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Thursday, September 25, 2014

The End Times: The State of the World

I just finished reading the 297 page textbook that is the fluff book. This End Times stuff is pretty dramatic! No character is safe, and no nation is immune to the catastrophic events told within.

So, to that end, I'd like to write up a post that pulls together all the fluff into a quick and easy to read collection of the who and the what. For the fluff-mongers out there that haven't been able to get their hands on a book, this should sate your appetite. Now, if you want to read it for yourself, then it would be remiss of me not to include this...


The following list of nations will include details about the state they are in and what fate has befallen famous characters from each. The main nations dealt with in this book are Bretonnia, The Empire, Nehekhara, and Sylvania. At the end I'll include a list of the nine Mortarchs of Nagash for ease of reference. And here we go!

- In the Bretonnian year of 1543 (2521 on the Imperial calendar), Mallobaude (bastard son of the king) and his ally, Arkhan the Black, attempted to take over the kingdom. This objective failed when Mallobaude was killed by the Green Knight.
- Plagues ravaged the southern provinces, warpstone meteors crashed down, and the city of Bordeleux has been completely destroyed, with a great keep of brass and bone replacing it in a daemon-land.
- 1/4 of the population has been slain, and another 1/4 has fled to the Empire.
- La Maisontaal Abbey (though it's now a massive fortress) was attacked for the 12th time because among its treasures was Nagash's staff: Alakanash, and the end result was its utter annihilation via a devastating explosion.

- King Louen Leoncoeur: MIA. He fell in a duel with Mallobaude, but his body was never found. [edit] He has returned to his people as the vassal to the true king (Warhammer: Glottkin).
- Morgiana le Fay, the Fay Enchantress: KIA. She was captured by Drycha and presented to Mannfred von Carstein as a gift, and he slaughtered her to summon Nagash.
- The Green Knight: Revealed to be none other than Gilles le Breton, the first king of Bretonnia, and has since been reinstated as the king in Louen's absence.
- Duke Theodoric of Brionne: KIA. Fell at the Battle for La Maisontaal.
- Duke Tancred II of Quenelles: KIA. Fell at the Battle for La Maisontaal.

- Sylvania seceded from Imperial rule and raised bone walls, though was surrounded by a magical cage of Balthasar Gelt's creation (he learned from a scroll provided by an unknown but disenchanted Lahmian vampire).
- The Claw of Nagash was hidden in Heldenhame, which was captured by Mannfred von Carstein.
- Kislev is almost entirely obliterated; a tiny slice remains behind the Auric Bastion, a kilometers-high magic stone wall raised by Balthasar Gelt, and Erengrad is the only city still standing.
- Only 7 of the 12 Elector Counts still live.
- The Amethyst College of Magic crumbled into dust, and most of its practitioners along with it.
- Because of Gelt's betrayal, the Gold College of Magic collapsed, and witch hunters burned most of the practitioners.
- Most of the Border Princes and Tilea/Estalia/etc are ravaged and destroyed by the Skaven.

- Valten: Came into power during the battle at Auric Bastion, wielding Ghal Maraz.
- Karl Franz: Wounded but not killed; behind enemy lines with his wounded griffon and working his way back to the Empire. [edit] Is returned to defend Altdorf from invasion. (Warhammer: Glottkin)
- Balthasar Gelt: Traitor. Is now a Necromancer in service to Vlad von Carstein.
- Volkmar the Grim: KIA. Captured by Mannfred and anointed to become the vessel Nagash pours his essence into to be corporeal once more.
- Emil Valgeir, Ar-Ulric of the Cult of Ulric: KIA. Killed and impersonated by The Changeling.
- Hans Leitdorf: KIA. Due to his impatience, he rode off without support and was killed in Sylvania.

- Armies are being shattered by the sheer amount of evil armies in the world.
- The lost vaults that contained the sleeping Ancestor Goddess Valaya was found and opened, but lost. Valaya's magic was consumed by Nagash.

- Thorgrim Ironbrow: KIA. His last hammer fall detonated his anvil, stopping the undead so that the rest could flee.

High Elves
- Daemonic incursions happened in much of the land.
- Yvresse is all but overrun.

