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Warhammer Armies Project nixed after alleged GW legal claim

The creator of the Warhammer Armies Project says Games Workshop asked them to take down the Warhammer Fantasy fan project due to copyright issues.

Warhammer Armies Project discontinued - GW art of a soldier from Warhammer: The Old World

Mathias Eliasson, creator of the Warhammer Armies Project (WAP), has announced the discontinuation of the unofficial books. Writing in the WAP Discord server on June 28, Eliasson says they were contacted by Games Workshop, who asked them to “remove all GW art and text from the army books that infringes on their IP”. Due to time constraints and the upcoming Warhammer: The Old World release, Eliasson is halting work on the project for the forseeable future.

WAP is an unofficial ninth edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Eliasson created the project over 13 years ago, after GW stopped supporting Warhammer Fantasy in favor of its Warhammer Age of Sigmar armies. While WAP is fanmade, its books include text and art from the official Warhammer Fantasy books – which is why GW has allegedly stepped in.

“Quite a bit of sad news here”, Eliasson writes to their Discord community. “After over 13 years, I was finally contacted by GW, who requests that I remove all GW art and text from the army books that infringes on their IP.”

Warhammer Armies Project discontinued - Games Workshop photo of Warhammer Old World miniatures

“I’ve always known this day might come, and with the announcement of the Old World, it was more and more likely to happen”, they add. “I’ll wait until Friday this week [June 30] to remove all the book links from the blog so you all have time to download them until then.”

Eliasson shared a letter they claim is from GW’s legal team. While it says the Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40k company “appreciate how enthusiastic you are about the hobby”, it outlines the copyright infringement issues caused by WAP. The letter says fanmade books are fine, but they must “not include text, artwork, or imagery copied from any official Games Workshop material”.

Unofficial content must also be explicitly unofficial. This means WAP would need to “make it clear that they are unofficial, without using any Games Workshop logos, and include the word ‘unofficial’ prominently on the front cover’.” “We request that you change this document to be in line with our Intellectual Property Guidelines”, the alleged letter says.

“What this means for WAP is that I will no longer be able to keep making full army books with art and text”, Eliasson says. They add they “would be limited to only using their unit/character names for the rules-set in an army-list format”. Future versions of WAP will apparently need to be entirely rewritten, as “there are hardly any army books that do not contain some amount of GW lore”.

Matthias Ellison's post in the Warhammer Armies Project Discord

It sounds like Eliasson isn’t fully giving up on WAP, but they concede they don’t have the time to begin work until “September at the earliest”. According to Eliasson, this is when GW is rumored to release Warhammer: The Old World, which officially reboots Warhammer Fantasy.

“I want to hold off until then so I don’t spend a ton of time needlessly redesigning everything only for the Old World to supersede it a few months later”, Eliasson says. “Any further updates would have to wait until early next year when it would be due for the annual rules-revision.”

Wargamer contacted Games Workshop to confirm whether it had corresponded with Eliasson but has not received a reply at this time.