Storm of Chaos

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While Warhammer has seen many things that generated a biblical amount of Skub over the years, only one has really ever come remotely close to the level of hostility generated by The End Times, and that would be its predecessor, the 6th Edition Storm of Chaos event. Intended to be a massive RPG event representing the biggest invasion of the empire yet by the Hordes of Chaos under the command of Archaon, the event featured the various factions of the Warhammer universe reacting to the invasion.

For once, it was alleged, this was a chance for every faction to get in on the action, so suffice to say, people were hyped.

It would soon, however, blossom into one of the most notorious cases of Games Workshop showing complete, sneering contempt for its own fanbase.

What Happened?[edit]

Storm of Chaos' premise was simple enough: Have matches regarding the story event at your local FLGS and official tournaments, and the results would be sent in to an official website to help dictate the storyline of the event itself once the event concluded. Big events in the game universe that actually allow some level of involvement are usually a rare treat, often bringing new lore and characters out to the fore and giving a chance for otherwise under-used factions to get themselves a bit of the limelight, while giving experts a chance to crunch data and see what they can see about the game's current level of balance. The progress of the campaign would be measured by a map that would be updated depending on wins and losses taken during the event.

Sadly, it didn't go as planned.

While the centerpiece of the event was the invasion of the Hordes of Chaos, a few problems became clear very quickly, including the fact that while the new edition rules had given massive buffs to certain factions, others weren't as well-balanced or powerful. Between this and a variety of other issues (a larger percentage of newcomers picking up Hordes armies based on their reputations, a large veteran playerbase sticking to their armies of choice, relatively bad balancing of the new rules in general), something amazing happened: Chaos got repeatedly swept in the matches that were sent in. The event wound up being a complete fucking embarassment for GW's writers, who kept pushing forth Gav Thorpe's plot, regardless of how obvious it was that they were essentially ignoring the results of their own event.

During the early phases of the campaign, Chaos repeatedly failed to gain ground, and got held up, essentially, at every major battlefield, when it hadn't been outright fucking routed going by the campaign maps. The response by GeeDubs' writing team was to basically start giving Chaos Plot Armor, declaring wins that hadn't happened, and manipulating events so that Chaos won anyway. Arbitrarily, it was decided, apropos of nothing, that a plague from Nurgle destroyed Castle Lenkster, and that the Brass Keep was taken by the Skaven. This quickly became the start of a pattern.

Later in the campaign, Chaos was assumed to have reached Middenheim. The campaign progression showed otherwise, so GW moved up the battle lines to reflect what Games Workshop wanted.

In spite of this blatant act of favoritism on the part of GW, the forces of Chaos continued to lose repeatedly and hard on almost every battlefield. Chaos was held back at Middenheim for the entire next phase of the campaign, and never even got within striking distance of its walls according to the maps, such was how hard the Hordes were losing. Nonetheless, our man Gavvyboy decided that they did actually reach the walls, though presumably being worried about backlash, ratcheted things back and said they were repelled. Karl Franz didn't show until the final battle, presumably because he had been intentionally been kept back to keep Chaos from losing even harder, which opened up the hilarious plot-hole of why it took the bastard longer to get to Middenheim than it took Archaon to get there from Erengrad, which is several orders of magnitude further away.

A number of the special characters for the event had complete ball-drops happen. Valten engaged Archaon, and lost his horse, before killing Archaon's horse. Valten managed to injure the Chaos champion, only for Archaon to murder his ass. Luther Huss then tried to engage, only to likewise be dealt with. Finally, proving that Orcs are made for fightin' and winnin', Grimgor proceeded to run in, beat the ever-loving shit out of Archaon, declare himself the biggest boss, and then leaving without killing his ass. The biggest "WTF" of the entire storyline was arguably Teclis single-handedly destroying not only Belakor, but his entire army, with a single spell.

The end result of this clusterfuck of an event was that while shaking things up and moving the story forward would have been fine, GW had zero regard for what the players did, and indeed, constantly changed the event map to make it seem like less of a gigantic clusterfuck. Despite thousands of battle results being submitted, GW was content to ignore all of it and push through what they wanted to do anyway, making an event whose overall outcome was completely divorced from what actually happened. It left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, and though it was retconned out of existence later, the same idiocy that hallmarked it came back in force for The End Times in 8th Edition.

New Armies[edit]

Since this was the time when Warhammer Fantasy was pretty awesome, the Storm of Chaos had a lot of new armies that built on existing armies, allowing a player to represent more unique forces born for the event.

