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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,593
Idle speculation and wishlisting is generally a waste of time, but we've got some time to waste over the holiday, so what undead related content are you hoping to see from GW this year?

Two Death battletomes have already been announced for this year, most likely Ossiarch Bonereapers & Flesh Eater Courts, as Nighthaunts already have a 3rd edition book and the Soulblight book was late enough in 2e that it was clearly designed with 3rd edition in mind. That said, an entirely new Death faction isn't entirely out of the question, and a slightly revised Soulblight Vampire battletome is also possible - we've seen similar minor/early updates in the past. Typically early revisions like that come alongside a 'second wave' of model releases, and between the outdated grave guard and missing absent mounted vampire lord, there's certainly room /for/ a Soulblight 2nd wave.

On the other hand, with the announcement of the limited edition Boxing Day ghoul king, I think we're now running low on undeadish rumour engine images, which doesn't exactly bode well for significant release waves of new models for /any/ death factions.


Hope springs eternal, though, so my wish list for Warhammer Undead in 2023 includes:

Battletome: Ossiarch Bonereapers
3rd edition, revising the Relentless Discipline rules to fit better with 3rd editions command point rules and revising unit entries to not depend on multiple simultaneous command buffs for effectiveness. Subfactions are re-worked in the nighthaunt style - minor special rules without additional restrictions on traits and artefacts. Lore includes the return of Arkhan, riding forth from the Nadiir as though he had never been destroyed, though he's behaving differently from before - more grim, more reserved, less snarky and confident. Internally, Arkhan is more sure than ever that he's not the original version of himself, mainly because this time around he's being haunted by the ghost of his immediate predecessor, or experiencing hallucinations to that effect, he isn't sure. Either way it's a defect he's desperate to keep secret from both his master and his rival mortarchs. Accompanying release wave of 3 model kits:
  1. Mortek Archers unit, providing an alternative battleline or at least battleline-if option with nadirite longbows.

  2. Ossiarch Necrosphynx: a large centerpiece monster kit that reflects the overall personality of the faction - strong, tough, slow, similar to the tomb kings warsphinx in form and function, though in the ossiarch 'bone and spirit nightmare monstrosity' aesthetic. Dual Kit with two options for what to put in a howda on top: Hero build with Liege that adds a buffwagon element to the monster's blunt melee impact, or a group or mortek soldiers crewing a ballista that fires bolts shaped from the thigh bones of gargants and dragons to add some ranged firepower instead, maybe with rules allowing the ballista to fire at whatever it wants even when the monster beneath it is locked in combat. Includes additional bases allowing you to field the liege as a stand alone infantry hero if you build the ballista version (again reference the tomb kings warsphinx), or alternatively to field the ballista & crew as a stand alone war machine if you build the liege version.

  3. Ossiarch Necropolis Walls & Gate - because that terrain was the thing I was most excited for in the initial OBR announcement trailers, and I'm still bitter that it was a custom studio display piece never intended for release.
...

Battletome: Flesh Eater Courts 3rd edition, with standard 3rd edition rules update. One reduction in the warscroll range: no more abhorrent archregent. Instead the existing archregent becomes an official model for 'Ghoul King on Foot', and the terrorgheist kit is repackaged with a 40mm round spare base instead of the 32mm round. general improvements to the ghoul king both in the warscroll and in the trait & artefact options to make it more like the abhorrent in game. Otherwise a major release wave of several new model kits:
  1. Ushoran - named character and faction leader. I imagine him modeled atop an ornate throne that is in turn atop an undead monstrosity of some type, or maybe a palanquin carried by especially large and twisted crypt horrors. Two builds, and two unit entries: "Ushoran, the Mortarch of Despair", writhing in agony, bound in chains to the throne, his head sealed in a strange arcane helmet/facemask/torture device reminiscent of the man in the iron mask. This represents Ushoran while he is under Nagash's control, the helm uses his power as the source of the Abhorrant Curse to dominate the wills of other Flesh Eaters, turning them to nagash's will, and as a side effect forces Ushoran into horrible lucidity and full awareness of reality. This unit is primarily a buff wagon, force multiplier, and spellcaster - representing Nagash channeling dark magic through the mortarch. Not much of a melee threat as Ushoran himself is bound in chains, though whatever's carrying the throne still has some brute melee power. Alternatively, "Ushoran, the Carrion King", unchained, unbound, shrouded in a 'regal robe' of tattered & stitched flesh, a thorny crown of bone adop his head, brandishing an enchanted sword and/or regal scepter, maybe a few ghoul courtiers on the palanquin attending to him, a look of regal command on his face as he surveys the battlefield. this represents Ushoran during those periods when he has slipped Nagash's control and been fully taken by his delusions, seeing himself has a noble prince and rightful ruler of Shyish/Nehekhara, leading a rebellion against the usurper Nagash and his villainous servants. This one's less of a buff wagon & spellcaster - though still has some of both - and more of a warrior in his own right, as the mortarch is free to make his own attacks, which are especially deadly against other Death units - maybe his weapon ignores wards? Maybe instead of the same person in different states, the two kits represent two entirely different individuals, with which is the 'true carrion king' left as an open question in the lore?

