July 7, 2010

Nauticans coming to WHFB??? Clues from White Dwarf & why it might happen

I've been picking up on rumours for last year or so about a new race for the Warhammer world whose entry into the game will be triggered by the release of 8th Edition. After reading the latest issue of White Dwarf No.367 this morning I am somewhat more accepting of this rumour having some truth to it.

There is a little snippet from the 8th Edition rulebooks new fluff section that includes a passage mentioning a Nautican type army. Quote from p.24 is:

A Dark Elf Corsair fleet is dragged beneath the waves by an onslaught of submersible craft that appear to be half ship and half kraken. Only one of the Druchii corsairs survives and his tales of needle fanged warriors from the depths are dismissed as salt-madness.

Why take the time to include such a race into the historical narrative if you are not going to flesh out the story somehow? Yes they have Chaos Dwarfs etc who are part of that same narrative and there hasnt been an official book to support them. But the unofficial army books for armies lie Chaos Dwarfs, Kislev and Cathay have been around for a while now and are well known. The Chaos Dwarf one is now widely accepted at tournaments internationally as a legitimate army book. Consequently, there is no real need for GW to look at making an official one there.

With Kislev and Cathay there is an opportunity to make money from figures (as some are available for Kislev, or at least used to be). But both of these nations are difficult to insert into the wider narrative because of their geographical location in the Warhammer world. Plus the have the baggage of several years of fan based literature to go with them, and the ability to have figures made for them out of existing models.

A Nautican race therefore makes more sense as a new army. Why?
  1. Geographically they would have contact with every other WHFB race allowing them greater capacity to be woven into the existing narrative.
  2. Starting with a fresh race would allow GW to generate a new storyline without any existing fan fluff behind it. This gives them a clean sheet and removes any possible backlash in regard to widely accepted fan doctrine about such a race.
  3. An all new race also removes the ability of gamers to modify existing models to create figures for that race. Hence GW can produce a brand new line of models and make a lot more money out of us.
  4. An oceanic race is perhaps (other than an avian one) the only missing thread from the Warhammer world. We have all the traditional fantasy elements: Humans, Dwarfs, Elves, Orcs, Beasts, Ogres and Daemons as well as new elements like Skaven.
Regardless of whether they create a new race or not their inclusion in the historical narrative (even if only briefly) is somewhat exciting.

What would be even better of course would be if they used Sigmars unofficial Nautican race as the basis for any fishman type army book.


Trollhoer said...

Having read through the rulebook yesterday at the local store, I'd like to add that there's a specific unit type described in the book called "sea creatures" or similar, next to "monstrous infantry" and the rest of the unit descriptions. I didn't read it through very carefully, but it seems to be designed for something other than the current races. Could be just to replace the "aquatic" rule for Lizardmen, but somehow I doubt it (since things like skins should still be classified as infantry in my mind).

Sigmar said...

Yes, I just spotted that too Trollhoer and posted it on my Nautican Notes site (naut2.blogspot.com).

It's specifically for Sea Creatures.

They cannot march move on land but can move over all water features as though it is open ground (even if it's impassable terrain to other races, eg. a deep lake).

It would have a major negative impact on my Nauticans !