Usually i like to leave a new post up for a few days before doing another, this allows the new post to get decent exposure. However the WHFB expansion "The End Times" demands a post, not just because i did a post last year where i lambasted WHFB Lore as "Toothless", but also because there seems to be a great deal of panic about this expansion. This post will look at the End Times Expansion from 3 angles: The Lore, The Rules and The Models.
Lets start with the biggest source of panic and hysteria, the rules. From what i can gather the following are what we know will be in the Expansion's ruleset:
-50% Lord allowance (as opposed to the normal 25%)
-The Lore of Undeath. Basically is the WHFB version of Demonology, it allows all mages from all races to summon Vampire or Tomb King units
- A Combined Vampire Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings army list
- Nagash rules (there could be other characters and rules to come)
The first two points seem to have gotten everyone up in arms with people panicking that this expansion heralds the return of "Herohammer" (a,apparently, very bad thing from before i started WHFB that has Heroes and Lords become very powerful and plentiful). To me this is nonsense. If GW wanted 9th edition to feature Herohammer type rules then this expansion wouldn't exist. Currently the rumours have 9th coming out next year and if 9th was to include the 50% lord allocation then what is the point of this Expansion? As far as i can see one of the main draw points of this expansion is the 50% Lord allocation so why would GW cannibalise its own sales by putting that exact rule in 9th? It makes no sense and it seems to me that the point of this expansion is to give people a way to play WHFB Herohammer without making it a core mechanic in the core ruleset.
The Lore of Undeath is the other point of contention, with people calling it a money grab and similar such. And for the first time in this Blog's history i disagree, to me the Lore of Undeath is aimed at VC and TK players who have other armies, it gives them a way to use their two undead armies with their other race's armies. And guess what? It can only be used in End Times games so if you dont want to use/face it then dont play End Times games. I didnt buy it and as such i have no need to go out and buy Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings kits in order to use it.
At the end of the day i dont care for the End Times Ruleset, i will be ignoring it and dont plan to play a single game using the rules. Perhaps, one day, if i want to play Herohammer then i may pick up a 2nd hand copy of the rules but until then i wont bother. Now onto something i am excited about.
Firstly i want to talk about the models without the price. Across the whole release the models are cool, themey and excellent (although i wonder how one is meant to transport Nagash around, he is one tall model) and i cant wait to see what other models are bought out for the rest of the Expansion. But i do need to talk about the price of the things. Nagash is worth 175 NZD, what Nagash is (outside of WHFB and just looking at what the model is made up of) is a great big lump of finely detailed PLASTIC and is not worth 175 NZD!!!! No one should be surprised by this price tag, this is GW we are talking about after all, but this is getting too much, even by their standards.
In the past i have decried WHFB Lore as Toothless and held up World of Warcraft Lore (i do play it every now and then) as an example of well done Fantasy Lore. These reason why WoW lore is better than WHFB lore is because WoW is ever changing, each new expansion and patch changes the lore, battles are fought, people die, the world changes and THINGS DONT STAY THE SAME. This is the fatal flaw in WHFB lore, things never change, characters dont die (or have flaws, another area where WoW beats WHFB) and great battles dont happen in modern times (they happen in the past, sure but when was the most recent great battle that dint get ret coned out of existence coughcoughstormofchaoscough cough).
Now things are changing, violently. The Bretonnia King is dead, Naggroth is being invaded by Khorne Chaos, Ulthan is being attacked by Demons, there are maggots in important Wood Elf Trees and everything is going to pot. So what do i think? I think its a good start but if they want to make a interesting world then the Lore needs to be updated with every new Core Ruleset update, and the army books need to expand on how the lore for their race has changed since the last edition.
Dont get me wrong, i love what the End Times Expansion is doing too the lore and will be buying the Ebook of the Black Library novel that comes with the Expansion but they need to do more, and keep doing more, until we get to a WoW (or really any other Fanasty Universe) level of lore.
So thats my view on the End Times Expansion so far. To reenforce what i said in the rules section its an Expansion, not a core rules update. All the rules here are OPTIONAL and as such can be included in or not included in your games of WHFB. Don't like Herohammer? Don't play End Times games. Don't like the Lore of Undeath? Don't play End Times games or use it in your normal games of WHFB. Hopefully this post has gone someway to quell the fears that some people (some of whom may even read this post) have. Remember, dont panic, take a deep breath and think logically about the situation. Until next time (or will there be a next time.......)
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