Friday, August 27, 2021
I did go ahead and sign up for this. I've been subscribed to the 40K app since it came out so I went from spending 3$ a month for that to 6$ a month for that plus some shows and it doesn't bother me at all. I spend a great deal of my free time thinking about, building, painting, playing, and watching 40K stuff and do some side work in Age of Sigmar at times too so this is just an extension of that. I've watched most of what's available at this point so I thought I would share.
But first ... there has been a lot of complaining online about this, threats of boycotts and such. GW had a talk with some of the people making videos online a while back and some of them joined up, some of them quit. This stirred up some people and had them slagging GW as doing bad corporate behavior, treating fans badly and then it turned into the usual piling on about increasing prices as well.
I don't care about any of that.
Some of the videos were cool, sure - but you don't own it. Trying to make money making videos of something you don't own ... there's your sketchy behavior. We've seen this with CBS/Paramount and Star Trek fan films already so it should not have surprised anyone.
As far as prices ... I started buying Warhammer miniatures in the mid-80's ... before 40K was a thing. I could give you a bunch of "back in my day 30 marines cost $22" stories but there's not much of a point. Prices go up, GW prices doubly so. No one is making anyone play this game - it is completely optional and a luxury. Just part of the deal.
So what about the service?
- The 40K app is the same app it has been - there were no major changes for the launch. It's very nice having the rules and FAQs and codexes all in one place. For research and theorymongering it's handy. For army building ... I still like Battlescribe better.
- There is not a new Sigmar app yet. It's supposed to be coming but the Azyr app that's been out for a few years now works pretty well. We will have to wait and see how this goes.
- "Battlreport" - right now there is one for 40k and one for Sigmar. Each one is about an hour long. The 40k one was competently done with some nice informational graphics as the game was going on. There are YouTube channels I would still rank higher for entertainment value but it was their first effort. I would expect to see a lot more of this.
- "Hamer and Bolter" - there are 3 episodes of this right now and I have very mixed feelings. They are about 20 minutes long and cover very different parts of the 40k universe. The stories are OK but nothing really knocked my socks off. My biggest issue is that all 3 are in that limited-motion anime-style that honestly just looks cheap to me. I see people defending it as a "style choice" and sure ... maybe it was ... but it still looks weak. Hopefully they will consider changing up the "style" moving forward too.
- "Angels of Death" - the best part of it so far. It's a Blood Angels story with an incredibly cool black and white ... and red ... color palette. It's CGI but it's done in a visually interesting way. It too is only about 20 minutes long but it has by far the most promise in my eyes and I am very much looking forward to more.
- There are some other videos - painting guides, how to play videos for each of their games, but a lot of them are out on YouTube for free already so it's not really adding a ton of value here.
- The Vault - this is a repository of books and magazines that I expect to become more interesting over the next year or two. Right now it has the fluff sections from the Gathering Storm books, some other campaign books, last year's White Dwarfs, and all of their "Warhammer Visions" magazines. If they fill in a lot of the older material it could be a lot of fun.
- The miniature - if you subscribe for a year you get to pick a 40K mini or a Sigmar mini as a bonus. I picked that nifty Vindicare assassin pictured up there. It's a nice bonus but honestly I would not subscribe just to get a miniature - if you really want one they will be on eBay next year one they start going out.
So - overall take? I'd say it's an interesting experiment with a lot of potential down the road but with limited material right now. If you're into either of their major games I'd say give it a try but if you don't care about the app or the videos it's safe to wait a while and see where it goes.