6 Nov 2014

End Times Characters and Units Rules Review II

The End Times started off with a bang a few months ago, featuring the cataclysmic return of Nagash, Valten, Neferata, Crom the Conqueror and numerous other heroes of legend, as well as the deaths of famous characters beyond count. Now, they continue with End Times: Glottkin, named for the hulking northmen trio supremely blessed by Grandfather Nurgle and featuring an updated and combined army list aptly named the Legions of Chaos, featuring the hordes of Beastmen, Daemons of Chaos and Warriors of Chaos unified under the will of Archaeon. While this book focuses more on a vanguard force of Archaeon's world-burning force, this is nonetheless a gift for all scions of the Dark Gods; the rules for Chaos Ascendant, Legions of Chaos and the return of Marks of Chaos for Beastmen gives Chaos players more tools to use in their games than ever before. In this review, I have chosen to cover not just the newly introduced characters and units favoured by Nurgle, but also all the many special rules and potential combinations that End Times: Glottkin offers for the servants of Chaos. I hope you enjoy it! Scratch that - Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne! 

End Times Characters and Units

Orghotts Daemonspew
Despite not being the favourite of the three Maggoth Riders and often considered the weakest of the bunch with the lowest survivability and no magical or support abilities, Orghotts is nonetheless one of the most brutal close combat characters in the game for his points cost and is a match for any equivalently priced model. If we run the numbers, he will thrash Neferata in the space of three rounds of combat despite being 220 points cheaper than her, while someone like Mannfred or Arkhan the Black also cost as much as Neferata but will be similarly annihilated in short order. Tyrion on Malhandir in his current incarnation will fall short of Orghotts despite being within 10 points of the base price of the mighty Chaos Lord - though Orghotts will be left with only three wounds left assuming average rolls - while almost any other combat character you can name with a similar cost to Orghotts will fall in rapid succession. Most units short of great-weapon wielding hordes will be incapable of overcoming Orghotts, especially as he has the equivalent of Tyranid Acid Blood. Heck, even a horde of Hammerers only manages to cause roughly two or three unsaved wounds per round on Orghotts, while he kills between seven and twelve each round on average. Yikes! Considering your average tooled up Chaos Lord usually costs between 300 and 350 points, this speaks volumes of the value of Orghotts given he has 9 wounds and the Monster profile. He is also one of the few melee characters of that price range that can actually stand up to and have a good chance of defeating a tooled-up Vampire Blender Lord build, with a cavalry-mounted one falling roughly most of the time to Orghotts while a foot-based version is virtually guaranteed to lose due to the Thunderstomp. The fact of the matter is that nine attacks (he has paired magical hand weapons) at Strength 8, striking at Initiative 7 with no Always Strikes Last is absolutely insane, especially when each of those attacks is Poisoned and benefits from Orghotts' high Weapon Skill 8. Throw in the Mark of Nurgle on a model with a crazily high Weapon Skill value as it is and Orghotts ranks as one of the best combat characters in the game point-for-point, even before accounting for a Strength 6 Thunderstomp and immunity to Killing Blow.

