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Disciple of Nagash

Oldblood
Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
27,732
So if you're reading this thread you've probably been out of the scene for a while and wondering what's going on in the Age of Sigmar. Some might not even know what's happened with the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle. This thread is a very light-touch explanation, with links for more info.
Thanks to @Sception and @The Sun King for their contributions
 
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Disciple of Nagash

Oldblood
Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
27,732
Recap - Warhammer Fantasy: The End Times

Games Workshop decided to wrap up WHFB with the End Times event. The key events of which were:
  • Teclis had a plan to beat Chaos once and for all by destroying the vortex in Ulthuan and unshackling the winds of magic. In reality, he instigated the End Times
  • Arkhan and Mannfred resurrected Nagash to full power
  • Chaos lead by Archaon started a full incursion, and this time proved to be unstoppable
  • Lots of battles, special characters dying etc.
  • The key point is that a plan was hatched to try and stop Chaos by binding the winds of magic to particular individuals, making them what they called Incarnates, embodying the wind of magic itself. They could then combined try to carry out a ritual to stop Chaos. The incarnates were:
    • Hysh (Light) - Tyrion
    • Chamon (Metal) - Initially Thorgrimm Grudgebearer, upon his death it moved to Balthasar Gelt
    • Ghyran (Life) - Alarialle
    • Azyr (Heavens) - Karl Franz/Sigmar (Sigmar came back, reborn into Karl Franz's body)
    • Ulgu (Shadow) - Malekith
    • Shyish (Death) - Nagash (he took this by force, including consuming other death gods in the process)
    • Aqshy (Fire) - Ungrimm Ironfist, upon his death moved to Phoenix Guard captain Caradryan
    • Ghur (Beasts) - Grimgor Ironhide
  • Unfortunately in the end they were unsuccessful due to everyone's favourite backstabber - Mannfred! You can find out more about why in our detailed threads.
  • Archaon and Chaos literally blew apart the old world. The eight winds and various stronger entities (such as the incarnates), as well as some mortals managed to cling along to the fragments, with Sigmar surviving on the remaining molten core of the Old World. The only other race to survive in a more complete state were the Lizardmen who managed to lift-off in their pyramid space-ships (no I'm not kidding)

For more info, the following threads will be useful:
  • Death Factions in the Mortal Realms: A History by @Sception - First point covers the End Times in more detail
  • Warhammer Timeline - provides a full history of Death in WHFB including what we know of key characters during the End times (currently WIP by me)
 
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Disciple of Nagash

Oldblood
Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
27,732
Recap - Age of Sigmar

Satisfied and glutted on the many souls of the Old World, the Chaos gods ignored what remained and didn't realise some elements still survived. These fragments floated in the warp for thousands of years. Eventually, the eight winds coalesced into eight plate-like worlds, representing their relevant elements. On each, some mortals survived, adapted or were otherwise warped by the magic itself.

The worlds themself are are still in the warp, which has all manner of "godbeasts", many destructive but some good. One was a dragonlike creature called Dracothion who was initially drawn by the Slaan space vessels and found out what happened. Dracothion was the one who initially set the core from the old world into some "firmament" and around it the world for Azyr formed. Dracothion also healed the battered form of Sigmar.

Sigmar from that point wanted to create a utopia, where mortals were protected from Chaos and also stop the many godbeasts that were starting to cause havoc. He hunted down and freed/made deals with various other allies in a pantheon who would rule the 8 realms:
  • Sigmar - Protector of Azyr
  • Alarielle - Protector of Ghyran
  • Gorkamorka - Protector of Ghur
  • Nagash - Protector of Shyish
  • Malerion (Malekith renamed) - Protector of Ulgu
  • Tyrion/Teclis - Protectors of Hysh
  • Grungi - Protector of Chamon
  • Grimnir (now deceased) - Protector of Aqshy
Later on Morathi (yep, she survived) would manage to obtain godhood as well.

Many events then happened which are mentioned in our Age of Sigmar timeline, but the TL;DR version is that most of them fell out and lots of wars ensued (some of the major ones caused by Nagash, the little scoundrel!). Chaos finally realised what was happening and returned, bringing back with them Archaon and the war against Chaos reignited.

For more info, the following threads will be useful:
 
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Disciple of Nagash

Oldblood
Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
27,732
Death Faction Armies

So, there are various factions and armies, but let's start off where you probably care most. Firstly, if you didn't know, there are four factions in AoS. Death, Order, Destruction and Chaos. The Death faction is headed up by our glorious Lord in Undeath Nagash (playable for a ridiculous amount of points in all armies). The factions typically allow you to ally between the different armies (for which they have Battletomes) although there are some exceptions. But, onto the good stuff!

