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11/20/2014

Every evil needs a sidekick

Also: writing is HARD. As you may have noticed, I've changed the entry from my greeting card from "updated every tuseday, thursday and sunday" to: "updated twice a week". Everyday mundane stuff is taking its toll on my editorial work, and so I have to stay flexible. But fear not, the blog WILL be updated twice a week. Now back to our scheduled program.

With the release of "End Times vol. 1 Nagash", Warhammer players from all around the world have been introduced to Mortarchs, lieutenants of Great Necromancer. So far only five of nine got their stats and in some cases, new models. More could be covered later, or not, we shall see. However the ones that have been released are certainly interesting and, quite frankly, scary as hell.

Which kinda fits their theme to be honest
In this article I'll cover every single one of them. As usual this analysis will consist of the short character summary, and my thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses. Bear in mind that I don't want to bore you to death, so these won't be super long, just informative.

Without further ado let us start with...

Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night

Mannfred is back and he's nastier than ever before. One of the two original perpetrators behind the return of Nagash, the youngest von Carstein is no slouch both in combat and the arcane arts. He is a level 4 wizard with access to Death, Vampire and Undeath lores. His Dread Abyssal boosts his stats considerably (they cannot be separated) and makes him a truly wicked beast in CQC with WS 7 and 9 attacks, not to mention 10 wounds. Mannfred's "Dark Cunning" special rule grants him additional attacks when he fights other opponents, and extra power dice when he's outside combat. Nice! His two magic items are quite interesting. While his sword, Gheistvor, is really good, granting a single magic dice for each unsaved wound, the Armour of Templehof is kinda meh as it's a 5+ armour that provides its wearer with +2 wounds (already included). wizrd All that for 650 points which is not bad.

I can easily see Mannfred be in the thick of battle, scything down chaff units and giving himself a huge bost in magic dice. However his weak AS of 4+ (plus one for his mount) makes him incredibly vulnerable to warmachine fire and cetain spells, especially from the Lore of Light. Use him with care and he will provide.

I also consider his model to be the most dynamic of all the Mortarchs

Next we have...

Arkhan the Black, Mortarch of Sacrament(o)

Nagash BFF and the one to orchestrate the whole "ressurection" shtick, Arkhan returns to the realm of Fantasy Battle, but without his pimping chariot this time. Instead, like Mannfred and Khalida, he rides a Dread Abyssal that boosts his stats (again they are treated as one model). Also he is no longer a level 5 wizard and can only use the Lore of Death and Undeath. Hmmm... That said he can summon double the points of Undead cronies, so in theory he's a kind of mini-Nagash and regains his wounds vampire style. That said he should not be used as a frontline unit. WS 4 and S 5 ain't exactly stunning stats and even with combined profiles, Arkhan should be treated solely as a caster and support unit.


He even looks kinda like his boss, only smaller and more jolly

Vlad von Carstein, Mortarch of Shadow

One of the two Mortarchs, who don't have their Dread Abyssals, Vlad has been returned to unlife by Nagash himself and has been on the forefront of the End Times ever since. With impressive stat line (WS 7 and I 7!) and his fabled ring once again in his possession, Vlad is both dangerous as a melee opponent and a caster, albeit one of the weaker ones in the Mortarch borther and sisterhood. With the ability to call on the lores of Death, Vampire, Undeath and Shadow and having his Hunger special rule resolved at a roll of 4+, he can easily be seen at the forefron of Nagash's armies. However he dosen't have a Dread Abyssal at his command, so that limits him a bit in the sheer force department. On the other hand he can join units and benefit from "Look out sir!" special rule so there's that.

One of the most important changes to Vlad is the removal of his "Beloved in Death" rule and replacing it with the "Mortarch of Shadow" which gives every opponent a -1 to hit penalty and a -1 LD when they are near him. I don't really need to point out that Vlad is best fielded against low LD armies, like Skaven and Empire.

This one's not so jolly tough


Queen Neferata, Mortarch of Blood

Whooo boy, we have a hard one here. Neferata is back and in my humble opinion, she's the strongest of Mortarchs availabe at the moment. The Mistress of Silver Peak is na absolute MONSTER in close combat with WS 8, S 5 and I 9 (like Mannfred and Arkhan she's got a combined profile with her Dread Abyssal) but that's not where her true power lies. You see she has the ASF special rule, which confers to the Thunderstomp ability of her mount. Not to mention a high chance of re-rolls to hit. Ouch! But that's not all. The Akmet-kar, her dagger PERMANENTLY lowers the S, T and A charcteristics of characters whom she wounded in a challenge.

Jesus. Christ

Granted she can do this only once for each character, but in case of Elves and Humans it's a huge boon for her controlling player and one that is her strongest side. But that's not all. Her "Mortarch of Blood" special; rule means that every enemy character she offs in CQC, will return as a basic vampire. Dear God... Her role is thus quite obvious. Say goodbye to your characters because Neferata's here to get rid of them. Painfully. On the plus side she's "only" a level 3 caster, with access to lores of Death, Undeath, Shadow and Vampire and costs 650 points, but stil... Talk about an OP character.

Behold! The most sexy powerhouse in the entire Old World

Krell, Mortarch of Despair

Lastly we come to Krell, the Mortarch of Despair and a second one with no mount. I like him the least of all of Nagash's lieutenants to be honest. At 250 points and not really packing a punch with rather weak stats (WS 5 and S 4 with 4 wounds) and a 4+ save, Krell should really be stuck with a unit of Grave Guard, backed by some protective magic items/spells. His Armour of the Barrows has the potential of making enemy magic weapons mundane again, but it's a far cry from Malekith's signature blade. Krell's axe is quite nice, with the D3 wounds special rule and having a potential to continue wounding already nicked enemy characters in subsequent turns. Pretty cool but it requires a fight with similar or weaker character than him, and this could be a problem since Krell sucks, to be honest. The "Champion  of Nagash" special rule is situational at best and even with the new Lords and Heroes rule requires a lot of points, since you have to have both Nagahs and Krell in the same army and close to each other. His "Mortarch of Despair" rule gives him back a single wound, every time an enemy nearby fails his Fear or Terror (which Krell actually causes) test so I guess Krell is awesome against armies such as Skaven or O&G's, but that's it really.

Bottom point: I don't think he's worth it. Krell relies too much on caster and magic item support to be effective and for an ex-Khorne warrior he's pretty bad in close combat. Spend those points on more Skeletons or some nice magic bling for your characters/units.

No wonder the Blood God let Nagash have him
So that's it for this article. I apologize once again for the delay in posting stuff, but during the last week or so I'be been totally occupied with some home improvement stuff and my job can be quite demanding at times. That said I've promised to deliver you regular updates and wish to fulfill this vow. So tommorow or on saturday I'll write about Valten and Krom and then move to other stuff. Expect a review of a certain board game.

Until next time!

Xathrodox86

2 comments:

  1. Well, I don't think Krell is so weak - you get a solid fighter for the fairly cheap point cost (especially comparing to the point cost of other mortarchs).
    And you have to agree - Krell's mini is awesome ;)

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    Replies
    1. True but for 250 points I'd expect more, especially from a dedicated close Combat character. Terror is Krell's saving grace but even with that his unimpressive stats and poor gear he is far behind the likes of Vlad Or Neferata.

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Thank you for the comments. :)