The End of the (Old) World as We Know It!

Hey ya’ll Rawdogger here for another installment of Rawdogger’s Randoms.

This week we will be talking about the rumoured end of Warhammer Fantasy as we know it. This weekend the final End (of) Times book Archaon is released and from leaked pictures it appears that the book heralds the end of the Warhammer Fantasy universe in it’s entirety. You can see detailed rumourmongering here and here. For those of you who read websites this should come as no surprise. Warhammer Fantasy has been struggling for many years. The money grabbing 8th edition back fired all over Kirby’s face and chest. Who would have thought that creating an edition that pretty much required the purchase of large blocks of infantry due to an over-powerd magic phase could have turned off people from buying model kits consisting of 5 models and costing $50? It has also been stated that GW is potentially looking to protect their IP since it’s hard to copyright the name High Elf, etc.

Warhammer Fantasy

Look how cool this game was!

I actually used to play quite a bit of Warhammer Fantasy. When I lived in Korea the most popular game with the locats was Fantasy, so I quickly had to pack up my Bolter and pick up my flying pegasus. The last straw for me in 8th edition fantasy was playing against a young kid with his Skaven and watching this newcomer with gigantic blocks of unpainted miniatures hit me multiple time with the stupid Skaven spell that removes entire blocks of your own models and replaces them with MOAR $KAVEN MODEL$! LO-LO-LO-LO-LO!

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes, so after several years of dwindling sales and a disappearing fan base GW came up with the original idea of tearing down the existing game and starting over from scratch. The most popular rumors are that the game will become a smaller scale skirmish game that will not overwhelm new players by the cost of entry. The models are rumored to be round based with the ability to rank up via movement trays like the Hobbit miniatures. While I am certainly intrigued with these rumors, GW is playing a dangerous game. They run the very real risk of losing a lot of the Warhammer customers they already have. Just look at the hair tearing and gnashing of teeth happening on the rumor blog posts? They are also gambling on a new customer base that will be interested in this new style of Warhammer Fantasy in an already over saturated skirmish miniature market. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the GW higher brass actually thought that current Warhammer Fantasy players would just happily go along with the changes. In fact, it has been well documented that GW management truly believe that their customer’s favorite past time is buying the models they produce.

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A lot of people ask how GW can completely re-design a game that has been such an iconic part of their business as well as alienating a fan base that has spent god knows how much time and money lovingly crafting their armies to fit into the universe they so love? The answer, as always, is that GW is a business that exists by selling models. The models for the game they created were not selling, so they are starting over. They don’t care that you spent 2 years and $2000 purchasing and building your Brettonian army. In their minds you’ve already purchased the models and that’s that. What do they care what you do with the models once their purchased? Oh yeah, that pesky game that goes along with the models. BLAST IT! They should have never created a game to go along with those models! GOD DAMNED NERDS!!! (Angry GW Management Voice).

And so it goes. Warhammer Fantasy as we know it passes from this world with barely a meh. Since this is GW we are talking about, let’s hope for the best but prepare for the worst with the new edition of Fantasy rumored to be coming in a couple months. Who knows? They could come out with the greatest Fantasy skirmish game since sliced bread. It could happen right? Right? Hello?…………..

So what are your thoughts on the rumoured end of Warhammer Fantasy? Are you excited for what’s to come or are you already taking photos of your army to sell on ebay?

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About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

12 Responses to “The End of the (Old) World as We Know It!”

  1. klr March 12, 2015 1:42 am #

    Thanks for good article.

    Seems like a big gamble by GW. But I do understand that they had to do something with fantasy which wasn’t selling enough. So it’s either squat the game or change.

    Even though a new fantasy skirmish game arrives, they should try to support playing bigger games with old models. If they don’t i shure understand the screaming from existing players.

    I’m mostly a 40k player, but worried for that game too. 40k has arrived a place, where i can’t see a new edition, without a totally makeover.

  2. AKI March 12, 2015 2:02 am #

    I’m sure the likes of Kings of War and the Oldhammer community will be happy enough to sweep up those frustrated players in the know about alternatives to Warhammer 8th/9th. But for many of their players, indoctrinated that ‘The Hobby’ is solely what GW markets it as. the move to 9th will be the only option on the table other than dropping out the game entirely…

  3. Rich March 12, 2015 3:57 am #

    For me this is an excellent opportunity for them to support re-releasing a revamped Mordheim. That’s all the fantasy involvement I’ve ever had or needed.

  4. Dash2021 March 12, 2015 4:20 am #

    Interestingly, fantasy is the big game in my meta. I’d flirted with getting in, being as I’d purchased two Bret/Lizardmen starting boxes several years ago (dirt cheap) and so have ~900 pts of each. I’m starting to really appreciate school for preventing that from happening.

    Great article, I think you hit all the high points. I normally /eyeroll when people remind me GW is a “model company first, game company second”. It’s not 1980, GW isn’t the entire market still. Surely to god the management knows better, at least subconsciously. Then I get reminded of the absolute failure that is Fantasy and I’m like “I’m giving GW too much credit”.