- Alarielle, the Everqueen: Fled to Athel Loren to seek help in rescuing Aliathra.
- Belannaer, Loremaster of Hoeth: KIA. Tried to rescue Aliathra and was killed by Mannfred.
- Eltharion the Grim: KIA. Tried to rescue Aliathra and was killed by Arkhan.
- Aliathra, the Everchild: KIA. Slaughtered to summon Nagash, though her blood was not divine and so he wasn't at his full strength.

Wood Elves
- Drycha gifted Mannfred with Morgiana le Fay to summon Nagash.
- The Vaults of Winter cracked asunder and spewed legions of daemonkind into the glades of Summerstrand.

- Ariel: Sick from some unknown malady, which is rotting the Oak of Ages.
- Araloth: Traveled to Sylvania, but then was prompted by his goddess to go through a portal to Ulthuan.
- Durthu: Can think and speak lucidly and without wrath now.

- Massive daemon incursion; they've started the plans for "The Great Exodus".

Ogre Kingdoms
- All of the volcanoes in the Mountains of Mourn began erupting.
- They are no longer acting as a unified kingdom, instead breaking apart into many different factions.
- Because of the volcanoes, all Ogres are now on the march. It's a vast migration to somewhere new.

Tomb Kings
- Nagash invaded Nehekhara to humble Settra. After many days of battle, subterfuge and treachery broke the defense, and Settra suffered defeat.
- Khemri has been razed to the ground and covered by the shifting sands.
- Numas resisted Nagash and was similarly destroyed; the other Great Cities bent their knee in supplication.
- Buoyed by foul magic, the Black Pyramid lifted into the air and floats to Nagash's next destination.

- Usirian, God of the Underworld: Destroyed and consumed by Nagash, who is now the god of the underworld.
- Settra the Imperishable: Was torn limb from limb by Nagash, but eventually was reassembled by an unknown force. "Four voices that were somehow one."
- High Queen Khalida: Defeated Neferata in a one on one duel, but she escaped before Khalida could kill her.
- Arkhan the Black: Serves Nagash as his ever-loyal 2nd in command.
- Grand Hierophant Khatep: KIA. After telling Settra what he must find, he was killed.
- Prince Apophas: Used the Destroyer of Eternities to stab Nagash, but the weapon faded away and he was defeated.
- The Herald Nekaph: KIA. Nagash obliterated him with magic. Replaced by Nebbetthar.
- Ramhotep the Visionary: Fate unknown, presumably pledged himself to Nagash.
- King Phar of Numas: KIA. The only other king to proudly defy Nagash.

- The Council of Thirteen has decided to finally enact their Master Plan, and the first stage has begun. Thus did they invade the surface world in unprecedented numbers.
- The Fellblade was stolen by Mannfred. During the ritual to resurrect Nagash, it was shattered into a thousand shards and became part of Nagash, restoring him to life.
- Destroyed the realms of Tilea and Estalia.

- Swept down from the north, as in Storm of Chaos.
- Massive herdstones have erupted from the earth all over the planet.

- Archaon: Came into power, just as in Storm of Chaos.
- Crom the Conqueror: KIA. Lead the first breach through the Auric bastion, killed by Valten & Luthor Huss.
- The Changeling: Impersonated Emil Valgeir the Ar-Ulric in a failed attempt to assassinate Karl Franz.

Vampire Counts
- Sylvania was caged by Balthasar Gelt's massive spell. This was provided by one of Neferata's servants who was no longer in the queen's good graces for an unknown reason. Arkhan the Black expended a lot of energy to breach it, but he eventually succeeded, letting out the undead.
- Upon Nagash's return, he bade a few go north to defend the realms of man from the Chaos incursion so that he could take over instead.

- Nagash: Returned to life. Freed Death Magic from the High Elves' vortex that kept it in check, killed the god Usirian and drained the power from the Ancestor Goddess Valaya. Awoke every undead in the world.
- Neferata, Mistress of the Silver Pinnacle: Joined Nagash, was on the cusp of defeat by Khalida before escaping.
- Heinrich Kemmler, the Lichemaster: KIA. Revealed his true loyalty to Chaos and was killed by Arkhan at the 12th Battle for La Maisontaal.
- Krell, Lord of Undeath: Serves Nagash.
- Zacharias the Everling: KIA. Nagash burned his brains out for defying Nagash and thinking them as equals.
- Walach Harkon: KIA. First among the Blood Dragons, he turned to the worship of the Chaos God of Khorne, as did his followers. It is he who almost kills Karl Franz and defeats the Empire at Auric Bastion, and it is Vlad who kills him.
- Luthor Harkon, Pirate King of the Vampire Coast: Invades Nehekhara with Nagash, though it's more for plunder than otherwise.
- Vlad von Carstein: Resurrected by Nagash to be his northern emissary. Corrupts Balthasar Gelt to serve him and help him resurrect his love, Isabella.
- Mannfred von Carstein: Tried to taint the resurrection of Nagash and bind him to his will, but was unsuccessful.
- Dieter Helsnicht: Serves Nagash. Was transformed into the 3-headed guardian of the Underworld.

