March 9, 2015

End Times: Return of Nagash - a Stumpy Review

I bit the bullet and ordered this a couple of weeks ago and it arrived not long after.  The next two are already on order/pre-order and I'm looking forward to getting them.

The internet has already told everyone what the books about so it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.  Basically Manfred von Carstein has walled off Sylvania, collected a bunch of lost relics and together with Arkhan the Black decided to try to bring Nagash back as he has figured out the world's coming to an end.  You get a few teasers throughout the book about what's going on.  The first chapter has Manfred scrying in blood and getting images of events from around the world and you get the odd additional story line from the Dwarfs, Elves and Skaven.  

I have to be honest and say that as a read it wasn't that great.  I skipped through a lot of the final sections and skim read most of the ending as it got a bit tedious.  The novel seemed to assume that you had purchased the End Times Nagash gaming supplement & rulebook and were fully conversant with what was going on, and there were too many extraneous characters for my liking.

I found the fact that Arkhan just happened to be wandering around a bit iffy, but it was good to have Manfred back.  The Vampire Counts trilogy that came out a while back was a great series of books covering Vlad, Konrad and Manfred (will have to buy another copy as I lost my original).  The book was ok though but left we wanting to buy the rulebook supplements instead - budget pending I will get all 5 End-Times sets plus the novels.  

Hoping the Fall of Altdorf and Khaine will be better...

On a more positive note I was building an army list using Battlescribe on my Phone (awesome app) and came across the rules for Ungrim Ironfist Incarnate of Fire.  Holy freaking cow is he awesome or what.

I have plans to run a Slayer list at Panzershrek in July so if I could bring him as well that would be fantastic..


Timothy Lind said...

Aww man, this book is one of my favourites. How can you not love the interplay between Mannfred and Arkhan! How can you fail to be charmed by Necrokitty! The Mannfred and Vlad issues! That ending was intense.

I thought Reynolds did a very good job at making the characters more interesting than just undead automatons. It's a pity it didn't cover the invasion of Khemri like the main book.

I read the novel before the main books and I recommend reading in this order, so that you don't necessarily know how things are going to pan out. I guess I also read Sigmar's Blood and the current Army Books, which brought me up to date on 'current events', pre-End Times.

I liked The Fall of Altdorf less, mostly due to being frustrated at Helborg. Khaine was superb, and a much more plausible development of Malekith than in the main book.

I hope you still enjoy the experience :)

Peter Dunn said...

The Rise of the Horned Rat is the best book.

Timothy Lind said...

But of course! I'm deliberately skipping that one :'(

John Murrie said...

Boo Skaven... Boo... @Tim - Khaine is definitely the one I am looking forward to. Its very hard for me to find books now that compare with the work of Aaron-Dembski Bowden and his 30/40k stuff.