Spiritual Awakening

I’ve always been a big fan of the undead. Back in the old days when bases were square I dreamed of a vast host of walking corpses with which to dominate the living. Then I discovered how many skeletons I’d have to paint and rather went off the idea, plus the models for the zombies were ancient and terrible – and believe it or not they still are. Games Workshop; by far the most successful miniatures company in the world and they still can’t find the time to replace a staple of the fantasy genre like the zombie.

It wasn’t so much the number of bodies I needed to paint that put me off (I went for Skaven in the end after all) but the real world cost of buying them all, especially when compared to the rats which were at that time rumoured to be in the starter set for a forthcoming 8th edition. In the end though I did acquire a small collection of revenants and last year I even got around to painting them. I should probably have put them on round bases whilst I was at it but even then AoS was hard to take seriously, it’s background fiction a slapdash, cobbled together nonsense of copyrightable names and unfinished ideas.

Vampire Counts Convert Or Die (4) - Copy

My zombie apocalypse begins – without the zombies.

Now, however, Games Workshop have recognised the value in expending some time and energy fleshing out the setting and the rest of us are reaping the rewards. It’s still a bit pompous and overly convoluted, it’s still a mishmash of ideas carried over from previous iterations and it still doesn’t always know when to be serious and when to be silly but that’s Warhammer for you. Things weren’t any different before the Age of Sigmar came along.

Anyway, the undead are back in town and my interest has been rekindled. The ghosts that we met in the Soul Wars starter set have been bolstered into a fully fledged fraction. Some of the new releases are the same or similar to the models that appeared in Soul Wars so I won’t go over them again here, if you want to know what I thought of them you know where to look. In the meantime let’s turn our attention instead to the rest of the new ghosts, starting with the big boss, Lady Olynder, the Mortarch of Grief.

Olynder 1

Looking around online I find myself wondering if I am the only person on the planet who’s not a huge fan of Olynder. Then again I’m not terribly enamoured with Nagash either, his model is just a little bit too over the top and special effect heavy for my taste. Released at the beginning of the End Times he falls down for me between his two incarnations – a little too big and showy to be the great necromancer of the old world, a little too small and unspectacular to be an actual god. Gods in my opinion should be too big and awe inspiring for the tabletop. Imagine a miniature of Khorne or Nurgle for example. Alarielle gets away with it, firstly by being awesome and secondly because there’s an exception to every rule.

As for Olynder, she’s nice enough but I’m not sure I share the rabid enthusiasm for her that others have displayed. The clever trick the designers have pulled here is that she is essentially a large, detail-light space, framed by detail-heavy elements; a blank canvas but one you would never really be able to play with without spoiling the illusion. I’ve got no doubt that there will be Golden Daemon entrants using her as an opportunity to create eye-aching works of technical perfection but to my taste I don’t think I’d find her either interesting or relaxing to paint. She’s not my least favourite Mortarch, that dubious honour falls to Arkhan the Black who shares his employer’s taste in ludicrous hats, but she’s a long way from the downright gorgeous Neferata.

That said there are some truly wonderful elements and the whole design is undoubtedly extremely clever. Look at the way she holds up the trailing hem of her dress for example, a very human gesture which grounds her as a person rather than just an ambulatory sheet. She doesn’t have to worry about tripping over, she doesn’t even have any feet, but we expect a bride to need to worry about her train and so the gesture humanises her and helps to turn a faceless absence into a relatable person.

Lady Olynder

By dressing Olynder as a Miss Havishamstyle bride the designers have also defined her by the absences around her. Instead of the groom and wedding ceremony she has only two little ghosts for company. She is forced into a role, and weakened by it. Neferata is a queen, Olynder will at best only ever be the wife of a king. That king certainly is not Kurdoss Valentian however, hunched on the looming throne he appears subservient to it, as though his incorporeal arse is only keeping it warm for someone stronger and he expects to get kicked off at any moment.

Olynder is also without doubt the most original of the four Mortarchs, the others harking back to the same motif; an undead general mounted upon a flying steed. Thus of the three named heroes available to the Nighthaunt, Reikenor the Grimhailer is the most immediately familiar.

