Timeline leading up to the split Warhammer community?

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    • Timeline leading up to the split Warhammer community?

      It would seem that we're about to turn full circle with the recent announcement that Warhammer Fantasy is returning. I'm casually thinking about writing a short timeline with key events along the way that lead up to the demise of WHFB and the splitting of the community, as a quick shorthand for the future. It would be something like this, though I'd appreciate if you could help me out by pinning years onto the earlier events in particular, and chip in with possible other milestones. :)


      - Games Workshop (GW) loses the costly Chapterhouse Studio court case, triggering its CEO Tom Kirby to look critically at GW's IP (though with a faulty understanding of intellectual property laws) in order to cut away the most generic and historically based aspects to protect it from competitors. Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WHFB), already performing poorly financially, is deemed a lost cause. The setting and wargame are ordered to be replaced with something more IP-secure, over the studio's protests.

      - Games Workshop announce that they are a miniature company, in response to criticism over issues of wargame rules, not least regarding balance or lack thereof.

      - Creative Assembly (CA) gains the right to produce Total War: Warhammer games.

      - The Swedish Composition System (SCS) is launched to account for the worst excesses of rules imbalance in WHFB. Sweden, being peripheral in the hobby, has a thin presence of Games Workshop stores and has seen no tournaments hosted by Games Workshop for many years. Its community is as a result already independently minded. The SCS is adopted internationally by various tournaments.

      2015 - Games Workshop launches the End Times, a series of four campaign books with miniature releases set to conclude story arcs in a hitherto static setting and end WHFB. The End Times create a surge of interest and activity among hobbyists while the event lasts.

      2015 - Games Workshop replaces WHFB (until then a monolith dominating its niche) by launching Age of Sigmar (AoS), a setting designed to not be generic nor historically based fantasy for IP reasons. This ending of much-beloved and immersive Warhammer Fantasy Battles (1983-2015) results in the first ever huge split in its community (Oldhammer movement notwithstanding), and a collapse in the numbers of active hobbyists. The initial version of Age of Sigmar rules are very short and are launched without a points system. Existing tournaments such as European Team Championship (ETC) reject the non-competitive rules and continue to play WHFB's 8th edition for a while.

      2015 - Mantic Games announce that all those who played WHFB will find a home for all their respective armies in its fantasy wargame Kings of War (KoW). The coming years will see many different companies attempt to fill out the void of the massed fantasy wargame niche left behind by GW's withdrawal of WHFB, including among others Osprey Games' Oathmark and Dragon Rampant, and A Song of Ice & Fire Tabletop Game.

      2015 - Tom Kirby resigns as CEO of Games Workshop. He is replaced by Kevin Rountree, who himself play wargames and have insights into what customers want. Rountree will launch a number of new initiatives to invigorate Games Workshop, not least in the marketing department. One early reform is the introduction of a points system to Age of Sigmar, which goes on to become a commercial success that attracts both old and new players. Yet Warhammer Fantasy remains missed, and some continue to play its old editions.

      2016 - Creative Assembly release Total War: Warhammer. A surge of new interest in its setting and accompanying tabletop wargame are met in GW stores with the news that WHFB has been ended and replaced with AoS. CA will continue to release new instalments to Total War: Warhammer, both of an acclaimed high standard and true to the setting. The computer games are a commercial success.

      - The community-driven wargame the Ninth Age (T9A) is launched. Several of those previously involved in the Swedish Composition System are part of its large crew. The Ninth Age summarize all armies found in WHFB by including units not supported in later editions, and develops a rule set aimed for competitive balance. The Ninth Age develops the most balanced rank & file fantasy wargame seen to date, yet it will have problems reaching out to casual wargamers, while others find issue with T9A developing its own setting instead of being an unofficial WHFB fan project. Nevertheless the Ninth Age quickly becomes the largest community-developed fantasy wargame following the cancellation of WHFB. Many of the small fantasy miniature producers sign up as supporting companies of T9A.

