Angels of Death Warhammer TV Review (Episode 3: “Trail of Blood”)

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Warhammer TV is a part of Games Workshop’s Warhammer+ subscription service, which gives subscribers access to premium features like things such as the option to watch masterclasses on miniature painting or enjoy riveting battle reports. As well for this small cost they get exclusive animations and an entire vault filled with classic lore from publications in the past.

In this article, Jared Emanuel, reviews the third episode of a Warhammer TV exclusive “Trail of Blood”. Here, we follow the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter on their trek to find their missing comrade on Niades.

RELATED: WARHAMMER+ PLUS: IS IT WORTH IT?

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Check out these awesome audiobooks from the Warhammer Universe!

Warhammer TV: Why are we watching?

Warhammer 40,000 has existed for over 30 years. Starting out as competition for games like Dungeons & Dragons (DnD), it quickly carved out its own niche in the table top gaming industry. As Warhammer 40k grew in popularity, the intellectual property (IP) naturally grew in scope and size. It adopted several popular science fiction tropes and mashed them together into one gigantic setting.

Warhammer 40k has been influenced by so much excellent science fiction. But just because the flesh of the Frankenstein’s Monster are cobbled together from the best of science fiction has to offer, does not mean its spirit is. The best science fiction satirizes the present by hyperbolically predicting a dreadful future.

Angels of Death Warhammer TV Review (Episode 3: "Trail of Blood") - angels of death

Perhaps in the beginning of the hobby they knew this. But, for a long time Warhammer 40k had just been a brutal grim dark space fantasy–a fictional galaxy always at war with no clear good guy to root for. Indeed a large portion of the fanbase enjoys the universe this way–a hero-less world, that is in a constant state of despair and conflict.

Warhammer 40k has always been hyper-violent, jingoistic, misogynistic, but without that hero to root for there is no hope. There is no hero to point out the foolishness of the villains. For the most part, the brutal satire, the joke at the heart of most science fiction has been lost.

Some authors at the Black Library knew that satire was an essential element to science fiction and thankfully wrote books to reflect that. More recently as I regain interest in the hobby I observe that there are forces at work that do understand that there needs to be heroes.

Angels of Death Warhammer TV Review (Episode 3: "Trail of Blood") - ciaphas cain book cover
This book is a breath of fresh air in the Warhammer Universe.

Any content involving Orcs or the Astra Militarism (especially the excellent Ciaphas Cain books and the Regimental Standard articles) is truly a breath of fresh air into this hobby.

Angels of Death feels like another work that missed the joke. Supermen without mercy they cleanse mutant filth that are also without mercy. Neither side tolerates weakness or can afford it. But, I still watch because I do have hope for it.


Spoilers and Summary

>Spoiler alert

The Blood Angels continue their advance deep into enemy lines. They slaughter their foes by the dozens and wade through explosions and flames to get to their objective. They even smash through solid walls to surprise their enemy.

Meanwhile the crew aboard The Sword of Baal faces hordes of enemies pouring into it, while simultaneously having to fend off hordes of pirated ships without. Things are looking very bleak for the Blood Angel forces.

Without their ship in orbit the forces on the ground are certainly doomed. Techmarine Hadreal and the Ship-mistress form a plan to get the Sword of Baal free from the docking bay.

Back on the surface the Blood Angel squad notice the battle in orbit. They show no fear and continue their mission full well knowing that it maybe all in vain.

They discover the wrecked Thunder Hawk gunship that was used by Captain Orpheo and his squad of Terminators, and realize that they are being drawn in for some sinister purpose and also unearth a thread of mystery. Orpheo and his Terminators, the greatest warriors of the Chapter, were killed defending a lowly servitor, a lowly cybernetic slave.

The squad of Blood Angels wonders why. What information could the servitor have had to cause the greatest warriors mankind can produce to defend it against such overwhelming odds? What sort of information would even interest the vast and alien intelligence of the Tyranid menace, otherwise known as the “Great Devourer”?

There are two types of Space Marines: Black Library and Tabletop. The struggle of every Space Marine player is trying to get your Astartes on the table to feel like the warriors described in the fiction.

RELATED: WHY PLAY WARHAMMER 40K THE TABLETOP GAME?

>End of Spoilers


Final Thoughts

Three episodes in and none of the Astartes have fallen in battle. However, perhaps something else is happening…We will see.

I can not help and smile as I watch Angels of Death because of just how unstoppable they seem. They face a hyper-intelligent hive mind as a foe. So, perhaps their success is an elaborate deception and that our heroes are stumbling into a trap.

Check out the reviews of Angels of Death Episode 1: “Blood and Duty” and Angels of Death Episode 2: “The Silent City”.

Warhammer TV is bringing new life to the universe. I’m pleased that episode 3 continues to the storyline and I have hope that things will deepen for this series.

If you haven’t dug into Warhammer TV, I recommend you give a try. For more thoughts about the subscription service, check out the full review of Warhammer Plus.

In the meanwhile, let me know what you think of the state of the Warhammer 40k Universe as Games Workshop has revamped this IP several times over the decades. Leave a comment below!

About the Author

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Jared Emanuel

Jared Emanuel is a hobby enthusiast that loves high fantasy, science fiction, and everything in between.

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