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Why is End of Times: Khaine kind of lousy 
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Lord of Khorne
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You see, this is why Elves are a dying race...they're doing it wrong ;)

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Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:09 pm
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Idk how much of a dying race they really are. With a population as powerful as plot they seem to have quite the populace. Every battle describes catsstrophic casualties but a few years later an even bigger army has risen!

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Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:13 pm
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If I didn't want the game to evolve, I would play chess. But, I like the flavor of the game. My pocket book doesn't though. I shop on ebay and other venues and try to get most of my stuff second hand. I support my local shop too, but not all the time. I still create demand for GW, but not from its primary retail sources. I'm not that much of a sucker.


Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:31 pm
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Thanks Marcopollo and CultofKhaine.

Calisson, I agree - add in wood elves and you have a whole other can of worms! Mind you, I never much cared for the wood elf fluff, it felt like a fairly poorly done and often forgotten relic of the game fluff's original diffusion from Tolkien's world.

I don't mind the story advancing, but I think there's a huge difference between positive organic evolution that allows a plot to advance, and a total shredding and rewriting of the entire world, which is what GW appear to essentially be doing. It doesn't feel so much that we are looking at the natural progression of the Warhammer world and its inhabitants, as a replacement by an entirely different world, which has barely cognizant links with the one it is replacing (it's hard to swallow the changes of heart for Malekith and Tyrion - it just doesn't resonate with the existing fluff at all). This all feels a bit like a poorly written novel by a 7th grader, who fails to develop his characters logically and focuses exclusively on cataclysmic clashes between supermen, while omitting the crucial nuances and fluidly connected story arcs that are needed to support the melodramatic moments.

Rork - I agree that the new fluff seems to be lining up suspiciously with that of the 40k world. I have previously indicated my dislike for 40k having both Dark Eldar and Eldar, as both are presented as enemies of humanity (with the former being dark and murky in more nefarious ways, but the latter being scarcely better). Now we are facing a similar scenario, where the Tyrion faction is murky and evil, and so too are the Malekith faction. Hooray?

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Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:31 pm
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I predict that one of the greatest change of fluff for the 9th edition will be the abandon of the equivalent of America.
Elves back to Athel Loren, Lizzies will migrate to the East too.
That will allow easier interferences between different races.

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Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:04 pm
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frankly i'm really disappointed the elves are getting rammed together. just as i'd almost finished painting my army!

it's kind of ironic given that i'd long been a proponent of getting rid of a few armies given that there are so many, and WHFB isn't that popular compared to 40K. but, meh i can only hope i can just use dark elves in 9th. eeeuurgh.


Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:40 pm
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Calisson wrote:
I predict that one of the greatest change of fluff for the 9th edition will be the abandon of the equivalent of America.
Elves back to Athel Loren, Lizzies will migrate to the East too.
That will allow easier interferences between different races.


That's where Cold Ones are from too... :(

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Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:56 pm
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I think it's all going to move to a different 'dimension', wherever Araloth ends, with probably a whole new map, that's just maybe a tiny bit more imaginative than the current one.


Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:13 pm
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Red... wrote:
Thanks Marcopollo and CultofKhaine.

I don't mind the story advancing, but I think there's a huge difference between positive organic evolution that allows a plot to advance, and a total shredding and rewriting of the entire world, which is what GW appear to essentially be doing. It doesn't feel so much that we are looking at the natural progression of the Warhammer world and its inhabitants, as a replacement by an entirely different world, which has barely cognizant links with the one it is replacing (it's hard to swallow the changes of heart for Malekith and Tyrion - it just doesn't resonate with the existing fluff at all). This all feels a bit like a poorly written novel by a 7th grader, who fails to develop his characters logically and focuses exclusively on cataclysmic clashes between supermen, while omitting the crucial nuances and fluidly connected story arcs that are needed to support the melodramatic moments.




