Search This Blog


It's The Beginning Of The End! Here's part 1 of the "End Times: Archaon" review

It's time to finish this. Altough "End Times" are no more, and AoS is the new black apparently, I still have "Archaon" to go through. So let's get started, shall we?

"Archaon" is probably the biggest and most complex books of all. It's simply huge and has a ton of new stuff, which can be used both in ET and normal WFB games. Of course there's still the question of whether they're good or not. Well, let's see it for ourselves. For this article I'll focus on new game rules. Next I'll review the new formations, and finally the new special characters. Fun times ahead!

The End Is Nigh!

1. Lords of Battle Campaign: Halting the Apocalypse

"Archaon" introduces another epic campagin, focused on stopping the end of the world. By now you probably know that fluff wise it failed and the Old World is no more, so this scenario should end with Chaos side winning the game, but I guess it can be played for shits and giggles. Generally it uses the rulles found in "Thanquol", however most battles are fought simultaneously, which is a new thing. Each one's outcome doesn't influence the other in any way, except the final scenario named the Battle of Ulric's Bones. There are two, really cool things about that campaign. First of all you can't use the same character in more than one game, as they are fought simulatneously. This means that you can actually use more than one roster, which is always nice. Secondly, if one of the Incarnates gets himself killed, the controlling player will have to roll a dice before the next battle, during which said Incarnate will take part. On a roll of 1-3 that Incarnate cannot be selected at all. Makes you really care for your special snowflakes, right? Oh and the rules for Stratagems and Strategic Characteristics are not used in here, as the scenarios have their own rules for the players to use.

The battles that take plce simultaneously are as follows:  Edge of the Abyss, Massacre in the Middenplatz, the Western Wall, Death comes to Neumarkt and Clash at the Wynd. Each of them provide various bonuses to the victorious player. For example if the Host of the Eternity King army is victorious during the first battle (Esge of the Abyss), then they recieve a free Caradryan during the Battle of Ulric's Bones. However if Chaos will be the victor, then the Host of Fire will get a real nasty surprise in the form of D6-1 Wounds against every, single model in their army with no saves allowed! That's just nasty and shows how big the stakes are in this campaign. There are more bonuses and penalties like these, and they are all potentially game-changing, so the players will do their best to achieve or avoid them. Most of them grant the Forces of Order faster reinforcements during the final battle, while Chaos goons get free heroes, but also delay the good guys. These rules are surprisingly balanced and fair for both sides, which is a nice thing, as so far the Chaos and Skaven are waaaay better and stronger than their enemies, except maybe Elves. Well ok, the last scenario, aptly named The End Of All Things, grants victory to the bad guys, even if the game's result is a draw. Still, these are the "End Times" and cannonicaly Choas has won, so I can't really be pissed about that...

Once again the new game rules prove that there are good thing in the "End Times", as this battles system is done magnificently well and can be used in homebrew campaigns of any kind. I can already envision some great, homemade campaigns, taking place in the good, old Old World, inspired by these rules. Good stuff.

So... This is it. Appologies for a very short post this week, but I can't really do it any other way. "Archaon's" rules sections are really big (except the campaign one) and I don't envision myslef making a huge ass article about the new campaign AND formations. Next week however, I'll do a proper length post, I promise.

Really, I do!
Until next time



The Lords of Skavendom emerge from the shadows. Here is the last part of the "End Times: Thanquol review!

This is it. My final part of the "Thanquol" review is finally here. So far this one's the best entry in the "End Times" series, apart maybe from the "Nagash". But how will its character section fare, when compared to other parts of this supplement?

Thanquol is brimming with special characters. It has 4 versions of Verminlords, including one that is unique, buffed up Thanquol and a single dwarf hero, who's also an Incarnate. For the sake of this post I'll bhe reviewing only the named characters. Generic Verminlords will be covered in my "End Times" unit review, after the "Archaon".

