Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thoughts on the Re-Boot of Warhammer / Warhammer 9th Edition

There are HUGE rumours abounding about the potential future of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I'm not going to repeat them here as you're perfectly capable of googling for them.

Firstly, I can understand why the Games Workshop team are doing this. The recent court cases surrounding Intellectual Property has demonstrated that generic Elves, Dwarves and fantasy Knights are simply not copyright-able. They're in the public domain. Hence to gain the copyright over the intellectual property, they really need to remould everything apart from iconic and recognisable units such as the warhammer daemons range.

The idea that the Warhammer world gets shattered in to lots of smaller segments is a good one. That those segments then collide together and battle ensues is also excellent (but maybe not unique, cf. Ravenloft from Dungeons and Dragons). 

But what it does allow are for ever faction to be redefined in a unique way after the end times. Several hundred years on, and isolated on their island planes / pocket dimensions, the populace is bound to change and morph in to something new. More than that though, it also allows a narrative for the previous factions from 8th edition and the bridging storyline of the End Times to also be used - they're going to be remnant planes that happened to also survive the sundering (or whatever this event will end up being called). I really like this idea as it allows the older works and armies to be kept, but newer ones to be forged. As older models are retired from sale, it'll mean a gradual shift from the old armies to newer ones, and a different business model that permits balancing of the game by dynamic releases of miniatures, and the old-timers with older armies will look much cooler. The only thing I think I'm a bit miffed about is the loss of square bases. I hope that they retain the square bases for units that rank up, and perhaps only use round ones for skirmishing units to distinguish them. But that's just a wild hope. 

Overall, despite not playing Warhammer Fantasy in a long time, I'm actually really tempted to purchase 9th edition to see what they've done to the background more than anything else. I suspect that if many other people feel the same as me, then WFB is going to be a big hit for GW in 9th edition! I know the move to a new premise will split the fans, but I'm actually behind it, and it may attract me back to Fantasy for the first time in over a decade.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the balanced view on things. I agree that it would be a bit of a bummer if the rules required rebasing. On the other hand if unit sizes go down (say to 10 - 15) and you can choose Skirmish for speed and ranked for steadfast it would actually make for some tactical decision making!

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