Reikenor Grimhailer 01

His steed is also surprisingly traditional for AoS where no-one seems to ride horses anymore when you can scoot about on a half-cat, half-dragon or a flying shark instead. With his winged horse, Kyallaron, which could easily pass for a Hellsteed he wouldn’t have looked out of the place in a Vampire Counts army and thus he acts as something of a sop to fans of a more traditional aesthetic.

Like the other Nighthaunt there’s nothing terribly fancy about Reikenor himself, a carved mask and a few candles being his only concessions to grandeur. Kyallaron however makes up for it, from his battered armour to the candelabra’s worth of candles stuck to his nose this horse is one of the most extravagantly dressed heroes in the Nighthaunt army. Or maybe he’s just angling for a job with House Cawdor.

Reikenor Grimhailer 03

The angel statue deserves a special mention. A wonderfully evocative addition it almost feels wasted tucked away under Reikenor’s hooves and would make for a cracking terrain piece for either AoS or 40k were one willing to construct something else for the Grimhailer to gallop over the top of.

Reikenor Grimhailer 02

Of the three new leaders however by far my favourite is Kurdoss Valentian, the Craven King. As a leader he’s a perfect exemplar of the army as a whole. He looks physically weak, hunched on the edge of his crumbling throne, his glory faded, the stone work of his dais breaking to dust beneath him. Unlike the rest of the range, which is defined by being ethereal to varying degrees, there is a distinct solidity to him; his throne may be floating but it is still a big lump of rock and the mace he clutches looks more than heavy enough to crush heads and break bodies. Kurdoss himself however is a wretched and frail creature, lacking the solid presence of the throne and weighed down both actually and figuratively by the weight of his crown.

The Craven King

Having three named characters, each of which could easily be the faction leader, serves to emphasise the feeling of weakness at the heart of the Nighthaunt. Can you imagine Neferata, Arkhan or Mannfred suffering competitors to their thrones? Yet whilst those three were powerful rulers in the Old World, with an independence and authority that defined their characters, these newcomers are nothing more than puppets for Nagash. No wonder Kurdoss Valentian sits so awkwardly on his throne.

Ghosts riding down their victims on spectral horses makes for a suitably terrifying image but for a long time the only way to represent this was with the less than spooky hexwraiths. Oddly, despite sharing a kit with the wonderful black knights, the hexwraiths are, at least to my eye, rather naff. Their upright poses and chunky garments make them quite the opposite to the spectral Nighthaunt we’ve seen released this month. Rather than being ghostly they’re just skeletons with lumps of plastic flame stuck to them at random. Luckily those wanting to paint spooky horsemen of actual quality are at last being rewarded. As well as the Knight of Shrouds and Reikenor we have the Dreadblade Harrows which sounds like the title of a Harry Potter book in which the plucky boy wizard joins a long and illustrious list of people who have aggravated Nagash and got away with it.

Dreadblade Harrows 2

We already received one spirit torment in the Soul Wars box now we have another, this time wearing a gibbet but still looking every inch the jailer. He carries a huge padlock clearly intended to serve as some kind of bludgeoning flail and it looks downright heavy too pulling the whole model towards the ground and needing both hands to support it. The narrative here is clearly and cleverly conveyed. He may carry the padlock and keys but he is the prisoner forced to lug them around and struggling under their weight.

He also comes with two spookily faceless bodyguards presumably to stop other ghosts trying to nick his keys. It would have been nice however if his mask had matched that of his peer in the Soul Wars box to tie the two together a little more and to help differentiate him from his body guards.

Crawlocke

 

Sadly I’m not at all keen on the Dreadscythe Harridans. Perhaps they would have worked better in isolation but looking at them one almost feels that the designers used the best ideas for the Myrmourn Banshees already and were struggling to match them. There are two squads of female ghosts available to this army and whilst one is pretty much perfect the other smacks of trying too hard with too little inspiration in the creative tank. Whilst the veils of the Banshees show little and imply a great deal to create a wonderfully spooky effect the Harridans just come across has a little hammy. As special effects go having a skull for a face has been done to death already and given that this is the Warhammer universe where skills are literally everywhere a ghost with a skull for a face probably doesn’t make the “Top 10 most frightening things I’ve seen this week” list for even the most sheltered of citizens. I do wonder how they would look with the serene death masks of the Sanguinary guard – if I’m right, the answer is downright terrifying.

