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Will Myers

Malign Portents

1,059 posts in this topic

Inqy    18

There are portents. They are malign. 

System-wise I'm hoping Death's rules get a revamp across the board. Not necessarily a massive revamp mind, just tweaks here and there to warscrolls across the board to make things like summoning work better with the rules for matched play. (Or make Death less summoning dependent and find another mechnanic to take its place.)

Models wise... uh, spoopy pirates would be pretty awesome, yeah.

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Kronos    137

Much like the Rumour engine I'd be more hyped if I knew what was coming. I'm certain it's all going to be very interesting and there'll be a fair few good miniatures and some background to  boot. For now "Gibbets and Crows" aren't telling me much, no stormcast or Hammer insignia though is a promising sign of some much needed shared attention.

Really hope this advances the story line sufficiently to see some more legendary characters.

 

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wayniac    668

I'm hoping for a new Death faction, it's sorely needed.  And if it was something like undead pirates I'd be on that in a heartbeat.

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I did not think it was going to be a boxed set, but, the logos that play at the start and end of the teaser shorts actually zoom out a tiny bit more each time (form the original, just the redesigned Age of Sigmar and Malign Portents logo teaser, through "The Field" to "the Ship") and it is starting to look like boxed set art to my eyes.

 

Wether I am right or not, it includes Love (yes, that is capital L love) for GA:Death, propably including for the most adorable creature of Warhammer, the common skeleton, most likely.

 

This might get exciting.

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Will Myers    5

I like what I’m seeing

disciples of Sigmar would be a nice support release and a nice Nurgle tie in.

AOS styled dock terrain would be amazing.  Rules would be interesting 

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A re-release of the 8th edition WHFB tombking minis would be pretty rad. The necrosphinx and its other build wouldn't look that out of place next to the Mortarchs

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I think undead pirates would be a bit of a cliché to be honest. I know we are all playing with toys here but I do wish that some of the stuff they came out with was a bit less children's comic book oriented.

Also the fact that design is being driven as much by the need for original IP as it is by creativity is starting to show a bit too strongly over the last couple of years.

The tone of of the teasers is a bit more traditional gothic Warhammer - and if there is one faction that should retain that aesthetic in my humble opinion - its Death. 

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Sheriff    516

On a facebook post GW said people are taking the undead boat too literally... 

But given they already have a dreadfleet faction it sounds very plausible, at least at some point if not for a portent release. 

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1 hour ago, Menkeroth said:

Yes, sphinxes were amazing, it's very frustrative they were discontinued too.

There must be something going on about the discontinuation of the entire Tomb Kings range and just the honestly badly outdated majority of the line. I think the Sphinxes, Nekropolis Knights and Tomb Guard where the absolutely newest plastic kits to be discontinued and at least the Sphynxes where quite popular, so I find it reasonable to expect a plan behind it all.

58 minutes ago, Twitch of Izalith said:

I think undead pirates would be a bit of a cliché to be honest. I know we are all playing with toys here but I do wish that some of the stuff they came out with was a bit less children's comic book oriented.

Also the fact that design is being driven as much by the need for original IP as it is by creativity is starting to show a bit too strongly over the last couple of years.

The tone of of the teasers is a bit more traditional gothic Warhammer - and if there is one faction that should retain that aesthetic in my humble opinion - its Death. 

I hope there is space in GA:Death to do both, classic gothic Undead and more off-beat factions.

 

One thing I do hope is that GW stays clear of for the majority of Death factions is bodyhorror and mutation. Yes, I know those are popular themes when doing Undead all around, but I really think in Warhammer they belong with Chaos. I already found it jarring in Warhammer Fantasy, but at least there it had some foundation in Nekromancy being a form of Chaos Magic, but in AoS Death is entirely its own thing and stick mostly to its own themes, being more along the lines of spooky and uncanny, rather than outright horrid. Emphasis on the mostly here, clearly FEC are build on those themes and you can not do Zombies without a certain amount of body horror.

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Kramer    862
12 minutes ago, Rogue Explorator said:

Emphasis on the mostly here, clearly FEC are build on those themes and you can not do Zombies without a certain amount of body horror.

