Tuesday, 2 September 2014

White Dwarf: Morghasts released


This coming weeks White Dwarf is doing the rounds on Twitter already. This time we see the much awaited Morghast variants. I posted earlier here how huge they are


They come in at $113 for a box of two. Although the price is steep, I was expecting about $98 for 1!


The box can build the two variants, Harbingers and Archai, which basically mean they get different weapons.


And in this weeks release we also get the new Spirit Hosts. These models tie in well with the new Undead legion releases and also offer a through back to the likes of the Coven Throne. 

With these few release Vampire Counts are looking to be one of the nicest ranges of models in Games Workshops line up. Once they re-sculpt the zombies and release a few odds and ends like the Bats, job done right? I hope not...

Now if only Tomb Kings would get this type of treatment. Hurry up and makke new core skellies!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Nagash Preview - Rules inside


So I'm lucky enough to have the book in my hands, and so far I am very pleased with the product, despite the price!

The 296 page lore book is, simply put, a must have if you are a fan of the background and theater of the Warhammer stage. I won't go into to much detail (read spoilers) here but the book touches every race in Warhammer. Nobody is left out of the storyline.

The first few pages are an artistic prelude, feature large battles scenes or mustering of armies, with some rather elusive statements and references of events to come. I'm most beguiled by the High Elf one, referencing a great lie...

A lot of you will also be interested in the new rules. Let me be clear, the rules included in the Nagash volume II, are NOT new grand sweeping changes to WHFB 8th edition. They are intended for use in the campaign, and it clearly states you "may" use them for any game.

Also included in Volume II (the books are labeled Volume I and II, so is that an indicationg there will be further volumes?) are rules for scenarios, generic rules for battlefields including underground fighting (lots of trolls and squigs can appear!) and of course the new Undead Legion rules

So for all you doomsday fodder out there, you will just have to wait a little longer!

Now in saying that, there is some long overdue changes which effect the Tomb Kings in the campaign introduced. Simply put, I wish GW would eratta them to be rules changes for Tomb Kings! 

 

First up is the sweeping change that makes the Undead legion possible. Ignore the rules, use this instead. Nehekharan and Vampires magic lore works on all undead...


Now the generic Undead rule, meaning now Tomb Kings can MARCH. Yes, you read that right. GW almost fixed Tomb Kings...


The new healing rules basically follow the previous, however, it now clearly states you may heal ethereal and Constructs 1 wound per spell. GW is getting ever so close to fixing Tomb Kings now!

But then once you read the designers notes on Slain Generals... In the Nagash campaign, your Undead Legion does not crumble from your general dieing any more.


There is plenty of other rules changes for the campaign, so go buy the book and read up yourself. From what I have read so far the implications are grand.

So what does this mean for the game. Well, at first glance, very little. The book is clear these rules are made for the campaign. Increases in Lords and Heroes allowances is a throw back the 4th/5th edition where that was the norm. The changes to the Undead rules are a good fix for Tomb Kings, but mean very little to Vampire Counts. 

But if we start thinking about the tournament scene, things get interesting IMO. We now have a set of rules written by GW that help Tomb Kings somewhat. There are already people speculating that Undead Legions will be an army able to be fielded in a tournament, and I agree some what. However not without some very important changes.

First and foremost, the 50% cap for Lords and Heroes needs to be removed and replaced with 25%. I think that goes without saying. There are some other changes which are debatable, like the General Slain/Army Crumble rule being reinstated, however that will be a landmine with the crossover between Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings... And then there is balance. Will mixing the best parts of Tomb Kings with the best of Vampire counts be overpowered? 

It could work, but then we might see a lot of WAAC gamers make the jump, and nobody wants that. They just need to stick with Daemons...


Morghast's are HUGE

If you didn't manage to see my twitter feed last night, I posted a range of pictures of the new rules for Nagash.

But this is worthy of a post of its own...



That's right, these suckers are HUGE. Its really good to see them in context of other models. Pictures are from the new Nagash book.

They are scheduled for pre release on September 7 and available to purchase September 14 alongside the new Spirit Hosts

If you where in two minds about purchasing the book set, the 296 page story is worth it alone!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Further musings of Warhammers future...


By now most people would have read the rumours about four campaign books starting with Nagash, along with other morsels of information on potential upcoming releases for WHFB.

But lets take a moment to reflect on the past year or so of rumours that we have heard. 

So I mooted a few days ago that I thought there would be another book in the series continuing on from Nagash, but based around Daemons. This made sense, as Nagash is being painted as the anti hero come to save the world from Chaos, of course only to bend it to his will instead!