Harridans 4

Then there are the flowers in their hair. I found myself asking if this might be sexist before deciding I was probably reading too much into it. Of course there is a long association of flowers with death, particularly to cover up the smell of ripe corpse puts out. Then again, as incorporeal beings ghost are not normally associated with being whiffy.

One wonders if the designers asked themselves “how do we represent female ghosts when all we have to play with his a white sheet with a skull on the front?”

“How about long hair?” another would ask.

“Good idea”, says the first, “but they might still be rock musicians”

“Hmmm.. how about flowers then – girls love flowers!”

Ultimately though it’s probably nothing and even if it isn’t it’s still a big improvement on boob armour. I don’t see any of the boy ghosts carrying floral arrangements into battle with them though…

Harridans 1

Apparently the Harridans are all former healers who are being tortured by Nagash. Hands which were once dexterous have been turned into lethal blades and the Harridans are driven forwards against their will to slash at the enemy.

Which begs the question; what does Nagash have against healers anyway? Was he once beaten up by a doctor? Did a surgeon mock his taste in hats? Did Morathi dump him for a sexy neurosurgeon who drove a sports car and was “good with his hands”? Surely it cannot be that by saving lives he feels the healers are denying him souls? It’s not as though any of them are promising immortality. The soul still goes to Nagash, the doctors are only delaying the inevitable. The soul may not arrive quite as quickly but to an immortal like Nagash the delay should be barely noticeable. If that’s what he’s upset about it just seems downright petty. I know that as characters go Nagash can spectacularly small minded when the mood takes him but such an obvious dick move just smacks of lazy writing and makes the whole narrative less compelling. A truly well written baddie is one you find yourself sympathising with but GW stamped out any hope of moral complexity here by firmly reminding us that Nagash is just an arsehole and Sigmar is the good man who we ought to be cheering for.

The opportunity was here to create something truly terrifying but alas the designers bottled out at the last moment and then added insult to injury by saddling them with some rather silly background fiction.

Bladegheist 1

Much better in my opinion are the Bladegheist Revenants.  There is a sense of speed and motion here unmatched not just in the Nighthaunt range but across the broader spectrum of AoS as well. Zombies and skeletons may have typecast the undead as slow and ungainly but these are anything but.

The masks are also much more imposing than any skull and, being separate components to the rest of the body, can easily be used to make anyone you want look terrifying. Necron lords, dark eldar, the henchmen of radical inquisitors, the elite of the chaos cults, a troupe of particularly malevolent harlequins, if you need to inspire fear simply apply Bladegheist masks. My only fear is that they might be a little on the small side, it can be hard to judge scale exactly until the miniatures are properly released.

Bladegheist 3

Sadly like the harridans their background seems a little off, at least based on what I’ve read of it so far. Apparently these are the ghosts of those who were murdered in confined spaces or buried alive and their wild swings comes from there frantic attempts to escape death during their final moments.

Their poses on the other hand would seem to imply skill as well as speed, the precise cuts of master duellists rather than the while hacking of those caged in an eternal claustrophobic death. Furthermore these have the look of elite warriors not trapped victims, a look intensified by their grim and fearsome masks. Again it’s a mismatch between design and execution that the writers would have been sensible to avoid. Far be it from me to stifle creative thinking but you can have too much of a good thing. On this occasion it smacks of trying a little too hard to be creative and ending up with something that is just contrived. Does Nagash need to have legions of ghosts defined by highly circumstantial deaths? The ghosts of those who were stabbed (but not shot) in meadows? The ghosts of those who were decapitated whilst on the phone? The ghosts of those who were poisoned whilst looking at a goldfish?

Bladegheist 2

I’m aware of GW’s desire to create unique and copyright-able concepts but surely this is over-egging it. One look at these models is enough to tell you everything about their battlefield role. They are fast moving and wield large, double-handed swords. Their job, therefore, is to punch through the enemy lines, forcing a breech for the other ghosts to pour through. Surely you don’t need to have died in a confined space to be a ghostly shock trooper? Surely you just need to be good at fighting and not afraid of dying and as a ghost you should have one of those things down pat already.

Black Coach 01

We really can’t talk about the Nighthaunt without sparing a moment for the black coach. Unlike the rest of the range it’s been around for quite a while and the outgoing model was already old when I first discovered the vampire counts range. The old coach however was a distinctly solid and earthbound affair drawn by skeletal horses with none of the dynamism that today’s techniques make possible. The old one was so sedate it was probably stationary, its wheels locked solidly to the ground and the driver fast asleep, whilst the new one rattles along so fast it’s become airborne. Where a sleeping vampire needs to go in such a hurry remains unknown but it plays right to the core of the vampiric mythos, an undead lord rushing through the night to perform some unspeakable business or speeding back to his lair before the coming of the dawn.

