Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
"That Was Then, This Is Now."
"Legend tells us one thing, history another. But, every now and then, we find something that belongs to both."'
"Life, Death and Rebirth are Inevitable."
According to Games Workshop it is a product that will remain supported and updated using a "living document", meaning it will be constantly updated rather than re-released as a new thing each time (for example, version 1.2, version 1.3, version 1.4, and so on). The initial rulebook only consisted of four pages which can be found for free online, with additional updates to come. Every model in the older Warhammer (or at least the models still in production when it was released) receives stats through a "Warscroll", a downloadable stat card. On July 3rd, 2015, the Games Workshop main page was altered to have Age of Sigmar rather than Warhammer Fantasy as its category.
As for the Warscroll Compendium released online for free, it did what it was prophesied to do and basically made it so your prior investment in Warhammer miniatures isn't completely worthless.
Much lulz was had when the actual rules were originally seen and revealed to be written in the unhinged style of Magic the Gathering, thankfully they stopped quite soon and went back to their usual. The rules included bonuses for wearing a hoodie (Night Goblins), having a bigger moustache than your opponent (Empire), admiring yourself in a mirror (Slaanesh), bribing your opponent (Ogres), etc. These clauses were mostly there for flavor and actual games will not require you to scream "FOR THE LADY!" while downing a goblet of wine, unless your opponent really sucks.
Skubfights reignited when the Warhammer World (now an ironic name) Newsletter released rules for playing in the Realms, such as metal models rerolling save rolls of '1' in the Realm of Metal, players wearing red, yellow, or orange rerolling To
Hot Hit against their characters in the Realm of Fire, and bringing a picture of your pet giving a unit +1 To Hit in the Realm of Beasts, which proved the "silly rules" were not a one-time thing.
The game has 3 ways to play: open (the original), narrative (scenarios from the campaign books) and matched play (a set of six scenarios with points limits). Games can be played on a MUCH smaller scale, although in Open Play there is no upwards limit on the size of the match. In fact, the second page of the rules state a player can literally field everything you own, until you run out of space on the field. Of course, this is not the case in Matched play (read: what 99% of the players actually use).
As a skirmish game round bases will be primarily used, although Games Workshop specifically pointed out repeatedly in the corresponding White Dwarf release that any base size or shape is viable as now measurement will be made from the model itself. As base size no longer matters, models no longer are made to rank up. Games Workshop claims formation does not matter, and bringing ranked models on square bases on movement trays is still viable.
Despite the actual end of End Times indicating only one figure survived, Age of Sigmar allows any character to be fielded; in fact, some such as Grimgor who had confirmed deaths are still playable, and as time goes on more reveals of survivors have come steadily. The tagline in fluff states "Not all perished in the destruction of the world. Hidden in shadow realms, alternate dimensions or protected by fell magic, they endured the darkness of the void and emerged once more. Warhammer Age of Sigmar reintroduces these legendary heroes and notorious villains, though not all will come back as you remember them." So expect new models.
The names of every classic Warhammer race was changed, most likely for maximum copyright.
The pre-order date was set for July 4th, and release July 11th.
The game now has only four factions, grouped into different races. Despite this, there are NO limitations on models AT ALL. In a vanilla game you can put any model in the game into your force. You can field an army of half Aelves and half Duardin, with a few characters from Daemons. Stormcast Eternals and Savage Orcs, WAAAGHing it up against the Blüd God and his army of Treekin. Want to have an airforce of Gyrocopters, Screamers, and Dragons? Go for it. How about Cyclopean
Giants Gargants and their Goat(man) herds? Maybe a plague army of Bubonic rats and Nurgle's best with some Fanatics and Witch Elves Aelfs to spread the rot? Go for it.
On 24/4/16 Games Workshop used its Facebook page to announce an announcement for the next day. Said announcement was that Age of Sigmar was getting an upgrade into three official modes of play:
- Open Play No limitations, any army composition, whatever battlefield, with as many players in the same battle as you want. Basically the current 4 pages of rules, with even more freedom.
- Narrative Play Playing a scenario game. Basically the current way to play Age and not have a gigantic clusterfuck punchup in the middle of the battlefield that settles the game in three or four turns. Will also include extra rules like Warhammer 1e where your own army will progress and will factor into the setting.
- Matched Play POINTS ADDED. Created with tournaments in mind.
The announcement was concluded with "Okay Internet, go nuts." Which it did on /tg/, but
not in the way originally expected exactly the way you would expect; the Fantasy thread was trolled into oblivion while two sides in the Age thread equally full of bitchy whiners, the mentally challenged, and shitposting trolls either attacking the points as the ruination of the perfection of tabletop gaming where competition is discouraged and fun had by all, and the side protesting any opposition to the evolution of Age of Sigmar into an actual proper game. A small minority lamented the death of Fantasy when Age is now just Fantasy with a clusterfuck comic book setting. It’s on days like these when you can almost sympathize with GW for sticking their fingers in their ears due to having to deal with such a catastrophically unpleasable broken base. Almost.
Ultimately, though Age of Sigmar has finally begun to hit it's stride as a setting and find grudging acceptance in the community, perhaps one of the biggest effects of AoS is what GW learned from it, and what that means for 40k. The recent Gathering Storm campaigns and approaching 8th Edition parallels the Fantasy End Times and Age of Sigmar in many ways, though is clearly being handled far more conservatively. GW has all but outright said that they have taken notes, and even as they continue to refine AoS, they also plan to carry over into 40k much of what worked, while avoiding what didn't, and so far it seems that might actually be a good thing.
- 1 Setting
- 2 The Four Grand Alliances
- 2.1 Order
- 2.1.1 Stormcast Eternals
- 2.1.2 Extremis Chamber
- 2.1.3 Seraphon
- 2.1.4 Sylvaneth
- 2.1.5 Fyreslayers
- 2.1.6 Kharadron Overlords
- 2.1.7 Devoted Of Sigmar
- 2.1.8 Free Peoples
- 2.1.9 Collegiate Arcane
- 2.1.10 Ironweld Arsenal
- 2.1.11 Dispossessed
- 2.1.12 Eldritch Council
- 2.1.13 Phoenix Council
- 2.1.14 Lion Rangers
- 2.1.15 Order Draconis
- 2.1.16 Swifthawk Agents
- 2.1.17 Scourge Privateers
- 2.1.18 Daughters Of Khaine
- 2.1.19 Darkling Covens
- 2.1.20 Shadowblades
- 2.1.21 Order Serpentis
- 2.1.22 Wanderers
- 2.2 Death
- 2.3 Destruction
- 2.4 Chaos
- 2.4.1 Daemons Of Chaos
- 2.4.2 Daemons Of Khorne
- 2.4.3 Daemons Of Nurgle
- 2.4.4 Daemons Of Tzeentch
- 2.4.5 Host Of Slaanesh
- 2.4.6 Khorne Bloodbound
- 2.4.7 Nurgle Rotbringers
- 2.4.8 Tzeentch Arcanites
- 2.4.9 Everchosen
- 2.4.10 Slaves To Darkness
- 2.4.11 Monsters Of Chaos
- 2.4.12 Thunderscorn
- 2.4.13 Brayherds
- 2.4.14 Warherds
- 2.4.15 Chaos Gargants
- 2.4.16 Legions Of Azgorh
- 2.4.17 Tamurkhan's Horde
- 2.4.18 Skaven
- 2.1 Order
- 3 The Realms
- 4 Scenery
- 5 Rules
- 6 Gallery
- 7 In Memoriam
The new setting is made up of nine Realms. Each Realm represents a magical Wind and its properties (The Realm of Aqshy (fire) has volcanoes and the people tend to be aggressive and determined, the Realm of Hysh (light) is a bright and verdant world with symbolism in everything, the realm of Azyr (Heavens) is Sigmar's personal domain, and so on), and Sigmar ruled them all initially. Unfortunately, the ninth Realm is basically the Northern Wastes from the Old World, and is Chaos incarnate. Unlike before where mortals in the Realm of Chaos can expect to go mad and have their souls eaten at any point, barring the mad scholar tasked with mapping it out, now mortals live there like any other Realm; born, raised, kill in the name of whatever Chaos God suits them, die, are raised again in Nagash's Realm of Death unless their patron loved them enough to save their souls by making them Daemons or Daemon Princes.
The Realms are connected through gates called "Realmgates".
So, all in all, the new setting can be summed up as a strange fusion of Stargate fan fiction, mistranslated Norse mythology, and your typical fantasy races. And a lot of Moorcock thrown in. But this is a Games-Workshop setting. It was a given.
After the End Times
Sigmar floated through the void of nothingness after Chaos's destruction of the Warhammer Fantasy world, sitting on the metal core of the Old World. After some time (3 centuries, give or take) he made friends with Dracothion (may or may not be Sotek) who was made of stars and saw the core sparkling in the nothingness. He revived Sigmar with his breath and let Sigmar ride on his back. He then he showed Sigmar hidden paths leading to each of the Eight Realms.
(This whole next paragraph is very sketchy - where did they get all this cloud of souls business from?) He named it Mallus and befriended Sigmar, revealed his role as the being who restarts realities before gathering the magics of the old setting and creating the new one. It drew the souls of thousands and more of beings who had survived the destruction wrought by Chaos, who saw Sigmar and Dracothian as their leaders. They forged the light around them into a new city, Azyrheim which surrounds Mallus and includes a halo of floating buildings. Every race was present in the cloud of souls, and each of their ideals and styles went into it (one can assume the Orcs just painted stuff). Eventually the spirits grew new bodies just like their old ones where they rebuilt the past cultures or formed new ones, reproduced, and mortal life began again although exactly how long souls kept reincarnating for is undefined; language used hints this is an ongoing process rather than a one-time thing. Some souls were reborn within the Winds (translation: YOUR DUDES, WHOEVER THEY ARE, SURVIVED EVEN IF THE CHARACTER YOU LIKE HAD A DEATH SCENE IN END TIMES AND FURTHERMORE ANYTHING NEW YOU WANTED TO TRY BUT COULDN'T FIND LORE JUSTIFICATION FOR EXISTS TOO, except apparently the Tomb Kings). Although it is stated all races were present in the cloud, it is also stated that no Elves could be found until later, so there is a minor lore disconnect that may mean only Half-Elves were in the cloud (as a compromise between the two statements) to instill Elfish architecture in Azyr. In time, the city was crowned by a MASSIVE statue of Sigmar which forms a fortress called Sigmaron.
The Age of Myth
After finding the eight Mortal Realms, Sigmar then sought out the other beings who survived, such as former Incarnates once bound to the Winds of Magic, and found various creatures and races living in the different realms. He went around smiting monsters with his dragonbro and drew various human tribes to his side, going on to create a 'Great Alliance' of all the different gods and races across the Eight Realms. Great civilisations were established and Chaos incursions were repulsed. It was a golden age, a brief utopia.
Grimnir and Grungni were chained to a mountain in the Realm of the Fire Wind, and refused to give any information to him about how they got there. After freeing them they both pledged themselves to his service. Grungni, who is now a crippled smith god (gotta love that GW creativity), taught the various mortals metalworking and brought their general technological level back to the point where it had been prior to AoS. He then gathered the Dwarfs, now called Duardin, to himself and forged a new mountain Hold called the Iron Karak for them to dwell in. Grimnir on the other hand wanted his debt repaid immediately, so Sigmar requested he fight Vulcatrix, the Mother of Salamanders (with Salamanders themselves apparently being the origin of ALL FIRE, EVERYWHERE) for some reason. Both of them were destroyed in the conflict by shattering into thousands of pieces that rained over the Realm of Fire (while Grimnir's beard was on fire). The fragments of Vulcatrix created the volcanoes that dot the Realm of Fire (which apparently for some reason didn't have any prior and needed an explanation to exist), while the fragments of Grimnir- *THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN CENSORED BY ORDER OF SIGMAR, ON BEHALF OF THE DUARDIN: LONG LIVE SIGMAR, LONG LIVE GRUNGNI, HONOR TO GRIMNIR* It's unknown if he was the original Grimnir or Gotrek, but either way killing the mother of all fucking salamanders is a pretty badass way to leave this world.
