Warhammer Fantasy Battles (4th Edition)

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Cover of the Fourth Edition rulebook

The fourth edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles released in October 1992 and featured significant updates to much of the game, particularly unit characteristics, magic, and army composition. It would be replaced by Fifth Edition after four years.


Warhammer’s magic system received a complete rework, releasing initially as Warhammer Battle Magic, which was part of the 1992 boxed set. This was augmented in 1994’s Warhammer Armies: Chaos (4th Edition) boxed set, and then expanded further with 1995’s Warhammer Arcane Magic, a full boxed expansion. Rather than selecting spells for their wizards as in previous editions, they instead were drawn at random from a deck of special cards, which in turn dictated how the magic phase played.

Army books were introduced for the first time in Fourth Edition, aiming to enforce the use of defined “army lists.” Armies were now confined to a limited number of unit choices from separate racial and faction groupings, and point limits were specified for certain proportions of an army like “character” and “troops.” Background lore, illustrations, photographs, and painting guides accompanied the books.

Starter Set

New for the game, Fourth Edition premiered in the form of a complete boxed set called simply Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles. The first to follow the “Kirby Formula” (nicknamed for longtime Games Workshop leader Tom Kirby), the set included several rulebooks and guides, play aids, plastic terrain, 40 High Elf plastic miniatures, 64 Goblin plastic miniatures, and Battle for Maugthrond Pass (Booklet). This allowed players to fight out the Battle for Maugthrond Pass (Battle) out of the box.

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