Space Marines on the front cover again. It’s the Ultra-marines we read about in the last issue, and they are stepping over Ghost Rider. Poor Ghost Rider, first defiled by Nicolas Cage and then by a blue painted space fascist about to step on his head. Also, is that a bayonet attached to a magazine?
The first advert is for the first ever 40k supplement, called Warhammer 40,000 Chapter Approved, I think this is as good a place as any to quickly review it as the book gives a good idea of the state of the game at the start of 1988, it also gives the first full colour catalogue of all available models for it. First off you had a plastic space marine box, metal space marines, mostly prototypes (the first ever space marine was not among them having gone out of production by this point) Jet Cycles, Dreadnoughts, a land speeder, Marneus Calagar sitting down and attack bike model called the Vincent Black Shadow. You had a box of Orks, and some command models, a warbuggy and a Ork Dreadnaught, some human Mercenaries, assorted space dwarves and their command models, a dozen Eldar guardians and some command models, some Zoats, some mutant space pirates, some metal Imperial Guard models, (prototypes for the upcoming plastic kit) an Ogryn, some Imperial Guard with jetpacks, a Tarantula and a Mole Mortar. Sadly the Christmas Marines were not in this catalogue. It was £5 which is £13 today however it was only 4 months after the main 40k release and contained so many rules it could be counted as a necessity if you wanted to play the game. The rules and scenarios included involved using a games master for most of the random effects still. You can see how the historical wargamers probably loved that.
As for reviewing the models themselves, the plastic marines were the best value and also the only plastic models available at this time. It’s hard looking back at this and determining if this is the reason for their enduring popularity or it’s the idea of an army of super humans who are just like yourself but with Iron Man style powers. It could be a simple matter of Games Workshop only producing miniatures for the armies that sell the most. Or maybe they were the favourite race of the guy who designed the rules so they got their pictures on the cover and were constantly written about in White Dwarf. I don’t have enough information at this point, and as there were only 2000 copies of 40k sold on its first release the data just doesn’t exist. Regardless Space Marines are here as the top dog to stay. It’s also worth noting that this book allows for balanced forces and army lists being created so a little less of the diplomacy at the start of the game that most historical wargaming had to deal with.
There are Chaos Thugs and Chaos Centaurs in Warhammer Fantasy and the White Dwarf version of Chapter Approved gives a 5 page background article on the making of a Space Marine in the 41st millennium, I’m not a biologist so I couldn’t say if this all checks out, but it looks fairly realistic for a far future medical procedure. It also features the only sketch of a marines arse I can think of.
Thrud is drek as usual, this month featuring a punchline that has to be highlighted as a punchline incase the readers forget or want to skip straight to it. Gobeldegook is in German this week which gives it much more of a surreal edge.
We have a follow up article to the issue 91 one about WFRP nobility. It’s an interesting one but the only faction in Warhammer at this time this would be useful for were the Bretonnians and it doesn’t mention them at all, It could be repurposed for the Elector Counts in the Empire or Dwarf Kingdoms but it reminds me more of a historical article in the style of the Ley Line one from issue 90 than a play aid, which is no bad thing.
Iron Warriors in the well thought of RPG supplement Griffon Island, that name is going to be re purposed soon.
Chapter Approved explores the Mentor Legion, who are portrayed as the absolute best of the best who are loaned out to other legions. They have an Owl logo, and a piece of wargear called a Timewarper which allows them to move incredibly fast around the battlefield. For those that don’t know they have been effectively retconned out of existence as all Space Marine chapters are so elite they don’t need them.
Grapes of Wrath, a WRRP scenario has colour maps and goes on for 18 pages, it’s about occurrences in a wine making village, it’s great that the people behind Warhammer Fantasy had such amazing world building skills at this time, these days if they aren’t producing elite troops running around on wingless Griffons no one seems to be interested in fleshing them out. Fun fact, the Skaven language is called Queekish.
Eavy Metal going into how to paint red, it always was a tricky colour to paint, how to do a checkerboard pattern (With a technical pen) and how to paint faces (tactical wash application after highlighting). Meanwhile Blanchitsu answers readers questions on pencils, modelling putty, inks, shading and storing custom paints.
The Stormbringer campaign finished this month. On the Boil was all about errata and critical hit charts and we’re done.
This month was a bit of everything, it is of interest to you in 2016 if:
- You want to read Chapter Approved
- You want some advice painting the hardest details you can get
- You’re interested in kings and haven’t got enough of your information form the documentary Game of Thrones
- You like the history of The Empire and Warhammer Fantasy and want to know more about how life goes on in it.