Sigmar then found Tyrion and Teclis. Tyrion is a god proper, the Lord of Light and is the one who actually holds domain over the Lore of Light. He is blind, and can only see through Teclis's eyes. They attempt to find Elf mortals, but are unable to and eventually give up to join Sigmar's pantheon of Order.
Malekith woke up as the god of the Lore of Shadow who called himself Malerion, completely alone. He searched for other beings and eventually found his mother Morathi, who has "changed" and has the companionship of Daemons made of pure shadow. Eventually they too joined Sigmar (no word on if they're taking back up the old family practices).
Alarielle awoke alone, although she still had magical seeds from the old setting. She planted them everywhere and created Fey beings as well as new treefolk, and although she did join Sigmar eventually she nonetheless shunned others in favor of her pod people.
Gorkamorka, the merged Gork and Mork (or is it Mork and Gork?) was found by Sigmar trapped in sapient amber named Drakatoa that had claimed the Realm of Beasts for itself. The two ended up having an arm wrestling match.
Nagash was kicking back in the Afterlife, and there's no word on how Sigmar found him or secured his assistance. All that's known is that Nagash took over control of the various Afterlifes again, becoming the god of all (most likely human) Underworlds. He also brought back his right-hand man, Arkhan.
Many, MANY years after End Times Sigmar has gathered most of the mortals left in the Warp together, and has created a full pantheon that includes many of his fellow Incarnate gods, lesser gods, demigods, and even some strange and random monsters and beings willing to cooperate. Initially, all went well; Nagash formed a proper afterlife that does not include any Chaos soul-eating and had Undead do the bulk of the construction efforts. Grungni continued teaching mortals of technology and smithing, and although Gorkamorka was EXTREMELY bored and irritable Sigmar appointed him to the task of hunting and killing things bigger than himself, which kept the greenskin god entertained.
When Chaos rediscovered the Winds of Magic and found that instead of water/wind-like magic they are now different dimensions, they assaulted the world to reclaim their might. But the new pantheon was strong, as were their servants, and Chaos found it difficult to beat them. Alarielle abandoned the defense of the Realms in favor of only fighting within her own Realm, the Realm of Life, to defend it from Nurgle using guerrilla warfare and ambush tactics. The efforts of Order were further weakened when Tyrion and Malerion left during the battles against the Four's armies to find Slaanesh, who had eaten so many souls during the End Times that he had become bloated and unable to even move in the small cave he had been hiding in. Then, Slaanesh's forces suddenly railed, sensing the disappearance of their master, and despite 7/8 of the Realms having been taken by Chaos they fled the battles to launch in pursuit while Khorne (at Tzeentch's manipulation) attacked them from behind which prevented them from saving Slaanesh. What exactly happened to Slaanesh is not known, although the souls of the Elves that Slaanesh has consumed from the old world suddenly appeared in the new one (given that the Island of Blood main character, Prince Althran, now has an End Times Warhost it is suggested they simply popped out of Slaanesh as they were similar to the Greek Gods popping out of Cronus after Zeus cut his stomach open [in one version of the legend]). The reborn Elves are now called Aelfs.
Gorkamorka, entirely SICK of Sigmar's sissy "civilization building", broke from the pantheon by forming a one-god WAAAGH through all eight Realms and the Warp, then embarked on a return trip the same way until Sigmar broke him back into Gork and Mork (or Mork and Gork?) where they settled into the Realm of Beasts.
The Age of Chaos
Finally, at the battle for the location containing a Realmgate to each Realm, Nagash backstabbed Sigmar and the rest of Order due to the (unspecified) manipulation of Tzeentch and Archaon, then fucked off in a mad dash back to the Realm of Death. Sigmar chased after him in anger before realizing "OH FUCK, THE BATTLE!" and returned to see Chaos had laid siege to each Realm. Sigmar, disgusted, called on Tyrion and Malerion to take a moment from kicking Slaanesh in the tummeh and help him and the mortals forge a magical barrier preventing Chaos from entering Azyr (or the all-seeing Tzeentch from seeing past it), then shut the gates to the Realm and began preparations to defend against the incoming siege (makes you wonder why the hell he didn't think to do the same to EVERY realm before Chaos showed up). Nagash returned to the Realm of Death thinking he's won only to find the fucking Skaven had blown up his Black Pyramid. AGAIN. Archaon appeared and killed Nagash, although Nagash's soul survived (he controls the afterlife now, where the hell would he go? Detroit?) and began reforming his body (so Nagash was reset back to pre-End Times, although he can actually appear on the battlefield now if he wants to).
Chaos laid waste to all eight Mortal Realms and ruined all the civilizations built up during the Age of Myth, leaving only hidden strongholds and fugitive enclaves. Sigmar gave up fighting them and retreated to Azyrheim to build his army of Stormcast Eternals.
Running out of things to kill, Khorne then attacked the ENTIRE REST OF CHAOS, allowing the inhabitants of the realms a bit of a breather. Also, the Great Horned Rat is now a Chaos God. The other three Chaos Gods thought very little of him, although Skavenblight was allowed to become a section of the Realm of Chaos (due to the mistakes of the Skaven however, it half sunk back into the material plane which in turn gives Skaven the ability to appear in any of the Realms at will). Even Archaon believes himself above the Skaven among the Chaos faction, and he spits in the face of the Great Horned Rat directly.
The Age of Sigmar
The player-driven story of the game starts as Sigmar creates the Stormhosts, reforges (no pun intended) his old ties with the other forces of the Great Alliance, and sends their combined forces through the Gates of Azyr to beat some Chaos ass with the ultimate goal of taking the fight to the Warp itself. Vanguard forces of Stormcast Eternals can RIDE THE STORM from Azyrheim to the mortal realms, deep striking on bolts of lightning, but have to capture Realmgates to get back again and allow larger armies to join them.
It has been a very long time since the End Times ended, and many, MANY generations of mortals have lived and died in the Eight Realms. Nothing remains of the Old World aka the World Before Time, apart from its core, which sits in the Realm of Heavens, surrounded by Sigmar's city.
In the first battles of the post-release story, Sigmarines battle Chaos in four locations.
- Hammers of Sigmar VS Khorne's Goretide (starter box factions) in the
HellfireBrimstone Peninsula of the Realm of Fire: Jacos, a Lord-Celestant of the Stormhost, is killed by the leader of the Goretide Khul while another Lord-Celestant named Vandus called down lightning in a suicide attack to destroy Khorne's Realmgate to the mortal Realms. Relictor Ionus then blew up Khul's skull pyramid, preventing him from ascending to Daemonhood. Jacos was lost in the Warp, Vandus was Reforged. The first Age of Sigmar novella The Gates of Azyr covers the first part of the campaign.
- Celestial Vindicators VS Tzeentch in Chamon: CV's intially attack to reclaim Ghal Maraz, and discover Tzeentch was going to absorb the Realm of Metal into his own and the ritual was interrupted 99 days early. Tzeentch's forces hold them off and capture many CV souls to prevent Reforging, forcing the Stormcasts to regroup. This event leads then to the Silver Road to find the bulk of the Duardin race, although Tzeentch's forces also discover it. The Sigmarines seemed doomed until the inevitable Tzeentchian backstabbing conga and layers of plans and pawns finally come into play, made worse when the Changelords and Kairos Fateweaver got involved. During the thousand-man villain monologue cacophony the Sigmarines were able to reach Ghal Maraz, and when one of them touched it Sigmar was able to bomf his army and sacred weapon back home before unleashing a Thundernuke on the fortress. Meanwhile, the Lions of Sigmar were sent to find the Metal Duardin but found something "far darker" (theorized to mean Chaos
DwarfsDuardin). Sigmar then decided that since he had his favorite toy back, it was time to get directly involved in the war again.
- Hallowed Knights and Astral Templars plus Sylvaneth vs Nurgle and Great Horned Rat plus Beastmen: A Lord-Celestant collapsed Nurgle's Realmgate from within, and is trapped in his Garden now. After the Order forces mop-up the Chaos, Alarielle's crazy treefolk befriend the Sigmarines and they begin to reclaim the Realm of Life. But not after a Great Unclean One pollutes the last pristine lake in all of Gyrhan. The war ends with the Sigmarines barely scraping a victory due entirely to the Celestant-Prime arriving and defeating the leader of the Nurglites, Torglug The Despised, at the cost of the lives of Alarielle and her daughter, the Lady of Vines. The Sigmarines plant a seed containing Alarielle's soul in the ground where many of them died in hopes she'd be reborn
Humanas a warrior queen of rapetrees rather than a totes cray-cray queen of gardening.
With the resolution of the above plots, the following wars were established.
- The Anvils Of Heldenhammer Stormhost are sent to make a truce with Nagash, and discover Neferata defending her kingdom of
New LahmiaNulahmia against Slaaneshi invaders and rush to her aid.
- Archaon, sick of being on the sidelines, heads to Mount Kronus in the Realm of Fire to kill Vandus and the Hammers of Sigmar.
The plot will supposedly keep advancing after this using scenarios, just like Warmachine and Hordes. Scenarios specify what models you must have, meaning that its more likely GW will sell specific sets simply because updates will revolve around you having specific things to get the most out of them (the next step in evolution of the "every new update overpowers the faction so powergamers will buy a whole new army" theory).
The Four Grand Alliances
The factions united under Sigmar, interested in beating the shit out of Chaos and... well, just kind of surviving. Races are no longer homogenous; Dwarf, Elf, Human, even some Undead live and dwell alongside each other with all previous conflicts forgotten. Some cultures from the past world survived, and new ones have appeared as Sigmar united the mortals from many settings lost in the Warp.
Unfortunately Sigmar cannot keep the other Incarnates in check. Nagash and Gorkamorka fucked off to make their own factions, with blackjack and hookaz, half of the
Dorfs Duardin bound to Fire need payment to do anything and are barely loyal, and the three factions of Elves Aelfs keep taking off to do their own shit.
On top of that, Sigmar intervened when he saw
Warriors Mortals torturing a maiden (unspecified race) and refused to leave her. He carried her like Hunter Elmer and Brünhilda Buggs to Sigmarheim where she was fully healed of both physical and mental scars by his eunuchs Aelfs. He failed to notice she has two shadows... fans speculate she is anyone from Slaanesh to Isha or Lileath to the Sisters of Twilight reemerged; given the shadows and the state of the Realm of Shadows it's possible Morathi has a hand in it.
On 3/25/16 most of the Order armies in the game other than Lizardmen, Stormcast Eternal and Sylvaneth had a lot of their miniatures discontinued, Bretonnia taking the blunt of the cut as being squatted. The old armies of the Empire, High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves and Dwarfs being restructured in new factions.
Sigmar forged his Realm out of Azyr, Wind of Heavens, into the realm of Azyrheim and took small mortal tribes which had been hiding from Chaos in the Warp and with the help of Grungni forged them into immortal beings of flesh and blood clad in armor made of a pure refined metal called... Sigmarite. These beings were dubbed the Stormcast Eternals (prepare yourself for facepalm lore writing, as the Stormcast Eternals storm things stormingly with their stormhammers just as much as Space Wolves wolf things wolfishly with their wolfguns, and even worse is coupled with GW's boner for fauxus-Latinarium), and were created to be the perfect defense against the Chaos Warriors and similar opponents, who run roughshod over regular human settlements.
The Stormcast are truly immortal, as upon dying Sigmar reforges them back to life back at base. Each time they're reforged however, their soul is weakened like brittle metal; they lose intelligence, emotions, and memories in small increments. Additionally, it is possible for their souls to be lost to the Warp if a Relictor is not there to reclaim it; and even then, it's a toss-up if they actually catch the free soul before Big Daddy Skellington gets them. Furthermore, Sigmar has a limited amount of supplies within Azyrheim to forge new ones or reforge veterans (which takes much longer, and only gets more difficult as they grow in strength) with, and must make gains against Chaos in order to keep the war going. Chaos likewise can renew their own servants, although only particularly useful ones are; Khorne for example will simply reclaim lost Bloodletters and form entirely new ones, a task with mortals Sigmar either can't or won't do. Of course, as Gav said: "There's as many Elves as the plot requires". Then again, the realms are made out to be endless, so that means endless Warriors, too.
