Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The true price of Lore of the Undead ?

Lore of the Undead: The Price we'll pay

So here it comes. The rumoured Lore of Undeath. And enter THE TOKEN.
"...Now every wizard, mage and sorcerer can wield the fell magic from the Lore of Undeath."

$NZ 12 for a pack of magic cards:  OK, I could justify spending the money on a pack of cards. BUT how much is the game going to change over the next year? And what is the real price of this pack of cards going to be?

How much will the average VC or TK player have to spend to be able to "raise the dead" ?
What about armies that HAVE no undead?

And how will the TOKENS work? (Hello SAGA, can we borrow an arrow from your quiver?)
We'll only use it for magic, seeing as you don't have any in your game (sort of):

So a quick analysis of my current 8500 point VC army shows some gaps if I wanted to play this lore of Magic:
Errr...No Monstrous beasts in my army, not nearly enough Chariots (in fact none) , War machines and Monsters

Lore Attribute - Raise Dead
Place a counter on the battlefield every time a friendly Wizard successfully casts a spell from the Lore of Undeath. Any friendly Wizard who casts a summoning spell from the Lore of Undeath may choose, after having successfully cast the spell, to spend one or more counters. For every counter spent, he increases by 10 the amount of points that the spell may summon.

<Ok, can live with that>

Signature Spell: Call of the Grave (9+)
Call of the Grave is a summoning spell with a range of 12". Base spell summons a 50 point infantry unit from the Undead Legions list. Bigger versions summon a 100 point (13+) or 150 point (16+) unit.

<Ok, I'll be able to do both>

1. Dark Breath (6+)
Dark Breath is a blessing that targets a friendly unit with the Undead rule within 12" of the caster. The unit immediately regains 1D3+1 wounds. In addition, if the unit is not engaged in combat, it can perform a normal movement as if it were the Remaining Moves phase.

<Ok, can live with this>

2. Hand of Dust (7+)
Hand of Dust is a blessing that targets the caster. In combat, the wizard may choose to forego all of its normal attacks in order to perform a single attack with the Hand of Dust against a single miniature in base to base contact. If the attack roll hits, the enemy takes a wound with the Multiple Wounds (D6) rule with no armour saves allowed. If Hand of Dust kills an enemy character in a challenge, immediately gain D6 Raise Dead counters.
<Can certainly live with this>

3. Soul Stealer (8+)
Soul Stealer is a direct damage spell with a 12" range. Roll 2D6+2. For each point the result exceeds the target's Leadership, the target takes a wound with no armour saves allowed. If this spell causes at least one unsaved wound, gain D3 Raise Dead counters.

<Ok, this may be ok, Ld of my Wizard allowing>

4. Abyssal Swarm (10+)
Abyssal Swarm is a summoning spell with a range of 12". The caster summons a unit of War Beasts or Swarms from the Undead Legions list of up to 75 points. Caster may instead choose to summon a unit of Monstrous Beasts of up to 150 points, in which case the difficulty is 16+.

<O-o-ok, may just have enough bat swarms and dire wolves, depending on how I choose my army to start off with (at lower casting value); But...not too sure about the monstrous beasts... There are NONE in the current VC book: 
Vargulf is a MONSTER, and Vargeists and Crypt horrors Monstrous Infantry! So, will this mean that I have to buy Aghasts? Will they be monstrous beasts or infantry?
 Suspect the latter. Or invest in Sepulchurous stalkers? Just to enable my Wizards to cast the higher value spell. (...could do without, the monstrous beasts of course, but my regular opponents probably won't)>

5. The Herald (10+)
The Herald is a summoning spell with a range of 12". The caster summons a character of up to 65 points from the Undead Legions list. The caster may instead choose to summon a single Monster, Chariot or War Machine of up to 200 points, in which case the difficulty is 24+.
<Ok, I have a Vargulf (will need an extra one ("Ka-ching",  $73) , I have corpse cart and black coach, would have to invest in Mortis engine/coven throne ($113) , or turn to TK list (Don't have any TKs at all)>