Archaon's Horde: A variant of the Hordes of Chaos representing the humans directly under Archaon's command. It introduced the new units Flayerkin (now-forgotten mutant skirmishers and siege-breakers) and the Hellcannon (which has since become a mainstay for Warriors of Chaos).

Daemonic Legions: This was the era of Hordes of Chaos, so whilst pure-Daemon armies could be done, they weren't very good. The Daemonic Legion, which may have given rise to the eventual Chaos Daemons armies for Fantasy and 40K, made them more viable, with some rule-tweaking and the addition of Daemonic Heralds, Mounted Daemonettes (this was the era where classic Steeds of Slaanesh were made a new kind of daemonic steed, unique to this unit, and the name Steed of Slaanesh was given to new snake-daemon beasts), skirmisher-packs of Flamers, Daemonic Cavalry and Daemonic Chariots.

Middenlanders: A variant of the Empire army that focused on the Ulric-worshipping forces of Middenland. Complete with its own armory of magical items, disallowed Empire items, and new units; the White Wolf Knights' Grand Master, the Seneschals of the White Wolf, the Priests of Ulric, the Teutogen Guard, the Warriors of Ulric, the Wolf-Kin and the Hunting Hounds.

Grimgor's 'Ardboyz: A variant of Waaagh! Grimgor Ironhide showing Grimgor's restructured horde after his loss to Vardek Crom. No limit to the Black Orc units, but can't take any Goblin units besides Rock Lobbers and Spear Chukkas, and with the new Effigy of Gork unit.

Slayers of Karak Kadrin: What better opportunity for Slayers seeking an honorable death in battle than to throw themselves against the hordes of Archaon? This lets you field an entire army of Dwarven Slayers, with some new special rules to make them more viable and two new units; the Doomseekers (Slayers who wield axeheads welded to chains wrapped around their wrists, which they use like flails) and the Brotherhood of Grimnir (basically Longbeard Troll Slayers with Magic Resistance 1 for +3 points per model, and using up a Special slot). Lead by Garagrim Ironfist, son of Ungrim Ironfist, who runs into battle literally naked in an attempt to die before his father and wipe out the damnation of being born a Slayer in his family.

The Cult of Slaanesh: Slaanesh worshipping Dark Elves who feel the time is right to come out and play. Can only have Morathi as a special character, various Dark Elf characters/units can be upgraded to have the Mark of Slaanesh, and they can include a Keeper of Secrets, Aspiring Champions of Chaos, Marauders of Chaos, Warriors of Chaos, Knights of Chaos, Fiends of Slaanesh, and Daemonettes, infantry or mounted. They also have the unique Druchii Anointed and Devoted of Slaanesh units, and some unique magical items.

The Army of Sylvania: Variant Vampire Counts army reflecting the Von Carsteins of Sylvania rising to their nation's defense.

Errantry War: A Bretonnia variant army representing their efforts at crusading against Archaon's hordes.

Clan Eshin: An extra sneaky Skaven variant army.

Sea Patrol: A High Elves variant army focused on the naval forces, complete with new spells and a sea-going monster called a Merwyrm as a unit choice.

Characters[edit]

Several new characters, or re-statted old ones, appeared in the Storm of Chaos.

Valten: Special character for the Empire.

Vardek Crom: Special character for the Hordes of Chaos, especially Archaon's Horde.

Be'lakor: In his first ever appearance as a character, he is an auto-general character for a Daemonic Legion.

Boris Todbringer: The Elector Count of Middenland.

Morathi: High priestess of Slaanesh, and the sonfucking queen of the Dark Elves.

Ar-Ulric Emil Valgeir: The High Priest of the Cult of Ulric.

Borgut Facebeater: One of Grimgor's toughest and most loyal followers.

Ungrim Ironfist: The Slayer King of Karak Kadrin.

Garagrim Ironfist: The War-mourner of Karak Kadrin.

Ruglud Bonechewer: Leader of Ruglud's Armoured Orcs, a Dogs of War unit consisting of crossbow-wielding orcs in heavy armor.

Malakai Makaisson's Goblin-Hewer: The creator of the Goblin-Hewer, a Dogs of War unit consisting of a rapid-fire automated axe-throwing machine, created by a character from the Gotrek & Felix stories, who appears to control the machine.

Long Drong: Leader of Long Drong's Slayer Pirates, a Dogs of War unit of mercenary Slayers turned pistol-wielding pirates.