They travel from Realm to Realm via lightning bolts that strike the ground and makes the 'Casts appear in a brilliant flash of light.
Each group of the Stormcast belongs to one of the Stormhosts, which we don't know exactly how many there are. although it seems there are more than 8, since each realm is unimaginably vast, and only 3 Realms have been covered so far. Unless Sigmar is ignoring those Realms till later... Each Stormhost is somewhat analogous to a well-known 40k chapter of Space Marines. Foremost amongst them are the poster child faction, the Hammers of Sigmar who bear the regal blue and gold and the Astral Templars who are the monster-killer Stormhost, the cursed and brooding figures called the Anvils of Heldenhammer who were born as a faction of emo kids, the Hallowed Knights which are the spiritually consecrated warriors immune to Chaos and so horrifically mangled they were battle-scarred at birth underneath that armor, the Celestial Vindicators who sport a spiffing turquoise armor which somehow ties into their role as Sigmar's new Witch Hunters, and the gold with purple Lions of Sigmar whose power is that they are dreadfully mysteeeeeeerious.
According to Josh Reynolds the Eternals were not all human men, and were forged out of all mortals Sigmar found. Under the armor could be a woman, an Aelf, an Orruk(ok maybe not, but it would cool though!), anything not aligned to Chaos or a Daemon (and even that can be changed with a good wackin' with Ghal'Maraz). So if anyone asks you about Female Space Marines from now on, give them Stormies and female miniature heads. Furthermore, you can have your lore-friendly Ork Space Marines. Although this does raise few intresting questions, like red Stormcasts being faster than the others...
Only Undead Sigmarines seem to serve as "Relictors", flag-bearers who draw slain Stormcast souls back to Sigmar. In one story, a Relictor hears Nagash's words "A tithe for a tithe, a soul for a soul" during a battle which suggests the Skelepope has something nasty up his sleeve for the Stormboys. See, Nagash doesn't like it one bit that people who die doesn't go to him, and see Sigmar as a liar and a cheat, who tries to take power from him, which isn't all wrong, when it comes down to it.
Thanks to their bulky appearance, massive fucking bodies, and design that's obviously meant to get the attention of Space Marine players, they are known to most of the fanbase as "Sigmarines".
The Stormcast Stormhosts are all led by the "Celestant-Prime", a former righteous king who was granted part of Sigmar's own essence upon becoming the first Sigmarine and gifted with Ghal Maraz once it was reclaimed. He is stated to "slay a Daemon with one blow, setting the spirit within free to make its way to Azyr". The implications for this are interesting, the most obvious being Sigmar is recruiting Daemons by purifying them Saint Cuthbert style. In Balance of Power, One of Nurgles Champions is struck with Ghal Maraz and reforged as a stormcast eternal himself, after being judged by Sigmar himself (making Sigmar's Judge Hammer a literal hammer).
There are a few theories as to the past identity of this figure, the most likely being Karl Franz. Before anyone says "but he was EMPRAH, NOT KING!", the Stormcast Eternals battle tome refers to Sigmar's old empire as a Kingdom, and thus would consider Franz to be its King. It's probably NOT Settra, since Settra was an egotistical, tyrannical dick who would be the big bad of the setting if it weren't for bigger dicks like Malekith, chaos, the skaven, the vampires and Nagash... maybe Settra's not so bad, but he's still probably not the Celestant-Prime.
Although it is (very) easy to hate on them, it is only fair to say GW may have had "good" intentions regarding their purpose in the game. They appeal to 40k players, yes, but also have maximum "your dudes" options while also not requiring going into very much detail or put in a lot of thought ("These are the (two words, from a thesaurus) and they are (two colors). They (basic behavior) and originated (cool quirk, or favorite race/faction from Fantasy)"). In fact, so long as they have that bulky armor and praise
the sun Sigmar while hating Chaos you are fully in acceptable range of plausible lore. They are easy to paint, and their immortal nature means there is not a sense of picking a losing or dying out race. Furthermore they give non-villain sides a faction to whom death is laughable. Only the similarity to 40k with the fact they came bundled with massive changes to existing lore and disappointing rules cause the hate to really pile on so easy. That and the fact the word storm has lost all meaning to those reading their fluff anyway. Had they been introduced in 8e or End Times, it's possible they would be much less scorned among the general fanbase.
Despite many fans and critics saying that the Stormcast eternals are carbon copies of the Space marines, Black Library Josh Reynolds had this to say otherwise:
- "Well, for starters, Space Marines are chosen as children, tortured by SCIENCE!, and then drafted into an eternity of being monastic murder machines whose sole purpose is to hold up the crumbling foundations of an omnicidal dystopia in the name of a rotting carcass that eats psykers like chiclets. They're emotionally stunted orphans who were brainwashed and weaponized before being unleashed on a galaxy where EVERYTHING is trying to kill them. They never even had a chance to be people before someone turned them into a gun instead.
- Stormcast, on the other hand, are dead heroes, chosen for their valour and faith, resurrected and sent to free the Mortal Realms from the abominations currently running the show, on behalf of a benevolent God-King (Though benevolent is seriously up to debate). They're traumatized heroes who had lives, personalities and histories prior to being crammed into primary colored hulkbuster armor and filled full of lightning so that they could go save their descendants from the eldritch horrors of a nightmare dimension. They endure death after death, losing a bit more of their soul each time, in order to prevent anyone else from suffering the fate which befell them.
- One group are so far removed from humanity as to be utterly alien. The other group are so human it causes them pain. One group feels little in the way of emotion, the other group feels emotion as strongly as they did before death. One group hates and fears the alien. The other group allies regularly with space-lizards, skeletors and green monster-men. One group is the personification of the grim future in which they live. The other is a thing born of hope.
- The similarities are cosmetic: big guys in easily paintable armor sell better than little dudes with fiddly bits. But the context for those cosmetic similarities is quite different. Think of it this way...Space Marines are Batman and Stormcast are Captain America. Both are super-heroes, both wear costumes, both punch bad guys, both save people. But they ain't the same, are they?"
Really makes you think. Sadly, GeeDubs bit the hand that fed them by telling Josh to shut up and state that anything he says outside the books he writes for them is not canon.
More recent lore from novels and books has begun taking some interesting angles to the Stormcasts, and how they think of themselves and their mission. Apparently, regardless of how much lightning and awesome they've been pumped with to become a Stormcast, they are, by all means, still mortals in armor. They feel all feelings a mortal person would, they need to eat and sleep and they fear death and pain just like any other warrior. In fact, the novels makes it a point that no one has yet to see a Stormcast regenerated more than three times, and many fear how they'll be, since twice regenerated Stormcasts are noticably cold, ruthless and unfeeling, to the point of being automatons. Sigmar apparantly sees this issue, and wants to correct it, but has no means for it.
Overall, as Josh makes it clear above, lore makes the Stormcasts out to be a special force of superhuman armoured warriors, but there's where the similarities to Space Marines end. Stormcast need to eat regularly, may or may not need sleep and they feel and makes it a point to keep it that way, and they don't want to die. Grimdark Sci-fi Superwarrior versus Noblebright Fantasy Superwarrior. Dark versus Light. God versus Man. The gladiatorial match of the worl- Wait no that's something else.
It's noticeable that with more muted metallics, they are not as unappealing. Dull silvers or coppers with dark washes and earth tones appeal to many more than the gaudy gold and high-contrast coloration and many have taken advantage of the "any race" lore to clip off their Persian 300-style helmets and replace them with Dwarf, Orc, Elf, and skeleton heads.
Holy shit, we had those things back in fantasy, guys.
Forgesworn Eternals: the first /tg/-approved
Sigmarines that ride the hermaphrodite children of the hermaphrodite star god Dracothian. Now folded into Stormcast Eternals as a singular faction, the idea is basically this: the stormcast are angels, and no horses can carry their heavy asses, so only three other species are willing to rub backs with stormcast groins: stardrakes, dracoths, and gryph-chargers.
Stardrakes are dragons. No, they're more awesome than dragons, because they're elemental lightning given form. They spew lightning and are totally noble creatures in the fluff, and usually gets laughed off the table in actual play in the hands of all but the greatest of tacticians. Dracoths are mini-stardrakes that serve as heavy cavalry that shits cheese with every step they take. Gryph-charges are chocobo theropods that serve as light cavalry and can teleport across the table because obviously the stormcast need more mobility options on top of their deepstrikes.
While gryph-chargers are not part of the extremis chamber (they are part of the vanguard chapter), they represent the rapier of the stormcast army, trusted to hit deep into enemy territory and leave before their foes know what hit them. When in a proper battlefield, dracoths are called upon to break lines and shatter flanks with their thunderous charges (both in fluff and on the table), and when shit hits the fan, stardrakes are called down to even the odds, usually by smashing everything and then teabagging the corpses of daemon princes and chaos behemoths.
The Lizardmen reached the new setting with their flying magical pyramids, following the trail Sigmar's tears left until he reached Azyr, when the Lizardmen disembarked in "High Azyr". Their new Slann caste, "Starmasters", began scanning everything that exists and formulating a Great Plan to change the rules of the Great Game. New weapons and armor made of stars were forged, and the Slann recreated the environment of Lustria using their minds to return DINOSAUZ to existence.
The lizards must also have made a stop at the Mushroom Kingdom on their way to the Nine Realms, because they’re loading up to the eyeballs with STAR POWER (Playing the Star Theme when fielding Seraphon is optional but recommended)! Seriously, there’s enough star and celestial references with the Seraphon that they can join Khorne, the Stormcast Stormternals, the Fyreslayers and the Space Wolves in the Chronic-obsession-with-sticking-their-theme-words-into-everything club.
They are described as reptilian warriors made of Azyr who appear out of nowhere, making them the other Order Daemons alongside the Stormcast Eternals (except the Seraphon have the 'daemon' keyword on their warscrolls, The Sigmarines do not). The Slann can summon in the Lizardmen troops as if they were Daemons as a result, and whenever Chaos-aligned warriors try to call upon their masters through Realmgates the Seraphon can reroute it to their Realm and assault the supplicating edgemasters.
They are the only faction to get a Warscroll that changes their fluff without making it fucking stupid in the process. It seems that they will survive relatively unchanged from a fluff perspective, as theirs is the only rulebook with reasonable fluff and none of the silly rules (but you have Skinks who teleport ANYWHERE and shoot, and you can summon UNLIMITED copies of ANY warscroll, so it seems the Lizardmen cheese-fest is here to stay). Contrary to Whineseer rumors stating that the lizardmen were getting squatted, Seraphon are the first old army to get their own Battletome and are mentioned in the other factions fluff far more than they did in WHFB.
Its worth noting that previously, Seraphon was the dragon mount of Malekith. It is unclear if in setting if anyone remembers that was her name, or who Malekith even is at that matter. Weird flipping reskinning has happened in /tg/. (i.e. 4e D&D Archons). At any rate, whoever wrote Malekith's AoS war scroll remembers, since it specifically mentions his dragon mount by name and Malekith can use her breath weapon.
Seraphon got their first important lore in AoS when, in a White Dwarf battle between Be'lakor's personal army and Seraphon, Terradon Riders managed to kill him with rocks. Read that again; as revenge for End Times, Lizardmen made rocks fall until Cuck Undivided himself died. Although there's dispute on canonicity, any actual conversation on the topic usually results in a heavy Skubfest between Lizardmen and
Chaos Taco'bel fans (although its worth noting the most likely explanations are it really was him or that Changeling had taken his form again; either way, Chaos got rocked rolled defeated most humiliatingly).
During their first proper lore, Lizardmen are portrayed as almost angelic beings who appear from the stars. Of particular interest, a mummified Slann with a golden mask rained down meteors from the sky using his mind, wielded the powers of a god, and whose soul is more ancient than the first Daemons. While they fought, the stars rearranged into the grinning face of a frog with red eyes.. FUCK. YES. Nurgle
Warriors Mortals awaited a Realmgate opening to Nurgle's Garden, which instead opened to the Lizardmen. When the warband leader managed to kill one, it exploded into a flash of light which cleansed ALL the incurable diseases from his hand and removed their rotted immunities to harm. Even better, a watching Skaven was plagued by horrific nightmares of Lustria, Skaven being sacrificed and all the horror the Lizardmen inflicted on the ratmen through the ages. It seems that Sotek kicked the Horned Rat's ass so bad during End Times that the new Skaven instinctively remember and fear the Lizardmen.
