Look, we know, we get it. Folks are going to make the joke. “Oh, ha ha, we haven’t gotten any news roundups since last year!”. Give your pal a little wink and a nudge to really make the joke land.
But can you imagine a world where there really was a whole year gap between roundups? Every year, for one week only, we picked five stories to talk about in the games industry and then disappeared until the next year? How would we stay informed of the other things that happen outside of the five yearly roundup things? It would be a nightmare.
Fortunately, we don’t really have to wait a whole year from the last update, only a week. Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson has managed to survive the ten billion fireworks going off around his home to bring us the first news round up of 2024!
Bryan Ansell Passes Away
The tabletop gaming community was rocked this past weekend by the news of the passing of Bryan Ansell on December 30th, 2023. The news was shared on Instagram via the account shared by Bryan and his wife, Diane.
Bryan Ansell was one of the founding fathers of Warhammer. Ansell was the owner of fantasy miniature company Asgard Minatures before being brought in by Games Workshop Founders Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstoneto run the miniature production arm of Games Workshop, Citadel Minatures. Bryan was one of the designers of Warhammer Fantasy Battle in 1983 alongside Rick Priestly and Richard Halliwell, which would explode in popularity as Games Workshop’s most successful product line. While Warhammer Fantasy Battles was initially planned to be a way to get Dungeons and Dragons players to buy more miniatures, the game and setting would explode in popularity and spawn the creation of Warhammer 40,000 in 1987. Ansell is also credited for the lore behind the original Chaos Gods in Warhammer, which would become an iconic part of the fiction of any Warhammer setting
Ansell would become managing director of Games Workshop in 1985, effectively merging Citadel and Games Workshop into one company, and in 1991 he would buyout Games Workshop from Ian Livingstone as well as Steve Jackson.
Following his time at Games Workshop, Ansell returned to his passion for sculpting miniatures by founding Wargames Foundry in 2000, which focused on miniatures for historical wargames.
Without Bryan Ansell, there would be no Warhammer. His suggestion to start a wargame to help sell more existing Citadel orcs would spawn an international phenomenon, and during his time as managing director of Games Workshop Bryan oversaw the release of Wrahemmer 40,000: Rogue Trader and focused the company efforts on the growth and expansion of the Warhammer IP. His decision to move Games Workshop operations from London to Nottingham also transformed Nottingham into a hotspot for miniature game companies and quickly became known as “Lead Belt” of England.
He passed away at 68 years old, surrounded by those he loved. Thank you, Bryan Ansell.
Privateer Press Brings Back Fan Favorite Warmachine Faction
On December 28th, tabletop games company Privateer Press released a blog article about the future of the company and its games in 2024.
The bulk of the article focuses on Warmachine MK IV, the fourth edition/soft reboot of their flagship skirmish game. MK IV had a rocky start in the new year, as the new edition of the game faced production delays and challenges integrating its legacy line of Warmachine and Hordes models from previous editions into the game.
After a year of work, Privateer Press has gotten their production issues sorted out and has also managed to release legacy rules for every model from the old game for MK IV. Now, Privateer Press looks forward to 2024, laying out a tentative release roadmap through May of 2024.
The roadmap includes plans for multiple expansions of existing factions to MK IV, as well as introducing new cadre expansions and 50mm “Apotheosis” Warcasters to several factions. The keen eyed will notice the most exciting news here is the announcement that Privateer Press plans to introduce a new MK IV army for Cryx, one of the original games most iconic factions, combining dark steampunk robots with necromancy.
When Warmachine Mk IV initially was announced, the excitement about the game’s quickly turned into caution as it faced setbacks in its rollout. Now, the game seems poised to go into 2024 in a very healthy state, and congratulations to the Privateer Press team for their hard work paying off.
Games Workshop Teases 2024 Releases
Games Workshop released three videos last week with cryptic teasers for upcoming releases in 2024 for Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigmar, and The Horus Heresy. These videos contain some models that we already know will be getting releases early next year, like the Dark Angels or Ushoran, as well as blacked-out silhouettes of several new models we can expect to see.
Starting off with the Warhammer 40,000 video, we get three new model teasers that have mostly very discernable outlines. There is what appears to be a Kroot Rider model teased for T’au, and what looks to be a new Weirdboy for Orks. The first model appears to be some new Custodes character, but many online have speculated it’s outline more closely resembles that of the Votann. However, the article mentions the upcoming Custodes codex release, making it much more likely that this is a new Custodes model rathaer than a new Votann.
For Age of Sigmar, we get a peak at a few more models much more quickly, probably meaning a big start for the Mortal Realms in 2024. From the brief teases we see, theres what appears to be a pistoleer in Stormcast armor, some sort of new cavalry unit, a model with a cloak and a torch, and an acrobatic model holding a chained blade. The only model that leaves no room for speculation is the Nighthaunt model, with its iconic ghostly outline.
Finally, Heresy gives us a big surprise by showing off more than just Space Marines in the preview video. There appears to be silhouettes of new Solar Auxillia models for Horus Heresy included in the upcoming releases for the game. These models are currently in resin, so they would greatly welcome a plastic makeover.
Overall, these teasers do the exact thing they should: leave us wanting more. We will have to wait patiently as Games Workshop reveals the models they’re previewed in full over the coming months.
Warhammer: The Old World Launch Date and Starter Boxes Revealed
Warhammer Community announced on January first that we won’t have to wait very long for one of the most anticipated releases of 2024. Warhammer: The Old World will go on pre-order January 6th, with likely a two-week preorder window placing the game’s release for January 20th. We also get a full look at what the launch range will look like from this preview article.
Most strikingly, we get two new big starter boxes focused on one faction each rather than one big box with two armies. Both Brentonnia and Tomb Kings get the starter box treatment, each box containing one new centerpiece model followed by classic models from the range. Both of these boxes also include the core rules, dice, templates, and the classic red measuring sticks from Games Workshop best used to hit your friends with if you start losing.
Also included at launch are reinforcements for the Tomb Kings, both new and old models in plastic and resin. The Rulebook will also be sold separately, as well as two indexes for the launch factions of the Old World, one covering the “good guys” and the other covering the “bad guys”. Tomb Kings and Brentonnia will be getting their own Arcane Journals, which appear to be a codex equivalent, on launch.
Lastly, Games workshop is releasing square bases that can be bought to rebase your armies with to prepare for the old world, as well as the return of their modular movement trays, which Rob is very normal about.
Insomiac Games Target of Massive Ransomware Attack
Earlier in December, Insomniac Games was the victim of a massive data breach linked to a ransomware attack on the company, leading to a gigantic leak to the public with details on company politics, future releases, and alpha builds of their upcoming projects.
According to Cyberdaily.au, the ransomware attack was launched by a ransomware gang known as Rhysida, demanding 50 BTC (approx. $2 million) to be sent to the gang or Rhysida would release the ransomed files online. Minutes after the deadline for payment passed, Rhysida made good on their threat and released the files to the public.
The leaked files are almost 1.7 terrabytes of data, and include information on the companies financials, playable builds for upcoming games, the release schedule for nearly a decade, and employment forms containing personal data for Insomniac employees.
Insomniac responded on Twitter/X a few days after the cyberattack, speaking on the frustrations from the attack and assuring fans that it won’t let the attackers get in the way of Insomiac’s future. Like many other media outlets, we will refrain from posting about the specifics of the leak out of respect for Insomniac and those affected by this attack.
And that wraps it up for our Games Industry News Roundup this week! Join us again next week for more news about the tabletop games industry and related media. If you have an interesting tabletop news lead, send it to email@example.com and we may include it in next week’s report!