I think this is the most important thing. As long as such an element is not overly dominating but a logical part it's going to be fine. Adding tentacles and mutations to everything to show it's chaos/a zombie just feels over the top. A good example, in my opinion, is how they incorporate the avian theme in the Tzeentch new model line. It's a recognisable theme throughout the army. From smaller details with the relatively untouched acolytes to a full blown bird daemon with the lord of change. 

Edited by Kramer
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18 minutes ago, Rogue Explorator said:

Nekropolis Knights and Tomb Guard where the absolutely newest plastic kits to be discontinued and at least the Sphynxes where quite popular, so I find it reasonable to expect a plan behind it all.

There is. Again its basically to remove ranges which are not easy to copyright. This really ramped up in 2013 following GW taking chapterhouse studios to court for copyright infringement. I think they took in about 200 examples but were only successful in 130 or so of them.

This really annoyed GW and it was about then they started renaming everything and began setting their long term design direction away from anything that could be considered "Generic". 

This is particularly important as 3D print technology is advancing so quickly and GW need to protect their IP as it becomes easier to replicate.

This is why warhammer fantasy went away - with its tolkienesque elves and orcs and goblins (much of which in turn originates in Finnish/ Suomi folklore) - you can't copyright it effectively. And you can't copyright ancient Egypt either so no tomb kings for us....

That's why they had to move warhammer to high fantasy and why they appear to love Chaos so much - its the most original IP. This has dictated the whole release schedule for AoS as we have seen the easiest to design and protect factions appear first. Elves and Death are a lot more difficult to copyright so they have given themselves longer to come up with something.

This is just my opinion - I have no inside knowledge at GW but I know a lot more about business law, sales and marketing than I do about wargames and that is what I see when I look at what's happened with GW in the last 4 years

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Sheriff    516
7 minutes ago, Twitch of Izalith said:

its basically to remove ranges which are not easy to copyright ...

... This is why warhammer fantasy went away - with its tolkienesque elves and orcs and goblins (much of which in turn originates in Finnish/ Suomi folklore) - you can't copyright it effectively.

So why do we still have orcs and goblins? Why didn't they bin them with the horse-people and the mummies? 

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1 minute ago, Twitch of Izalith said:

There is. Again its basically to remove ranges which are not easy to copyright. This really ramped up in 2013 following GW taking chapterhouse studios to court for copyright infringement. I think they took in about 200 examples but were only successful in 130 or so of them.

This really annoyed GW and it was about then they started renaming everything and began setting their long term design direction away from anything that could be considered "Generic". 

This is particularly important as 3D print technology is advancing so quickly and GW need to protect their IP as it becomes easier to replicate.

This is why warhammer fantasy went away - with its tolkienesque elves and orcs and goblins (much of which in turn originates in Finnish/ Suomi folklore) - you can't copyright it effectively. And you can't copyright ancient Egypt either so no tomb kings for us....

That's why they had to move warhammer to high fantasy and why they appear to love Chaos so much - its the most original IP. This has dictated the whole release schedule for AoS as we have seen the easiest to design and protect factions appear first. Elves and Death are a lot more difficult to copyright so they have given themselves longer to come up with something.

This is just my opinion - I have no inside knowledge at GW but I know a lot more about business law, sales and marketing than I do about wargames and that is what I see when I look at what's happened with GW in the last 4 years

This does nothing to explain the removal of the specific newer Tomb King kits though. The Khemrian Warsphynx, Nekrosphynx, Sepulchral Stalkers and Nekropolis Knights where in name and design much more unique and "tradmarkable" than many kits that survived the transition.

Compare and contrast:

A kit with a Sphynx that is actually an animated statue that doesn't look like any classic representation of the beast and carries in its name a reference to an in universe place is removed

A beasty called just "War Hydra" that looks like the classic representation of a hydra, is retained through the transition.

 

Your explanation is one possible explanation for the move of ending old Warhammer and putting out Age of Sigmar (personally, I feel there are also a lot of worldbuilding reasons to conclude the old world had no way forward, but I would rather not argue the matter here and now), but it does keep the question I have asked (Why remove these particular almost new kits) completely unanswered.

