Thursday, 8 January 2015

Ch-ch-ch-changes: Warhammer Fantasy Rumours

Hello, noble wardens of miniature justice!

I'll smash ya!

I know I promised a tutorial on Elven detailing, but as you can see, I've been a wee bit distracted of late... Rest assured, though; that article is still on it's way. 

Today, however, I want to talk about a bit of breaking news (rumours) from the Web. Basically Warhammer Fantasy is due for an update to its 9th edition. Before we get into it, if you haven't already, head over to Faeit212 and have a look at the rumours as they are written. You've always got to take rumours with a grain of salt and remember that quite often rumours are a combination of wishlisting and misinformation. But when Harry over on Warseer says something, it usually pays to listen. He has a pretty solid track record with what's on the cards.

For the TL;DR crowd, simply put, the new edition will see a continuation of the timeline from what's happened in The End Times books, meaning the army count will be dropped from the current 15 to 6 factions: Chaos, Man, Elves, Undead, Orcs & Goblins and Skaven. The next change is apparently round bases and a move to a skirmish-type game system. And finally there is talk about a new release schedule, with minor additions in the form of in-box rules and White Dwarf rules.

The Fluff
This seems peripheral, but I think it has the most potential to really tick-off the players. There are still people upset about the Squats fiasco (HERESY!), and that was about 20 years ago. The reduction in factions brings with it a loss in models, characters and potentially entire armies. As you can see above, there's no mention of Dwarfs, Ogres or Lizardmen. Dwarfs can easily be rolled into the Man/Humans faction and Ogres could regain their Dogs of War status as a Mercenary faction, compatible with most army lists. But Lizardmen have a rich and proud history that stands separate from all other factions. The loss of this iconic army would surely smart with the player base. 

I should mention here that the rumours talk about 8th edition books still being valid and useable with the new system. The End Times lists will also be compatible. This is a good thing, in my mind. If you play mostly with friends, you can carry on doing what you do, and just ignore the crazy new stuff. If you're more of a tournament player, this will obviously pose problems. The recent 40k release has shown that the tournament scene has issues when it comes to changes in the systems. It also means that if there is an exodus of players, from what is already a fairly sparse player base, the players who stick around will find it hard to find a game, and ultimately leave themselves.

I think those zombies were off...

The Rules
There is always a change in rules when there's an update. The game moves on. People adjust to what's changed and tweak their armies accordingly. A change to round bases, however, will piss off a lot of people. It will basically invalidate what we all own and have spent time and money collecting and lovingly building and painting. They say that units will still be able to rank as they currently do, but the unit footprint will invariably change and will cause huge headaches when playing old-skool (OG) vs new kids on the block armies (NKOTB). 

The other problem will come with faction changes and people crying foul that OG armies are no longer tournament valid, as well as people complaining about carrying various rules sets to events. Personally, I think the faction changes won't be too problematic. I think the real issue will be with the round bases. I don't see this happening. As much as games change and you have to deal with it, a major overhaul like this would be too much. As mentioned, it would invalidate too much and risk all that GW has invested in for the last 30-odd years. 

What are your thoughts?
Do we need a revolution?
What do you like or dislike about the rumoured changes?
Stay tuned for more Trolls!


  1. Man I really really hope this doesn't happen. I've seen tonnes of rumour talk around the net and it's got me scared. Generally I just ignore it till GW announces or something but just this morning I was looking at photos of the new Skaven End Times stuff and someone was asking why the knew Bell model was on a round base. Oh dear....

    1. I know what you mean. If they were to release a small-scale fantasy game, using fantasy miniatures and kind of leave WHFB on the way-side for a while, I think I'd be OK with that. But round bases is a bit of a deal-breaker for me. It just changes everything way too much.
      That said, if the fluff side of things is true, then I'm kind of excited, the ramifications of the fluff changes, with a new united Humanity sounds cool to me, and could bring out some really nice looking models.
      The important thing to remember is that 9th is slated for a *Summer* release. That puts it about 6 months out and any rumours for something that far away are usually pretty widely off the mark.