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Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

So this is my 15,000th post (give or take a few) on this version of Dakka. I've been posting almost daily on some version of Dakka since late1999/early 2000 so I can only guess what my actual post total might be if they'd all carried over.

So here's something special I've been meaning to do for a while, a Retro Review of the second ever 40k book, Chapter Approved (aka the First Book of the Astronomicon)! From WAAAY back in 1988.

Note, according to Dakka rules if you were not born when the book being Retro Reviewed came out you must speak up and say so!

As you may recall from my Retro Review of Rogue Trader the original game looked nothing like the one it evolved into. No army lists, no missions, random equipment, GMs... It was more of an RPG than a 1-on-1 wargame. Well that's being charitable. The truth is Rogue Trader was a great fluff book with incredible production values but it was also an unplayable mess that didn't know what it wanted to be.

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/348361.page

But it very quickly became obvious what direction GW would take it in. Chapter Approved introduced things like named characters and army lists. It even had the first campaign featuring Squat Hearthguard vs Zoat Fleshflayers!

No.

I kid.

It was Space Wolves and Orks.



Times may change but the standards must remain.

I got my copy on ebay a few years back during my single childless more money than sense days.



I forget just what I paid but know I left the £6.99 price tag (roughly ₹665) on it to depress myself.

Which reminds me does anyone know if this book was even released in the US? I didn't get into GW games until a few years later but I don't remember ever seeing this on shelves or in Dragon Magazine. In fact (as we will see) this entire book sort of vanished down the memory hole. While GW exhaustively mines its old fluff, most of the stuff in here was never seen again.

For this the first part I'll do a general overview then dive deep into the campaign, the army lists and the characters.

The book opens with a message from Rick Priestly himself talking about their future plans for the game, Realms of Chaos, plastic vehicles and a space combat game!



And then for some odd reason a paragraph on the Catachan Barking Toad.

The book is full of these little bits of background thrown in as filler (or fluff) and I really miss them. Modern books seem too sterile, no room for random nihilistic quotes or one-paragraph mini-stories.

Like this one...



I just love it. Less than 100 words and you're hooked. Who is Doctor Moenkhaus? What is Inquisitor Cynole looking for? What does the forest hide?

I'd read that book.

Then there's this one...



Wow that Horus Heresy thing sure sounds cool huh? Why I bet someone could fill a WHOLE BOOK talking about it. Maybe GW could even do a model or two and a booklet of scenarios.

Or this...



Hey it's that Leman Russ guy, the one with the resperator from Rogue Trader. He sure sounds cool huh? Why I bet GW could sell like dozens of models of him if they wanted.

The book also has few color pages thrown in. Color pages were just starting to appear in gaming books, GW might have been the first. I know Shadowrun and Rifts both had small color sections. But while they used them for art and other sissy stuff GW used their precious color space for...



Ads!

And before you judge just remember FASA has been out of business for 15 years while GW is still here.

So yes, 30 plastic space marines for £9.99. Obviously what with inflation and Reaganomics and all that you couldn't get a bargain like that today. Nah, now you'd get 1 plastic space marine for £25

And you'll like it FANBOY. You will LIKE it.

Of course that was always GW's plan, lure us in with cheap basic models then make us pay through the nose for the good stuff.



£3.50! Each! How can anyone afford this game?

OK they did use some of the color pages for artwork



But they may have had an ulterior motive



There's also a small shot of some sort of conversion



A Space Marine covered entirely in spikes... Some sort of traitor from what the text says.

I wonder if they'll return to them?

And there are some neat dioramas


The book closes with painting pages and letters.



But even the painting guides are written 'in universe' with a history of the great Jonjon Blanchisan, the Emperor's personal consultant on uniform design!



Even the letters page has whimsy.



I for one can't wait to see this tank they're making with room for metal weapons. I wonder what it will look like? I'll probably buy three, or even four!

And finally they close out the letters page with some words of wisdom...