6. Dark Riders (16+)
Dark Riders is a summoning spell with a range of 12". The caster summons a unit of Cavalry, Monstrous Cavalry or Chariots from the Undead Legions list of up to 150 points.
<Ok, I can do this, other than the Chariots>

So, looking at additional expense to field this Army, presuming I would need the new book and Nagash model:

$175 Nagash model
$165 books
$12 Magic cards
plus $216 if I wanted to add 6 Sepulchural Stalkers:
Total $568 before we've even started, just to make my current VC army playable with Nagash;
 if I add another Vargulf and a Mortis Engine/Throne, were talking $750 if I wanted to playing the End Times Expansion game. Or is it "just" an expansion?

Now...lets deal to every army in the WH World in a similar fashion ?
If we clump them together it may not be as noticable to the punters!

Is this really an expansion or the direction the game is taking for 9th ED ?
That is the real question.

Yes its just a game. Yes you've spent a massive amount of money investing in these toys.
Yes, they may become useless at the stroke of a pen. There is hope for you:

Sticks and stones, rage quitter...
 I'm still saying:
The King has no clothes. And his hands are very deep in your pockets. And he's not tickling you. You may think so. He's milking you. And its ok by me if you're happy with that.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Never the same again: Nagash leading the Charge for Herohammer, Chaos, Skaven, Men and Dwarves to follow?

Changed Forever: Nagash leading charge into The End Times: Four books (and kit releases) coming

Prophetic words ? or just publicity?
Interesting days ahead. So the rumour drums are drumming. 
So if there's a smoke signal, is there a fire?

It appears that GW has finally woken to the fact that they are not making enough of their fluff, and definitely not enough sales out of the Lord and Hero level characters. They've taken a page out of 40K (not that I know enough about it to pass comment any longer, as GW lost me with the release of the last 40K rules update and nerf of my armies.) Have they changed everything? Forever? Can we believe the poster above?

Rumour has it  we'll be getting 4 WHFB books in the End Times. Undead/Tombkings/ Nagash  this Saturday. VC and Tomb Kings rolled into one, allowing you to field more Lords points and greater freedom of choice w magic. Monstrous Cav/Flyers. Every Wizard and necromancer being able to raise the dead (?) or only those on the Dark side (?).

November's rumour is a Chaos-focused book. This fits with the rumour of plastic Greater Daemon kits.I also wont be surprised if we see an Archaon along the lines of Nagash, swiftly followed by kits of other notable fluff lord and hero level models at $200 a piece.

December - nothing as yet, but hey, who wouldn't want Nagash or Archaon in their stocking by then?

January is rumoured to be Skaven focussed. The fourth book will be in March. Scant details as yet, but "races not covered prior"  Most likely Empire, (Lots of juicy lord level characters there! Can we expect to see Sigmar and Valten or a redefinition of the Knightly Orders? Please GW, go this way, not more monstrous cavalry or infantry!)

Brets, Dwarfs and Greenskins may well feature. It would of course be hard not to bring some Uberhero on the "good" side into the fray. Aenarion, maybe? I think Sigmar (or Valten) more likely. Or will be see a pure magic wielder ? I think not, he'll have to be a cannon. What do the stunty lovers suggest? I'm not that well versed in Dwarven lore. Likewise with the Brets. The Lady on a monstrous base ? She's too much of a target at present.Slann? Lord Croak or Mazdamundi beefed up? Not cannon enough.Malekith (sorry, Dark Side) My money's on Sigmar Heldenhammer.

Summer (in the UK and US) 2015 will likely see 9th Edition. Are we to see a change in force composition? Not sure if this is what is indicated by the direction GW is taking with the End Times  Lord/Herohammer. And yes, big expensive kits are more lucrative than $50 a packet rank-and-file.

More questions. What will this mean for the (Non-GW supported)  tournament circuit? Will it too become Herohammer? Speculation? We'll know by next week this time.

Exciting times ahead?  I'm still torn about it all. As much as I love the fluff, do I want to embark on this path?
Still adding the $$ in my head, and it seems to be getting worse by the moment.

