Saturday, 22 November 2014

The End Times: Glottkin - Review

As you may have seen in a recent post I had some serious Glottkin woes at being unable to get hold of the most recent End Times book. However, after some digging and the help of Rob (one of our readers), I have managed to acquire a copy for what is a hard to justify but relatively reasonable price. I have seen copies of this book for around £200 pounds (just over $300 I think) on eBay but I did manage to get one at a slightly more reasonable price. It was still expensive enough that my meals will be interesting this month, very interesting indeed...


If you haven't read my review of the previous book you can read it here: Nagash - A Review

The second End Times book is a noticeably slimmer tome than its predecessor and new was £10 less expensive, the presentation though remains of the same high quality. The first book is around 130 pages and the second 65, significantly less than the 300 and 100 of Nagash respectively. 

I will review this book in much the same way as I did Nagash, starting with the fluff book before moving onto the rules and finishing with some random musings.

Book 1: Fluff

To begin with I think it is worth mentioning that this book is a lot narrower in scope compared to Nagash, whilst the first End Times book begins with an overview of each faction and the story itself covers everything from fallen Kislev, to Nehekhara and everything in-between, this book focuses upon the fate of the Empire alone. It also focuses upon a slew of new characters whereas Nagash revisited many old ones, some who had even dropped out of the background for a good many years. The Glottkin themselves being a new invention; making it feel very much like a totally new chapter in the Warhammer mythos as opposed to an expected logical extension.

We open with a quick recap of events from the previous book which nicely brings us up to date on world events and sets the tone of the rest of the book with the focus heavily on Chaos. It is also worth pointing out that this book chronologically take place just after chapter 4 in the Nagash book and I think at the same time as Nagash invades Nehekhara in Chapter 5.

Chapter 1  begins with the meeting of Archaon and the Glottkin followed by the planning of a three-pronged Nurgle attack on the Empire. Most of the chapter is then devoted to the first invasion party led by the Glottkin themselves on the city of Marienburg which is razed in a day despite the best efforts of Marienburg's resident vampiric under lord and a small imperial army 

Chapter 2 shows us the landing of the second invasion force led by Gutrot Spume and his slog through the forests of the Empire where he teams up with some beastmen, they then proceed to fight some forest goblins and savage orcs. I quite like the Lord of Tentacles, he has a nice little gimmick going on that isn't horrendously overused and is fairly interesting. Of all the new Nurgle characters he is perhaps my favourite, maybe I just like nautical characters as I was a fan of Luther Harkon in the last book, but at the end of the day I just felt he had a bit more going for him than the Maggoth Riders who talk big but do very little. It was also nice to see the beastmen do something beyond simply raiding and the fact that they can take marks now (as discussed later) has them rejoining with their long lost chaos friends in one massive unholy union. There were also notable mentions of Malagor and Khazrak One Eye who could yet have important parts to play in Archaon's invasion.

Chapter 3 sees the adventures of the Maggoth Riders and begins setting up the final chapter. Really this chapter felt a lot like filler, serving only to establish the daemonic elements of the army that attack Altdorf. The three Maggoth Riders, whilst possessing some very interesting back stories, seemed quite bland compared to Spume and the Glottkin, perhaps due to the fact that they acted largely as a single unit in this chapter doing everything together and not really exploring their individual characteristics. Together with Epidemius they take down Talabheim and continue their march towards Altdorf. 

Chapter 4 was the Fall of Altdorf, well this was pretty massive and was certainly a lot longer than the other chapters. On one side we have the men of Altdorf, a Brettonian crusade and the undead; Vlad being made Elector-Count of Sylvania by Kurt Helborg in desperation. On the other we have the armies of the Glottkin, Gutrot Spume and Epidemius joining outside the city whilst Festus and Ku'Gath work to cripple Altdorf from within. Even though Altdorf was for a time partially transformed into part of Nurgle's garden the forces of order prevailed as Karl Franz, imbued with the power of Sigmar, defeated the Glottkin and burnt away the corruption that ravaged his lands. The heroics of Louen Leoncoeur, Kurt Helborg and Vlad von Carstein managed to save the city in time for Karl Franz to perform what I suppose was almost literally a deus ex machina. It was really quite epic and my brief summery here doesn't really do it justice.

