Editions of Warhammer

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Throughout the seven editions of the game, the core movement, combat and shooting systems have remained generally unchanged, with only minor revisions between editions. The largest changes have been made to the magic and army composition systems.

Note: This article is largely a reworking of a section of the Wikipedia article. It has been edited for length and content, and the addition of Chaos Dwarf relevant material.


[edit] 1st Edition

The first edition was published in 1983 and consists of a boxed set of 3 black and white books. Very little world background is given at all and the race descriptions are kept to a minimum, most of the background given is in describing the origins of magic items . Some notable differences to later editions are the inclusion of Night Elves (later Dark Elves), and the appearance of Red Goblins.

The first edition was extended with "Forces of Fantasy" boxed set in 1984.

[edit] Chaos Dwarfs in 1st Edition

There are no mentions of Chaos Dwarfs, only Dwarfs in general.

[edit] 2nd Edition

In 1984 the second edition was released. Again a boxed-set of three black and white books (with colour covers). The 'Battle Bestiary' book featured descriptions of the races, monsters and includes several example Army Lists and a points system for players to develop their own open-ended armies.

Also in the Battle Bestiary is the first appearance of the Warhammer 'Known World' along with a map and a timeline.

In 1987 the 2nd edition rules were expanded with the 'Ravening Hordes' Army lists which provided a more 'realistic' method of forming armies along stricter racial lines.

[edit] Chaos Dwarfs in 2nd Edition

See the 'Chaos Dwarfs in 3rd Edition' description.

[edit] 3rd Edition

The Third Edition of the game was published as a single hardback book in 1987. It had the most in-depth and complex movement and manoeuver system of any edition. Other improvements included a variety of new specialist troop types, rules for war machines and a more finely tuned system of representing heroes and wizards. It kept the same magic system and open-ended army design system as the first two editions. However, by this stage the use of army lists was very much encouraged. Army lists for this edition were published in a separate book called Warhammer Armies.

[edit] Chaos Dwarfs in 3rd Edition

Chaos Dwarfs first real appearance was in the Ravening Hordes list for the Chaos army. The first models named as Chaos Dwarfs were released at around this time too. These were Dwarfs that had turned to Chaos and many of the models were simply copies of existing Chaos Warrior models in Dwarf form. The models and Ravening Hordes were all released at around the same time as the 3rd edition rulebook so they are associated much more closely with that edition even though they were also used in conjunction with the 2nd edition rulebook.

Chaos Dwarfs had several appearances in the 3rd edition rulebook listed as a type of dwarf - there wasn't a significant difference between any of the types. Several of their war machines were also featured. The book Slaves to Darkness was released as a companion to the existing Chaos armybook The Lost And The Damned. The The Lost And The Damned contained rules for followers of the Chaos Gods Tzeentch and Nurgle, Slaves to Darkness added new gods Khorne and Slaanesh. Several Chaos Dwarf units were included in the Khorne section of the book. The Lost And The Damned also contained rules for Chaos Squats for Warhammer 40K, an equivalent of Chaos Dwarfs in a futuristic setting.

Chaos Dwarfs and Hobgoblins were featured in the Warhammer Armies book which had details for their units. The Chaos Dwarf Juggernaut, a moving weapons platform, was released as a model but no rules were published for it.

[edit] 4th and 5th Editions

The fourth and fifth editions of the game were similar to each other but quite different from the third. Fifth edition in particular became known pejoratively as "Herohammer" because of the imbalance between the very powerful heroes, monsters and wizards in the game and blocks of troops which existed effectively as cannon fodder. Both editions of the game were sold as box sets containing not only the rulebooks and a variety of other play aids but also sufficient plastic miniatures to be able to play the game "out of the box". The rules underwent a re-write compared to 3rd edition. A completely re-worked magic system was produced which was available as a boxed expansion set. Rather than selecting spells they were drawn at random and the magic phase was based on the play of these cards, making magic a bit like a game within a game. The magic system was further expanded by the Arcane Magic box set and the magic element of the Chaos box set.

The fourth edition was also the first edition to enforce the use of army lists in the form of "Warhammer Army" books. These books prescribed for each army a limited number of unit choices; specifying limits on the amount of points that could be spent on "characters", troops and monsters and so on. The books also included background on the particular army, illustrations and photographs showing models and have remained with the game though updated with the rules.

