty information on that.

Among the first feedback about it, was the dominance of 40k. To be honest, as a Middlehammer fan, if the only way they covered Warhammer Fantasy would be Age of Sigmar, it wouldn't appeal that much to me. And in direct comparison, the lore of 40k is much, much deeper and even with all the grim darkness, more colourful than its fantasy equivelant, especially after the End Times.

I'd love to do a break down of the Warhammer TV episodes like Screencrush does on Disney+, but I honestly don't have the time to that. And it's far from economically feasible.

At 54,90 EUR for the yearly subscription, and my hopes for some entertaining updates for their vault (old White Dwarfs and such), I think it is reasonable offer. Some content should be free, as it is advertisment for their range like the Tutorials or Battle Reports. I don't care much for those, there's plenty of content on youtube, that doesn't have the limitations of being brand only, but the 10 GBP coupon, the "free" miniature and such, is a pretty good deal for that amount of money. Especially if you compare it to the last Games Days before Warhammer Fest.

Posted by Dennis B.

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Trackbacks are disabled.