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"Warhammer the historical world?" Topic

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The H Man14 Nov 2023 7:29 p.m. PST

I have been wondering if Warhammer the old world is not a precursor to a new Warhammer historical range.

40k and AOS don't seem like good fits for historical.

Warhammer fantasy was already turned historical and has an existing fan base.

Also look at what warlord games have done with historicals, as if GW wouldn't want a piece (all) of that.

Just like TOW, it's already been done, and just needs a clean up.

Also they are so well versed in miniatures, historical ranges would be easy and could do very well.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2023 7:45 p.m. PST

And sell this to whom?
It's not their demographic.

Besides, their sculptors would be paralyzed because they wouldn't know where to put the "skullz."

The H Man15 Nov 2023 12:00 a.m. PST


Good joke though!

Fantasy and sci-fi (maybe a bad example there), wasn't warlords demographic either from memory. I'm pretty sure they started with Romans.

Jokes aside, GW have done a very good job on the LOTR sculpts, recent GC prints and fine cast aside.

They can sculpt "historical" miniatures with not a skull in sight.

And that's another thing I conveniently trimmed above for brevity.

I feel the LOTR license may be up soon. So there goes the "historical" game.

Now, if GW only had some rules available for a true historical game, then they could pump out royalty free historical type miniatures.

I suspect, in part, TOW may be a test for this, along with replacing LOTR as it's "Tolkien" game, among other things, such as (+/-) bringing back metal to mainstream GW.

The demographic/market problem is not really there.

The Perry's had no issues, nore warlord.

GW have rebranded to Warhammer, so selling historical miniatures sounds very fitting.

Historical miniatures are also usually a better option than sci-fi or fantasy. No licence, existing market, easy to show off to new people with little explanation needed.

Also, with TOW, GW will (presumably) be returning to their ye olde make your own terrain mindset, to some level. Actual flock over overpriced tufts. Sand instead of skulls. So on.

Sounds like a good fit for historical wargames also.

Griefbringer15 Nov 2023 1:14 a.m. PST

Warhammer Historical Wargames sub-branch was originally driven by certain influential staff members (Rick Priestley, John Stallard, Nigel Stillman, Perry twins, Jervis Johnson), who were interested also in historical gaming and re-enactment. AFAIK those persons are now largely gone from the company.

The issue with historical miniatures for GW is that there is little these that they could make their own, unique thing, like they can in principle do with their fantasy/SF ranges (which visually draw influences from a lot of sources, but that is another issue). They can freely sculpt a Greek hoplite without needing a lisence, but so can everyone else, and it is much more difficult to come up with strong trademarks than in fantasy side, where you can come up with completely new words for the products ("Zbornian Maluscator" might not be very descriptive, but that would make it a strong trademark from a legal perspective).

Also, lisencing works in multiple directions – in the past GW has made not insignificant amounts of money by lisencing their own fantasy/SF settings e.g. to computer game manufacturers.

The Last Conformist15 Nov 2023 5:41 a.m. PST

Did Warhammer Historical ever make any money, let alone turn a reasonable return on investment? I have this feeling it was largely a vanity project, but maybe I'm wrong.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2023 6:31 a.m. PST

I think Griefbringer has a point about proprietary work and historical figures. I think the closest that you will find is a semi-historical "faction" that fits into one of their worlds.

Griefbringer15 Nov 2023 7:10 a.m. PST

Did Warhammer Historical ever make any money, let alone turn a reasonable return on investment?

I presume they did enough money to justify their existence for a time. They were quite low budget operation, with at most one full time employee (Rob Broom), assisted part time by the layout/production team when needed. The authors tended to be external freelancers.

But in the overall scheme of things, they were a small sideshow when it came to revenues.

I think the closest that you will find is a semi-historical "faction" that fits into one of their worlds.

Many of the older WHFB human figure ranges tended to have a number of semi-historical figures, but after year 2000 or so the trend seemed to be more and more to the fantasy side consider e.g. the 2004 Bretonnians compared to their predecessors in the 80's and 90's.