He is also incredibly hard to put down when compared to the mounted Mortarchs, having nine wounds at Toughness 5 with a 3+ armour save and 6+ ward save; the extra point of Toughness does give a slight edge to the Mortarchs generally, but the Mark of Nurgle and an actual armour save - and a good one at that - make Orghotts pull ahead of at least Neferata and Arkhan in terms of survivability. Don't forget that the three Maggoth Lords are not Large Targets and can thus benefit from cover bonuses, making them far more resistant to shooting attacks than the Mortarchs. He has the attacks and Thunderstomp to eat entire units on his own while hiding behind his very nice defensive stats, while almost any combat character short of Karl Franz Ascendant will fall flat on their face against his predations. Many will argue that such insane combat prowess is unnecessary given how expensive the model is points-wise with a Level 4 Wizard usually being the superior option, but isn't that what the End Times rules are for, anyway? The other Maggoth Lords also strike at Strength 8, sure, but not striking at Initiative is a big blow against certain opponents that can actually threaten them. Ultimately, however, I do agree with the general consensus that putting a Level 3 Wizard or having a 4+ Regeneration save on the Maggoth Lords are generally more useful than having the improved combat prowess just because they are either more durable or provide better value for the points investment. I am of the firm belief though that Orghotts is easily worth his points if you do want a combat-centric character as there is very little that can stand against him when you realize just how cheap he is for what he brings to the table. Heck, just run him into a unit of Monstrous Cavalry and watch the carnage as he tears entire units of them apart by himself with ease - his thin base size means he has a big advantage over many elite melee units by denying them loads of attacks! Being Leadership 9 also makes him a superior General compared to both Bloab and Morbidex for the purposes of Inspiring Presence, though I will say that his shooting attack is almost pointless given he is Movement 6 and wants to get into combat - if the ranged attack had a range greater than 6", it would be worth a bit more, though being able to Stand and Shoot with it is nice of course.
Competitive? Yes.

Bloab Rotspawned
The Maggoth Lord equivalent of a Sorcerer Lord, Bloab is my personal pick of the trio competitively because he combines a Level 3 Wizard using the respectable Lore of Nurgle with some great survivability and damage output by virtue of being a Monster. Where Orghotts is a melee-centric character, Bloab is easily the most "versatile" of the three Maggoth Lords by not only being a wizard and having decent combat prowess, but also providing by far the best shooting attack of the trio. Three Wizard Levels means an army list with just Bloab as its' Lord choice spellcaster will suffer a bit in terms of magic defence at first glance, though it is still better than what either Orghotts or Morbidex bring to the table by a hefty margin. The spells on offer generally help Bloab to greatly weaken his opponents to make them even more vulnerable to his shooting attack, while the lore attribute is almost as ridiculous here as it is for the Glottkin. Having six attacks at Strength 8 that Always Strikes Last and benefit from Weapon Skill 5 give Bloab some nice damage output that is almost equivalent of a generic Chaos Lord armed with a great weapon - though obviously if you can make use of the Strength 6 Thunderstomp Bloab will emerge the victor in that comparison - while Initiative 5 means he isn't vulnerable to the Pit of Shades or any of the test-or-die spells. He has similar survivability to Orghotts with eight Toughness 5 wounds and a 3+ armour save, though losing a wound and the 6+ ward save mean he is the most fragile of the three - even if it isn't by any significant amount, it is still something to point out. The Mark of Nurgle makes him a tough competitor in close combat, though it obviously provides little assistance against the war machines that will inevitably be pointed his way. However, it is in the special rules that Bloab truly proves his worth as the most competitive Maggoth Lord option.

Whereas the other two have a shooting attack that is virtually only there for Stand and Shoot charge reactions, Bloab's is actually downright scary by firing a stone thrower shot that hits at Strength 3 and ignores armour saves. This will scythe through heavy cavalry, regular infantry and other such units respectably, though lacking the Multiple Wounds special rule and only impacting at Strength 4 under the hole means it isn't very useful for character or monster hunting. Additionally, any enemy unit within 6" of Bloab at the start of his Magic phase suffers D6 Strength 3 magical hits, making Bloab a potent anti-chaff tool that can easily rid himself of Ethereal units that try and hold him up - these hits might be distributed as for shooting attacks but they can still hit engaged units! However, what really sets Bloab apart is that he provides a +1 bonus to all of his casting attempts that makes him act as a pseudo Level 4 Wizard, though easily the best part of this rule is that he also extends a -1 penalty to any enemy casting attempts made within 12". When you consider that most people take Level 4 Wizards for magic defence rather than actually winning the game through the use of spells, this is an impressive rule to have that can actively cause an otherwise successfully cast spell to be treated as a failure, while bringing opposing Level 4 Wizards down to Bloab's level. Being a Movement 6 Monster helps with the limited range and also means he will be difficult for your opponent to target with close-ranged spells such as Spirit Leech which would otherwise prove a huge threat given he has a "mere" Leadership 8. On that note, Bloab isn't that great of a General because his Inspiring Presence is only Leadership 8, though with the End Times rules this isn't such an issue as you can simply throw an Exalted Hero into a unit with the Standard of Discipline and have a cheap General that hides in a unit safe from harm. Frankly, this is a small note when compared to the insane value Bloab brings; he is an improved stone-thrower, a great combat character, a Level 3 Wizard with benefits and a very tough eight-wound Monster all thrown into one model that still manages to only barely exceed the 400 point mark. He is a fantastic choice and there is little doubt in my mind that competitive Nurgle-themed army lists will often field this putrid blob of rotting flesh.
Competitive? Yes.

