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View Full Version : so end of times VC....what all did I miss?



madival
08-11-2014, 01:33
So life has kept me away from warhammer fantasy (and table top gaming in general), and I really want to get back to my Vampire counts. What all happened when it comes to the end of times? I have a sizeable force of vampire counts and some odds and ends of Tomb Kings and it looks like I can combine elements. What should I look at first and really start going

malisteen
08-11-2014, 17:23
Spoilers to follow for Sigmar's blood and Warhammer End Times: Nagash.


Mannfred captures a number of mortals with divine blood (including the fey enchantress and the heir to the everqueen), and with their power, one or more of the books of Nagash, and Nagash's actual hand, he manages to reproduce one of Nagash's more powerful magics, shrouding all of Sylvania in clouds of dark magic which block out the sun, leech hope from the living, and empower the dead. He also steals nagash's crown, both for its power and to lure the grand theogonist to Sylvania where Mannfred can face him on advantageous ground and take him alive to add to his collection of divine blood (the holy symbols and works of faith of any god whose blood he has access to for his ritual are worthless beneath his magical darkness). He succeeds in capturing the theogonist.

Desperate to contain Mannfred's power before it spreads, Balthasar Ghelt encircles Sylvania in a wall of holy symbols, faith, and magic, sealing Mannfred's power, and the clouds, within. Later he uses the same magic, but on a much grander scale, to hold back the oncoming hordes of chaos in the north.

At the same time, Arkhan the Black is collecting artifacts tied to Nagash with the intent of restoring Nagash to the mortal world. His master can sense the coming storm of chaos, and knows that he must act soon. Arkhan's quest leads him to Sylvania, which he enters without much trouble (the wall of faith keeps the undead in, it doesn't keep them out), in order to meet with Mannfred. Mannfred does not wish to revive Nagash, but hungers for the great necromancer's power, and needs a way to break the barrier that cages his land, and thus agrees to work with Arkhan while planning to betray him. This plan is fatally flawed from the start, as Arkhan possesses an artifact allowing him to read the vampires thoughts.

Arkhan shows how to use Sigmar's blood from the theogonist to weaken the magical barrier (which is based in part on the power of sigmarite faith), allowing the two to escape the sylvanian cage each with a small army. Mannfred takes the hand of nagash with him, and uses it to track down the fellblade which severed it from the great necromancer's body. Unless this blade is destroyed, Nagash is weaker and weaker with every revival, to the point that he can no longer be revived at all while it exists. The trail leads him to an underground skaven warren, which he destroys, claiming his prize.

In the mean time, Arkhan meets up with Kemmler and Krell to lay seige to a Brettonian Monestary which houses Nagash's staff. They are successful as well, though during the battle Kemmler attempts to betray Arkhan and throw his lot in with chaos. He is defeated, but it's unclear whether or not he is killed. Arkhan, Krell, and Mannfred finally meet up to storm an Empire city, reclaiming Nagash's armor (and sword, I think?) which was held there. Finally, the three return to Sylvania to perform the ritual. Armies of dwarves, high elves, wood elves, beastmen, and empire all move to stop them, but the beastmen come into conflict with the dwarves, the wood elves are directed elsewhere by the lady of the lake, the empire army breaks ranks with the high elves and is caught out and destroyed, leaving only the elves, which aren't enough to stop the ritual, but are enough to distract Mannfred long enough for Arkhan to complete the ritual unmolested.

Bellanaer and Eltharion, who command the high elf expedition, are killed. The Fey Enchantress, Aliathra, and Volkmar are killed in the ritual. Nagash is reborn, and his first act is to tear the wind of death free from the magical vortex that syphons most magic away from the world, but he finds he is unable to bind the magic to himself, as his resurrection is imperfect. Aliathra, though the daughter of the Everqueen, is not the Everchild, because it turns out she is the daugher of Tyrion, not the Pheonix King. As such, Nagash inherits the curse of Aenarion, crippling his power. In this imperfect form he is unable to consume the wind of shyish and head directly north to take on the powers of chaos single handed, so instead he binds the magic to the land of Sylvania and returns to his old tactics, selecting nine champions and gathering armies to help the empire hold off chaos in the north while he returns to Nehekhara to cleanse his body of taint and restore his power within the Black Pyramid.