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Uveron    297
1 hour ago, Rogue Explorator said:

This does nothing to explain the removal of the specific newer Tomb King kits though. The Khemrian Warsphynx, Nekrosphynx, Sepulchral Stalkers and Nekropolis Knights where in name and design much more unique and "tradmarkable" than many kits that survived the transition.

Compare and contrast:

A kit with a Sphynx that is actually an animated statue that doesn't look like any classic representation of the beast and carries in its name a reference to an in universe place is removed

A beasty called just "War Hydra" that looks like the classic representation of a hydra, is retained through the transition.

Its I think a mix of factors that are important, the age of the kit, the state of the molds more than just the IP. Most of the Tomb King stuff was old. the 'Dark Elf' stuff a lot newer, now we will see what they are doing with it in 2 or 3 years when they have made the money of the molds. 

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@Sheriff

@Rogue Explorator

Sure there are plenty of exceptions and I didn't mean to suggest there are no other reasons for the changes - Only that the drive for easier to protect Intellectual Property is probably a far stronger influence on the direction of travel than you might imagine. There are plenty of other factors which have been discussed at length on this and other forums.

I am just throwing the copyright factor out there as one which is not talked about so much. I do believe it has been a strong influence on the decision to discontinue the tomb kings. 

And again - its just my opinion. 

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Kramer    862
2 hours ago, Twitch of Izalith said:

This is why warhammer fantasy went away - with its tolkienesque elves and orcs and goblins (much of which in turn originates in Finnish/ Suomi folklore) - you can't copyright it effectively. And you can't copyright ancient Egypt either so no tomb kings for us....

 

Disappointing sales might have had a bit of an impact as well ;). Although undoutably true, it's only a single piece of the puzzle and without being there in the discussion progress I doubt we can ever be sure on the motivation. 

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1 hour ago, Sheriff said:

So why do we still have orcs and goblins? Why didn't they bin them with the horse-people and the mummies? 

O&G have always been a strong seller.  TK and Brets were long reported as weak sellers.  I don't think that GW is moving to an all or nothing approach to unique IP.  For instance, my guess is that Deathrattle will remain as classic skeletons in their rumored upcoming release.  Sure they might be stylized some more but they'll still be human skellies by and large.

My guess is that GW will continue to support strong selling classic fantasy model lines and not alienate those customers, while mixing in a bunch of new, more unique factions where they think there is opportunity to do so. 

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Killax    1,704

That and while GW is certainly aware of its IP there is also still much more breathing room within AoS as 40K for example, there are litterly hundreds of 3rd party 40K sales, there are much fewer for AoS and a prime reason for that is also because its newer.

As to why Brets and TK where removed, much remains unknown. Though I do not think they will suddenly return them with Malign Portents. Another reason could be that GW just deemed them too historical fantasy inspired. Brettonia had tons of French influences and Tomb Kings had tons of Egyptian influences. While both certainly had aspects that where original I think they just wanted to move away from the knights of the round table or mummy vibes.

Orcs and goblins (some) are indeed Tolkien influenced in terms of lore for WFB but their design and the lines that do remain really are rather unique to GW. The big green concept is very much claimed by GW for quite some years now. A line that remains which does suprise me are Beastmen, then again their look is minotaurs but GW is one of the few to ever create a whole army for that game. While especially Brettonia has many designs simply picked from historical miniatures. The concept of all skeleton Tomb Kings is also less unique as the concept of "a house of horrors" being an army, Vampire, Dire Wolve, Zombie, Undead and all. 

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2 hours ago, Uveron said:

Its I think a mix of factors that are important, the age of the kit, the state of the molds more than just the IP. Most of the Tomb King stuff was old. the 'Dark Elf' stuff a lot newer, now we will see what they are doing with it in 2 or 3 years when they have made the money of the molds. 

My google-fu is weak at the moment and I can not find the exact release dates of the kits I am discussing (Sphynx, Tomb Guard and Nekropolis Knights), nor the dates of comparable units that survived the transition. But I do know that Tomb Kings where the only army to get any plastic kits from the 8th Edition time axed.