Not sure whether it is my Dutch or Scots ancestral blood, but something is cringing at the thought of it all.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Nagash Cat's out of the Bag: Writing on the wall for WHFB for me ?

Nagash, the writing on the wall for me?

Enter Herohammer! Monsterhammer. Take your pick: The shape of things to come ?
Or just a (costly) diversion? Disillusionment for me.

Undead rising. the beginning of the end of WHFB for me?

So pictures of Nagash are now flooding the net, and the new Manfred, or is it Vlad?, and Neferata? and new Spirit hosts, and, and...

So hot from Europe, shamelessly reposted off the Interweb:


Not Aghast, but Morghast!

Aghast is also my reaction on seeing the price in NZ. Lovely models. Beautiful, fragile, too expensive.
Anyhow, form your own opinion.

"Warhammer, The End Times is noted to contain new rules that change the way a game of Warhammer can be played. It is not a new edition."

(So read supplement or expansion?)

The Releases:

Warhammer: Nagash
2 hardback books in a slip case. ($165 NZ)

1. Book 1: 296 page fluff book detailing the return of Nagash and events that affect every Warhammer race
2. Book 2: 96 page book containing rules for Nagash, new miniatures, the Lore of Undeath, Undead Legion, fighting underground and more apparently.

3. Nagash - no mention of him being a dual kit, rules are included in the box. $175 NZ (Ouch) 65 pounds in UK, $105 US.

4. Magic Cards Lore of the Undead ($12)

5. Nagash Novel ($50)

Pew! Goes my excitement... Can anyone please explain to me how 50 Pounds becomes $160 (One pound = NZ$ 1.97 today) Even in China it is only 500 RMB (NZ$ 96) Why is GW screwing their fan base in NZ and Aus so badly? The US is getting the Limited Ed for the price of the standard in NZ. Come on GW!

"What the background in the WD tells us:

- I hope you didn't like Kislev, because there is no longer a Kislev.
<Ok, there goes another of my armies>

- Archaon advance have been stalled by Vlad under the order of Nagash (the Empire was in major trouble).
- Nagash goes fighting to unite the Tomb Kings and VC (one of the scenario pictured in WD translate into "the Fall of Settra").

Regarding miniatures/rules:
- Nagash is magnificent, and very very tall thanks to his flying posture (he is supported by a bunch of souls).
- But he's not that massive overall, I have no idea how he managed to reach the 85€ pricetag.
<Come live in NZ mate, and feeel the pain>
- Not a dual kit.
- No other models that week, but the ones serving under him are hinted at the end of WD for the week after (so I suppose Vlad and that Arkhan dude, note that I know the WFB lore very poorly).
- As people expected, the new magic lore appear to work like Demonology for 40k (except with undead).
- Rules are changing with that extension, 50% lords for example."

Quick Cost tally:

$175 model
$165 books
$12 Magic cards
$50 novel

So were talking $500 by the time we've bought glue, paint, etc. How about a few more miniatures?
I think not, sorry GW.
So maybe the End Times are Nigh for me too. 

Much as I love the Warhammer World and WHFB I fear that GW and their pricing structure in NZ has finlly succeeded in killing it for me. I have a gaming room full of miniatures that are becoming obsolete faster than I can build or paint them. You got me really excited about Nagash's return, but now shattered this with your pricing practices.

Oh yea, and you've shut down the online retailers in Aus. Not that this rant would make any ripples in Nottingham. "We don't listen to our customers. their opinion is otoise, serving no practical purpose or result, superfluous" Let me tell you something from my business: You cannot afford NOT to listen to your customers.

I suspect this rant heralds my exit from the game. If this is the shape of things to come, I'd rather not be part of your otoise customers.I  have had enough of the arms race you are creating. 

Rex, I think you were right in your post. GW does not care about its customers. Definitely not those in NZ and Aus.