As at the end of October 2015, the Seraphon/Lizardmen were mysteriously missing from GW's website... only to return a week later with round bases, Age of Sigmar boxes, and a new Battletome. Said Battletome states that Vampires can't feed on the Lizardmen as they have Light magic in their blood, and that the Slann hatched a new Great Plan which involves taking advantage of how the Chaos Gods are incapable of learning or changing their motives. With omniscient view of the Realms (something the Chaos Gods don't have, as it mentions this gives the Slann a look "many moves" ahead of their enemies), they now have their own Great Game which involves sending their forces to the exact spots at the exact times needed to weaken Chaos, Death, and Destruction (plus any uppity Order) to ensure that THIS TIME the Chaos Gods will die. tl:dr Slann have out-Tzeentched Tzeentch.
The Sylvaneth are forest spirits of the Wanderer Aelfs. Led by the goddess Alarielle, the new treefolk were made from "Soulpods" she created. After Sigmar retreated to his realm, she considered herself a free agent, opposing Nurgle who seeks to claim the Realm of Life as his own. For some reason, all of Alarielle's soulpods became female Dryads and male Treekin, which makes sense only in the context of using existing models, but when looked at from a lore perspective Alarielle clearly had saved a LOT more female souls, and the only males she saved were the biggest. Lotta jokes that can be made here, hard to decide... let's go with dick jokes given the wood theme and the 80/20 rule from dating.
Branchwraiths are the unsleeping priestesses of Alarielle, who call the trees to awaken and kill the shit out of the enemies of Alarielle.
Later, the Sigmarines aided the Sylvaneth in eradicating a Nurgle infestation they were having leading to them rejoining Order.
The damage Nurgle managed to deal was permanent and his forces were sure to be back causing Alarielle to let out a scream which rang through the Realms, letting all beings know "NATURE WILL TREEFUCK YOU!" in a call of eternal war without surrender.
During the Age of Chaos, Alarielle cut off her hand, growing a new one then cultivating the hand into a new Branchwraith Demigod, the replacement for Drycha called The Lady Of Vines. The LoV is Alarielle's favorite daughter (dawww), created in summer and despite any corruption or defeat she burns away the taint to bring optimism and youthfullness despite now being ancient in her own right. She seems to be a replacement for Aliathra from The End Times. LoV led the bulk of the Sylvaneth. Then, one book after being introduced, the Lady of Vines was killed.
Although Alarielle lost the Ariel portion of herself during End Times, she retained the Wood Elf season shifts and everything about her changes as the Realm of Life does. After dying, Alarielle survived as a seed (don't ask questions you know you won't get any answers to) and was planted by the Sigmarines in a place where many of their own died in the hopes of making her a warrior queen, despite, you know, her already being one.
With the new release the Sylvaneth range has expanded to include some EPIC models such as:
Kurnoth Hunters: Mini (Realative term) treelords that can be fielded in units. Seem to be the new bridge between dryads and treelords (Replacing treekin). There aesthetic is almost identical to the tree lords (Aka awesome) and can take a number of cool weapon options from swords to giant ass bows!
Spite Revenants: look like a cross between a ghost and a vampire... and a tree (Obviously). represent the more freaky side to the forest and are filled with bravery reducing RAGE! (See Drycha)
Tree Revenants:The REAL wood elves (No seriously they are elves+trees) They are actually the reincarnated "souls" of elves that Alarielle Salvaged from the oldworld and as such retain there predesssesors martial skill and a little personality.
Branch Wych: The OTHER dryad hero. A Swaps out the branchwraiths swirly nipples for a big scythe like weapon.
Drycha: the RAGE tree is back! And this time she has stolen something from the 40k universe. No seriosly! Drycha is now depicted as a medusa like Spite Revenant sporting what can only be described as a "Grey knights Dreadknight made out of wood" As usual she is suitably pissed at everything.
Alarielle:Another god tier model. Alarielle is now in her "warrior mode" and looks like a cross between old worlds Ariel and some giant amazon warrior. she has also pinched Orions spear. Oh and a final minor point... She riding a a HUGE ass Beetle (Its like rhino sized). Pretty original (Genuinley)
With her revival as a baddass warrior maiden with her pet beetle (who wouldn't want one?) Alarielle leads the Sylvaneth to war against her foes while she allows Drycha to rampage around seeing her as a necessary evil. The Durthu model has been made canon by introducing them as the "Sons of Durthu" who basically take the roll of Honor Guard treelords for Alarielle.
In addition to this the Sylvaneth society has now been opened up showing the sylvaneth as being divided up into various little families (wargroves) usually with a treelord ancient leading it.
The Fyreslayers (formerly known as the Red Slayers, the name abruptly changed midway though production likely so it's easier to copyright; note how the impossible to copyright "fire" is spelled with a much more patent-friendly "fyre"), are a faction for Order that doesn't even really pay lip-service to it, unlike the Exiles (Dark Elves). They're mercenary Dwarfs, formerly the Slayers, that worship Grimnir instead of Sigmar's buddy Grungni and won't help the Sigmarines and friends out unless paid in gold. So, in a world that was ripped to shreds from the sphincter out, these guys only care about gold. "Ur-Gold", specifically. Fyreslayers believe Ur-gold is made up of the shattered fragments of Grimnir, something fans predicted as soon as the lore dropped despite it being held as a reveal months later.
Ur in German means old or ancient, and given the fact Keepers of Secrets who think they can become the new Slaanesh call themselves the "Ur-Slaanesh", the word Ur seems to be synonymous with divinity or godhood in Age. It is worth to mention that in a 40k Black Library book and the 4th edition Ork Codex, an Ork character named Kaptin Badrukk had false teeth that were made of Ur-Gold as well. To quote, "[his teeth] are plated with an alloy of adamantium and priceless ur-gold stolen from the Palace of Undying Light" causing mass speculation once again that 40k and
Fantasy Age will crossover in the future. In 40K, Ur-Gold is gold mined from Terra itself.
Fyreslayers were created by the battle between Grimnir and Vulcatrix, and aggressively spread throughout all of the Realms to bring the gift of volcanoes and Grudges. They are now divided by Lodges rather than Holds, and each Lodge is essentially led by a supreme leader called a Runefather and his many, many MANY sons. Its ultimately up to each Runefather to decide who the Lodge fights, who they ally with, and who is lying about not having gold. Every single plane a Lodge is established in changes it greatly; the generic Slayer-like Fyreslayers hail from the Realm of Fire, but Fyreslayers in the Realm of Shadow are more like Dwarf Dark Elves while those in the Realm of Death would be like stunty Nehekharans... if only...
Zharrgrim is the name of the religion of the Fyreslayers, Auric Runemasters are the priesthood . They are personally responsible for the gold madness of their kin. Auric Runefathers command the Runemasters. The Runefather's children are the Auric Runesons, who rule in his name as the nobility although only one can replace him if he dies; the rest must either become ineligible to ever become a Runefather (so no Dwarf Hamlet) or strike out on their own to form a new Lodge, like Dwarfy queen bees. All subgroups within Lodges are called Fyrds which are each led by a Runeson, and represent the models you will be putting on the table. The entirety of the Fyrd militaries of a Lodge are called the Grand-fyrd and represent the thousands of Fyrds assembled (so to be a Runefather, you need to be quite fertile). It falls on the Runefather to dispense gold to his people on a personal basis, as too little or too much will drive them mad. They also have GeeDubs trend of spamming theme words as the fiery Fyreslayers fire things with their flaming firestaffs just like the storming Stormcast with their stormy stormhammers and the wolfy Space Wolves with their wolfish wolfguns.
So Fyreslayers are stupid, and dicks, but they're Sigmar's stupid dicks...except they aren't, because they'll work for Chaos against Sigmar too if given a better counter-offer. At any rate, the previous gold fever of the Warhammer Dwarfs is now magnified tenfold; Duardin may give no fucks about the lures of Chaos, but gold corrupts them and drives them to outright madness now. Grudges no longer mean anything once gold is involved, but the Fyreslayers still put a great emphasis on honour and oaths. It's just that nine times out of ten, the only way to get a Fyreslayer to make an oath is to offer him some gold. That said, Fyreslayers are as serious about oaths as classic Dwarfs ever were, one story involves a Runefather who swears an oath to never part from his fallen son's Magmadroth until the Chaos Lord who killed him is dead, and he sticks to this oath even as the Chaos Lord's juggernaut pins the Magmadroth upside down and the Runefather has to drop his guard and allow the Chaos Lord to impale him in order to hang on to the lava dinosaur, and he still kills the Chaos Lord before dying and falling from the saddle. Say what you want, but the dedication to oaths that these guys have is as hardcore as the Dwarfs of old. Another Runefather even refused the promised payment of ur-gold because the Fyreslayers failed in the mission they were hired to complete, and would only accept payment once their oaths to complete their mission were fulfilled. That said, enough ur-gold can convince a Fyreslayer to do almost anything. Oaths are oaths, but gold is gold.
Runes are far more important now, and are often forged directly into the skin of Duardin using Ur-Gold.
Fyreslayers seem to have taken the often shirtless quality of the Slayers to an extreme. They now prefer thongs and aprons as attire.
One thing to note is that despite there being two Incarnates of Fire in The End Times, one a dwarf and one an elf, there's no sign of any
fire-elves fyre-aelves. Yet...
Another new addition to the Age of Sigmar are these guys. You see, back during the early days of the Age of Chaos these Duardin fought against the invaders just as everyone else did. Realizing victory was impossible, they started to think of ways to escape the shitshow the Mortal Realms was about to become. Using a substance called "aether-gold" they were able to power their technology to incredible heights and bugger off to safety. With the return of Sigmar to the Realms they've decided it's high time to set their airships aloft and do some good old-fashioned adventuring! Aesthetically they have a far more scientifically-advanced look than anyone else in the game. Their look has many people citing Warmachine and it's steampunk style as an influence. Each of these Duardin is clad head-to-toe with gear and armour which protects them from adverse effects of the local environment. This means that whatever else you can say about them, they possess far more common sense than most - these Duardin are exploring hostile, unknown lands and treat them as such! The Kharadron live in meritocracies in huge, Laputa-style flying cities and send out expeditions to find aether-gold, a substance that they both covet like all dwarves covet gold, but it also the literal fuel source that powers all their technology, and without it their massive flying strongholds, called Baraks, would lose power and fall out of the sky. Being a merit-based system, only the most kickass and profitable duardin can become Admirals or governors, and should they repeatedly fail to prove themselves are demoted back into the regular rank and file, where they could prove themselves again or stay in obscurity. The Kharadron are, much like the Fyreslayers, only on the side of Order because Order tends to backstab you the least. Long ago, when the ancestors of the Kharadron were struggling to stay safe in the Age of Chaos, the other Order factions abandoned them as a lost cause like an bunch of shitty assholes. The Duardin remembered this, and now refuse to help others unless offered something in exchange (almost universally Aether-Gold). That being said, if the Kharadron have useful trading partners that are threatened, the Kharadron will jump in to help, but not out of sentimentality, but instead out of pure pragmatism. After all, a living ally is more profitable than a dead one. This means that although they're mercenary assholes, they're smarter than the Fyreslayers who abandon or betray allies at the first glint of Ur-Gold.
Devoted Of Sigmar
Part of the remnants of the former Empire models. Any humans, or any race really, that is in Sigmar's religion. Flagellants, Priests, and Witch Hunters. What, you thought you were getting new models? What do you think you are, Sigmarines?
The rest of the human race. Any people not sworn to Chaos pretty much, which are all Holy Roman Empire German because reasons. Demigryph Knights, plus everything else is called "Freeguild".
Whether as reincarnated defenders who were killed during the fall of the old world or descendants and reclaimers of their lost ancestral culture Fallout-style, they still exist in their old forms.