Morbidex Twiceborn
Whereas Orghotts is quite obviously an empowered Chaos Lord, Morbidex has stats more in line with an Exalted Hero given he has Weapon Skill 7, Initiative 6 and 7 Attacks as opposed to Orghotts' eight, seven and nine, respectively. As the cheapest of the Maggoth Lords, Morbidex seems like the weakest at first glance with combat stats that aren't far removed from Bloab's, the same armour save and the worst of the three shooting attacks while also possessing no spellcasting capabilities. The Mark of Nurgle on a Weapon Skill 7 model does still mean he is an absolute beast in combat and downright impossible to stop, especially with eight Toughness 5 wounds and a 3+ armour save. What really defines Morbidex and highlights the fact that he is cheaper than the other two Maggoth Lords by a decent margin is the fact that not only does he have a 6+ ward save like Orghotts, but he also has a 4+ Regeneration save in the same vein as the Glottkin. If that doesn't ring any bells in that mind of yours, this means that most hits on Morbidex will usually fail to wound because of his respectable Toughness 5, he will ignore most low to medium Strength hits because of his 3+ armour save, and then he will ignore half of all unsaved wounds that are not flaming or inflict Heroic Killing Blow because he has a 4+ Regeneration save. With eight wounds, that means that - per point spent - he is quite possibly the most durable character in Warhammer Fantasy right now, with the Glottkin only having four more wounds and a higher point of Toughness despite costing more than twice as much as Morbidex.

Like Bloab, he also packs on the punch with seven Strength 8 attacks at Weapon Skill 7 that strike last, making him a beast in close combat when you throw in the fact that he also has Nurgle's Rot - even if the small chariot base width means Morbidex doesn't capitalize on this nearly as well as the Glottkin. On the note of small base width, I have to point out how insanely difficult Morbidex is to kill once he reaches combat - as if ignoring half the cannonball hits he suffers wasn't good enough (unless they are of the Daemonic or Dwarven variety) - as only very few models will be able to attack the insanely survivable Maggoth Lord. The fact that he provides Regeneration to all Nurglings within 12" is a cool buff for what is generally a very nice tarpit unit, though ultimately what you will really be interested in is a combat character that is almost as powerful as Orghotts but is effectively twice as hard to kill against non-flaming attacks. In that sense, Morbidex is fantastic and would rate second on my list of the three Maggoth Lords ranked by their competitive uses simply because Bloab has that awesome stone thrower shot and is a Level 3 Wizard. I would argue that the 4+ Regeneration save outweighs the offensive boosts Orghotts receives for the most part, seeing as a 6+ ward save really isn't that great against war machines such as cannonballs or stone throwers - a core issue with Orghotts that he ultimately has little answer to, whereas Bloab at least has the Lore of Nurgle and his ranged presence to reduce either the damage or attention he draws.
Competitive? Yes.

