Saturday, 27 June 2015

Post-End Times Warhammer Fantasy Images Leaked

Since the announcement of the Age of Sigmar, details have been leaked. While points here and there have suggested a world closer to Forgotten Realms than anything else, and the involvement of Andy Lanning in its creation, these have as of yet been unsubstantiated. Ideas and rumours have run wild for some time now, making it hard to know what retains substance and what has been faked. That said, if this is a fake it's a pretty damn convincing one.

Leaked via a few early issues of White Dwarf (isn't that always the way?) the images so far depict two armies involved. One a group of shining angelic figures in golden armour (who look as if they've practically been made for Blood Angels players to customise) and the other a rabble of Chaotic figures resembling your common or garden horde. Along with the former being identified as allied entirely with Sigmar or representing him in some way, the latter are quite clearly Chaos aligned, bearing both the traditional motifs and bearing a rather noticeable icon with the Blood God's symbol.

The view has been met with decidedly mixed results, as has almost anything involving Warhammer Fantasy following the End Times. On the one hand, no one is questioning the quality of these models, which are truly superb with some astounding designs to them. The mentions of new ideas an a very different world indeed are curious and have even opened up those jaded towards the idea of at least giving this new setting a chance, despite deriding what was done to get here. 
On the other however, others have criticised this for trying to rub off Warhammer 40,000's success onto Fantasy, and trying to spark interest by removing what separates the two. This was, again, already a big criticism during End Times both in terms of theme and visual aesthetic. The golden horde is decidedly Space Marine-eqsue with the pauldrons and massive greaves you'd expect, and Chaos's champions resemble Khorne Berserkers more than ever before. Atop of this, seemingly all use of regiments and formations are gone, as seen with the prominence of round bases and the lack of unit trays of any kind. Many are worried that what we will see will not reflect the tactical edge or greater emphasis upon strategy Fantasy was famous for.

As with many things it's too early to tell, but the other interesting point is what the brief extracts mention. The "Mortal Realms" are mentioned, but we also have mention of some War of Vengeance (apparently not the Elf-Dwarf one) with Sigmar's forces on the offensive. Rather than holding out against Chaos, it's now the other way around, with certain forces attempting to break Chaos' hold on the lands. Something known as the "Realmgates" have been mentioned, suggesting that rumours of many dimensions have proven to be correct, and the article specifically mentions that this is a "first chapter". This perhaps means we might see Games Workshop taking more of a stab at an ongoing narrative akin to that of Battletech or Legend of the Five Rings.

Whatever's the case, we now have some idea of what is to follow, and what direction Warhammer Fantasy will take in the future.


  1. Wow that's... That's a lot different from what I thought it would be. At least the models look really good, but that's all I can really say about it right now, I'm not too sure how to feel about the aesthetics, it just feels like it's something so completely new but they're trying to tell me it's like the old hobby I still enjoy playing so I should play it. I'm definitely interested in further developments but I don't know if this is going to be a game I'd be happy in playing.

  2. Ok... so we're officially turning Warhammer into prequel 40k? I mean, those guys up top seem to be pretty blatantly invoking the *Thunder Warriors... or maybe that's just me.

    Yeah, this gives me no incentive to pick up Warhammer again. The models look nice, but it's not Warhammer Fantasy any more, is it? Neither rules wise, nor fluff wise.


    1. That's a fair point to make I think, after all wasn't the double lightning bolt the symbol of the Emperor before he joined with the Mechanicus?
      I think it might be neat to convert some of these guys into 40K thunder warriors or maybe various Custodes but other than that I can't really see myself getting into this new world.

  3. Well I've now seen some of the rules for this, and I can declare it is impossible to run it competitively in any sort of way, shape or form. Without going into specifics on how the game is played/won (which can be easily abused rather hilariously) Here's the limit to what models you can use and how many of them can be deployed: "You can continue setting up units until you have set up all the units you wish to use in this battle or have run out of space."

    Yep. No points limits, no unit limits, use whatever you want until you're happy. This is a gentlemen's game now, where you discuss what you'll be bringing to the table beforehand and what you'll be doing with it before the game plays if you want any sort of fair play at all.

    On the one hand I guess I can't criticize any releases for being really broken, but on the other it's kind of sad to see competitive play go like that.
    At least they are taking the big step into "We just don't care anymore" rather than trying to make it look like they put effort into their rules.

    1. I know that Fantasy hasn't been as big as 40K for a while now, but this just leaves me wondering how many of them are gonna jump ship to Mantic (Warhammer by another name, really), Privateer Press (or any other skirmish level game), how many will keep going with 8th Ed. in perpetuity, and how many will just throw their arms up and go "Fuck It!"

      Bellarius, any chance we can get your reactions/opinions on AoS's rules?

    2. I was going to say wait until the rules are out, but they're actually out now on GW's website for free, for all the old armies anyway.

      I can definitely confirm it's not meant to be a competitive game, especially with the silly additions, for example if your Bretonnians have the Grail Vow, you gain re-rolls if you lift a goblet/chalice into the air and say "For the Lady!" in a heroic voice. Yes, you the player have to say it, Greaseus Goldtooth has an odd rule where you (the player) can bribe your opponent with actual things, Nagash has a spell that states you pick up a dice, hide it in one of your hands then ask the opponent to guess which hand has the dice, if they guess wrong their character the spell is cast at immediately dies and Settra has a rule that says if you kneel for any reason you instantly lose.

      It's all just very odd, maybe it could be an okay game if the points values or any sort of limitation was carried over, but it's definitely one meant more for drunken fun than serious play.

    3. I'm kind of torn. It's kind of nice to have a game just for fun, but the lore's not really playing any sort of parody value. It's basically just Sigmar's Space Marine knockoffs (I'm not even kidding, the Stormcast Eternals don't just have the Space Marine aesthetic, their entire shtick reeks of the Emperor making the SMs) versus Chaos right now, with no real indication of how the other races come into it. So the silly rules kind of clash with flavour that's generally being played straight.

      Settra making you lose if you kneel is hilarious and honestly Settra refusing to kneel to Nagash is one of the best things to come out of the End Times in my opinion.

      I'm also not fond of the renaming. Much like Astra Militarum and Militarum Tempestus, it comes across as being done solely to let GW trademark more things.

    4. So what happens if both players are using Settra and the dice fall on the floor and roll under the table? Though given these rules situations like those are probably what GW hoped would happen.

  4. Probably. I had a read through the scrolls earlier and I'm pretty sure they're blatantly ripping off the Warmachine/Hordes model at this point, at least for all the previous armies. There's no customisation allowed at all. Maybe Stormcast Eternals will be different in this regard, but you can't take different weapons or anything for anything. Everything is just one profile, no options allowed.

    I'm really not interested by Age of Sigmar in this respect. Part of the fun of 40k is the customisation allowed, and the Eternals have so much Space Marine to them it's not even funny (divided into color-coded chap-I mean orders, super-soldiers created by the setting's messiah figure to fight for humanity etc).

    1. Personally, I'm more offended by how the Stormcast Eternals are basically Space Marines by another name. I mean, compare the Prosecutors:

      with the Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard:

      GW are literally copying themselves now, and it's so freaking lazy I'm actually kind of disgusted by it.