Prior to the birth of the Stormstormst Stormstormals the Humans played a pivotal role building civilizations and fighting in Sigmar's name. They labored to build the Tzeentch-proof wall, and follow Sigmar's vision in their own unique ways.
Human and Dwarf artillery and weapons of war. Includes Steam Tanks and flying machines.
Dwarfs. Interestingly they have old-school Slayers called the Unforged, who are basically the same except Slayers swore to find death in battle due to breaking an Oath while Unforged are simply insane due to being mindfucked by Chaos.
Grungni helped forge the Stormcast Eternals for his bro Sigmar. Awwww.
After the initial falling out of the pantheon of Order, Grungni was the first fellow god Sigmar sought out and he found the Duardin living in a land called Anvrok where they had established mountain Holds and..."cloud mines" (the author of this article feels dirty having typed that). The Duardin who worship Grungni are absolutely loyal to Sigmar, although they rarely venture out of their own lands unless summoned as the race as a whole have taken to hermit-like lifestyles.
The Celestial Vindicators (teal metal (Lot like Rusted copper) with gold trim, white details, and reddish leather) are the Sigmarine faction assigned to dwell with the Steamheads, and were Sigmar's emissaries to them.
The new Elves of the setting are called "Aelves", made up of three elf subfactions (Highborn, Exiles, and Wanderers) from the previous world. All Aelfs were trapped within Slaanesh's belly while he hid in a cave trying to digest them like some creepy fucking porn you'd see on the internet until Tyrion, Teclis and Malerion captured the Dark Prince and made him/her/it spit them out.
The Highborn are on Sigmar's side, and are led by Tyrion (along with Teclis, who somehow managed to come back to life). Tyrion's power over light somehow managed to render him permanently blind; as a result, he's dependent on Teclis to help him with basically anything that requires sight. No word on how Teclis feels about this.
The Eldritch Council is the High Elves from the Saphery army list, including Wizards, Swordmasters of Hoeth, and Loremasters. Plus the Wizard on Dragon.
Former devotees of Asuryan, now worshiping the Ur-Phoenix, one of the eight great God Beasts of the realms (Because worshipping Sigmar and Dracothian is too mainstream and as Aelves they are far too cool for that). Brought back from death by necromanc... --BLAM!--THE WILL OF THE UR-PHOENIX! Once they are resurrected they swear an oath of silence from then on as they fight alongside Sigmar's armies.
Phoenixes, Anointed, Phoenix Guard, and not-Caradryan.
If you thought renaming wasn't painful enough already. Chrace. White Lions of Chrace, Lion Chariots.
Caledor. Dragon Princes, which are now called Dragon Blades, plus the Prince on Dragon model.
The miscellaneous category of Highborn. Skycutters, Chariots, and Shadow Warriors. With the Spire of Dawn box, this faction now includes Reavers, Lothern Sea Guard (now Spireguard) and the Warden on Griffin.
The Exiles give only token lip service to Sigmar; their true loyalty is to themselves and Malerion (formerly Malekith). After forming a new body for himself using nothing but his own bitterness and reuniting with Morathi (who somehow managed to survive being dragged into the Warp by Slaanesh, and then made it to the realm of Shadow like Malerion did), he agreed to work with Sigmar as part of the forces of Order. Even as a god, Malerion/Malekith seems doomed to be stuck living with his mother.
Scourge Privateers are Exile pirates. Kharybdiss, Scourgerunner Chariot, Corsairs, and the Fleetmaster.
Daughters Of Khaine
Khaine may not exist anymore, but apparently his faith still does. Presumably led by Morathi now, they have the Witch Elves, Doomfire Warlocks, and the two kits; Cauldron of Blood and Bloodwrack Shrine.
Most of the troops of the Aelves that survived the purge, all Dark Elves. Black Guard, Dreadspears, Darkshards, Bleakswords, and both the Sorceress on foot and the Sorceress on Dragon.
Dark Elf Assassins and Dark Riders.
Cold One (now called Drakespawn) Riders and Chariots, the Dreadlord on Dragon, and the War Hydra.
All surviving Wood Elf models plus the Sisters of Avelorn. Ran like the tree hugging cowards they are in the Age of Chaos and Allarielle is still pissed at them. Their mission now is to follow the way and place down waystones to bring nature to realms outside azyr which sounds like way too much shit to me, because what about ghyran!
The spooky side of things. Same goals as Order, but they don't play nice and their secondary goal is ruling over the survivors after Chaos is gone. In the war-torn Mortal Realms, the unquiet dead are plentiful indeed. Some have the power to bind the slain to their will, from the most bestial corpse to the most kingly of specters. Their revenant armies walk abroad in every realm, grave-cold blades hacking into warm flesh whenever their masters seek dominion over the living. They all originate from the realm of Shyish, formed from the Afterlives of this setting and the wind of death.
Shyish is considered the best-defended realm after Azyr because;
- Being the Afterlife for this setting means any mortal who dies and don't get taken by Sigmar or Chaos go here since Shysh now is "every Netherworld that ever was, or will be" where the Winds of Magic themselves die.
- Theoretically this gives them one of, if not the, most numerous army, with the dead of seven realms plus their own.
- Undead don't need rest or nourishment
- They can pop up anywhere at anytime with necromancy.
- Their ranks are bolstered every time one of their enemies falls in battle
- Bonus points for being spooky.
Three guesses who rules this faction... no undead, and very few otherwise, can rival Nagash, the Great Necromancer – even Sigmar himself has cause to fear his name. Nagash came back with the Wind of Death, took control of the Afterlifes in the new setting and formed the realm of Shyish. He allows living mortals to remain in his realm, but they must worship him (probably to provide blood for the vampires to feed off too). This departure from his "... turn the entire world into a kingdom of death, where no action would be taken except when he willed it" plan suggests he may have learned something from all his experiences. Nagash also brought back some of his Mortarchs; Arkhan (obviously), Neferata and maybe Krell. Mannfred was stripped of his title of Mortach and exiled to a place of constant decay due to his End Times betrayals of Nagash. Nagash has no mercy or regret in him, and has less than none for Mannfred; yet strangely Mannfred still got to keep his Dread Abyssal (didn't think Nagash gave severance packages) and was later promoted back to Mortarch. He's not allowed in parts of the Realm of Death as Arkhan gives him a warning before blasting him when he attempted to bring Sigmarines for a peace meeting.
tl:dr; Nagash is Darkseid as a gigantic skeleton and Shyish is Apokolips with Gothic and Ancient Egyptian architecture.
Ignoring his epiphany about teamwork from the End Times thanks apparently to Archaon and Tzeentch realizing they could not defeat a united Death and Order and slipping stupid pills into his...well, not even that makes sense...whatever they did to make him go full retard, he fights the forces of Chaos alone, and ended up getting defeated personally by Archaon. Still unwilling to accept defeat and too proud to accept a place in the forces of Order, he is currently in the state he always seems to be in: gathering power, just about to return. Some things never change. Since then Archaon has taken over most of the Realm of Death, and has trapped most of the souls of the dead in a giant cage which prevents Nagash from accessing them.
Nagash still has the same old goals:
- Destroy everyone else, rule those willing to bow down to him.
- Eat Chaos, become supreme god of spooky. Because that worked so well the last time he tried it.
Despite his betrayal, he still allowed some Undead to remain in Sigmar's service. However Nagash DOES NOT LIKE what Sigmar is doing with the Stormcast Eternals. Nagash sees those souls as his, but is unable to stop them from returning directly to Sigmar in order to be reborn unless Nagash personally kills them himself. He's also the one behind the degradation of the Stormcast Eternals; each time they die Nagash tries to grab their souls but only manages to grab and take parts of them, such as emotions, memories and experiences.
Death has a nifty new special character it could also feasibly share with Order, technically just a named human Banshee called The Silver Maiden from the Realm of Metal. In life she was Celemnis, a Swordmaiden of the Argent Sisterhood. Daughter of a powerful Wizard and one of the greatest heroes of a region called Anvrok, she used her own hair to create magical swords that could even harm incorporeal foes like spirits and Daemons. When Tzeentch's warbands invaded, they slaughtered the citizens of the city and brought her to their leader Ephryx. For refusing to fuck him, she was boiled alive in silver, causing her and many other spirits wielding her swords to remain in the Shattered City, bringing misery and death to anyone who doesn't belong. Spoooooooky.
Then the Sigmarines came and their undead chaplain convinced her they were the good guys and that it was pay-back time, so she proceeded to chop all the Tzeentchies down and show the Stormcasts where Ghal-Maraz was, swell gal.
Neferata's domain of Nulahmia (no, seriously, "New Lahmia") has fallen under siege by Slaaneshi. Slaanesh... of all the Chaos armies... because apparently some Chaos Lord wants to try a bit of Mortarch minge. That's quite a thing to sneak past the kiddies, GW! Anyway, we last saw her accepting help from Stormcast Eternals looking to renew ties with the Undead on Sigmar's behalf before Nagash himself crashes the party like the attention whore he is and agrees to hear the Stormcast diplomats out.
Notably, despite no non-Daemon soul escaping Nagash and the Undead being eternal now, the only characters from the entire Warhammer setting to return are Nagash, Mannfred, Arkhan, and Neferata. All the other Mortarchs are gone, as their models have been renamed to generic counterparts (cue cries out outrage from all the fans of Vlad and Krell). Finally, in an act that sent ripples of pain throughout the fanbase, the Tomb Kings faction and all their models were given the axe without even a sentence explaining their absence in Age of Sigmar (even "they died on the way to their home planet" would've been better than nothing).
So far Death is the smallest grand alliance with the least amount of new models for it, the fewest subfactions, the fewest new books (so far only having the Flesh Eater courts), and the least amount of attention from GW in terms of lore. It also seems to be portrayed as perhaps the weakest grand alliance, having the only faction leader who's lost in single combat so far and seemingly the least influence in the nine realms. Hopefully in time this will change.
Nagash, Neferata, Arkhan, and Mannfred plus the Morghasts. See more on DEATHLORDS here
The Vampires. Yes, the word Vampire has been replaced by "Soulblight". Dracula is a Soulblight. Soulblight Bats. Interview With A Soulblight. Soulblight: The Masquerade. Since Vlad von Carstein, Konrad von Carstein, and Isabella von Carstein are gone they are now simply "Vampire Lord"s.
Necromancers and the Mortis Engine. Please try to ignore the pang of hate when you see that Heinrich Kemmler is now just "Necromancer".
Zombies. Fuck, this is painful.
Skeletons and Wights. Like Kemmler, Krell is now just "Wight King".
Strigoi and ghouls. Note that if you want a Strigoi Ghoul King, you still have to buy the Zombie Dragon/Terrorgheist kit or seek the internet for a good ol' Strigoi vampire. Fucking cheap sons'a... Hilariously the Varghulfs are also there, and heroes to boot.
In the new canon, the Ghouls and not-Strigoi began with Ushoran of all beings, who managed to survive the destruction of the old setting and was imprisoned in something called the Shroudcage by Nagash. He escaped and created a kingdom of monstrous undead due to his madness now being contagious, and gathered the living of the Realm of Death to him. As a result, most of the Flesh-Eater Courts are actually still alive (Ghouls are no longer Undead inbred monstrous humans, but rather just the starving peasants). Instead of being bestial monsters marauding the wilderness like werewolves, the Abhorrent Ghoul Kings are tragic figures like King Lear who see a court of magnificent marble and silk-wearing courtiers but instead are the scarred and tainted wearing rags.
Some are so delusional that some see Nagash as Sigmar, a benevolent golden deity. Some are in rebellion against him, on the side of the Carrion King. Some ally with Chaos, or other factions. Unlike the Warhammer Fantasy Strigoi who run around naked and can only used half-chewed bones and looted rusty implements as weapons, the Flesh-Eater Courts have a more Skaven-like degree of refinement but without the mad science. This is due to the madness of any Ghoul Kings causing an illusion by proximity to their followers; in one story Ghouls snarling and fighting with their claws over the entrails of an Ogre suddenly see each other as soldiers in arms, who address each other kindly and share their "loot" as kinsmen as soon as their lord (who they see as a shining knight on a horse speaking with another knight) passes them. Another sees himself as a knight who has lost his sword and is forced to rely on his fists leading an army of men clad in bright livery who fight monsters, and completely ignores his own monstrous reflection in the eyes of his enemy as he tears into the neck of what is really a human.
