Warhammer Fantasy Battle 9th Edition Rumours

Bloodletters for Warhammer Fantasy

It is a common belief that Games Workshop has settled into something close to a bi-annual, alternating rotation for updating the “editions” (main rules) of their two main games of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K (does LoTR/the Hobbit still count as “main game”?). If that is true, the next edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle – 9th Edition – may be less than a year away.

  • 2004 – Warhammer 40.000 4th Edition
  • 2006 – Warhammer Fantasy 7th Edition
  • 2008 – Warhammer 40.000 5th Edition
  • 2010 – Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition
  • 2012 – Warhammer 40.000 6th Edition
  • 2014 – Warhammer Fantasy 9th Edition (?)

In a similar vein, many people believe Games Workshop is pushing for an update of Warhammer Fantasy Battle sooner rather than later because the last, 8th Edition of the game didn’t do very well (it still seems easier to find a game of Fantasy than 40K in my parts of the UK though).

Now early rumours were shared via Faeit212. If they hold a kernel of truth, the coming changes will certainly be more than cosmetic.

Warhammer Fantasy 9th Edition Rumours

via Tim the Thief on Faeit 212
New Rumors for the 9th Edition of Warhammer Fantasy

  • All Softcover Armybooks will obsolet with the new release.
  • The Starter Box will released at the same time as the Hardback Rulebook
  • The Set will include a Book called “Armies of Warhammer”, this Book will handle simplified Armylists for ALL avaitable Armies.
  • Armies of Warhammer will give Player a little view of all Armies and they Units, also it will be a transitional solution for the obsolet Armybooks
  • Armies of Warhammer will be a part in the Hardback Rulebook
  • The Rulebook in the Set will be a simplified “Starter Rulebook”
  • A smaller complete Hardback Rulebook will released too, called “Warhammer – The Rules”Rules
  • The ruleset will chance again, GW has recognized the last Edition was an hard inpact for sells of Warhammer products
  • The number of special rules will reduced
  • There will be no releases of Fantasy Suppliments, the books will contain more background. Page numbers up to 150 pages are possible!

Your Thoughts?

Rumours being rumours and all that, it did seem like a good opportunity to have a brief discussion about the current state of Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

  • Is Warhammer Fantasy in the doldrums where you game? More so than before 8th Edition?
  • If so, what would it take to re-energize the game in your opinion?
  • Are these rumours things you think would do the trick?

Let me know what you think and leave a comment!


Image: Warhammer Fantasy Bloodletters by Michael Little via Games Workshop.


I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at www.pinsofwar.net.
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  • Puck

    From what I can tell, 8th lost it’s way by reverting the changes that 6th sought to bring out, namely reduce the impact of magic and make troops the focus of success. 8th kind of reverted a lot of that with the I keeeeel you with my magic phase and new monster rules. The magic phase is fairly unbalanced atm and out focuses the other two damage phases. That means more focus in on magic user characters and consequently the same issues 5th edition had.

    Well that and the additional costs of fielding a competitive army with the new horde rules and large monster kits. It just feels clunky in effect, less about maneuvering and tactical choices.

    • ldogray

      Some races need that magic do the the unbalance of core type troops through different races, Chaos warriors for instance would be nearly imposable to fight in a 1500pt are smaller army for High elves or wood elves without high magic damage

  • Marty

    Oddly enough Fantasy is growing stronger than ever around here (NJ tri-state area). We have tournaments that overflow our already spacious independent retailer at about 30-32 people per fantasy tournament, where 40k draws anywhere from 14-18 at most. I’d hate to see Fantasy change so drastically that it loses its appeal. People don’t like 8th edition, but they love playing anyway. I am hoping that 9th doesn’t ruin the game for some people.

  • loremaster

    WFB has seen a change through 8th Ed..yes.

    I would say that the game is now far more enjoyable and a game where more armies have the potential to win a game or tournamnet. The over powerful magic phases which favoured specific armies more than others, was a very welcome change. I find this new eddition much more balanced and if anything requires gamers/generals to have to consider tact more. Where is the fun in a game that is dominated by power-house army lists. I do agree however that pre-measuring and line of sight rules seriously need amending. As for Magic I think pilling up the powerdice should be kept to a limit and have its consequences, as magic should be unpredictable due to its very nature. The whole point of a battle between armies consisting of ‘troops’ not just ‘wizards’ should be more reliant on a generals ability to manouvre and engage the right units tactically. As for the winds of magic, this was a 5th ed twist yes, but the part of 5th ed, that was far more convincing than 6th and 7th ed.

    If you ask me it just needs a few refining tweeks to the rules as we witnessed in the transition from 6th to 7th ed. I think a total rules over-haul here would be far more dangerous to WFB in terms of support from the consumer. As after finaly adjusting all your armies to a totaly new rules set and after all the army book new releases to then have to not just learn but adjust to a totaly new set of rules would be increadably stupid and damaging, as this would be far more likely to put people off completely. The new rules introduction has only had 4 years by 9th ed. A sudden revert to a total over-haul would to the conesuer clearly spell out total in-competance, un-professionalism and dare I say totaly consumer un-friendly.