+1 for Red's view. Exactly how I feel. The Tyrion I am hearing about (have not read Warhammer: Khaine because I can't) sounds nothing like William King's Tyrion in the Trilogy he published, I bought and finished.


Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:28 pm
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r530 wrote:
I think it's all going to move to a different 'dimension', wherever Araloth ends, with probably a whole new map, that's just maybe a tiny bit more imaginative than the current one.


That's a shame, as I've always liked the pseudo-Earth map. I also liked the fact that there were several human kingdoms with an approximation to medieval/Renaissance Europe.

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Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:30 am
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Beastlord Rakarth wrote:
r530 wrote:
That's a shame, as I've always liked the pseudo-Earth map. I also liked the fact that there were several human kingdoms with an approximation to medieval/Renaissance Europe.

+1

The pseudo earth was an easy way to keep things straight enough. Where is Cathay you ask? Think China. Easy.


Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:52 am
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Who said the pseudo Earth will be gone?
The only change so far is Ulthuan sinking.
It seems to me looking MORE Earthy, not less.

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Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:43 am
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Well...at least we can't blame Mat Ward for THIS fiasco.


Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:27 pm
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oh and it is a fiasco... i'm about 66% through painting my army, dammit! and they go and mush my DE together with the other elves...


Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:13 am
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I think i am slowly cominga around to some of the big changes that happen in Khaine.

Ulthuan being no more I something that parallels Atlantis and probably fits quite well with the elves as a species. the loss of Naggaroth is a shame but again this fits as the dark elves never saw this as home and it was always about returning to ulthuan in triumph. Malekith as eternal king and Alarielle as the everqueen fits the whole yin-yang (a common theme in banners and art for the elves in the early 90's and 80s) balance of the elves. It s the everyone in Athel Loren i am less keen on even though i do recognise the deep wood has always been fertile ground for elves in so many fictional incarnations.

The big issue for me is simply what happens next if done right it could be good, otherwise it could be terrible!. Athough the majority of Elves now reside in Athel Loren now it would be good to see elves scattered across the globe more generally, in particular keeping that link to the sea with there still being Black Arks, high elf outposts and other scattered groups. I do also think it would be good to keep the ruins of naggaroth on the map as a dark setting and eireeily deserted for future battles. The court of the king and queen of the elves would be good if it is something distant and rising above from the majority of elvendom, politics could be deadly and rife, while making petions for aid or support would be taking your life in your hands (it would be funny seeing Karl Franz asking for help from the new elevs). This would allow the majority of elves to go their own way most of the time so long but can be brought together under the eternity king's banner under great sufferance.


Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:31 pm
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doesnt mean i think the whole thing is good... just it can be rescued with some imagination


Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:33 pm
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It's hard to be able to tell without ready access to the fluff itself, but for me it all remains a leap too far. There are some components that are believable, but others seem less viable:

- Tyrion is pushed to the brink and so draws the Widowmaker, turning him from hero of Ulthuan to Avatar of Khaine: Okay, this is viable. It mirrors Aenarion's fall and the transformation is fairly consistent with the fluff for the blade. Tyrion also bears some lineage IIRC with Aenarion (via Morellion), so it is in his bloodline to make this tragic decision.
- Malekith returns to lead the Asur as Phoenix King: okay, this is believable too, he has been trying to do so for thousands of years.
- Malekith is welcomed by the bulk of the Asur as their king: Umm, what? The evil dude - who rent apart the golden era of elvish expansion. caused a horrendous millennia spanning war, set into place a dark and horrible kingdom that engaged in such pursuits as slaughtering captured high elves and abusing slaves, and embarked on numerous bloody and destructive invasions against Ulthuan - would not be welcomed back with open arms by the High Elves, and certainly would not be acknowledged as their leader.
- Malekith was the rightful and Asuryan recognized king of the High Elves all along: Again, what? This seems convoluted at best (what kind of benign god would have this elongated path as his long term plan? surely it would have just been easier to accept Malekith as king to start with, even if he made some technical errors in his timing regarding jumping into the flames to be annointed?) In game terms, why would Asuryan have given his incredible speed to the High Elves when fighting against Malekith and his legions, if Malekith was actually supported by Asuryan all along.
- The Wood Elves cash it all in and come back to join the Asur: Fine, with their forests are burning and their lands all but destroyed, with allies collapsing on all sides and enemies everywhere, I can buy that the Asrai go home.

