A couple of days ago, I posted some work on my rank and file Dwarfs for use with Kings of War. Today, I learnt via Warhammer Community that Warhammer Fantasy Battles will be returning in the next 36+ months. And how do I feel? I don’t know yet.
What We Know So Far
- According to Warhammer Community, Games Workshop have been missing the lore, setting and atmosphere of the Old World; so much so that they’ve put a dedicated team of game designers, researchers and WFB enthusiasts together to create a semblance of the World That Was.
- It will be the job of this team to re-imagine the Old World in a way that breathes new life in to WFB
- The game is expected to be released no sooner than in 3 years time, which is why I’m not sure how I feel. Would I have preferred to have not been told anything right now? Yes. Does this change anything for the community? Probably – but only because it leaves us floating for 3 years, when this should in fact be exciting news that doesn’t exactly feel like it
- Many of us have invested a small fortune into switching to Age of Sigmar, and now it’s being suggested that square could be where it’s at again
Why Could This Change the Community?
Why wouldn’t it, my friends? Since 2015, fans of the Old World have been presented with a few options.
- Get on board with Age of Sigmar in a new setting and with a different style of play
- Join one of the other communities trying to keep WFB alive (namely 9th Age)
- Move on to a new gaming system entirely
Anyone that dared moan that they missed the Old World would typically be hounded by AoS players, whilst newer players to the game really can’t comprehend the World That Was at all and so don’t understand the fuss. If I had to put it in to perspective – imagine falling in love with a movie franchise like Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, watching the films time and time again and becoming engrossed in Middle Earth; only to be told that J.R.R. Tolkien used to skin cats. It stains something that was beloved on a deep, emotional level. He didn’t used to skin cats by the way.
What Do I Feel?
As many of my readers will understand, it wasn’t so much the game play of Warhammer Fantasy, it was the world itself. It was a huge place with trolls under bridges, dwarves inside their underground keeps, Empire soldiers encountering untold horrors and an atmosphere of creepiness, old-school magic and ghoulish tales.
For me, it’s never been all about the war-gaming side of things. It wasn’t about huge armies facing off over the course of an evening; it was the setting itself that was taken and in turn left a huge hole in my hobby.
Sure, I could try and continue to stay involved with the veteran community, but like I said – gaming wasn’t my priority. For me, I feel like when they destroyed the Old World, they took a huge presence in my life filled with haunted castles, overgrown forests and cobblestone streets, and tried to replace it with magical discs of elemental madness in the form of Age of Sigmar.
Unless you knew the World That Was; it’s likely that you won’t fully understand the magnitude of destroying something that was so dear to so many of us.
What Should We Expect?
So far, we know that the intention is to create something akin to the Horus Heresy, but for the fantasy setting. That means a game that takes place in the past, wholly within the Old World setting; before the Age of Sigmar began.
So now I have to decide what to make of that.
Will it be comfortable to play a game when I already know how the story ends (with the destruction of the Old World)? I enjoy Mordheim, which has been destroyed mercilessly several times in its history, so perhaps.
And it would be nice to go back to a little rank and file, I suppose.
What bothers me the most is that they’ve announced this in November, 2019 when we won’t see the game or relevant releases until at least 2022. So I’ll probably stick with what I have on the cards right now and see how I feel in a few years time.
It would be great to see rank and file back on the table, even with improvements to game-play. I’m a fan of the Warhammer World and if they can come up with a way to bring it back without the whole ‘take part in legendary battles that meant nothing because the world dies’ way, I’ll get on board.
If not, my little slice of the Old World in the form of Mordheim will entertain me well in to the future, I hope.