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revisiting 5th edition

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Not too long ago, during a re-org of my office, I packed away all of my older editions of WFB and 40K. Well for whatever reason, I still have a full set of 5th edition stuff in my office. So I pulled it out yesterday to walk through memory lane. 4th was my gateway drug. I had bought my first army book during 3rd edition. It was the brand new Wood Elf book. The dragon model sealed the deal. I had actually wanted to play Undead, but I didn't understand the rules of fantasy when I looked through the undead book and was scared off by their poor stats (I was a 40K rogue trader player at that point).

Anyways, it wasn't until 5th edition and the Lizardmen vs Bretonnia box set that I started actually playing. So long story long, 5th is where WFB really became my go-to game. I had just a small wood elf army, those single plastic archers, some war dancers, some dryads and a treeman and that was basically my army. You could actually play with that little. That is when I got most of my D&D friends into it as well.

Well I pulled out those core books, the rules, battle book, and the magic book, and just read through them again. That is really a good game. I liked everything they did. The battle book had scenarios, campaign rules, and stats and points for all the armies. That edition I don't think they released any new army books either except for Brets and Lizardmen. I'm really tempted to see if I can scrounge up some players for 5th ed. I'm not saying the rules were perfect...but they were well done and they were not afraid to list out some different ways to play. The actually tournament lists had rules to limit them. In this age of power creep and so many rules...I think I'd like to step back and bit and find something a little simpler and I think 5th might just do it. It will let me play with the majority of my models. And I can probably find some units that will work as "counts as".

So if anyone would like to try some 5th ed WFB, give me a shout.

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I got my first WHFB rulebook in 1990, my parents having mistaken the then current third edition rulebook for a D&D supplement. I was utterly enthralled. But it wasn’t until the release of fourth edition in ‘92 that I was finally able to get a few friends to play.

4th, 6th, and 8th Editions are probably my favorite iterations of the game. I think fourth had the best army books and strongest emphasis on lore; Sixth was the pinnacle of miniature design and corrected the “herohammer” excess of fifth; Eighth probably had the best set of core rules and excellent balance between the various army books…

Eighth needed an across the board increase on Wizard point values and an across the board slash to heavy cavalry point values. But, instead, we got Age of Sigmar. Sigh.


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You know, I thought the 4th ed box set was Brets and lizards...but was that actually the 5th edition set? It seems to be according to the Lexicon. So basically go up and replace all 4th ed references to 5th...because it seems like 3rd/4th/5th editions all shared the same group of books. Looks like only High Elves and maybe Chaos got 5th ed treatment compared to the other races. So confusing...

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First through Third Edition didn’t have a starter set; Fourth Edition was High Elves versus Goblins; Fifth Edition was Bretonnia (huzzah!) versus Lizardmen (boo!); Sixth Edition was Empire versus Orcs; Seventh Edition was Dwarves versus Goblins; Eighth was High Elves versus Skaven.

Firth through Third Edition didn’t have Army Books, they had lists in the core rulebook and various supplements that added options. Army Books in the codex-like style we tend to think of them, we’re introduced during Fourth Edition.

‘Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness’ (1988) and ‘Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned’ (1990) during WHFB’s third edition and WH40k’s first edition (along with ‘'Ere We Go: Orks in Warhammer 40,000’ [1991]) were sort of a caveman ancestor to the Army Book/Codex format that came later. 

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