    I understand that's altogether too much detail for a wish list entry, I kind of got carried away there. Any new FEC named characters at all will make me happy, that's just what I would do if I were in charge of coming up with one.

  2. plastic dual kit horror/flayer courtier - absolutely critical. The game can't require units to be fielded in multiples of box size and expect players to remove individual models from said boxes to make their heroes. The horror courtier should be carrying a children's toy stick horse made from a severed horse head impaled on a broken pike between its legs.

  3. plastic ghoul courtier stand alone model, re-imagined as a court vizier/advisor/mage with minor buffing and spellcasting ability, a cheap dedicated support hero.

  4. plastic varghulf - notably bigger & bulkier than before, but otherwise mostly keeping to the same design concept.

  5. dire wolves + fell bats - the same model kits as Soulblight Gravelords, but now shared between both factions, as with the unridden zombie dragon & terrorgheist

  6. mounted yoemen: ghouls riding either dire wolves or fell bats as a support/harassment unit with rules like forward deployment, run & charge, or retreat & charge.

  7. Banquet Wagon: a sort of corpse cart style healing & buff wagon minor centerpiece that powers up with the death of nearby models.
the existing ghoul, horror/flayer, & terrorgheist/zombie dragon kits remain in place. All are arguably due for updates, but the FEC range needs expansion more than it needs improvements to existing kits.

...

The Old World: bonus third entry, we've seen some art of tomb kings charioteers in previous old world previews, now show us some 3d mock ups of tomb kings model designs to confirm that they'll actually be getting a model line and not just rules support for models nobody can buy anymore.
 

The Sun King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
4,953
Copenhagen
Cool ideas! For me it is all about FEC.

1. I would want Ushoran as a real power piece and narrative focal point. I don't care much for specifics as long as the model is awesome and the warscroll powerful (not mediocre like Olynder).

2. New basic troop types (plural). Would be cool with something that can shoot (ghoul version of Peasant Archers) and something mounted (like Mounted Yeomen or Knights). I am very biased here as I used to play Bret in the Old World (and will again when they rerelease).

3. Of course the new FEC book. I would like something balanced and thematic like the Nighthaunt and Maggotkin books.
 

El Syf

Vargheist
Dec 4, 2011
643
Eastbourne
I honestly think Fec might be getting skipped over and refreshed later on. Selfishly I’m wanting what we arguably should have got for soulblight first time round: mounted vampire lord and new grave guard (this wouldn’t actually be needed if they hadn’t made the new skeg kit), possibly new black knights too but as they’re a shared kit who knows?

Ossiarch while probably only going to be a new hero there’s a lot they could do; mortek archers seems a no brainier, a big thing like mentioned although I’d be happier for a morghast bone giant type thing and while not new models dear god revise current morghasts warscrolls!
Seems like they just got forgotten about even though the ossiarch range pretty much has them to thank for the design cues.
(Yes and Nagash and the dread Abysals but you get the point.)
 

El Syf

Vargheist
Dec 4, 2011
643
Eastbourne
Just personal opinion, don’t get me wrong they deserve a refresh on par with what soulblight gravlords had. Which was about 5 kits excluding characters right?
I just have a feeling gw will wait on them and churn out the standard hero + tome for ossiarch and soulblight as it’s easier to do so.
 