There were certainly less deaths in Glottkin than in Nagash and most of them happened in the final battle. Whilst I forget most of the fallen from Nagash I have listed the deaths of this book below:
  • The cities of Marienburg, Talabheim and Carroburg were all razed
  • Taurox the Brass Bull was brought down by Markus Wulfhart 
  • Louen Leoncoeur, turns out he wasn't dead, then he died.
  • Ku'gath and Epidemius were both banished
  • Festus was killed by Vlad, he was on the cusp of Daemonhood though so could be back
  • Kurt Helborg died defending his Emperor
  • Karl Franz died, he got better
  • The Glottkin turned into a swarm of flies upon defeat and now rest in Nurgle's garden 

Gutrot Spume and the Maggoth Lords managed to escape and I fully expect them to turn up again later as fodder for the heroes of order. Whilst the new Nurgle characters were interesting and had some pretty cool backstories, I couldn't really care much for them. Even though it said Glottkin on the cover the triplets didn't manage to bring the same gravitas to the book like Nagash did to his. In fact my favourite bits of the book were those with Festus or Vlad who both seemed to steal the show every time they appeared.

The image of Taal being attended by the other Gods of the Old World was quite a cool addition that appeared a few times throughout the book. This continues the idea of Gods being more active as we saw in the Nagash book and is something I am betting will be huge in the upcoming elf book with Khaine, Isha and Asuryan coming to the fore.

One thing I do quite like about the battles in this book is the little heraldic shields given for each unit of note which can act as a cool little reference guide for either painting those specific units or as something to draw inspiration from. The art overall in this book has continued the strong lead taken by Nagash and the general quality of the writing remains high.

Book 2: Rules

I am not gong to dwell on the rules too much as I don't play any chaos armies so much of it will be lost on me. Besides, there are many other bloggers who can do a much better in depth look than me and I would recommend you check them out.

City fighting looks fun, doubt I will play much of it due to not owning much appropriate terrain, but it is nice to see these rules come into print. We seem to be getting more and more ways to play the game than ever before which is great, I just hope by the end of this series we get a rules over-saturation. It will be interesting to see if skirmishing rules come back in the future or if Regiments of Renown become something more than just a Warhammer World event.

Chaos Legions rules look like every Chaos players dream since Hordes of Chaos got split up into three factions. Beastmen being able to take marks in particular has my brother very excited and it very much feels like a big Chaos reunion where everyone gets cool new stuff and nobody loses out. The Chaos Ascendent and Infernal Legion rules look fun to use if you like more random tables and summoning. The amount of summoning being added to the game does feel a lot like the new psychic Demonology discipline in 40k, not only do you need to have an army to actually play a game but you also need to own nearly a whole other army in case you summon it; whether it be undead or demonic. Summoning spells and tentative steps towards an allies system with combined lists certainly feels nice as it represents the background in many ways but it also feels like another way for GW to make money as I discussed during my Nagash review. 

The rules for the Glottkin themselves are a little underwhelming when compared to Nagash and the Maggoth Lords don't look overly interesting either. However, they are all quite good at what they do and are significantly cheaper points-wise than their Undead counterparts to boot. Gutrot Spume is possibly the best option as he is a chaos lord with a few extra rules for little extra cost. Festus Empowered is similarly a nice upgrade to an existing stat line. The Putrid Blightkings have quite good rules and I expect they will appear in most nurgle themed chaos armies in the future, but as a special option they face a lot of competition for a place. The real stand-out of this book is Karl Franz Ascended who really is a beast comparable to Nagash, he can dish out an insane amount of damage  with a bound spell, ten attacks and does multiple wounds. Should you ever see him on the battlefield get him bogged down in a tar pit as quick as you can!

Ready to bring the pain!