1. Thanquol and Boneripper, Ascendant Grey Seer and Enhanced Bodyguard

Finally he got the recognition that he deserves (photo by Arklight Studio)

Gotrek and Felix's favorite Nemesis returns and he's better than ever! Costing a hefty 650 points, and sporting a combined profile with his bodyguard, Thanquol is a best in both magic and CC phase... altough he's a tricky character to use. First of all he's a Terror-inducing, Unbreakable Level 4 Wizard that can substitue any of his spells (Spells of Ruin of Plague) for the infamous, "Dreaded 13th Spell". Shame they didn't make him a Level 5, but with his Warpstone Tokens, which he now has a lot more (D6+2), he can generally cast a lot easier than before. Oh and since he's a class A Warpstone junkie, he no longer suffers from rolling a 1 when he consumes one of them. That's very good and guarantees an almost sure way of casting a spell each turn, except maybe the strongest ones.

His magic items are generally very useful. Staff of the Horned Rat gives him a +1 to casting attempts with both of his lores. Bear in mind that it won't improve Thanquol's chances with the "Dreaded 13th Spell", as it doesn't belong to either Plague or Ruin lores. Warp-amulet still has a chance of bringing back a single wound each turn, but this time it's ona 5+. Nice, but the odds are too slim for my liking. Still it is better than nothing I guess. Finally there are his Warpstone Tokens, which I've covered already.

While Thanquol casts, Bonerippers smashes. Well, at least in theory. His Warpfire projectors are awesome and should not be changed for Warpfire Braziers. Generally they are a Strength 5, Multiple Wounds (D3), Magical Attack and Quick to Fire weapons of pure ownage. They are Move or Fire, but still... Awesome. The only drawback with them is the "Wildly Off Target" special rule, which means that when rolling a Misfire, they automatically hit the nearest friendly unit (within 12'' of Thanquol and Boneripper) instead with D6 hits. This is a very Skaven-like special rule and can make for potential shenanigans during battle. As for the braziers, they give him a +1 Strength, Flaming and Magical Attacks with Multiple Wounds (D3). "Storm of Attacks" special rule guarantees a re-roll to Wound (but removes an Extra Attack for two weapons) and the "Warp fumes" inflict a Wound with no AS allowed on every unit (friend or foe) that's in base contact with him during close combat, as long as they fail a Toughness test. This one's great for Low T armies, but the Warpfire projectors are just better, especially since Thanquol and his mount should not be fighting at all.

Generally Thanquol is a great character to use, however he has his drawbacks. Having only a 6+ save and a 4+ ward save is... problematic. It basically means that Thanquol should avoid close combat, which is strange since he can obviously be kitted out to participate in the thick of fighting. His statline is also somewhat dissapointing. Having a Strength 6 and 6 attacks is nice, but his Initiative is "only" 5. This means that any elven character will be problematic for him to deal with. Thanquol's 8 Wounds can keep him in the fight for some time, but my general advice is to camp him behind your lines and spam spells like maniac. Keep him out of CC.

2. Lord Skreech Verminking, The Rat King

The boss of all backstabbers is here

The architect of Skaven ascension, this Uber-Verminlord is no slouch in combat himself. A real beast, costing the same ammount of points as Thanquol and Boneripper (650 to be precise), Skreech has much better stats than the infamous duo, while also being Immune to Psychology and Scurrying Away, as well as having the Terror specual rule, just like they do. Packing an Initiative of 10, Movement of 8 and 5 Attacks delivered at Strength 6, The Rat King can rule the battlefield with ease... altough his armour save sucks, being a measly 5+ ward. He also has fewer wounds ("only" 6) than the chief Grey Seer. Fortunately his skills make him perfect for a role of a hit-and-run special character, that can jump to an enemy, stab him a few times and then scurry away.

First of all he's a Daemon, which means that all his attacks are magical. Then there's his biggest asset: he can re-roll failed attempts at casting the "Dreaded 13th spell", thanks to the "Master of Ruin" special rule! Yup, this means that of all Skaven, Skreech is certainly the most dangerous caster, altough bear in mind that the "End Times" made the "Dreaded..." much more hard to cast. Still, this rule makes him the king of the magic phase, or should I say... the Rat King?


Ok, ok, I'm sorry. I won't do that again.

"Protection of the Horned Rat" grants him the aforementioned 5+ ward save. Kinda meh, but still better than nothing. Skreech cannot be the army's general, which is also iffy, but at least forces you to have a minimum of two, potentialy deadly models on the table. Finally he is armed with two Magic Weapons: a Doom Glaive and a Plaguereaper and you must chose which one to use at the beginning of the CC phase. Skip the Doom Glaive as its only rule is the Multiple Wounds (D3) special rule. Plaguereaper is much better, granting Skreech the Always Strike First special rule. Trust me, you will want to strike first with this guy, since his save is shitty beyond compare and his Toughness of 6 can be easily mitigated by most special characters in the "End Times".