Black Coach 2

Since the coming of the Age of Sigmar there has been a fear amongst long time fans that many old classics maybe gone for good. Across the fence in 40K the grim darkness of the far future has been more than willing to plumb the glories of the past for inspiration. From Wulfen to Genestealer Cultists concepts long thought forgotten are back on centre stage. AoS however has preferred to be new and innovative. Who cares about old square based fuddy-duddy’s when you have flying dwarves and fish elves riding giant turtles?

In the old days things were predictable; sure the rat ogres and plague monks, the squig hoppers and zombies might look a little past their best but sooner or later Games Workshop would get around to them just as they had with countless other old kits. In this new era however nothing is set in stone. The plus side is that we’ve delved into a world of boundless creativity, the negative is that we might never see new versions are well loved old models. Now old does not necessarily equate to bad, I enjoy a lump of lead as much as the next man, but some of the early plastics especially really do deserve to be replaced and soon. The black coach then offers a little glimmer of hope that Games Workshop haven’t left their history behind entirely here.

Thieving Ghosts 2

Speeding alongside the coach are a little flock of ghosts. I think these are intended as attendance carrying precious items for the convalescing vampire; a sword, a book and a chalice. The more I look at them however the more I think they are actually stealing things. There’s something conspiratorial about the glance exchanged by the two at the top, whilst the one at the side twitches the curtain aside for a nosey peek inside. The effect is emphasised by their positioning, hidden behind the coach’s driver and out of his line of sight. Of the lesser ghost we’ve seen these are the first not to be wearing iron shackles making me wonder more and more if they might be mischievous spirits who have temporarily escaped Nagash’s clutches and are now indulging in some stealthy high-jinx.

Thieving Ghosts

Back when I first got into Warhammer all the various sorts of undead where to be found under one banner, barring the Tomb Kings who were by then off doing their own thing. There were skeletons, zombies, ghouls and ghosts, all of them fairly generic, and generally there was one sort of each. Over time the range diversified but the idea of a whole army with a similar number of units to the Vampire Counts of that era made up exclusively of ghosts is still novel enough to blow my mind a little. Imagine if Games Workshop brought the same commitment to skeletons, zombies, even – dare I say it – mummies? And before you remind me that the Tomb Kings are dead and gone, never to rise again let me suggest that not all mummies are Egyptian. Imagine a race of bog bodies or corpse driven golems!

There is a line in the new Age of Sigmar rulebook which describes how, during the Age of Chaos, enslaved spirits were forced to dig up their own cadavers and mount their skulls on fortress walls. I wonder if Nagash has thought to do the same thing, sending the ghosts into the Nighthaunt and the corpses to become zombies – a sort of buy one get one free on undead armies.

In the old days the undead were defined by a lack of character. Hordes of zombies, skeletons or savage ghouls were puppeteered by powerful vampire lords and commanded to do their will. Beyond the most dominant undead creatures the person they had once been was entirely gone, all that remained was a cadaver shambling about doing its master’s bidding. The old Vampire Counts were equal opportunities employers, albeit also controlling micromanagers. Lords and peasants alike were welcome in their armies, your achievements in life made meaningless. Once they had you, you became a husk to do their bidding and nothing more. Not so the Nighthaunt. They are defined by their former lives and their deaths. Sometimes this is well written, the Craven King for example, at others it seems a little tagged on (the Harridans again I’m afraid).

If you’d told me before this release that Games Workshop planned a whole army of ghosts I would have questioned its viability. Could they really get a whole faction’s worth of models from such a simple concept without the whole thing becoming a little stretched and thin? Where would the variety come from? Games Workshop however have pulled it off in style. Some of the concepts are undoubtedly weaker than others but there’s nothing here that’s particularly objectionable.

