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1/26/2015

The doctor will see you now: witness the rules for Festus Empowered and Karl Franz Ascendant!

Today I'm ending my impromptu review of "End Times: Glottkin". For this final article on the second ET book, I'll review both the Festus Empowered and Karl Franz Ascendant, both of whom are very interesting characters.

Rules wise "Glottkin" delivered a few solid and interesting additions to the 8th edition of Warhammer Fantasy. Let's take a look at the last two special characters in the book. Are they worth their points and how good are they, when compared to the rest of unique peeps, found in the second instalment of the "End Times"?

1. Festus Empowered, The Gardener of Nurgle


For 320 we essentialy get a beefed up sorcerer of Nurgle with slightly improved statline and some neat special rules. Festus is one of those characters who absolutely should be stuck into a unit, as it will benefit greatly from his special rules, these being "Regenaration" and "Poisoned Attacks" granted to him by the "Harbinger of Pestilence" and "Healing Elixirs". The merry Apothecary himself is a level 3 spellcaster who has access to the "Lore of Nurgle" and carries his mark, as well as roll on everyone's favorite "Eye of the Gods" table and has medicore combat stats. Then again, you're not taking him for his ability to bash skulls, but to support your guys and make your opponents lives as much of a pain, as possible.
Good God look at that chin!
What truly makes Festus shine however, in his own, ugly way, are his unique rules. First one is the "Gardener of Nurgle" which forces all enemy units to treat difficult terrain as dangerous terrain instead. This also applies to games that are using the "Streets of Death" special rule, as it turns alleways into dangerous terrain death traps. This is probably the good doctor's most nasty rule, as it makes the enemy's life a lot harder when it comes to moving, charging and changing formations, not to mention fighting in cities.
Next we have the "Destined fo Daemonhood" special rule. Essentialy, when Festus roll a Dark Apotheosis result on the "Eye of the Gods" table he dosen't need to past a LD test to become a Daemon Prince. Nice, but I think it's very situational. I mean, how often can you possibly roll good enough to turn into a DP?

Finally we come to the diseased doc's magic items. First one is called "Pestilent Potions" and it either allows Festus to regain a wound at the beginning of each CC turn, or to be used as a weapon. In the second case, The Gardener of Nurgle can target a single enemy model in base contact, whom then matches his unmodified strength against Festus plus they bot roll a single D6. If the enemy wins, then nothing happens. If the Chaos Sorcerer is victorious, he automatically inflicts D3 wounds against his enemy, that are counted towards the combat result.

Overall Festus is a decent special character. As a Sorcerer of Nurgle with very good support abilities, he should be placed in a big unit of Chaos Warriors and sent against big, tough infantry blocks who have a hero in their ranks, so he can use those nasty plagues of his. I can definetly see him used in most Chaos armies nowdays, and not only those with a strong Nurgle theme.

2. Karl Franz Ascendant, The Emperor Returned


Oh yeah, we God-Emperor now. Karl Franz has returned and he's one, nasty motherfucker with a statline and special abilities that put him on par with the strongest units and characters in the whole game. His Imperial Majesty and his loyal mount now have a combined profile, something rather common in the "End Times" and, if the rumours are true, one of the mainstays of the upcoming 9th Edition of WFB. Let's take a look at the Embodiment of the Lore of Heavens, the guy who just couldn't stand and watch Altdorf being polluted by Chaos and Undead, and decided to clean his city single-handedly... with a hammer.
And a copious ammounts of being stylish as fuck
Just by looking at his statline it gets clear that Uber-Franz will be able to trash most opponents and units in CC without much of a fuss. With 9 Wounds, I 7, WS 7, S6 and whooping 10 ATTACKS he is a literal close combat beast. Of course let's not forget about his S6 "Thunderstomp" attack. The only stat that's kinda "meh" is his Toughness (5), but other than that he is simply awesome. His special rules remain generally the same, but now he's also "Stubborn". Just like old self, he possesses a solid 3+ AS and 4+ Ward, given to him by his Silver Seal. Other than that, his only other magical item is the Essence of Ghal-Maraz, an upgraded hammer of Sigmar, that wounds automatically and deals a D3+1 Multiple Wounds with no armour saves allowed. Yes, that means a maximum of 40 ATTACKS can be dealt by The Empire's Lord and Saviour. I'm at loss for words. Suddendly, the Empire recieved a Bloodthirster-level character, that can wreak shit like nobody's buisness, which is really nice and certainly evens the Empire's chances against top players, such as Glottkin, Nagash and, to a certain degree, Tyrion from the third "End Times" installment. Also his "Monster" status helps a lot, as it makes him immune to "Killing Blow", "Stomp" and "Thunderstomp", while he himself dishes a lot of hurt, and works on enemy's morale with Deathclaw's "Bloodroar" (3D6 or 4D6 with discarding the lowest result. Naaaaaasty).

Finally Karl Franz can do magic now... sort of. Being the embodiment of Azur, the Emperor can summon the wrath of heavens themselves to smite his foes. This bound spell is a power level 6, D6 Strength 6 with a 18' range. But wait, there's more! It has a chance to inflict and additional D6 ona roll of 5+ and then on a 5+, all onto same unit. This upgraded version of "Uranon Thunderbolt" is really good, and complements the KF's killing ability very nicely. Like I said before, suddendly the Empire recieved a much needed buff, that will even its odds in the "End Times".

Of course Franz has a huge weakness, medicore Toughness aside, and that's his allergy to War Machine fire. That's hardly surprising, as this is the case with all monster-like units, but be prepared that Uber Franz will be in every gunner's sights as soon as possible, due to his incredibly high threat level. Still, his 4+ ward coupled with some nice magic support will have a high chance in seeing him reach close combat, where he will destroy absolutely everything in his way.

So that's it for "End Times: Glootkin". Rules wise it's a very solid book, and one that gives both Chaos and The Empire a few cool toys to play with. The Street Fighting rules are ace, and I really wish to try them out in some, not too distant future. Next time I'll rant some more about RPG's, before jumping into "Khaine", which is currently the least popular ET book out there and with a good reason, trust me...
Fun times ahead
Until next time

Xathrodox86

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