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Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

I thought I'd shamelessly rip off Kid Kyoto and try one of these. I'm looking at White Dwarf issue 130, from October 1990. Hands up if you're less than 29 years old.

This was the first White Dwarf I ever got, as a gaming neophyte at the age of 11, so none of this made the slightest bit of sense to me, and I remember trying to piece together game mechanics from the snippets presented here.

Starting with the cover, this is Les Edwards' painting for the Heroquest expansion Return of the Witch Lord. Where has he returned from? Well, now I know it's from being dismembered by the chap chained to the floor here, but back then all I could see wat that this guy looks properly frightened of that big toothy thing behind the bars. still, he's bodily wrenching the chins out the ground, so he might not be as outmatched as it seems. I'd not played Heroquest at this time, and I've still not played this expansion, so I don't know what happens next...

You can see a scan of the original painting without the text over it on the artist's website:

Inside the front cover is an advert for the first two 40k novels (well, one anthology and one novel). This was well before Black Library. the Deathwing anthology has works by new authors like Bill King and Charles Stross, but also works by established science fiction writers like Ian Watson and Storm Constantine. This was doing for 40k what the Horus Heresy series of novels has done for that setting - not just reflecting what's in the codexes, but defining and expanding a reasonably new world. I still want a mini of that Dark Angels officer with the animal fur over the left shoulder pauldron. I think that's possibly meant to be Captain Ezekiel of the Deathwing (from the short story of the same name, included in the book).

The contents page lists the editorial/writing team. None of them are still at GW.

The news section shows off the brand-new Eldar Exarch miniatures. As far as I'm concerned, they still fit seamlessly into an Eldar army today.

In Retail Store news, here's an example of the sort of things that my local shop was putting on. I was rather gutted, as a callow youth, to have missed these by the time I got this issue.
White Dwarf 130 wrote:
Saturday 6th October - Hunt for Red Orctober
The Orcs have stolen the prototype Dwarven submarine and are heading out to sea. Can the Dwarf Gyrocopters sink it before it can get to the open sea and dive. (sic)
If you'd like to play in this Warhammer Fantasy Battle game with a difference contact the shop.

Saturday 13th October - Orkinator
The Orks have 'perfekted' their version of Terminator armour and are boarding a derelict starship to bring their own brand of mayhem to this participation game of Space Hulk.

Thursday 18th October - The Great Escape
An Advanced Heroquest participation game. All characters begin as prisoners of Zargoth the Chaos Lord. Starting without weapons or equipment they must arm themselves and fight their way out of a maze-like dungeon.

All the preamble out of the way, we get a two-page spread of 'Eavy Metal painted miniatures. No particular theme here - there's Epic Orks, Warhammer fighters, a couple of random monsters and some Imperial support weapons, Eldar and Orks for 40k:

The first main article in this issue is a big 'un, so it will get a post of its very own...

Made in us
Awesome Autarch

The early to mid 90's are my favourite White Dwarf magazines. Have quite a few myself and almost all of them on PDF. Good stuff.

Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

Thanks for this!

This was a few years before my GW fandom started but think I have the back issue somewhere.

I loved both of the 40k books, I was very lucky to find them in a used book store in the US, I don't think they ever saw a wide release here.

As for the cover yeah, my memory is there was a lot of art that didn't match the contents. Inquisitor has a scene with a Genestealer cult and after the narrator explained that this was chaos, but not Chaos per se, they show a picture of cult... covered in Khorne symbols.

Maybe he's just not a very good Inquisitor?

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

And now, the main feature of this issue …


No, not that one. This one is born from an unholy combination of a 40k RPG and a WW2 skirmish ruleset. Future issues would cover the rules, but this issue covers the setting. Most of this stuff has been incorporated into the current edition of Necromunda, so I'm going to concentrate on the images.

Firstly there's this guy, who's got an interesting mix of biker gang and romany looks about his gear (including what's either a hand flamer or a compressed-air-powered autopistol). I'm guessing by the look on his face that whoever's holding that autogun isn't his mate …

Here, we can see the vastness of Imperial architecture. I presume it's in the Spire since it looks like it's open to the skies here.