The nine champions, called mortarchs, are:

Arkhan the Black, of course.

Krell, of course.

Mannfred Von Carstein, who realizes his mistake too late, and agrees to serve Nagash to avoid destruction.

Vlad Von Carstein, his spirit torn from the land of the dead and given new form, he agrees to serve Nagash in the hope of eventually finding Isabella's remains and restoring her to life as well.

Neferata - the queen of the Vampires has spies everywhere, and decides to throw in with Nagash because, as far as she can tell, it's either that or watch the world fall to chaos.

Wallach Harkon - hungry for power and bloodshed

Luther Harkon - because serving nagash might prove entertaining

Dieter Hellsnitch - eager to learn at the master's side

The Nameless - the disembodied, amnesiac spirit of a once great enchanter (http://whfb.lexicanum.com/wiki/Drachenfels), this insane and insanely powerful shade agrees to serve Nagash in the hopes of eventually restoring its memory.


Zaccharias is offered a place among the nine but attempts to impose terms, demanding to be nagash's partner rather than his servant, and is annihilated for his presumption.


Vlad, Wallach, and the Nameless are sent north to help delay the oncoming powers of chaos, which they do, corrupting and claiming Balthasar Ghelt in the process. This backfires somewhat when Ghelt's corruption is exposed, causing the new theogonist to withdraw church support for Ghelt's magic wall. Without the power of faith, the power of magic alone is not enough to hold back chaos, and the wall collapses. In the battle that follows, Vlad leads his undead forces to support the Emperor, but Wallach turns on them, siding with Khorne over Nagash, striking down the Emperor (who survives), before Vlad destroys him in turn. The first wave of chaos is defeated, barely, but the Glotkin follow close behind, and though those events happen concurrently with the rest of this story, I am not yet privy to them due to GW's inability to predict or react with speed to the popularity of this campaign (ie, I couldn't get the second end times book before it sold out).


In the mean time, Krell and Neferata lead an undead army to a forgotten dwarven hold, killing Thorek Ironbrow (I think?) in the process, and claiming for Nagash the slumbering essence of one of the Dwarves' ancestor gods. While this is happening, Luthor is gathering his armada and sailing for the Nehekharan coast, and Nagash is gathering strength and sharing arcane secrets with Arkhan, Dieter, and Mannfred. Nagash then takes his sorcerous servants with him to prepare a ritual in which he consumes the slumbering dwarf god utterly, using its power to shroud all of nehekhara in the magical darkness described earlier. This drains his power even further, to the point that he is barely more than a shade, though still powerful enough to keep his local mortarchs in check (Wallach, far away, is another matter, as discussed earlier).

Nagash splits his forces into four parts - Mannfred takes a small, elite, fast force down the coast to meet up with Luthor at the mouth of the Mortis and sail up its cursed waters. Krell and Dieter take a massive army and march straight south over the desert wasteland. Neferata returns to the ruins of Lahmia with a diversion force, luring Khalida and several other loyal tomb kings of the east away from the main fighting and potential defense of Khemri, while Nagash and Arkhan meet up with the corrupted kings and liches that remain in the eastern cities, adding those forces to their own and performing a ritual that binds Nagash's shade form into Arkhan's being.

Neferata's force is defeated by the far greater forces of her opponents, as expected, but the vampire queen escapes and those forces are held up long enough that they are unable to defend khemri.