Dark Elves
- Valkia led the Chaos hordes into Naggaroth in a massive invasion.
- All Dark Elves were recalled from invading Ulthuan until the Chaos invaders were dealt with.

Orcs & Goblins
- Grimgor Ironhide led a Waaagh! to the north.

The 9 Mortarchs of Nagash
- Arkhan the Black
- Neferata, Mistress of the Silver Pinnacle
- Krell, Lord of Undeath
- Luthor Harkon, Pirate King of the Vampire Coast
- Dieter Helsnicht, Doom Lord of Middenheim
- Walach Harkon, First of the Blood Dragons
- The Nameless (the spirit of a once-great enchanter)
- Mannfred von Carstein
- Vlad von Carstein

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Episode 37 - The Redstone Rumble GT


Episode 37 - The Redstone Rumble GT
Sponsored by Heroes Haven Comics and Games & A Gathering of Might

The Redstone Rumble is happening this Oct 3rd, 4th & 5th.  Before the big weekend, Jeff Weibelt from the Rumble has come on to tell us all about the event.  He also shares his insight into his local meta and what it was like being a TO at the ATC.  

Download: Direct Download | iTunes | RSS

Episode Timeline
00:00:20 - Sponsors (Heroes Haven Comics & Games)
00:01:29 - Alabama 40K Meta (Special Guest Jeff Weibelt)
00:56:30 - Redstone Rumble Preview
01:41:30 - 2015 Sponsorship Drive

The Show Email - unstabledice@gmail.com

Show Links

Heroes Haven Comics & Games: Website | Facebook
A Gathering of Might: Website | Facebook


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Episode 36 - Renegade Open GT


Episode 36 - Renegade Open GT
Sponsored by Heroes Haven Comics and Games & A Gathering of Might

Episode 36 is a preview of the Renegade Open GT happening this November.  The first segment of the show is a Q&A session with Jeff from the Michigan GT.  Next, everyone updates the world on their hobby progress in another Marshaling the Host.  After MoH, we breakdown all of the details for this year's Renegade Open GT. 

Download: Direct Download | iTunes | RSS

Episode Timeline
00:00:20 Sponsors (Heroes Haven Comics & Games)
00:01:29 - Michigan GT Q&A
00:23:14 - Michigan GT Preview

The Show Email - unstabledice@gmail.com

Show Links

Heroes Haven Comics & Games: Website | Facebook
A Gathering of Might: Website | Facebook


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nerdrage: The "2-Source Limit"

I know, right? We haven't put out a nerdrage in AGES. Anyway, I want to talk about something that really has been annoying me of late, and how I think it's bad for the 40k hobby.

I'll preface my rant by saying that TO's have full rights to demand that participants play in whatever manner the TO decides, which is why we have a zillion sets of composition rules (comp.). John and I discussed that, for the most part, 7th edition is a sandbox of rules from which TO's can pick and choose what they want to use. That's their prerogative of course, but to me that doesn't make it any better.

The 2-source limit. Warhammer 40k tournaments have been all flustered by the new changes in 7th edition, what with "any ally goes", Lords of War, and so on. Because of that, "big name" tournaments have adopted a certain set of rules that, unfortunately, are seeping through the channels to many smaller 40k tournaments, fouling the experience along the way.

So, what is the "2-source limit"? Quite simply (not), it means that you can only use two "sources" to create your army. A source consists of any codex, supplement, or dataslate published by GW. However, even that isn't agreed upon by different events; some use different aspects, some include parts, not others, and so on.

