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"Warhammer the historical world?" Topic

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The H Man14 Nov 2023 8:29 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 8:45 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 1:00 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 2:14 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 6:41 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 7:31 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 8:10 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 9:34 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 9:42 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 12:15 p.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 8:50 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 Man16 Nov 2023 12:28 a.m. PST

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

So, what is BTW?

Griefbringer16 Nov 2023 2:06 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 8:35 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 6:51 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 5:09 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 5:29 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 10:11 p.m. PST

Hail Caesar is mor of a Warmaster successor game

Griefbringer18 Nov 2023 7:48 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 4:53 p.m. PST

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

Empgamer14 Dec 2023 12:58 a.m. PST

I really liked WAB v1, the supplements were great, I was even lucky enough to be sent the draft of the Crusades one that never happened. Sadly I think WAB 2 was a bit of a disaster that did the game no favours and then GW killed it. I find it hard to recommend and version of it to anyone these days given the trouble you'd have in finding the rules and the army lists anywhere. One thing I prefer about Hail Caesar though is the command rules, something WAB lacked. I doubt WAB will ever re-surface, as has been said, GW can't control the minis. They could still make them, but who'd buy them at £40.00 GBP for 12 infantry given that's about the price bracket for GW these days.

The H Man16 Dec 2023 4:09 p.m. PST


So far.

But already the new bretonian peasants are meant to be coming out in a box of 36 or so.

If they can do cheaper figures with TOW, which is easy, as they are mostly older figures, then future cheaper figures may be a thing.

The New skellies still have the Gothic spears, so it's likely the same exact moulds being used.

The H Man25 Dec 2023 4:38 p.m. PST

Latest update on TOW suggests many more games/supliments are planned.

See my carry on in the old world topic on the Warhammer board.

This may suggest a greater likelihood of a historical version.

Even with just the rules, GW will make money. People are buying other comps historical figures already anyway. So far GW aren't making a dime from them. Selling books (rules and novels, even extra white dwarfs) seems good business sense. If popular a range could follow.

Perhaps they could offer upgrades for existing sprues.

This may make sense if the historical game is a little loose, a bit more Hollywood than others. Perhaps with legends like robin hood and the like featuring and maybe ignoring time to allow notable characters and armies to fight each other, even if a few centuries apart in reality. It would also allow for a single book to cover all to begin with. Players can then set their own limits. In GW style, something between strict historical and fantasy.

I could see it.

Griefbringer28 Dec 2023 2:38 a.m. PST

and maybe ignoring time to allow notable characters and armies to fight each other, even if a few centuries apart in reality.

A lot of ancient and medieval historical miniature games allow for non-historical match-ups, such as ancient Sumerians versus medieval Normans.

Actually, I cannot at the moment recall any set of rules that specifically had mechanisms to prevent such table top encounters.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa04 Jan 2024 6:48 a.m. PST

Frankly I think there is more chance of GW selling STL files than (re-)entering the historical market. Unless someone senior has got that particular itch and can make a financial case. If, big if, WAB is ever-printed it will likely under license.

Personally never understood why GW didn't diversify more broadly in the hobbies-sector leveraging either its brand or indeed just by acquisition.

dapeters04 Jan 2024 1:18 p.m. PST

Citadel had a medieval -darkage line, they were true 25mm.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa04 Jan 2024 1:45 p.m. PST

I had a few of their Feudal's back in the 90's which were nice (sculpted by the Perry's of course) and still have some of their later medieval crossbowmen kicking around (Perry's again). Foundry has a lot of those cross-over figures still in production.

The H Man04 Jan 2024 4:22 p.m. PST

I think a big part of it is, as opposed to the Perry's, GW target kids.

Kids are more excited by aliens then old boring soldiers.

In fact GWs entire fan base is obviously the same, or they would not shop there.

The people who do both may not be enough to justify a range.

GW would really need to work hard to compete with all the existing competition. They have gotten so far away from history, in the design and manufacturing processes and the people there too. The old guard were well into history, are the new computer engineers?

GW would have to go find experts in the field and pay them to help produce content. People like the Perry's aren't in their pocket anymore.

HappyHiker06 Jan 2024 6:14 a.m. PST

Have you seen the price of GW figures ? There is no way they will be able to charge the same price for historical, as they would have competition. GW strategy is to invent, or license an IP then produce top quality minis for that license at a top quality price. I wish they would bring that quality to low price historicals, but it would make no business sense. Not sure if it's still true, GW were the top earning UK company in like 2018. That's top earning of ANY UK company, so better than a bank, or a supermarket or whatever. That's a staggering achievement for a toy soldier company. Don't think they could do that with historicals.

Malatesta150006 Jan 2024 2:41 p.m. PST

A former GW product designer is on this podcast and he clearly states that the market is teenage kids and their parents YouTube link

I don't think they would have any interest in marketing historical gaming at all.

The H Man06 Jan 2024 6:03 p.m. PST

"Market is teenage kids" "I don't think they would have any interest."


There are older people. But they, have not been the target market. However, they do seem to do a lot of nostalgia, rogue trader reprint, the old world, so on.

"top quality minis"

I don't see it.

Over all very wishy washy in quality.

Lotr early metals were probably the best I've seen.

Jigsaw puzzle plastics don't do it for me.

Not to mention that the other short comings of plastic.

Not to mention "finecast."

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