Grave Tacticus

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 26, 2020
328
Utah
Hope rises eternal, though, so my wish list for Warhammer Undead in 2023 includes:

Battletome: Ossiarch Bonereapers 3rd edition, revising the Relentless Discipline rules to fit better with 3rd editions command point rules and revising unit entries to not depend on multiple simultaneous command buffs for effectiveness. Subfactions are re-worked in the nighthaunt style - minor special rules without additional restrictions on traits and artefacts. Lore includes the return of Arkhan, riding forth from the Nadiir as though he had never been destroyed, though he's behaving differently from before - more grim, more reserved, less snarky and confident. Internally, Arkhan is more sure than ever that he's not the original version of himself, mainly because this time around he's being haunted by the ghost of his immediate predecessor, or experiencing hallucinations to that effect, he isn't sure. Either way it's a defect he's desperate to keep secret from both his master and his rival mortarchs. Accompanying release wave of 3 model kits:
  1. Mortek Archers unit, providing an alternative battleline or at least battleline-if option with nadirite longbows.

  2. Ossiarch Necrosphynx: a large centerpiece monster kit that reflects the overall personality of the faction - strong, tough, slow, similar to the tomb kings warsphinx in form and function, though in the ossiarch 'bone and spirit nightmare monstrosity' aesthetic. Dual Kit with two options for what to put in a howda on top: Hero build with Liege that adds a buffwagon element to the monster's blunt melee impact, or a group or mortek soldiers crewing a ballista that fires bolts shaped from the thigh bones of gargants and dragons to add some ranged firepower instead, maybe with rules allowing the ballista to fire at whatever it wants even when the monster beneath it is locked in combat. Includes additional bases allowing you to field the liege as a stand alone infantry hero if you build the ballista version (again reference the tomb kings warsphinx), or alternatively to field the ballista & crew as a stand alone war machine if you build the liege version.

  3. Ossiarch Necropolis Walls & Gate - because that terrain was the thing I was most excited for in the initial OBR announcement trailers, and I'm still bitter that it was a custom studio display piece never intended for release.

I would love all of these things. OBR really does need a proper centerpiece monster.
 
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Oppenheimer

Varghulf
May 26, 2013
708
As others have said FEC is the army that really needs an update and not just one new hero like they did last time.

I also feel like grave guard really need a replacement as those models look ridiculous next to the new skeletons.
 

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,593
im also hoping for a second soulblight wave with new grave guard & a mounted vampire lord, but I don't expect we'll see such in the first half of 2023, & especially not before a new fec book. To me the boxing day ghoul king is too strong a sign of a new fec book on the way (though new model hopes may be overly optimistic).

If one of the two existing death factions gets delayed in favor of a slightly revised soulblight book, imo OBR seems to be the more likely candidate.
 

The Sun King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
4,953
Copenhagen
It is an interesting idea. Realistically I think we will at the earlist get Soulblight after summer, probably 2024. But IF they are one of the two known upcoming death tomes then it is an interesting idea which one will come later... from a tournament performance and "old rules clonkiness" perspective OBR is in dire need of an update, but from a model range perspective FEC is severely lacking.
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,593
Realistically, I don't expect a soulblight update before the very end of 3rd edition, which will probably be later than 2024. LoN were the last book of 1st edition, ushered in second, and the faction didn't see another book or any model releases outside of boxed game stuff until the soulblight release, which was the last book of 2nd edition and ushered in third. 2 data points isn't a lot of data points, but it isn't no data points either, so I think a realistic expectation shouldn't be looking for another soulblight book for a few years yet.

We have seen some early book revisions with new model waves so an earlier book isn't completely without precedent, but thus far this sort of thing has been restricted to the game headlining sigmarines and dev favorite high elves. The undead have been surprisingly well favored so far in 3rd edition, taking up a mugh greater share of model releases than our share of the battletome releases would suggest, but the soul wars ~are~ over and 3rd edition ~is~ supposed to be the age of the beast, so expecting that favorable treatment to continue is probably unrealistic. Most factions only get a single new battletome per edition with maybe one new model release, if that. If Soulblights (and Nighthaunts) get nothing else for the duration of 3rd edition they will still have received far better treatment than most factions get, and if FEC and OBR see new books with no new models, or only a single new infantry hero to push fomo vs. boxes, then they will not have received worse treatment than the norm.

I certainly hope for more - a lot more in the case of FEC, whose currrent model range is rather pathetic. But lets take care not to confuse hopes with realistic expectations.
 
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