May 25, 2012

WAB is dead, long live WAB

Well, it finally happened – if one is to draw any conclusions from the somber message at the website, yesterday Forge World decided to pull the plug on Warhammer Historical. To be perfectly honest, nobody should be surprised by the decision. The surprise lies rather in the fact that the entire process took so long. After all, the writing was on the wall the second Games Workshop closed down "real" Warhammer Historical and gave the custody of its rulesets to Forge World. Lukewarm reception of WAB2 and appearance of trinity consisting of "Hail Ceasar", "War and Conquest" and "Clash of Empires" (let's face it, Warhammer Ancients was what Warhammer Historical was always about) sealed the company’s fate.

Quick glance at the news boards seems to confirm my opinion - even the usually reactionary crowd at TMP seems to be receiving the news in same manner one would when hearing that a beloved relative who suffered from long and life-threatening health condition has finally passed away. Sad but expected, may WAB and all its siblings rest in peace.

How will demise of Warhammer Historical affect me personally? Only to the degree I will allow it to influence my gaming. The publications are still on my bookshelf, the miniatures are still standing in my display cabinet, Saxons in ongoing campaign will still make another attempt to cross the river as soon as I paint the buildings for the village... As far as I can see, there is really no reason for me to care about Games Workshop's decision to put Warhammer Historical to its grave.

At the same time, I can't help but feel that the whole thing really stinks. It's one thing to shut down a company you are for whatever reasons no longer interested in running. It's something completely different to shut it down without any warning and pulling down all the supporting materials (often produced by fans themselves) at the same time. The FAQ:s are gone. The erratas are gone. One can only hope that the guys at Forge World will make them available again on their own site, but at the moment there is plenty of reasons to be upset as a former WH customer.

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