      2019 - Games Workshop announce that they will bring back Warhammer Fantasy to tabletop within the coming 2-3 years. The news spread through fantasy wargaming communities like wildfire, a testament to Warhammer Fantasy's enduring allure and immersion attained from over 30 years of development by many learned minds and skilled hands. Excitement and interest are shown by many hobbyists who have been inactive since the End Times.

      The post was edited 12 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • points you may add:

      2000-2006, 6th Edition Warhammer is released with a re-worked rules set and army list booklet to have all armies on the same level, going from a more RPG/Hero focused game to a troop focused one.
      It becomes the dominant TableTop tournament game in a lot of countries (replacing Battletech in some which already struggled in the late 90ies)

      2006-2010, during early 7th Edition GW declines/refuses to give official FAQ/Errata with a "we don't make mistakes" statement, leading to different community comps.

      "Lore of Akito" is the dominant Community Comp in German Speaking countries and compensating most flaws of Warhammer by that time (including FAQ/Errata for armies not updated by GW).
      It is replaced by SCS after ETC uses it in 8th.

      2009, a disappointed Alessio Cavatore starts creating Kings of War after the statement "that he can write a much better game on 20 pages total if GW would give him some freedom in development" was heard by Ronni Renton from Mantic Games in a pub.

      2016, after Kirby resigned (and AoS fails) AoS gets a major update making a community comp official and changes the game from the ground up

      2018, 2nd Edition AoS is released

      2019, 3rd Edition Kings of War was released, again with a main book and a dupplement compatible with former Warhammer Armies

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Kodos der Henker ().

    • Karak Norn Clansman wrote:

      Games Workshop (GW) loses the costly Chapterhouse Studio court case, triggering its CEO Tom Kirby to look critically at GW's IP
      Weeeellll.....

      1. In October 2014 Chapterhouse shut down their website after having their assets frozen by Games Workshop.
      2. Chapterhouse was ordered to pay GW damages of $25,000 USD
      3. As of fall 2018, the Chapterhouse site seems to have been shut down once again, with links no longer working and the site no longer showing up in google search




      The case destroyed the Chapterhouse. Hardly a victory. Even if GW failed to win all claims they got about 50% of them. They made an important point, though:

      They mean business when they send you letter of demand.
      After the Chapterhouse case they no longer needed to battle in court for their rights. Sending letter of demand was enough for companies to flee in panic. Prime example here is Warbanner case.




      Warbanner was bullied to change their name... as they've chosen poorly then they had to change again to:


      StormRider Games
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    • Thanks, folks! Most interesting. This question was raised in some detail over on Chaos Dwarfs Online by one member back when Chapterhouse seemed to emerge victorious from the case. I missed any news on the final solution to the Chapterhouse Studios case, and just assumed the company had closed for unrelated reasons.

      Still, the fallout on Warhammer Fantasy from Chapterhouse's early success in the case (final defeat notwithstanding) remains the same.
    • Tbh a timeline like this that stretches back to the start of Warhammer would be soooo cool. Mentioning the different editions, designers, the ideas and the reasons behind them, etc.

      Nice work thus far, though! I want to recall that there was a gap spanning several months between the last End Times book and the release of AoS where no one knew what was to come, and the lack of information (akin to how GW used to run things) combined with the certaintinty that 9th Edition surely would be arriving any minute made the coming of AoS such a shock. The ending of Fantasy was like a reversed Big Bang, and the 4 page ruleset to AoS that first came sure had no points listed in it for playing - but worse it had "fluffy" rules that broke the fourth wall. "Twirl your mustasch and laugh like a villain to gain a reroll for your Empire Captain", "if you play at night your vampire count gets to reroll his vampiric blood abillity", and similar rules, etc. It made everyone so confused.

