AoS: Malign Portents Herald Legions of Nagash – Next Week!

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Death has come to the Mortal Realms, along with the Time of Tribulations.

You’ve watched the stars, read the signs–or more accurately, watched the videos and read all of the previews for it, but you know, sometimes it’s nice to dress things up with a little bit of imagination, even if reading the portents in this case just means scrolling down on your smartphone, an expression of mild interest on your face while waiting on your half-caf soy latte. Which, that’s a nice respectable order, by the way, not too pretentious, but it’s kinda nice to feel fancy. Alright, back to the realms.

DEATH AND DESPAIR HAVE COME TO THE MORTAL REALMS! The signs are there, and now we are plunged into a time of tribulations.

Sorry, that’s one of those Important Eras. Let me capitalize that: The Time of Tribulations. In this epoch of strife, the mortal realms are caught up in a time of premonitions and portents that all point towards impending war. Powerful figures move in shadows and the armies of Order, Chaos, Destruction, and especially Death prepare themselves for the coming conflict.

via Warhammer Community

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…

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.

It does sound like Death is getting more of a boost here. GW wants to bring a little more variety to that Grand Alliance, which is all just basically undead guys. It’d be cool to see some other death type forces, maybe human legions who fight for the dead, but for now the upcoming Battle time splits Death into three factions.

And each of these gets their own special rules and abilities–but according to GW, you won’t be restricted in the lungs of models you can take:

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 Shadows, 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.

And finally, there’s a Malign Portents update to the Skullvane Manse, transforming it to the Warscryer Citadel.

Which will of course have new rules.

All this and more next week! 

  • Kabal1te

    I am very excited for this. I hope it is worth the hype

  • ZeeLobby

    If done right this might be what finally gets my group into AoS. Here’s to hoping they spend significant time on the campaign itself and it’s not just marketing.

  • Christie Bryden

    I cant be the only one thinking that in this time when nagash and death is ment to be having a push, order is so far the only grand alliance getting new models bar the characters.

    • James Regan

      I think they combined slightly too many armies into order- the transfer to AoS didn’t solve the old problem of orcs just being one faction with maybe ogres alongside, and made it worse with the still sadly reduced death forces. Chaos does seem to have had a bit of a boost from the old days, with Khorne, Tzeentch and Nurgle all being fleshed out and seperate, as well as having beastmen and skaven alongside. Chaos I’d say will be fine if beastmen & skaven get a model pass and slaanesh gets… whatever they are planning to do with slaanesh. Death and destruction are a bit lacking however

      Thing is, there’s plenty of scope for new armies- all the elves were part digested by slaanesh before appearing in the mortal realms, so i doubt there’s any long term need to keep them wearing the same clothes. Given empire was replaced by dragon riding zombie space marines with hammers, I’m not really sure they’re too keen on keeping the old model ranges as part of the new battletomes. Give us dead elves & dwarves for death, death with different tech than medieval spears and shields, and shove Tyrion’s elf faction into destruction, given the state he was in when he got shot to death.

      • Christie Bryden

        there are tones of scopes for new armies or expanding armies, Age of sigmar is however already got far to many order and stormcasts. I want to see armys of ghosts, orcs taken after what ever realm they are on having adapted to it, there are potentual but instead we just get more order. Its getting to be worse than the imperium.

        • Brian Griffith

          Really, I think focusing too much on the “balance” of the four uber-factions is gonna lead folks into the weeds. Kharadron Overlords and Daughters of Khaine couldn’t be more different from each other, both visually and thematically. Order isn’t the “good guys” so much as they’re the one faction unambiguously in favor of life and civilization. They have a lot of varying ideas on what shape that civilization will take, but I legit find that interesting.

          That isn’t to say I wouldn’t love to see that level of thought put into the other uber-factions, though. Especially I’d love to see some effort put into Death armies that don’t serve Nagash.

          • NeinNeinNein

            Except in game terms they share Alliance, and allegiance traits if you don’t want or can’t do a single faction army and with the generic Order traits.

        • euansmith

          I’m hoping for a new box of Goblins. The old box (which came out in 2,000) is looking rather sad. The new Bloodbowl Goblins are pretty cool. Maybe there will be a horde for Shadespire to give a taste of something new.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            yeah its well past time. the lil fellas need some loving.