I have just reread Tom Kirby's preamble to the annual report again:

The Future
"Next year, internally, there will be some disruption remaining from the big reorganisation we have just made and from the one man store programme. Nevertheless I, and all the rest of Games Workshop, still believe we should be growing by opening new stores; particularly in North America and Germany."

External events that may affect us are only those things that bother everyone: interest rates, tax rates, exchange rates, directives from Brussels, war, pestilence and disease. What will not change is the eternal desire for some always to want yet more of the small, jewel-like objects of magic and wonder that we call Citadel miniatures.

Beyond next year, the business ought to be able to increase sales (single digit growth, not more) for many years and to provide owners with a steady flow of dividends. I say ‘ought to’ because no plan survives contact with the enemy and we will not promise what we cannot deliver — in particular our policy of only returning surplus cash as dividends will remain. We will not borrow (nor engage in fancy financial engineering) to pay a coupon.

Reported sales fell by 8.2% to £123.5 million for the year. On a constant currency basis, sales were down by 6.5% from £134.6 million to £125.9 million; progress was achieved in Other sales businesses (+20.9%) and Export (+2.7%) while sales in UK (-7.1%), Continental Europe (-10.6%), North America (-7.5%), Australia (-9.4%) and Asia (-3.3%) were in decline.

Sales fell by 9% in the year, partially due to the continental european reorganisation and a disappointing year in North America.
Mail order
Our new online shop was launched this year and our online sales are broadly in line with the prior year.
We are vertically integrated. We design, manufacture and distribute ourselves; we have our own stores and web store. With the sole, and rapidly declining, exception of products from Tolkien's books we use only our own imaginary worlds. They are rich enough and deep enough to accommodate anything we may want to make, and they remain our property.

Risks and uncertainties
That we are ex-growth is a big risk seen by some. As I said above I do not believe it. But if it is true we have built a wonderfully efficient cash-generating machine. The bigger risk is the same one I repeat each year, and that is management. So long as we have great people we will be fine. Problems will arise if the board allows egos and private agendas to rule.We also need a constant flow of great managers for our stores. In the end that is still the most important thing of all.

Our market is a niche market made up of people who want to collect our miniatures. They tend to be male, middle-class, discerning teenagers and adults. We do no demographic research, we have no focus groups, we do not ask the market what it wants. These things are otiose in a niche.

Opinion: Very little mention of us, the consumer, it is all about management and the personnel being the key to profits, no explanation for why profits are down across the board, except it must be all be related to management reorganization. This report is designed to reassure investors that GW will continue to print dividend checks no matter how many employee sackings and price increases it takes. And it cares not how many long-time fans and customers in NZ and Aus they loose.

- See more at: Blood of Kittens

Sunday, 17 August 2014

NAGASH: The Statline

Nagash's Statline

M:6 BS:7 WS:7 S:7 T:7 W:7 I:6 A:6 Ld:10

Monster (Yup, detected that from his entourage of ghost toasties floating about him, and the size of the ghouls in comparison)
Level 5 Wizard (Note-overpowered magic ability)
Large Target, Terror, Undead

Arch Necromancer: Rerolls miscast results
Death Magic Incarnate Reduce losses due to instability by 2 wounds (12 inch range)
Summoning spells have triple range and summon triple the normal wounds of models.

Staff of power - acts as a reservoir of up to 4 magic dice that can be stored and used later.
Black Armor (4+ AS, 4+WS)
Knows 9 Spells: Ryze (Undeath) and combo of Death, Light, Nehekara, Vampires and Undead
Zefet-nebtar - magic weapon (+1 S and Multiple Wounds)

Lots of conjecture out on the net, about how to kill him and how to field him, and what direction 9th ed is going to take due to this turn of events, also hints at a new undead army and a return to "heromammer" form of game. Time will tell

I think we are heading the same way as 40K: Herohammer and monsterhammer.(Read buy more models)

You'r going to have to shoot the cr*p out of him, (read multiple cannon); charge him with hard hitting impact causing chariots/monsters, poison or tar-pit him. One-on-one combat's going to be hard going.