White Dwarf wrote: Necromunda's population has never been counted and the chances are that it never will be because the number of people involved is simply too large. There are probably more people on Necromunda than have ever lived in the entire history of Terra up until the end of the twentieth century.

From Wikipedia,
An estimate on the "total number of people who have ever lived" as of 1995 was calculated by Haub (1995) at "about 105 billion births since the dawn of the human race" with a cut-off date at 50,000 BC (beginning of the Upper Paleolithic), and an inclusion of a high infant mortality rate throughout pre-modern history.[13]

In charge of those 100,000,000,000 people is Lord Hemlawr:

Look at that babyface and unibrow. That's the face of a leader of men, isn't it? We get a whole page about him, without ever finding out his first name.
White Dwarf wrote:His ancestors are known to have reigned for the past seven thousand years at least, records of government before that time having long since disappeared. Even the Archives of the Adeptus Administratum ... are remarkably silent on the history of Necromunda during the early days of the Imperium

The latest Necromunda rulebook shines a bit of light onto the beginnings of House Helmawr, and the chaos of the first three millennia after the Heresy. At this time, though, that's a good hook for a campaign, given that this was intended to be an RPG.

And now we head outside of the hive walls into the wastes. Here's a merchant transporter about to get ambushed by waste nomads. Looking at the scale of that vehicle - you can see the control cab on a boom at the front between the front wheels - that thing could transport a battle titan in the cargo compartment. I hope that guy in the foreground is a good shot with that bazooka.

White Dwarf wrote:The hives are grouped into clusters comprising up to a dozen or so individual hives ...

Each hive takes the form or many huge spires which rise from the base of the city. From a distance, a hive resembles a mass of stalagmites... Each hive covers an approximately circular area some fifty to a hundred miles in diameter. The tops of the spires can rise to a dozen or so miles above the ground surface...

There are approximately a thousand hive clusters on Necromunda...

Taking those numbers at face value, there's about ten thousand individual hives on Necromunda. Combined with the population estimate, that means an average of only ten million people per hive, which is rather low (and contradicted by a previous comment of a billion in the upper hab levels of Trazior hive). Let's assume the population estimate is too low by a factor of a thousand.

If you make the mistake of wandering too far into the wastes, there is still some wildlife to be worried about:

White Dwarf wrote:No unpolluted air, food or water can be found in these dead lands, although there are fungi, algae and bacteria which live on the waste itself. These are believed to be resposnible for the limited free oxygen content of Necromunda's atmosphere.

The ash wastes are a striking and colourful if somewhat lurid environment. The nomads of the waste and even most hive-dwellers who see them would call them beautiful. The ash occurs in many different, often vivid hues such as sulphur yellow, citric green, cobalt blue, pink, mauve as well as various shades of grey, and it varies in texture from fine dust to crystalline clinker.

So, plenty of scope for a more interesting tabletop than just painting your Realm of Battle board grey. Then there's the temporary "water" features of industrial runoff and toxic waster, also in various rainbow shades, and toxic fogs and fearsomely abrasive dust storms.

There are even hives in the sludge seas, either built on piles driven through into the bedrock, or even floating at anchor. Occasionally these floating hives are sunk or capsized by ash storms; again, another exciting potential location for your games.

Who the heck is this guy?

Creepy mutant midgets/children are a through-line in John's artwork for this game. Presumably this is some sort of ash waste nomad, as we see him amongst the pipelines leading away from hive Primus. Archeotech prospector, rogue psyker, nomad tribe leader? All of those possibilities and more. Still, he won't be a pushover no matter what.

And here's some more nomads, looking towards a multi-spired hive in the distance; possibly Trazior. In this article there's as much artwork of the wastes as of the underhive, although the miniatures and rules never had a good chance to explore that setting to the same extent.