With my surmising that there would be more books, I suggested that the Plastic Greater Daemon models could be released with this next book based on Chaos. Unsurprisingly, a few rumour mongers started talking about this the following day. 
Now we have had several claims of knowledge of Greater Daemons, and some insisting they had seen them (or pictures) however wishful they might have been. Nothing concrete as of yet, but seeing them released soon would not surprise me.

But lets look at the larger scale of things. This year we have had rumours of advancing the timeline: check, mass kill off of characters: check, multiple armies in on book: check, and the return of some old favorites: check. All sub themes in the new Nagash book!
Way to many correlations to be coincidence? To be fair, there was a lot of scare mongering from the hysterical that 9th edition would wipe the slate clean, and all army books would be obsolete as 9th edition would herald in new army volumes encompassing multiple races. There is some truth there, but as it turns out, the order and scope of what was rumoured was, as it often is, put out of context.

Things starting to fall into place...


So we currently are in the mist of rumours that summarize as the following:
We are getting four books that each focus on multiple races that will advance the Warhammer timeline in a lead up to 9th edition. Sounds far more plausible yes?

Now we don't need to look into our crystal balls to surmise that these campaign books will introduce us to new rules and concepts which might well be the norm in 9th edition. I personally am looking forward to  the characters and monsters profiles being merged that we see in Nagash. We have had the prelude for this in the form of Monsterous Cavalry throughout 8th. I welcome any rules that will encourage/make viable fielding characters mounted on chariots and monsters in this cannon infested landscape. Is the proliferation of cannons in the current edition Games Workshops way of balancing the field when combined profiles are introduced (the complete opposite of what they did with fliers in 40k). 

Buts lets think back even further. Rick Priestly was rumoured to have quit over his want to advance the Warhammer timeline into an apocalypse error with his Warhammer Forge narrative series that stated with Tamurkhan - Throne of Chaos. We see several themes crossing over with the latest set of rumours.

Rick was reported to want to "advance the timeline", kill off several special characters and produce a set of four (or eight) books detailing the end of times. Nurgle was to attack the empire in Tamurkham, Tzeentch was invading Lustria, Slannesh was getting stuck into Ulthuan, and Khornes hounds where at the gates of Naggaroth. Sounds all to familiar dosn't it.

Was Rick really wanting to do all this, or was he against it? Was the rest of the series of the Warhammer Forge books canceled due to poor sales, or was the plot to expansive to be covered by Warhammer Forge, and the idea was transfered to the Games Workshop team? We never got a concrete answer out of Forge World, and the "lack of sales" theory is bogus. More likely (as has been suggested), the sales are fine, but just very small volumes compared to the money tree that is 30K! 

So we know Rick left, but never exactly why. There is always some truth in any rumour, so reading in between the lines I think it is more likely Rick may have left because his idea was taken off him, rather than turned down. I mean why would they produce the first timeline altering book and then decide not to change the timeline...


So, in conclusion, I think we will see the roughly following:
Book 1: Nagash reunites the undead, fights Chaos in Kislev/Empire.
Book 2: Details the Chaos forces, re-introducing combined Realm of Chaos armies
Book 3: The invasion of Lustria! and Skavens part in the whole conflict. maybe some Brets here too.
Book 4: Details the Elven forces fight, Dark Elves being invaded in the north and High Elves of Ulthuan. 


Thursday, 21 August 2014

The End of Times: Whats next?

Warning! This post contains massive amounts of grandiose speculation!

So, as most of you will know by now, unless your name is Patrick, Nagash has returned in all his glory!

The release will be interesting to watch unfold. We already know there is at least one more week of models to be released, thanks to the early leak of the September issue of Warhammer Visions. But what next?

Lets take a look at 40k's latest campaign. Sanctus Reach combined a multitude of host armies coming together in a 2 volume campaign that encompassed most of the 40k universe. It included army specific expansion books for Orks, Astra Militarum and Space Wolves. The release was done over a month long period with little insight to what the next wave might have been. It didnt however include many new models for release, but concentrated on formations for recently updated armies.

So what do we know about Warhammer: Nagash. We know we are getting a 2 book volume which contains a campaign focusing on the return of Nagash and the premise around the event. We know we are getting at least 4 kits: Nagash, Arkhan/Neferata/Manfred triple kit, Morghast Harbingers and Spirit hosts (although these may turn out to be built from the other kits).