Garand15 Nov 2023 8:34 a.m. PST

I think at best you MIGHT get a supplement. It would be interesting if some interested parties approached GW with the idea of licensing WHFB to do a series of supplements & army lists, though…


Frothers Did It And Ran Away15 Nov 2023 8:42 a.m. PST

As others have said, Warhammer Historical was a vanity project of Rick Preistley, Jervis Johnson and the Perrys. They're all gone now and I doubt any of the current staff, being all GW fanboys living the dream, give two hoots about historical wargaming.

Who are the biggest historical wargame companies – Warlord? Battlefront? Perry? Their turnover combined is a tiny fraction of GW's numbers. Resurrecting WAB would be a big investment with close to zero return.

And TBH, we don't need it. Hail Caesar, War and Conquest, Clash of Empires, Swordpoint are all next gen WAB offspring. You can get just about any 28mm historical figure range you might want somewhere. I can't see that GW getting into historicals would bring us anything we don't already have.

Malatesta150015 Nov 2023 11:15 a.m. PST

Here is what happened to Warhammer Historical from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Rick talks about it from around the 17 mins 13 seconds time stamp : YouTube link

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2023 7:50 p.m. PST

Griefbringer. You brought me grief by making me look up AFAIK!
(BTW, the sentence is no different without the confusing acronym.)

Now, what is TOW?

The H Man15 Nov 2023 11:28 p.m. PST

TOW. The old world. As in Warhammer: the old world.

So, what is BTW?

Griefbringer16 Nov 2023 1:06 a.m. PST

Griefbringer. You brought me grief by making me look up AFAIK!

Apologies for that, I assumed that would be well enough known abbreviation by now.

I hope you did not try to do an image search to see what "Zbornian Maluscator" looks like…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2023 7:35 a.m. PST

BTW= By the way.
TBH = to be honest.
YMMV = Your mileage may vary.
TANSTAAFL = There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

(Yeah, I know nobody brought that up, I just happen to like it. And it's Old School.)

Marcus Brutus16 Nov 2023 5:51 p.m. PST

And TBH, we don't need it. Hail Caesar, War and Conquest, Clash of Empires, Swordpoint are all next gen WAB offspring.

Good point. Although the WAB has been fractured a bit by various the next generation options. So perhaps that is what is most missed.

Louis XIV17 Nov 2023 4:09 a.m. PST

Rick Priestley, John Stallard, Nigel Stillman, Perry twins, Jervis Johnson

We should add Andy Chambers to the GOAT list but haven't they all relocated to Warlord to do their thing?

Legend of Doom17 Nov 2023 4:29 a.m. PST

Andy Chambers was not involved in Warhammer Histoirical , he ended up working for Mongoose and did Slaine for Warlord.

I am always curious as to why people consider Hail Caesar to be a WAB successor when its mechanisms, play style and presentation are completely different. I know I have played it and WHAB. Clash of Empires is pretty much WAB mark 3, practically identical and yet it failed to rally the wab faithful

Sandinista17 Nov 2023 9:11 p.m. PST

Hail Caesar is mor of a Warmaster successor game

Griefbringer18 Nov 2023 6:48 a.m. PST

We should add Andy Chambers to the GOAT list but haven't they all relocated to Warlord to do their thing?

Andy Chambers was involved in a lot of things during his 14 years in the Games Workshop, but I do not recall him being involved in any of the Warhammer Historical publications during that time.

As for the others:
- John Stallard went to found Warlord Games together with Paul Sawyer (who was not much of a historical gamer during his GW years)
- Rick Priestley wrote a few rules sets that were published by Warlord Games
- Perry twins run their own miniatures company
- Nigel Stillman supposedly left the whole gaming industry

Legend of Doom22 Nov 2023 3:53 p.m. PST

I hear that GW sacked Nigel Stillman and that he ended up working at a DIY chain store

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