Luthor, Mannfred, Dieter, Krell, and Arkhan all fight their way to Khemri with various portions of their armies intact, but even with a significant portion of Nehekhara's forces delayed in Lahmia, Settra's combined armies are still superior. Krell is vanquished, though not destroyed. Arkhan is cut down by Settra, who drags him back to the city for his priests to perform a ritual to destroy Arkhan's spirit utterly. There he meets Khatep, who informs him of the Blade of Eternities, which he believes has the power to vanquish Nagash. Settra slays the priest for violating his banishment, but does go to retrieve the blade, only to find that the Scarab Lord Apophas has already taken it, hoping to finally balance out his debt to Usirian by claiming Nagash's soul.

After the high king leaves Arkhan with the priests, however, they are betrayed by one of their number, who releases Nagash's spirit from Arkhan's body. The spirit, now behind Khemri's defenses, makes its way to the Black Pyramid and enters it, restoring his power and opening a gateway to Nehekhara's spirit world where the old god of the dead, Usirian, resides. Nagash calls Dieter to the underworld, and while Nagash wages metaphysical battle with the ancient death god, his mortarch reads from the nine books of nagash, reclaiming the spirits that Nagash had torn from Usirian's control so long ago, turning the dead of Nehekhara against Usirian and striking him down before Nagash consumes his essence utterly. Nagash then returns to the mortal world, fully restored and more powerful then ever, while Dieter is left in the underworld as a keeper of the souls of the dead more suited to Nagash's purposes.

Nagash emerges from his pyramid wreathed in terrible arcane power. Few of Khemri's legions are even able to raise arms against him, but Settra is able to rally a few hundred troops to oppose his now godlike rival. The scarab lord attacks Nagash during the final battle, but the blade of eternities refuses to serve the corrupt shade, and with Nagash now possessing Usirian's essence, the Scarab Lord falls under the Great Necromancer's control. Though Settra's forces fight valiantly, the priests of Nehekhara find their arcane calls to the underworld refused by its new guardian. Unable to restore their losses, those forces that stand with Settra are soon overwhelmed, and Settra himself is dismembered by Nagash, his still sentient remains scattered across the land as eternal punishment for defying the Great Necromancer's will.

Nagash then destroys the city of Khemri, tearing down its temples, halls, and monuments and burying the rubble in sand, erasing the greatest human city in history and leaving no trace to betray that there had ever been life or civilization there at all. He then rips his black pyramid from the ground and into the air. All the remaining Kings and Priests either kneel to nagash or are annihilated. Khalida, too late to change the outcome of the battle, agrees to serve Nagash in the hopes that she might at least find the chance for revenge against Neferata before her final destruction. Nagash gathers his mortarchs into the Black Pyramid, restoring Krell and Arkhan, and flies the seat of his power North at the head of the largest army of the dead the world has ever seen, and sets it down in Sylvania to soak in the magic he had grounded there in preparation for the coming war with Chaos.

Meanwhile, in the wasteland that was once Khemri, Settra finds his body reassembled, and four voices that speak as one offer the King of Kings the chance to seek revenge and reclaim what is his.


..........

Rules-wise, End Times: Nagash presents the Undead Legions, a unified force of Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings units representing the forces of Nagash following his defeat of Settra. The list has access to all non-named Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings units, as well as the named tomb kings characters Khalida and Apophas. Rules for these units are not included, however, and you must still have access to their respective army books to field them. The list also has new army-wide rules which replace and improve upon those from the parent books (nehekharan undead and regular undead are treated as the same, constructs can be restored one wound per casting, rather than one per phase, there is no extra penalty for death of the general, and no caster or lore requirements on your general, as the death magic loosed across the land by Nagash's return makes undead now self-sustaining, etc).

New rules are also added for the lore of Undeath - which allows undead legions units to be summoned to the table. Any casters may use this lore, again due to the surge of death magic flooding the world with Nagash's return.

