Monday, 20 July 2015

Grieving for the old world

So its taken me a while to digest and reflect upon the news that Warhammer fantasy battle  is gone and the old world made myth.. I have been pretty busy of late so I have not really had time to think it all through.. if you had asked me a few weeks back what I thought about AoS I would have said mainly ambivalent.. ( in fact I did when a hobby friend asked me my opinion on such things ) I played a handful of games as a teenager read a few a books and twenty five years later played a commemorative game of  Realm of Chaos..  40k is where I get my kicks in the main.. Fantasy was treading water and something needed to be done .. the fact that I only play skirmish games these days just added to what I like about AoS .. IMO although quite simple .. the models look good ( if not a little childlike ) and they are cheap.. great for a converter like me to easily place within 40k.. So yeah not that bothered .. I dont do rules so the simplicity of a 4 page rulebook speaks for itself , I also dont collect big armies  and I like making up my own environments to play in , so this game is marketed at me in many ways..

But then Something weird happened..  I was asked if I would like to participate in a game of AoS and I had a rather extreme  negative reaction that tbh surprised me..

I thought to myself where did that come from.. for someone who isn't particularly into WFB why such an extreme negative reaction...

Reading some sage words on the responsible ones blog   I noticed this bit of clarity

" People are heavily emotionally invested in this hobby. "

Am I one of those people ..?  I must be ..but I dont play WFB  ( although I have always bought the models ) and I am 39 years old father of three.. well lets think about this critically .You were nine years old when you learnt about the olde world  first the olde word of Titan  and the sword and sorcery books of the 80's

(read more about that in my fantasy post under opus maius historia if your interested )

then the closely linked  olde world of warhammer . 

now that is a 30 year relationship. okay you had a time out for while but.. you came back didn't you..!

I guess taking time to grieve over a gaming system seems like a silly thing to do ..but my reaction proved that i was not yet ready to accept that something that I had invested so much time and energy thinking about for three quarters of my life was over.. 

that kinda explains it.. unlike some folk i didn't have a monetary investment in WFB I had an emotional one.. 

so i accept GW is a company that needs to evolve to survive in fact - imo this is the only reason it still survives - i get it needs to protect and create new IPs ( god I hate that word ) and I accept that it needs to attract a new audience and make fantasy more relevant to a younger audience.. 

i even like much of the idea - create you own reality to game in - be that a realm of whatever is your choosing.. 

So in summing up I guess I am still on the fence .. I dislike the way the old world was destroyed by  money men and not by the hoards of chaos but I am pragmatic enough to realise it takes a real world finances to keep a fantasy alive.. 

I dislike the overly child like good vs bad  red vs blue ideology presented   but I like the fact that its a skirmish game - I am not fond of the whole nine celestial realms and  how it looks like a game not aimed at a mature audience .. but then I can go and play darklands - keep playing in the old world or just create my own fantasy if I so wish..

i really dislike that GW killed a 30 year old franchise that I was emotionally attached to  but I give props for having the balls to kill a 30 year franchise too..

I am not sold on what has been put in its place.. and I doubt that will ever change ..  I was a child when I was sold on the fantasy and now I am a man , I was attracted to the old world  and its places  the realm of chaos and marienburg  albion and the dark forests not  an insubstantial   celestial Sigmar .. I like environments and the olde world was the fantasy setting.. I kinda wish that the old world hadn't blown up that much..

well writing that down has helped me see things a bit more level headed..  whilst I dont hold out any hope that AoS can match up to my old man old world expectations..  I do hope it sells well and  I hope it becomes a thing.. ( if not for the sake of 40k ) I am still unsure if I want to game within the new joint fantasy.. but it is early days .. 


  1. Thanks for the mention!

    I have some thoughts about how the free rules provided may actually be useful for playing Oldhammer style scenarios - some of the ethos is harkening back, while other parts are a definite departure from what came before and a change.

    I was going to write a ton more here, then realised that actually, I have at least a few more blog posts about the Old World, the Celestial Realms, and All That Stuff in my head...

    1. Thanks for the Insightful and reasoned blogpost.. !

      i am open to change.. i just have to accept that it takes time to adjust..

      I look forward to reading your posts ..

  2. Hey Neil, I actually could not be happier that AoS happened. For the first time, I can play games of something by GW (who have my favourite background stories of any wargame) and I don't have to sink in $500 worth of stuff just to get a solid start. The rules are no-nonsense, pragmatic. I think GW realised (probably a while ago) that there are people who play wargames, and wargamers. I belong to the former, and I could not be fucked learning all the old labyrinthine WHFB ruleset that groaned under the weight of its own calcified bones.

    As for the Old World being destroyed... I'm actually okay with it. The World-that-was was definitely a product of the 80s game scene and too Tolkienesque for me personally to be invested in it, and considerably less interesting than 40k. There are things I miss about the former world for sure, but what most of it boils down to is nostalgia, which by itself is never reason enough to feel too concerned, I feel.

    So long as GW stick to their design philosophies, in which real world historical and cultural ephemera are intelligently woven into fantastical worlds of dark wonder, then I will happily welcome any changes, and look forward to a dynamic future for my favourite toy soldiers :-)

    1. Hey Phiq, you make some good points ..

    2. I was going to reply much in the same vein but you've done so much better than I could so


    3. Yes all opinions are valid and equal..

  3. I think your last statement really sums up what my fear is. I think we have all grown accustomed to our imaginary worlds(both fantasy and scifi) being on the bring of destruction, finally seeing one come to an end really hits home on the 40k side. Other than the MMO that was out a few years ago I really hadn't dabbled into the fantasy side of things but I couldn't imagine them doing this to 40k it would be massively devastating on an emotional level. I was unaware AoS was a skirmish game which is very appealing, still it is beyond shock worthy that they cut the strings on a franchise so old and rich in lore.

    1. I cant even entertain the thought that 40k might end eegads !! In a way i feel foolish that i let myself like something for so long.. i guess we should be happy that it lasted as long as it did and had a fitting send off.. now i know its gone i feel like playing out a few games in the end times to come to grips with it.. i know it was called the end times and to be fair we could have seen it coming but i thought maybe they would just kill off a few factions and changed boarders .. etc.. not write off the whole thing.. eek.. i guess it would be cool to play out my bretonian moussillion idea where the dead rose to the streets and and kill everyone.. a fitting end game seems due.. if we had know for sure the end times was the end and not a marketing ploy.. it would have made the transition smoother i think..

      i guess all the lore is still there .. just fables now.. and dim history.. i do like that the new scenery takes into account the imagery of the end times..

  4. I'm also glad they blew it up. I never really considered it until it happened, but I was not a huge fan of most of the Old World - generally I would look at it and think about what things I would pick and what bits I would ignore (like all the similarities to the real world). I think a lot of the good ideas will be carried across - like I expect a human presence similar to the cool bits of the Empire - warrior priests, flagellants, downtrodden masses - but with a different, perhaps more original take on their background - less Germanic. I expect most races will get this treatment, moving away from real world or Tolkein/High Fantasy roots. If something new and cool can be done with Elves and Dwarves that will be the real test!

    The new background book is really great, full of good illustrations and detail. It's a brand new mythology and it feels epic in scope and much more liberating than the relative confines of the Old World. I think there is potential for new, interesting places - they just need fleshing out. I can't wait to hear about the realm of shadows, for instance.

  5. Well It good to hear such positives - If the master of the grimdark is happy about its potential then everything is possible :-)

    It will take me more time to adjust if i decide to adjust at all.. old dog new tricks sort of thing.. time will tell...