The Rest of the Tomb Kings range and all of Bretonnia was much older, so it is unsurprising that they got cut. But the young age of those specific kits when they where removed from circulation makes me think that there was more to reasons for it than there where for all the other kits that where dropped. Even if that reason might have been "without the other Tomb King stuff there just wheren't any units they could blend in with well".

 

2 hours ago, Twitch of Izalith said:

@Sheriff

@Rogue Explorator

Sure there are plenty of exceptions and I didn't mean to suggest there are no other reasons for the changes - Only that the drive for easier to protect Intellectual Property is probably a far stronger influence on the direction of travel than you might imagine. There are plenty of other factors which have been discussed at length on this and other forums.

I am just throwing the copyright factor out there as one which is not talked about so much. I do believe it has been a strong influence on the decision to discontinue the tomb kings. 

And again - its just my opinion. 

Really, I do not think the I.P. thing is not exactly a big secret or something rarely talked about, I find it to be the opposite to be honest. I see it brought up in pretty much every discussion where it is tangentially relevant, often mixed with a fair amount of vitriol and resentment (just to be clear, I do not see any of that in your posts here).

It does not just crop up in discussions of GW either, it was also often brought up about Wizards of the Coast during the 4th edition era of Dungeons and Dragons, as well, just to give an example.

 

And again, I aknowledge that it is a very powerful influence and aspect in modern comercial creative work. But I guess I have just seen it often pushed do the front as an argument that "They care more about their I.P. and income than about their fans/quality", that I have grown tired of it.

Especially since I have often seen it cited in hobby and fandom discussions by people as "proof" that something new that is not to their taste is "objectively" inferior since it was "obviously" created only for I.P. reasons. This is something I find honestly insulting of those who happen to like whatever is discussed, as well as the actual creatives who did the work, even when I myself might not be fan of what is being discussed (turns out, D&D 4E was not exactly to my taste either).

 

Again, I do not see you abusing the I.P. matter like this, but I have grown quite wary of these discussions, because of the ugliness it can bring out.

 

 

Anyway, this is all getting way of topic (I blame GW for not having posted another teaser by now :P), so I promise I will not push this discussion any further, I just thought I owed some additional explanation on my thoughts.

 

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Uveron    297
6 minutes ago, Rogue Explorator said:

My google-fu is weak at the moment and I can not find the exact release dates of the kits I am discussing (Sphynx, Tomb Guard and Nekropolis Knights), nor the dates of comparable units that survived the transition. But I do know that Tomb Kings where the only army to get any plastic kits from the 8th Edition time axed.

The Rest of the Tomb Kings range and all of Bretonnia was much older, so it is unsurprising that they got cut. But the young age of those specific kits when they where removed from circulation makes me think that there was more to reasons for it than there where for all the other kits that where dropped. Even if that reason might have been "without the other Tomb King stuff there just wheren't any units they could blend in with well".

April 2011 was when the last new stuff for Tomb Kings was released.  Sept 2013 for the Dark Elf stuff. 

That's stuff was over 5 years old when they were cut! So not the youngest kit dropped by GW. 

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With the Tomb Kings in particular and to a lesser extent Bretonnia, I believe their firm rooting in our world, rather than the World That Was, plays a large part in their lines being discontinued. As someone with very little knowledge of the previous lore and essentially coming fresh to Age of Sigmar, the Tomb Kings always made me wonder how Egyptian skeletons had made it to to another world. Obviously the answer is Stargates, but that doesn't help me suspend my disbelief and only succeeds in pulling me back to Earth.

The Egyptian theme is more jarring to me than the Knights of Bretonnia, or the foot-soldiers of the Empire, probably because they are such staples of Western fantasy.  This reveals a lot of my own bias, but I suspect it is not uncommon for Games Workshop customer to view their products through the prism of Western fantasy literature . I am sure, as has been suggested above, that there are a number of reasons for certain lines being cut, but as someone effectively new to the game that has not kept up with the lore, the Tomb Kings look strange and out of place to me. They seem to belong more in the mythology of our world, rather than a setting seeking to break free from the more traditional Fantasy tropes. 

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