Warhammer Fantasy Battles Alternatives

Warhammer Fantasy Battles Alternatives

Games Workshop has officially heralded the Age of Sigmar, the age of strife is over and after 32 long years and 8 different versions Warhammer, or Warhammer Fantasy Battles as it’s more commonly known (WHFB for the acronymically inclined) is no more.

So where does that leave all the fans of the original rank and file fantasy war game? What do you do if you have hundreds of painted regiments of Skaven, Elves and Chaos Warriors?

Well you could burn them, but that seems a tad extreme, so let’s have a look at the games you can play with your beloved fantasy army.

Kings Of War

Kings of War

Kings of War RulebookThe most obvious first choice to meet your regimental fantasy needs is Kings Of War. Published by Mantic Games, who are mostly made up of ex- Games Workshop employees, Kings of War was already gaining a lot of interest due to its streamlined rules and relaxed approach to the use of miniatures. Kings of War’s design ethos is one of simplicity, allowing tactics and strategy to rule over powerful units and game breaking magic.

The timing of Warhammer’s demise couldn’t have come at a better time for Mantic. They’re just at the point where the Kickstarted second edition of Kings of War is about to be shipped out to backers and if you want to give the game a try there are free rules and army lists available from the Kings of War website.

Still not sure about Kings of War? Well the rules where written by Alessio Calvatore, writer of 7th Edition Warhammer, which many people consider to be the best of the series.

God of Battles 

God of Battles RulebookGod of Battles is a large army fantasy battle game from designer Jake Thornton. Jake has made a name for himself over the last few years designing almost every single Mantic Game (except for Kings of War) and has gained a lot of kudos for his rules for Dreadball and Deadzone. Of course at one point in his career Jake also worked for Games Workshop developing Warhammer.

God of Battles boasts a streamlined approach to combat, allowing for an emphasis on strategy, and is based around simple dice mechanics and a standard deck of cards for magic. It’s not the most supported game on this list, comprising of basically one rulebook and a handful of miniatures from Foundry, but the game was designed to be played with whatever miniatures you have.

The game is so flexible it means you can base your miniatures however you wish, as regiments or as skirmish troops, and this doesn’t affect the balance of the game, apparently.

Legions of Battle

Legions of Battle RulebookSpecifically designed as a flexible rules system, Legions of Battle can be used with any fantasy miniatures range you have to hand, to the point where even though the rules are based around 28mm models they can be easily converted to 15mm or even 40mm.

Legions of Battle is probably the least well supported game in this list but the digital rulebook is an absolute steal and just over £5.

Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar

Okay, I’ll be honest, I’m trolling you a bit here. If you’re upset at the release of Age of Sigmar then there’s a good chance that the reason you’re upset is you wanted to play a rank and file game and aren’t interested in a skirmish game, which is fair enough.

But it’s worth pointing out that all your old Warhammer models are useable in Age of Sigmar, and not only that but the rules and army lists for all the old troops are available for free from the Games Workshop website (I bet you’d never thought you’d see free and Games Workshop mentioned in the same sentence).

Even if it’s not what you’re looking for it may be worth taking a gander at the new rules, you never know.

Warhammer Fantasy Battles

Warhammer Fantasy Battles

Here I am not trolling, just because Games Workshop has stopped supporting Warhammer it doesn’t mean you have to stop playing it. The rulebooks don’t magically disappear or spontaneously combust just because you can’t buy new miniatures for the game.

The beauty here is now you can go back through all eight versions of the game and choose the version you prefer and you might even be able to get the rules cheap of eBay!

Which leads us neatly to...

 The 9th Age

The 9th Age Warhammer fantasy battles

Just because Games Workshop have stopped supporting Warhammer Fantasy Battles it doesn't mean the fans haven't.  The 9th Age is a fan-driven ninth edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Of course the names have been changed of many of the factions to avoid the lawyers getting a pay cheque but rules for all your favourite factions as well as a few others are available.

You can download the rules for The 9th Age here.

Runewars Miniatures Game

Based on Fantasy Flight Games X-Wing system but with the rank and file tactics of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Runewars Miniatures Game is the latest addition to the Descent and Runebound universe.  The game has only just come out as I write this but early reports are the combat is fluid and fast.

More details are here.

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