Thursday, 22 January 2015

Warhammer Fantasy: End Times

Warhammer: The End Times is really The End. For me at least. I'm not too happy with the way things have turned out during the End Times and probably not for the main reason everyone thinks. 

So what is Warhammer: TET about? Basically shit goes down in the Warhammer setting and tl;dr chaos seems to win. It is the literary equivalent of 'Rocks fall, your party dies'. It is the WHFB equivalent of the Yuuzhan Vong saga for Star Wars, but even MORE grimdark. And this is basically what I'm so annoyed with. I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of WHFB but I do like some of the models and I do like the fluff. In fact, I principally like the fluff and I've read quite a few of the Black Library series so I can say I do have some slight attachment to the setting and certain characters.  

Before I get more into that, I'll go into the basics of WH:TET, which started with Nagash reappearing in the world. For those who don't know, Nagash is sort of like the big bad that was sealed away in Japanese RPGs. He's sort of god-tier in terms of power and he's like the bogeyman in WHFB (well, other than the chaos gods that is). In fact, he is the premier Necromancer in the world and the one who invented the art; as well as non-sparkling vampires. 

So basically he reappears and because of that, shit happens. Somehow the High Elves and Dark Elves reunite with the High Elves accepting Malekith as their rightful Lord and Saviour, Tyrion dying, Ulthuan sinking, Bretonnia pretty much being smooshed, Kiev being destroyed, most of the fucking world being destroyed, the dwarf holds being destroyed by the Skaven who have suddenly become uber competent, the Dwarf king being assassinated by the Skaven, the Lizard folks deciding to fly off into space after the Skavens smashed the moon into their kingdoms. Yeah...I pretty much kept going WTF WTF WTF when I heard this but at some point during all that, I just became too numb to care.

All my favourite characters, settings, places, destroyed. Even the New Jedi Order with the death of Chewbacca didn't go as far as End Times did. This would be like if they not only killed Chewbacca but they also killed Luke, Han and Leia at the same time. Why? Because they can. 

Effectively Games Workshop has killed the setting for me. I have no idea how they will even manage to churn out another Black Library book. I suppose they could write pre-End Times novels but when you know the End is such a big steaming pile of shit, could you really dredge up enough energy to finish the novel? 

While I understand they wanted to shake the setting up, but unfortunately, they have changed things so much, I don't think it can even legitimately be considered the same setting anymore. This is especially true if the rumors about 9th Ed are true, where they're revamping the whole system and instead of taking place on a Tolkien-esque map, each race will instead be situated in their own special dimensional race-bubble and they'll fight when their bubbles collide. Like...seriously? 

What's ironic is that WHFB was never the setting in which mankind was in constant danger of being swept away by the forces of Chaos. That was wh40k where the Empire was constantly under threat by myriad hostile forces. And yet, WHFB will be the first to go through their Ragnarok. 

So what does this mean to me? Well, it means I'll probably never read another Black Library book set in WHFB again. Or ever read the army book fluff again. At this point, they would have been better off just saying "Rocks fall, everyone dies, chaos win".