Overall, though, it just seems like a mess. I don't think GW gave a lot of though to the fluff, other than that "we want a really big bashup in the middle of the world, so how can we manipulate the actions of our races so that they end up in a massive brawl." Some of their manipulations work better than others, but I still don't get why the gradual evolution of story that many players wanted (and has been used successfully in warmachine, infinity, malifaux, and others) had to be turned into such a complete rewrite of the warhammer world.


I haven't read the fluff though, so my thoughts on it have to be qualified. That said, I read the below from someone at Ulthuan.net (http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic. ... &start=180) who has read the fluff in Curse of Khaine, and they seem to have a similar (albeit probably more sophisticated) view of it:

FVC wrote:
My apologies. I am merely trying to express the depth of my disapproval.

If it helps, I think the battles are competently written and Kouran is neat. There are a few nice bits of characterisation as well: I like how Malekith regularly gets Kouran's name wrong. Spoilers from here on!

Making Malekith the protagonist of the whole thing was probably a mistake, in my opinion. A few other characters' perspectives would have helped, since Tyrion's turn to evil seems very important, but the book tells us absolutely nothing about his perspective, his interactions with Morathi, and so on; and Teclis seems like potentially the most interesting and complex character in the novel.

I think what bothers me the most about it is the approach to the gods. I've written about my views of Asuryan and Khaine before; but I think this novel's view of Asuryan in particular is very disappointing. The idea that Malekith was always destined to be Phoenix King just doesn't work for me. I can see what Thorpe was going for - the tragic irony of the entire six thousand year war being just because Malekith couldn't stand the pain for a few seconds longer - but I read it as a validation of Malekith's ego, whereas to me the important thing to understand about Malekith's character is how small and petty it is. Malekith is not worthy to be Phoenix King because he is only interested in being Phoenix King for selfish and prideful reasons; whereas as Curse of Khaine has it, Malekith is not worthy to be Phoenix King because his pain threshold was slightly lower than it ought to be. That just strikes me as banal, and centering the entire book on the person of Malekith and on Malekith's destiny to become Phoenix King just validates Malekith's ego in a way that I personally find distressing and disappointing. It even suggests that it was the taint of Chaos in Morathi that stopped the elven nobles from originally acclaiming Malekith is king. There's an early line in the book where Morathi tells Malekith "[your nature] is not that of a victor. Yours is to lose, and to blame others for the loss." The book seems all too ready to accept Malekith's delusions as true and to blame others for the fact that Malekith was rejected.

Morever, what the book implies about Asuryan's priorities just does not work for me either. As I commented in the linked thread, I understand Asuryan as being the incarnation of legitimate authority. Asuryan is the king of the gods: he is, essentially, kingship. The war between Asuryan and Khaine is not about who the better fighter is, but about which principle should order society. Khaine is the sword: he stands for might and naked power. Asuryan is the scepter: he stands for nobility and rulership through virtue. But the picture you get in the novel is very different. Teclis talks about all the previous Phoenix Kings being thieves, and mentions Finubar being reluctant to lead his people to war. But the idea that it is the duty of the Phoenix King to lead his people to war is a Khainite one. That doesn't come from Asuryan.

Anyway.

There were a lot of other things that bothered me. You get a fair number of claims that are either wrong or inconsistent with prior canon: the idea that all the post-Aenarion Phoenix Kings were consumed by madness, Tyrion just draws the Sword of Khaine despite ABs establishing that it takes extensive rituals to be able to draw it (p. 12 8th ed.), and so on.