Misc. opinions and closing thoughts

With regards the new characters I quite like that GW are willing to add new named characters to the background, a rather bold move considering all the characters in the Nagash release were already well established figures even if they were lacking modern rules or models. I think the Glottkin book is a sign that GW are wanting to move in bold and interesting new directions. Nagash functions perfectly as the first book to the End Times as it brings waves of Oldhammer nostalgia with it whilst moving the story forward. It sets the stage for the End Times but does so using familiar characters and concepts. Glottkin is the perfect second book as it brings new ideas to the board and would not have been successful if it hadn't ridden on the coattails of Nagash. If it had been the very first book I can imagine many would not be happy with some new randomers coming out of nowhere starting the End Times.

The new models are quite gorgeous, whilst the characters themselves don't really appeal to me I cannot deny how detailed and absolutely disgusting they are. As with Nagash and the Mortarchs of the last release, the Glottkin and the Maggoth Lords really showcase the talent and production capabilities of the company. Whilst I often disagree with the pricing of their models, I cannot deny that GW make some of the nicest models on the market, their massive kits of the past two years being particularly impressive. The real stand outs of this release though have to be the Putrid Blightkings, already I have seen them converted into everything from Plague Marines to Obliterators and Inquisitorial Henchmen. In fact they are great models on their own and have me sorely tempted to revive my Warriors of Chaos army.

These must be an absolute treat to build and paint.

On a random note. Personally I think that if the Glottkin wanted to succeed they should have gotten themselves some big hats. Nagash, Arkhan and Neferata all got massive hats in the last book and won at pretty much everything they did. Nurgle didn't bother giving any of his new champions impressive hats; the pitiful helmet of Otto Glott being nothing compared to the might of Karl Franz's feathered head gear. Archaon should get himself an upgrade quick before the world is covered in the shadow of Nagash's mighty Hat of Death!

Ultimately, whilst I really enjoyed this book, I feel it falls down somewhat simply by comparison to Nagash. The size and scope of Nagash was immense and there was simply lots more content; whilst there were several battles during each chapter of Nagash, each of the four chapters of Glottkin was devoted to a single event. Whilst Nagash appealed primarily to Undead players it also spent time with the Elves, the Dwarves, the Empire and Chaos whereas Glottkin was far more narrow in scope. Don't get me wrong the events of Glottkin were massive, but it felt overall like less was covered. In fact on page count alone it was only really half the size of Nagash.

7.5/10 - A strong continuation of the End Times series, quality remains high but there was less of it.

As I finish writing this another End Times book has gone up for pre-order, this one dealing with the three elven factions who hitherto have largely been absent from proceedings. As Dark Elves were my first army I am really looking forward to this. I managed to order a copy of hardback End Times: Khaine within minutes of it going up, something I failed to do with Glottkin, so I am very pleased with myself. Now I simply have to wait just over a week and it shall be mine!

I would also like to quickly note that both the Nagash and Glottkin books have been released in soft back at a slightly lower cost. This I think is definitely a move in the right direction and will hopefully help to cut down on eBay scalpers now that there is a less limited version of the books available. 


  1. As a 40k player I'm all jealous and whatnot.
    It's starting to look like GW put this End Times thing together to maybe reign in Fantasy a little bit?
    Cut down the number of Army books, consolidate some of the less popular armies and begin allowing Allied/Unbound-type armies which will allow their customers to purchase, add and play with whatever models they like, increasing overall sales.

    That sounds frighteningly like an actual business strategy, so considering this is GW we're talkin' 'bout, I almost refuse to believe it.
    Not sure how Fantasy players feel about how the End Times will affect new Editions going forward. Is End Times going to be official canon? Are Fantasy players considering End Times as a separate 'thing' from the 'official' game?

    Regardless, Fantasy has acted as a test bed for 40k for several editions of both games now. Actually, a lotta stuff I'm not fond of was ported over, like Random Charge Lengths.
    Meh, waddayagonnado?

    So I'm watching this whole End Times thing fairly closely, for two reasons
    1) it's really quite likely GW will do something like this to 40k.
    It won't be long before all the 40k armies have shiny new fifty dollar Codexes in the hardcover format. Once they're done wrapping that up, we might see something happening with the 13th Black Crusade maybe.
    Fer the love of...OhMyGawd the 40k Timeline moving forward would just be...I'm not sure if the fluid exchanging valves located in my central thorax could handle it...I'd have what you Terrans call a 'heart attack.'
    2) The End Times...seems really fun.
    I'm enjoying just reading along in the blogs, checking out the new models an' whatnot. I'll admit straight up that I'm a lil' jelly, and I'm really kinda psyched to see something like this happen to 40k. The game is a lil' dusty. It could use a shaking up. You know what else it could use?
    3) Giant hats.
    'Nuff said.
    Yes I know that was three things.
    Don't you judge me.