I'm not quite sure what prompted its origin. Perhaps some yearning to keep playing 6th edition? That would make sense, because simultaneously, nearly all tournaments restrict players to a single Combined Arms Detachment (C.A.D.) and one Allied Detachment (A.D.). Sure, we only had 6th edition for two years, but 7th was required because of all the supplements that were being released. I understand the desire for unchanging and static tournament scenes, but...wait what?? Who in the history of ever said that change was bad in tournaments? From my experience, players want there to be constant changes so that armies don't stagnate and become homogenized across all events. The ultimate sandbox edition of 7th provides for just that sort of desire, without any arbitrary limits. Let's move on and embrace the new and awesome.

After all, whenever has the implementation of limitations ever led to more diversity? Reducing the number and types of choices does not encourage diversity in the slightest. "-" =/= "+".

Add to that, the 2-source limit isn't even really aware of 7th edition. For instance, I could build a Battleforged army, of one CAD and one AD, with 8 sources: [CAD] Codex + Codex Supplement + Lords of War Supplement + Fortification Supplement + Forgeworld sourcebook, [AD] Codex + Codex Supplement + Forgeworld sourcebook. Does that make it "broken as sin", or "thematic"? I guess it depends entirely on the units.

Two sources is incredibly limiting. Not including Forgeworld or LoW (because what tournament has ever included such "scandalous" units?), that means you can only have the following combinations:
- Codex + Codex Supplement (ie, one CAD from the supplement, with no allies or fortifications)
- Codex + Fortification Supplement (ie, one CAD from the codex and their fortification)
- Codex + Codex (ie, one CAD and one AD, with no fortification)
- Codex + Formation (ie, one CAD and one "other" detachment, which may or may not be allowed)

In terms of what this means for specific armies, you cannot use the Crimson Slaughter supplement to have a daemonic Chaos Space Marine force with Chaos Daemon allies, because that's three sources, despite the massive fluff appeal. They likewise cannot have any fortifications, because all of the fortifications are now in a separate supplement (ie, source) instead of the big rulebook.

Stronghold Assault (the Fortification Supplement) is never specifically stated as being an exception to the 2-source limit in any of the events I looked at. Now, maybe that's on purpose so that people are forced into the choice, but I know that's not true in a couple cases, and in some it gets even more silly.

The Bay Area Open's CAD rules say:

- Detachments may be produced from a maximum of one Codex / Codex Supplement
- Example - You may not selectively include units within one Combined Arms Detachment from both Codex: Tau and Codex Supplement: Farsight Enclaves, despite them being within the same Faction per the Detachment creation rules in the 40k Rulebook.

So what this says (I think) is that you can use either a Codex or a Supplement, but not both, in a CAD. The very real problem is that, to be able to play the supplement in the first place, you need to use both the supplement and the codex, which is made illegal by the "example". I don't understand the reasoning behind backwardly banning supplements in this manner.

The BAO is definitely a big influence on the national tournament scene, and quite often what they say will be echoed through the others, and this is evident in many upcoming events. It seems like they blindly accept the rules from on high, slightly modify them to their tastes, and move on. Since the original rules are so badly written and don't take into account the actual rules and what they're saying, this leads to twisted sets that are really quite confusing for a rules stickler like me.

It'd be quite bothersome to be in a game, thinking I could only have my Crimson Slaughter, where across from me I see a Farsight army with a Skyshield. That's illegal by the 2-source limit, but actually isn't because the Fortifications supplement is an unlisted exception to it.

All of this leads to a massive amount of inconsistency between events and in events themselves. If the bigger tier tournaments are meant to be scale ratings of players to produce a national champion of sorts (or prove who has the best score/biggest wiener/etc), how could it possibly be valid? When every event has a different set of house rules, the only marker for being a strong player is that they are adaptable to different environments, not that they are good at 40k.

For the rest of us schlubs that get stuck with undesirable house rules in events that should normally be fun to attend, we're left without an outlet for playing our themed armies. The 2-source limit, in my mind will only serve to stifle creativity and reduce variety in the big wide world of 40k tournaments. Perhaps if TO's took the time to take all aspects into account and wrote their rules clearly and simply (some do this, and thank you for being awesome!), there wouldn't be such an issue.

I think the inconsistent 2-source limit nonsense can be entirely replaced by the [x] Detachment rule, where "x" is any number you want (prefereably higher than 2). Consider that, as is, armies now are more limited than in 6th edition, and even just saying two detachments is more limiting than before, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

And that, my friends, is my nerdrage. Do you agree? Disagree? Let's discuss it in the comments section!