This is the breath of fresh air that the Death range was desperately in need of, yet it’s not actually as radical as some of the things we’ve seen appearing amongst their living adversaries. Regardless of your thoughts on AoS (and frankly if you’re still full of rage and bitterness about the fate of the Old World it’s time to take a seat and re-evaluate) aesthetically and conceptually these tie in quite closely to the Vampire Counts of old, and the Shyishian Legions they’ve become. A High Elf might be a little taken aback if one of the Idoneth Deepkin waded ashore in Ulthuan, a Stormcast Eternal would cause quite a panic in the Empire and no true son of Grungni would tolerate the innovative thinking of the airborne Kharadrons, but a ghost from Silvania setting its eyes on a member of the Nighthaunt would at least know it was looking at a kindred spirit.

As usual however these are just my rambling thoughts and opinions. Are you a fan of the new ghosts or do you want to see them exorcised with extreme prejudice? Let me know what you think in the comments box below.

All the pretty pictures have been borrowed from Games Workshop without permission, barring the one at the top of my own Vampire Lord. He never did grow to become a terror in Silvania but I can hear him stirring in his grave in Shyish…  

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26 responses to “Spiritual Awakening

  • theimperfectmodeller

    GW is all rather new to me care of the blogging world and much of the debate regarding the company is very interesting but one I am essentially neutral on. What I would say is the new coach relative to the old one in the photos you’ve included looks amazing.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, you’ve got a lot of fans with deeply invested opinions out there. Generally I’d say I like the models and the company makes the models so that’s good enough for me. They don’t behave in a way that is sufficiently unethical to put me off them and although their great size in comparison to other companies in the same industry gives them enormous clout when it comes to getting their way in the market it’s also safe to assume that the range available to hobbyists would be a lot smaller without them, that by promoting themselves they promote the whole hobby. I don’t think they’re above criticism, but I don’t think they’re the devil either.

      As for the black coach the one thing I would flag up about it is the serious increase in price. The new one goes for £70 which is a bit rich for my taste, even for a very nice model. However if I really wanted it I could save up for it, whereas the old one you would have struggled to pay me to take it away 🙂

      • backtothehammer

        I do have the old black coach and I’m quite a die hard old world fan but that doesn’t stop me from being impressed with some of the new mini’s and I’ll definitely be utilising them. The black coach is gorgeous and thankfully is ‘only’ around £50 from the local FLAGS. The wraiths on horses will definitely be used instead of the horrible dated mounted wight king.
        This was a great write up and looking forward to the next one.

      • Wudugast

        Thank you 🙂
        I hadn’t considered the harrows as replacements for that mounted wight king but you’re right that would be a huge improvement. I did wonder about the size of the black coach, it looks to be pretty huge in comparison to the old one, and I wondered if that would put people off from using it in games of WHFB. For me though the rule of cool would have me include it without a doubt. I’m hoping when they get around to doing the AoS equivalents of the Skaven and Night Gobbos they’re similarly lootable!

  • James

    GReat article. Do you plan to do one for the sacrosant chamber?

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! As for writing about the Sacrosant Chamber the answer is probably not, although I will give it some thought. These articles actually take quite a lot of thought and effort to put together so I tend not to cover every release, just the ones where I think I’ve got something worthwhile to say.

      Generally there are two things that encourage me to write one of these articles. Firstly, I’m thinking about buying some of the models, or it’s an army I already collect. In this case I’ve already got a small Vampire Counts collection, plus a few other models I’ve picked up recently, plus the Nighthaunt half of the Soul Wars box, and I may well add a few of these to that too (probably the Craven King, the Bladegheists and the Harrows). By writing these pieces I’m actually thinking through my own ideas about the army and helping myself decide what I’ll buy, or even if in the end I’m going to buy anything at all.

      Secondly it should be an army I’m fairly familiar with. I know the Death range quite well so I feel that I’ve got something to bring to the discussion. I’m not so familiar with the Stormcasts, in spite of them being everywhere, so I feel like there’s less that I can say that’s going to be of interest.

      I did talk about the Sacrosant Chamber a bit when I wrote about the Soul Wars box though, and I’ve certainly been watching the releases for them with interest. Of the various Stormcasts we’ve seen so far I think these are easily my favourite, they bring a lot more individual personality and character to each model than many of the previous releases so that each feels like a champion. I’m also loving the range of fantastic beasts that they’ve brought along, there’s much more creativity on show here rather than just hashing out the same fantasy tropes that we saw in previous years. I’ve got no beef with horses, dragons, griffons and whathaveyou, but I can walk out of my house and see a horse – and I’ve read a lot of books with dragons in them – but I’ve never seen a dracoline or a tauralon before!