Some manage to organize and even appear as somewhat pitifully trying to emulate what can be called "Bretonnian", but still only look like devolved creatures in tatters.
The Flesh-Eater Courts represent most of the humans in every single Realm, as when the Carrion King vanished many fled the Realm of Death. All beings are welcome among them, and those who aren't likely become food that the Ghouls drag back to whatever cave, ruin, or giant corpse of a monster their Ghoul King uses as a home.
The entire rest of the Death faction is hunting down Ushoran, AKA the Carrion King, AKA the Rot-skinned King, AKA the Blood Rose Prince, AKA Sumeros the Summerking. He's been sighted everywhere, caught never. Any being with information is expected to report sightings to the Mortarchs, who dispense rewards accordingly.
Finishing off the list of painful Death renames is Nighthaunts, the ghosts and for some strange reason the Black Coach.
The forces uninterested in beating Chaos, or more specifically not caring about who it is that they beat. Destruction is now more chaotic than Chaos, to the point even Tzeentch cannot really predict or control them with any degree of certainty.
Most of Destruction is the former Orcs & Goblins, led by Gorkamorka, the two-headed combined form of the old gods Gork and Mork (or is it Mork and Gork?), who separates back into the two when greenskins fight each other. Confirmed that Gork is the brutal one while Mork is the sneaky one, though that has been implied if not outright stated for years with any implication otherwise being a joke. He was initially interested in Sigmar's plans until he got bored and led the savage elements of the reborn world on a massive reality spanning WAAAGH and finally settling to his realm made of Ghur, the Wind of Beasts. Now they're predictably trying to get in as many fights as they can, and don't really give a fuck about exactly who it is that they're fighting.
The posterboy of Destruction is Gordrakk, the firstborn son of Gorkamorka/Gork and Mork (or was it Mork and Gork, because even Gordrakk isn't quite sure) dubbed the Fist Of Gork, and was the first greenskin in the new setting. All beings of Destruction bow to him as their absolute Warboss for being the 'ardest, the absolute pinnacle of both Brutality and Cunning at once. Gordrakk is directly connected to his gods, who are present with him at all times. He sees them as "more suggestions of shapes than shapes themselves, but powerful for all of that" who feud or cooperate in his presence and gently whisper their will and interests to him. He notices that all other beings of Destruction follow their mood, but only he is aware of why a WAAAGH! can form out of beings who hate each other or turn in on itself out of the blue. And gave 'is boyz ork armour. Nice.
Orcs Orruks, the literal 'ardest. They take the place of the Black Orcs, who look upon these superior greenskins with envy as they pry armor off of dead Warriors of Chaos and pound it into shape with their fists into a magnificent covering (see The Worf Effect for an explanation). Reminds you of anyone else?
Ironjawz are the elites among all Destruction, who do not even tolerate the existence of weak and lesser things than themselves.
Just as the Stormcast Eternals resemble Space Marines for Order, Ironjawz are visually just Orks wearing Power Armor. The preview images are painted in a ridiculous bright yellow, leading many to dub them "Tonka Orcs" in addition to "Orkmarines".
- Ardboys, which are the rank and file of the Ironjawz. Not technically born of Ironjawz, Ardboys are simply any
OrcsOrruks massive enough to be tolerated among them (who in the previous Warhammer would be Warbosses). Thought to be a silly and eccentric lot due to them desiring musicians when all other Ironjawz see it as a waste of weapon-holding hands, marching in disciplined ranks while other Ironjawz are individually focused on getting themselves into the battle as soon as possible, and using cloth to make banners differentiating themselves which Ironjawz see as pointless. Most Ardboys wear helmets.
- Brutes, the elite among the Ironjawz. They aren't stupid so much as ignorant on an unprecedented scale, they ONLY understand fighting. Not war, not tactics, fighting. They have only one goal; smash. When they encounter a wall, they smash it. When they encounter a tree, they smash it. When they encounter things that move, they smash it. They have no motivation, thought, or desire other than to destroy.
- Gore-gruntas, basically the boars of the old setting with more muscle and spiky things. Dire Dire Boars. Gore-gruntas eat almost anything, and the metal that they shit out is called Pig-iron and used to form the weapons and armor of the Ironjawz.
- Megabosses. Yes, that's really what they're called. Megabosses are Ironjawz that have killed a lot. The more fights an Ironjawz survives the bigger they grow, and when none is larger that Ironjaw is the new leader making Megabosses the best of the best (sir, with honors!).
- Weirdnob Shamans. Orruks with almost no control over their own bodies due to the insanity required to channel the magic of Destruction and its out-Chaosing chaotic nature through them. They twitch, squirm, spasm, drool, gibber, and cause extremely random fucking shit to happen.
- Warchanters Ironjawz mostly think music is pointless, but Warchanters are percussion masters whose entire job is to take anything that can be held and hit anything else to create a loud noise like a drum beat which causes flashmobs of Ironjawz similarly hitting random things in rhythm.
- Maw-krushas Giant Wyvern-looking things. Have the personality of Brutes. Ridden by Megabosses. Their physiology works on the same system of "clap your hands if you believe" as 40k Orks, as they can fly despite their wingspan being too small to lift their bulky, rotund physiques; however the book suggests they're so belligerent even gravity doesn't want to mess with them.
All the vanilla Orc models that survived the great purge of models at the release of the Destruction book. Orcs are the weakest and smallest (the older models still in production), Orruks are the Boyz, they have Boarboys and Boar Chariots still, a Warboss, Shaman, and a Warboss riding a Wyvern. All inferior to Ironjawz.
Savage Orcs. Including Savage Orruks, Savage Orruk Boarboys, Shamans, and Warbosses. Shamans are technically called Ju-ju Doks now and the orruks aren't naturally primitive anymore, but have been driven mad by the waaagh!'s power. They are led by Wurrgog Prophets (aka not Wurrzags) plus their second-in-command Wardokks and their elite are called Maniaks. They go around hunting monsters in the realm of beasts and use ju-ju to transfer the killed monsters' strength into their various bone weapons and charms. Wow, I'm starting to bone. All inferior to Ironjawz, despite being "the waaagh!'s main emissaries."
Giants. In this setting the Giants didn't get rekt by the Ogres and are still intelligent enough to form societies and even build cities, though most of them wander around like giants of the old world. One of their units known as an Aleguzzler. How that works with only one model is anyone's guess. Aleguzzler's fluff implies that they get absolutely wasted and then stagger into the enemy lines, causing drunken destruction.
Forest Goblins and their spiders.
Ogres, now called Ogors, with an even worse faction name. Leadbelchers, Butchers, Gorgers, Scraplaunchers, Ironblasters, Ironguts, rank and file Ogres, Tyrants, and Gnoblars which are now just "Grots" with different models.
Ogres Ogors. Stonehorns, Thundertusks, Yhetees (many fans were angry over these surviving while their favorites were squatted), Hunters, Mournfang Cavalry, Sabretusks. Now they are a tribe of nomadic snowy weirdos [alfrostuns to themselves] who bring winter wherever they go and fight to eat [and their appetites are still huge]. Cue the sticking theme words EVERYWHERE with icefall yhetees, icebrow hunters, frost sabres, frostlords, frost hunters [reaches for gun to shoot GW...]
Archaon the Everchosen was tested once again by each of the Chaos Gods following the End Times, as they wanted him to turn to them as their new supreme champion he again defeated their challenges without feeling any loyalty towards them, and each granted him new powers until he was a demigod, and Incarnate of Chaos itself. Great Horned Rat attempted to give him a blessing upon joining the pantheon, but Archaon refused it and spat in GHR's face. Demigod Archaon has been given the title of "Grand High Marshall of Chaos" (so much for Chaos being Chaotic), and basically has free-reign to do whatever the fuck he wants for whatever reason (everything Be'lakor wanted but could never have). Interestingly, this creates an entire new position in Chaos hierarchy without it being clear if Archaon can command Chaos Gods who are not part of the Great Game, if he has supreme authority over all of the Daemon Princes, and so on. As a side note, Dhorgar changed from a Daemon horse to a $100 Daemon dragonish thing.
Slaanesh gorged himself on souls during End Times until he was so bloated he was unable to move (just like those creepy porn comics you've read about), and spent post-End Times (before or after Archaon's second ascendance isn't clear) hiding in a cave while digesting. Tzeentch manipulated Khorne into attacking the armies defending him, which allowed the Aelfs Tyrion and Malerion to kidnap him which removed him from the Great Game while enabling them to retrieve all the souls of Elves killed in End Times and possibly even before then (some have taken advantage of the undefined explanation of exactly who the Aelfs are to say Eldar have come to a Warhammer Fantasy setting). Slaanesh's forces, who are justifiably freaking out that their god(dess) is missing, are currently invading Ulgu in search of Malerion for clues as to where their god(dess) is. To quote White Dwarf, "THE FORCES OF CHAOS HAVE ARRIVED... BUT WHERE IS THE DARK PRINCE?" The other Chaos Gods are actually happy he/she/it is gone, but the Chaos Gods have always hated each other so that's to be expected.
After the end of the old world and his ascension, Archaon spent his time obliterating many universes and slaying kings and what not. He recieved a vision from his (apparently now un-smashed) third eye which foretold the events until the release of Age of Sigmar, with the final vision being Archaon apparently killing Sigmar (although Order fans that were unamused with ANOTHER "Chaos wins" spoiler ending to this universe noted that in Archaon's vision, Slaanesh was still gone). The Chaos Gods sent a Champion each (Tzeentch, Nurgle, Khorne, Great Horned Rat) to kill Archaon but each was defeated, with Dhorgar feasting on their souls which resulted in a Khornate head, a Tzeentchian head, a Nurglite head, and the two tails that Great Horned Rat's servants have.
Once Chaos had taken 7/8 of the Realms, with Sigmar as the only holdout, Khorne basically screamed "WILDCARD, BITCHES!" and blitzed his way into Nurgle's Garden and Tzeentch's Maze, allowing the other factions to reclaim their lands (although the Daemon-wrought damage now makes them resemble something out of Brütal Legend). Archaon's Chaos armies only defeat came at the hands of Morelion and Morathi in the Realm of Shadow, a place which now fascinates him.
Chaos continued its Saturday Morning Cartoonification when Be'lakor was killed by Seraphon, more specifically; Skinks riding pterodactyls dropped rocks on him until he popped. Although this happened in a White Dwarf battle report, and Be'lakor's model was only used to represent a generic Daemon Prince, others have defended it saying that White Dwarf has access to all Warhammer models and thus had no reason to use Be'lakor unless it was Be'lakor in narrative and a weaker model on the tabletop for balance reasons. Others have suggested it was only Changeling, pulling the same trick he did in End Times. Regardless, the Seraphon still managed to close the portal. See: Skub.
It's been theorized that Nurgle's almost single-minded obsession with the Sylvaneth is because he wants to claim Alarielle as his new waifu. No word on whether this means he'll keep her as is or make her the Poxfulcrum; who was retconned from Isha to Shallya in End Times, then secretly replaced by some elf wizard called Kalara in Araloth's Realm of Chaos excursion.
The Great Horned Rat's been doing very little on his own at first glance, mostly having Clan Pestilens work closely with Nurgle's forces in the Realm of Life. However it may be worth noting that GHR is literally the god of a race who pretty much have a monopoly on backstabbing the guy above you and taking their place, and with Slaanesh missing Nurgle is currently the weakest of the classic Chaos Gods. Based on this, there's some recurring theory that says that GHR has a backstabby-ulterior motive for getting so friendly with Nurgle.
