So, today, I got my first glimpse of the new Warhammer Fantasy "campaign" rulebook concerning the End Times and all things Nagash, which, seemingly like the end-of-edition Grey Knights and Necrons, contains some sneak previews of what to expect for the next edition.
There were three for me, actually.
The first was the already well discussed one - the Lord allowance increasing. This is something which I like - the big attractive models like the Princes on Dragons have always been one of the most attractive things of the game, similar to how the big ol' tanks tend to draw a few "ooh's" and "aah's" from the 40k crowd. It has been notable over the last few editions actually how big the monsters have grown - compare a treeman from this edition to the one from 5th edition wood elves. That thing used to be on a 40mm base for crying out loud. I'm happy at this, although it will be interesting to see how they manage to imbalance magic further now that some can field a L4 wizard at 500pts games.
The next one was rules for buildings. Or rather, building collections. Similar to how you could always buy terrain in 40K, but other than it looking pretty, they didn't really do much, until they started to weaponise them and turn them into assets for the game. GW have finally cottoned on to the idea that people buy what works, and if it's good in a game then it's going to sell well. Seeing that Gardens of Morr have progressed from simply being a collection of Mystical Terrain into a defined object which grants special rules from being clustered together. It will be a matter of time before we start seeing "fortifications" of some sort as an actual purchaseable thing in army books. I for one am quite happy to see this. I only hope they come with some proper form of siege rules.
The last thing which a few others have touched upon is that Monstrous Creatures with Riders seem to share the profiles - presumably choosing the best of some stats, and adding a select few others together.
Now, the book I've got isn't the full one. I'm waiting for a while to see whether it picks up the game a lot, as right now the 8th edition game is a gopping mess (not as much of one as 7th, but still), so I've not got access to everything that's in the Nagash book, but as far as I can tell, there's no rules for combining monsters - this is pure theorycraft.
So, lets take a look at Mannfred - he has two incarnations, the Vampire Counts version where he is called Count Mannfred, and Nagash version, where he is called "the Mortarch of Night" - we'll call him Mortarch Mannfred for ease.
So, Count Mannfred - he is 530pts, and if you've got the book, you'll be aware of his statline and special rules. He has options for 3 different mounts - a Barded Nightmare, a Hellsteed, or an Abyssal Terror. Other than the changes to the global rules for Generals of Undeath (i.e, removed), he is the same.
Now, come to Mortarch Mannfred - at 650pts, he costs the exact same as an Abyssal Terror, but rides a Dread Abyssal Instead.
Firstly, his unit type changes, becoming "Monster (Special Character)".
His Movement stays the same (M6 for both Vampire, and Abyssal Terror - presumably takes the Movement speed of the Mount), His WS stays the same (Mannfred's WS is higher than the Abyssal Terror), as does his Ballistic Skill (for all the good that is), as does his Strength (5, which matches both the rider and the mount - it's not clear here which is used). The first change is Toughness - becoming Toughness 6 (Mannfred is T5, as is the Abyssal Terror - here I assume the Dread Abyssal is T6), as does his Wounds value (10, versus the 3 (5) of Mannfred - the Abyssal Terror has 4 wounds, so I can only assume the Dread Abyssal hsa 5 wounds and the two value are added together). In regards to Initiative, it stays the same as Mannfred (7), while its attacks value is changed to 9 (Mannfred has 5 normally - so I can only guess that a Dread Abyssal has 4 attacks, and the two are added) - his Leadership is the same as when he was a Count.
In regards to the special rules, Mannfred keeps his own Special Rules () and adds to it any different ones from his mount - which going by the Abyssal Terror are Fly, Large Target, Terror, and Undead - it is worth noting he loses his Loremaster special rule - otherwise he would be extremely broken as he'd then have up to 16 possible spells to cast. But he keeps Dark Cunning, and Master of the Black Arts. He has also lost The Hunger, but I think that might be more to do with him having another special rule to replace that (Feaster of Souls/Mortarch of Night - I've not yet read what they do - anyone help a brother out?)
Now, looking Tomb King Arkhan, and comparing that to Mortarch Arkhan - Mortarch Arkhan has increased Movement (6, versus 4), Improved Toughness (6, versus 5), Improved Wounds (8 versus 3), and improved attacks (7 versus 3). They kept the same Initiative again, but even Arkhan's lowly Initiative of 3 is higher than the Abyssal Terror's 2.
So, from what I gather, when making a Ridden Monstrous Creature, you do the following;
Movement - Ridden Monsters
Weapon Skill - The Higher of the two
Ballistic Skill - Presumably, the Higher of the two
Strength - Presumably, the Higher of the two
Toughness - Presumably, the Higher of the two
Wounds - Add the two together
Initiative - Presumably the Higher of the two
Attacks - Add the two together
Leadership - Presumably the Higher of the two
Unit Type; Change to Monster
Special Rules; Add the two together
In regards to Magic Items, it seems like you cannot get the benefits of the Magic Weapon more times than you would have normally - Arkhan for example, can only ever regain 4 wounds (despite having 3 attacks base - might be benefits from the new rules), while Mannfred can only ever regain 5 dice (with 5 base attacks). It's not clear however how that works with other types of magic weapons which provide flat bonuses, such as the Ogre Blade (maybe only ever apply +X strength to a number of attacks equal to the number of attacks you'd normally make with your base character.
Armour - you get a +1 to your Armour Save for counting as being mounted, or 6+ if you didn't have one already.
So, that said, what can you make?
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