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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

End Times: ARENA OF DEATH

Following on from our painting competition last weekend we decided it would be fun to have our newly-painted special characters scrap each other. This also served as painting motivation for some of us... because when you get together with your Warhammer buddies, when do you NOT debate who's the most powerful?



We drew inspiration from a classic article from White Dwarf #221. The rules we decided on are here. For better or worse, End Times: Khaine was released on the day of the event, so we had access to the new End Times magic and the new Eternity King. Brian was delighted.

The vast ability gap between the characters reflected our choices for painting entries, rather than power level, so we all knew this was not a fair fight and were just keen to roll some dice.

Seeding was random. We generated the first bracket and kicked off!

Round 1

Valkia vs Tetto'Eko
I believe this was a short fight. The Sword-Maiden of Khorne laid down the expected level of carnage on the poor lizard-dude. However, Tetto'eko has a very small skull, and not a lot of blood really, so just how pleased her patron god was by this remains a matter for theologians.

Winner: Valkia


Bragg vs The Glottkin
Only Ghurk Glott had his model represented, but we agreed to let him use the full Glottkin rules. With the impact hits and breath weapon, Bragg was buried in a mountain of diseased flesh and puke. Luckily he was able to eat his way out in time for the second round.

Winner: The Glottkin


Nagash vs Gorbad
The Lord of the Undead took a few early wounds from the ferocious Gorbad in the first turn, and then completely fluffed his own attacks. Annoyed (and slightly nervous, truth be told), he cast Malediction of Nagash on the legendary warboss, halving his Strength, and making sure the choppy-thing wasn't nearly so painful. Gorbad was unable to harm Nagash in the next turn, and was summarily chopped to pieces (Nagash is a bit of a dick when it comes to revenge; just ask Settra).

Winner: Nagash



Archaon vs Malekith
Big matchup early on. Archaon has so many rules that a few important ones were overlooked in this round. Things might have gone down to the wire had Archaon remembered his Mark of Nurgle, or that he is only wounded on 3+, or his horse attacks (never forget horse attacks). But this fight was all about Malekith. The Lord of the End Times was finished off, having inflicted 6 wounds on the Eternity King.

Winner: Malekith



Losers Round 1

Bragg vs Tetto'Eko
So this was much closer than you would think. The dinky-skinky from the south unleashed the only two spells he could use in this situation - Harmonic Convergence, and Comet of Cassandora. To the amazement of all, Tetto'eko managed to survive several turns, chipping wounds off Bragg and waiting for that comet to fall. Bragg had a hard time getting through the skink's minor defences, probably put off by how little meat the creature had on it, but eventually managed the killing blow before the Comet hit.

Winner: Bragg


Gorbad vs Archaon
Archaon has a 'history' with fighting orcs (*cough*GRIMGOR*cough*) and so was determined to put a swift end to the Greenskin. His daemon sword, Slayer of Kings, was happy to oblige.

Winner: Archaon



Round 2

Valkia vs The Glottkin
With the world in ruin as a result of the Four Brothers working in concert, it was nice to see some Chaos infighting. The legends do not tell whether it was the vomit, the tentacle, or the thunderous stomp that finished off the Sword-Maiden, but the result was much the same - a bloody-smear on the landscape.

Winner: The Glottkin



Nagash vs Malektih
Another clash of the titans. Nagash had to dig deep into his repertoire of 40 spells for any kind of advantage. But being unable to deal Heroic Killing Blow or multiple wounds put him on the back foot, losing six wounds himself in the first round from Asuryath Reforged.  A relatively low weapon skill stopped many of Nagash's attacks getting through, and so Speed of Light was used. With a few millennia-worth of cobwebs to blow out, the undead fiend cast the End Times spell Malediction of Nagash... however he realised his mistake shortly after. Halving Malekith's Strength did nothing with Okkam's Mindrazor in effect. A few more spells were tried but the onslaught of the Eternity King was too much.

