There has been a lot of confusion over the future of WHFB and what 9th edition will look like. At one point there were rumours it would become a skirmish game with round bases (which wouldn’t make much sense given that so much of the recent WHFB releases have been big monster kits that would be out of place in a skirmish game), now the rumours point to some sort of middle ground between that rumour and the current edition, a game where you have both round and square bases that can be both a large scale fantasy battle game and a small scale fantasy skirmish game. In my view we have no idea what WHFB 9th edition will look like and with no solid rumours all we have is wild speculation and this is demonstrated by the diversity of the rumours coming through.
I have no way of knowing what 9th edition WHFB will look like but I can draw some conclusions from what we currently have for WHFB. I doubt that 9th edition will be a skirmish game mainly because the current range of WHFB army books wouldn’t work with a small scale skirmish game and that a skirmish version of WHFB would invalidate all current army books which would raise the question why release the Dwarf and Wood Elf army books last year if you planned on invalidating them one year later. The current army books wouldn’t work with a small scale game, image what a Demon Prince or Demigryph would do in a game like Mordheim for example.
I also think the rumour of round bases is unlikely to be true. If you have ever been to a tournament, spent time looking at people’s armies online or seen the showcase armies in past White Dwarves you will know that people put as much time into the bases of the models as they do the models themselves and I doubt even GW would be willing to risk the amount of customer outrage that would be generated by forcing people to either abandon WHFB or redo the bases of their entire army.
So what do I think WHFB 9th edition will look like? It seems to be fact that WHFB isn’t doing as well as 40k and needs a reboot (and for some reason people who don’t play WHFB seem to love telling people who do that WHFB is dying and is a dead game and so on, it gets quite annoying). One of the reasons given for this is that the amount of models needed to get into WHFB is quite high compared to 40k where the count is lower (although considering that the trend in 40k Codices is for units to cost less I am not sure how long this will remain true). What this could mean is that the scale of WHFB is reduced; perhaps we could see rules that try and ensure the game runs best at 1500 points or even 1000 points or maybe we could see a points increase for all WHFB units in 9th editions army books meaning that you need less models for games.
In truth I have no idea what 9th edition will look like but I can say with some certainty that it will not look like any of the versions offered up so far by the rumour mill. Aside from that all we can really say about 9th edition is that it is coming and that the End Times will have a great impact on the lore of 9th edition. Personally I am optimistic about 9th edition while at the same time not really having any clue as to what it will look like. At this stage that can be done is to sit back and see what comes. Until next time.
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