Comments from the net:

"Initiative is more than respectable, so many kill spells are risky, if you can even cast them.

Heroic Killing Blow isn't too great due to his 4+ Ward Save.

Cavalry could potentially get a save against him, but are unlikely to have enough attacks to take him down.

Monsters seem a fairish gamble - though if he gets a couple of blows in, it's goodnight vienna for most.

Artillery it would seem is our best bet, even if it will take several Cannon hits to drop him.

Quite honestly, I think multiple run in with Chariots or other Impact Hits are the best bet. His base is likely wide enough for a triple charge. Wee bit of luck, and he's toast. It's not exactly a great plan of course, but it's feasible!

You'll really have to kill him through weight of dice, preferably with poison, or a crap load of artillery. No single model would be able to take him down without a bit of luck. A blender vamp, kitted out Demon Prince, or similar combat character could do some damage, but I doubt they could do it on their own without magic buffs. We know the augments available to him via the existing lores can make him even more problematic, and we haven't seen anything about the Lore of Undeath.

If 9th Ed. went back to using the tabled allowance for it's armies, as in at 2k-3k you get 0-2 lord, 0-2 heroes, 2+ core, 0-4 special, 0-2 rare, and maybe an extra section where it's like 0-1 allies/monsters/undead legion. Similar to how 40k has been pushing expanding/unbound field allocations, the extra freedom in Fantasy might be a welcome breather and see more of the BBEG dudes like Nagash, Archaon and Malekith on the table. Herohammer ftw

"Nagash can be included in an Undead Legions army. His Point cost counts towards your lords allowance."

However, it doesn't state that "he -is- a lord" So with allowing 25% core, you're looking at about 1334 points to be able to field him.

As for people coming up with ways to take him out, I really don't think it's as difficult as you might think. He's got a 4+ armor and a 4+ ward save. He's going to be able to deal 6+d6 wounds at most if you are infantry. Charge him with a big enough block and you have a charge, +3 ranks and a banner, and that's before you've even done any damage. If it's a scary big block it might even include a BSB. 

Let's take the optimal thing, a big scary block with a BSB and full command charges him in the rear.

Your bonus:
+1 charge
+1 banner
+1 BSB
+2 rear
+3 ranks

Before anybody swings, you've already won combat by 8. He'll most likely need 3s to hit at best, so 4 attacks hit. He'll then need 2s to wound, so let's assume he wounds all 4. After that he stomps, let's assume he rolls 4 and wounds all of them, which seems better than average to me. He has now broken even. If it's a unit with ****ty WS (5+s to hit) and mediocre strength (6+s to wound), you're still looking at doing like 3 or so wounds after saves just from the sheer number of attacks you get with such a big block. And that's assuming they are terrible at combat. If they are weapon skill 3 you're hitting at 4s, if you're 6 he's also hitting at 4's and likely to miss more. If you're strength 5 you're wounding him on 5s. Great weapons you're going to be shredding his *** and his armor.

Even if you only deal 3 wounds at that point, you're still causing him to crumble by 1, resulting in 4 wounds lost in 1 combat phase.

That's not really how I read it. His points count towards his lord allowance, but nowhere does it say he is actually restricted to lord allowance, only that he counts towards it. For every other dataslate that adds new heroes, it mentions that "x is a lord choice for army y". The way they wrote this one different makes me believe that they intend for you to be able to take him with smaller armies, by sacrificing the ability to take any lord and much of your points for other units.

I can't imagine this was intended as a "lord you can only use in 4000 point games", as the market for 4000 point games is pretty darn small.

Yeah i would agree it probably means he is the only Lord you have if you take him, while still getting 25% of your total points as core. In a 2k game you could field him, 500 core, and 500 whatever else you want.

Does sound like he has some nasty summoning magic though

Friday, 15 August 2014

A nagging rumour or aghast? Nagash is back!

The Boy is Back in town! Nagash surfaces!

Rumours running rife, and the first picture from the next White Dwarf surfaces. Nagash is back in town!
What will his stat line be? I note "phenominally powerful" and "terrifying in combat" is bandied about in the text. So the Darkness descends...