Putrid Blightkings
This is definitely one of the most confusing units in Warhammer Fantasy right now and the reason might not be obvious until you actually put the unit on the battlefield and test them out a few times. The stats are amazing and don't let anyone tell you otherwise; three Toughness 5 wounds per model with a 3+ armour save and the Mark of Nurgle makes for insanely durable troops, even if you consider that they are vulnerable to Killing Blow and Thunderstomps. If you consider that a single Chaos Warrior dedicated to Nurgle and equipped with a shield has the same armour save, one less point in Toughness (which is huge in Fantasy) and two less wounds per model despite costing just under half as much as one Blightking, you quickly realize how insanely valuable the new Nurgle-themed unit is. Three attacks each at base Strength 4 with Weapon Skill 6 and Initiative 5 is very impressive for a unit this tough, especially as all Blightkings are capable of swapping their weapons in each new close combat much like Black Orcs. Sacrificing a 3+ armour save for a 4+ armour save to upgrade each models' attacks to Strength 6, or keeping the shield and thus a 6+ parry save, or getting an extra Strength 4 attack per model at the cost of the shield means Putrid Blightkings are an insanely versatile unit. They will dominate most other units in close combat assuming equivalent frontage and points because they are so crazily survivable and can dish out damage like few other units can, all the while featuring an impressive profile that makes them mostly immune to the many test-or-die spells running around currently.

Unfortunately, there are two major issues the unit suffers from that serve to make them one of the most confusing regiments in application that the theory can fail to cover. The first issue is that they are Infantry, not Monstrous Infantry, meaning that despite having three wounds per model they are still susceptible to Killing Blow - made popular by Undead and Khorne Daemons - and can be Stomped or Thunderstomped like anything else small and brittle. This also means that you need to run them in a five wide formation to ever benefit from Steadfast or rank bonuses, even though Infantry are relegated to one supporting attack per model which wastes the fact that each model has three attacks. The second problem which ties heavily into the first is that Putrid Blightkings are actually situated on the standard 40mm square Monstrous Infantry base, meaning a standard minimum unit of five deployed five wide and one deep will have a maximum frontage of 200mm - the equivalent of two Arachnarok Spiders placed in base contact with each other. If you ever want to benefit from Steadfast or rank bonuses or supporting attacks (even though Blightkings only get one each despite having three attacks per model) then you will need to run them five-wide, which is the equivalent of a ten-wide horde of 20mm models such as Witch Elves or Halberdiers. Against your typical five-wide bus unit - whether infantry or cavalry - this means you will be wasting a tonne of attacks from the Blightkings unless you count on them losing models so that the others can step up into position before they strike with their own great weapons, but any strategy that relies on losing expensive models is a lost cause. It also means that even despite not having many models, five of these deployed in a single rank so as to not waste all of their attacks will struggle immensely to make its' way across the table when chaff and fast cavalry can stall them so easily.

Being Movement 4 with no Swiftstride or any kind of speed boost doesn't help their cause, while choosing to deploy them three-wide means you will inevitably be wasting a lot of attacks and not getting any rank bonuses - though I guess making two support attacks from the back two (in a basic five-strong unit) is better than completely losing out on six attacks. With three Strength 6 attacks each in the front rank, however, I feel the purpose of Putrid Blightkings is to act as a counter to monsters, monstrous infantry and monstrous cavalry, with even a three-wide unit of Demigryph Knights - for example - still allowing all five Blightkings to attack due to being corner-to-corner with the Demigryph Knights. This is an encounter Blightkings will just barely win despite not being quite as expensive per model, their Mark of Nurgle, high Toughness and multitude of Strength 6 attacks allowing them to trade blows with most monstrous cavalry units - of course, the lack of Stomps, Swiftstride, general mobility and immunity to Killing Blow don't help their cause. Provided you have the chaff and redirectors to set them up on a good charge - coincidentally, Beastmen and Daemons of Chaos help their Northmen brethren out immensely in this regard - there isn't too much that can stop them in a straight fight, the Blightkings serving as a good reminder of why Nurgle is the best represented Chaos God currently in Warhammer Fantasy.
Competitive? Yes.