        • Sonic tooth

          it would be a much more interesting setting if they dumped the sigmarines. i dont expect anyone to agree with me lol. theyre getting a full army while everyone else gets little factions then back to more sigmarines. its space marine players buying them. last time i was in a gw shop the guy in there was really really trying to push sigmarines on me when i told him im into fantasy and not really 40k (apart from the occasional bit of fluff and the odd book)

      • Sonic tooth

        i wonder will slaanesh mk2 have snakey elements. didnt morathi say something about being cast in his image or something? maybe i imagined it lol

      • EnTyme

        I fully agree with this. They simply put too many armies into the Order alliance. I’m not exactly sure what they could have done differently, but I could see the former Dark Elves in Destruction, or possibly even Chaos.

    • Sonic tooth

      dark elves as order just doesn’t sit right with me. yea i know the “lawful evil” argument but it just seems a bit off. they should just be “evil” or something

      • Brian Griffith

        Not how the uber-factions work. Order isn’t “good” even if it has those golden boy scouts in it.

      • euansmith

        Some one suggested Destruction as a home for the DE. That sounds rather fun.

        • Brian Griffith

          I feel like there’s a lot of hay to be made over the Khaine cultist’s veneration of “murder” and its distinction from the Khorne cultist’s veneration of “slaughter.”

          • euansmith

            Like a darker version of the distinction between Athena’s and Ares’ views on War?

          • Brian Griffith

            I think the way I see it is murder is personal. It’s intimate. That fits a lot of the Aelf/Eldar philosophy in my mind.

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          with their “people skills” it would be a better fit IMO.

          • euansmith

            “How to make friends and influence people”, by Haemon Culi

      • ohhpoong

        i think having dark elves in order was just to make it easier for ppl to have a combined elf army (high+wood+dark). Besides, ‘order’ does not mean ‘good’ in AoS. It just means ‘getting back to the way things were before chaos came’

      • Hagwert

        Dark elves have always pillaged and destroyed…but they do it to get slaves who work in their fields and estates to grow their food, fell lumber in the forests to fuel their forges, carve stone and ore from quarries and mines to build their cities and sacrifice on altars to their god in a highly ritualised way. This is cruel , brutal and vicious but it is done to build their civilisation which is an ORDERLY thing to do . Chaos and destruction just rampage from place to place, exhausting an areas resources and killing everything in an orgy of mayhem before moving on.

        • GWELLS

          Good points. Being in order does not mean you GOOD or lawfull anything. It is about believing in civilization and the guidelines of civilizations. It is about being against anarchy and mindless destruction of the Chaos and Destruction. And it is also against the total servitude that Death operates under. The Dark Elves may enslave but they respect and understand free-will.

          Order is is an ideology, not an alighnment, and if all of Order was Lawfull Good it would actually miss the point in that even sadistic and cruel individuals believe in laws and civilization.

          • James Regan

            Then again, I’m not sure Death actually has an ideological basis, simply because of that whole ‘total servitude thing’- Death isn’t united by philosophy, like order or chaos’ opposing collective versus individual free will. It’s united with its ‘total subservience’ policy, because it is literally a dude, his mate arkhan, plus his two employees and their kids. The flesh eater courts don’t march with the same lock-step as the truly dead, and Arkhan is probably the only truly loyal Mortarch. It just gives the impression of being so monolithic because Nagash is both a god and someone we are used to thinking of as not a god. Sigmar is the same though- that’s the interesting part to the stormcast, they are effectively even more enslaved than Nagash’s zombie hordes, because they keep being re-forged despite their souls not truly being up to the task anymore.

          • GWELLS

            True, you raise an interesting philosophical point. When you think about both undead and stormcasts were both mortals that were resurrected from the dead and eventually lose their freewill to a god who feels he knows whats best for the realms.

            The lines are blurrier than people realize when you really think about it.

          • James Regan

            I think its probably important to remember that Death isn’t any more evil than the heavens (Azyr) is, but Nagash himself is more than a bit evil- then again, Gorkamorka is not good, Tyrion was a god of murder, Malerion was witch king of Naggarond for millenia, and Allarielle is, as far as anyone can tell, still legally married to Malerion, the eternityking to her everqueen.

