In general I plan on covering an issue a week going with a rough chronological order. I will photograph about 10% of the pages per issue I review and include the Table of Contents page.
This should be enough to show what the magazine is like while still being under "Fair Use" laws.
(Why any company would care about 2nd edition era Warhammer 40,000 fan submitted works magazines nearly 20 years later is beyond me but.. never hurts!)
The front covers are again in the introductory post if you want to see the fronts.
To save me having to write this every installment, I will now say to click most pictures for larger images, and also for those few who care about inflation and the like, a single US Dollar in 1998 has the buying power of 1.44 in today's money. So basically a 20 dollar 2nd edition army codex in 1998 would be the equivalent price of 28.70. (Which is funny that today's 40K army codex books are 50 dollars. Inflate much GW? Even the codex books released in the 5th edition softback format closest to 2nd edition currently cost 33 dollars. Also a single hero/commander miniature made of out plastic in stores is 20-30 dollars. This can be some ammunition to rage against the Workshop if you want. Although to be fair the 60 dollar 2nd ed era game boxes for GW's game lines is much closer in buying price to their current 100 dollar ones. And the modern boxes have a MUCH higher quality of components in the box.)
Going by time, this here is the first 40K fan mag I bought, back in 1995 during the earlier days of 2nd edition. There is a total of 20 pages including covers. This issue isn't exactly full of amazing content, though I bought it for the Blood Slaughterer datafax. In Rogue Trader it was an automated robot thing whose final appearance was in the Vehicle Manual.
Missions from Hell is the biggest section in the issue. 2 pages each for the scenario for each player. In general I couldn't see anyone USING these. Not only does each player need to have the correct selection of miniatures, but the scenarios are VERY simplistic. It does show a closer to GW intended army construction as opposed to the Herohammer style of play most people had which was full of nothing but Heroes, Heavy Weapon/Elite Units, and Tank/Dreadnought class machines. I haven't checked the points values, but it looks to be 1500 or sized, with an average of 40 models a side. (The Orks in their mission versus the Eldar have over 80 models, some of which were incredibly rare if not long out of print.)
There just isn't enough utility in these missions. The Third Edition 40K missions had more flexibility and FUN in them than these. Its mostly a bunch of unpointed out army lists with some minor special rules. Bleah.
Of note is the official GW logo designs used on some of these pages. Attributed to Games Workshop with all rights and the like but.. seems odd to me. And something the modern GW would go out of their way to crush.
And the reason I bought this issue. Rules for the Blood Slaughterer. The army card for it and the Holocaust Predator conversion are simple but nice looking. Being pre Chaos codex, the Blood Slaughterer's Heavy Bolters get the option to use the explosive Hellfire shells which have since been made as Loyalist ordnance made to fight the Tyranids, a threat that has only been known of and fought for a few hundred years. Its 145 points and reasonable overall. In comparing it to the Battle Manual it is priced a little bit higher with a slightly higher stat line.
The Holocaust on the other hand totally doesn't fit into what we know about Chaos Marines. Multi Lasers? A Power Field that is connected to the weapons? Add in the rules do not quite say if the field replaces the Data Card's Armor values, or is in addition to said values. Plus a KHORNATE weapon not made for engaging in close combat? Point cost is merely FIVE above the Blood Slaughterer. For something that is capable of laying waste to enemy armor or infantry alike while being incredibly survivable. And the 2nd edition Chaos Codex Predator with Autocannon and sponson Lascannons is 180!
Sorry but the Holocaust has NO use in 2nd edition outside of maybe being in a GM ran scenario game as an objective to be protected or eliminated. And probably being turned into a Squat or Imperial vehicle, not Chaos.
If I ever find the next issue (if it was actually released) I can see how said Dreadnought is and if we should be glad he warned us. In doing some quick research it does not look like such a thing was ever canonical in 40K, though the Blood Angels would eventually gain some HQ unit type Dreadnoughts in 5th edition.
Not that the concept doesn't make sense. In fact I found a couple of forums threads devoted to this concept.
Below this warning is an advertisement for some of Epicast's resin kits and conversion parts. Within 2 years the Vindicator, Whirlwind, and Falcon would have official Games Workshop releases, the Termite basically put into the mists of history, and the Stomper would get a kit in about 12 years for 40 dollars more. (Currently 115 dollars, and for the non tournament Apocalypse class games.)
The Gobsmasha seems to have entered the mists of time, never to return, though Forge World sells a spiritual successor; the KILL BURSTA, though the Kill Krusha in their vehicles section is also conceptually similar. And they all cost about 4-6 TIMES what the Gobsmasha did. (Or you could make your own. Whenever I get around to reviewing the Vehicle Manual for Rogue Trader I will talk more about this.)
So are we off to a great start?
No. Not really. This issue is kind of tiny with honestly less than half the pages actually having any sort of content on them, the rest being ads, contents, or a silly 5 question trivia contest thing. But for 3 dollars at the time (about the cost of a Value Meal at McDonald's around this timeframe, and the same price as an indie comic book) it wasn't too bad.
But using my general 3 point scale of BAD/OK/GOOD (with special ultra low and ultra good rankings for special specialness..) I honestly have to rank this issue as BAD. It has no real use for anyone any more and barely was of use at the time unless you were a Chaos player desperate for something to turn the tide of Tyranid, Space Wolf, Eldar, and Imperial Guard Codex ultra cheese while you were stuck with the Black Codex list from the 2nd edition box.
Join me next week for the first issue I own of Inquisitor. Timmy D. has some resin to support!