Also added are several new special characters - Nagash, Neferata, and new rules for Mannfred, Vlad, Arkhan, and Krell - available to the Undead Legions, as well as two new units - Morghast Harbingers and Archai - hovering monstrous infantry with impressive offensive and defensive stats and the ability to reduce crumbling in nearby undead units, but that come with at a hefty price in points and dollars. The rules for Nagash, Neferata, Mannfred, Arkhan, and the morghasts all come packaged with the models as well, and the Morghasts are also available to pure Vampire Counts armies.

Finally, there are special rules and scenarios to recreate the great battles described within the campaign, from Mannfred & Arkhan's attempts to reclaim Nagash's relics to Vlad's battles alongside the mortal humans of the empire to hold back chaos to Neferata & Krells skirmishes against orcs and dwarves to various great battles in Nagash's campaign to conquer Nehekhara, ending in a scenario where Nagash himself, on his own, empowered by his defeat of Usirian, takes on an entire Tomb Kings army led by Settra the Imperishable.

All in all, very exciting times for Undead Players, and if you're at all a fan you should really try to find a copy of the End Times: Nagash books. The new rules and characters are exciting (Nagash himself is a real throwback to the days of herohammer, he even has his same statline from the 4th ed book), but the real prize is the fluff, all overwrought in the best way (my sig quote from Italian567 is making fun of the writing in the book). Sadly it was a limited release, and is mostly sold out, but the original stock was much better than for the second end times book, so you can still find it at some local stores. If you're unable to find a copy, there should be a paperback version coming out some time in the future, though nobody can say when, yet.

Terminus Est Gunner
08-11-2014, 17:28
I've been toying with the idea of starting a Nagash undead army myself, I currently play 40k and have been thinking about fantasy for some time now....this might just be the kick in the ass I need to start the game up

malisteen
08-11-2014, 18:07
There has never been a better time to do so. Or, well, there hasn't been since the death of the 4th edition Undead army book in 5th edition, when the faction was first split into Vamp Counts and Tomb Kings.

If starting a new army, however, I would use the undead legions rules, but stick mostly to one book or the other when collecting your army, as we're not sure yet whether this combined undead faction will outlast the end times campaign (I personally believe 9th edition will allow mixed armies through allies rules, but will not replace the separate factions with combined books, but that's just speculation on my part).

I'd recommend starting with vamp counts, and adding a handful of relevant but discrete tomb kings options (a tomb prince for the WS buff, a casket of souls and/or heirotitan for magic support, etc). For tactics focusing on the individual armies, see vampirecounts.net or tomb-kings.net.


As for the new units and characters:

The morghasts are impressive, but very costly points-wise. They aren't efficient enough on offense to be a great hammer, or on defense to be a great anvil, but fall somewhere in between. Hover is nice for maneuverability, but doesn't make them increadibly fast, and their instability mitigation aura means you'll want to keep them near your battle line. As such, I think they're best used in small units as flanking support for your infantry. The rare version is superior offensively and defensively, but Undead Legions is positively drowning in quality rare choices, so the special unit is easier to fit in a list, and still quite impressive. If possible, magnetize their weapons so you can run them as either.

Nagash is a beast and a half, and if you include him he is the center of your army, both aesthetically and tactically. As mentioned, he retains his stats of old, as well as his 5th level casting ability. Thanks to his nine books, he knows nine spells, generated from death, vampires, undeath, and nehekaran lores. He can also store up to four power dice, and use them to either upgrade his attacks with the heroic killing blow rule or spend them in subsequent magic phases to empower his spells - even allowing him to exceed the usual 6 dice max per spell. This brings in considerable risk of miscast, but his mastery is such that he can reroll results on the miscast table, mitigating the risk considerably. Weighing in at 1,000 points, any game you field him in will be defined and decided by his performance and your opponents' ability to deal with him. He's got high toughness, a bunch of wounds, a 4++ save, and the ability to self heal through casting lore of vampire spells to keep him up, and he hits like a train, but he's still quite vulnerable to cannonfire, and his huge base means a lot of attacks against him if he gets in combat. His most impressive ability is that he triples the points costs summoned with each successfully cast lore of undeath spell, as well as the range within which you can place summoned units, and with some lucky rolls he can easily summon more than his own points cost to the table in a single game, but throwing dice at summoning spells means hes not using those dice to smash your opponents with death magic or restore lost wounds to himself or your units with vampire spells, so there's definitely a trade off there. Also, to make best use of him you need not only Nagash himself and an army large enough to field him, but also almost an entire second army of summoning options, which makes fielding him a far heavier investment in money and modeling time than even his own hundred dollar price tag and wraithknight sized model would imply.

