Warhammer: The Old World Game Mechanics Begin To Surface!

October 31, 2023 by brennon

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Games Workshop has started to drop the first few details on the game mechanics for Warhammer: The Old World. Coming together as part of the Old World Almanack, the design team behind the game looking to be introducing us slowly to the similar (and different) rules that are popping up as part of the game which launches in early 2024.

Elves Vs Orcs & Goblins - Warhammer The Old World

Elves Vs Orcs & Goblins // Warhammer: The Old World

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The focus of the first article in this Old World Almanack is on the turn sequence that you'll experience when you dive into Warhammer: The Old World. As they say in the article, The Old World is going to feel similar in many regards but is also a new game rather than simply a new edition of what you've played before (I guess the proof will be in the pudding!). To give us an idea of what they have planned, we got this neat breakdown of what you'll be grappling with turn-by-turn.

The Turn Sequence - Warhammer The Old World

The Turn Sequence // Warhammer: The Old World

The Movement, Shooting and Combat Phases won't be strange to those that have played Warhammer Fantasy Battles but the addition of the Strategy Phase at the beginning of the turn looks like a way of them playing around with Morale whilst also blending in elements from their other games like the Command Phase in Warhammer 40,000.

You'll also note that throughout the different phases of gameplay, spells are split up and sprinkled amongst them. It certainly makes sense that instead of waiting for the High Elf player to spend fifteen minutes casting their spells, you can just drop that phase and mix the different spells they might have in and around the other phases. It should be one of those things that helps to speed up the game (I'd hope!). You'll also note that the design team have named "the active player" so maybe your opponent is going to have reactions like in Warhammer: The Horus Heresy?

Talking of spells, we got a look at one of the spells that can be cast by the Tomb Kings. As an Enchantment, this means it can be cast in the Strategy Phase and carries through until the start of your next turn.

Spell - Warhammer The Old World

Spell // Warhammer: The Old World

We also got a look at an Enchanted Item that can be taken by those playing as Bretonnians. A classic way to ground your foes and stop them flying around and causing problems in your back lines.

Enchanted Item - Warhammer The Old World

Enchanted Item // Warhammer: The Old World

What was also quite neat to see was an exploration of what else happens during the Strategy Phase. You get to fire off some spells and use your various items but you can also use some of the special rules that your characters might have to buff your allies and deal with that pesky old sausage that is fleeing units!

Interestingly, with the new Rally Test you roll against your Leadership (as you'd expect) but as you lose more miniatures from your units you'll get modifiers to that test. If you're under half strength then your test is at minus one and if you're under twenty-five percent then you can only pass on a natural double one! This seems to make sense as a unit that has been utterly battered is less likely to come back to the battlefield.

The cynic in me says that this is going to encourage you to build much larger units than normal so that you can keep your regiments on the tabletop for longer. But, we're looking at this rule currently in a vacuum without seeing how combat works and the damage that units can hand out. So, we shall see if this comes together as a good or a bad thing!

What do you make of this first proper rules preview for Warhammer: The Old World?

"The focus of the first article in this Old World Almanack is on the turn sequence..."

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