There are quite few people down my local club that have been waiting for that book for quite some time. I was one of them as well. Since it was a first release from Warhammer Forge (in case you don’t know it is part of Forgeworld dealing with Warhammer Fantasy Battle) I was really keen to see what sort of quality we can expect. After missing the fact that few locals went to Games Day we had to wait few more weeks, having to content ourselves with reading forum threads. Local GW also didn’t have it in stock and didn’t have idea when we can expect it here, so I went with the FW mailorder for extra fiver. I have to say that book arrived very quickly (2 days).
Price that you have to pay to see it is 45 pounds. Expensive as usual for Forgeworld products but this time I am definitely leaning towards the opinion that you are getting your money’s worth. So what’s inside?
Book deal with a story of yet another Chaos invasion on Empire, this time of Nurgle chosen Tamurkhan and his stinking crusade
As I understand originally it was part of a different concept by Rick Priestley (something akin to alternative Warhammer where Chaos finally triumphs) but it ended up being book describing another campaign in the history of Old World.
First half of the book (just over 100 pages) deals with the story itself, describing Tamurkhan journey, his battles against different foes and alliances he made on the way (chaos dwarfs, ogres) and finally his attack on Wissenland. I have to say that I liked the story, its well written and also little bit different to most “chaosy” stuff out there.
Book itself is lavishly illustrated and hard cover is wrapped in fake leather- guys at FW really did an excellent job here, I loved the illustrations, little campaign maps, even the way pages are stylized to look old. Definitely no disappointments here.
Second half of the book is most interesting though as it deals with extra rules and army lists. I have to say that I really liked what I read here. Part of second half deals with the playing the Tamurkhan invasion as a campaign, with special scenarios and extra rules included, all very interesting and well written, already tempting me to play the whole thing (and with one of the local players making Nurgle warriors army it might be possible quite soon).
Even more interesting bit in my opinion is an alternative list building for armies of Chaos. Now you can build Host which can comprise units from all three Chaos armybooks. Very interesting idea and one that certainly lots of Chaos players will welcome, at the same time author managed to do it in a balanced way (at least at the first glance). Then we have all sorts of new units and characters that can be used in normal games. We have Tamurkhan himself and his horrible Plague Dragon (very, very hard to kill from what I could read but its high points cost makes it usable only in battles of 3000 and above), sorcerer Fayl the Faithless and his special chaos spawn (both quite reasonably priced as well), Nugle knight hero that allows you to upgrade your knights with Rotbeasts which are better and tougher mounts with special abilities as well. Then we have new units such as plague toads, pox riders of Nurgle, bile trolls and older stuff with clarified rules such as chaos siege giant and chaos war mammoth.
Another sections is about Empire and provides some new characters such as Champion of Nuln Theodore Bruckner on his Demigryphon mount, Nuln engineer allowing you to upgrade one unit of handgunners to Nuln Ironsides (essentially handgunners with heavy armour), Magisterix Elspeth von Draken on her Carmine Dragon (beautiful model and interesting rules as well- dragon has a special shooting attack that causes multiple wounds and allows no saves and Magisterix herself besides being a loremaster of Death is quite difficult to wound), mercenary captain van der Kraal allowing you to have stubborn mercenary swordsmen unit, shadowy mercenary general Lietpold the Black (allowing you to bring in one core unit from Bretonnia, Ogre Kingdoms or Dwarfs into your army but also limiting your character choices quite seriously as he has a bad repuation and lots of heroes will not fight on his side) and the last but not least Marienburg Land Ship which is one of most ridiculously hillarious models for WHB I have seen and has some interesting rules as well. Overall those additions are fun and full of character, but most of them too expensive point wise to became any sort of competitive choice, maing sense only in campaigns and themed games.
Last part of the book is actually separate army list of Chaos Dwarfs. Again I have to congratulate Alan Bligh as he did excellent job on this one. Certain chaos dwarf units are allowed to be used in Warriors of Chaos lists as well. Evil stunties get their own lore of magic (Lore of Hashut) that I have to say is very powerful (mostly direct damage spells ) and few magical items that are also very good (which is luckily offset by their relatively high point cost).
They have one special character on bale taurus, very decently priced sorcerer-prohpet as a lord choice (being a mix between good warrior and magic user with options for riding monsters such as Great Taurus, Lammasu and Bale Taurus), 4 different hero choices (hobgoblin khan, infernal castellan, bull centaur hero and deamonsmith sorcerer). As far as their core units go there are only two choices- hobgoblins and Infernal Guard with three different weapon options (great weapons, fireglaives being a mix of handgun and a halberd and finally Hailshot Blunderbusses being roughly small equivalent of ogre leadbelcher cannon). There are few special choices available including bull centaurs (personally I think they are really too expensive.. but they have high T so perhaps they are worth it), elite infantry with magic weapons, K’daai Fireborn constructs for monstrous infantry (they look really good on paper but again, perhaps bit too expensive), magma cannon, rocket launcher and massive Iron Demon War Engine (this stuff has very, very interesting rules- just try to imagine massive, shooting train ruthlessly moving forward…). Rare choices give us two more war machines (Dreadquake mortar and hellcannon) plus surprisingly enough hobgoblin light cavalry (I could understand putting them in specials, but rare? really?), K’daal Destroyer (massive construct that doesn’t have a model yet but FW had been kind enough to let us know what the base size should be to avoid abuse and arguements) and chaos siege giant. This can be really interesting list to play against. Not too many options available unfortunately, it could do with some more units to choose from and by the looks of it FW will not be doing anymore chaos dwarfs for a while (reliable internet rumour mongers stated that this is what we get for chaos dwarfs and thats it).
Book ends with scrolls of binding for new monsters to use in Storm of Magic games.
Great book, really good addition to our club library. I wish it would be cheaper, as 45 pounds is till expensive even for such nicely produced and written piece.
Overall 8/10. Hopefully FW will continue to release books at the similar level.