Winner: Malekith



Losers Round 2

Nagash vs Bragg
So this battle had some awkward undertones. Nagash was being played by myself, and Bragg by my partner. I didn't want to crush her soul, but losing to Bragg would have meant Nagash would not be able to show his face among the serious villains of the End Times any more.

As it was, Nagash again missed most of his attacks in the first round, leaving Bragg on one wound and allowing him to attack back. One hit even got through. And so it was that Bragg had a one in six chance of taking out the Supreme Lord of the Undead.

Alas, it was not to be, and Bragg's soul will now suffer for eternity as a result. On the plus side, our fold-out couch also got some use.

Winner: Nagash



Valkia vs Archaon
Sometimes taking on the boss just isn't worth it. Valkia discovered this to her eternal damnation.

Winner: Archaon



Losers Round 3

Nagash vs Archaon
Archaon had hit is stride by this point. Ably utilizing Lore of Shadow hex's and augment's enhanced his power greatly. Archaon took three wounds off Nagash (from his horse - never forget horse attacks), but the magical storm that followed allowed the Arch-Liche to get off Vanhel's Danse Macarbe and Hellish Vigour for a few turns in a row. The Lore Attribute of these spells also allowed Nagash to heal himself, and so after a few turns of trading blows, Nagash was able to finish off Archaon.

Winner: Nagash



Semifinal Round 1

Nagash vs The Glottkin
Nagash stored four power dice into his staff as soon as he could, and then bolstered himself with Speed of Light with irressistable force. He saved the incoming magical backlash, but lost the rest of his power dice. Drawing on the power of the staff he attacked, and made the Heroic Killing Blow to strike the Glottkin where it mattered before he could return the favour.

Winner: Nagash


Final Round 

Nagash vs Malekith
The rematch! Nagash actually needed to beat Malekith twice to emerge victorious from the Arena of Death, and it really was not to be. Malekith got through four wounds right away, and though he rolled one's and two's, his sword did D3+1 wounds, and so dealt 8 wounds total - enough to topple Nagash in one round. Standing atop a pile of corpses, the ancient Eternity King grasped the air in triumph.

Winner: Malekith



Here is the final bracket:

Champion: Malekith
Runner up: Nagash
Second Runner up: The Glottkin


We all agreed that we will be doing this again once all the End Times books are out. Our next painting competition will involve completing an entire regiment, and having a free-for-all battle at the end. Can't wait!

Monday, December 01, 2014

End Times: Painting Competition

Whether you love or hate the new rules and back story, the End Times are exciting times. Speaking personally, the return to the very stories, events and personalities that originally got me into the hobby over 20 years ago has got me in a buzz. Special Characters were what our hobby was back then.

It was while we were around at Dan's place a few months back that we started hassling him about his unpainted Archaon. The End Times need a Lord, after all. Peer pressure may-or-may-not have occurred, so to be fair, Brian and I also pledged to paint an End Times special character. From there we opened it up to other friends and family, and so, at the beginning of October, our Tronhammer Special Character Painting Competition began.

We upped-the-ante shortly after starting; why not test the mettle of our newly painted heroes/villains? Thus, we organised an Arena of Death to follow the painting competition (which I will cover in a separate post). You can view our guidelines here:

Painting Competition Rules
Arena of Death Rules

We were extremely fortunate to have Mel along to take some fantastic shots of our toys. Below are some select photos (click to enlarge). You can view the full album here.


Nagash - Supreme Lord of the Undead
Archaon the Everchosen - Lord of the End Times

Gorbad Ironclaw

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nagash Awakens!

From beyond the grave riseth this blog... and so too Nagash, Lord of Undeath!



I have been captivated by recent rumours by reputable sources for a new campaign book, along with new miniatures, for this iconic Warhammer figure. In fact, it was Nagash from the Undead 4th Edition Army Book that hooked me on the hobby. I must have re-read the army background in that book 50 times at least.