Well, well it has finally arrived after a short two-year span 6th edition is dead and replaced with 7th edition, the brand new spanking vision of Warhammer 40k. The game as changed with the return of the psychic phase and a set of new score as you go missions. Deeper is the fundamental changes going on with the game and the vision Games Workshop has put forth for their most iconic game. This review will only tangentially delve into the what Games Workshop is thinking, but instead focus on the three books you get when you plunk down the money for this new edition.
Warhammer 40k 7th edition set is broken into three books, each hardback stylishly presented.
- Book One: A Galaxy at War
- Book Two: Dark Millennium
- Book Three: The Rules
By breaking up the set into three books GW is able to focus on the three fundamental Warhammer 40k themes. Warhammer 40k is about history, gaming, and painting. GW is attempting to explain all three aspects the books are a reflection of each one.
This review shockingly will be split into three parts to discuss each book.
This is your hobby, and how you pursue it is yours to decide. Whichever path you select, and for however long you choose to walk it, your collection will make the journey with you.
Chapter I: The Warhammer 40,000 Hobby
Chapter II: Strike Force Ultra
Chapter III: Lord of Carnage
Chapter IV: Imperium's Might
Chapter V: The Imperium
Chapter VI: Xenos Threat
Chapter VII: Forces of Chaos
A Galaxy of War is breathtaking picture book, showcasing the amazing models in the Warhammer 40k universe. This is the best photography Games Workshop has ever done, outside the amazing, but often stylized Forge World books. It is easy to get jaded, but you will not be disappointed if you are looking for model porn.
Many of the images are of models you have seen countless times in White Dwarf articles or on the Games Workshop Webpage, but the presentation outstanding. A Galaxy of War is what Warhammer Visions should have been.
This first book is more than anything an attempt to get new players hooked on the universe by sensory overload. Sprinkled within is a few advertisements for other Warhammer 40k products, but even these are more an introduction, then a blunt instrument to beat children into begging mom for money.
The first chapter explains the hobby to the uneducated and provides a clear understanding on what a potential convert is about to get into. This introduction sets the themes you will find throughout the all the books.
Chapter two: Strike Force Ultra presents the Ultramarines 1st Company as the poster child for 40k. This is a glorified promotion for the new box set, but at the same time also explains the narrative elements GW is looking for players to embrace. All the units have names, along with the characters, really driving home the "Forge the Narrative" tagline. This makes for an easy segue to some advertising, telling players just how expansive the 40k universe is. Chapter three: Lords of Carnage explains how a player can grow their collections into other different factions. Daemons and the Crimson Slaughter are beautifully shown mirroring the Strike Force Ultra section. Chapter four: Imperium's might is a blatant showcase for Unbound armies. Blood Angels, White Scars, Imperial Guard, Imperial Knights, and Sisters of Battle are all shown. This is the weakest part of the book as GW strains to link all these factions together in some narrative fashion, but fails completely. While the images are great, there is no cohesion, making the whole thing an Apocalypse primer.
Chapter five: The Imperium, gets to the meat of the book, showing all the armies you can play under the forces of the Imperium. We get a little rehash of old images shown just a few pages back, but all the images are in super hi-def. Chapter six and seven are just the same as five, but with the rest of the 40k armies. The lighting, fog effects, close-ups makes this the best part of A Galaxy of War, immersing you easily into each page. Any new player will easily understand each army aesthetic and find the one that speaks to them.
The image gallery below is sample of what you can find in those pages.
Chapter I: Indroduction
Chapter II: The 41st Millennium
Chapter III: The Imperium of Man
Chapter IV: The Pandorax Incursion
Chapter V: The Alien Menace
Chapter VI: The Greatest Threat
Chapter VII: Dark Millennium
The Dark Millennium is a retread for all the information every 40k player of a certain age knows. The Dark Millennium is about telling the Legends of the Warhammer Hobby. This overview history of mankind, we have heard over and over for the most part nothing is new. If you are up for it though, you will find hidden gems and a slightly expanding universe. The Emperor for instance has a stronger voice, even with a broken physical body, he described as continually taking direct actions to protect humanity. You can also find incorporation of the last two years rapid release material, like Imperial Knights. Still, even with these few new nuggets, the same old stories are being retold. The art work isn't new, but for a few pieces, making everything seem rushed.
Even if most of the information presented in the book isn't new, the presentation is impeccable. The formatting is accessible, the art is nicely placed, along with black info boxes through out.
The running hourglass as a balance between good and evil is nice detail, as are the new abstract maps found throughout the book. These details are nice if you have an editorial eye, but content is king, and with very little new material presented, the Dark Millennium is easily the weakest link between the three books. The best example of this the inclusion of the Pandorax Incursion, all rehashed material from the Apocalypse Warzone campaign of the same name, complete with the same art and everything. GW doesn't do any favors with this sort of thing. Very little 1st person material is found either in this book making it very different from previous editions.
Sorry readers I had just finished my review of the last book: The Rule Book. Sadly, my fat fingers deleted everything I wrote. With that said I am in no condition to re-write it, as I have to let my rage down die down before I try again, but I want something posted, so here the review of at least the first two books.
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