It would seem that we're about to turn full circle with the recent announcement that Warhammer Fantasy is returning. I'm casually thinking about writing a short timeline with key events along the way that lead up to the demise of WHFB and the splitting of the community, as a quick shorthand for the future. It would be something like this, though I'd appreciate if you could help me out by pinning years onto the earlier events in particular, and chip in with possible other milestones.


- Games Workshop (GW) loses the costly Chapterhouse Studio​ court case, triggering its CEO Tom Kirby to look critically at GW's IP (though with a faulty understanding of intellectual property laws) in order to cut away the most generic and historically based aspects to protect it from competitors. Warhammer Fantasy Battles (WHFB), already performing poorly financially, is deemed a lost cause. The setting and wargame are ordered to be replaced with something more IP-secure, over the studio's protests.

- Games Workshop announce that they are a miniature company, in response to criticism over issues of wargame rules, not least regarding balance or lack thereof.

- Creative Assembly (CA) gains the right to produce Total War: Warhammer games.

- The Swedish Composition System (SCS) is launched to account for the worst excesses of rules imbalance in WHFB. Sweden, being peripheral in the hobby, has a thin presence of Games Workshop stores and has seen no tournaments hosted by Games Workshop for many years. Its community is as a result already independently minded. The SCS is adopted internationally by various tournaments.

2015 - Games Workshop launches the End Times, a series of four campaign books with miniature releases set to conclude story arcs in a hitherto static setting and end WHFB. The End Times create a surge of interest and activity among hobbyists while the event lasts.

2015 - Games Workshop replaces WHFB (until then a monolith dominating its niche) by launching Age of Sigmar (AoS), a setting designed to not be generic nor historically based fantasy for IP reasons. This ending of much-beloved and immersive Warhammer Fantasy Battles (1983-2015) results in the first ever huge split in its community (Oldhammer movement notwithstanding), and a collapse in the numbers of active hobbyists. The initial version of Age of Sigmar rules are very short and are launched without a points system. Existing tournaments such as European Team Championship (ETC) reject the non-competitive rules and continue to play WHFB's 8th edition for a while.

2015 - Mantic Games announce that all those who played WHFB will find a home for all their respective armies in its fantasy wargame Kings of War (KoW). The coming years will see many different companies attempt to fill out the void of the massed fantasy wargame niche left behind by GW's withdrawal of WHFB, including among others Osprey Games' Oathmark and Dragon Rampant, and A Song of Ice & Fire Tabletop Game.

2015 - Tom Kirby resigns as CEO of Games Workshop. He is replaced by Kevin Rountree, who himself play wargames and have insights into what customers want. Rountree will launch a number of new initiatives to invigorate Games Workshop, not least in the marketing department. One early reform is the introduction of a points system to Age of Sigmar, which goes on to become a commercial success that attracts both old and new players. Yet Warhammer Fantasy remains missed, and some continue to play its old editions.

2016 - Creative Assembly release Total War: Warhammer. A surge of new interest in its setting and accompanying tabletop wargame are met in GW stores with the news that WHFB has been ended and replaced with AoS. CA will continue to release new instalments to Total War: Warhammer, both of an acclaimed high standard and true to the setting. The computer games are a commercial success.

- The community-driven wargame the Ninth Age (T9A) is launched. Several of those previously involved in the Swedish Composition System are part of its large crew. The Ninth Age summarize all armies found in WHFB by including units not supported in later editions, and develops a rule set aimed for competitive balance. The Ninth Age develops the most balanced rank & file fantasy wargame seen to date, yet it will have problems reaching out to casual wargamers, while others find issue with T9A developing its own setting instead of being an unofficial WHFB fan project. Nevertheless the Ninth Age quickly becomes the largest community-developed fantasy wargame following the cancellation of WHFB. Many of the small fantasy miniature producers sign up as supporting companies of T9A.

2019 - Games Workshop announce that they will bring back Warhammer Fantasy to tabletop within the coming 2-3 years. The news spread through fantasy wargaming communities like wildfire, a testament to Warhammer Fantasy's enduring allure and immersion attained from over 30 years of development by many learned minds and skilled hands. Excitement and interest are shown by many hobbyists who have been inactive since the End Times.