Warhammer Fantasy Battles (6th Edition)

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Cover of the Sixth Edition rulebook

Warhammer Fantasy Battles (6th Edition) is the sixth edition of Games Workshop’s system Warhammer: Fantasy Battles. Released in 2000 and not succeeded until 2006, this edition is the longest-lasting to date.

Army Books and Expansions

In a break from tradition, Sixth Edition saw each playable faction receive an overhauled army book, beginning with Warhammer: Ravening Hordes, a White Dwarf release at launch with updated rules for every army to tide players over until their full releases. This included Chaos Dwarfs, who had premiered in Fourth Edition but had little support since; Dogs of War, a Fifth Edition debut; and Kislev, receiving its own book through White Dwarf only now. For all three of those factions their Sixth Edition books would be their last update till Eighth or later.

Unique units, characters, rules, game modes such as Path to Glory: Fighting with Chaos Warbands, and even full armies like the Gnoblar Horde, Zombie Pirates of the Vampire Coast, Army of the Cairns, and a variant Hell Pit force were periodically released through White Dwarf and the GW website across this edition. Most of the articles were later revised and collected into Warhammer Annual 2002, Warhammer Chronicles (2003), Warhammer Chronicles (2004), and The General’s Compendium. A new way to play released this way, Warhammer: Skirmish, allowed for players to engage with the game without having to collect such a large army, and grew quite popular.[2]


A number of global campaigns took place during Sixth Edition, most receiving dedicated books and extensive coverage across Games Workshop channels. They were used to “advance the plot” of the setting, beginning with 2001’s Dark Shadows campaign which saw the Lizardmen build the first new Temple-city in ages. With the split of Chaos forces into two different armies with Warhammer Armies: Beasts of Chaos (6th Edition) there were new options for those players to field as the much-anticipated Warhammer: Storm of Chaos lead to the controversial Storm of Chaos campaign, followed by the Conquest of the New World.

Game Changes

Significant changes were made between the previous edition and this to rebalance the different components of an army list, putting emphasis back on troop movement and combat. Heroes, monsters, and wizards remained important but were no longer capable of winning games on their own. [1a]

The rules for flying models were reworked and changes were made to close combat.[1a] Infantry units received rank bonuses starting at 4 models wide, allowing for 16-model units to get the full bonus, instead of the 5-wide/20 model requirement of Fifth, and in some situations they could “wrap”(or “lap”) around enemy units. Models with a shield and hand weapon received +1 to their armour save for the first time. Dedicated slots in force organization charts for specific tiers of units also made their debut here.

Magic was altered to use a brand new dice-based system, rather than the decks of cards seen in previous editions and the Magic phase was moved to come right after the Movement Phase and before the Shooting Phase.[1] The eight colours of magic winds were further defined, and staples like miscasts in the modern sense were implemented.

Unlike its previous two editions, in Sixth the rulebook was released outside of its starter set, hard-cover in its first printing and soft-cover after that.


Considered one of, if not the, most balanced editions of the game, Sixth did still suffer from somewhat powerful cavalry and the rigid nature of its army lists. Nevertheless, this edition is often said to be the “Golden Age” of Warhammer Fantasy.[1]

Starter Box Contents

Starter Set

Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles (Sixth Edition Boxed Set) went up for sale alongside the game’s broader release and contained similar contents as other out-of-the-box packs before it. 40 miniatures from The Empire and 37 Orcs & Goblins figures were included, alongside the full rulebook, play aids, and a cardstock building. Building, painting, and modeling guides were merged into the rulebook and not included as individual booklets.[1b]

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Warhammer Fantasy Battles
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