A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Operation Game Collection Warhammer 40K Special: Fan Magazines Part 1: Introduction

Ah the 90s.  The days where Warhammer 40,000 began its rise to the top of the minis wargaming pile in spite of being designed without any real regard to balance or tournament play.

Before the Internet became king magazines were how you got your gaming news and rules changes or additions, usually months if not years before the same rules would be compiled into a book format or something.

GW's White Dwarf magazine was their in house book for these shenanigans, and in the Rogue Trader era was full of must have rules and additions for nearly every game they made.

But as is GW's wont, the longer they were around, the greedier and more idiotic they got (as all companies traded on the Stock Markets of the world are), and all these rules became less and less common in White Dwarf to the hilariously near nonexistent amount the now TWO magazines are.  (In general modern White Dwarf is merely really lovely pictures of GW minis painted beyond most people's abilities.  And advertisements to get you to buy more of them.  You basically pay money to be advertised to, and once in a while you get a rules preview or something.  Sometimes.)

However fans wanted more.  They wanted to talk.  They wanted to try new stuff.  Smaller companies wanted to make stuff and give you rules for them to try out.  To put back everything Games Workshop left out in the changes between editions.

And that's where the fanzines came in.  Except they were closer to prozines, one run by Games Workshop itself, another by resin model licensee Armorcast, and another by some dude named Louis Porter.

Today I will show you them in my own photographs and not scans because anyone with any experience with Games Workshop knows how they can be.  I will continue this process in this series as I review and cover the magazines.
(As always, click for larger.)
 First up are my five issues of Inquisitor, from Armorcast.  It was basically their house magazine to support their resin models of Epic scale Warhammer 40,000 miniatures they had some weird license with Games Workshop to make amongst other companies.  Technically they couldn't sell rules with their models, but they could make a magazine like this for them.  As far as I know, the issue below was the final one printed and if I recall, I kind of got boned out of my subscription I had made.  So hooray on that.  Luckily the magazine was cheap in 1998, and I cannot blame Armorcast for no longer wanting to waste time on Inquisitor since their rights to make their models ended before Third Edition came out.  (Thereabouts.  As we cover the issues in more detail information and knowledge may be regained, akin to a Techpriest finding an ancient data storage facility on a forgotten Imperial planet.  God I am a dork.)

 The final issue of Inquisitor and the only issue I have of Fallout, from a man named Louis Porter.  This issue I somehow got at a game store in Norfolk Va called Campaign Headquarters circa 1995 (hey it has 1995 on the cover!) as this is where I did most of my early 40K gaming.  And honestly I am surprised I ever kept with it really.  (A tale for another time.)

 And Citadel Journal, where Games Workshop had a mixture of prototype rules, conversion ideas to get you to buy more stuff from them when they still had a Bitz (individual parts/sprues) program going, and fan made supplements to all of the company's games of the time.  It was a mix of people working for Games Workshop at many levels and the fandom.  Of course through Games Workshop's approval of course.

As you can see being GW it cost more than the above magazines, but to be fair it was more professionally done on all levels.  And many of the rules introduced in these issues eventually became official.

Sadly, as far as I can tell these are my only issues.  I would love to have more of them but time, money, availability, and desire all factor in.

But join me next time as I dig in deep to them.  We ought to have a good laugh, a good bit of nostalgia, and even a bit of melancholy for better, simpler times.

Ok so even in the not so grim darkness of Monica Lewinsky's cigar filled... (you know), and the release of the Matthew Broderick Godzilla movie 90s Games Workshop still did customer unfriendly bits of stupidity.  These were the rules to play at the Connecticut Games Workshop store in the Spring of 1998 before Third Edition came out.  Everyone at my local comic shop LAUGHED at these rules.  And most said they would have never even begun playing had they have to follow these restrictions.


timdp said...

Just for the record, Inquisitor magazine predated Armorcast by four years. Inquisitor was started in 1991 to answer some of the many rules questions about 40K. I would send in a list of questions and Andy or Jervis and they would answer them and then I would publish them in Inquisitor (hence the name of the magazine!). Shortly after the first issue was published, I met Mike Biasi (who lived in the same town as I) and saw his first big 40K model, the first Reaver he made. Mike and I and others worked on rules for using the large models in 40K which were published in Inquisitor issue #2. We started running big games at local conventions using Mike's models and Inquisitor rules.

Inquisitor continued as essentially FAQ for 40K and an alternate rules development vehicle for 40K and was separate from Armorcast, even though I owned Inquisitor and was a partner at Armorcast. -Tim DuPertuis

Captain Rufus said...

Thanks for the info!


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