My how times have changed. 'I can't see us getting through all 1000 chapters', yeah right, at this rate they'll all have codexes and their own special unique fliers before plastic Battle Sisters come out.

Anyway hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory late, join us back her tomorrow, or whenever, when we'll look at the very first 40k campaign, pitting Imperial Army Stegatanks against cyber-Ambulls!

Nah.

It'll be Space Wolves and Orks

 
   
Made in us
[MOD]
Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

Love your retro reviews, Kyoto! Thanks for sharing it

And lol at "Terminogre" . Some things never change - GW's naming conventions seem to be one of them!
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





The clever little 100 word scene setters are probably the thing I miss most.


Hodge-Podge says: Run with the Devil, Shout Satan's Might. Deathtongue! Deathtongue! The Beast arises tonight!
 
   
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser




MN

Great little Dune reference there. I miss the scene setter mini-stories too!

Do you like Free Wargames?
http://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/ 
   
Made in us
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit






Never heard of this book before, but great review. Love the old artwork and fluff, back when it required a bit more imagination.

 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander





Ramsden Heath, Essex

 torgoch wrote:
The clever little 100 word scene setters are probably the thing I miss most.



They were supposed to be scenario and campaign setting ideas. Rogue Trader had a whole section on it interspersed with random mostly 2000AD inspired artwork.

Even after all these years I still ponder that front cover, what is that temple and why does that Spade Wolf hold his bolter like that?

Nice idea K_K.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/04/19 22:21:23


How do you promote your Hobby? - Legoburner "I run some crappy wargaming website " 
   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Cracking post KK, enjoyed reading it!

They were indeed magical times (I think that's the best way to describe it?), looking forward to the next instalment

Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
Made in jp
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Japan

I still have my copy of this book, along with my three-ring-punched copy of Rogue Trader. The binding fell apart withing weeks of buying it, but the pages are all there, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Now showing RAFM Airship Pirates, along with a special guest star!




Painting Total as of 3/30/2020: 62 plus two mechs

Painting total as of 12/24/2019: 138 plus a wooden bridge and gnoll encampment and 36 pieces of Mantic scatter terrain and three fly holes and three farm buildings and a fire pit and two hills.


 
   
Made in es
Pulsating Possessed Chaos Marine





Excellent stuff. I don't know if it's nostalgia rose-tinted glasses or something like that, but the feeling I get from those old materials from the late 80s and early-mid 90s simply cannot be compared to what the setting has become today, an unintended self-parody which missed the joke long ago.

Progress is like a herd of pigs: everybody is interested in the produced benefits, but nobody wants to deal with all the resulting gak.

GW customers deserve every bit of outrageous princing they get. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Great post. All this old school stuff is cropping up with the 30th anniversary and the Apocrypha. I love it, thank you for doing that.

Still, I wonder what the Inquisitor was searching for, I guess we will never know.

I bet someday we will- *blam*

My mostly terrain and Sons of Orar blog:
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/568699.page#6349942
 whalemusic360 wrote:
Alph, I expect like 90 sets of orange/blue from you.
 
   
Made in gb
Rampaging Reaver Titan Princeps





UK

Thumbs up! 'tis a great book and I still have my copy. Too scared to take it out though, lest all the pages suddenly fly everywhere. Those old books were bound together using flour and water...

As for the book itself, I seem to remember it being available for about a year or two. They never reprinted it and by about 1991 it'd disapppeared.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/04/20 08:49:41


 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

 torgoch wrote:
The clever little 100 word scene setters are probably the thing I miss most.



Well it's easy to see why they were cut, I mean space is at a premium and obviously nothing of value ever came of them.

Nah, GW still does things like this but these days they tend to be part of long and bland timelines. While an army of demons coming out of the warp and eating a planet is cool, when it's presented as part of a laundry list of [insert space marine chapter here]'s great victories it loses a lot of punch. A 100 words told from the perspective of someone there would be a lot more interesting.