Skreech's biggest drawbacks are the lack of a decent save and being unable to skitter leap. He can be terrifying in close combat with his Greater Daemon stats, but just as with Thanquol, his real strength lies in the magic department. Spam "The Dreaded 13th Spell" from the safety of your own lines and watch your opponent cry. It's that simple.

3. Ungrim, Incarnate of Fire

He's a real hothead alright! (picture by Lord Ravenhelm)

The Dwarfs can do magic now apparently. This just shows how much Games Workshop cares about its source material. Anyway Ungrim is now the embodiment of Aqshy, the fire wind. He's a perfect example of a character that tries too hard to be cool and fails miserably. He's a 425 points special character that got a slight buff to his stats in the "End Times" and can dish out flaming attacks like there's no tommorow. Weapon Skill 9 and Strength 5 are nice when combined with 5 attacks, but he is still slow (Movement 3) and he has only 4 Wounds. Not good Ungrim, me ol' mate. He reatins all of his old skills like Ancestral Grudge, Daemon Slayer, Deathblow and so on, but lost the "Slayer King" special rule. Instead he now has Flaming Attacks (Axe of Dargo which also grants him Killing Blow and a +2 Stregth bonus) and a Strength 4 breath weapon from his "Breath of Aqshy" skill. Finally he's the first, dwarven spell caster that does not turn to stone, thanks to the "Lord of Fire" rule. This gives him a level 5, bound magic missile spell that deals 2D6 S4 flaming hits and has a range of 24''. Not bad, but there's just one problem: the aboundance of flame-proof skills and spells, available for nearly every army out there. Seriously, can you even imagine pitting this guy against "End Times" Tyrion? That would be pathetic, like watching a kid trying to beat up a grown man with his tiny, innefectual fists. Granted that his Toughness, coupled with decent enough armor and ward saves, can make him more survivable than a vanilla Dwarf lord, but in the end he is still a very average and subpar special character, that can be countered very easily by most of his opponents. Unless your're fighting Tomb Kings or Beastmen, I suggest to leave this guy at home and chose someone from the Dwarf Army Book. Ungrim's simply not worth it.

Also he's a fucking Dwarf spellcaster. Seriously, what the hell GW? This is a betrayal, worthy of a Grudge!

So that's it for the "End Times: Thanquol". So far this is the best ET book out there. Both its special rules, formations and unique characters are well balanced and nearly all have a few drawbacks, whic makes them "cheese free". If only "Khaine" was as good as this entry, I wouldn't have to be pissed at it so terribly. Now there's only "Archaon" left for me to review and this "End Times" mega-review will come to an end. But what will I do after that. eh? Now that's a good question.

Until next time



The armies of the Under-Empire gather for war. Here is part 2 of the "End Times: Thanquol" review

It's time to dive back into the "End Times". AoS is in full swing and for once I'm glad to be back, reviewing the fourth installment of the Old World-shattering event.

In this article I'll be covering the special army formations that "Thanquol" gave us, called "Battlescrols". There are quite a few and each of them brings something new to the tabletop. But are they any good? Well, you'll have to read this fine and completely unbiased wall of letters to find out.

1. Thanquol's Uprising (Skaven)

The Skaven came under new management

The first organized Skaven force in history, this army represents Thanquol's bid for power in the Under-Empire. Of all the various forces available in this book, this one is pretty sweet. Lead by Thanquol himself and supported by Screech Verminking, the strongest of all the Verminlords, it allows the controlling player to ignore the 25% requirement of Core units. Not only that, but any unit within 6'' of Thanquol (but not Skreech) will be Unbreakable thanks to "Failure Is Not An Option!". This is awesome, as Skaven are notoriously easy to brak. Now with buffed up Thanquol (more on him next week) breaking the Rats has just became much more hard to achieve.

Also there's more! "Lektrik Coven" allows you to take 3 to 13 (nuts!) Warlock Enginees, one of which has to be a Level 1 Wizard, equipped with a Warp-Energy Condenser. However only one model can be upgraded in such a way. Warlock Engineers are very good units on their own, and taking a whole unit of them is a great thing for any Rats player.

