Wednesday, November 5, 2014

REVIEW: End Times - Glottkin

Following up on the Nagash book is the highly anticipated part two of the End Times series from Games Workshop. This time it focuses on three brother known as the Glottkin, Nurgle's mortal champions in service to Archaon. Together they intend to bring the Empire to its knees.

The presentation for this book set is just as high of quality as the previous one and I can't wait to have the whole End Times set on my book shelf. The two books come presented in a sturdy slip case with the "beautiful" Glotkkin artwork on the front. I am really liking the direction they are taking with the cover art for Fantasy. It has that sleek, minimal Apple look they were going for with the new 7th edition Warhammer 40,000 stuff but I feel as though it ties into the aesthetic of its franchise better. The 40K stuff just reminds me of the box art for a cheap CCG that will disappear in a year or two while the new Fantasy art looks much more professional and appropriate for its setting. I think it's the distressed style that does it.

The new addition to the series comes with two books, one for the story and lore, while the other contains all of the new rules. For those of you who got the Nagash book this is nothing new, but it does make it much easier to lug around to games since you can leave book one at home. This time around both books are roughly the same size, with the lore taking up a little more space. It's not nearly as massive as the Nagash one was, but that doesn't hurt it that much. I always want more story, but they still tell a highly engaging and game changing story with the space they have. You also save a good chunk of change on this installment since it is thinner, $66 compared to $80.

It again features some top notch artwork. While some of it is recycled from previous books, the new stuff is just great. I especially love the double page spread in it showing the Brettonian's charge into the forces of Nurgle. I really like all of the "cover: pages they use for the start of each chapter. It's similar to the Nagash one, but a slightly different style.
They are the only reason I would ever consider buying the limited edition version since you get those as art prints. I hope that they release them as individual posters at some point.

Unlike Nagash, this book's story is much more focused. We have none of the sprawl we saw in the first book, instead it focuses entirely on the forces of Chaos and their invasion of the Empire. It opens in the frigid North with Archaon recruiting a new champion to lead his forces of Nurgle, luckily for him he finds the Glottkin. His whole plan is to let the forces of Nurgle throw themselves at the Empire and either crush it or weaken it enough that the rest of his army can follow behind and clean up the mess. The brothers Glott in turn then recruit Gutrot Spume and the Maggoth Lords to act as their lieutenants and spearhead the other two prongs of their assault. The whole storyline takes place concurrently with the invasion of Nehekhara by Nagash. Without giving too much more away, it's safe to say that the Empire will never be the same again.

The writing in this is just as good as the last one and it really had a grand, epic, and cinematic feel to it throughout the whole story. The body count was a lot smaller then the first edition of the End Times, but it was just as game changing. Some of the most interesting parts were the bits of story where Festus was working. Apparently demons of Nurgle like to talk in a riddle-like sing song, which adds a ton of character.

The second book contains all of the new rules. The star of this set is the Legions of Chaos army which combines the Warriors of Chaos, Demons, and Beastmen. This, to me, is what a combined army is all about. If anything deserved to be grouped together like this, it's Chaos. While they all benefitted from this, the Beastmen came out on top. I don't play any of these armies, so my knowledge is a little restricted, but even I can tell they got a ton more new toys to play with. Most of the units now have access to Marks of Chaos and all of their Champions and Characters now get to roll on the Eye of the Gods table. They also now have the Reign of Chaos table each magic phase, which I believe was only available to Demons previously. Another addition is the Chaos Ascendant rule which gives benefits to patrons of a particular god. Last, but not least for them, is a new spell that all Chaos sorcerers have access to which allows them to summon demons.

While Nagash had rules for fighting underground and on haunted battlefields, Glottkin gives us rules to fight in the tight confines of a city. It definitely seems interesting and fun, and I would love to get it a spin sometime soon.

What would an End Times book be without some new units and characters? We of course get the big guy himself, the Glottkin. The new trend seems to continue with a combined profile for the monsters and the riders. In this case it's even more unique with three characters rolled into one. Since there is only one profile the different attributes of the brothers are reflected with a special rule for each one. The Maggoth Lords follow suit, each having a combined profile. Wrapping up the forces of Nurgle are Gutrot Spume and a new profile for Festus, now called the Empowered to represent his growing favor with his deity.

One of the most interesting characters to me is Karl Franz Ascendant. A new profile for the Emperor showcasing his empowerment by Sigmar. Besides having some ridiculously tooled up weapons and abilities, he also now has a combined profile with his griffon, Deathclaw, which makes him much more survivable.

Wrapping up the whole set is the collection of scenarios for the campaign. There are six of them which follow the forces of Chaos' assault on Marienburg all the way to Karl Franz's triumphant return. I really wish I had all the armies needed to play through it, and while I'm at it the Nagash campaign too. They all seem like a lot of fun and would make a great campaign weekend.

I am really excited about the entire End Times series in general, in a way I haven't been about Fantasy in a long time. Games Workshop continues to impress with the Glottkin book, and while I'm talking about it, the models are amazing, yet again. I am already putting away some money so I know I can buy the next book in the series when it comes out. Seriously, you need to find a way to get ahold of this book. Which brings up an interesting, and annoying fact about this whole release. The US Games Workshop site had sold out of it before the end of the first night. Luckily I was able to get one at a local store, but I really don't know what GW is thinking with the limited supply. I understand keeping stock low to make it seem more desirable, but this is just ridiculous. The only answer I can think of is that they greatly underestimated the demand a Fantasy product would have. I'm assuming the print order for this went in before Nagash was released. Hopefully they now have had enough time to see how much people love this series and will increase the production run on the third book.

Final Score: 5/5

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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