Posted 28/01/2018

Next Week’s Pre-orders: Death is Coming (but in a good way)

An ill wind blows upon the Mortal Realms. The signs and portents point towards Shyish, as Nagash gathers his forces for the Great Work, a scheme to usher in a dark new epoch in the Mortal Realms. Very soon, you’ll be able to fight to stop it (or hasten its coming) with the Malign Portents book, Harbingers, and Battletome: Legions of Nagash – not to mention the return of a much-loved piece of terrain.

The Malign Portents book is your guide to this dark new era. In part, it’s a primer for a darker Mortal Realms than the one you might be familiar with. Following on from Firestorm last year, Malign Portents continues the saga of the Age of Sigmar with new lore and art looking at the Realm of Death and how the different factions of the Mortal Realms are responding to the coming of something very dark, and very old…

As well as providing a rich new story for you to get your teeth into, the Malign Portents book is a toolbox for gamers, however you prefer to play. Inside, you’ll find in-depth rules for playing during the Time of Tribulations, a period where the Mortal Realms are wracked by strange premonitions of the wars to come. During battles in this time, armies can read the stars and interpret portents to their advantage – or the doom of their foes…

Building on the Time of War rules found in the General’s Handbook 2017, Malign Portents also allows you to bring your games into the Realm of Death – perhaps in pursuit of Nagash’s secrets, or perhaps as a defender of his kingdoms. Battles in Shyish bring new dangers and new tactical challenges to face, as the land itself rises to oppose the armies that dare invade it.

You can even play games in the Time of Tribulations with only a handful of models. Malign Portents contains an expansion to Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Skirmish, featuring artefacts, command abilities and more. We’ve only scratched the surface of what you’ll find in this tome of arcane knowledge, and we think it’ll be a great companion to your games in the months to come.

To take full advantage of Malign Portents, you’ll want to pick up a Harbinger – a new kind of hero, particularly gifted in prophecy, rising to aid the armies of the Grand Alliances. Harbingers have special powers that allow them to interpret the signs and sigils of Malign Portents with ease, and can be added to any army in games set during the Time of Tribulations – so you could well take a Fungoid Cave-Shaman while keeping your Beastclaw Raiders’ Allegiance Abilities, or lead your Brayherd into battle with a Darkoath Warqueen. Indeed, each Harbinger has valuable bonuses that may even be worth building an army around – the Lord-Ordinator, for instance, gives all friendly Order War Machines +1 to hit.

Less handy in a fight than a Harbinger, but still a great addition to your games during Malign Portents, are the range of Malign Portents accessories. Emblazoned with the distinctive arrowhead rune of Shyish, the Malign Portents Dice and Combat Gauge are attractive additions to any collection, while the Malign Portents Cards make keeping track of the various stars and portents simple.

With Nagash taking centre stage, it’s only fitting that he should receive a battletome worthy of his armies. Battletome: Legions of Nagash is more than just an army book – it’s a revolution for Death players and battletomes alike, offering a new approach to one of Warhammer Age of Sigmar’s most unusual Grand Alliances.

Order players, for example, can focus their efforts on small but focused factions like the Kharadron Overlords, or build thematic and varied armies based on the Great Cities of Firestorm. Chaos armies vary from the elite Everchosen to nightmarish parades of Daemons, mortals and even beasts, drawn together by their mutual dedication to a chosen Chaos god. Destruction armies meanwhile benefit from various synergies between the various Grot, Orruk and Ogor factions. Battletome: Legions of Nagash is designed to make army building with Death similarly fun and varied, allowing you a range of ways to construct a powerful force.

In Battletome: Legions of Nagash, your allegiance abilities won’t restrict you – instead, whichever Mortarch you dedicate yourself to, you’ll be able to unleash the full arsenal of the Death God. In turn, you’ll be able to capitalise on synergies between your Death units designed to reward players regardless of which are their favourites. The Legion of Night, for instance, uses Deathrattle Skeletons as bait, before flanking the foe with fast-moving units like Vargheists, while the magi in Arkhan’s Legion of Sacrament gain skill in Death magic from the teachings of their master. In short, if you had a mixed Death army before, it just got better – and chances are, you don’t even have to change your list.

It’s not just gameplay, either – the Legions of Nagash battletome realises this Grand Alliance in greater detail than ever before. You’ll learn how Nagash rose to prominence following the annihilation of the world-that-was, how each Mortarch reigns over their kingdom, and what happens when a Vampire Lord thinks he can suborn a Wight King to his will without asking nicely. There are all sorts of things in the book to inspire you to create armies of your own – one of our favourites is a reference to the flaming skeletons that haunt the plains of Aqshy.

Last, but very far from least, next week, you’ll be able to pre-order the Warscryer Citadel, previously known as the Skullvane Manse. This iconic piece of terrain has been updated with some brand new rules specific to Malign Portents, allowing you to add even more thematic depth to your games during the Time of Tribulations.

You’ve only got a couple of weeks to wait before Death hits a shelf near you, but in the meantime, make sure to check back on Warhammer Community next week as we preview Legions of Nagash in detail, taking a closer look at what the changes to Death mean to you.

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