Arkhan, Neferata, and Mannfred all boast combined statlines with their mounts, giving them each a ton of attacks and wounds (even more wounds for manny, thanks to his armor). Arkhan boasts double points on summoning and a sword that restores lost wounds, Mannfred loses loremaster and gains double range summons from undeath, but is probably better off focusing on vampire and death spells. He really shines when it comes to managing the winds of magic, with his ability to reroll one of the dice and gain extra dice for wounds caused in melee. Neferata's probably the least impressive of the three mounted mortarchs, but still has some neat tricks, with a staff that inflicts extra wounds on direct damage spells and the ability to summon a free naked vampire hero to the table the first time she kills an enemy character in a challenge.

The two existing heroes that gain new mortarch rules are Vlad and Krell. Krell, sadly, is terrible, paying 50 more points and eating lord allowance instead of hero for an extra attack and not much else. His bodyguard rule now applies to Nagash instead of Kemmler, and that's a significant downgrade since Nagash doesn't need protecting from anything that would be afraid of Krell. This is extremely disappointing, as Krell comes off as particularly interesting and powerful in the new fluff, but his rules just don't live up to it.

Vlad on the other hand is quite impressive, reclaiming his ring, and paying a few extra points to impose a -1 penalty on any attacks directed at him or his unit. Throw him in a unit of great weapon grave guard, with a tomb prince to give them WS 5, and you've got the makings of quite a death star. He's expensive enough that he might not be the power gamer's first choice, but he still should be quite playable in casual games.


All of the caster mortarchs can roll their spells from the lores they have access to as they wish, rather than being locked into just one. As such vlad or Neferata, for instance, could just have the signature spell each of shadow, death, and vampires, guaranteeing a useful selection of spells without stealing spells that your other casters might want. What exactly is the best mix of lores for arcane powerhouses like Arkhan, Mannfred, and Nagash is certainly still in debate, and will likely depend on your individual army and that of your opponent in any given game.


The one drawback is that the rules for the legion are somewhat nebulous about whether models in the army count as part of a vamp counts army, tomb kings army, both, or neither, and as a result it's not completely clear whether undead legions have access to faction specific magic items from vamps or tomb kings, or whether chariot riding characters can join units of skeleton chariots in undead legions armies. Opinions on the intent and letter of the rules vary and the debate has been, at times, contentious, so for the moment I'm just avoiding those things in my own armies just to skip potential table arguments.

madival
11-11-2014, 00:21
so you are telling me I can have all the fun units from both book and special fun generals....whats the catch?

Mack
11-11-2014, 01:17
so you are telling me I can have all the fun units from both book and special fun generals....whats the catch?

No catch...yet. Nothing to say that this wont all go away someday once they get the End Times wrapped up, but for now enjoy!

malisteen
13-11-2014, 05:07
There are a few catches. The first is that the book isn't quite perfectly clear on whether the VC and TK models count as being part of VC and TK armies respectively, and as such it isn't quite perfectly clear that TK characters on chariots can still join chariot units, or that you still have access to army book specific items. In general both should be fine, but it does call for some prior discussion with opponents / event organizers.

