You better sit down – I’m serious. Warhammer Fantasy is changing in ways you won’t believe:
We’ve been saying for months that all the accurate rumormongers are pointing/hinting at a fundamental shakeup of the Warhammer Fantasy world. The End Times series is really only the bridge to get us there.
And the damn broke today:
Warhammer 9th Explodes! 1-7-2015
Here are the full rumors, pay attention to the most accurate of these – Warseer’s Darnok and Harry:
via Darnok: 1-6-2015
If you like Warhammer, I suggest you better take a seat.
Over the last few months I got a few glimpses on what WHF could change to in the very near future. I have collected messages, asked questions, and tried to form a somewhat coherent picture. The one thing I believe by now is: Warhammer in its current form will no longer be supported by GW. It will be transformed into something else, with everything built up in background and most of the model range being kicked out of the door.
To give you an insight into some of the messages I got, have a look at the following. Please note that I am paraphrasing at times, and have cut out (hopefully) everything that could lead to the original identities of my friendly birdies.
Quote Originally Posted by Birdy
– 9th Edition to pick up where the ET leaves off in fluff, plus a couple of hundred years or so (to reboot the setting).
– The Warhammer World gets shattered on a dimensional level during the climax of the ET. No more “map of the Old World” – it’s now little bubbles of reality, where pockets of civilisation try desperately to eke a living before the next collision with another bubble, which may be full of Chaos. (To address the problem of “how come my Tomb Kings of Khemri are fighting against Wood Elves from Athel Loren?”, not that I get the impression that either of those will still exist, but you get the idea)
– New faction… heavily armoured, religious, “good” human warriors fighting with the power of the gods. (Warhammer Space Marines, basically). Karl Franz Ascended seems to be the prototype or precursor for this concept, AFAICT.
Quote Originally Posted by Another Birdy
9th edition will have 6 factions. Model diversity cut in half shelf space. New world and new age so current factions and lore aren’t recognizable at all. Each new faction has like 3 core units that will always be on the shelf. Much faster releases of stuff, mainly characters and special units of 2-5 fancy models (like Morghasts) that have their own rules right in the box, so not dependent on a static army book. Many of the these non-core models are only available for a limited time (say 6 months to a year), so they don’t take up shelf space forever and ever. Many existing models are not usable in 9th.
Quote Originally Posted by Birdy #3
We can expect the next edition of Fantasy to throw everything up in the air. The whole End Times move has been to wean people onto a whole new take on the Warhammer world and it’s going to start with every army being “chaosified”. We can expect army play styles and appearance to change quite dramatically and there will be a whole load of new models being released early on to tie everything together. This has caused quite a stir back at GW HQ as there are a lot of people behind the scenes (some of which are very well known to us) who don’t like the changes that have been made. I have also been told that the models due to be released are some of the best to date!
Add to that (and by “Birdy Prime” I mean my best source so far):
Quote Originally Posted by Birdy Prime
‘9th’ [or] whatever is next for fantasy […] coming 2015 in the summer. The new faction [plus] future releases after this point for five ‘existing’ factions (which plus this would make six) […] but I think there will be […] more.
As you can see, it will be drastic. It seems like those „Spanish rumours“ might have had some more flesh on them than I thought: I am by now sorry for my sometimes nasty words about them. And despite my remorse about ever mentioning it, I think my statement about a „ragestorm of epic proportions“ could have been correct after all.
via Harry: 1-6-2015
About six months …. but i first heard about ita good six months before I posted that.
Sometimes it is not all that cryptic …..
I tried to find some of my old posts about this. i have posted about this 6 months, 12 months and 18 months ago. But many of my recent posts have been deleted.???
In the end I had to go find some of what I had said on BOLS Forum where Big red had quoted me from here. (Thanks Red)
OK, here’s one for you …..
Chaos Vs “Humans”.
Quote Originally Posted by Tozudos a Dieces:
I’ve just read The fall of Altdorf.
At least fluff-wise, nothing’s gonna be again the same. It all will change. All.
Harry: You are not wrong there fella. That is what I have been saying.
Quote Originally Posted by Ludaman:
Awesome! Thanks Harry! I may be way off, but that sounds like the contents of a new starter Box to me.
Harry: We have been playing this game together for too many years.
Big Red: So first up, Harry called the End Times and Glottkin by name over 6 months out. So when he says something, you should take it as much more serious than garden variety rumors.
This insinuation of new boxed sets and unified “Human” factions all feeds back into Harry’s earlier speculation on GW utterly shattering the game with the End Times series, to produce a very different environment and game on the other side of the series.