But who is Nagash fighting? Well the story line basically goes along the lines (in its most simplistic version) of Nagash has been bought back by Manfred to unit the Undead to fight a Chaos incursion. Chaos...

And this leads to my speculation, that we may indeed see a second volume based around Chaos, which would potentially include the release of the 4 new Greater Daemon kits frequently rumored... What better way to introduce a large number of monstrous plastic kits! I would suspect that the volume would be a similar 2 book binding, with a united Chaos Legions list like back in the old days. Hands up who remembers the Chaos Boxed set of 5th edition!

This release style is unheard of in Warhammer Fantasy, but the precedent has been set by 40k already. This would also tie into the much lambasted rumors of 9th edition having volumes that covered a range of armies instead of an individual (which I dont buy personally). it would go a long way to cover the rumors that point to it being true/false which we have heard from several sources. 

So, my speculation is that the Nagash release may be more than just a 2 week Undead splash, but in fact the beginning of a more comprehensive release schedule. September was rumoured to be a big fantasy release (some claimed 9th edition) but I think this fits the bill a little better. This is indeed The End of Times! name says it all!

Time will tell...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Clown Face that was...

Surely this is the end of times, at least for my wallet


Arkhan the Black, but wheres his chariot!


I don't know... but he looks rather vampirish. Aborash maybe?




New spirit hosts, shore to get the restless specters exited


Morghast Harbringers. Surprisingly similar to Crypt Horrors, most likley a Nagash Elite, although I cannot remember him using them in the Trilogy



This weeks White Dwarf cover. Ruthlessly hacked off twitter


Nagash in all his glory!


This weeks release schedule. Thats a lot crammed into 1 weeks of a weekly release cycle!


Ltd edition Nagash army book.... wait what. Nagash army book... let that salivate in your mind for a moment. Fantasy gets a (technically) new race...


Old vs new. The many faces of clown face


Thursday, 10 July 2014

ETC lists revealed!

There is a total of 32 teams entered this year, which gives us 256 armies at the event
This creates the average of 16 of each army or 6.25% for purposes of army distribution

Full list can be found here

Race Quantity Percentage
Dark Elves 28 10.94%
High Elves 26 10.16%
Skaven  24 9.38%
Daemons of Chaos  23 8.98%
Empire 22 8.59%
Orc's and Goblin's  21 8.20%
Vampire Counts  20 7.81%
Warriors of Chaos 20 7.81%
Dwarfs 16 6.25%
Wood Elves  13 5.08%
Ogre Kingdoms 13 5.08%
Chaos Dwarfs  10 3.91%
Lizardmen 9 3.52%
Bretonnians  8 3.13%
Tomb Kings 3 1.17%
Beastmen 0 0.00%
  256 100.00%

From the above chart we can quickly identify the more popular races. The Dark and High Elven variants predictably top the charts followed closely by Skaven, once again proving they are a very competitive book even in a highly comped environment (despite what the sneaky rats will tell you).

Daemons are also over represented,as everyone knew they would be (I thought every team would take them) as are Empire. Interestingly enough, Orc's & Goblins punch above their weight highlighting the first book of the rank for 8th has some fight in it yet. Vampire Counts is also another surprise. I would have thought there to be far less fielded under the restrictive comp.

Warriors keep a presence in the top half. I had thought to see more of them however still an honest number. Dwarfs then round out the last to break even on numbers. The new book has created very little interest it appears, although the army preforms a very specific role in a team.

Now there's the losers in the list. Wood Elves at 13 does not I think fairly represent the strength of the book, more the short period of time require to have prepared for their use. Ogre Kingdoms still have a little fight left in them but many are shunning them in today's meta environment. Chaos Dwarfs come along next to the howls of those calling them not a real army (get over yourselves). This years comp allowed for a much stronger build than last year, and I am surprised there is not more present.

Lizardmen is the big loser here IMO, and I would have thought they would have had numbers closer to Vampire Counts (and the counts be down where the Lizardmen are). Bretonnians still manage to claim half their quota, despite the age of the book. Interesting as they do admirably well in a team environment. Hopefully the new book will help them along. 

Tomb Kings, those poor bastards. If this is not a clear indicator the book has failures in its mechanics I don't know what is. In an environment that has them with extra points and no comp, where the rest of the field is heavily comped, only 3 countries opted for them. And then there was Beastmen. No representation whatsoever. This surprises me but maybe is more of a reflection of how many other good books there are in 8th, rather than a 7th edition book trying to compete.

So the armies breakdown probably will not surprise many, other than a few armies. Next post I will look at some of the build trends that are prevalent in the field...