    I read the Nagash post too. Fun stuff and nice work.

    1. Hi SinSynn, thanks for the comment!

      Fantasy certainly feels as if GW are not only breathing new life into it but also working to reorganise and consolidate the setting. Making it more manageable and profitable at the same time. It really makes me wonder when they decided fantasy needed a new burst of life and if this is part of Mark Wells' legacy from his time as CEO as work on the End Times series must have started quite a few years ago.

      It looks like the End Times are here to stay for now as at the start of the rules sections they stress that these are official updates to the main rules, these books are the future of the game and beyond that we can only look forwards with trepidation and hope GW doesn't screw it up.

      It would certainly be interesting to see if something similar happens with 40k, though rather than a progression of the timeline I think it would be more likely they simply expand on the existing IP. Already this year Imperial Knights and Stormtroopers have gotten their own codexes and I wouldn't be surprised if we have more campaigns like Shield of Baal and Sanctus Reach over time as well. New armies in 40k certainly wouldn't surprise me at all, though I would like plastic Battle Sisters first. Just give them to me GW and I will forgive you for the bland Dark Eldar and Astra Militarum Codexes you have given me this year.

      I think we can all agree that one thing 40k certainly does need is more massive hats.
      The bigger the better.

    2. Lookit Knhorne Berserkers and Thousand Sons. They know what's up with the massive headgear.

      Raging Heroes is starting their Sisters of Eternal Mercy Kickstarter in January. If you haven't had a peek at the concept art yet...

      I'm a big fan of Raging Heroes- their last Kickstarter got me for a couple of hundred beans. I'm sure I'll fall victim again. I'm a sucker like that.

      I didn't know about the preface in the End Times book. Interesting. So that means this isn't some random expansion- GW is committing to these changes.
      You're the first blogger I've seen make a connection between the outrageous amount of deaths in the new fluff and the fact that these characters have no in-game models. I find that really interesting as 40k has really seen a TON of entries go missing from the new Codexes (if you play DE you know all about this, I'm sure. Grey Knights took a kidney punch too but I'm certainly not crying for them. Hmph. Rotten Silver Beakies). Jeez if we're gonna get a 40k End Times there could be bodies dropping left and right!
      It would be mayhem...

      I've heard a few Fantasy players complain about the Combined Profiles for mounts and riders, since apparently that could potentially make some hero-types OP. Also the new 'percentages' that allow for HeroHammer throwback armies consisting of a handful of insanely powerful Lords and minimum troops or whatever is required to make it legal. I don't know much about the mechanics of Fantasy but their concerns seem legit.
      This is GW so I expect two things- GW screws something up, and folks riff about it.
      Some things will never change.
      But I'm cool with that cuz it gives me stuffs to write about. And maybe I complain a little too.

    3. Sigh.
      I misspelled Khorne.
      What a knucklehead.

    4. The Imperium needs to step up their hat game. In the face of such heretical headgear it seems that only the Ordo Hereticus and the Commissars are even making an effort.

      I have seen the Sisters of Eternal Mercy and I am currently saving up for the Kickstarter, planning to spend far, far more than I reasonably should on them.

      Most of the rules are optional but the changes to force organisation say that these are updated rules that replace those in the main rulebook and it applies to all armies. They even say it twice in the first few pages. Whilst a 50% allowance for both Lords and Heroes might sound scary if it leads to armies of just super powerful characters with minimum core, in reality I don't think it will be that much of a big deal. If I get your expensive lord bogged down in a massive horde of expendable men for several turns then his capabilities are ultimately wasted. Combat characters can often be dealt with simple common sense and conventional tactics in my experience, I doubt we will see a return to Herohammer unless everyone does it. Wizard Lords on the other hand could end up being a real problem if kitted out right and have combined profiles giving them an insane number of wounds and attacks. Nagash himself can be taken in a 2000 point game (albeit he takes up half the army) and from what I have seen only lists designed to deal with him and him alone would stand much of a chance. I certainly don't think this change in percentages was done for any particular reason other than to shift more of the new big character kits they are producing by making them more playable. With the changes I can field any of the new big kits from both books in a regular 2000 point game.