      • GWELLS

        All the Elve factions are in Order because in their own way they all believe in civilization and the patheon. People have argued about putting them in Destruction or Death but that is missing the point.

        Destruction is all about the veneration of Gorkamorka in one way or another and around destruction and endless war. Though sadistic the dark elves have never been about destruction for destructions sake, and certainly would never venerate Gork or Mork. They are about Empire building and their own personal benefit.

        And death are all subservient to Nagash, the Dark Elves would never follow the Necromancer, and a living faction in Death I feel would go against the theme they are creating for them.

        The elves work in Order because for all their various reasons they are against Chaos gods in all their points and believe in ending chaos and anarchy within the realms and bringing back the empires of old.

        Thus everyone has to understand, Order is not universally good or evil, Dark Elves fit with them as much as Stormcast, it is broad ideology against chaos and wanton destruction that the other factions follow. And the deathly servitude of Nagash. Again is not Order is not GOOD parse, it is structured and follows the laws of civilization for the most part.

        • Sonic tooth

          i know all that but as i said, it just seems a bit “off” to me.

          • GWELLS

            fair enough your entitled to your preferences.

        • James Regan

          I suspect the big issue here is that we keep seeing Nagash differently to the other gods, because he got his own faction. Whilst Aelves believe in the pantheon, it’s worth noting Nagash has just as much, if note more, claim to be part of that pantheon than Tyrion or Mallerion- The Aelves broke from Sigmar’s alliance before Nagash did- it was Tyrion and Malerion who betrayed order first, leading to the age of chaos. Sigmar might have got them back onside when he deployed his stormcast, but the only reason he didn’t get Nagash back into his alliance is because the necromancer doesn’t like other people using necromancy. Malerion is also the only one who can be said to have joined order out of actual belief in their ideals, because he’s the only one who didn’t actual need saving from Archaon at the time.

  • DeliciousBishop

    flaming skeletons of aqshy!

  • Astorius Blake

    As much as i would like to be hyped, i can’t help but be terrified and mad at the same time. First, the leaked warscrolls (hint: they suck), now the fact that it’s not even a “hey look Death here’s a good release for you” but a “Hey here are the heroes for the event that’s supposed to be about death but that’s about stormcasts and nurgle. oh, and your battletome too, while we’re at it. Now back to important stuff!”. I have a bad feeling about this.

    • Jesse Cavazos

      More like they’re shoehorning Death into another Stormcast vs Chaos plot, then? That worries me.

    • SacTownBrian

      Without seeing the mechanics of the faction how do you know they suck? Assuming the scrolls are legit, If the deathly invocation ability stacks then it’s significanly better than the banners, but we don’t know if it does yet. All the buffs to Nagash summoning buffs were wasted in match play so good riddance. A new build for the already great Morris Engine / Coven Throne? Yea. A new hero build for the Vamp on Zombie dragon? Alright! The ability to play any battle line death unit and have it fit a new faction? That’s great. Phil Kelly himself said just wait, the Realms are in a panic because Nagash is coming… not here but coming. It looks like they are aligning the existing Death range to kick off and will pop the new stuff later in the campaign. But honestly the the End Times editions were already spectacular. Getting anything more for the range is wonderful. The only hope I really have is new Blood Knights. Those models are technically dated, over priced, and are suffering in aesthetics compared to the rest of the range. But I have plenty of other great models in the range to play with.

      • Brian Griffith

        At the same time, I do see what Death players are feeling when they see stuff like Sylvaneth, Kharadron Overlords, Fyreslayers, etc. A lot of Age of Sigmar has been taking former subfactions and expanding them into full-on armies. Death has gotten some of that in the form of the Flesheater courts, but not really any new model love, save the Knight of Shrouds that’s coming out just now.

        So it’s not hard for me to grok how a Death player could see this and compare it to the upcoming Daughters of Khaine and feel a little bitter about it.

        I don’t doubt that Death will get a major push eventually, but this doesn’t seem to be it.

        • Astorius Blake

          That is exactly the way i feel, thank you for your understanding

          • SacTownBrian

            But you said they suck. So you feel the changes suck?