After months of absence, the BEST rumormonger out there returns to talk about the End Times of Warhammer Fantasy:
Harry’s BACK from the wilderness!
Harry: You may remember last year I was being very vague about some ‘radical changes’ in a thread about 9th edition.
Back at the start of the year, in one of my first posts of the new year I said this:
I don’t think they are trying to destroy it.
I suspect they will be trying their hardest to breath new life into it.
We are not seeing the “End times” for Warhammer just yet.
Did you see what I did there?
The clues are always there fellas.
So I first heard about all this last autumn?
I was told 2014 would be “Year zero” for Warhammer.
Had no idea what that meant at first but if you Google your way to the wikipedia you get this:
The term Year Zero, applied to the takeover of Cambodia in April 1975 by the Khmer Rouge, is an analogy to the Year One of the French Revolutionary Calendar. During the French Revolution, after the abolition of the French monarchy (September 20, 1792), the National Convention instituted a new calendar and declared the beginning of the Year I. The Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom Penh was rapidly followed by a series of drastic revolutionary de-industrialization policies resulting in a death toll that vastly exceeded that of the French Reign of Terror.
The idea behind Year Zero is that all culture and traditions within a society must be completely destroyed or discarded and a new revolutionary culture must replace it, starting from scratch. All history of a nation or people before Year Zero is deemed largely irrelevant, as it will (as an ideal) be purged and replaced from the ground up.
It was made clear to me that this was what we were talking about for warhammer.
Everything that existed being completely destroyed (or discarded) and something new replacing it from scratch … purged and replaced from the ground up.
I hinted in various posts that they would be getting rid of the existing timeline, the existing map, etc. (In an effort to soften the blow. )
I am going to get this a bit wrong because I honestly can’t remember where I heard it but to confirm the three book rumour …. I did hear the “End times” were going to be spread over three books.
Nagash was the first, followed by Malekith followed by Glotkin
Good luck with that!
…You have to ask yourself …. What will remain of the world as we know it when it has been ravaged in turn by the Undead, the Dark Elves, Skaven, and Chaos?
…Whatever 9th is it will be set in the grimmest, darkest post apocalyptic Warhammer fantasy world yet.
You think I haven’t had all the same thoughts being voiced on here?
I can’t see them throwing out everything they have done either … but the only way to own the IP is to loose all the generic Fantasy that other companies can copy … normal Dwarves, Elves and sure as heck you have to get rid of the historical based human armies … or you can go build an Empire or Bretonnian army from anyone’s miniatures.
I can’t see them getting rid of any armies either … but they can not continue to support all of them so some of them have to go or some get mashed together.
I can’t see them wanting to reduce the number of minis you need …. but if it costs too much to complete an army people don’t even start an army …so is it better to sell some minis for a scaled down game or no minis? Is it better to ramp up the Lords and monsters allowance and keep on selling the big kits so an army is ‘more tanks and less infantry’ and thus less minis and easier to paint …. or sell no minis.
Simple fact is so many people have so many armies now unless they do something drastic with the look of the armies no-one is buying enough minis. The only way to force folks to buy new stuff is if we cannot use our current stuff. Some folks may refuse to buy the new stuff on principal ….. what do they care? They were not buying the stuff anyway as they already had their army. Imagine how badly Fantasy must be selling compared to 40K if anyone even thought about knocking it on the head for even a moment …. they must be thinking …. it can’t make things any worse!!! What have we got to loose??? But if they are doing this why even bother completing 8th edition? Why do all the books?
I have been around and around with this in my head ….. the only thing that makes any sense to me at the end of the day is that 8th edition is complete enough and robust enough to endure a bit longer and 9th edition will not be a complete new edition of the rules …. but an alternative background and rules with which to play post End times battles but you still need the core rules to play A bit like all the stuff in Strom of Magic was an add on to the existing rules. The core rules and books will still exist for those that want to remain stuck in the timeline but if you want to be down with the cool kids you really need to buy the new post End Times stuff.
I don’t know what else I can add to this.
I don’t have all the answers.
But for what its worth …. I think it will be round bases.
First said that on here more than 18 months ago …. when someone guessed close to the mark talking about WFB becoming a skirmish game.
And finally, commenters over at Faeit212 chime in:
Let me give you some confirmation:
The setting is being completely overhauled – true.
The concept of a huge chunks of the world in a sea similar to the warp from 40k – true.
Faction reduction to 6 – true
As for how it interacts with the current rules.
9th edition takes place after the sundering that brought about from the End Times.
So for the purposes of compatibility, you can use your 8th edition hardback book, representing a section of the culture that hasn’t been horrifically changed by the End Times (Recognizing it will have the same drawbacks of using a dated book that are experienced elsewhere).