      The feeling people have now for GWs Old World announcment is the same people had when 9th Age was announced back in 2015, the same year we lost Fantasy.
      GW has changed since then, and maybe those changes could be added to the timeline? Like how they have revamped White Dwarf from not only being a collection of pictures of their miniatures (basically adds you paid to see), that they have hired new and young faces for a fresh start and new perspective, and that they actually have started talking to their customers and made a lot of new games etc.
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    • 1979, Games Workshop, European distributor for D&D, founded Citadel Miniatures to make models for RPG's in the UK

      1983, GW creates Warhammer to mix Fantasy RPG's with Wargames (and to sell more Citadel models to gamers)

      1987, Citadel Miniatures produces their first plastic models

      1992, 4th Edition Warhammer is released, the first time with a Core Box including models.

      1996, 5th Edition Warhammer released. Now available in different languages, making the game more popular outside the UK.
      We also see several historical wargames released based on 5th core rules (eg: Warhammer Ancient Battles, Legends of the Old West) with the new formed publisher Warhammer Historical

      2009, GW released War of the Rings, a R&F Ruleset to be used with their LotR models, considered by some people the better Fantasy game by that time and attracts Warhammer players who stayed away from the Skirmish game before

      2012, GW closes Warhammer Historical, and the Perry Twins now create historical miniatures through their own company (while still doing LotR models for GW)

      2015, LotR is hit by GW's "double the price half the box" strategy to maximize profits (literally, former 24 model boxes were replaced by 12 model boxes for double the price of the old box) but unlike the Warhammer Community, LotR gamers did not stayed loyal to GW and the game was basically dead over night.
    • Karak Norn Clansman wrote:

      (...) the case (final defeat notwithstanding) remains the same.
      Technically the final outcome was a draw. And the reasons why Chapterhouse went out of business are not public. However fee, losing many of their designs, disruption of their business when they had their shop closed that all could trigger their final fall. If you are hit by a bus at 90 mph you hit the bus as hard. Technically it is a draw, too...
      StormRider Games
      StormRider Facebook
      _____________Current goals:
      • Launch crowdfunding campaign to publish The IXth Age Legendary rulebook in Hardcover
      • Convert and paint army of Ogres for my son
    • Maybe it belongs better in the WHtow thread, but it's also fun trivia for here I think:

      20xx, Forgeworld releases Tamurkhan - Throne of Chaos.
      It's essentially a campaign book of a nurgle invasion with new units and lists for both Chaos Dwarfs and Marienburger I think. This basically brought CD back on the map with a list, new things like k'daii(?) and new war machines. It was used in tournaments and thus became the starting point for ID being a thing later in t9a.
      It's really a shame that the Marienburger weren't done as a proper dogs of war list, afaik they were some kind of mercenary force. If GW/FW had done something like this to dogs of war, t9a would likely started with 17 armies :/

      The other point: From what I've read back then from rumours and later, Tamurkhan kind of started as a proto-end times. Rick Priestley thought it up as 4 campaign books of 4 chaos invasions in all directions of the world. One for each Chaos God. It was supposed to advance the time line (not end it though) with the dire consequences of these invasions. One thing I remember is that Karl Franz was supposed to die and due to some King Ralph style throne successor shenanigans a Halfling would end up to be emperor.
      But things didn't work out, I think GW didn't want such a deep cut in the narrative (lol) and wanted stuff to be like it ever was.
      - Insert joke about end times/aos/nu40k -
      Rick Priestley left GW and Tamurkhan became a more regular kind of FW book like the 40k ones. Although it looks still pretty cool, I haven't read it yet but it's on my shelf.

      There's also a website with lots of interviews of him and the GW guys of the first hours, very interesting stuff. I don't have the bookmark on the phone and can't remember the name right now, unfortunately.
      doing the Lorenzo Lupo Workout everyday till Iron Crowns AB is released
    • Karak Norn Clansman wrote:

      2016 - ...
      - The community-driven wargame the Ninth Age (T9A) is launched...
      It was 2015.
      The initial impetus for the project was in a post on The Warhammer Forum written on June 30, 2015.
      The first versions of the rules were delivered on July 11, 2015.

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