The game came out in 1988 and was (I believe) Games Workshop's first "epic" (i.e. 6mm) scale game. Set in their Warhammer 40,000 continuity, but thousands of years earlier during the Horus Heresy, it was a game of giant robot combat, which naturally appealed to my young adolescent sensibilities when I saw it sitting on the game store shelf. I still remember walking out of the store with the box tucked under my arm.
When I got home, the game contained within did not fail to disappoint. It came with four expanded polystyrene buildings and six plastic Warlord Titans. The rulebook dripped with good old-fashioned grim-n-gritty gothic-punk flavo(u)r and was my introduction to the joys of the 'Eavy Metal painting team and rulebooks with full-color photos. (Fantasy Warriors, my first miniatures game, didn't go much farther than pixelated line art for its rulebook.)
At any rate, I never played much of Adeptus Titanicus, but I enjoyed painting up the titans, and the photos in the rulebook caught the eye of my friend Alex, who was to become my first gaming buddy thanks to the conversation the rulebook sparked. A scheduled game turned instead into a broader interest in tabletop RPG gaming, and we didn't actually play a miniatures game until a couple months later (and Fantasy Warriors, at that!). But it certainly fired our imaginations, and it's no coincidence that a few months later we each asked for and received a Games Workshop game for Christmas (he: Warhammer 4th edition; me: Space Marine 2nd edition). We played a lot of both games over the coming years, but we both agree that our fondest memories from those years were courtesy of Space Marine and the truly "Epic" games we played. Over time, all those excess Titans (and the styrene buildings) from the AT box were lost to the sands of time, although I hung on to my metal Ork gargants (one Great and two Slashas) and still have them today, even though the gargants have for years served mostly as symbols of good times long past.
I was giving some thought to those memories a couple weeks ago, specifically in regards to the "Oldhammer"movement. As much as I admire the vintage Citadel sculpts of the 80s, my heart and soul lies with the epic-scale minis of the early 90s. So I went to eBay to see what was on offer...
Imagine my surprise when I found a lot of fourteen vintage Titans (including three metal Reavers and a Warlord still on the sprue) for a seriously reasonable price. I put the auction on watch on followed it as it got closer to the finish line. By the final day, the price was still not terribly exorbitant so I started bidding - and I won. In the end, I paid about $8.25 per Titan, a very reasonable price considering that one often sees single titan figures being offered for upwards of $25.00.
What's more, the lot came with a bunch of "extras," stuff I was only dimly aware of back in the day - custom heads, new weapons, and various other add-ons and ephemera. Clearly this lot belonged to a devoted Adeptus Titanicus gamer.
One of the things I love about picking up stuff like this on eBay is how you sometimes get these fun little personal touches in the lot. For example:
|Considering this was probably painted in the early 90s, that reference isn't perhaps as dated as it may first seem. Nice to know The Hammer is still enjoying some level of popularity in the 41st millennium.|
What you can only barely see in the picture is the massive watch battery case required to power the lights and switch, nor can you see the rather sophisticated wiring under the base. It was a noble effort, but I think I'll stick with the spinning discs.
I emailed Alex about my purchase and he immediately wrote back, enthusiastically offering to take some Titans off my hands. How could I refuse? We don't live in the same city anymore, but we do manage the occasional visit, and when we do hook up, we'll be sure to bring our minis along and finally have that game of Adeptus Titanicus.
In the meantime, these guys have a date with a Dettol bath. (Yes, even "It's Hammer Time" - hey, it's preserved in picture form, at least.) I'm quite excited about doing these Titans up properly, with lots of banners and heraldry. Pics will, in due course, follow. I'm also now cagily monitoring eBay, looking for more deals on vintage Epic figures. I'd like to re-acquire a nice collection of infantry and vehicles to go with my Titans, and my Gargants will need some Ork Boyz to swarm around their feet. I'm also thinking of giving Future War Commander a look by way of rules for any game that isn't purely titan vs. titan, in which case I'll use the original Adeptus Titanicus rules.
Quite unexpectedly, it looks like I've found my niche in the Oldhammer movement. Go figure.