Warhammer 8th Edition? No Thanks!

But first the results from the poll…

Warhammer Fantasy Battles  2 (33%)

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay  0 (0%)

Warhammer: Invasion  3 (50%)

Chaos in the Old World  1 (16%)

Chaos Marauders  0 (0%)

Warhammer Quest  0 (0%)

HeroQuest  0 (0%)

Blood Bowl  0 (0%)

Mordheim  0 (0%)

Warmaster  0 (0%)

Man O' War  0 (0%)

I may have skewed those results a little by posting a Warhammer Invasion post… sorry… But the reason for the poll was that with Warhammer Fantasy Battles now entering it’s 8th edition less than four years after 7th edition was released, I have made the decision to stop buying the books.

The truth is that 7th ed is probably just as broken as 5th (Hero Hammer as it became known.) 6th edition was probably the most important edition of the game to date, but I never won a game under that ruleset.

I have several major issues with the idea of an 8th edition. They are as follows:

  1. Just over half of all the current armies saw an army book release under 7th edition. Core Races such as the Bretonnians saw nothing, along with Tomb Kings, Ogre Kingdoms and Wood Elves… not to mention Dogs of War, Kislev and Chaos Dwarves.
  2. On top of that the price of the army books has risen from £10 (during 6th edition when we were told that you would never need to buy a core rulebook ever again and that only the army books would be updated) to £17.50. This means that buying just the core rules and the army book will now set you back in excess of £50. That doesn’t include any models and that is assuming you only collect one army.
  3. Every new release generally makes previous releases obsolete. Unlike in 40k where a new plastic kit generally looks like the old plastic kit. Not in WHFB. Stylistically the look and feel of each army changes with each new edition, meaning to make your force look coherent you must replace all of your core units, or you can spend outrageous amounts on eBay trying to find Out of Production versions to continue your army’s look.  

So, yes, it’s an issue of price. It’s an issue of profit over loyalty. It’s an issue of feeling like you’re being forced to buy new materials. No other system does this. 8th edition may well be the very definitive version of the game, the best the system can be… but in four years it will be obsolete, just like the other 7 that proceeded it.

Since the first edition in 1983 there have been 8 editions, that’s one edition every 3.3 years. That’s mental! I am more than happy to spend £50 on a new game or £30 on an expansion, but to spend this kind of money on a game I already own! Worst of all the “new” rulebook is not even new. The revisions for seventh edition were summarised on two pages in White Dwarf, two pages out of a 200 and odd page rulebook for £35… get serious!

So, this was the reason for the poll. Yes, I will continue to play Warhammer (although there will be a certain number of revisions to the rules if I do.) but what I was hoping to find was a game that captured the look and feel of the game without the expense or the storage space. 

Overall I think that if you are looking for a Warhammer game that really captures the universe (either Fantasy or 40k) then you cannot go wrong with Fantasy Flight. For quality and support they are the number one suppliers of the Warhammer Universe in all it’s diversity, long may they continue this excellent trend.

To that end, the next £50 (Check Play.com) I spend on Warhammer will be to pick up the RPG core set because, bang for buck, this is a far more immersive system.

Sorry that this week’s post has a slightly negative slant. My thanks to everyone who voted in the pole and all the people who read this blog and generally make it a very nice place to visit and to write for.