I've been watching the Hammer and Bolter animated series on Warhammer+, and I'm reviewing each episode as I watch it. There may be very minor spoilers, but ideally no more than you'd get from the episode description.
A group of Chaos Terminator space marines are busy fighting some Necrons, when one of their dying prey attempts to bargain for its life. It reveals that, in exchange for its life, it will reveal the location of an important artefact.
Seem like a trap? Nah, it's probably fine.
When the Chaos marines arrive at the location, they find a https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Drukhari-Incubi-2020 and a strange dead-yet-still-alive spaceship, a handful of unknown enemies, and some pretty cool traps. Will they survive? You have to watch to find out.
This is a really good episode. It's cool to get to ride along with Chaos marines. They're brutish and slovenly compared to the Imperium's Space Marines, but their armour design is pretty slick. I have a squad of Chaos marine miniatures, and they're fun to paint because it's basically Abaddon Black, and some gold and silver, and you're done.
It's also neat to see Necrons being [mostly] slaughtered. I love Necron lore and design, and I love that this episode cuts straight to the chase in even its title. You don't go to Necrons for just the memories of a dead civilisation, you're really there for the archeotech. And in this episode, the MacGuffin is a powerful artefact.
The best part of the episode, though, is a two-line interaction between two of the Chaos marines:
Chaos Marine 1: "There's still power? This wreck is millenia old."
Chaos Marine 2: "A lifetime of war in the eye of terror, witnessing the power of demons and the miracles of dark gods, and this seems a mystery to you?"
How many RPG and fantasy or sci fi wargame players have asked themselves the same question? It always amuses me how, in a world of magic or impossible technology, we players get taken out of the immersion by something mundane. We can believe that characters can produce lightning from their fingerprints, but when there's a commercial building in a residential zone, the whole fiction of the world is spoilt.
This simple quote sums up a lot of spectulative fiction, for me.
This episode is great sci fi. There aren't any space battles, but this feels like marines in space doing space military things.
This episode is great Warhammer 40,000. The Terminators are the bizarro Space Marines. The Necrons are classic foes. It's really clear, unlike the previous episode that flirted with actual militaristic pride, that there are no good guys here. You can cheer on the Terminators or the Drukari or the Necrons, but they're all pretty malevolent and they all deserve what they get.
And all the stuff they get is really fun to watch.
All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.