Back inside now, and here's ... I'm not sure about this actually. Could be a Brat gang (upper-hive nobles looking for a fight) or just a snazzy Hive City gang. They look like the beginnings of what became House Delaque, with the bald heads and snake symbol.

There's also this titbit:
On a typical hive world air and water pass through, on average, 287.3 other people before reaching the lips of those who inhabit the undercity.

Then there's this two-page panorama of Hive Primus, with some interesting closeups of a sub-spire, the expanse of the underhive, etc. I'd like this as a poster, actually.

Here's our first glimpse of a Caryatid - not that this article names them. It just drops a picture of a grumpy flying baby here with no explanation. That's 40k for you, I suppose.

Here's the troops of house Helmawr - the PDF - fighting a particularly unruly Hive City gang. Actually, the gangers aren't doing too badly; despite being surrounded by the troops, they've managed to capture a sergeant ant take down the officer in charge, it seems. Note the kneeling trooper on the right here who has his lasgun upside down. This happens occasionally in the artwork of this time. I assume they gave the artists some miniatures but no instructions.

Back outside now, for some more ash waste nomads.

These ones seem reasonably well-equipped, with a couple of bolt weapons by the looks of things. Here, we learn that it's possible to be worse off than underhive-dwellers. You could live in a shanty town on the outside of the hive - nothing but a coiuple of sheets of packing material or a wrecked vehicle to call home, under a constant rain of industrial effluent, and the constant threat of attack from mutants, monsters and ash waste nomads. They're only safe from the hive-dwellers because no-one in the shanties has anything worth nicking.

Last up, we have the Adeptus Arbites. Redesigned from the version shown in the Rogue Trader rulebook, these ones look very similar to the modern conception of the Arbites, but slightly more ornate. The original intention was that the miniatures would use the same plastic arms as the then-new mk7 Space Marines. Since those arm sprues are pretty much the same as the arms used by (non-Primaris) Marines today, it means you can easily convert the miniatures.

Automatically Appended Next Post:

These are the miniatures sculpted after that concept art. The fellow on the right is the bolt pistol / power maul model with the arms removed and replaced with plastic Space Marine arms and a grenade launcher from the Elysian Drop Troops range. Careful sawing would also allow the head to be repositioned too.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/13 16:00:24

Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

So much good stuff!

I have a few Congrontation articles and my memory is great full, terrible rules. Like a lot of the RT era spin offs and RT itself.

I'm kind of surprised FFG never used Necromunda as a setting, with so much pre-existing material it seems like it would have been an easy lift.

As for the population numbers, well who knows. GW was never good at math and math is not good for storytelling. Still it's not like the population would be evenly distributed. 10k hives, but a few with over a billion people, and a great many with a mere million or ten.

I have some of the RT arbites and they are great models that hold up. Really GW should have made an armless body packaged with Marine arms, that would have really opened up possibilities.

Thanks and keep it coming!

Made in ca
Stoic Grail Knight

drinking tea in the snow

Wildly confusing and inaccurate numbers have always been a feature of warhammer it seems.

I always wanted to see more about the wasteland people. I'm probably strange but i like the idea of these strange nomads wandering the ruined planet more interesting. Nice to see that they had a little bit more written for them that i had never seen

realism is a lie
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut

Ah, 90s White Dwarf.

I had all of them from about 1992 onwards at one point, sadly binned in the late 90s/early 00s due to moving house.

They were at the peak of the magazine around 1993 imo, in about the late 90s they started turning the magazine from something useful into just another trade rag that shills for the company.

Right around the time they became a big PLC and GW's ethos changed massively iirc.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/14 16:01:43

Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

Yeah it was around 94 that WD just started reprinting supplements and running house ads. But the stuff from before then, when it was the test bed for every mad idea they had, that was golden.

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

Even before then in the early 90s, there were plenty of articles that were basically previews of Realm of Chaos, 'Ere We Go and Freebooterz.
Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

 AndrewGPaul wrote:
Even before then in the early 90s, there were plenty of articles that were basically previews of Realm of Chaos, 'Ere We Go and Freebooterz.