And I hear you about the bindings! It's one reason I don't do more of these...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/04/20 08:54:51


 
   
Made in us
Bonkers Buggy Driver with Rockets





Not a member of the Get Along Gang

Ah, this book and "The Lost and the Damned" are the two from that era that I haven't yet been able to get.
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

& we're back!

The first third of Chapter Approved is taken up by the first ever 40k campaign pitting a squad of Imperial Guard Beastmen against Chaos Androids amongst the carnivorous plants of Cata...

No I kid, I kid, it's Space Wolves vs Orks. Even in 1988 GW knew what which side of their bread had the butter or something. Can't remember how that one goes...



Aptly named 'The Wolf Time' it details how the Emperor declared a five-year crusade (homage to a certain 5-year mission?) into the Wheel of Fire, a lost region of space with over 500 worlds. The Space Wolf cruisers Restitution and Vengeance (even then GW was using the Grimdark Name 2000 super computer to generate names) are sent in.

Oh wait. It's not an accident.

The voyages of the Spacewolves' (sic) five-year mission to uncover new worlds and cleanse them of the Emperor's enemies would provide sufficient material for a TV series, if not several high-budget feature films.


Hmm... seems to me if you're going to do it, do it right. No winking or nodding, just play it completely straight. Let me try...


Local navigators called the Wheel of Fire, the sector's final frontier. The Space Wolves' starship Executioner was sent on a five-year mission to subjugate strange new worlds, exterminate new life and new civilizations and boldly cleanse worlds were no marine had gone before.


Hmm, needs work. Not as easy as it looks is it?

ANYWAY...

The Wolves must fight four battles on the Ork world of Xit.



Each battle has both an Imperial and Ork briefing and require a GM to referee them and run NPCs



Which gives us this wonderful icon...



I give it 6/10, if it had been ChaptORK Approved it would get 10/10.

The first 3 battles are to take out the Ork generators so the sheilds and defence lasers are down when the final assault happens.



Commanders Enoch and Storm lead the Marines.



With help from Captain Greylock, Librarian Edrigar, Durlan Ocellatti and Captain Inferno.

I could be wrong, but this may be the first time Space Marine Psykers were called Librarians. As with Chaplains I always figured was a bit of an in joke, talking two of the wimpiest jobs around but making them totally badass.



The Marines are opposed by the Ork boss Kulo and his henchmen (hench-orks?) Rulko, Navigator Fogg and Doctor Spleenripper.



Each mission tells you exactly who you got and what they have, no list building here!

(Hope you bought exactly the right models!)



One thing I love in older books, which we never see now is Marines dying horribly. It seemed they were always getting blown up in RT era art. Which is cool because super warriors who are nonetheless out-matched and outnumbered in a hostile universe is cool. Super warriors who are invincible and always win... not so much.



The final battle depends on the previous 3. If the Space Wolves didn't win at least 2 of the initial battles then the assault is impossible. If they won 2 then they can assault with the survivors of the previous games but the Orks get their laser cannons which just outright kill 0-5 marines a turn. If Marines won all 3 the Orks have to fight them with no laser support.




Since the battle occurs inside a castle you'll need to go out and buy GW's Dungeon Floor Plans and the Judge-Dredd/40k supplement Citi-Block.

Because of course you have to. There's a reason GW is still in business and FASA ain't.

Well I'm being a bit unfair.

Of course you can always make your own rooms and corridors from card, although it will require a bit of effort on your part.


And you will always know in your guy that you did it WRONG, you're a cheap-ass Poorhammer player and unworthy of our wonderful game.



As an added bonus each room has its own rules, classic D&D style and there's 4 optional subplots. It looks like a lot of fun, with subplots ranging from wild beasts breaking in, to an Ork trying to overthrow Kulo. Just the thing for a GM to keep one player from getting an easy victory.

So it's very different from the game we play now. Partly an RPG, partly a narrative-driven wargame. And it's not a bad idea. But... it requires you either proxy or buy exactly the right models to play this particular scenario, and it requires at least 3 people to play.

So you can see why the 2 person pick up game became the standard.

Join us next time when we see how that happened with our look at the first ever army lists!

