For decades, fans of Games Workshop's venerable Warhammer Fantasy Battles had one of the richest, fully realized playgrounds in table top gaming at their disposal. The world that Warhammer's fantasy setting took place in was filled with untold terrors, scheming nation states, and an incredible rogues gallery of characters and villains. This was referred to as the Old World, and people really, really liked it.
The Old World had a lot of its DNA pulled from popular fiction, mythology, and pop-culture. The land of the Empire was pulled largely from historical Germany, with a rich lore and fantastic costuming. There were plenty of other lands, too, from Arthurian inspired Bretonia to the realms of the Sylvan Elves.
Then, Games Workshop went and blew it all to hell.
The official story, of course, was that Archaon the Destroyer blew it all up in a hissy fit, but regardless of the culprit, the Old World was destroyed, and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar sauntered in to take its place. Games Workshop is adamant that Age of Sigmar is the most popular fantasy wargame in history, but a lot of us old timers miss the classic appeal of the Old World setting.
Now, it looks like the Old World might be coming back, according to the Warhammer Community Page:
And yet, the Old World whispers from ages past with its siren song. We grow misty-eyed at the memory of long-lost heroes and glorious kingdoms laid to ruin and of mighty champions whose sagas are sung no more.
And of course, much of the lore of the Mortal Realms has its roots in the world that was – with some of its most venerable denizens being the very same that fought across those war-torn kingdoms (along with a small selection of choice magical artefacts.)
The Old World is to Warhammer Age of Sigmar, as the Horus Heresy is to Warhammer 40,000. The bedrock of lore from which mortals rose to godhood and legends were forged. And like the Horus Heresy, seeing those mythic heroes in action has an undeniable appeal, as does re-creating the glorious armies of a previous epoch – an exciting proposition for hobbyists and gamers alike. And now, we have a dedicated team in the Warhammer Studio beginning the work of bringing all that awesome back to the tabletop.
That is certainly exciting news, even if we're still a ways away from getting any concrete information. As soon as we know more, we'll be sure to share!