Sunday, 26 June 2016

Into The Archives - My Early White Dwarf Reads (Part Five)

When I started this series of posts I had no idea if it would go past the first one, I didn't know if I would bother to do another one or if anyone would give a damn about them. As such I started with the first White Dwarf I bought - #124. However as I mentioned I have older issue that I picked up from GW stores in those early years. I'm left in a quandary, do I continue in chronological order and at the end go back to do these early issues or do I jump back, cover them, then skip forward to continue where I left off?...I am undecided...

But for now...

White Dwarf #128

The August 1990 issue starts with a Heroquest cover piece by Les Edwards. This was actually taken from one of the expansions MB Games put out for the game. I loved Heroquest. It was the first GW game I ever got. The best thing was when they did rules for creating your own missions. Hours of fun with stickers creating board layouts was had.

Last month we had the mammoth article on the Eldar with smaller articles around it, this month we have something similar with a large article dominating the issue wth variety brought in with other smaller articles.

'Eavy Metal.

The main reason for including this page is it shows the Golden Demon winning entry from David Soper - for some reason it wasn't shown in the Golden Demon coverage in the previous White Dwarf.

Something that really stands out for me from these two pages are the Grey Knights. They are nothing like the quite bland scheme they now have. The models themselves have plenty of character to begin with but then we have all that green and the hazard stripes.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - Marienburg.

This article is the second half of the Marienburg piece started in WD #126

It is hard to comment on this article without just sounding like a stuck record, I've said several times how much I enjoyed the WFR pieces in White Dwarf. The maps, the small stories and the characters really brought the Old World to life. Will we ever get anything like this depth in Age of Sigmar? I just don't know, I am sure the depth of that setting will grow a lot as more rule books and novels are released. But without things like a Roleplay game you just want get to see these lower, day to day characters and locations being fleshed out.

Above you see one of these characters being brought to life, Hans Kluger, fence, ex-thief, ex-racketeer. You get snippets of his back story and how he came to be where he is in both position and outlook. This includes his father's suspicious death while in the hands of the law and Hans innate suspicion of anyone in authority. You also learn about his cat, Jascha...

"Watch out for that cat of his. It knows more than a cat ought to know, if you take my meaning."

Warhammer 40k Concept Art - Ork Freebooterz.

A double page spread showcasing concept art for Ork Freebooterz, by John Blanche, which came out in the forthcoming months.

I still love that Khorne Stormboy...we were truly in the days of Ork Kulture.

Warhammer 40,000 - New Vehicle Rules

Here is what forms the meat of this issue.

Once upon a time White Dwarf was used to bring in new rules, sometimes this was a radical change. Here the vehicle rules for 40k were completely overhauled and changed for something new.

We have new rules covering movement & turning, boarding and leaving vehicles, close combat, collisions etc.

But the thing which was most noticeable and what took up the majority of the article was the new way of shooting at vehicles and how you do damage.

You can see on the left a basic run down of how you hit a vehicle. The White Dwarf came with a plastic template that you used to target areas on the vehicle you were shooting at. Modifiers (I so wish we still had modifiers in 40k) would effect the dice rolls  you made to see where you actually hit. You then had tables to see what the effect was on the area you hit (if you hit that is). It meant the bigger the vehicle the easier it was to hit. I spent far too long playing around with that template.

Below are just some of the damage tables.

And here are a couple of the vehicle data records. The White Dwarf had a handful of these. More followed later. Keep in mind there weren't many vehicles in 40k at the time. I'm sure if they did something like this now you'd need a hell of a lot of pages.

Warhammer 40,000 - Ork Battlewagon.

First we have couple of really nice Ork Battlewagons using the still new plastic kit.

I had this kit, one of the first GW model kits I ever got (it was a Christmas present along with a Rhino I think). It was awesome. It came with seven(?) Ork Boyz with it and lots of glyph plates and Orky tools. I've still got some bits knocking around from it.

We then have a Modelling Workshop from Mr Forge World himself, Tony Cottrell. Later on we would get more complicated and involved Modelling Workshops (such as the infamous Baneblade), but for now we have a pretty simple conversion to the Battlewagon kit - giving the normally unarmed vehicle some Dakka. Handily a data sheet for the Blitzkanon Battlewagon was included in the data sheets in the new vehicle rules.

Marauder Miniatures - an Oddity.

For a long time we have been used to White Dwarf being a sales catalogue for Citadel models and GW games. Once, in the dim days of the past we had adverts for other companies...of a kind. They were linked to GW in some way generally (though if you go back into earlier White Dwarfs this isn't always the case). For example you might see an advert for the books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone or the roleplay by phone F.I.S.T (that really did happen) by Steve Jackson.

Here we see models from Marauder Miniatures - the company set up by Trish and Aly Morrison. Exactly how it came about is a bit vague, the two worked in the Citadel studio, left to start their own company but everything seemed to be aimed at GW games filling in gaps in the Citadel line. It was sold through GW. I think later on it was subsumed back into Citadel. But I have no real knowledge on this, just vague memories (and I'm too lazy to google it at the moment, I spent my last reserves of energy looking for F.I.S.T.).

Space Marine - Orks

The latest army to take to the field of Epic combat are the Orks.

Just like the previous articles covering the Space Marines, Imperial Guard and Squats(!) we have the same mix of background material, force organisation and rules plus sample army lists. All backed up by the pages of counters etc ready to be photocopied so you too can spend hours making up imaginary armies...

As you can see in the Army List above the Ork Clan your Warboss is of actually makes a difference to what you can take in your army.

If only the clans meant more than just a colour nowadays...

Oh btw, Mercenary Ogryns and 'Oomies. Yay.

'Eavy Metal - Back Cover.

To finish up we have the back cover. This shows the Nurgle War Altar, previously shown in issue #125. This time it is shown as the centre piece of a Nurgle 'army'. Nowadays that would barely amount to a skirmish force in a GW game.

And there we go, #128.


  1. Awesome - that war altar from the back cover is one of my favorite bits of fantasy conversion work. Loving these looks back through the old WD's, nostalgia mode in full effect!

    1. Aye that War Altar is still a great conversion.

  2. Those vehicle to hit template rules were so much fun as a teen ager. Now I look at them again though they look a bloody nightmare. :)

    1. I certainly wouldn't want them back now...though I would like a complete re-write of many aspects of 40k including the vehicles.