I’ve always had a strange relationship to WHFB. I learned to play 7th edition in college with a buddy and I would squeeze in a couple games a year. In the following years games would be hard to come by, to say nothing of narrative or competitive events. This was partially due to my own reticence to look for tournaments, but also due to living in more rural areas (exacerbating the problem of gaming in an already niche system). In many ways what stung most about the way the Old World ended was less a feeling of loss of a game, and more grieving the loss of the setting and the characters. While this has faded as Age of Sigmar has slowly matured, few things have gotten me more excited than the brief snippets of announcements pertaining to the revival of Warhammer Fantasy Battles.
Initially there was rampant rumor mongering: it’s going to be at 15mm scale, there might be Stormcasts, it will be a completely new ruleset, etc. And the most dangerous thing for a fan happened: they released a new post saying all thing things I wanted to hear: same scale, blend of older rules, keeping the old names *Swoon*
As a couple days have passed, and as I have seen the WHFB community (for the most part) escalate in it’s excitement, I thought I would take a quick minute to reflect. With the game still 3-5 years away, it may be a bad idea to get too excited. It is easy to build up something in your mind that you later find deeply disappointing. This is something I have seen firsthand as I dipped into early–access videos games this year. Interesting premises can be slow to develop and (occasionally aided by careless marketing) you can create an unrealistic idea of what a game can provide verses its likely limitations. There have been a few times I wished I had not known anything about a game before buying it rather than eagerly waiting for its release as my crushed hopes soured my experience.
Furthermore, any time a game is revived after a hiatus (or other properties for that matter) you can forget the more annoying aspects and reflect on it with rose colored glasses. If you haven’t played 8th Edition Fantasy in a while I would encourage you to go back and experience it again before the new release. It has many fun elements but the balance is crazy, some rules are byzantine and the rulebook missions are hopelessly lopsided depending on factions and army builds.
Finally, while much of the news of the new game has been positive, there is much we do not know. With the game being produced by Forge World (as far as we know) it comes with the specter of high cost of entry (something that was already an issue in hoard-happy 8th ed) and/or slow release times. And who knows, perhaps the new game won’t even be fun to play.
I say this not to rain on everyone’s parade but simply to try and put things in perspective. The wait ahead will likely take the next few years. Who knows? Maybe it will be the best system ever! All armies will be balanced, Tomb Kings and Brets will be meta and everyone will get a Sisters of Twilight body pillow. I am simply happy the setting of the Old World is being revived (and feeling vindicated in my self-absorbed view that it was the most interesting Games Workshop setting) and that it appears there will be backwards compatibility with my existing armies. Maybe that will be enough at launch, maybe not, but I don’t want my opinions on what might have been to spoil what we actually get.
Do you have any hopes for the new system? Or any armies you are looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments!
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!