Games Workshop is looking back at the changes and releases that happened in 2017. Most of the time though we are looking for a possible release schedule of the next year, not looking back. So here we will be digging and looking ahead this week and trying to discover more of what may be coming in the following year.
When a year starts with one of the 41st Millennium’s most well-known planets being destroyed, and then somehow manages to get MORE intense, you know it’s been a big one. In 2017, we saw the return of two Primarchs, a new army for Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Necromunda came back, Warhammer Underworlds took us to the City of Shadespire, a brand new edition of Warhammer 40,000 launched a new generation of Space Marines and that’s not even all.
In January, the Gathering Storm began with the Fall of Cadia, as decades of Warhammer history came to a head when Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade finally broke through and destroyed one of the most strategically and militarily important planets in the Imperium. Meanwhile, in the Mortal Realms, the mysterious Disciples of Tzeentch were unmasked – it’s hard to believe that this firm fan-favourite faction hasn’t even been with us for a year yet!
In February, the Gathering Storm claimed another victim, this time the craftworld of Biel-Tan! It wasn’t all bad for the Aeldari, who received a new god in the form of Ynnead, a newborn incarnation of those souls previously preserved in the Infinity Matrix. Ynnead manifests in the 41st Millennium as the Yncarne, and in conjunction with its mortal emissaries, leads the Ynnari, a faction of Aeldari dedicated to destroying Slaanesh and preserving the souls of their dead.
We could hardly talk about this year without bringing up the return of Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines. For decades, fans have wondered what would happen if Primarchs returned to the 41st Millennium, and thanks to the Gathering Storm: Rise of the Primarch, they know! March saw Guilliman rise from the dead, and Cypher, Lord of the Fallen, and new Grey Knights character, Grand Master Voldus, lead him to Terra. Rise of the Primarch saw Guilliman push back the forces of Chaos from the Ultramar system but failing to prevent the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum – if you’re interested in what happened after the Rise of the Primarch, Guy Haley’s Dark Imperium is a great way to get up to speed.
In April, Warhammer Age of Sigmar’s most enterprising army made its debut! The Kharadron Overlords combine the ancient traditions of the duardin with nigh-magical scientific advancement and a somewhat more flexible attitude towards honour codes and grudges than their ground-dwelling brethren.
People liked the Kharadron Overlords so much, we’ve released a Battleforce to make starting your sky-fleet simpler than ever.
In May, a very old friend turned 40. White Dwarf has had no less than 550 issues, launching when “Games Workshop” meant three friends selling board games out the back of a van. Here’s to another 40!
June was the big one – Warhammer 40,000’s best edition ever. This was nothing short of a revolutionary change, vastly streamlining the rules, updating every single army in the game and fundamentally changing the 41st Millennium with the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum. Warhammer 40,000 has never been so dynamic, so easy to play or just plain fun, and June would prove to be just the beginning.
In July, the forces of the Primaris Marines continued to swell with a range of powerful characters and units. It’s hard to pick our favourite, but a special shout-out has to be made for the Primaris Chaplain, an awesome model capturing both the high-tech, modern feel of Primaris Marines and the baroque and traditional detail fans have come to expect from the Imperium.
Meanwhile, in August, the General’s Handbook 2017 dropped, breathing new life into Warhammer Age of Sigmar. The first General’s Handbook was game-changing, and this one was no different, introducing detailed rules for fan favourites like Triumph & Treachery, giving factions as diverse as the Brayherds and the Hosts of Slaanesh allegiance abilities of their own, and of course, keeping the game balanced with a range of points changes.
As well as Imperial heroes, September saw one of the 41st Millennium’s most reviled villains return to realspace. Mortarion, Daemon Primarch of Nurgle and lord of the Death Guard Legion has long existed in the background of Warhammer 40,000, but now, players can actually use him in battles of their own!
October, on the other hand, saw a completely different kind of Warhammer game released. Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespirequickly proved itself a favourite among competitive gamers, taking all the action of miniature wargaming – area control, lines of sight, and so on – and combining it with a fast-paced arena battle game. Warhammer Community’s Nick and Rhu fell particularly in love with the game, and both wrote articles on deck-building and claiming top spots in the first ever Shadespire Grand Clash.
From one shadowed city to another, in November players had their chance to step once more into Hive Primus (and beyond) with the return of Necromunda. Featuring updated rules, multi-part plastic miniatures and a new mode of play, this year’s Necromunda releases are just the beginning, and there are plenty of expansions in store, kicking off with next year’s Gang War 2 and the Orlock gang.
Finally, December has seen the return of yet another great Imperial hero. He’s not a demigod (although the official propaganda might lead you to believe otherwise), but he is pretty tough. We’re talking about Sly Marbo, the legendary One Man Army. Be quick, and you could track down this legend at your nearest retail store this holiday season, but if you can’t find him, worry not – he’ll be more widely available in 2018. We also saw Chapter Approved 2017 land, packed with content to keep you busy with loads of new ways to play in the new year.
In short, 2017 was a game-changing year. With Warhammer 40,000 better than it’s ever been, a host of awesome new boxed and specialist games now available and Warhammer Age of Sigmar continuing to grow and evolve, who knows what next year may bring?