      • James

        Thanks for giving an insight into how you write these articles. I personally think the editorials are the creme de la creme of this excellent site and would love to see more.

      • Wudugast

        Thank you! As I say these take a lot more work than normal posts so it’s very encouraging to hear that you enjoy them 😀

  • bigbossredskullz

    I agree with a lot of what you said but for me a more pure skellie army would be preferred. Big fan of liches here 🙂

    • Wudugast

      See much and all as I want good things ASAP and not to have to wait for wishful thinking I’m also not planning on going anywhere, and so long as I’m able to and I have the spare money for a few models I’ll carry on painting things. I’d love to see GW do for skeletons and zombies what they’ve already done for ghosts, and to a lesser extent ghouls, and I’m hopeful that sooner or later that’s exactly what they’ll do. They’ve explored more ground in 40k than they have in AoS and even then there’s a lot they could still do without deviating from the existing background. With AoS the sky is the limit, and if they thought there was a market for it I could easily see them creating a Death range as wide as that for Order. The limiting factor, I think, would be the number of potential customers, I suspect more people want to collect the “good guys” than the undead so I doubt it would reach that scale, but given time I reckon there could be a lot more ahead. They’ve started doing the Chaos legions for 40k and I never thought that day would arrive so who knows? Given my rate of painting when it comes to the undead I should try to have at least some of my ghosts done before then though. 😀

      • bigbossredskullz

        True. The best thing with the endless scope of AoS is that GW are actually pushing out into unknown territory. That I support 100% even though the faction isnt to my taste.
        I bought that jailor character. Thought not for AoS mind 😅

  • Alexis West

    Honestly, the scope of possibility for criticism here is, in itself, sort of a compliment: The worst that can be said about the range is that some of them have nice details that don’t come together into a good complete model, or that they have weak points in their backstory. There are things here that I would prefer to be different, but nothing that’s outright bad.

    I’m pretty much with you on most of this. Olynder is pretty much a perfect example of the first. There are tons of fantastic bits and elements, but the overall Model ends up being kind of bland, honestly. It is nice to get a totally different approach than the other Mortrarchs, tho. The other three getting bundled together into one kit makes them too similar to each other.

    Reikenor has so much going on that I didn’t even notice the statue before. Which is unfortunate, because it’s fantastic. Hoepfully I can find one (or more) through a bitz seller, because I’d love to use that for Terrain, but have no use for most of the Model.

    Valentian is the first one that’s inarguably great. I could actually see using him as the base for a Sorcerer on Disc or Daemon Prince conversion, and someone was talking about using his heralds as Servitor accompaniment for an Imperial or Renegade Knight, which seems really cool.

    Nagash’s obsession with “poetic justice” got taken way too far in some of these cases, for sure. The Harridans and Bladegheists would be much better served by a re-write. My biggest disappointment with the Harridans, tho, is that they aren’t a dual kit, so those arms aren’t going to be as common with bitz sellers as I’d like for Flayed One conversions. Similar story with the Bladgheists, actually, now that I’ve got a better look at the sprues. I’d love a bunch of those masks.

    The Glaivewraith Stalkers were similarly a bit disappointing to me when their fluff was revealed. I had hopes that they were going to be the start of an expansion into more non-human Undead. Where are my zombie and skeleton Duardin and Orruks and Ogors and Beastmen and Skaven and such?

    There was a bit with the designer on Warhammer Community, and the new Black Coach actually has some interesting twists in the concept. It’s no longer the vampire’s own coach, and it’s not directed by his bidding. It’s now entirely someone else’s construct, harnessing the powers of a very heavily bound and restrained vampire as a weapon. The idea of the attendant ghosts being mischievous instead of servants would fit in nicely with that.

    • Wudugast

      Oooh, I hadn’t thought of using the Harridans for Flayed Ones but you might be onto something there, one to file away in the back of my skull for future consideration.

      Yeah, it would be good to see Nagash tapping into all those non-human corpses and souls that come his way. I’m glad he didn’t use Skaven bodies/ghosts, they’ve stabbed him in the back so many times now that a healthy distrust of them is very in character, and there was a piece in a recent White Dwarf where they said that the dwarves are so “anti-magic” that they’re almost impossible to resurrect, even as a zombie, but that still leaves a lot of other undead untapped. Likewise with Chaos, not everyone that turns to the Dark Gods is a human. Let’s see an elf that worships Nurgle or an Ogre lord of Khorne or some such.

