Victory PointsWarhammer Fantasy is Having an Apocalyptic MeltdownVictory Points - RSS 2.0
A New Faction?
Another rumor that has been popping up is that there is going to be a new faction of good warriors fighting with the power of the gods. The first thought is that this links back to Karl Franz, the empire named character and the Emperor of the Empire of Man. In the story of the end times, he is bested and left to die upon the Altar of Sigmar, only to be infused with the power of the human god and be resurrected as an ascended hero. Fans believe that this is going to represent the prototype of a new race of human super warriors to fight against the forces of Chaos. This also ties in with the idea of the knights that drank from the cup of the Lady of the Lake and were elevated into special guardians. Truth be told though, this is actually a rumor that has been around for about 20 years now. Back in early 90's, it was long suspected that the world of Warhammer Fantasy was actually just a world cut off from the rest of the 40K universe, locked away behind the warp storms that plague certain areas of the universe. This was substantiated by stories of the coming of Sigmar, the deity of the human empire, where it stated that he was borne to the land on a twin tailed comet. This iconography was something that was paralleled in the stories of the Space Marine Primarchs arriving on their respective homeworlds. This persisted until the later 90's when Games Workshop officially stated that the worlds were not linked.
I don't think that it's likely we'll see a new faction of a super powered humans like the Adeptus Astartes in Fantasy any time soon, just like I do not really believe that the Lizardmen will be going completely away. If there is going to be a new faction, I think it may wind up being an evolution of the Lizardmen. In the End Times story, they are activating ancient powers left behind by what they consider their gods, the Old Ones. This could be anything from magical artifacts to ancient alien technologies. I find this to be a more likely option to an entirely new faction, I can see them adding new or different models to the line that also make use of the already established line of models for the Lustrian forces.
New Life to an Old Game.
This is by far the thing that has me the most excited. Fantasy has been around for multiple decades, and over that time, not a whole lot has changed. While new models have occasionally been introduced, things haven't been updated all that much. It also is a game that tend to be rather static. Folks who have already poured time and money into building an army tend to not really buy too many new models, and the cost of starting a new army is fairly prohibitive due to the number of models necessary to field a legal force. Enter the End Times, the perfect opportunity to take what has been a fairly static game and shake things up and make changes in the game in order to keep the game alive. Rumor has it that the new fantasy will become more of a skirmish style game instead of a full out rank and file game it is today. This has a strong possibility of being the case, if you look exclusively at the concept of the End Times. With the undead ravaging the world, and the living reduced to pockets of survivors or completely restructured forces, this is a distinct possibility. It places more emphasis on the characters and big guys, and less focus on the need for having tons of units of the same exact models over and over again. This also makes sense if they are combining forces to core books, where they can share core units like generic archers and pikemen, and then special characters for the specialty forces are what define that particular force.
Reducing the number of models necessary to play a complete game seems like a smart move from a business standpoint. Consider that their biggest competition in the fantasy genre are games like Warmachine and Hordes. These are smaller scale games that require far fewer models, and focus more on the special characters. While there are special troops with rules, it's not uncommon to see an "army" with only a couple of units and a handful of named characters. Something like this could be good for Fantasy, not only changing the way the game is played but reducing the barrier for new players to start playing. Then from this point, they can start to release more supplements, more models and keep the game going.
One of the rumored concepts is that 9th edition, taking place after the End Times tears the world apart, will see small pockets of reality adrift in the great sea or what we know in 40k as the Warp. When these pockets collide, that's when the battles between factions start. This also has the potential to allow for limited edition model releases and limited rules runs which can potentially help keep the game at a point of balance, something GW is routinely criticized for. With something like this they can experiment with ideas and if they don't work, they can let them disappear into the warp from whence they came. It would give them the opportunity to turn it into a living game world where they can exert constant control and influence, something that I think can only help them in the long run.
Now, there are a ton more rumors than that, and ones that have been popping up for over a year at this point, these are just some of the more major points. I for one am very excited by the potential for the game. I stopped playing Fantasy a number of years ago, but The End Times, and the rumors for the changes to the game in terms of the forces and the potential for smaller games has me incredibly intrigued and ready to dust off my knights and Elves. I wouldn't mind a shake up to the story, and a reimagining of the workings of the world as a whole, and I like the idea of the army books potentially focusing more on fluff and less on stats. I also think that all of these potential changes have the potential to bring the game back from the brink of retirement. I've been wanting to get back into the game, but I felt as though it would be too hard to get re-acquainted. Now though, I feel like that barrier is crumbling, and that 9th edition will be the perfect opportunity for me to jump back in. Everything I'm hearing sounds like a company making changes not only from a monetary standpoint, but from a playability and accessibility standpoint, and that is something I really like to be able to say. So, what do you think of the rumors so far? Do you think any of the rumored changes are more likely than others? What changes would you like to see in the new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, if any at all?