This feels pretty intuitive to me, they’re all factions that either sold well during fantasy, sell well in AoS, have been highly anticipated or are beastmen.
Sold well in Fantasy:
Orcs and Goblins
Warriors of Chaos
Highly Anticipated returners:
Sell well in Age of Sigmar:
Sylvaneth (So Wood Elves. There’s a bit of reading in between the lines here because the elf kitssell poorly while the treemen sell well. But this is a similar logic to:)
Beastmen (Or ranges that sell poorly and no one buys and which could use a boost)
I agree with @Reaver (Edit: Whoops I mean @cornixt ) that the omission of Vampire Counts is odd, but aside from that this is exactly what I expected the Old World to be.
I’m excited to march out with the Karak Brun against a fresh playerbase.
Edit:: Something interesting to me is how this ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ basically lays out for us that our launch rulebooks and codexes will be just like they were with Horus Heresy, i.e. one army-book for Chaos (Evil) and one army-book for non-Chaos (Good).
The Von Carsteins were all dead (for a given value of dead) after the Vampire Wars. With their defeat, other vampires went into hiding and became less active, waiting until the world became safe for them to emerge once more.
Turns out they have a reason for Skaven too:
During the century before the Siege of Praag, the Skaven Under-Empire was riven by civil war to the extent that they retreated from the surface world. This is the origin of the belief that Skaven aren’t real – they vanished for several generations and became folklore. The Skaven re-emerged only after the Horned Rat himself was summoned at Skavenblight to end the strife and instil new purpose into his children (this ties in with the wider rise of Chaos and the destruction wrought by Asavar Kul), turning them into a new power in the world.
I have to say I like what they’re doing with the whole “not everything is happening all the time in the Warhammer world” thing. It’s a 40k brainworm that TWW3’s Super Smash Bros setting has embedded deep in the minds of the fandom. There need to be long periods of peace for people to have farms and babies for all the epic confrontations to fuel themselves on. The skaven don’t exist myth is a fun touch.
The elves are there, as @flagellant04 said on discord, cos elves are a genre staple and probably sell well. The AOS lines are very different, so there’s low risk of cannibal sales - people can want both very happily. It’s easy to look at DOK and Soulblight with the same Seraphon lense to say, “these are too similar, why would we need extra models for these?”
Dark Elves would fit into any of the categories. They were hugely popular and have many models in AoS. Brets and TK are only Highly Anticipated because they were the only models they were showing off for the game for the last year, neither were all that popular in 8th. They are expected because they have already been announced, but it doesn’t make them less of a weird choice in the first place.
Removing “good” and “evil” I welcome. Originally, WHF also had “neutral”, but this division was still cheesy.
The explanations about Skaven and VCs seem artificial, though. I wouldn’t mind an honest reason like FW’s limited capacities for supporting factions during the first time, but please don’t put random new facts into the fluff just for production or marketing reasons.
To my understanding, one major difference about the time about the war against chaos was that Undead had been the big bads and the world less prepared for the Chaos invasion. Ofc. there might have been a time window in between, but I’d consider it a strange choice to illustrate the time.
I haven’t seen any toxic reactions to this announcement, although I have only looked on reddit. Facebook and Youtube comments are to be avoided, rarely do they make worthwile reading. I haven’t even seen people angry at this, more disappointed. Plus there are a few jokey comments, I wonder if people are misreading them as upset.
I’m not surprised about any of the army choices, it’s exactly what I expected…because they’re really the basic “fantasy” bad guys and good guys that everyday John and Jane Doe would imagine.
I’m not talking about old fart Warhammer diehards such as us (I’m 59 and first started collecting in 3rd edition, so that gives me the right to say old fart), but GW no doubt wants to appeal to a younger and newer audience, and if you ask everyday Tom, Dick and Harry to name fantasy armies, they’re gonna say knights in shining armor, orcs, skeletons and elves.
Because the only exposure to fantasy for most people is gonna be The Lord of the Rings movies and Game of Thrones.
And nothing wrong with that.
But some new kid who wants to start playing fantasy isn’t gonna know WTF is up with rats tossing poison, lizard toad dudes, blood daemons or evil chorfs.
But EVERY kid knows about shiny knights, elves and goblins.
And GW knows that not all younger, new potential buyers are nerds.
Again, my cranky age gives me the right to call us nerds (and to tell the Vampire Counts to get the hell off of my lawn).
Did LOTR movies have vampires?
Did Game of Thrones have them?
Because the average person doesn’t think of vampires, it’s all skellies and mummies.
And the heroic knights, grumpy dwarfs and snooty elves who slay them.
So no surprise.
Oh, and I totally expected Beastmen.
Because of the Narnia movies.