Warhammer Historical closed shop a few weeks ago after having all their remaining stock on -50% sale for quite a while. They were out of stock on Warmaster Ancients before that, so I couldn't get my copy there. I bought mine from a local retailer at a salty price, but I wanted a copy to my collection as these rules may never again be available once the retailers run out. WMA has been moderately popular and a common name in "Hail Caesar or DBx or X" -topics on the Internet.
Apparently the rights for the rules and the intellectual properties have been passed on to Forge World, but so far there hasn't been any word on the future of the products. There are quite a lot of decent rulesets they published, and it would be a shame if the work of the designers isn't available anywhere else than on the second hand market. When the discussion on WMA's future was on the table in the Hail Caesar Yahoo group and the possibility of the property rights being passed on back to the authors mentioned, Rick Priestely joined the discussion and had this to say:
From what I understand of these things it is very unlikely that GW will allow
any of the WH line to pass into the hands of a third party.
It was Rob Broom (ex WH manager)that tried to buy WH - and I know of at least
one other that also approached GW to do so. But not me:)
I did have a second edition of Warmaster done - it was just not wanted - I
figure you just have to move on:)
I think you have to think of WH as just something Jervis and I started - with
the Perrys - as a personal project. We wanted to print and produce WAB ourselves
originally - but were unable to do so - mostly as GW has proprietry rights in
the Warhammer brand of course. We had the money and everything set-up - we
didn't need GW to do it. because of that it was initially set-up as a joint
ventue company - with GW having the controlling interest (but doing nothing
apart from that). For some years we (JJ, me, Perrys) ran the whole thing pretty
much as we wanted - until it got too big for us to manage - at which point we
employed Rob. But we did all the work ourselves - just using our contacts within
GW to arrange things like production and printing, and - eventually -despatch -
though we did all that ourselves to start with. GW recharged all the handling to
us as a third party. At the very beginning we even held the stock ourselves - so
the original print run of WAB lived in my garage for quite a while! WH was
absorbed into GW mostly for accounting reasons - because GW insisted on
retaining ownership the WH accounts had to conform to the same standards as
other GW companies (e.g. GW USA) - which meant that the accounts charges
actually exceeded any potential profit! In the end GW ended up with something it
never really wanted - and only retained ownership of out of consideration to me
and Jervis. The Perrys - of course - went off and did their own thing with Perry
Sorry to see it go - but I'm afraid it never sat comfortable with GW and I think
they've at least done the decent thing and given up - which - I believe - is
what should have happened when Rob went.
It doesn't sound very promising for the future of the products, so grab your copies while they last. Also, it was interesting to hear Priestley had the second edition of WMA done but the publisher wasn't interested. It would be interesting to know what the changes would've been, or whether it would mostly have been minor tweaks. Of course, it's quite possible that the direction Priestley wanted to take with WMA can now be seen between the covers of Hail Caesar.