Tuesday 27 January 2015

Warhammer 9th Edition: Skirmish?

I've noticed a few rumours going around about Warhammer Fantasy.  Probably the biggest discussion is going on here.  Given that most people who read this blog are, like myself, far from GW fanboys, I'm wondering what the thoughts are.  For those who couldn't be bothered, here's a quick summary:

*The setting is getting a complete reboot (more grimdark, more skulls?)
*Races are getting amalgamated, new religious "space marine"faction added
*The game is shifting from mass battle (aka painting 100 minis to shovel off a movement tray) to skirmish/Warmahordes scale
*Round bases (though WoTR style trays to house them in if needed)
*Unit rules in the box (so less reliance on codexes); limited runs for special model types
*15+ Army books shrunk to ~4 compendiums which are more regularly updated
*Rules change, new mechanics, special rules reduced

I'll take it with a hefty pinch of salt (or perhaps cocaine, which most of the rabid forum denizens of Warseer/BoLs seem to use...)   ...however there are a few points in favour of this move....

*Warhammer Fantasy has to high a buy in (so shift to smaller, but more regular purchases)
*It is relatively stagnant - a dying user base, and small (~10%) of revenue - it makes sense to breathe new life into it
*Space Marines sell big so fantasy space marines make sense
*Forces players to get new minis (most WFB I know already have all the models they need)
*It makes a good test run for 40K changes
*Though GW resist change, they don't seem to mind outraging their fanbase in pursuit of profit
*They sell more $$$ "heroes" and annoying to paint less rank and file (i.e. more tanks, less infantry)
*Cycling products means you can save on molds/shelf space and pump out more new shiny things
*Doesn't necessarily supersede 8th Ed but provides an alternate way to play
*Cleaner WoTR/LoTR rules were intended to be used for Fantasy

I must admit, given I like LOTR (but dispair of ever getting reasonably priced models on eBay any more*) the idea of a LOTR-style game with a bountiful secondhand market (from all the rage-quiting 8th ed fans) somewhat appeals.

Anyway, ignoring that this is probably pure nonsense:
If Warhammer was "Warmachined" into a 40K-size or smaller game with cleaner mechanics, would you try it? 

(*GW does seem to be succeeding in trying to be a "collectible" company. I impulse-bought a few big boxes of LOTR stuff years ago when it was dying off - you know, 50 orcs for $10 kinda thing....  I think my collection amassed for about $200 would sell for about $1000 now... Some metals (which I refused to pay more than $5 for) eBay now for $15-$25ea. Now I wish I''d "invested" in more.)


  1. Replies
    1. That might actually be.... good. The PC Mordhiem game is looking good actually - I'll buy it when it is not "early access/beta" (I don't like encouraging companies to sell half-finished products)

  2. This doesn't interest me at all. I've been thinking fondly of 6th edition though.

  3. Makes sense to have smaller standard battle. Even with current edition, having large army encounters take few days to conclude (when they are). And it will never stop people from moving to mass battle afterward (Fantasy Apocalypse?).
    It gives space for Mantic to be the last mass battle fantasy game (My knowledge can't see anybody left on that segment)

    1. I don't know if you play PC games, but Total War: Warhammer is coming. The Total War series of games are brilliant, combining turn-based strategy a la Civilization with real-time epic battles like scenes from movies like LoTR.

      When you can pay $50 to have all the armies, and online opponents - there is 0 incentive to spend $800 and paint 200 models...

    2. Yeah, I am looking for that Total War. I am a big fan of both.

  4. I don't care how good a never version is / might be, I am never going back.

    1. The newer version will be more grimdark though. There will be more skulls! In fact, even the skulls will have tiny skulls on them....

    2. Yeah I can do without that. I liked Confrontation for warband sized games and their take on advancement was quite nice. Don't know if you ever looked at their 'quests', 3 linked scenarios, if you complete all 3 with your hero surviving you get the 'card' you are questing for, usually a magic item of something.

    3. I have a truckload of beautiful Confrontation metals (mostly unpainted) I picked up for dirt cheap. Never played the game, as it was long dead by then, though I did find the rules interesting and I even hunted down the supplement books.

      That's a good example of a company that completely alienated its consumer base and went bankrupt because of it.

  5. To be honest I have enough games I really want to play before a new and improved version. That said, if my local gaming group got into it in a big way and was running campaigns etc then I would do it for the social value. I'd rather play a second rate game and have fun with friends then the best game in the world by myself every single week.

    The rick is to convince our friends why they want to play your game of choice!

    1. Sadly there's no point trying to sell the best indie game if no one plays it.

      It needs to be "shiny" to sell well- nice minis or a glossy rulebook sadly tend to be > gameplay when trying to grab interest...

      When it comes to getting others to play,

      I still put in my 10c for Infinity - it has the shiny factor in spades and it's cheap enough ($50) to get people in. Given we share quite few "favourite"games I feel confident in "pushing"it.

      I quite like the worlds of Malifaux and Wamrachine but the former is special-rulesy and so is the latter, with the added "delight" of ex-40K players who are encouraged to min-max by the rules themselves.

      15mm sci fi is very cheap, but I think you've finally got on that bandwagon (weirdly enough, it used to be my primary interest/focus and I've actually swapped back to 28mm, but for platoon+ games (anything with groups of troops) it's great. It would be a very cost-effective way to play Bolt Action/CoC.

    2. My gaming collection is such a mess of scales after a few decades its crazy. Probably worth a post actually. And yes, the 15mm SF bug has me but its not the only one at the moment...