A photograph from the end of The End Times: Archaon is floating around the internet today, revealing how Games Workshop will bring about the destruction of The Old World.
You can read the picture for yourself here. Again, spoilers:
What does all this mean for players?
Well, here’s where it gets interesting.
In January this year, Warseer user Darnok posted a series of rumours indicating that Warhammer Fantasy was about to be completely destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up. Every Games Workshop fan across the internet picked up on them and started talking, but few believed that GW would actually go through with destroying a setting they’ve spent literally decades building.
Well, they just did. Working on the assumption that the rest of what Darnok told us is true, here’s what you can expect:
- We’re about to see the launch of Warhammer Fantasy 9th Edition, which will be a skirmish game smaller in scale and similar to Warmachine or Hordes. It will be a radical departure from previous editions, and is widely believed to be a direct result of falling Warhammer Fantasy sales.
- 9th Edition will be set several hundred years after the events of The End Times. The world has been shattered into smaller “bubbles of reality” that move through the warp and occasionally intersect, creating conflicts.
- The End Times (8th Edition) rules will still be usable, representing factions which are still in the process of being torn apart/killed off as the universe detonates. They will not be supported or developed further by Games Workshop.
- 9th Edition will have six (6) factions only, with many existing factions consolidated into smaller groups. It’s widely expected that Dwarves, Empire and Bretonnians will be all rolled into one, as will all the various Elf factions.
- These new consolidated factions will be “chaosified” in some meaningful way (yet to be revealed).
- A new, “heavily armoured, religious” human faction (described as “basically Warhammer Fantasy Space Marines”).
Very interesting stuff, and a surprisingly ballsy move from Games “Never Change The Setting In Any Way Ever” Workshop, whose last attempt to do something of this scale (2004’s Storm of Chaos) ended in a big, wet fart.
What does this mean for retailers?
If the same rumours are true, retailers can expect to see:
- Model diversity slashed, with 3 core units per faction that are always on the shelf.
- Special units of fancy models, sold for limited times (on a rotating basis) with the rules included in the box.
- A much faster release schedule.
All in all, it’s a very exciting time for Warhammer Fantasy players. Shaking up the game like this is quite out of character for Games Workshop, so I’ll be keen to see what they announce next. Stay tuned.
Source: via Reddit
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