Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Return of Nagash and The End Times

Hey folks!

Bob here with some ruminations about the possible future of Warhammer Fantasy. Now unless you have not been paying attention, you couldn't help but notice some major changes coming for the world of Warhammer Fantasy. Nagash, the original non daemonic bad guy is back and pissed off and going on a rampage. What does all this mean? Well for one it means a unilateral decision by GW to advance the story of Fantasy in a very meaningful way. Why do I say unilateral? I say it because in the past something like this can, and has been, done with public input. I am of course referring to the now defunct Storm of Chaos and Eye of Terror campaigns, but more on this at a later date. Secondly, this appears to be the beginning of a multi-part "End Times" campaign event that will unfold in subsequent expansions. So without further preamble, it is time to five in to the books.

                                              WARNING!!!! SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

The man himself
Set 1 of the End Times

First off what is exactly come in the Nagash set? You get a rather excellent background book that covers a roughly three year period advancing the timeline into Imperial year 2525. Check out the preamble on the back of the book. It is fairly self explanatory.
The back of the book
The book begins by giving each faction a brief description and what has been going on leading up to the events to be portrayed in the rest of the book. This includes factions that have not yet received a hardcover army book. I won't go into too much detail as to the events portrayed in these intros, or the rest of the book for that matter. I would say any fan of the world of Warhammer Fantasy owes it to themselves to read the lore book. There I said it. Go read the damn book. It is worth your time. I will some things up thusly:

Empire: Big ass Chaos army gathering in the north and Sylvania acting up in the south

Dwarfs: Pressure being relieved on some holds due to actions of Orcs, Goblins, and Skaven. Half of the holds want to shut their gates and let events play out, but the High King has other ideas.

High Elves: Ulthuan under siege by increasingly larger daemonic forces. Phoenix king MIA in his tower. Tyrion becomes defacto head of defense, but not everyone is pleased with this.

Wood Elves: Ariel and the forest are dying. It dawns on the Wood Elves that they can't just hole up and let the world burn.

Bretonia: Civil war rocks the nation as the King's bastard son rises up to claim the throne. Fully half the population is killed or flees the chaos.

Skaven: Attacks above ground increase in boldness and severity. Much of the Border Princes, Tielia, and Estelia are destroyed and conquered.

Lizardmen: The plan of the Old Ones has failed. The Exodus is to be prepared.

Chaos, Daemons, Bestmen: The End Times are upon the world. The forces of Chaos are united behind the Everchosen in numbers never before seen. Beastmen multiply at an alarming rate and plague the forests of the Old World and beyond.

Orcs and Goblins: The power of the WAAAAGH has never been stronger. The greenskins feel the call to congregate en mass and do so.

Ogres: A mass migration into the Old World is caused by volcanic activity.

Dark Elves: The latest invasion of Ulthuan is postponed thanks to massive raids by Daemons and the men of the north.

Tomb Kings: Settra learns of the imminent return of Nagash and orders every Tomb King to be woken and their legions made ready for war.

Vampire Counts: Manfred von Carstein has grown in power and will play a crucial role in the war to come.

So while the meat and bones of the book deals with the inevitable resurrection of Nagash and the tide of evil that follows, it isn't the only thing to be presented. The first wave of the Chaos horde attacks the Empire in the north with predictably devastating results. The rumors about a lot of character deaths is indeed true. The "good" guys take it in the teeth as usual, but the bad guys don't have it all their own way. If you want to read about the forces of order actually kicking something evil's ass for a change, you should keep on hoping. By the end of the book Nagash is all hopped up on death magic and sitting pretty with a giant army at his command. Events seem to be leading up to Nagash facing off against the Chaos horde with the poor Empire trapped in the middle. If things play out at the rate they are going, what is left of the Warhammer World may be unrecognizable by the time this whole thing is over. As always I intend to reserve judgement on if this whole "reboot", for lack of a better word, is a good thing or a bad thing overall. As John and I have discussed on here before, there are some major issues with the current rule set, but it is far from the unplayable mess some internet potentates would have you think it is. One thing that I do hope comes out of this is a renewed interest in the Warhammer world.

In addition to the background and rule book (which really isn't much of a rule book, more like a scenario book with some new units thrown in and a new army list and magic lore) I received a snazzy little notebook and a shameless "buy more shit" pamphlet.

My very own book of Nagash

The shameless plug to buy more miniatures

The new army list included in the rules in the Undead Legions list. It is basically the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings in one list with the new Undead characters thrown in (rules for Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings not included). The lore of Undeath. the Fantasy equivalent of 40k's Daemonology, is a mostly unit summoning lore available to everyone. Unlike the Vampire of Tomb King version of summoning units, Undeath summons X points worth of models, with X points increasing as more power is poured into the spell. These summoned units come from the Undead Legions list and have access to all of the appropriate upgrades available within the point limit of the spell. 

So overall would I recommend getting this new expansion/ addition/ whatever the hell this is? I would give a resounding yes. If you like Warhammer Fantasy you owe it to yourself pick this up if only for the lore portion. The cynical side of me says get it so you have it when they roll  back the timeline again in a few years if the radical lore changes fall flat on their collective ass.


  1. Hrmmm...I've had the parts (mostly) to fortify my Stirland watchtower up into a small castle for quite some time now. Sounds like I'd best get to it!

    1. Stirland is so far in the sticks I wouldn't bother ;)

    2. I dunno, Stirland is on the doorstep of undead-land. Well, technically it already owns it, though Stirlanders prefer not to acknowledge this...

    3. True. I forgot Stirland got part of it when it was split up.