Soulblight Gravelords
An army focus around our vampire buddies, finally! It has Mannfred, Neferata and a host of other vampires. The main difference from previous VC is that it does not have any spirits (see Nighthaunts) or Ghouls (see Flesh-Eater Courts). It does however have the equivalent of bloodlines, renamed as Legions/Dynasties:
  • Legion of Night - Headed up by Manny, has a von Carstein feel
  • Legion of Blood - Neferata's legion, AKA Lahmian
  • Vykros - A more bestial wolf-based Dynasty. Is very popular at the moment, some elements of Strigoi, a heavy Russian werewolf feel to it
  • Kastelai - Blood Dragons through and through, sadly no mention of Abhorash in AoS
  • Avengorii - Currently a divisive dynasty. A monstrous dynasty, where the vampires fully embrace their bestial nature and end up being half beast (literally). The models seem to be love or hate, as well as lore to some extent. Again some elements of the old Strigoi
Sadly the Necrarch's didn't seem to make the cut, but in the other Death battletomes you could potentially mimic it. Other than that, notable callouts are new Blood Dragon models (finally!), and some fun rules, including zombies resurrecting who they kill on a 6+!

Nighthaunts
All the spirit-related models ended up in this army, with loads more new wraithy/banshee-related units. An army heavily based our grief/fear/terror, loads of cool models, and a new Mortarch of Grief leading them, who is basically like an uber Banshee.

Flesh-Eater Courts
My favourite fluff change. As well as bringing back Manny and Neffy, Nagash brought back Ushoran. Unfortunately, various events led to Nagash imprisoning him, driving him insane. This lead to his devolvement into what is basically the first Strigoi (not called that in AoS sadly). His offspring inherited his madness and project it to those around them. The end result? The vampires and their ghoul followers 100% believe they are noble knights or warriors, clad in fine armour, defending their lands and people from vile interlopers. The Strigoi see themselves as wonderful handsome Lords of the realm, even whilst in reality, they are gore-soaked monsters!. In-game terms they are a fully ghoul and vampires based army, although they did get the Terrorgheist as well.

Ossiarch Bonereapers
This army feels Tomb King-esque in some ways to me. In lore terms it is Nagash's "Elite" faction. Thinking the remnants of mortal souls was the biggest downfalling, he in secret collected lots of bones, mushed them up and "built" super dead soldiers. He then also sliced up elements of the souls, taking the pieces he wanted (i.e. blademaster, super tactician etc) and created the ideal warriors. The result is a much more skilled army, working in lockstep, with some big constructs. They have some unique elements, but are the closest you will get in the Death faction to an elite army where the core (now called Battleline) are good.


So there are lots of options for VC and TK players here, and don't forget many elements can be mixed as allies based on the key words. For a much more in-depth review, head over to @Sception's review thread!

Coming soon: Link to specific army reviews
 
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Disciple of Nagash

Oldblood
Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
27,732
Other Factions and Armies

Finally, for a quick round-up, here are the other factions and armies now in AoS:

Order
  • Cities of Sigmar - Collection of men, dwarfs, and elves. It's a bit of a mixture of the Old Empire with some other units, like Phoenix Warriors. They are the remnants of the time before chaos, the lucky ones that got inside Azyrheim before Sigmar closed the gates.
  • Daughters of Khaine - Basically dark elves, more lady power, and have really got a snake thing going on. Morathi heads them up and recently got enough power to achieve godhood. Morathi was deformed by spending too much time in Slaanesh's belly before she could escape. She tricked her fellow Khainites into thinking that they served Khaine through her - in fact she took all the worship for herself, as Khaine was no more.
  • Kharadron Overloads - Steampunk dwarfs. The main part of their army is based on flying ships and weaponry! They are sky-pirates always on the hunt for more Aether-Gold.
  • Idonepth Deepkin - GW finally did the fish people! Although in this case, these folk are the first failed experiment by Teclis to bring back the elves. They don't have complete souls, so hunt down others for them, lots of nautical animals and themes. They rage at Teclis for abandoning them and their eyeless cohorts have a Cthulhu-esque feel to them.
  • Lumineth Realm Lords - The new high elves, the same arrogant magic-wielding gits that we know and hate.. I mean love. They spend a lot of time in The Realm of Light getting high on Aetherquartz - which they use for "clarity" and "magic".
  • Stormcast Eternals - New superhuman faction (yep warhammer marines). Give GW their due, the models are pretty good and some good fluff. They are the souls of fallen heroes forged into special armor that will bear their souls back to Azyr when they fall. This eternal respawning has its drawbacks though: For every rebirth, the former heroes lose a bit of their memory and turn more and more into mindless automatons.
  • Fyreslayers - Dwarf slayers made into their own race. Based very much around fire and loincloths. They also don't seem to have the same honour and are very mercenary. Strongly connected to the Realm of Fire, obviously.
  • Seraphon - The renamed Lizardmen. Very similar, although they still live in their spaceships with the Slaan having an active role in where they decided to pop up and fight. A question around whether the lizardmen troops are actually alive, or just magical Slaan creations... They are what you can call "celestial daemons" the dreamlike counterpart to Chaos. Their hordes of Saurus and Skinks are but the memories of the Slann made manifest.
  • Sylvaneth - Our tree-loving hippies are back. I always get confused with this name and the old Sylvania. More focused around the spirits and creatures this time around, lead by Alarielle on the back of a giant stag beetle! The elven part of the army has merged with the forest-spirit part and Sylvaneth are now more apart raging dryads and spiteful sprites fighting for the survival of The Realm of Life.

