“In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.”
We cover a lot of the painting side of the hobby on Handful of Dice, and most of our play-related articles cover Warhammer Underworlds. That’s not to say we don’t like getting stuck into a good scrap as much as the next group of hobbyists, but the time it takes to have a full 40k game can be a bit of a barrier to regular play.
A great solution to this comes from YouTube and the myriad of channels you can find that offer battle reports. You can get the enjoyment of seeing large armies go toe-to-toe, follow narrative story lines, learn the basics of playing 40k, get involved in their communities and get an idea of which armies are performing the best on the battlefield.
Like with all types of YouTube content, 40k battle reports come in all different styles – some channels have great banter, some have high production values, some have great story driven content. You can always find something that suits you, but we’ve put together a list of our favourite channels that we’d recommend you checking out!
Tabletop Tactics is a YouTube channel and on-demand video website that covers a lot of 40k content. They produce a lot of battle reports featuring a wide variety of armies including campaigns, narrative and competitive battles all with great quality, professional production from their studio. With a large team behind the channel the videos stay fresh with different presenters each time and they’re always entertaining. They also regularly share list analysis, rules reviews, unboxing and faction focus videos. There’s a lot of free content on their channel, but if you like what you see you can always subscribe to their on-demand content and get even more top quality Warhammer 40k videos to keep you entertained.
Play On Tabletop
Play On Tabletop started their channel with a mission to challenge the production of battle reports and push this form of content to new levels. They’ve come in hard to make their content accessible and exciting, with a lot of their battle reports taking the form of ’40k in 40 Minutes’ videos – a fast paced and engaging format, produced to a very high standard and featuring full narration so you don’t miss the action despite the pacing. They also have Killteam videos, narrative content, army showcase videos, game tutorials and tons of other content to keep you entertained.
MiniWarGaming are, in their own words, a group of geeks dedicated to bringing their viewers entertaining and informative videos about miniature war gaming. They’ve been sharing content on their channel since 2007 and have content related to a whole host of game systems – from Warhammer 40k to battle fleet Gothic to Bolt Action. They have an amazing studio out in Canada and regularly feature guests on their channels – you can even apply to be a guest or buy tickets to visit the MWG Bunker on their website! They post regular free content, but also have members only content available from ‘The Vault’ if you’re really a fan of their work.
The team at MiniWarGaming were kind enough to give us their best advice for a new player looking to enjoy their first games of 40k:
Choose a faction that aesthetically pleases you. Rules change over time and certain units can become better or worse with new editions of the game. However, the aesthetics never change, so you’ve gotta make sure you like your army for for a reason that’s better than “they’re just really strong right now”.
Winters SEO is actually the channel that got me into watching Warhammer battle reports on YouTube. Winters’ channel is dedicated to providing viewers with 40k batter reports, modelling tutorials, some narrative content and general laughs. He’s also part of the deploymentzone.tv network, where you can access more of his content (like the full narrative campaigns). There’s just something about Winters that you can’t help but love. When you watch his content it’s clear that he just loves what he does. All his battle reports have a bit of a story and fluff to them, and he brings along guest players to his studio who he clearly gets along and has a laugh with – it’s the video equivalent to having a game night with some friends.
Our next recommendation for a channel has to be the man with one of the most impressive beards in the 40k YouTube community; Liam Dempsey. Liam shares fantastically produced content on his channel, including a really fun series of live streams called ‘Chat Plays’ where the viewers get involved and (lets face it) ruin all the elaborate plans and tactics the players are trying to employ. He posts a video for everyone once a week, and then a video just for his channel members once a week, along with podcast and talking head style content. If that’s still not enough content for you he’s also part of the deploymentzone.tv network, where you can find even more of his 40k battle reports if you become a member.
The Deployment Zone
Having mentioned Winters SEO and Liam Dempsey’s channels separately it would be remiss not to then include their joint venture, The Deployment Zone, as it’s own channel on this list. Much like Guilliman and Belisarius Cawl (we’ll let you decide which ones which) these two 40k battle report titans teamed up to start their own website dedicated to 40k content. Alongside having a catalogue of free battle reports on YouTube (which admittedly hasn’t been added to for a little while) they’ve formed a real community over on their site, and have plenty of content to sink your teeth into as a member. With loads of full reports, live streams and narrative campaigns to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice.
StrikingScorpion82 is another channel that brings it’s viewers a variety of content, both free-to-view and as a member exclusive option. They’ve got both standard and apocalypse 40k games, painting tutorials, tactic guides and reviews that should help take your 40k games to a new level. They have a huge library of battle reports on their channel stretching back for years, so there’s plenty of 40k content to keep you entertained, all presented in a fun and engaging way!
We asked Luke, part of the StrikingScorpion82 Team, what their best advice for new players would be:
Advice from me would be to collect and paint models you like and enjoy the hobby and the journey. Also find someone else to enjoy the journey with. For me it was my brother James. We have kept each other motivated and inspired over the years.
SN Battle Reports
SN Battle Reports might win the competition for best location for their studio, as they’re a team based in the Mediterranean heat of Gibraltar. They’re a team of 40k fans who’re dedicated to bringing their subscribers brilliantly produced and engaging 40k battle reports, Horus Heresy reports and other great content like discussion live streams. On top of that they also have a members exclusive area, SN+, for even more video content. If that’s not enough they also host the Gibraltar Grand Tournament and the No Retreat Hobby Weekend where hobbyists from across the globe can meet and have an incredible weekend of tournament gaming.
Table Top Titans is another channel with some beautifully produced battle reports. If you really like going in-depth with discussing the battles they cover they also do separate recap and Q&A videos for each of their battle reports (and some pretty sweet teaser trailers for them as well). There’s tons of content on their channel, so you’ve got hours of hobby related videos to get through. Like most of the channels on this list they also offer a membership option for access to their community and some exclusive videos.
Vanguard Tactics are last but not least on our list of YouTube channel recommendations. Their channel offers a mixture of content, with fun and entertaining battle reports interspersed with tutorials, advice, analysis and other 40k related videos. They’re on a mission to get players confident and enjoying 40k, and even have a training academy that does exactly that with a dedicated team of coaches.
We asked them what made their content so special:
Our battle reports are a blend of entertainment and education. At VT we want to help players focus on the fundamentals of the game and give them the confidence to play anytime, anywhere and against anyone while keeping sportsmanship and fair play at the core of everything we do.
Did you enjoy this article? You could always tip the author with a coffee (or something stronger). If you want to start playing Warhammer yourself or get some new models to expand your army then check out Element Games. They have great deals on a wide range of Warhammer and accessories. Finally, make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up to date and get involved in our community!