The rest of the army is medicore but functional. A single unit of Clanrats, Giant Rats and 3 Rat Swarms should be used as tarpits, while Stormfiends can work great as either line breakers or bodyguards to Thanquol (not that he needs special protection, being a badass mofo that he is now). Gutter Runners are always useful, tough I think that this army should really work as a hammer, leaving all pretense of finese and stealth. You simply charge towards your opponent firing all guns and using spells, which you'll have a plethora of with Thanquol, Skreech and the single Warlock. Overall this is a good army and worth taking a look at. My only comlaint is that there are no Stormvermin, which is ratrher weird, given how many importnat HQs are in this one.

2. First Clawpack of Clan Mors (Skaven)

Prepare to have your ass kicked hard!

Led by the always awesome Queek, the headtaking Skaven Warlord, this is force is as blunt as possible. There are no casters here, just good, old fashioned, fuck-your-shit-up hardcore units. The tactic here is pretty simple - a single unit of Warplock Jezzails lays down covering fire, while everything else, inlcuding Queek, a single unit of Stormvermin, Poison Wind Globadiers and 2 units of Clanrats charges forward. Thanks to the "Unleash Terrible Violence" special rule, every unit that is within 12'' of Queek can re-roll charge range. That's good but then there is the "Withering Hail of Fire", granting both the Jezzails and Gas-Rats TWO shooting attacks once per battle, if they are within 12'' of their boss. Holy shit! Not only that but they can also be directed at different units each. I guess Skaven took some lessons from Imperial Guard.

I personally love this army and would definetly field it, if I was playing Skaven and not the glorious Realms of Men. The only bad thing here is a complete lack of any casters. Prey that you close your distance with those pesky Mages fast, or else you're done. Espeically in End Times, where magic is the new black.

3. The Dwarf Throng of Karaz-a-Karak (Dwarfs)

Nobody puts Dwarf in a corner!

We interrupt the Skaven advertisement program to present you with our new and awesome Dwarf host of the Everpeak. Not only is it lead by the High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer, it also has the new Incarnate of Fire, Ungrim Ironfist and Josef Bugman! Consisiting of a single unit of Dwarf Rangers which have to be upgraded to Bugman's Rangers, 1 unit of Hammerers and Irondrakes and 3 units of Slayers, this is a nice counterpart to Queek's First Clawpack. As usual there is no mandatory core requirement. As for their special rules, they are kinda... iffy. "Last Chance For Glory" lets the Slayers and Ungrim to re-roll a failed To Hit roll, when making a Deathblow attack. This is a Slayer-exclusive rule and it is situational as hell, since our favorite Red-beards have to close with the enemy in the first place to be able to do this, and since they are the epitome of Glass Cannons it's not likely. The second rule, "The Great Armouries of Karaz-a-Karak" is also a mixed bag. On the first glance it's nice, allowing a re-roll of 1's on To Wound and armour saves. However it only works on the Core units! This means that the only units that benefit from this are Hammeres. Also wouldn't it be better, if it'd allow a re-roll for every failed To Hit roll? Keep the armour save rule, but don't make it exclusive for a single unit in the damn force. It's useless like that.

This force's special rules are definetly kited towards Slayers which is somewhat weird, seeing as the chance of them reaching an opponent in any numbers to make a decent killing, is rather small. 3 units is a lot, and Slayers are not known for their survivability. Not to mention the lack of magic protection in this army. A single unit of Rangers, even Bugman's, won't make a whole lot of difference. In my opinion there should be more standard troops here, maybe some Ironbreakers or even Warriors. As it stands this army is a bit schizophrenic. Its player will have to make the best out of the available terrain to close with the enemy, as the Stunties are not known for their speed and open terrain is a death sentence for them. Enemy magic can also be problematic. Sorry Dwarfs, but Skaven are really outclassing you here.