Then there are a lot of things that just ring false. Caradryan should not speak, for instance, and if for some reason Caradryan must speak, as it is the will of Asuryan, he ought to speak with weight and power. He shouldn't just become an unquestioning minion for Malekith.

There's also tone and dialogue. My preferred vision of elves is one with a certain ancient dignity. It can be hard to define, but at times I found the major characters talking in a much too casual or modern way, and it didn't feel quite right to me.

I suppose there's also the implausibility of the entire set-up. A substantial proportion of Ulthuan rallying behind Malekith does not seem like a plausible sequence of events, and the way the novel explained it was not at all believable, in my opinion. There's a bit where Malekith comments "My name is poison on the tongues of the asur", and Teclis replies that it "will be nullified by your title"; as if the elves are so credulous as to follow an elf who has been trying to destroy them for six thousand years simply because he has decided to start calling himself 'Phoenix King'. Malekith points out that he looks hideous, and Teclis weaves an illusion to hide his armour and make him appear attractive, and I for one don't believe the High Elves are that superficial. And it's not as if Malekith is hiding in the shadows for the entire war. Indeed, he prominently reveals his identity at the Siege of Lothern, apparently believing that it will raise morale and help lead the army to victory. When Alarielle makes a statement consenting to wed Malekith in Lothern, the crowd promptly cheers and chants Malekith's name, instead of reacting to it the way I think they plausibly should, i.e. with utter horror and despair at the blasphemy implied.

So let me sum it up like this. I think key figures are not characterised sufficiently (or indeed at all), there are a number of what I would regard as continuity errors, Malekith's take-over of Ulthuan and Tyrion's submission to Morathi are highly implausible and do not ring true, important characters are portrayed in mundane and disappointing ways, the implied vision of the elven gods is disappointing and narrow, and I feel the book's perspective on Malekith and kingship is deeply flawed.

Now, you might love the book. You are not me; you might think it's great.

But I considered it probably the worst WHF novel I've read, and if you are anything like me, or if the problems I just described sound like things that might bother you, you might also find that you can't stand it.

Oh, and a final word: I personally don't have a grudge against Gav Thorpe. I really liked his Dark Angel books, his Sundering trilogy was okay, and as far as the Storm of Chaos ending goes, he was doing his best with what he had. Thorpe has also posted some things I like on the internet before, and I really appreciate his work on the Adeptus Mechanicus for Inquisitor. I would say that on the whole I am positively disposed towards Gav Thorpe and his writing. It's just that this particular book, in my opinion, was terrible. I don't know whether that's Thorpe's fault or the fault of whatever committee is setting the direction for the End Times story, and frankly I'm not really interested in assigning blame. I'd rather talk about the book than about the author.

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:55 pm
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Red... wrote:
Malekith is welcomed by the bulk of the Asur as their king: Umm, what? The evil dude - who rent apart the golden era of elvish expansion. caused a horrendous millennia spanning war, set into place a dark and horrible kingdom that engaged in such pursuits as slaughtering captured high elves and abusing slaves, and embarked on numerous bloody and destructive invasions against Ulthuan - would not be welcomed back with open arms by the High Elves, and certainly would not be acknowledged as their leader.


This is not strictly true, at least certainly not in the game book. I have not read the novel to compare, there may be differences between the two as was the case in Glotkin.

Without spoiling it too much for those who have no read it, there were many who were not willing to follow and numerous assassination attempts from the start. I think it is fair to say that without Imrik, Teclis and the Everqueen he would have not been accepted at all.
Many princes also tried to stay neutral throughout the campaign siding with neither Malekith or Tyrion.

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:31 pm
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Malekith in the early days of his Phoenix Kinghood is constantly attended to by a bodyguard of five hundred phoenix and black guard. He's got no frinds in the phoenix court. Imrik onky joins him (follows would be saying too much) because he's been convinced to by a cvery particular character. Teclis convinces Malekith to don the Phoenix Crown only because of a diving intervention.