      Bizarrely Volkmar the Grim and Kurt Helborg have quite new models, the former even being in plastic, yet they still got the chop. Every one else though it really does feel as if they are clearing house albeit done in a slightly more elegant and meaningful manner than 40k where characters, and even some units, just drop off the face of the galaxy on the capricious whims of the design team. If there was a 40k End Times it would be an absolute bloodbath for special characters alone never mind the rank-and-file.

      This End Times series is great to write about because it is such a big game changer: a static setting suddenly going somewhere with twists, turns and revelation on every corner has really gotten people talking for good or ill. Personally I can't wait to see how it will end, largely just because if GW don't do it right (and they have a shaky track record, looking at you Storm of Chaos) the collective fan base will lose their minds. Should be fun!

    5. Yeah I actually thought that GW might be making an effort to lower cost of entry into Fantasy, since the game seemed to be about giant blocks of infantry now. The cost of building a Fantasy army was slightly outta control- I shudder to think of what a Skaven Army would cost, by way of a fer instance.
      So for a noob to be able to buy-in by simply purchasing Nagash and a few support characters, at a cost of what? Less than 300 bucks? Well that's just excellent in GW terms. Peer pressure will do the rest.
      GW should be worried about pulling in new players...Nagash seemed like a decent starter thing to me.
      But like you said you can just swamp a character in sacrificial units. Dunno if Nagash is too bad-ass for that to work or not. You kinda make it sound like he is. Anyway I hope new people who went the Nagash Route as an entry point to Fantasy aren't getting ROFL-stomped.

      Do you think all of the End Times changes will make sense if a new Edition drops? Things like the combined mount-and-rider profile that folks are saying is OP might be fine-tuned in a new Edition, or other such changes might make more sense. I find it strange there hasn't been rumors of a new Edition when monumental changes like this are occurring.
      So player are carrying their End Times books, their rule books, their army books...
      It's crazy! Crazy I tell ya!

      Yeah...I'd love to see something like this happen in 40k...I suppose I wouldn't mind if they killed off some characters and upped their hat game a bit.

    6. Lowering entry costs for fantasy is something that GW have needed to do for a long time, none of my friends have picked up a new fantasy army in years just because of the initial investment needed is so much, though they have picked up a few 40k armies which you can at least play at Kill Team levels at the bare minimum. The End Times seems to be an elaborate set up for making the game more accessible: easier to build armies, combined/allied lists and streamlined rules - which combined profiles ultimately seem to be. Many options, easy entry and smooth play seem to be the direction they are going in and I expect to see more of this appear in future End Times books.

      Nagash is a combat monster but his main ability of simply being able to summon huge amounts of undead and throw around just about whatever magic he pleases is what makes him dangerous. He is a large target though so cannons should be able to deal with him somewhat and some of the new characters like Karl Franz Ascendent should be able to go toe to toe with him.

      I certainly hope we get a new edition after this as I don't like the idea of carrying more books than I have units to play a game. All the rumours I have seen thus far look like a new edition would largely be a logical continuation of what we are seeing in the End Times which thus far wouldn't be a bad thing. I will reserve ultimate judgement until the end though as you never know if GW are going to do something random or idiotic at the last hurdle.

      For now fantasy is enjoying a bit of a renaissance and we can only hope for what the future holds. A 40k End Times would be inconceivably epic but I doubt we will see it any time soon, fantasy desperately needed a lift whereas 40k seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment. The fact that GW feels they can bring out a new edition of 40k only two years after the last one tells me they are very confident in that brand and the willingness for people to spend money on it. I am guessing we won't see a 40k End Times until GW get really desperate, as it is possibly the one thing they could pull that could bring them back from any disaster they inflict upon themselves.

  2. Aaaand...I see Fantasy 9th rumors for the first time today.
    Hmph. Go figure.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...