 
   
Made in us
Thinking of Joining a Davinite Loge





Pittsburgh, PA

Quite the entertaining read here. I look foreword to the next installment. I'm 30 now, so I'd have been 3 when this came out, and I didn't hear about 40k until around '96 or 7, so it's interesting to see about it in ye olden days

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2016/04/21 02:17:53


 
   
Made in us
Sergeant





..

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2016/04/21 07:21:58


 
   
Made in au
Pustulating Plague Priest




I could never work out if the marines on the cover were defending the statue of Pigsy, or attacking it.
   
Made in jp
Fixture of Dakka





Japan

Would love if it someone would scan it and release it as an PDF (also the siege book) as they are almost impossible to find, great post have an exalt!

Squidbot;
"That sound? That's the sound of me drinking all my paint and stabbing myself in the eyes with my brushes. "
My Doombringer Space Marine Army
Hello Kitty Space Marines project
Buddhist Space marine Project
Other Projects
Imageshack deleted all my Images Thank you! 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

Joyboozer wrote:I could never work out if the marines on the cover were defending the statue of Pigsy, or attacking it.


They're attacking it's an Ork temple from one of the campaign scenarios.

Jehan-reznor wrote:Would love if it someone would scan it and release it as an PDF (also the siege book) as they are almost impossible to find, great post have an exalt!


I wish GW would put out a download of all RT content, all the books, all the WD articles, all the catalogues and painting guides. I have a pretty good collection but still not everything.

Throw in some behind the scenes stuff with the original creators too.

If they priced it under $50, or even under $100 it would sell like crazy.

 
   
Made in gb
Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Definitely! It's one of the few that you can't find.

Not advocating doing it with current releases but for these classics the internet is a great way of archiving those documents and keeping them 'alive'.

Great article again though, agree completely about the sentiments of marines dying in the old artwork, not something you tend to see any more!

Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
Excellent discussion forum & information collection for Epic and other small scale miniatures: http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/index.php
 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

 MattofWar wrote:
Fasa never went bankrupt. They just changed business models from a paper game producer to a IP licensing company so their management team could retire or move into other industries without having to sell and divide the proceeds. Though some parts were sold including a video game division which Microsoft bought in 1999. Wizkids was another result of the changes and that too was sold in 2003 to Topps and has since been bought by NECA who have done very well with the prepainted miniatures business (especially with the success of Star Trek: Attack Wing). Similarly, Catalyst Game Labs is still released Battletech related game books.


Thanks I didn't know that. I know the IP got sold around but I always assumed they just closed their doors one day.

 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Nah FASA closed on their own terms, with a bit of outmoded thinking behind it as well.

Their products live on.

   
Made in us
Posts with Authority






 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Nah FASA closed on their own terms, with a bit of outmoded thinking behind it as well.

Their products live on.
I gather that one of the deciding factors was that they looked at their profits, realized that for the first time in years they were in the black! and decided to leave the business while they had a positive balance. (Closing the doors not because they were losing money, but because for the first time they weren't is... an amazingly sane decision.)

The Freedonian Areonautics and Space Association is much missed.... But in 2012 at GenCon it was announced that FASA was coming back. (I haven't heard much since, though.)

The Auld Grump

Kilkrazy wrote:When I was a young boy all my wargames were narratively based because I played with my toy soldiers and vehicles without the use of any rules.

The reason I bought rules and became a real wargamer was because I wanted a properly thought out structure to govern the action instead of just making things up as I went along.
 
   
Made in jp
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Japan

As weird as these scenarios (and all of RT, really) seem now, they led to a lot of crazy, improvisational games. Multiple random forces, each with a secret mission from one of the d100 tables, and off-the-cuff activation rules gave high school-age me and my friends a lot of fun times.

Now showing RAFM Airship Pirates, along with a special guest star!




Painting Total as of 3/30/2020: 62 plus two mechs

Painting total as of 12/24/2019: 138 plus a wooden bridge and gnoll encampment and 36 pieces of Mantic scatter terrain and three fly holes and three farm buildings and a fire pit and two hills.


