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"Did Warlord Games Cause the Demise of Warhammer Hist?" Topic

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wmyers11 Jan 2020 11:34 a.m. PST

As the title asks, did the formation of Warlord Games cause Games Workshop to shut down Warhammer Historical?

GW did not sell historical figures. Warlord does and started selling their Romans in 2008.


I am sure there is a lot of behind the scenes politics that we may never know.

Despite the leading title, I do not think the success of former employees (those formed Warlord Games) intentionally caused the demise of the system. Warlord probably welcomed this as their game system (Hail Caesar) now had one less competitor.

RudyNelson11 Jan 2020 11:47 a.m. PST

Not in my opinion. Warhammer HY died long before they became popular.
However Warlord rules has affected other systems and increased interest in 28mm rather than mass combat with 15mm.

Wargamer Blue11 Jan 2020 4:15 p.m. PST

WHH was given over to Forge World to manage. Mr WHH, Rob Broom was made redundant. That was the demise of WHH. And probably the number one reason WG was able to fill that gap and become huge.

Bowman11 Jan 2020 7:03 p.m. PST

Absolutely not.

Warhammer Historical died when:

1) They made Rob Broom "redundant".
2) When GW screwed around Martin Gibbins with WAB 2
3) When GW sent the wrong copy of WAB 2 to the printers
4) When Forge World were put in charge of everything historical
5) When John Stallard and Paul Sawyer were also made "redundant" in 2007

GW did a great job, all by themselves, in killing off a great set of rules and any sustained interest in their historical games. This left a vacuum in the hobby that John Stallard and Paul Sawyer cleverly exploited.

Might as well theorize if Scarab Miniatures killed off Warhammer Historical.

Skeptic11 Jan 2020 11:01 p.m. PST

Bowman +1

Griefbringer12 Jan 2020 5:19 a.m. PST

While it may have been a big presence in the historical rules scene, from the perspective of the GW management Warhammer Historical Wargames was probably a niche sideshow waiting to be streamlined.

5) When John Stallard and Paul Sawyer were also made "redundant" in 2007

How much were they actually involved in the Warhammer Historical business? I am aware that John Stallard wrote the Warhammer English Civil War (published ca. 2002), but I have not heard of Paul Sawyer being involved in the historical product design until he got to Warlord.

On another note, around the same time some (to my knowledge) ex-GW employees established Renedra, which tooled some of the first British 28 mm historical plastic kits to make it to the market.

Syrinx012 Jan 2020 8:47 p.m. PST

Bowman +1.

JJartist13 Jan 2020 2:29 p.m. PST

Bowman +1

Mithmee15 Jan 2020 12:47 p.m. PST

GW did a great job, all by themselves, in killing off a great set of rules and any sustained interest in their historical games.

Well GW does have a really great track record of doing just that to many of its other games as well.

The H Man15 Jan 2020 3:35 p.m. PST

Maybe it has to do with dropping WFB. As WAB was based upon it.

Also remember that, to my knowledge, WFB figures could be used in WAB, empire and the like. AOS, not so much, though LOTR rebased, definitely. So there may have been some figure sale interest originally.

GW have suggested bringing back WFB, so a new WAB may follow???

Griefbringer16 Jan 2020 2:28 a.m. PST

Maybe it has to do with dropping WFB. As WAB was based upon it.

Warhammer historical was discontinued much before WHFB was dropped in summer 2015.

Also, besides the WAB (based on WHFB 5th edition) there were a number of other rules that Warhammer Historical produced, such as:
- Warhammer English Civil War (based on WHFB 6th edition)
- Warmaster Ancients (based on Warmaster)
- Legends of the Old West (based on LotR)

Bowman17 Jan 2020 5:52 a.m. PST

GW have suggested bringing back WFB, so a new WAB may follow???

Interesting speculation. It will be about 2 years for "Old World" (or whatever they are calling it) to become available, according to GW.

In the old days , many of the creative people at GW we're historical wargamers that just happened to put out fantasy and sci-fi games. I wonder if that is still the case. I'm doubtful that a new WAB will show up from GW

Mithmee17 Jan 2020 1:34 p.m. PST

They really do not have any creative individuals left since most of the ones they did have move on to other companies.

wmyers18 Jan 2020 7:57 p.m. PST

Thank you for the insight Bowman.

I admit my initial query's title was designed to gain attention and possibly a tiny bit of controversy.

I have never heard the wrong set of rules for Version 2.0 was sent to the printer before (or skrewing over Martin Gibbons)!

Can anyone give more information about this?

Bowman20 Jan 2020 6:19 p.m. PST

So here is Jeff Jonas' take on it (JJartist from upstream)


A few of the old WAB tournament players were in the process of getting supplements made for WAB 1.5. Some had finished manuscripts and then there was me. I was at the, "We like your outline, we are interested, so flesh it out and show us something" stage. This was for the armies of Meso America and South America, if anyone's interested.

Then Rob Broom was made "redundant". Then the WAB 2 fiasco happened. I believe Martin Gibbins' final draught was not the one sent to the printers. I have that from another WAB supplement author. Martin was trying to make army lists with a few volumes to cover different time periods and geographical areas. The new powers that be from Forge World then indicated that they only wanted 1 book of army lists. Martin contacted me and asked if I could supply two lists for the book, Conquistadors and Aztecs. In the end, they didn't want them either. Once Armies of Antiquity was released Martin was released also.

The embedded links don't work, unfortunately:


Maybe I have a few things wrong and the others can chime in with corrections. I believe Jeff was working on a Successors book, there was one supposed to be on Julius Caesar, one on Early Medieval Europe, one on the ACW(!) and my book. Luckily I was just at the, "let's start to do the preliminary writing" phase.


I did meet and befriend an excellent group of players at the WAB tournaments at the HMGS conventions. I got to play against Jeff and his beautifully painted Macedonian army once. Unfortunately, a large amount of my dumb-ass Vikings ended up on the wrong end of the sarissas.

MartinDG21 Jan 2020 3:37 a.m. PST

When I submitted the revised rules. I was told that WH wanted to edit the wording to give the same writing style as the earlier versions 1.0 and 1.5, which was fair enough. This was entrusted to Rick Priestley. Rick did correspond with me while doing the work to ensure he understood the alterations we had made, unfortunately when the rules were published, some of the detail had been lost/changed, I am not sure why or how.
WH decided while we were working on the army lists that it would only issue one book to support the ruleset, probably due to the imminent closure of the division. This meant that all the additional lists that were being generated were lost as there was only room to convert the lists from the existing books.

Bowman21 Jan 2020 7:14 a.m. PST

Thanks Martin.

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