One of the confirmed tribe names for Chaos humans is the Gjallervolk, obviously the direct replacement to the old Warriors
Same old, same old. So to recap: Khorne wages war on Sigmar. Nurgle is obsessed with Alarielle, since she's sexy feral Isha. Slaanesh is missing, his forces are split between those trying to find him/her/it and those trying to replace him as "Ur-Slaanesh", the main contender for which is a Keeper of Secrets named Luxscious (no, seriously) and Archaon since 'Everchosen' briefly touches on majority of Mortal and quite a few Daemon worshippers are using him as a 'go to' figure for veneration. Tzeentch is still fucking around everywhere being an annoying shit, but Games Workshop is finally letting him get shit done; he arranged for Slaanesh's capture and tricked Sigmar into losing Ghal-Maraz (Sigmar got it back but that's still something). Fun things too, he also indirectly helps Order sometimes. During the Realm of Life Campaign, Tzeentch did his part sabotaging Nurgle's plans in the Realm of Life. He wanted Sigmar to get his cities up and running so that he can extend his influence and do more plotting in those new mortal bastions. He's the Chaos God most likely to side with Order temporarily just to mess with the other Gods' plans. Horned Rat is now Great Horned Rat, a Chaos God. Archaon is the top dog in charge of all Chaos, hates and is hated/loved <3 by everyone else oh and will kill that damn Rat thinking it's one of the Gods. Nurgle better watch his disgusting back.
Say goodbye to Slaanesh kids, daddy/momma is goin' bye-bye.
Daemons Of Chaos
Daemons Of Khorne
Khorne gets his own Daemon faction. Everything Khorne and Daemon.
Daemons Of Nurgle
As you would expect, all Nurgle Daemons.
Daemons Of Tzeentch
Tzeentch's Daemons, moving on.
Host Of Slaanesh
Since Slaanesh has been demoted, his faction is now all of his Daemons and exclusive mortal followers. Note that Sigvald is now a generic model Chaos Lord Of Slaanesh, with no special rules.
Most of this faction actually worships Archaon as Slaanesh. No, seriously. They think Archaon has a personality inside him that deep down wants to be the little girl. They call this being "Placebo" (no, seriously, this is actual GW lore).
The rest are split between those looking to rescue Slaanesh and those looking to BE Slaanesh.
Khorne has his own faction, essentially just the Warriors of Chaos with Khornate theme and the new Age faction models. Their Blood warriors look like Worldeaters. Oddly enough, theirs were the only miniatures to receive approval from the Warhammer Fantasy fanbase although many have complained the new Daemon resembles something from 40k, with a hint of Alien except with a skull in its mouth. Said Daemons are the "Khorgoraths" who are mortal men so infused with Khorne's magic their skin becomes like liquid boiling blood with skulls bubbling within, and in time they come to resemble Khorne himself not unlike how Great Unclean Ones resemble Nurgle.
In all of reality, the Bloodbound only respect one foe; the Sigmarines. Nurgle, Aelfs, Orruks, nobody is worthy except the Sigmarines to face the Khornates. Whether this goes as far as Khorne respecting Sigmar isn't known. (Warrior God VS Warrior God - got to have respect there and many manly chest beating to boot)
The Bloodbound (or at least some Bloodreavers) are cannibals, and consume the flesh of their foes almost exclusively (preferably while the meal is still alive interestingly enough, as it goes against many of Khorne's common themes of killing on the battlefield). Doing this, they believe, imbues them with the divine power of Khorne. This actually makes sense if you know your shit regarding the spirituality of cannibalistic practices. In fact it's rather similar to a pre-Islamic Turkic practice that held that drinking from the skull of your enemies allowed you to devour their souls and gain their power.
Khorne's initial army (in Aqshy, anyway) was led by a warlord named Khul, who wanted to become a Daemon Prince and constructed a giant pyramid of skulls in order to earn the highest possible position. He had planned to cap it with a Sigmarine skull, although in the actual battle with the Sigmarines he was not able to actually secure the skull despite killing the Sigmarine while a Sigmarine skeleton ironically blew up the pyramid. He kicked Vandus Hammerhand's gold-plated ass pretty well in Nick Kyme's War Storm, so kudos to him for knocking the Sigmarines off their high fucking perch, albeit temporarily. Archaon in 'Balance of Power' did a number on Vandus by virtually cutting him in half and killing him outright which he laughed about it later after massacring the rest of his stormhost 'The Hammers of Sigmar'.
The Bloodbound mortal humans are specifically a Khornate-flavored addition called Bloodreavers. It has been noted that the Bloodreavers seem to have a mixed-race feel, suggesting the Mortals are no longer just not-Björk-Björks and not-Mongols anymore. Nonetheless, they have fair hair, vaguely Scandinavian-sounding names like "Skargan", "Hroth" (which, depending on what you read, either means "gore" or "fame" in Old Norse), Volundr, and use patronymic naming conventions, so they are basically Norscans from the Old World. However, some argue that the presence of dark-skinned people in the Bloodreavers ranks points to them being ethnically diverse. These people forget that the WoC of the original setting also had non-European people among their ranks - the Kurgan and Hung - and that this did not change the fact that the Warriors of Chaos were basically Death Metal stereotypes about Vikings. So it will likely have as much bearing here as it did there. Also, the miniature for the Exalted Deathbringer is an eight foot tall blond bodybuilder with a massive Viking beard and Death Metal hair, so yeah.
The bearded Blood Warrior miniature has been lauded throughout the intrawebs as the best miniature in the starter set due to having the largest beard of any mini GeeDubs has ever put out, even compared to their Dwarf models.
Khorne's new warriors all have names alluding to their deity's blood and decapitation fetish.
- Red Headsman
The OTHER guy who gets all the new models also has his own faction, although it mostly just consists of Nurglite
Warriors of Chaos Mortals and the Glottkin and their pox maggot-riding friends. Appeared in Black Library book Ghal-Maraz (which actually is two novellas) messing around with the realm of life, sadly for them they got most of their story getting kicked by the Stormcasts, but then again, in the End Times these guys nearly wipe out the Empire all by themselves and in the beginning of the novella they had just conquered most of the realm of life, besides they put a great fight against Alarielle, forcing her out of hiding, so all in all they are not that incompetent.
Tzeentch's Warriors of Chaos characters.
Full army coming in January
Archaon, the Varanguard who are Chaos Lords who renounced their (insert faction god) to be one of Archaons chosen in forever service to him and him alone.
Games Workshop FINALLY decided to
give the often-neglected Tzeentch some love throw Tzeentch a bone with the new Gaunt Summoner models (which look like techni-color Hellraiser-style Cenobites). According to GW; "Originating from deep within the Realm of Chaos, the Gaunt Summoners are powerful daemon sorcerers of Tzeentch. Archaon exerts an iron grip upon their souls - they are not only favoured by the Everchosen for their abilities, which are prodigious, but for their helpless devotion to their masters’ twisted whims. Able to twist reality with their dread incantations and engulf whole armies in deadly warpfire, the Gaunt Summoners were responsible for some of the most horrifying atrocities committed during the Age of Chaos. Only nine of these bizarre, faceless creatures exist at any one time, and it is an exceedingly rare event to see more than one appear at any time."
As for Archaon himself? As the newfound Meme indicates, he is now powered solely by ANIME.
- Catches a bolt of Azyr lightning in his hand and crushes it with his hand into nothingness.
- His contempt is so intense that it shatters the earth beneath his feet.
- His and his men's acts of butchery and slaughter caused a Lord of Change that viewed them to weep quicksilver tears of anguish.
Archaon's ultimate goal is to destroy the Chaos Gods still, and while he's their greatest servant they are actually afraid that this can really happen. They continually send their greatest warriors to kill him in random encounters, but like a JRPG character he only grows stronger. Archaon intends to claim all of the Realms in order to gain the power to destroy all of Chaos and rule over a godless kingless united Realm for eternity, but he has to be careful in doing so. He cannot kill the being who controls that Wind (Nagash as Death for example) outright or the Realm will collapse. It will only be his if he holds them until he can somehow extract the former Incarnates from them.
He fights for the freedom of all men, yet also enjoys killing and torturing all beings and comitting genocide against reality.
tl;dr Archaon is Malal now. Or the Emperor.
Slaves To Darkness
All the generic Warriors of Chaos, plus the Daemon Prince.
Monsters Of Chaos
What the name is on the tin. Centigors, Mutilath Warp Beasts, Cockatrices (Cockatrixes?), Chimeras, Razorgors, Chaos Warhounds, Harpies, Slaughterbrutes, and Jabberslythes.
They're Beastmen. Shocking, isn't it? No word on if they've managed to master the art of poopsmithing to improve their culture yet.
Beastmen monsters, basically anything not a goat. Aka the minotaur tribes
Yep, Giants are their own faction. Some of them are called "Aleguzzlers", which sounds more like a dwarf thing. Not to be confused with the other Gargants
Legions Of Azgorh
Pretty much every Forgeworld Chaos model not in Legions Of Azgorh.
They still exist. They are still aligned with Chaos and are still backstabbing little shits.
The Great Horned Rat ascended as the God of Blight (no doubt annoying Nurgle since that's supposed to be his job) and the fourth major Chaos God after Slaanesh's disappearance, but only the Skaven worship him (although any rogue insane humans who consider it would probably be turned into Skaven, making it a self-fulfilling rule) and the other gods (along with Archaon) look down on him, seeing him as a scheming usurper rather than a true equal. He's hoping to get more power, and the Skaven do remain numerous as all fuck.
The day Horned Rat was accepted into the Four, Chaos drew Skavenblight into itself as a fifth realm in the Daemon-controlled Warp, which was renamed Blight City. In true Skaven fashion however, they dug their burrows too deep and accidently sunk Blight City halfway back into the material plane. This turned out to be a blessing as now Skaven can travel anywhere from Warp to material plane at will and bring anything Chaos friendly with them at the moment with.
Skaven thus far have only been seen supporting Nurgle militarily. But "the Great Horned Rat" will rise; given that the Great Horned Rat's M.O. is scheming and treachery and that, with Slaanesh MIA, Nurgle's the weakest of the original Chaos gods, Nurgle getting backstabbed may happen in the future.
It's also possible that, given the treacherous nature of Skaven, they may fight other chaos factions. Could this mean the Great Horned Rat is GW's attempt at a second Malal?
The old Warhammer Fantasy Skaven Clans are now types of Clans; what was once Eshin is now tens of thousands or more of Clans just like Eshin. Because there are as many Elves as the plot demands.
Skaven as a faction are only generic characters, Skaven Slaves, Thrott The Unclean, Packmaster Skweel Gnawtooth, Tretch Craventail, Lord Skrolk, Queek Headtaker, Deathmaster Snikch, and Warlord Spinetail.
The plague rats in Clan Pestilens. They are shown to be working a lot with nurgle rotbringers into taking the realm of life.
Sneaky motherfucker Skaven still. Formerly Clan Eshin.
Clan Moulder are still monster makers. Also have the ordinary Rat Swarms.
Clan Skryre. Rocking the magitek hard.
The Skaven warriors. Clanrats, Stormvermin, Warlords, and the Verminlord Harbinger. As all Skaven players will notice this makes no sense at all.
The former Grey Seers. Basically the Skaven Priesthood. NOT ACTUALLY THE MASTERS OF THE OTHER CLANS.
The Realm of Sigmar, related to celestial bodies and lightning-bolts, more info here.
Grey and covered in mist and illusion. Inhabited by beings known as Shadowkin, and a red eyed god. No word on perpetual pendulum being there too...
The realm of the dead and home to the afterlife of the mortal souls not dedicated to Chaos. From excerpts in the fluff, it seems to be run by a hierarchy of "soulblight" Vampires who worship the works of Nagash. It also seems home to a number of mortals along side the dead and
tombkings (now mummys) somehow fit in here somewhere too not anymore, fuck you Games Workshop!
FIRE. Home to the fiery Fyreslayers. The flaming fireterrain can vary from being akin to the surface of the sun, to being merely volcanic, all the way down to being a mixture of Australia and California Phoenix country in summer in the coldest regions.
In the far north of Ghur is a series of icy mountains called the Ice-Kingdoms of Gjoll, where Nordic-themed humans dwell. So do lots of monsters, including Merwyrms who have now sided with destruction (wtf?!)
Looks a lot like a Conan-The-Barbarian style savage world, with a little heavy metal album cover thrown in.
