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.


  1. Bloody hell! That's a heck of an investment to keep playing with an army...that you've already got! Heaven forbid you ever want to start up a new one... 2nd mortgage!? ;-)

  2. I plan on ignoring all the rules related to the End Times campaign, thus saving my wallet. This is a expansion, not a core rules update, and i doubt we will see this Lore appear in 9th and even if it does then my advise would be not to use it unless you have a Tomb Kings of Vampire Count army to use for summoned models.

    1. Spot on Rex. I've come to the same decision. It just seems such a shame though. I got really excited about the prospect of finally having a VC army with some clout. For once it appeared that a supplement/expension may not just be a flash in the pan like Storm of Magic and the (non-featuring) Badlands supplement. My angst is more about this indicating the way forward for WHFB; going the same way as 40K, with massive hero models and monsters/flyers/machines that cost the earth. Have you noticed how that has depleted the ranks of 40K players at the club? I would not dream of using it with anything but a TK or VC army. Don't get me wrong, I love the concept. It is the underlying financial philosophy that gets me.

    2. My Dwarves will continue to ignore magic as the effete crutch that it is, while my High Elves will ignore this Lore as I'm not interested in spending the money on undead models.

      Otherwise I'm with Rex, and I'll sit out the End Times if it's not my cup of tea. With limited time to paint and money to spend, I'm not going to be splashing out on lots of new stuff to make it work. I'm happy to play normalhammer instead.

      If End Times works with Elves and Dwarves, I'll give it a go. Dwarf artillery and a Star Dragon FTW!!!!

    3. I think we'll build a little enclave Tane. The excitement was a flash in the pan for me. If the End Times is only a diversion it will pass. If it is the shape of things to come I may walk or I may stay. Time will tell. I may just dust off the Dwarven throng, a gunline can shoot the cr*p out of the b*stard. Biting the bullet on $100 for the new book is better than $750 for a sideshow.

  3. hey herman, i have a varghulf for sale #cha-ching#

    1. May still be interested. I'll just borrow your Nagash off you! #ka-pow!#

  4. I'm not sure you actually need to buy any of those things to participate in the End Times? Even if you did want to buy Nagash, he has several other spell lores to choose from...

    1. Tim, you are right. The concept of Nagash coming back into the fluff really thrilled me. My undead army stands ready to march, or is it shuffle? Yes, I can play them as I wish. The decision is mine. The whole discourse around the subject of this release has led me to realise one thing. "If it is to be, it is up to me."
      I can choose to engage with this or not. Yes, I am interested. Yes, I love the game. Can I play it without the major investment? Probably. Is it just a supplement? Probably.
      Time will tell how 9th Ed will shape. Could I substitute the Nagash Model? Of course. Can I simply copy the rulebook from someone who has bought it? Probably, if I wanted to, or find it on the internet as bootleg? There are ways around every thing. It's not my style though. The WH enthusiast in me craves the original. What I am lamenting is that GW is placing the game out of the reach of the average NZ punter. Ranting aside, I can actually afford it. If I wanted to. But I don't think I'm going to swallow the bait if this is going to lead to Herohammer, and an arms race attached to that. Buy more heroes, buy more heroes.... I fear for the survival of the game as we know it. We desperately need new players to get into the game.
      Our club (Kapiti Wargames Club) is flourishing, unlike many others, but the reason for this is that we have allowed diversification. People play everything across the board, from card games to board games and every conceivable miniature game. Having a single character, lore/expansion release and fluff that costs $750 is not going to get new players into the game.If it is the way of the future.(I.e. 9th Ed) I am concerned that Australia and NZ will be priced out of the WHFB world. Compare what it costs for a Journeyman starter in Warmahordes. I have been funding my teenage son's gaming for a while. He is earning some of his own money now. I can see that he is not keen on spending his hard-earned cash on expensive blobs of plastic any more and is losing interest.