You can use End Times rules/concepts, representing a section that is still being torn apart.
You can use the new, post-end times rules to represent what is “current.”
All the books (again, with the caveat that older books may not be optimal for the new core rules [but truthfully the core rules aren’t changing wildly, like 5th to 6th edition 40k, really more of a tidied up 8th edition with a brand new setting]) are designed to be compatible.
Support will be towards the new book, new setting, however, with End Times being in the past. Viable, but not current.
Expect armies to have fewer units in their core books, which will be heavily focused on the fluff for where they are now, what they’ve been doing in the centuries immediately following the sundering. This will create a more “balanced” pool as they will be rapidly produced and released (consider a scale even somewhat faster than what we’ve had for 40k these past few years).
These will then be expanded on with supplements, not intended as money-grabs (as I am sure they will be received by the majority of your readers), but more as guided hands to acknowledge deficiencies in books, or even “global meta” changes. The first time that Games Workshop will be openly acknowledging things that need changes.
These units will typically get white dwarf rules treatments heralding the release in hardback of all of the new units from the previous month(s), for a new setting expansion, which will pit several of the races together (representing a collision).
As these expansions are not permanent in the world, so too will these models not be. They are intended to only get one template injection mold life-run, the same as the books will be printed only once in hardback, then delayed paperback.
They will of course remain legal throughout all of 9th, they will just be more limited eventually, the same as the end time models will not be available forever, the same as XYZ model is no longer available (just with a shorter life span than previous experienced). I mean… you can’t get albion models anymore either, but that campaign was before people whined on the internet, so I guess that’s why no one’s complaining.
This will allow for more new models, as contrary to common belief, the storage and rejuvenation of these templates takes a lot of resources which can be instead dedicated to new ones.
On the topic of round bases. The latest version I saw used round bases, but units had the option of ranking up to receive the typical bonuses. To rank up using round bases, it is intended to use new movement trays which have circular cuts to hold the bases of the appropriate size.
Nothing stops you from (and in many ways you are encouraged to) maintain unit formation the entire game. But you don’t have to. Note that throughout all of Warhammer Fantasy, changing width/depth was an option, it’s just rarely seen.
So to summarize – you can skirmish, but it’s in your interests to rank up for different reasons, like shield walling before a charge for instance. You can alternatively always hold a formation and move the way we’re all used to.
This will be a very big change. It is not because GW doesn’t care about its old players and just wants to attract new ones. It is not to fill a void that will come from the fading of Lord of the Rings (which will remain in stores and be supported for a long time due to the agreement with New Line Cinemas).
It is just a very fresh look at a game that hasn’t changed dramatically in how it’s played since the dawn of the game and company. It will give everyone the opportunity and hopefully inspiration to do something new, but without invalidating everything from the past. It is opening room for creativity, not closing doors.
Yes, army books will eventually feel too out of date to play, but that’s the same with any new edition. And new Army Books will typically allow people to recreate what they’re “used to” it just might not be the most effective thing they could do with their new book.
The new faction are basically the opposite of warriors of chaos, but good the way chaos marines are the opposite of space marines but evil (in terms of broad tropes, I really hope this doesn’t spawn some kind of debate about the morality of space marines).
Lastly, nothing stops you from just playing 8th, and ignoring 9th the same way some people ignore End Times. Just understand that unlike Storm of Chaos which was post-production looked at as an “alternate timeline” where the clock was turned back to right before it took place for the purposes of the setting, the End Times are real, and 9th will begin where it left off.
And Earlybird chimes in:
from the horse mouth
1) Chaos : Demons + Beasts + Mortals
5) Orcs and Goblins
Lizards are gone in space.
Dwarves survivors join the empire with the ogres.
1) Chaos core : Warriors of chaos/chariot/Hounds
Demons figs will be kept as they are usable in 40k
Bye bye marauders, ungors, centigors, razorgor etc
2) Elves core : spearmen/archers/cavalry on horse
No more xbows
the 3 elves will blend in one faction
dark elves monsters are gone : cold ones, hydra
3) Empire core: Hallberds/Handgun/Canon
Some dwarves survivors and ogres are included
Imperial and bretonnian knights are merged
4) Undead core : Skeletons/Ghouls/Spirit host
bye bye bone giant, scorpion sphinx, chariots and everything too much egyptian
5) Orcs and goblins core : Goblins/Orcs/Black orcs
no real change for them
6) Skaven core : Clanrats/Plague rats/Rat ogres
no real change for them too
~I don’t know if I want it to be true or a mistake. What are your thoughts folks?