The second in Games Workshop’s latest series of Warhammer expansions, The End Times – Glottkin follows in the footsteps of Nagash and tells the next part of the apocalyptic End Times story. It keeps to the same format as Nagash before it, split across two volumes – one for the background and one for the rules – and while it’s noticeably shorter than its predecessor, this is still a hefty tome. With the Great Necromancer risen once again, the focus of the story now moves to the forces of Chaos, specifically the gruesome, rotting hordes of Grandfather Nurgle led by the horrifically mutated Glott brothers.
Where the first book set the scene for the End Times as a concept, and took in the vast scale of events just beginning to take place, here things are simplified, focused on Archaon’s initial foray into the Empire. It’s very much a case of Chaos against mankind, with the other races notable by their absence. Once again reading like a fantasy history book, it plots out the opening stages of Archaon’s invasion, and the threats faced by the Empire from both within and without. There are plenty of famous Warhammer characters involved in the action, as well as some new faces, and in similar fashion to Nagash they’re all fair game for a swift exit.
As beautifully presented as this undoubtedly is, when held up against Nagash there’s a sense that it is somewhat lightweight and a little more pedestrian; where the first book fairly thrums with excitement, this is a little more dry and predictable. The events it covers just don’t feel quite as involving or earth-shattering as the rebirth of one of Warhammer’s most famous characters, and the whole thing lacks a little in the way of pacing and tension. The new Chaos characters are part of the problem; they’re all interesting, if a little lightly-drawn, but it’s only really the Glott brothers who come across as genuinely compelling characters. Some of the others simply feel as though they’ve been included just to make up the numbers.
That being said, this is still an epic, enjoyable read, and held up against almost anything that’s been done prior to the End Times it’s still an incredibly impressive piece of work. It moves the End Time story along nicely, setting up events to come and leaving some interesting questions open for readers to consider, and while it doesn’t feel as essential as Nagash did, there’s plenty here to keep readers interested and much to enjoy as the Warhammer world continues to be torn apart and reshaped.