Gutrot Spume
While his Putrid Blightking cohorts are a very unwieldy unit in practice, Gutrot's classification as a character means he can be put to good use in numerous other unrelated units. Aside from being on a Monstrous Infantry base yet retaining the Infantry unit type, Gutrot is essentially a standard Chaos Lord with some noticeable improvements to help him stand out from the usual suspects such as Crom the Conqueror. He has the usual profile of a Chaos Lord with an increase in his Wounds and Leadership values, meaning he is a 4+ armoured Lord choice with four Toughnness 5 wounds, while he is also one of the only Leadership 10 General options available to Warriors of Chaos. Packing the Mark of Nurgle on to a model with a great weapon provides a great mix of offence and defence in close combat, with Weapon Skill 8 and base Strength 5 with 5 Attacks making for some very nice damage output. Nurgle's Rot on an above-average base size is decent enough, but the real meat of Spume comes from adding D3 extra attacks that still make use of his great weapon in each close combat phase. His affinity for water-based terrain and the benefits he extends to any unit he joins are obviously highly situational, but if you player on a board modelled with beaches or rivers then they will act as a nice little buff for a regiment.

It doesn't sound like Gutrot does much to distinguish himself from a regular Chaos Lord but ultimately that is kind of the point, given that he costs a mere 40 points more than a basic Chaos Lord and yet gains an extra wound, the Mark of Nurgle, a great weapon, that crucial and very rare (for Chaos forces) Leadership 10 as well as a bonus D3 attacks each round in the exchange. Much like Crom the Conqueror, Gutrot is intended as a cheap special character option that is incredibly valuable when compared to his generic counterparts - he is very tough, has good damage output and most importantly provides you with Leadership 10 for the purposes of Inspiring Presence. Once you work out how much a Chaos Lord with the same equipment costs, you are paying exactly 12 points for the extra wound, point of Leadership, extra D3 attacks and affinity with water-based terrain. That is just insane and the fact that his base size forces him to sit at the edge of a regular infantry unit doesn't compromise what is easily a highly valuable model, though putting him with anything from Trolls to Dragon Ogres can prove both amusing and effective.
Competitive? Yes.

Festus Empowered
Of the various "empowered" rule-sets introduced by the two End Times books so far, I feel Festus is just as great as he always was but players may want to just stick to the cheaper version if they are tight on points - the fact that you can use either his new or old incarnations (but not in the same army list) in the Legions of Chaos means you aren't stuck with the new rules unless you want them, however. Exchanging the Sorcerer profile for that of a Sorcerer Lord plus the usual Festus improvements doesn't seem worth all the extra points at first glance, though he does have some cool new abilities to play around with and one also needs to remember how insanely good those support abilities already were. Festus' profile has definitely improved greatly - make no mistake about that - with an increase of one to his Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Toughness, Wounds and Attacks values, while his Initiative has increased from a pitiful two to a much more respectable five, bringing him in line with a hardier Sorcerer Lord. Being Toughness 5 with Regeneration makes up for his utter lack of an armour save or a ward save, meaning he is still as susceptible as he always to high Strength flaming attacks or Killing Blow attacks. He has been increased from Wizard Level 2 to Wizard Level 3, while he still possesses all the same special rules as before.

The main aspect of Festus was always that he provided both Poisoned Attacks and a 5+ Regeneration save to every model in a unit he joined, making him the perfect leader for a Nurgle Chaos Warrior unit wielding halberds; this thankfully has not changed one bit, and the fact that he can now join anything from a horde of Gors to Bestigor makes it even more impressive. He also retains his Pestilent Potions which are now even more useful because Festus has three wounds base rather than just two, while he has gained several new abilities to represent his high standing in Nurgle's eyes. He can now not only cast three spells regularly, but also has the option to use a Bound Spell with power level five, causing all friendly models - it is important to note this specifies models, not units - within 12" to be treated as being in hard cover for shooting purposes. That it is a regular bound spell and not innate does present a problem with irresistible force, though you should only need two dice to get it off and it really is quite powerful. When you consider that the Mark of Nurgle only works in close combat, the bound spell provides a very hefty defensive buff to an army that otherwise is traditionally at its' most vulnerable in the Shooting or Magic phases. Add in the fact that all units on the battlefield treat terrain (but not open ground, per the FAQ) as dangerous terrain can help to limit the mobility of an enemy army quite significantly, even if it obviously won't affect units with the Strider special rule.