      I hadn’t picked up on the bit about the Black Coach, that would explain why the vampire is so heavily bound. I just assumed that if they was jolted awake before they’d fully recovered they’d go blood-mad or berserk or something similar.

      • Alexis West

        Makes sense with Dwarves. I would think the Skaven betrayals would feed right into Nagash’s poetic justice obsession, tho. Especially since the Harridans demonstrate that he’s capable of completely controlling a spirit even while leaving its original personality entirely intact.

        And yeah, I definitely want to see more non-human followers of Chaos too. Some of the Dark Elves used to be actively Slaaneshi, and a good take on Chaos Dwarves is definitely possible. In 40K at one point, there were Khornate Orks, too, tho the way they interact with Gorkamorka in AoS, I’m not sure it’s really possible for them to turn to Chaos there. Ogors should be entirely possible, tho.

      • Wudugast

        I hadn’t considered that re the Harridans, that’s an excellent point. In that case it would entirely make sense for Nagash to be raising up Skaven spirits and zombies (which should make him victorious overnight by multiplying his forces by a few thousand times!)

        I know there’d been Khornate Orks before (in fact weren’t the first Stormboys Khorne worshippers?) but by the time I got into them (late 4th edition 40k maybe?) the idea that Gork and Mork were best was firmly rooted right at the heart of the Ork mindset. There was a line in the codex that explained that they liked Khorne (because his followers always gave them a proper fight) but Gork and Mork were automatically better so why bother with worshipping a second rate god? I always liked that mindset, it ties very much into the straightforward Orkish way of thinking. That said there were Nurgle infested Orks mentioned in the Death Guard codex so the who knows, Chaos orks might make a comeback, at least in theory.

        Ogres would definitely make for good chaos worshippers. Back in the Old World, if I recall correctly, going into the Chaos wastes and coming back mutated was seen by the Ogres as a gamble that could pay off. Sure you might end up as a horrible mass of tentacles, or you could strike lucky and grow something useful like a big mouth in your stomach that let you eat faster 😀

  • imperialrebelork

    I always really enjoy your review articles because the delivery makes for compelling reading. Like you’re telling us a story by the fire haha. Interesting about the sexist thing and I reckon you’re on the money with how the conversation went about flowers haha. I’m head over heels in love with Olynder though, as I think you know. For me there is something so sad and depressing about her that it just feels me with joy haha. I can’t wait to start getting some paint on her tonight.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Well, like I say, you might just be the man to change my mind about Olynder, I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with 🙂

      • imperialrebelork

        So it’s been a long day and I am tired and I find myself trying to decide between painting Olynder (Lady of Decay) or watching Netflix. I’d like you to decide for me please. I just don’t have the energy to decide. So, my friend, my evening plans are all down to you. Go……..

      • Wudugast

        It’s been a long day. Put your feet up, relax, recharge your batteries. Creativity isn’t a tube of toothpaste that you can just squeeze more out of. Get your energy back and what you do tomorrow will be far better than what you struggle with tonight. This is all just for fun after all – if you really had the energy and the buzz to paint Olynder right now you wouldn’t be asking 😉

      • imperialrebelork

        Haha well said and good advice. Switching on Netflix now. Cheers

  • daggerandbrush

    Excellent review article. I just bought the Sepulchral Guard, my first purchase from GW since 15 odd years. The skeletons are outstanding and I will make some small conversion to make them match my other skeletons (smaller weapons mostly). The Undead range has quitw some offerings. I am not that big a fan of the ghosts (I do not necessarily like how GW sculpts flowing garments these days), but I hope for some new Zombies.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you 🙂 Yeah, they’ve got some cracking stuff nowadays. I’ve been admiring those Sepulchral Guard, probably not something I’ll ever buy myself but cracking models nonetheless. Likewise I’m really hoping they do zombies soon, if they could maintain the level of quality they’ve shown with the ghosts into the wider undead range that would be amazing.

  • Alex

    Great write-up mate – I’m going to read it (and the comments) again later, but will take my time – it’s mad busy trying to get caught up at the moment, and I fear I haven’t done this post justice!

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