The development team behind Warhammer: The Old World is back with another update, this time providing an insightful look at some of the changes and continuities in the game rules. The team set out to reimagine Warhammer Fantasy Battle and create a game that resonates with both veterans and newcomers to this enduringly popular fantasy universe.
For several months, the team immersed themselves in every edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, re-familiarizing with rules they hadn’t played for decades. The goal was to identify the game aspects they most enjoyed and those that needed improvements.
Drawing the Battlelines
One of the main attributes of Warhammer: The Old World is the massed combat. Large armies form into regimented units that march towards the enemy. The formations adopted by these units, including their size and deployment speed, play a crucial role in the gameplay.
The rules encourage wide frontages, but players decide the ideal number of models per rank. This freedom extends to the fighting rank, where as many models as possible can engage in combat, even if they are not in direct contact with the enemy. This freedom in building units and creating characters from a broad range of options presents players with numerous strategic choices that will influence battlefield tactics.
Breaking the Enemy
The development team strived to capture the dynamics of a real battle, reflecting the gradual fatigue and attrition of a hard-pressed army. Units that lose a round of combat will often retreat slowly, while victorious units can advance to press their advantage. However, advancing units run the risk of exposing a vulnerable flank to a well-timed counter-charge. Players will quickly learn that the cunning enemy can exploit the push and pull of battling units to lay traps.
The Power of Magic
Magic is a core element of Warhammer: The Old World. The team has simplified its mechanics, allowing the Wizards of the Old World to practice unique Lores of Magic, manipulate the Winds of Magic, and craft spells for their purposes. To reflect this, spellcasting has been liberated and spread throughout the game’s different phases, ensuring each spell cast can have a significant impact on the battle.
However, a single spell rarely decides a battle’s outcome. The focus has shifted from managing dice pools or card hands to positioning the Wizards. Players must strategize and move their Wizards to the right place at the right time to cast their magic and counter enemy Wizards’ spells.
The design team’s final thoughts reveal that these new game mechanics, along with beloved elements from previous iterations, will offer players a thrilling challenge when strategizing their armies and mastering their tactics. The team looks forward to witnessing the ranks of fantasy armies marching across gaming tables once again.