An additional little note in regards to the Eye of the Gods special rule is that if Festus Empowered rolls a double six (Dark Apotheosis) on the chart, he automatically passes his Leadership test to turn into a Daemon Prince. I'm honestly not that impressed with this given that the chances of it happening on Festus of all characters are slim as always, while it is such a minor buff to that rule anyway. When you compare Festus to a similarly outfitted Level 3 Sorcerer Lord (as much as possible, anyway) he ends up paying around 65 points to give his unit Regeneration (5+) and Poisoned Attacks, forcing opponents to treat all actual terrain as dangerous terrain, gaining a powerful bound spell to help your army against ranged attacks, the ability to heal himself or force an opponent to take what amounts to a Strength test or suffer D3 wounds with no armour saves allowed. That is simply insane value to have for a special character, even if the Hero choice may be the favourite of some (or many) simply because he provides the crucial buffs - the Regeneration (5+) and Poisoned Attacks for an entire unit - on a much cheaper model in the less contested Hero slot. The reality is that no matter which version of Festus you use, he is still one of the best special characters around for the points and gives you the ultimate bang for your buck.
Competitive? Yes.

Karl Franz Ascendant
While the debates used to always be left with an inconclusive result as to who was the most powerful close combat character in the game - the usual suspects being Kholek Suneater, Nagash and the Vampire Blender Lord - the End Times: Glottkin book has inadvertently settled this topic once and for all, but not in the way anyone expected. While the Glottkin is certainly a super-powered character much like Nagash that provides you with a melee monster and a high level wizard, its' melee prowess does not hold up at all against that of the resurgent Karl Franz Ascendant. Many believe this character is unofficially Sigmar Reborn, and given how astonishing his melee stats are it is hard to argue against such a claim. Weapon Skill 7 and Initiative 7 seem fairly standard of a high level combat character, while Strength 6 and Toughness 5 are above average but nothing to write home about. What is impressive are the 9 Wounds, 3+ armour save, 4+ ward save and Magic Resistance (2) that serve to make Karl Franz Ascendant by far the toughest of the combined profile ridden monster models, with Morbidex Twiceborn coming in at a somewhat distant second given that Regeneration can be ignored by several types of attacks. Karl is all but immune to test-or-die spells and provides your army with a massive 24" Inspiring Presence using his maximised Leadership 10, a huge asset to have for any Empire army that traditionally has to contend with low or mediocre Leadership values. 

Having the Monster unit type means that Karl Franz and Deathclaw are immune to Killing Blow and cannot be the subject of a Stomp or Thunderstomp, while they themselves get to dish out a Strength 6 Thunderstomp in turn against eligible targets. That they share the Fly special rule means they can guarantee a turn two charge at the absolute latest, making their terrifying melee presence all the more jaw-dropping. They are also both Immune to Psychology and Stubborn which, given Karl's Leadership 10, means they will practically never run away from a fight - in the seemingly impossible scenario that they actually manage to lose on combat resolution. Deathclaw remains as savage as before with the Bloodroar special rule forcing enemy units to roll 3D6 (or 4D6 in some rare cases), discarding the lowest when resolving Fear or Terror tests against them, meaning they can easily exploit and run down units that are subject to psychology. Franz also possesses a relatively strong innate bound spell with a high power level six, inflicting D6 Strength 6 hits on an enemy unit within 18" with a chance to inflict a further D6 hits on a 3+, and then again on a 5+, all on the same unit. This is effectively an even nastier version of Urannon's Thunderbolt from the Lore of Heavens and allows Franz to cut down particularly nasty enemies or units with ease; being an innate bound spell means there are absolutely no risks to casting it with irresistible force. 

