This week was the launch of the latest Games Workshop venture, Warhammer+, a combination of three distinct offerings: Warhammer TV, the Warhammer Vault and the Warhammer 40,000 app. Both Warhammer TV and the Warhammer Vault can be accessed via My Warhammer. Warhammer TV is also available via tablet and mobile apps (with a launch planned on streaming apps soon). The Warhammer 40,000 app is, of course, available on tablet and mobile.
It’s only been a few days since launch, but that’s what these ‘reviews’ are for, initial impressions and incomplete thoughts. So with that in mind, let’s dive in to another Chicago Dice Hot Take!
- Early Subscriber Bonus – To boost adoption Games Workshop added some lovely bonus items for subscribers. The first, shown above, is one of the two exclusive Warhammer+ models. These models are made available to anyone who selects the annual subscription and will be mailed out at the completion of the year. I don’t even play AoS, but I do love this Warboss. The second is a $10 voucher for anyone that subs before Aug. 31 and keeps their sub for two months. Not bad at all!
- Hammer and Bolter – One of the two available shows at launch, Hammer and Bolter brings us three 20-ish minute episodes of Warhammer 40,000 short stories. Each one stands alone as a part of a greater anthology, although sequels to all three of these stories would be great if you ask me. Hammer and Bolter, to me, is the standout Warhammer+ offering and I am excited to see where this series goes.
- Warhammer 40,000 App – It’s included! All Warhammer+ subscribers also gain access to the Warhammer 40,000 app. This app is also available as a standalone subscription product (for those that do not want Warhammer+) but seeing it included as a part of Warhammer+ is a great bonus. As someone who is just now getting back into 40k, I’m thrilled to have full app access.
- Battle Report – Talk about potential! This is the opportunity to create something absolutely spectacular. The first two episodes are both one-off games, nothing too special going on. But hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. What I would love to see is a series of linked games. That could be a Kill Team campaign with multiple players or a Warhammer Underworlds bracket. The production value is there, now go and run with it! I really hope we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with the Battle Reports section.
- The Warhammer Vault – I was pretty dang excited for the Warhammer Vault, but the product thus far is extremely lacking. The only standout item is the full run of White Dwarfs from 2020, but good luck accessing the issues. The load times are unbelievably slow and the navigation in the magazine is terrible. I’m really hoping there is some optimization made to the experience. Unlike Warhammer TV, the Vault is not a standalone app, it’s just a website. My experience has been a frustrating one but the idea behind the Vault is what drew me in. Games Workshop has an absolute mountain of content they could dump into this thing. More issues of White Dwarf, old Citadel Catalogs, Black Library books, short stories, issues of Inferno!, the list goes on!
What the Vault is now is disappointing, but what the Vault could be is almost unimaginable.
- The Launch Lineup – Let’s be honest, it’s thin. Very thin. All things considered, there really is not much here. We’ve got three Hammer and Bolter episodes, one Angels of Death episode, two for Battle Reports and two for Masterclass. Seven items totaling only a few hours. Now, they have promised that every Wednesday will be “Warhammer Wednesday” and new content will be added each and every week. But what are we talking here? One new episode of these two shows? One new Battle Report? My concern is a slow drip feed. This may not be a fair assessment, it has not even been a week yet. But after the first full month, let’s see where we are.
We are very much in wait and see mode. Will the $60 annual cost be worth it? Will the content live up to the hype? Will they fix the technical issues? It’s all too soon to tell. The potential is sure as hell there. I think this first month may make or break the service. There is so much they could do and now they just need to make it happen. Everything here is solid (with the exception of the Warhammer Vault UX) and I simply want more.
After the service has been live for a few months, I’ll see if I can produce another quick review.