A realm full of light, duh. A place governed by symbolism, reason and order where everything has more than one meaning and hidden symbolism. It was Teclis's crib until Archaon kicked his punk ass out like an angry landlord and let Tzeentch get first dibs.
THINK OF BEING UNDERGROUND THE WHOLE TIME. IT'S BASICALLY THAT. IT DOESN'T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE BECAUSE IT'S IN THE OPEN. DON'T QUESTION IT, IT'LL WASTE YOUR TIME.
Also the animals are all weird clockwork cyborgs and liquid metal rivers.
Tzeentch took this realm and unlike khorne or nurgle the chaos followers still maintain cities and governments with talk about farming and fishing and shit. Thanks to not being full of retards this is the only realm still fully under chaos control.
Apparently it's also got a sky, underground somehow. Which is controlled by the Kharadron Overlords, so apparently Tzeentch has a nasty dwarf infestation that is either just as planned or not as planned.
Trees, trees and more trees. Alarielle and her tree-friends hang out here and do a bit of gardening. Quite similar to the Realm of Beasts, only with more of an emphasis on life(duh) and nature over stark craggy canyons and shit.
The former underground city of Skavenblight is now a part of it, and thanks to the Skaven somehow tunneling through the bizarre geometries in the endless void they sunk themselves halfway through to reality in some mindfuckey way that adds a metric fuckload of questions which get handwaved as "Its Chaos, you can't explain shit". Skaven can use it to access anywhere they in reality at any time, and have an entrance leading into Sigmar's throne room of all places. Derp.
This is like the London underground if it was simultaneously connected to the New York & Chinese subway system. It is a station with gates leading to all realms including Chaos. This is where Sigmar and friends, using the power of friendship (hah), held off the forces of Chaos before Nagash, being the asshole he is, buggered off. During the age of chaos Archaon built his huge house here and this is from where he controls his EXbawkshueg army. The forces of Chaos call it Eightpoints, and Archaon's ultimate fortress the Varanspire is built at the center of it, where the gates leading to the Realm of Chaos are.
- Baleful Realmgates are all over the Realms and are basically Stargates. Each has a twin, and based on the tabletop stats many have their twins so close they are on the same battlefield. Why exactly something that only transports you a mile or so away is important isn't exactly clear, but hey! Those fuckers, your shit! Beyond that, those entering it run the risk of being eaten by Daemons rather than transported (even actual Daemon armies of the Four suffer this, with...interesting implications), and like old scenery Wizards can channel magic from it.
- Ophidian Archways are things that survived the previous Warhammer world, and they are...mysterious. Apparently there's a bunch of them, each is covered in images of Sigmar (which is apparently the new "skulls errywhere" design) as well as screaming visages in horror (not actually found on the model). Any being who passes under them while feeling fear has their soul sucked out, added to the images. Those same spirits sometimes come to life and attack those who pass under it. Once again, why the fuck anyone would want to control these is unknown, especially since this one doesn't even boost the magic of Wizards around it. GW advertises it as "modular", meaning you can combine them.
- Numinous Occulums are Sigmar's special structures that are directly connected to the Winds of Magic carved with symbols of Sigmar such as gryphons and Mallus as well as scenes showing the destruction of the old Warhammer setting. They consist of a walkway leading up to a gilded cage showing celestial bodies, and it appears to have once been part of a larger building. Wizards can spin the cage portions to access the future and past in order to change both (basically granting just any old asshole the powers belonging to Tzeentch). As a result, these can be assumed to be EXTREMELY FUCKING IMPORTANT.
- Dragonfate Dais is a magical site with a boiling pool of...something surrounded by glowing runes, with a stairway leading to a circle surrounded by three statues of Dracothian crowned with bowls of burning skulls. The entire thing is covered in symbols of the members of Sigmar's pantheon, and beings can use them to attempt to contact and request aid from any divine being from Tyrion to Great Horned Rat.
- Chaos Dreadhold is a category of scenery rather than an actual single set (no, seriously, it has its own category under "Scenery" on their website). Depending on how many components you own, it is either the Malefic Dreadhold, Ironskull Bastion, Direstone Redoubt, Magebane Wall, Skullcoven Forge, Octadic Dreadhold, Summoner's Helgate, or Infernal Realmfort which each have different rules (behind a $20 paywall to even know if you don't want to buy all the models and get them). The full fortress, called "Fortress of Grim Corruption", is a whopping $1,120 'murrican and £680. Note that although this is supposedly a generic Chaos fortress, every single piece of advertising and fluff relating directly to the model makes an allusion to Khorne only.
- Witchfate Tor: It's still around, with some magical upgrades meaning the tower somehow survived the destruction of the old setting. Or is the Tardis, since GW may as well steal that too at this point. Still out of production.
- Garden of Morr: Morr may be gone forever, but Nagash stole his shtick as the new god of death. Garden
s ofParties of MorrNagash are now simply a naturally occurring part of the landscape in the Realm of Death and basically kept their 8e rules with minor alteration. Unlike most of the other old scenery, the Garden is actually still being made and is available to purchase.
- Sylvaneth Wyldwood/Citadel Forest: Yep, it's the same old overpriced aquarium/railroad trees on a base you've come to...know exists. Still in production unfortunately.
You have scrolls defining units, which seems like an interesting idea until you actually see they lack any limit on unit size. There's no army composition at all except apparently build whatever you want and count the number of figures you have. The only token nod to balance is the Sudden Death rule, but will result in games that suck. Either you'll get smashed by a superior force OR you'll get lucky and pull off the Sudden Death objective in which case all the figures your opponent has bought are irrelevant. Not to mention that 'a third' less figures could be a few figures, or hundreds.
The game is divided in three cathegories: matched, narrative and open.
Open is bring whatever you want. The biggest flaw of this specific system is the lack of points costs or substitute. It's not the same issue that 40k had with Unbound lists, where you could just choose not to play with the asshat who brings seven squads of Honor Guard on bikes. No, Age of Sigmar has absolutely no way to judge whether two armies are even remotely evenly matched without extensive trial and error. You could be actively trying to make a balanced, even army with deliberate weaknesses, and still table your opponent by complete accident because you didn't realize cavalry had been buffed into the stratosphere. The lack of points also comes with another side effect, one that should have been obvious: rules-as-written, there is no reason whatsoever to take weaker troops that used to be less expensive. Say you're running Lizardmen, you have no reason whatsoever to run Saurus warriors when you could be running Temple Guard. Similarly, Skaven have no reason to take Clanrats when they could just have Stormvermin.
For army structure there is none but the limitations of the mind and overall theme you as the gamer, are aiming for as freedom is the one key point that make a lot of things awesome and story driven but the balancing factor for 'vanilla' rules is what is know as the 'Sudden Death' mechanic. The overall rule is that if your opponent brings more models than yourself can field then you can claim one of four choices:
Assassinate - Kill an enemy hero/Wizard/Priest/Monster keyword and win the game. Blunt - Enemy player nominates one of their units and if you kill it you win the game. Endure - Have a t least one model survive six turns and win the game. Seize Ground - Grab a patch of land and hold it for four turns and win the game.
Again with this rule it can be used in an abusive way such as having less than a third of your opponent which could be made up of few figures but then you would be 'that guy/gal' which will stigmatize yourself and make it very hard to find pick-up games.
Suffice to say, though, if you go for this kind of playstyle, chances are you aren't going for anything really competitive and are bringing rule of cool to the extreme.
Narrative is playing the campaign books scenarios.
Matched play is the most popular system. Here the victory conditions are changed to whatever of the six mission's you end up playing. Furthermore it adds points and an army composition structure rules.
Terrain now have war scrolls with its own rules set which give an extra layer of strategy and complexity in addition to the introduction of the "Time of War' theme rules set that can be also taken in addition towards all other rules and war scrolls plus adding scenarios into the mix adds to an insane amount of rules to remember and complexity IF you wanted to use it.
There are also special formations located in the respective APP factions/battle tomes/purchased army set, adds flavor to the formation.
Now to get the matter that divided the community when Age of Sigmar came out was that lack of points system which understandably upset a lot of dedicated fans during Warhammer 8th and previous editions but the community has many comp packs that address this issue and is recommend to have a look into it but for what it's worth, narrative and scenario based games is where the balance truly shines. With the lack of points towards all war scroll units, gamers have been scratching their heads wondering why they should bring a unit of X Skeleton warriors rather than a unit of X Blood knights? Rules-as-written shows that the Blood Knights are the clear winners but in combining abilities of the warriors and having a 'Death Hero' near by it can make that 'mediocre' unit into a mathhammering wonder smasher of butthurt proportions - seriously look into the combos you can make and go wild with it. (Gods it's Magic the Gathering all over again!)
Note GW is still testing some rules stuff in Warhammer World Events. They actually set up a 40K-like victory points (now "Laurels of Victory") system for Throne of Skulls' "Clash of Empires" thing, that also partially resolved the no-comp issue by multiplying the scores of the underdog proportionnaly to the opponent's wounds-on-the-table superiority.
The roll system, at first, looks to be of a simply a flat 'to hit' and 'to wound' at face value per weapon application that is until applying the modifiers AFTER the roll(s) which is far different to the old style of applying modifiers BEFORE the roll(s). Using magic and abilities to effect the outcome of such rolls from both you and your opponent during the battle makes for a very entertaining game indeed.
Over all the rules are great way to bring in fresh blood into the fantasy realm with its quick and easy starting rules set which can quickly escalate to an epic complex game if they decided to do so with literally only needing one unit of what-ever-the-hell-you-like to use to boot. Check out the overall rules and tactics here. Or by/buy their battle tomes. For $30 a pop.
The rules' implications
While none of the miniatures have yet been released, the 4-page ruleset seems to imply with but a single line, "Measuring from a model's base" that Age of Sigmar is apparently going to be more like 40k. Hell, there's even Space Marines in Fantasy, and they're fucking named after the 40k space marines. All of this pretty much points to the following:
- Games Workshop started by making Fantasy Battles
- Fantasy battles was its own thing
- GW made Warhammer 40k. At this point it's essentially "Like Fantasy battles, BUT IN SPESS"
- 40k Went along and gradually became its own glorious awesome thing, and completely set the tone for gothic scifi for over 30 years.
- 30 years later Fantasy Battles is completely dead because GW and Forgeworld starved it to provide materials for 40k expansion in all fields. The few remaining players are experiencing an End Times.
- Games Workshop creates Age of Sigmar, which is hailed as "Like 40k, BUT IN FANTASY!"
40 Years from nowOr not; looking as they start moving the timeline, perhaps in this or the following decade: Warhammer 40k will be dead, and the cycle begins anew where it must be reborn as "Like Age of Sigmar, BUT IN SPACE!" where you will gain dice rerolls by putting your finger to the side of your opponent's head and shouting "BLAM HERESY". That or GW will go out of business; they wouldn't squat 40k unless they were balls-to-the-wall desperate.
A tribute to all the models lost in Age of Sigmar. This is not a place of honor, though esteemed dead are buried here.
The most offensive thing to players of the Death faction is that the Tomb Kings army were be Squatted in February 2016, which had already been suspected due to a total lack of "Mummies" on the upcoming book release. It is rumored Games Workshop offered Settra his own army of Skelemarines if he endorsed the new rules, to which he replied "SETTRA NEEDS MORE RULES!" and charged into Games Workshop HQ, Khopesh in hand.
SETTRA WILL RETURN AGAIN ONCE HE FINDS WHERE CHAOS PUT HIS OTHER PARTS!!!!
- On 3/25/16 Bretonnia was officially entirely squatted, moved to the Last Chance section along with most of the other non-Lizardmen and non-Sigmarine Order models in the game. Sadly, many models were already sold out due to the panic ahead of time and within mere hours all of Bretonnia was gone forever. Well, unless you know a recaster or check eBay anyway. Unlike the Tomb Kings, the Bretonnian Warscroll was kept active leaving the entire Bretonnia section of the store just a single free download pdf file.
The Skaven special characters all went too.
- Also in March in 2016 was the squatting of massive chunks of the Dwarf, Empire, and all three Elf armies while what survived was condensed into loosely alike categories.
BRETONNIA STILL EXISTS AND SIGMAR IS JUST A MAN.