[edit] Chaos Dwarfs in 4th/5th Editions

When 4th edition was first released it seemed that Chaos Dwarfs had been forgotten. A small supplement that came with the boxset (titled "Warhammer Armies" but not to be confused with the book of the same name) contained armylists for all the armies but didn't include them at all and there were very few mentions of them elsewhere in the new material. One interesting development was that the Bestiary claimed that Chaos Dwarf Mages were welcomed into Goblin camps and that they had taught metalworking to Orcs. The 4th edition Rulebook also showed the first ever pictures of big hat Chaos Dwarfs in the form of drawings.

Later in the same edition, the White Dwarf magazine team did something they hadn't tried before - publishing a full army book of a complete army. The history, fluff, special rules, bestiary, and army list for Chaos Dwarfs were spread over a few issues of the magazine and the miniatures (the first big hat Chaos Dwarf models) were released by Citadel. Chaos Dwarfs were now a separate army in their own right. These articles were later published in their own book called White Dwarf Presents: Chaos Dwarfs.

The look of the compilation was different to all the other Warhammer army books and although they published the book the copyright was still held by White Dwarf magazine. Even though they were owned by the same parent company there were legal difficulties over the rights. The articles were left exactly as they were rather than edited to make sense as part of an army book - leaving in references to each other and articles in White Dwarf which made the book seem sloppily put together. WDP:CDs had precious little new material, only two special characters and a page of banners, so there was little motivation for people who owned the relevant magazines to buy it and sales were the lowest of all the army books.

Single pose plastic Chaos Dwarf Warriors were released, although they were larger than the previous metal models. This made them look a little out of scale and difficult to rank up properly. They were significantly cheaper than the metal equivalent though. A model for Astragoth, one of the special characters in WDP:CDs, was released but these new releases did nothing to help flagging sales of the army.

Many armies got updated army books but there were no changes to the Chaos Dwarf army in 5th edition.

[edit] 6th and 7th Editions

The sixth edition rulebook was published as a boxset with soft-cover rulebook and miniatures, and alone as hard-cover in the first printing. After "Herohammer", this edition put the emphasis back on troops and combat: heroes and wizards are still important but are incapable of winning games in their own right. There was also an all-new magic system based on dice rolling.

Army composition rules were changed for this edition, making the previous army books unusable. As a temporary measure, a book of army lists called Ravening Hordes, containing rules for every army, was made available. Each list in the book was to be replaced by a proper army book.

The 7th edition rules were released in September 2006. It is available in two forms: as a single hardback rulebook for established gamers and as a part of the The Battle for Skull Pass boxset as a soft-cover rulebook. The smaller rulebook from the boxed set is approximately half the size of the large book both in size of the cover and page count but the rules sections of both books are identical.

There are no major differences between the editions but a large number of minor differences. Army lists published for 6th edition are to be used for 7th edition until they are updated.

[edit] Chaos Dwarfs in 6th/7th Editions

Chaos Dwarfs got a new army list in the Ravening Hordes book. Like most armies, the new list made subtle changes to most units and restricted army selection. No new units were added and none taken away, although Chaos received a new war machine (the Hellcannon) during the Storm of Chaos campaign that was crewed by Chaos Dwarfs. Unlike most armies the Chaos Dwarf army list was not replaced by an army book, but the Ravening Hordes list remained a legal part of the game in 7th edition.


During 6th edition there were several rumours about Chaos Dwarfs. With hindsight some turned out to be true, others were more word-of-mouth rather than official statements:

[edit] 8th Edition

The 8th edition of warhammer was released in july 2010. The core set releashed with 8th edition is titles "Island of Blood" and pitch a high elf army against a skaven army. Along side the core set, was released a larger rulebook, containing a lot additional information beyond the rules. Four expansions has been released to 8th edition. Storm of Magic (2011), adding battles between powerful mages and lots of monsters. Blood in the Badlands (2011), introducing siege warfare and more scenarios. Triumph and Treachery (2013), rules for playing dynamic multiplayer battles (3-5 players). Sigmar's Blood (2013), a 5-scenario campaign between Empire and Vampire Counts.

[edit] Chaos Dwarfs in 8th Edition

Chaos Dwarfs received their official resurrection in 8th edition, with the release of the book Tamurkhan: Throne of Chaos by Forge World. Tamurkhan included a complete army list "The Legion of Azgorh" for fielding a Chaos Dwarf army and a model range was released from Forge World alongside it. Generally considered a very strong armylist, the Chaos Dwarfs has been excluded from both official and many unofficial tournaments. Chaos Dwarfs was officially allowed in Games Workshop tournaments in January 2014, and is unofficially part of the accepted armies i European Team Challenge (ETC). As of august 2014, some weapons options and units from The Legion of Azgorh has still not been released as models. Forge World has no plans for completing the range or updating the rules for Chaos Dwarfs.

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