Absent for several decades, Nagash returns to a table-top near you! Second in what may be a string of bad attitude lords being re-released. Belakor came first, but flew under the radar for a great extent, as no new model was released, only the "Battlescroll"

Is this GWs attempt to stem the haemorrhage of players from WHFB to Warmachine ?
Are we to see a change in the game with the next edition that will allow you to field these "super-characters?

Will WHFB go the way of 40K? All monsters and overpowered lords? I sincerely hope not.

Have they considered cost and field-ability ? A 600 or 800 pt lord may be well neigh useless for most 2000-3000 pt games (Read 2400 comp). Or will this release indicate the start of the game changing ?

Can't say the first photo of the model rocks my boat. Judging from the only picture leaked, as above, I can see several spindly bits that will break off easily. The ghost toasties floating around him suggests that he's not made for ranking up, but I may be wrong on that account. Just a little too many echoes of Alien Brood Mother there for my liking. Or did he bump off some Tyranids along the way ?. Anyhow, no-one will be able to say he's spineless. He has at least 7 of those.

So, Nagash 101, boys and girls, for those of you who were not even a glint in your daddy's eye when he last walked the Warhammer World":

Nagash is the First Necromancer and arguably the most evil character to ever curse the Warhammer Fantasy world. Ever. He is also a combat tank and will go in hand-to-hand combat with the likes of Sigmar.

(Nagash also happens to be the name of a town in Northern Ethiopia, Africa, sad, if that was your hometown. Blame GW, but then again they dreamed up a name like Heirich (ahem) Kemmler. Really? I know a lot of names are a it tongue-in-cheek, like Tik-Tak-To. But Kemmler's getting a bit close to the bone. But that's an aside...)

Nagash started as a hierophant consecrated to the gods of Nehekhara while his brother was the priest-king of Khemri. This was because, in Nehekhara, the firstborn sons of the nobles were given to the temples as priests and the second sons became the kings. Miffed about this, he decided he to increase his magical power. Initially, his reasons also included that he thought his brother Thutep was a weak king, jealously over wanting Thutep's wife, and Nagash thought only he could make Khemri great again. Unfortunately for the Khemri, he got his hands on a Dark Elf sorceresses (or two) who'd been taken prisoner. She (they) spilled the beans.

From her(them)  he learned about the winds of magic and also figured out how to increase his own life expectancy and probably dabbled in magic much more evil than he initially intended. Regardless, when Nagash was done with the Druchii, he brutally killed them and consumed their souls. (When someone can out-evil and out-betray Dark Elves, you know they're pretty mean)(Well he didn't really out-evil them, he out-smarted them).

After many experiments which mostly demanded human sacrifice, and other sick stuff, Nagash created an elixir which allowed him to stay alive. This elixir would be the basis for the creation of the Vampire Counts.

Nagash killed his brother, and sorta mummified alive his wife and then started a war on Nehekhara which ended in the complete annihilation of all life there. Unfortunately for him the Skaven sabotaged his plans of world domination and he got chopped to pieces by the last king of his former nation. When Alcadizzar killed Nagash, it wasn't through any failing on Nagash's part. It was basically the ultimate sacrifice - killing Nagash cost Alcadizzar literally everything. His kingdom - the largest empire in the world - was killed to a man, his family died, his sanity was shattered and the weapon he needed to use to kill Nagash was so potent it killed the wielder as well. That weapon was created by the Skaven; the Council of Thirteen were so terrified of Nagash they stopped their in-fighting and co-operated (for the first time in Skaven history) to create it.

His story doesn't end here; he came back after a couple of centuries (the Skaven had vaporized his remains so it took a lot of time for him to reconstitute himself). After wiping out the Skaven who'd taken over his fortress, Nagash raised an army and attacked the newborn Empire of Man. During the final battle he fought in a duel with Sigmar and nearly defeated him. Sigmar, realizing what was at stake went on a holy rampage and finally crushed Nagash's skull with his hammer. The spirit of Nagash fled the battlefield and went back to his fortress were he recovered, having learned that the world now has powers capable to match his.

