The Warhammer world came into being in 1983, and by 1987 had developed into its recognisable form. Since then there have been minor changes along the way as the tabletop game has developed and grown, but things have essentially remained the same since the late ’80s. With the release of Warhammer : End Times – Nagash, that’s all about to change. The first in an expected series of expansions detailing the events of the coming End Times, this is the start of a new era for Warhammer, shaking up the old order and breathing new life into a world which has existed for over thirty years.
This is a huge, two-part tome, the first a 300-page background book and the second a smaller volume containing rules and scenarios. This review focuses on the background book, which reads like the coolest history book you’ve ever read. It’s like no source book or army book ever released; filled with incredible artwork both old and new, including beautiful illustrations detailing army compositions for various battles across the Old World, it sets a high standard both for content and presentation comparable only to the beautiful books released by Forge World.
The concept of the End Times is simple; the Warhammer world as we know it is ending, to be replaced by something new and unknown. As the first book of the End Times this charts the initial stages of these final dark days, each of the various races acting or reacting in different ways. The doomsayers in the streets of the Empire are finally proven right; dark magic is on the rise and the kingdoms of man, dwarf and elf are beset on all sides. The armies of Chaos spill from the Wastes in uncountable hordes, greenskins gather in vast numbers, skaven pour forth from their tunnels to swamp entire realms, and in Sylvania…a great evil stirs. With so many forces of darkness on the move and faced only by scattered, disorganised opponents, dark times indeed are ahead for the denizens of the Warhammer world.
It’s a brave step, but an exciting one – fans of Warhammer are by now so familiar with the established order that the idea of anything actually changing seems totally alien. What Games Workshop are doing is not just making a few changes but completely reworking the map, changing the fabric of the Warhammer world. Without giving too much away, even though this is only the first book of the End Times we see the deaths of heroes and villains with decades of history, nations ruined or even wiped out, and the early stages of actions that are going to have profound implications for entire races. How these are going to play out is yet to be seen, but it’s certain that the impact will be felt across the whole range of Warhammer – from the game itself to the history being written as we speak and the Black Library books to come.