Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sigmar's Blood - A New Way for Warhammer?


For one of my last posts of 2013, I thought some mulling on the possible directions for Warhammer Fantasy might be in order. There have been some definite deviations lately from the strict rulebook and army book combo that has been the norm over the last few years, and this might have some clues as to the way things might be going in 2014 and beyond.

I received a copy of Sigmar's Blood as a Christmas present, and I have to say I am enjoying reading through it. There's a lot of background, in fact most of the book is just that, which, to be honest I have no problem with. In fact, I have been following the relatively recent exploits of Mannfred Von Carstein with much interest. His resurrection and endeavours thereafter have been spread out through various army books and short stories over the last few years, gathering some pace over the last year or so. It's nice to see characters and events in the Warhammer world moving forward.

There are similarities between this book and the direct only Codex such as Iyanden, Black Legion and so on insofar as they are mostly background. I don't play 40k currently, and I'll never collect eldar, but I enjoyed the Iyanden codex immensely for the background focus on that craftworld. I'm hoping there are more Warhammer Fantasy books like this in the offing.

I noticed the forces for each battle in Sigmar's Blood are termed as battle scrolls, the same as the advent calendar releases that can be taken in a regular army. I've not read the whole thing, so I don't know if I could take say, Ghorst's night stalkers in an ordinary game, but I must say the battle scrolls released over Christmas are a new direction for GW. They are official, so can be taken in a regular game, unlike scrolls of binding. Could we see a return to a less stringent game? New official rules in campaign books, white dwarf or via more digital releases? A headache for tournament organisers for sure, who up to now only have to deal with the rulebook and army books and all the associated FAQ. I can see controversy over the new battle scrolls in upcoming tournaments.

Personally I would love to see the game move in this direction, it would be wonderful to have a new rule or unit coming out each month to shake up the killer lists and armies. Hard to balance, sure, but then it's hardly a perfect game right now. Players and tournament organisers will always find a way to iron out the crinkles. I'd love  to see more models and rules for armies outside of the army book releases. How great would it be to see a new, say, vampire counts unit or regiment of renown just crop up in White Dwarf? Perhaps fantasy book releases comparable to the supplementary codex for 40k we're seeing focusing in on one specific force. Slayer army anyone? Slaaneshi dark elves? The undead of Nagash? A Nuln Empire contingent? It could be very exciting.

9th edition could hold quite a few surprises.

Wayland Games

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