|It was... a dark time.
The End Times: Nagash is on pre-order, the White Dwarf is out and I have pre-ordered the slipcase edition. So what do we know from the various sources available: the magazine, the webstore and so on. This is all publicly available advertising so I'm calling no holds barred on spoilers as you could get most of this out of a £2.40 magazine or for free on the GW website.
There are, absolutely 100% confirmed in the write-up for the Nagash book, rules for Valten. I've been hoping for Valten to come back into canon since he rated a mention in Ask Grimbrindal a few issues ago. What's more, I checked the GW webstore and Valten's models (there were three) have disappeared. GW is big these days on not putting out rules for a thing unless they're going to produce the model since third parties can take advantage of that loophole so we can hope for a plastic Valten someday very soon.
Keeping with the Vs: some of the background outlined in White Dwarf #30 mentions that one of Nagash undead lieutenants (or Mortarchs) is Vlad Von Carstein. Vlad! Von! Carstein! He's back, the big daddy of the Vampire Counts and he's heading for a face-off with Archaon.
Welcome to the Future
A box-out on page 30 pegs the resurrection of Nagash as happening in 2524 (Imperial Reckoning). That's two years after the static dateline Warhammer has maintained since the sixth edition.
Like Storm Of Magic and Triumph & Treachery before them The End Times represents a slightly tweaked core rules set. This time around the big change is that in an End Times game you can take 50% of your army as Lord choices which makes sense since all the great lords and heroes are going to be on the field at a time like this. At 1,000 points that means Nagash can be taken in a bog standard 2,000 points army.
He likes nines, does Nagash. Of course there are nine Books Of Nagash, his rules allow him to know nine spells and he has chosen “nine beings of immense power” to be his Mortarchs. So far, from various sources, we know four: Vlad Von Carstein, Mannfred Von Carstein, Neferata (going to love to hear how that happened) and Arkhan the Black. Five more to go and we have to ask: was Konrad too bat-shit insane even for Nagash?
Call me desperate at this stage but Bretonnia gets a few mentions in the solicitations describing the new background and artwork from the Army Book cover is used in the second teaser video. Since a big civil war was going on last we checked in with them in the Wood Elves timeline where the rebel leader either was undead or in league with them I can hope for positive developments in the near future.
Of his whole body, apparently, only Nagash's skull and a bit of spine that makes up his Pharaoh beard are original, the rest comes from “the noble body he possessed to re-enter the mortal realm”. Since this Nagash business is spinning out of last year's Sigmar's Blood campaign book could this be the fate of Volkmar, last seen being kidnapped by Mannfred as he prepared to enact a great ritual (the box-out with the new dateline mentions that it was Mannfred and Arkhan who performed the resurrection ritual).
The Golden Bastion of Balthasar Gelt
Don't know what it is but apparently its protecting the Empire from Archaon's Horde. I am very much looking forward to finding out what this is about.
The Big 1
Looking at the slipcase edition on the webstore the two books have numbers on the spines but the slipcase itself has a great big “1” on its spine. So there are more books to come. The End Times: Archaon next? Karl Franz?