    As for any paper back army books being obselete upon release of 9th edition I have to laugh at this because this would mean that Dark-Elves, Dwarves, Brettonians and Wood Elves would be ruled out!!?? Thus reducing GW’s scope to apeal to a broad spectrum of consumers and supply to the demands of those who appreciate Fantasy.

    And for the record I would say that there are a number of reasons why Fantasy players would be in decline. These reasons are not so much due to V8 rules, but more so the appearance of competition. The newly launched Mantic system Kings of War, which gives you more bang for your bucks and the more established Privateer Press systems Warmachine and Hordes. I would say that prices and choice of competition have impacted more detremently here, rather than just rules alone.

    • Cruzcontrol39

      8th killed Fantasy with everyone I know…

  • Thundergun Express

    The problem is the price. I have watched the cost of armies and books climb to ridiculous heights over the years since the early 90′s when I first started, until I myself finally lost interest. It’s unrealistic to expect young gamers to spend crazy amounts on a game. Their sales in the states at least have drastically dropped and they are closing down stores. My gaming friends all agree that we saw it coming due to GW’s shady business practices and money-grubbing. It’s really a shame to see such a great game fall over sh*tty business.


    8th is a love/hate for me. I like the random charge range, the focus on core troops, and the great selection of magic items. However the idea that armies needed to be larger and larger started to become a turn off. Also the core magic was almost to powerful. I feel if they can scale the magic down, take out pre-measure, and put more product in a box then Fantasy will start taking off again.

  • brandon

    quit crying don t fix what isn’t broken

  • brandon

    best its ever been

  • A follower of Nagash

    I think that warhammer is a game of mind.. . . . lets face it you need to use your brains to play it do we not??? it costs an arm and a leg to collect a fantasy army and then you need to learn to play it! so to do this you need the rule book! costs alot! then the army book for your chosen army costs alot again then you need to get all the models to play the game. cost a bomb! i don,t think they need to make the game easy to play, i think they need to drop the price of all there products and get people back playing, i have now played this game for 21 years and seen many changes and its always the price of it that stops people playing it, we have had a gamer club for 15 years and it had 27 people in it to start with, now there are four of us because they cant keep up with the price changes that happen every time they want to revamp the armys, yea there some good models but there charging far to much for people to enjoy there product, put life back in the game bring back the fantasy of it all! and make it cheaper for people to get hold of. dont change the 9th edition rules. . . . change the price and the way you get the people to feel the game!

    • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

      Is it.

      Of course you need to use your brains to play. But a huge collection of complex rules don’t necessarily make a game challenging for the mind and vice versa.

      To use the old favourite of Chess, it’s rules comfortably fit on a page. But it is very much a game that requires you to use your brains, and takes a lifetime to master.

      So is the complexity of Warhammer (Fantasy & 40K) truly adding that much? Is it needed to make a challenging game? Or does it, on occasion, run into the opposite of direction of chess with lots and lots and lots of rules that don’t really add depth or challenge to the game as such, and require no “brains” to use beyond blind memorization?

      • A follower of Nagash

        i understand what your saying. but it does add depth to the game keeping the rules rather than making them dull. it is a game of chess but with far more pieces and more options to what the pieces can do, i have no trouble understanding the game and if you read the rule book so will anyone. as for brains you do need them, you need them to out smart your opponent and keeping the rules gives you plenty to think about and tactics to out smart the players and rules of there armys. to make them simple would make it dull. plus gw could make the rules fit in a smaller book if they didnt add pics of models and descriptions of stuff that people dont need to know

  • Matthew Fraser-Smith

    I gave up playing fantasy as its so damn over complicated. In the end just stuck with 40k. Shame, but I cant keep remembering all of it and 40k and other info (like how to use Photoshop or final cut) all in side my head. It has fantastic opportunity but is bogged down in mega over complex rules , primarily in movement and assault. Not saying it should be made stupidly easy but just less. A new edition could breath new life into the game.

  • DruchiiGuy

    I can report country-wide that 8th has caused gamer numbers to decline, at least at tournaments. Around 20-30% drop. I think some of it is due to high model counts (horde rule) and having to re-buy entire armies after a new army book comes out. I personally stopped playing a bit due to the randomness – I noticed that, with two skilled players, luck in the magic phase has more to do with deciding success than anything else. I have better things to do with my time than spend 3+ hours on a game that is decided when one player miscasts on a fireball and loses an archmage while another gets a perfect mindrazor (or other doom spell) off and kills 1000 points. I think the rules should definitely be less complicated, less random, more focused on troops than on magic, but at the same time – allow for more strategy.