Even Sigmar at the height of his power only just managed to defeat Nagash, and even then only by wearing Nagash's own crown to protect him from Nagash's magic. A crown that had pretty much sent Sigmar insane the last time he wore it. No one knows for sure what's he gonna do next but considering his profile it won't be anything pretty.

Why Nagash is so evil

While most evil characters on the game have done their share of bad deeds Nagash has an special place amongst them, the following lists illustrates how sick this beggar is:

  • Entombed his own brother alive and stole his wife.
  • Turned said wife into an agony-ridden walking corpse and kept her that way for centuries. The process he used to accomplish this involved tricking her into drinking the blood of her murdered son; who also happened to be Nagash's nephew.
  • Usurped Nehekhara's throne; then his reign was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people, and he nearly destroyed the kingdom's economy to build his Black Pyramid.
  • Captured the spirits of his enemies and kept them in eternal torment.
  • Started a war which destroyed most of the Nehekharan cities and killed even more of the population.
  • Broke the covenant between the Nehekharan gods and their people, not only removing the divine powers of the Nehekharans but ensuring that after death they wouldn't be able to go to their gods and would have to stay in a nether dimension forever. Especially jarring if you remember that he used to be the High Priest of their religion.
  • Indirectly corrupted some of the nobility of Nehekhara, who then became the first vampires.
  • Turned a whole tribe of his followers into ghouls because they annoyed him several times by asking him to give them a promised reward.
  • Used his loyal vassals as tools in a terrible incantation to make himself a magic set of armour and then, for the only time in any of his fluff, he does something nice for someone besides himself (he compliments them for exceeding his expectations). After complimenting them he devoured their souls as a thank-you..
  • Started a new war against Nehekhara which cost thousands more lives.
  • Used a horrible plague spell to annihilate the entire Nehekharan civilization after losing the war against them.
  • Raised the Nehekharan dead, turning them into millions of undead minions with the idea of annihilating all life in the world.
  • Almost destroyed the Empire and nearly crippled Sigmar in a duel by using a poisoned blade.
  • Cursed the Vampires with a vulnerability to Sigmar's power after they were too self-absorbed during the war with the Empire to help Nagash out.
  • Corrupted the dragon's graveyard and created the zombie dragons. (Are we to see the return of Zacharias too? Just askin')

While any of the deeds on this list could easily been performed by your average Skaven or Chaos Lord there is a basic difference between them and Nagash, the former usually do this either to advance their entire race, clan, tribe or to appease and/or promote their gods.

Nagash on the other hand doesn't care about anyone, despises the gods and has no empathy for his people. I suspect he gets this tendency from his Druchii teachers.

He corrupted his own nation and a large section of the world for his own personal gain and, so far as the fluff goes, he has never cared or done anything for anyone other than himself, with his ultimate plan being quite literally to turn everything into undead with no will under his command
(So he's basically the Emperor of the Dark side of the Warhammer Fantasy Universe) To be fair, he honestly and misguidedly believes this to be the best thing for the Warhammer world. And he might be right.
While Chaos has a hard time corrupting the undead, Nagash has already managed to steal one of Khorne's favoured champions (Krell).

Replacement Warhammer Fantasy Dark Lord?
All that said, Nagash is sometimes rumoured to be a knock off, attempting to one up the original Dark Lord, Drachenfels. He's not really evil, he's just trying too hard.

Drachenfels is much older than Nagash in the setting, while in real life, Drachenfels fluff dates back to 1989, Nagash's 1994. Nagash was introduced to supplant Drachenfels as the setting's 'dark lord' hence the trying to hard with his over the top evil. Though it may not be over-the-top evil to take Drachenfels out of focus.

You can have more than one 'dark lord' in a setting, otherwise why haven't any of the Everchosens of Chaos fought Nagash? Also, Drachenfels is a backseat kind of dark lord; a subtle manipulator out-living the opposition, going along, taking what he wants along the way. Nagash is intelligent, but also an aggressive, sociopathic control-freak who wants to rule the world.