Of course, this is all well and good, but what exactly justifies my claim that Karl Franz Ascendant has settled that aforementioned hotly contested debate? Keeping in mind that he has an all-time high ten attacks with Weapon Skill 7 and Initiative 7, every hit Karl Franz lands on an opponent wounds automatically, ignores armour saves and has the Multiple Wounds (D3+1) special rule. If you are busy picking your jaw off the floor just like I did the first time I read these rules, don't be at all embarrassed; this is what everyone felt when they glimpsed the newly remade Emperor of Mankind (heh). I don't think I need to explain just how much this absolutely annihilates anything that gets in Franz' way short of a horde of High Elves with the Banner of the World Dragon, but let me provide a few examples of what this combined profile character is capable of. Against Nagash, Franz strikes first and hits five times on average which leads to five wounds. If we round up all fractions and equations in favour of Franz' opponent, Nagash will suffer two unsaved wounds before the Multiple Wounds (D3+1) special rule is applied. Seeing as at minimum each unsaved wound will be multiplied into two unsaved wounds, Nagash will at minimum suffer four unsaved wounds, but on an average roll he will lose all six of his wounds. This is before Nagash strikes, and assuming Nagash starts the round of combat on full wounds. That's right, we have a model that doesn't have to rely on luck with Heroic Killing Blow to instantly slay a 1000 point character in one round of combat before they can land their return blows. As the Unreal Tournament announcer would proclaim, "holy sh*t"! 

The engagement doesn't go very well for the twelve wound Glottkin either, with Franz landing 5 hits a turn (accounting for the Mark of Nurgle) of which the Glottkin will fail two or three saves, leading to an average of six to eight unsaved wounds in total yet again. Seeing as Franz has nine wounds and a 4+ ward save in addition to Toughness 5, it is virtually impossible for the Glottkin to kill Franz with his return blows - the average rolls see Franz suffering between two and four unsaved wounds, meaning Franz will kill the Glottkin in two rounds of combat. Don't even bother trying to send an "immortal" Tzeentch Chaos Lord with a 3+ ward save, re-rolling 1s against Karl Franz as just one unsaved wound - ten attacks, remember - will see the Chaos Lord slain provided Franz rolls anything above a 1 or 2 on the D6 roll (or above a 1 on the D3 roll). The same holds true of a Vampire Blender Lord, while Kholek Suneater will never even get to strike against the (heavily implied) living avatar of Sigmar. Franz will eat monsters, monstrous infantry hordes, hordes of infantry, ethereals, heavy cavalry, monstrous cavalry and literally anything in the game short of a White Lion unit carrying the Banner of the World Dragon in a few rounds of combat between his ten attacks and Strength 6 Thunderstomp, while being a flying monster means he can always choose his engagements. There is nowhere to hide from the wrath of Karl Franz Ascendant, and for the points, you would be crazy not to include him if you want to prove once and for all that the "puny" humans of the Old World can match it with the demi-gods and daemons that plague its' lands. While likely being unable to afford a Level 4 Wizard in the same list outside of 2100 point games (or larger) does restrict his uses in smaller games, even turning up in a 2000 point match with Karl Franz Ascendant is sure to give any opponent the scare of their war-gaming life.
Competitive? Yes.

Thank you all so much for reading my latest article concerning the End Times series! Much like the first End Times book, we have been given a host of awesome special characters and units that are sure to be popping up in competitive and themed army lists alike with incredible frequency. From the perspective of a gamer first, I really like the direction the End Times is going in with significantly increased options, the potential to combine multiple army books for a superlative army list and the introduction of some truly game-changing characters. Even then, the model releases themselves have all been fantastic and the exponential sales boost Games Workshop is apparently enjoyed with Warhammer Fantasy at the moment is definitely justified. Based on the example set by the first two books, I have high hopes for subsequent End Times books - especially if the rumours surrounding the supposed End Times: Khaine are true! Thanks again for viewing this article and I hope that you put these thoughts to good use in your own games. Have a nice day! Eel out. 


  1. Replies
    1. I honestly had a spit-take when I saw his rules. The people that say "oh, you can just tarpit him with an infantry unit" forget he is a flying monster and can thus choose his engagements in every single game! He is absolutely bonkers and I love it.