When I first heard Malign Sorcery was coming to Warhammer Age of Sigmar 2.0, I thought we were getting a few new spells. The image from the Warhammer Fest Live Blog looked pretty cool. I may be right assuming it was something you paid points like scenery, but at first I thought they were boxed up with a wizard and a 'thing'.
When the Disciples of Tzeentch Faction Focus dropped we got this additional bit of information. Mechanisms of Time seems to outline how the Chromatic Cogs actually work.
A couple of things of note though.. the Endless Spell system seems to harken back to the Storm of Magic days (d4 Chan). The wizards control the new spells, but aren't in control of them. From the description you just need to be within 9" and it requires no roll of any kind to affect the spell. It will be very interesting if my Arcanite wizard can wrest control of the Purple Sun away from the Deathrattle wizard who plopped it on the board long enough to push it through that unit of Grave Guard holding the center of the board. Or grab that 'Pac-man'-looking thing away from the Greenskins and send in gobbling up Moonclan Grots like pellets.
But will wizards may be mandatory in the new edition of Age of Sigmar? Not having summoning to replenish your forces or a counter for Endless Spells seems like it will be a heavy burden to overcome. Back when summoning required points instead of in-game mechanics you could probably just start with all your troops on the board and fight your way through things. But just the name Endless seems to suggest these aren't things you can dispel. Flesh Hounds can unbind spells with their Collars of Khorne, but they are clearly not Wizards. How will armies without many arcane casters survive these new rules?
One thing I am not sure about is how this new magic system will be released. The painted models from Warhammer Fest seemed to suggest you get one caster and a spell sold together in a box. But there is a huge difference between Morathi and a Weirdnob Shaman. I didn't realize that at first, so now I am not so sure. We know there are more than five as well. The one outlined in the Tzeentch faction focus is simply represented by a picture.
That is what sent me down this rabbit hole to begin with. What army is that anyway?
At first glance I thought it was Skaven because of the halberds. But the caster looks like a Ironjaw and there are other rather human looking figures piled around in the image. Barbarians? Cultists? Why is the a Destruction model in the center of that knot? Is it a new Ogrid character that is skinny.. it definitely looks like an Orc with a mohawk.
The Malign Sorcery image shared at Warhammer Fest could easily be the cover to a boxed set. And prominently features a Tzaangor Shaman.
Maybe the Chromatic Cogs and a yet unnamed spell will be packaged and sold along with two factions in a boxed set. These types of things are selling very well through Games Workshop and seem like the best way to get new players collecting. I had batted around the idea of starting Skitarri for a long time. When Forgebane included the models it did I decided it was worth splitting a box with someone. Will we see a tie-in between Clan Skyre and Tzeentch the way Clan Pestilence joined the Maggotkin of Nurgle? Maybe I am just wish-listing there.
I guess at this point I have more questions than answers. We don't have a model for the Chromatic Cogs they mentioned in the Tzeentch faction focus. I am pretty sure the five individual spells they showcased will not contain the models they shown with. There is nothing eluding that Malign Sorcery will be a setting or optional rule like the classic Storm of Magic with four magical fulcrums in every match. Like scenery maybe they are things you can bring to a battle which you need to protect in order to benefit from.