The second catch is that it is an army list introduced in a campaign supplement, so whether you can use it outside of that campaign setting may vary depending on environment. So far tournaments and local clubs mostly seem to be allowing it, but that may change as more legion armies hit the scene, and the gap between 'legion' lists and 'normal' lists widens.

The final catch, as mentioned, is that the list may not outlive the campaign. There have been rumors of the undead books being recombined, but as far as I can tell that's all speculation and is rather unlikely imo. What is more likely is that we might see 9e expanding on the ally rules and making them a more overt part of the game, in which case undead legions armies might persist even after the campaign via ally rules. Again, though, that's just speculation.

But other than that, no catch. Take the units you want, take the cool new heroes, take the new lore, mix and match with caskets and heirotitans empowering necromancers, tomb kings buffing grave guard, mortis engines augmenting the regen save provided to constructs by necrotects, and mounted lich priests casting desert wind to give your black knight busses yet another move per turn. Do so without any restriction on your general - want a magicless army of skeletons and wights? you got it - and if you do take casters do so without restriction on lore - want the all light magic council? Go for it.

Think your vamp counts army was missing some ranged game? Grab a couple screaming skull catapults and trade that bunker of skeleton warriors for skeleton archers. Think your tomb kings army was missing some killing power? Well, there's not much that hits harder than a red fury / quick blood vampire lord. Field an all cav blood dragon army with skeleton horsemen, black knights, and blood knights. Wanna make those cav go faster? Well, try marching plus danse macabre plus desert wind in the same turn. Field a caster supremacy list with casket, hierotitan, pariapt necro (so long as you discuss the item issue with your opponent as previously mentioned), and laugh as the dice are always in your favor. With the caster requirements pulled, you can funnel all that arcane power into whatever you want - summoning, light council, you name it. Field a wicked great weapon grave guard death star with tomb king (WS6), Vlad (-1 to hit the unit), and (again depending on item issue) banner of the barrows for +1 to hit. Field Nagash, and make your enemy choke on a never ending torrent of death as he summons anything from a dozen wight cavalry to a hundred zombies to a freaking terrorgheist with each spell, while smashing entire units single handed in melee, laughing off cannonballs (provided you have decent luck with your ward saves), and healing any wounds that do get through with the lore of vampires.

Sure, there's the Chaos Legion, and other legions are likely to appear before the end times are said and done, but there really is, and isn't likely to be, anything quite so cool or diverse as the undead legions, not for a long time, so even if it is a short lived thing, You really should be taking advantage of it while its here.

Folomo
13-11-2014, 10:40
Worst case scenario. You can now use double blender lord.

Memnos
13-11-2014, 11:37
In terms of gaming, you can now take 50% Lords.

That means you can have Nagash show up on 2000 points.

Other than that, what you've basically missed is that the Vampire Counts have showed up, taken names and beaten up everybody. Even the head of the Chaos invasion got beaten up by Vlad. He showed up, pulled out his blade and sneered at Glottkin before commenting about how useless a weapon a Scythe was and then beating him like a rented mule.

malisteen
13-11-2014, 11:46
You, uh, you left out the part where Vlad stabbed him with the blood drinker, which drank his poison blood, which made vlad super sick so he had to run away and is maybe now dead or dying or tainted by nurgle's corruption...

Memnos
13-11-2014, 11:50
You, uh, you left out the part where Vlad stabbed him with the blood drinker, which drank his poison blood, which made vlad super sick so he had to run away and is maybe now dead or dying or tainted by nurgle's corruption...

I did!

Vlad drank a Nurgle champions blood after beating him like a red-headed stepchild. That turned out about as well as you would have expected.

Ograr
15-11-2014, 11:32
Beating a Champion of Nurgle and then dying because you're stupid enough to drink from a follower of the god of rot, disease and pestilence is Darwinism in action I say.

Col. Tartleton
15-11-2014, 12:09
Vlad will be fine. Besides the Glotts survived the battle thanks to Nurgle's intervention. History will call it a draw.