4. The Red Host (Lizardmen)

Unfortunately this picture is for propaganda purposes only

Another gimmicky army, the Red Host of Tehenhauin, the Prophet of Sotek, takes its mission of cleansing Lustria very seriously. Shame that it's only comprised of Skins, which kinda sucks. Tehenahuin leads a single Skink Chief, 1 Skins Cohort, 1 Salamander Hunting Pack,a unit of Chameleon, 2 Ripperdactyl Riders and 2 Bastiladons. Once again there are no Core restrictions. Aside from that the controlling player cannot take Kroxigors for the Skink Cohort and the Chief must join them, thus giving them all a +1 to WS, thanks to the "Red Shields" special rule. It wouldn't be a bad thing, however we are talking about Skinks here, hardly the masters of close combat. A single Chief won't really make a difference here.

Another rule, "The Living Bastions", prevents the Bastiladons from exchanging their Arks of Sotek for Solar Engines, but makes them stonger. Instead of inflicting 2D6 Strength 2 Hits, they now inflict 3D6 Strength 2 Hits. This is actually pretty sweet, especially against a low Toughness armies like Empire and Skaven. While we're at it, its worth noting that the whole Red Host hates Skaven. While this does make them more useful against the Rats, it still dosen't mitigate their abyssmal CQC capabilities. When faced with the First Clawpack of Clan Mors or even the Thanquol's Uprising, Tehenahuin and his chaps will go down faster than a Ripperdactyl with its wings torn. At least Tehenhauin is a Level 3 Wizard so the Lizards are somewhat protected against magic, but compared to Thanquol or Skreech Verminking he won't last long.

5. The Defenders of Middenheim (The Empire)

Defiant to the very end...

One of the last armies of Men, the Defenders of Middenheim are led by Valten in his final form, Gregor Matrak, Empowered by Ulric (on foot), and a Grand Master of the White Wolves. Thus far it is the only special formation available to the Empire and it's not bad. At this you can all guess that Core is not mandatory and you can skip the usually required 25%. This force is comprised of a single unit of Knights, which have to be upgraded to Inner Circle and armed with Great Weapons (not good IMO, as it really limits their survivability), 1 unit of Halberdiers with 2 Crossbowmen Detachments, 1 unit of Free Company and 1 unit of Swordsmen. On the first glance this force is nothing special, since it dosen't even have warmachines and only one caster. However its special rules are worth the look.

First we have Gregor Matrak's unique spell called "Icy Blast of Ulric" which is cast on a 5+ and deals D6 S5 hits at a range of 12''. The unit hit by this spell also suffers a -1 to Hit for both shooting and CC and recieves a -1 penalty to its Leadership, until the caster's next Magic Phase. Units that do not have to test BS for shooting, only fire successfully on a 4+. This is a perfect spell to synergize with that morale-breaking charge, especially against low WS and LD armies. Then we have the real tarpit make, the "Stubborn Faith", granting all units that are within 6'' of Valten (including the man himself) the Unbreakable special rule. Also as long as the valiant Blacksmith is alive, every single, friendly Empire unit the Stubborn special rule. This one's really great as it makes the normally LD-low Empire units much better at withstanding protracted combat against (usually) stronger opponents, Bear in mind that this force of Men is much better suited as allies for a standard (read: war machine heavy) Empire army, than a standalone one. After all the squishy humans really suffer when there are no Canons or Steam Tanks around.

All in all I think that these armies are a really nice addition to the game. None of them can be considered OP or broken and the ability to take them as allies is also great. Shame that Dwarves and Lizardmen are marginally weaker than the Skaven, but that's just how it is. After all the special character on the cover is Thanquol and not some Dwarf, Lizard or Human.

Next week I'll conclude my review of the fourth installment in the "End Times" series, with the new and old (but improved!) special characters.

Until next time



Age of Sigmar is the 9th Edition!

Tommorow, on the 4th of July, the Age of Sigmar will be available for pre-order. The rules have been leaked already, alongside tons of pics of minis and a couple shots of new terrain pieces.

In my last post I've said everything there needed to be said about AoS and nothing changed in that matter. More so, now that I've read the rules my ire is even greater. Combine that with the (almost certain) rumour that there will be no 9th Edition, and you can probably guess how much this whole thing pisses me off.

A lot actually

Bear in mind that this article was written, based on the info from various online sources, including Bell of Lost Souls and Guerilla Miniature Games, as well as the newest White Dwarf.

GW's new game is supposed to be fun and easy to learn, with rules printed on a total of 4 pages (seriously, this should give you all the clue of how much this game will suck) and being a "living document", available from their website for free and worked upon constantly to avoid any game breaking bugs and exploits. This is the theory at least. Problem is that they've already fucked up big time.