    GW does, hands down have the best models in the bizz. A year ago I wouldn’t have said that, between finecrap and models from the 90s it would have been a lie. But holy crap have you seen the Harlies? Or the Bloodthirster? These models are the first where I’ve been legitimately impressed with the quality. So GW has found their way in that arena. Let’s hope they realize that even a modest effort at balanced/fun game mechanics is the other huge part of the equation to successfully selling models.

  5. Valhaal March 12, 2015 7:10 am #

    I’m in love with the idea of a Fantasy skirmish game first – large scale wargame second. Fantasy has a lot of awesome rules already that would work much better as an Infinity/Malifaux competitor. So hopefully that’s what comes of it.

    I know DC re-branded and started fresh with their comics a few years back to huge success. It’s not about alienating old fans but refreshing and getting new ones. If they have serious scale changes, it is probably much better to just restart a bit. The only thing that would upset me about all of this was that I purchased a lot of the new End Times models, and if they aren’t usable it’d be pretty sad (but ready to use them for bits into converting for 40k).

    Games Workshop has the clout and money to run themselves into direct competition with the various style of wargames if they so choose. Pushing Fantasy as a smaller scale game would probably be better than having just another huge scale wargame where they pretty much just compete with themselves (Fantasy and 40k are THE large wargames out there). The last few years has been a downward slope, sure, but there have been a lot of small changes that are sparking up. I have high hopes.

    • Jason
      Raw Dogger March 12, 2015 7:43 am #

      I too am very interested in seeing how this all plays out. I really, truly, loved Fantasy during the time I played it (2 years) and seeing it’s slow demise has been hard to watch. I’m guessing that we will be seeing a lot of similarities to the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit game system which I’ve never played but have heard great things about the game’s design and balance. We’ll all see soon enough, I suppose.

  6. fleshterror March 12, 2015 8:26 am #

    just play the edition before this one, if you want to play fantasy as you used to just make an agreement with your friends and do so

  7. Cuddles March 12, 2015 8:47 am #

    It’s surprising to me that this company would do something that would disenfranchise such a large portion of customers. It almost seems idiotic, as opposed to the usual cries of greed (which are two completely different things, mind you). Hopefully they won’t completely overhaul the game, and hopefully they won’t make a large portion of the models useless. It’s hard to trust rumors, especially when the rumors are incorrect so often.

  8. Reecius
    Reecius March 12, 2015 11:00 am #

    I will be very interested to see what happens with Fantasy. I love the minis but wasn’t into the game after Daemons came out in 7th ed.

    • Link-Hero-1 March 13, 2015 2:10 am #

      That is a very interesting point.

      The tournament scene where I live was really active during that time. The reason for that were – somewhat extensive – restrictions that allowed the game to be semi-balanced.

      Comp-free tournaments on the other hand vanished completely…

      I stopped playing with 8th Edition (Did play a few tournaments with it though) and the scene seems to have died down a bit as well.

  9. GreyWolf March 21, 2015 6:06 pm #

    I have almost 10K points of painted Salamanders Space Marines and a huge painted High Elf Army and a massive painted army of Greenskins. I have invested a large amount of money and time in building this collection. In the past I participated in every tournament I could and my local group played through all the campaign books (most recently a 1 year Blood in the Badlands campaign, which my Orcs surprisely came from behind to win).

    We have pretty much stopped buying and painting any new models. One of our group is definitely a “collector” and while he has purchased all the recent End Times books even he is baulking at buying any of the new figs (cool as they may be) because as a group we are losing interest because of the rules changes and the destruction of our army’s kingdoms, etc during the End Times (kind of takes the fun out of running a High Elf armies knowing that their island home has sank beneath the waves and suddenly overnight they are now allies with their arc-enemies the Dark Elfs).

    If the rumors about 9th ed. are true I have way too many figs already and I like most gamers I know want to play run armies and fight battles, not run warbands and fight skirmishes. Most of us are tired of getting jacked around by GW. In my Orc army I have 48 beautifully painted Boar Boyz and probably 8 Boar chariots. In the 1 year long 8th ed. Blood in the Badlands campaign mentioned above I never ran them. My Silver Helms and White Lion Chariots have not came out of their boxes for many battles. 8th ed was all about hordes and shamans/mages. Now my huge blocks of infantry won’t be usable in 9th? Really? Oh and the basing is changing? What will that do to the value of my armies? Thanks! 🙁

    I will keep my collection because I love the figs but will not buy any more. Over the last year I have moved back to historicals (WWII FOW and ancients) because I know the figs will always be usable and hold their value even if I change rule sets (i.e. a Tiger tank will always be a Tiger tank and a Roman Legionarie will always be a Roman Legionarie). I love 40K and Fantasy, have many memories of great games/tournaments with great friends and while I am hoping for the best as far as GW goes, I am already moving on. Really enjoying Flames of War now and I am looking for a new ancients set.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 22, 2015 8:23 am #

      I feel for you. I could only imagine what I’d feel like if my armies got totally undermined due to gw the way fantasy is.

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