Functionally, Nagash is Warhammer's big bad wolf to 40k's Abaddon. Except Nagash is notably more competent.
When Abaddon tried to conquer the galaxy, he tried 13 times and basically got nowhere read the lore, apparently the armless wonder had a plan and now all 12 crusades "achieved their goals" and the 13th is still ongoing).
When Nagash decided to conquer Nehekara, only one man survived, and even then it was because Nagash wanted him alive. When Nagash decided to raise up every person who had died in Nehekara over the past 1500 years, he succeeded.

In the Game (recent history)

Nagash was actually a special character back when it was just "Warhammer Armies: Undead" and all the dead boys were united in one armybook. Despite being described as "a pale shadow of his former self" he was an unholy rape-train - a statline with the lowest stats being 6's (init and attacks) and everything else being a 7. Add in a completely un-modifiable 4+ save against everything (including any and all spell effects), a sword that gives him +1 str and lets him use any wounds he causes to heal himself and being one of the most powerful mages in the game making him pretty much unstoppable. (Unless you threw a High Mage at him with Drain Magic and Banishment.)

No original statline easily accessible, but I found this:
Nagash :  650 pts.

M   WS   BS  S  T   W    I     A     L
4       7      4   7   7   4     6     6     10

If the stat-line remains the same, nothing short of the direct intervention of gods would stop him and even then, the world would be a graveyard (Nah, there are some who could arguably beat him: Sigmar, Kroak, arguably Morathi and Malekith, Aenerion; Teclis is described as being if not his equal, then close behind; First Spawning Slann would simply think Nagash out of existence, if they cared).

To keep that from happening, Games Workshop in the past chose to give him what might very well be the single most "derptastic" model to ever blight a tabletop with its presence, an unholy abomination of fail so ridiculous that it makes the Tyranid Biovore look like a towering monument of awe and might in comparison. Even the beardiest of cheesemongers thought twice before fielding it, knowing all too well that they would pay for it not only in army points, but in dignity and self-respect. (Vide supra)

The old Nagash had the nickname of the "Undead Clown" in some circles. His enormous hat, the shoulder flaps, boat like pointy shoes, uninspiring pose and the confused look on his face all contributed to this model not being particularly liked. Strange bthat this new model would appear to have a bit of the tyranid in its genepool...

(Pictures and text from blogs around the web, with some moderation and embelishment on my part. No copyright or such infringement intended. Happ to credit anyone. Just let me know)

Deafening Silence

Bolt from the blue: Just to break the deafening silence from my blog

Winter has dug its claws into New Zealand, with storms galore. Yesterday saw a lightning strike on the windwand in Wellington: quite a sight. Someone caught it on video. A tip-off from the gods ?

Frazzled Zephyrometer Wind Wand after the lightning strike
(Click on pic to see the strike)

Anyhow, between the wild weather, business partners breaking legs skiing, a 1:1 scale construction project on my driveway and influenza crippling the district, I have not been able to do much modeling or painting.

Ok, and then there is World of Tanks... Why, Oh, Why did I download this addiction?

So I got out the Vampire Counts in the dead of winter, must have been Morrslieb, I mean the Supermoon that made me do it. Either way, I bought some harpy-like creatures of Sam recently. I built and base-coated them and decided to run them as giant bats. The GW models just do not ring by bell. None of them. Ever.

And I got into the models that DO ring my bell. The Vargulf and the Vargheists, two old Abyssal Horrors, a small one and a large one, which I thought  may run as a Terrorgheist and a character mount, 2 old Strigoi Vamps, one afoot and one mounted, and a unit of ghouls that have been languishing semi-built for a while.

Yeah, I know the Vamps are Tier 3 when it come to competition, and all you really have is a tarpit with a general that makes its army crumble when it dies, but I really love the models and the fluff around it. And you can use them for other games. VCs are really good in Morheim, and lets face it, a vampire is a vampire in any ruleset!