Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Micro - It's the End of the World (and I feel fine)

A quick one hot on the heels of my last post, not covering the Masters this time, but rather a quick (not very well thought out) view on the newest rumours hitting the cybernets...

Wow… exciting/dangerous/terrifying/awesome times are (or may be) heading our way.

For those who have not seen it, that Godfather of rumours, Darnok over on Warseer has unloaded the mother of all rumour dumps on us all. I’ve copied the post at the bottom of this post.


In summary, the expected changes to Warhammer 9th Edition appear to be as follows:

·         9th edition picks up where End Times leaves off fluff wise

·         Warhammer world shattered on a ‘dimensional’ level, and is made up of ‘bubbles of reality’ that collide with each other

·         New faction of ‘heavily armoured religious “good” human warriors

·         The game will have 6 factions, with half the model diversity.

·         Each faction will have some core units and new units released for limited time with rules in box

·         Expected summer 2015


So, if these are true (and one should really stress the ‘rumour’ nature of things), what does this humble author think of them?


The fluff carrying on from End Times (or a few hundred years later) is obvious. Other than utilising an epic Dallas-esque retcon there is no way it was going to be anything else.

The dimensions I will touch on later…

New faction of pseudo space marines is an interesting one. This could be a mistake of course, perhaps someone has seen models/concepts for what is left of Mankind at this point. But even if not, I am hardly going to complain about a new army/faction entering the scene. One thing I think we can trust GW to do is cool models.

There has been a lot of gnashing (good word that) of teeth at the thought that a lot of models will be invalidated by this. Whilst I feel for everyone here (and cringe at the personal cost implied), this *does* make sense. As I keep saying, it is hard for a business to make money when each new capital-intensive release causes the large established community to just buy the odd thing to add to their collections (that often have been bought over decades of time). Even the mighty Space Marines of 40k struggle to make a significant bottom line impact upon release when existing players all already own them and the secondary market is awash with cheap ones. I am not sure on the maths, but there is probably an argument to be made that if GW loses half its Warhammer customers, but those existing spend a *lot’ more money than they used to makes business sense.

This also allows them to flip things on its head to do drastic things like allowing easier entry to the game – and compete head on with the likes of Warhamahordes/Malifaux etc. This is impossible to do (if it is something you want to do) under the current system. It also immediately strikes a blow against the third party companies profiting from their IP.

All this ties in with the rumoured split of ‘factions’. Now, before going further it should be said that this does not necessarily mean old armies are extinct – “Elves” could still be a faction, from which you could choose armies of Girly, Emo or Hippy as before. It is a neater way to do things, but the Warhammer armies don’t fall into easy categories (other than Chaos in that glorious-still-best-ever-army-book-for-warhammer book a decade or two back).

This allows for fewer books, easier updates.

The ‘limited run’ of units I have to assume means in-store, older kits reverting to Direct Order-only.


Back to the Dimension bit. Of everything, this I think is the riskiest thing that has been suggested.

I had expected that post End Times the remaining powers of the Old World would be concentrated in/around what was the Empire, constantly in conflict in the crushed confines of the ruins of civilisation. This dimensional-bubble concept is (obviously) weird.

It is not unique in fantasy (or science fiction) and will, of course, all come down to implementation. I am absolutely fascinated by how they handle this (if they do so). I cant see quite how they will pull it off, but I am prepared to at least see what they do.



So, in short, I think a lot of it makes sense for a company that has to try to make a profit from an IP that, if rumours and internet chatter (always utterly reliable sources of information………), has long been stagnant, underperforming (potentially at a loss) and eating up almost half their shelf space. Doing something drastic is only a bad thing if the end result is worse than what was before.

Am I worried? Of course, I happen to love 8th edition. But I am also excited.

If they can bring the minds and talents that have brought the Horus Heresy to life (and no, they are no Tolstoys (actually, scratch that, I always thought War and Peace was vastly over rated, they are no Oscar Wildes)) to bear on creating a viable ‘realistic’ setting for Warhammer, this could be new (daunting but exciting, like one’s first fumbles with the opposite sex).


In any event, we will know in the not too distant future!
It does seem that that damn Bretonnian book will never come out now :(
Would have been cool if they had managed to 8th-up all the armies… there are only 3 left?!


Anyway…until next time (or the world ends)




Below is Darnok’s post on Warseer:


  1. 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.

QuoteOriginally 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.
QuoteOriginally 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.
QuoteOriginally 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):

QuoteOriginally 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.

This whole thing will turn out to be either correct or not in less than six months. Hopefully we can get over our worst emotions until then.



  1. thank you, finally someone trying to be rational about all this. im just waiting for it to raise its head before i make up my mind. and if in doubt, you can always play 8th...