I get that but a lot of times there were there for testing and feedback, rather than publishing something then reprinting it in WD.

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

After the Confrontation article, there's the 1990 Reader's Poll; the chance to win one of every GW boxed game, rulebook, game supplement, novel and art book, plus one of every Citadel Miniatures box set. Not an insignificant haul, and the photo of the prize shows it even included the Troll games!

More 'Eavy Metal; both studio miniatures and the personal collection of that year's Golden Demon winner, Richard Pickup.

If I had an Eldar army today, I'd be tempted to give all my Dire Avengers and Striking Scorpions sashimonos too.

Then, as part of the promotion of the upcoming Advanced Space Crusade and the redesign and fleshing out of the Tyranids, there's this story which also introduces us to Inquisitor Kryptman:

Lindsey Paton wrote:

You know what you must do, Borshak?" Inquisitor Kryptman asked sternly.
The psyker nodded shakily. "I-I must read this alien artifact and t-tell you what I find."
Kryptman nodded. He mistrusted Borshak - like all empaths, the psyker was highly strung but there was more to it than that. There was a weakness about the skinny youth that made Kryptman suspect that Borshak might be receptive to malign influence. He resolved to watch him closely.
They made their way down the cold corridor of the Talasa Prime base. The two black-robed security novices saluted Kryptman at the door. He answered their salute by punching his fist against his chest.
"Password?" asked one of the novices. Ordinarily Kryptman would have been unfazed by the need to give the code words. Even here in one of the most heavily-guarded citadels of the Inquisition he could understand the need for vigilance. However, he was nervous about the alien artifact and the circumstances it had been discovered in..
Coupled with the reports of sector wide unrest, it had set his nerves on edge. He wondered if the appearance of this strange creature was the harbinger of some new threat to the security of the Imperium.
"Opus Dei," he said testily. The cold-eyed novice stepped aside. Kryptman raised his ring and pointed at the door seal. "No barrier stands in the way of the truly faithful," he said. The red jewel set on his ring pulsed. The runes on the door flared to life and the door dissolved. Kryptman gestured for Borshak to proceed then followed him into the secured area. He knew they were safe in isolation. The secret of the dissolving door was one of the Inquisition's most carefully-guarded secrets and he was one of the few men privy to it.
The artifact sat on a plinth in the centre of the room, the eerie blue aura of the stasis field glowing about it. They moved across to the dais and looked down upon it. "I-it l-looks alive," muttered Borshak. He clawed at his shaven head with one dirty nail-bitten hand. "I-I d-don't like it."
"It doesn't matter whether you like it," said Kryptman.
He understood Borshak's unease. The fleshy, pulpy appearance of the thing set his stomach turning. During his own novitiate he had studied torture techniques. The appearance of the thing reminded far too much of an arm from which the flesh had been flayed to reveal muscle. "Just read it."
"Y-you say that this was taken from the wreckage of the freighter H-hammer of F-foes?" Borshak asked.
"Yes, it was stored in stasis."
This was more like it. The psyker had begun to collect information in order to facilitate his reading. "And that there w-was n-no crewmen on board."
"No living crewmen. Many of the escape pods were fired. They have yet to be found About three of the crew have still to be accounted for. We found the bodies of the others. They had been killed with something that appeared to be organic material. Eaten right through as if by a combination of acid and giant worms. The ship had been decompressed. We found the body of its Astropath floating near the stasis chamber. He had died of oxygen starvation. The artifact was in the chamber."
Borshak took a deep breath. His lined face looked even more worried and careworn than usual. He peeled off his gloves resignedly. "I-I'm ready," he said.
Kryptman intoned the litany. The stasis field de-activated. For a long tense moment they waited. At first nothing seemed to happen and they relaxed slightly. Kryptman checked the readings on the brass-rimmed screen of the wall monitor. The techpriests had been correct, no biological contamination. So far, so good.