First of all we have Warscrolls, which are essentaily unit profiles. Now here's the best part: you can deploy as many units on the table as you like, since there are no more point restrictions. Yup, that's it. No more force org charts (I know that's more a 40K thing, but still), now my dudes can outnumber your dudes by 10 to 1 and it is all legal, fair and square. It's also completely dumb and guarantees a lot of arguing and keeping track of how many Warscrolls (Christ...) you've deployed. Keep in mind, that AoS is supposed to be a fast, skirmish game, at least in theory. Yeah....

Gone are the many stats from previous editions. Now we have only Movement, Wounds, Save and Bravery. However individual weapons also have statistics now. For example melee weapons have range. The chance to hit and to wound now relies solely on weapon in question and not WS statistics of a model. On one hand this gives a lot of possibilities for many different weapons, but for me it's a mess. Now every time my army of X guys will try to kill the enemy, I'll have to check just how many different weapons they have at their disposal. This brings unnecessary complications and micro management to the tabletop.

Then there are the infamous Warscrolls. No more armybooks to put on your shelves folks. Every box of minis will have a scroll, which will list its stats, rules etc. On one hand this will mean less money spend on game books, that can become obsolete within a couple of years. However think of the alternative: these same, expensive books, were for many people the essence of the game. Not only were they printed really well, with tons of fluff and some nice mini galleries, they just FELT right. I love having my game books on a shelf, collecting dust but also reminding me of the times when I've just begun to participate in this hobby. Now Warscrolls? Where will I put those? In a binder?

GW tried to balance the "no more points" bullshit with the "Sudden Death" special rule. If one side has a 1/3 more units than the other, the smaller faction can choose to complete a certain objective that allows it to immediately win the game. These objectives can be achieved by killing the opposing army's leader or by surviving certain amount of turns. First of all - any rule based on insta-killing the enemy in a fucking tabletop game is beyond lame. It is simply fucked up. It's not fair on so many levels I can't even comprehend it actually being in the game. Can you imagine winning against your opponent fair and square, when suddendly he gets two lucky rolls and it's game over for you? Just like that? Everyone in their right mind should be pissed. Second - it looks good on paper only, because in reality when one force ALREADY outnumbers the other by 1/3, then it is very unlikely for the losing player to pull of such a stunt. And if he does, then it is a slap to his opponent's face. Not cool!

It's like being slapped with a hammer, a really big hammer...

Terrain will apparently play a big role in AoS, some of which will have "mystical" properties. These will probably be similar to the "End Times" special terrain, about which I've written (and will continue to do so) in length during my EoT reviews. There will be a lot of new terrain pieces available soon. I wonder if they will continue with the "skulls, skulls everywhere" trend or go for something different for a change.

I guess not...

Magic will apparently be very simplified, with very few spells and less reliance on them. On one hand this is pretty good, as WFB was always putting waaaaay too much effort on casters and their craft, especially in the 8th Edition. However this time it seems that magic will be neglected to a point of almost being useless. Of course I can be wrong (and I probably am) and we shall see the final result on the 11th of July.

Finally the games played in the AoS can be turned into a demi campaigns, with next game being affected by the results of the former ones. I can see this not working really well with the whole "no points" system, but maybe various tournaments will be able to fully utilize this idea. Personally I've always liked the campaign system from the "Lustria" book, dating back to times of the 6th Edition of WFB. Both ambitious and easy to master, that was a great example of a campaign book done right. I doubt that Age of Sigmar will be able to match it.

I don't like the idea of writing anymore about this game (maybe except it's horrible fluff). Even after its release I don't envision myself analysing every crook and nanny of AoS. First of all, I'm generally pissed at it, especially now, after the rumours that there will be no 9th edition to follow its release. Secondly - both the internet leaks and articles in White Dwarf are pretty much the complete picture of this system. Some people out there tell us that it's better to have this game, then nothing, that at least with AoS the Warhammer Fantasy lives on. I disagree. If anything this game is an affront to 30 years of fantastic, unique hobby that gave us, Geeks and Fantasy enthusiasts so much. I'd rather have WFB to die in dignity than to have its legacy squandered in a vain hope of grabbing some quick and easy cash.

R.I.P. Warhammer Fantasy. You will be remembered.

Until next time