          • Astorius Blake

            Yes i did, because they do for the way i’m playing, ergo full Deathrattle and with no magical support whatsoever. Now, with the new banners, deathrattle armies are going to suck, because instead of regenerating your troops you get a malus for enemy bravery…. given most enemies those days are either chaos or stormcast, screw it. And getting the regeneration to heroes is just painting a target on their face given the absence of rules for intercepting arrows, or even a lookout sir. But no, they had to push the “hey play everything instead of playing what you want”. Get what i mean when i say they suck?

        • SacTownBrian

          As a Bretonian player, I can honesty say it could be much worse.

      • Astorius Blake

        Well, i only play Deathrattle. So it sucks for me, playing an entire army without any spells. And the new summoning rules are terribad unless heroes get the same sniping rules as in 40k (ergo, stuff like Skyfires can’t just say “hey we’re targeting this guy, look he’s dead now!” and have to get actual positioning to get to the heroes.). Otherwise, the rest of the warscrolls look just meh. Except for the Black Knights who finally became good.

        • SacTownBrian

          But you are getting Mannfred. You don’t like Mannfred?

          • Astorius Blake

            You mean “the asshead that got the old world killed”? I think everyone agrees on hating him. I simply refuse to add a guy like that in my army. The fact that i think his model is butt-ugly compared to the other Mortarchs helps me with that.

  • Shadowstrife

    This reminds me of both ‘Storm of Magic’ and ‘End Times I: Nagash’ mixed together.

  • euansmith

    “… the mortal realms are caught up in a time of premonitions and portents that all point towards impending war…”

    “Meanwhile, in other news, the Wareteorological Office has issued a severe War Warning; with War Force 9, tending towards 10, excepted throughout the Mortal Realms. So wrap up, and stay safe, and let’s do it to them before they do it to us.”

    • Brian Griffith

      Though I do like how Warhammer Quest lets you do non-war stuff! Like having your Fyreslayer dude settle a bet on whether or not Stormcasts can get drunk.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      “You stay classy Hammerhal!!”

  • Sonic tooth

    wish they had done more with vampire knight infantry or female vampire covens. they feature in the preview of januarys white dwarf but no models for them (and doubtful ever will be)

    • Brian Griffith

      Yeah, truth told they should probably find a way to differentiate the army styles of Neferata’s ladies from the freaky fanged alchemists Mannfred has gathered to him.

    • James Regan

      I’m still hoping that part of the issue is GW’s slightly unexpected and ongoing problems with production capacity. Hopefully they’ll be investing in new factory capacity and that hopefully means they can give AoS, and particularly death, the push of new models they need. Until then, more AoS redressed battletomes and 40k codexes, as they only need to email them to an outside printer, which is a bit easier

  • Marco

    Long live Warhammer Fantasy and the Old the Old World!

    • Txabi Etxebarrieta

      When will BoLS mods finally write this off as a spambot and ban it?

      • Brian Griffith

        Beats me, but until then just keep flagging it.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        Dastardly villian!! Marco-bot provides a crucial service! how else will we know its a positive article about AoS without it????

      • Let him rage into the wind. Its cathartic.

      • GWELLS

        The old world is the past, leave it their it is old. The Mortal Realms are life, embrace life!

  • Jared van Kell

    I really hope that undead wizards get access to multiple lores like they used to, even if it is just a Lore of Death for killing their enemies and a Lore of Undeath for supporting their allies.

  • The yearly advancement of the story and campaign arcs is something that AOS is doing right.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      I could take it or leave it so long as they make good campaign packs.

  • DrunkCorgi

    “…but according to GW, you won’t be restricted in the lungs of models you can take”

    No matter how many times I reread this sentence, I still don’t understand it.

  • Justin Pigott

    Where’s the ‘long live the Old World’ guy??? Slept through his alarm?

    • Justin Pigott

      Oh wait, found him! Phew, I would have been lost without his deep well of detailed commentary.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        Yeah got worried there too! he is a crucial piece of this puzzle.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    I am very excited for this and may push me back into more AoS. Thing is, what worries me, looks like nothing new for death really outside the heralds, and then you get like 3-4 new model kits for dark elves? That was the twist alright, getting us all hyped for death and then order(destruction/Chaos?) get a new Morathi and her guard. I wont complain much, she does look pretty cool and I like the gorgan / naga look of the new elves. But felt it odd when you have a whole campaign about death, and everyone going to go fight death, and death gets nothing kinda odd. I felt the same about gathering storm when chaos didn’t get anything new really (at least not during the event)