Asuryan is far from benign and Malekith simply failed the test the first tine. Because apparently you have to die in the flames ro be reborn as Phoenix King (makes sense!) And the first time around Malekith didn't know about it. He wasn't planning to die.
if you remember, Aenarion gave himself as living sacrifice to Asuryan to save the elves... in other words he did die in the flames to be reborn as Phoenix King.

What I found interesting is that Druchii Dreadlords were more keen on the elven alliance than Asur Princes. Even then their armies camped apart and still witbessed skirmishes (which prompted Malekith to execute one of his best admirals). It was (and is) not all sunshine and rainbows as some people (who likely haven't read the book) like to paint it.

By the end of the war all bloodthirst inclined elves were on Tyrion's side. And they all died. What remained were the more level headed and pragmatic elves.

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:57 pm
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Dalamar wrote:
What I found interesting is that Druchii Dreadlords were more keen on the elven alliance than Asur Princes. Even then their armies camped apart and still witbessed skirmishes (which prompted Malekith to execute one of his best admirals). It was (and is) not all sunshine and rainbows as some people (who likely haven't read the book) like to paint it.


I'd just to point out that this seems to be reflected perfectly in real life. I hardly saw any complaining on this forum about DE/HE/WE mixing, mostly excitement even. Over on the HE forum though...things are a little different.

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:27 pm
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Curse_Bearer wrote:
I hardly saw any complaining on this forum about DE/HE/WE mixing

For the record, I am complaining about this mixing :mrgreen:

*instructs druchii peon to inscribe my objection into the formal record*

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:30 pm
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And before anyone complains that the Druchii abandoned their ways after coming to Athel Loren.

There's a tidbit that while Malekith forbade violence against denizens of the forest, Druchii are happily raiding Bretonnia.

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:23 pm
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With no disrespect meant to the reviewer of The Curse of Khaine, I think that their assessment is coloured by their army allegiance. There are so many subjective comments about the reviewer's concept of the High Elves in the extract posted by Red... that it needs to be taken with some care.

Malekith wasn't always destined to become the Phoenix King. He was Asuryan's choice, yes - but if he had not survived six millennia, someone else would have been chosen. He survived those six thousand years precisely because he had the attributes that would be needed in the Elves' darkest hour. Until the Sundering, he was the greatest living hero of the Elven race. Despite this, it's arguably only Malekith's colossal arrogance in leading an invasion to Ulthuan instead of going straight to the Shrine of the Phoenix that allows Khaine to be reborn - although it's heavily implied that this might have happened anyway during Tullaris Dreadbringer's cameo appearance.

The perspectives and decisions of gods are not for mortals to judge by mortal standards. They tend to be playing a longer game. Kingship and nobility are not flawless things - their existence assumes that things must be a particular way, and implicit in this is the further assumption that the order which they represent must be protected by force of arms and the willingness of rulers to do what is necessary to preserve them. Malekith has the strength of will and the determination to unify his people, the guts to face a god in mortal form in a fair fight, and the strength of character to set aside thousands of years of hate - indeed, his entire purpose and his own kingdom - to enable his people to survive. Even then, he's hardly portrayed as a hero. In fact, ET:K makes it clear that Malekith the Eternity King remains as ruthless as the Witch King ever was, despite his determination to fight to save the Elves. As Imrik observes towards the end of ET:K, there are flickers of nobility showing through his calloused soul, not a wholesale change of character.

Dalamar wrote:
And before anyone complains that the Druchii abandoned their ways after coming to Athel Loren.

There's a tidbit that while Malekith forbade violence against denizens of the forest, Druchii are happily raiding Bretonnia.


In addition, there are a number of adjacent realms within Athel Loren where the Dark Elves would likely be quite at home after losing Naggaroth (specifically, the Night Glades, the Winterheart and the Pine Crags).

