Old World on a Smaller Scale: Warbands

Most people know, and if you don’t then now you do, that Warhammer Fantasy has long been renowned for the need to build and paint 100+ minis to play a “full” game. Some armies circumvent this by having very strong monsters, heroes, or elite units of course but it’s still normally true in GW’s latest iteration: The Old World. What do you do if you want to just play a quick game with a dozen or so minis? Warbands has you covered.

This is not an altogether original piece of work. Older Warhammer fans will recognise and remember the following rules with awe and nostalgia. Warbands was a rules set originally released by Games Workshop in a White Dwarf during the 6th edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. That was before my gaming time since I was born in 1994 and I got started with the dwarf half of the 7th edition set when I was a young teen; still playing dwarfs, too.

Anyway the reason why I’m doing this is because Warbands is fun. It’s a way to put a dozen or so models onto the table, roll some dice, and play some Warhammer Fantasy without getting out the big movement trays or even building (and painting?) 50+ minis just to get started. While I do think that The Old World plays very well at smaller scales like 1250 points with some friendly restrictions this is even smaller and easier to get into than that!

These games focus on forces up to 500 points. That’s it! There are two separate sets of list building restrictions for small warbands up to 200 points and then larger ones up to 500. And there a lot of restrictions.

There is just one single Scenario to play using a mix of core rulebook Victory Points and a unique table of missions for each player to secretly achieve. I may write up additional scenarios if this really takes off and it’s requested enough. Maybe.

Bair’s 400 point Warband

The photo above is a sample warband to play at 400 points. It follows the Large Warband rules restrictions and includes:

  • Thane with Great Weapon
  • Dragon Slayer with Great weapon
  • 8 Warriors with shields, banner, and unit champion
  • 5 Hammerers with banner and unit champion
  • 5 Rangers with crossbows, throwing axes, great weapons, shields, and unit champion

This is a rather elite list focusing on a core of solid warriors with shields, ranger skirmishers to provide some shooting where needed, hammerers as the Thane’s guard, and a dragon slayer who has failed to find his doom so far! Dwarf heroes are already expensive which makes it very difficult to get any sort of runes on them if you’re taking two heroes. I love the idea of a lone slayer alongside a small band of dwarfs seeking his doom in battle. I’ve also opted for larger units without making use of the Warband rules for smaller unit sizes. It makes each unit tougher but gives me much less board control so I’ll have to be careful in-game to deploy and make use of each unit’s small movement carefully each turn!

Start Playing!

Download the file below and get to playing!

Old World Warbands V1

Have thoughts or feedback? Would you like to see some original scenarios to play with this rules pack? Leave a comment below or email in to contact@goonhammer.com.