Chaos

Different universe, same old Chaos!
  • Beasts of Chaos - Beastmen, simple!
  • Blades of Khorne - Chaos army focused around Khorne - includes deamons
  • Disciples of Tzeentch - Ditto Tzeetch
  • Headonites of Slaanesh - Interesting one for Slaanesh. They snacked too hard on souls when WHFB ended and was in a food coma. When Teclis, Tyrion and Malerion/Malekith discovered this they imprisoned them in a sub-realm. They've been working on siphoning back souls since which is part of the reason for the elf (or aelves) races and how Morathi ascended. However, they could not contain The Dark Prince forever and eventually, the followers of Slaanesh found a way to free them. Now Slaanesh is back and more glorious than ever accompanied by Sigvald the Magnificent.
  • Maggotkin of Nurgle - Need I say more?
  • Slaves to Darkness - An overall book for Chaos, or Chaos Undivided, led by the usual Archaon. Slaves to Darkness need not be undivided, the army can be fielded as dedicated warriors of either Slaanesh, Nurgle, Tzeentch or Khorne.
  • Skaven - Sneaky rats up to the same old tricks really. Thanquol even managed to get back! The Horned Rat succeeded at becoming one of the Ruinous Powers.

Destruction

Something a bit new, destruction is more like "elemental", i.e. those races who just exist and fight for the fun of it!
  • Bonespittaz - Feral Orcs (now called Orruks) with bone clubs etc
  • Beastclaw Raiders - An Ogre (or Ogor) monster-mounted army. They are nomads fleeing a constant blizzard known as the Everfrost. This cataclysmic frost is ever on the heels of the Beastclaw Raiders so they move from place to place, much to the chagrin of other races.
  • Gloomspite Gitz - Good old gobbos! You will find no orruks here - but the mighty clans of night goblins have found common cause with the Spiderfang tribes in order to fulfill the will of the Bad Moon. In their lunatic visions of grandeur, they have managed to get the help of trolls who march to war alongside them.
  • Ogor Mawtribes - A more traditional Ogre/Ogor army
  • Orruk Warclans - General Ork/Orruk army
  • Sons of Behemat - An army of giants. Yes, you read that correctly
  • Kruleboyz - a new devious race of greenskinz that have emerged from the swamps to wreak havoc on the realms. They are more cunning than their cousins and will trap, ambush and trick their enemies in anyway imaginable. They are followed into battle by Hobgrots (a new breed of Hobgoblin) and lumbering swamp trolls.

So that's it for our summary! Please feel free to ask any questions and we'll keep adding links as we expand our articles.
 
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Belladonna Voltaire

Vyrkos Primogen
True Blood
Aug 15, 2007
2,803
Wirral
Few things to add for this so please feel free to cherry pick and delete as applicable.

Skavenblight as a city blinked out of existence in the World-That-Was during the End Times due to Thanquol and Skreech Verminking, the avatar of the horned rat and this is how they made it past the world that was.

During the end times, the Skaven accidentally contacted the Eldar from 40k.

Slaanesh is still very much missing/in chains. Archaon found the Twilight Gloaming but as he was set to free Slaanesh, Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis, attacked the Eightpoints through the deathgate and a combination of the Stormcast, the Sylvaneth and Daughters of Khaine attacked through the life gate. This distracted Archaon enough for him to about face from the Gloaming and the aelves hid Slaanesh further in the Twilight Realm because of this.

Nagash got pissy at Sigvald for killing Krell in the end times so found his soul bits and trapped him in a mirror in Uhl-Hysh where he was unknowingly closer to Slaaesh than ever before so managed to get free.
 

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