 
   
Made in us
Posts with Authority






 JoshInJapan wrote:
As weird as these scenarios (and all of RT, really) seem now, they led to a lot of crazy, improvisational games. Multiple random forces, each with a secret mission from one of the d100 tables, and off-the-cuff activation rules gave high school-age me and my friends a lot of fun times.
Because of Rogue Trader I went through a period of building weird vehicles out of random junk - including a 'skim boat' that used a plastic Easter egg as the hull, and a combination of flexi straws and wire for the legs.

When players were expected to build their own.

The Auld Grump

Kilkrazy wrote:When I was a young boy all my wargames were narratively based because I played with my toy soldiers and vehicles without the use of any rules.

The reason I bought rules and became a real wargamer was because I wanted a properly thought out structure to govern the action instead of just making things up as I went along.
 
   
Made in jp
Fixture of Dakka





Japan

 JoshInJapan wrote:
As weird as these scenarios (and all of RT, really) seem now, they led to a lot of crazy, improvisational games. Multiple random forces, each with a secret mission from one of the d100 tables, and off-the-cuff activation rules gave high school-age me and my friends a lot of fun times.


That wargear cost points per roll was an uhm "interesting" mechanic, you could be very overpowered or have gakky equipment, at my local store we used the chaos books for a fantasy chaos warband and i rolled a lascannon for my champion, he had only one leg though

Squidbot;
"That sound? That's the sound of me drinking all my paint and stabbing myself in the eyes with my brushes. "
My Doombringer Space Marine Army
Hello Kitty Space Marines project
Buddhist Space marine Project
Other Projects
Imageshack deleted all my Images Thank you! 
   
Made in jp
Incorporating Wet-Blending





Japan

 Jehan-reznor wrote:
 JoshInJapan wrote:
As weird as these scenarios (and all of RT, really) seem now, they led to a lot of crazy, improvisational games. Multiple random forces, each with a secret mission from one of the d100 tables, and off-the-cuff activation rules gave high school-age me and my friends a lot of fun times.


That wargear cost points per roll was an uhm "interesting" mechanic, you could be very overpowered or have gakky equipment, at my local store we used the chaos books for a fantasy chaos warband and i rolled a lascannon for my champion, he had only one leg though


Oh, man, I loved that d1000 table.

Now showing RAFM Airship Pirates, along with a special guest star!




Painting Total as of 3/30/2020: 62 plus two mechs

Painting total as of 12/24/2019: 138 plus a wooden bridge and gnoll encampment and 36 pieces of Mantic scatter terrain and three fly holes and three farm buildings and a fire pit and two hills.


 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander





Ramsden Heath, Essex

I loved the RT ruleset.

I spent hours using the vehicle/robot creation rules, probably hundreds of hours with the Robot/Dreadnaught creation rules that came in WD.

The only proble with the former as that they made any sort of usable Armoured vehicle massively expensive. 500point land raiders anyone?

How do you promote your Hobby? - Legoburner "I run some crappy wargaming website " 
   
Made in jp
Fixture of Dakka





Japan

 notprop wrote:
I loved the RT ruleset.

I spent hours using the vehicle/robot creation rules, probably hundreds of hours with the Robot/Dreadnaught creation rules that came in WD.

The only proble with the former as that they made any sort of usable Armoured vehicle massively expensive. 500point land raiders anyone?


They were very difficult to destroy/target then with the overlay system.

Squidbot;
"That sound? That's the sound of me drinking all my paint and stabbing myself in the eyes with my brushes. "
My Doombringer Space Marine Army
Hello Kitty Space Marines project
Buddhist Space marine Project
Other Projects
Imageshack deleted all my Images Thank you! 
   
Made in gb
Wrathful Warlord Titan Commander





Ramsden Heath, Essex

It just made getting 2 in a box all the more perplexing!

How do you promote your Hobby? - Legoburner "I run some crappy wargaming website " 
   
 
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