Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The End is Nigh!

For those that stay in touch with Warhammer Fantasy you are probably aware that over the past 5 or so months Games Workshop has drastically progressed the Warhammer world's timeline. It has been akin to a Game of Thrones episode; death, destruction, drastic change.

While most people who are interested in such things are up to date with the story, I was away in Europe for the Glottkin and and Khaine instalments. As such, I missed those books, and more importantly for my own completionist tendencies, the hard back version of these books. As such this post won't be so much about what has happened, because for one I don't know exactly, and for two, because I have gone to great lengths to stay as uninformed as possible about the story progression after Nagash, and I don't want this to be another spoiler filled post out there on the web.

What I want to talk about is some of the rumours that I have heard regarding 9th, and through this, what Warhammer means to me. This is something that I had been thinking about for a little while now, but Greg over at the Hoodling's Hole helped crystalise some of my own feelings about Warhammer.

Overall I am excited about the End Times - the progression of the story is exciting, although I wish I was in a position to be enjoying all the scenarios, new models, and new rules. Some of the joint armies sound like they could be quite fun to play with. However, I do have some fears regarding what may happen come 9th.

There have been rumours that 9th will be a game where, due to the great cataclysms the world has gone through, various armies will be amalgamated into others. The current legions lists are toted as being an example of how this might pan out; chaos all together, undead together, humans and dwarves likely to be joined, and so on and so forth. There are a few outliers in this model (lizardmen being the big one) but I'm not going to delve into that side of things. My concerns come from the fact that I really really like having more army books rather than less. I like the extra rules, the extra fluff, and the extra models that can come with separate army books. It also allows for more individual and characterful differences to be highlighted between armies. A prime example of this is Bretonnia and Empire: one is based on feudal French knights, and the other is more Germanic in nature. With the possible amalgamation of armies some of these characterful differences might be lost, and the potential range of models for use may decrease.
This fear primarily stems from the fact that I own a partially painted Bretonnian army, and I have never had a chance to really play with it. With the destruction caused by the End Times, and the rumours surrounding 9th, I worry that my opportunity to play with my Bretonnians shrinks bit by bit. I recognise that I could still play with them using 8th edition even should new editions come out, but if I'm honest with myself, I like to be playing what is current.

There have also been rumours of Warhammer including rules for a skirmish game, similar to the way 40k is from what I understand. While I have no particular issue with that being added into the existing format, if it were to replace the current model I would probably move away from Warhammer completely. The reason I play Warhammer, rather than 40k, is that I like the aesthetic of large units being manoeuvred around a battlefield. Having to plan movement in advance is something that greatly appeals to me; it is hard to react quickly with units should they end up in unfavourable positions because a large unit takes time to change its facing. I imagine it is similar to how armies would have reacted in medieval times, and given that I prefer medieval fantasy to science fiction, Warhammer Fantasy in its current form is more appealing to me than 40k.

All I can really ask for is that Games Workshop don't destroy the game I love. I can only hope that they are as invested in their product, its story, and its history, as I am. Whatever the future holds I will at least give Games Workshop the courtesy of trying their game, with as little pre-judgement as I can. Until then I will keep garnering the enjoyment it gives me now, and hopefully I will be able to play with my Bretonnians just a little before their future is revealed. 

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