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:32 pm
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Quote:
- Malekith is welcomed by the bulk of the Asur as their king: Umm, what? The evil dude - who rent apart the golden era of elvish expansion. caused a horrendous millennia spanning war, set into place a dark and horrible kingdom that engaged in such pursuits as slaughtering captured high elves and abusing slaves, and embarked on numerous bloody and destructive invasions against Ulthuan - would not be welcomed back with open arms by the High Elves, and certainly would not be acknowledged as their leader.


-He wasn't happily welcomed back. But when your patron god tells you 'this guy is the king' that does provide an incentive to accept it.
-Given that Malekith was/is the legitimate king, it makes 'slaughtering high elves' a rather legitimate response on his behalf. After all putting rebels and traitors to the sword is accepted practice, and the high elves did spend the better part of 6000 years in active rebellion against the crown.

Quote:
- Malekith was the rightful and Asuryan recognized king of the High Elves all along: Again, what? This seems convoluted at best (what kind of benign god would have this elongated path as his long term plan? surely it would have just been easier to accept Malekith as king to start with, even if he made some technical errors in his timing regarding jumping into the flames to be annointed?) In game terms, why would Asuryan have given his incredible speed to the High Elves when fighting against Malekith and his legions, if Malekith was actually supported by Asuryan all along.


-It's not convoluted at all. The Phoenix Kings being potential frauds has been part of the fluff as far back as 5th edition where it mentions using warding spells to pass through the flames of Asuryan unscathed.
-Asuryan never gave high elves super-speed to fight dark elves, ever, that was a game mechanic and was never integral to the fluff in any way, shape or form.

Quote:
- The Wood Elves cash it all in and come back to join the Asur: Fine, with their forests are burning and their lands all but destroyed, with allies collapsing on all sides and enemies everywhere, I can buy that the Asrai go home.


Alarielle/Isha told them to, as did Orion/Kurnous, when your god tells you to do something you tend to listen no? Not to mention, it worked out just fine for them in the end, considering that when they returned Alarielle restored their forest as the incarnate of life and the elves they picked up in Ulthuan slaughtered just about every beastman in Loren.

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Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:39 pm
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Gidean wrote:
Beastlord Rakarth wrote:
Christoph wrote:
I will miss Naggaroth as a setting. I always loved its geography and culture, with its bleak mountains and forests and dark foreboding cities. It was my favorite part of the Warhammer World. :(


That's a shame.

If GW is hoping to save Warhammer, I really don't see how destroying 30 years of established background will solve anything. It would seem like a great risk and expense to wipe everything away and start over. I can see consolidating lists to trim the fat, but it makes me wonder where the Elves will end up. Are they really going to have models for Dark/High/Wood Elf Spearmen if all Elves end up in one army book?

With all of the rumors about new empires set 100 years in the future, skirmish, round bases, etc., I have a sense of foreboding about 9th edition.


I heard this is all being done to sever Rick Priestly's Royalty Rights. They have to remove all of his IP.


This is an interesting point and one I was thinking of myself. Are we seeing in the End Times the same thing that 40k has been seeing recently to protect the GW IP? Imperial Guard and Storm Troopers are no more - instead we have Astra Militarum and Militarum Tempestus. Is this great Elf merging an opportunity to drop the titles of High Elves, Dark Elves and Wood Elves, with their Tolkien roots and inherent genericism, to be replaced by something more protective like Asuryan Elves or Khainite Elves (or something on that basis, like Loyalists and Rebels, etc etc).

On the actual fluff itself, I'm always a big fan of role reversal although I find the results a little difficult to swallow (Druchii chilling out in Athel Loren what?), but that's probably because I haven't read the fluff. It's also worth remembering that everything is still up in the air: the End Times story arc hasn't finished yet and we're still to see how all the pieces are going to land. Just because ET:Khaine finished with the Elves united (ish) doesn't mean that's the end of it.


Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:09 am
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