The Warhammer 40,000 setting is very much an artefact of the '80s and '90s. A mix of fantasy tropes, '80s British pop culture and anti-establishment satire, it’s seen by some as a rather adult bit of science fiction fun. The Warhammer Adventures series attempts to translate this world class (and extremely well chronicled) universe into something that can be enjoyed by those as young as eight years old. It does this remarkably well.
Warped Galaxies: Attack of the Necron is a Warhammer 40,000 story in style and feel, focusing mostly on Zelia Lor’s story. She’s the daughter of a xenoarchaeologist who is mining a hive world for interesting artefacts (something that may make many Necomunda players a bit misty eyed). She’s assisted by her friend Mekki, a young martian and member of the Machine Cult, and along the way they meet the ganger called Talen. Each character feels like they’re from the Warhammer 40,000 back-story. The story itself is action-packed, opening with Hive Gangers trying to start a confrontation and then moving quickly to a full-blown alien invasion featuring the titular Necrons.
This is a ‘journey into further peril’ style tale, with our characters becoming drawn together by fate and then surviving from encounter to encounter in a hostile galaxy. The characters are proper Imperial citizens, which means they distrust anything that isn’t similar to themselves and can be rude and mocking. Given that the core team of characters are quite different from each other, this makes for an entertaining story. The kids squabble, fight, and call each other names. Though Zelia is clearly meant to be the voice of reason who gets everyone to work together, she’s still a kid with her own fears and doubts. It’s jam-packed with all sorts of ideas and references to the setting, many of which are a delight.
The result is a good story that feels part of the Warhammer 40,000 setting. Yes, some of the content will annoy a certain sort of fan, but frankly they need to calm down. This book treats the source material with intelligence and a sense of adventure. This may be a lighter look at the setting, but it’s still a Grim Dark galaxy. Adult fans will get a kick out of the gentler approach to the material, and for those of you with kids, this is a great way to get them into painting Space Marines.
WARPED GALAXIES: ATTACK OF THE NECRON / AUTHOR: CAVAN SCOTT / PUBLISHER: WARHAMMER ADVENTURES / RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 19TH