I want to start this piece with an apology to you all as I realise that I am seriously late to the party in discussing this topic, which I now know came to prominence all the way back in 2015.
The combination of leaving university and entering full-time graduate employment meant that Warhammer of all kinds was, for me, completely neglected. Beyond the occasional wistful glances at my Vampire Counts army and army book, my interaction with Games Workshop became close to absolute zero.
It was with some sadness that I discovered a few weeks ago, when I decided to look on the website to see if there had been any bad-ass new releases for the High Elves, that Warhammer Fantasy had been completely dropped by Games Workshop.
For a while I thought there must have been some error on the website or that I had accidentally logged on to Games Workshop Sweden by mistake. Eventually the truth sank in. The franchise that I have loved since I was 12 was gone. I have already mentioned that I had largely stopped collecting (and completely stopped playing) but I had always imagined revisiting Warhammer Fantasy within the next few years when finances became a bit more stable and I (hopefully) have a bigger place to live with room for a hobby station.
It was disappointing in the extreme to find out that this was no longer going to be possible. It was also disappointing that Games Workshop had decided to turn their backs on dedicated hobbyists who had patiently built up fantasy armies across the decades. Of course, GW is a business, and sales of fantasy may not have been enough to bring in a health margin for the company. That being said, I am sure that long term collectors may have preferred alternative options to be explored before pulling the plug altogether, perhaps cutting back on costs elsewhere in the company (do the video games make that much money, and I heard something about a movie?)
Yes, fantasy may live on with hobbyists arranging their own tournaments and bringing like-minded individuals together. Inevitably though this will die away in time (and what happens when your Mortis Engine gets eaten by the cat/stepped on/destroyed by a toddler?) rendering your collection virtually useless.
Let’s be honest, Warhammer of any kind is not cheap many people will have spent an awful lot over the years loyally buying army books and rule books for every new edition and adding ever more units to their armies. This seems like a bit of a kick in the teeth and I would not be surprised to discover that people were angered upon receiving the news. I know I was. I never did get around to buying those Blood Knights or a Varghulf or the very lovely Phoenix Guard models. I suppose now I never will.