He became aware that Borshak was looking at him. He nodded. The psyker proceeded; a grimace of distaste passed over his face as he touched the mucus-coated thing.
He pulled his hand back. A thin film of slime glistening on his skin. "Urgh," he said.
"Get on with it."
With a slight shudder he grasped the thing once more. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, settling down into the trance state needed for psychic receptivity. A faint nimbus of light played around the eye symbol tattooed on his forehead. When he spoke his voice seemed deeper and more confident.
"I-it is alive," he said calmly.
"Sentient?" asked Kryptman.
"B-barely. I'm receiving conflicting impressions of the thing. I've just barely made contact. I-it's so - alien. It's like trying to read the mind of a s-spider."
"Try for a deeper reading." Borshak nodded.
His breathing slowed. If Kryptman had not known better he would have said Borshak was asleep. He noticed a small tic had appeared far back in the psyker's jaw.
"I-it's alive and part of it h-hates. I-it's so fierce. N-no. One of them is so fierce. It lives to bite and claw and spit, it chews up the other part, the little part and makes it into sh-shrapnel. Th-there's three of them. One bites, one guides and o-one - and one dies."
"One dies?"
"Y-yes, one lives to die. I-it's odd. The small one is many. It lives to die. It is chewed up and turned into projectiles and it i-infects the target."
"Speak sense, man."
Borshak had started to sweat. The strain of contact with the alien thing was starting to tell. "I-it's a weapon a-and i-it's alive. The bullets are alive. The firing mechanism is a-alive and the gun's alive. It's a kind of symbiotic organism l-like the martian tree-crab. I-it's alive and we - it hates you - us."
Kryptman's mind reeled. A living weapon? A living rifle? He tried to think of how such a creature might evolve? It was madness - weapons were designed not born. "Try psychometry - find out what happened on the Hammer."
"We are picked up by the sensitive one, the one who speaks at distance. He senses our hate and he responds. At first he is curious then he grows to know and love us. He is united with us. He senses our bloodlove and we hunt - we hunt the meat-things, the enemies of our makers. He knows our need to plant our seed within them. He knows we hunger to spurt forth the little hungry ones who eat the meat. He carries us and we seek our prey through the red dark of the long-long corridors."
Kryptman noticed how agitated Borshak had become. The gun had started to throb in his hand. The fleshy muscular sacs pulsing like the valves of a great exposed heart. He senses that something was wrong.
"Put the thing down, man. It's doing something to your mind."
"We h-hunted the meat-things, to lay the young-eggs within their flesh. Again and again we send them forth, pleasure bursting through us mixed with the pain as we send the little eaters out their way. Fire them out to bore through the meat."
Borshak swivelled the huge gun to bear on him. Kryptman threw himself to one side. The thing in Borshak's hands spasmed. There was a terrible tearing grinding sound..
Kryptman remembered that Borshak had said about the grubs being chewed up and spat out. There was a sound like a man vomiting. A burst of mucus sprayed out. Something hard cracked on the wall behind him. A stink, as of excrement mixed with bile, filled the air.
"Yes-yes, we hunt the meat-things - but they flee into the great dark and they trap the ship - soon it is hard to breathe but the meat-thing, our carrier, our partner, places us in stasis so we might live. Now we have new partner. Groupmind complete."
Kryptman rolled behind the dais, drawing his pistol. The grinding sound continued. A burst of shrapnel tore into the dais. Steam rose from the stone where the acidic mucus eroded rock.
Kryptman leapt up and blasted. The bolt flew straight and true in Borshak's chest. His rib cage exploded. What was revealed within reminded Kryptman oddly of the weapon falling from the psyker's dead hands. He fought to control the urge to pump bolter-shells into it.
It lay there dormant. Borshak's mouth continued to open like a fish's would when out of water. The Inquisitor understood now what had happened on the Hammer. The ship's astropath had melded with the weapon and hunted the unarmed crew. They had fled in the escape pods, after decompressing the ship. Rather than let the weapon die, the astropath had put it in stasis and suffocated himself. That question answered, Kryptman could hand the artifact over to the techpriests for dissection.
There were still other questions that needed answers though: who had made the gun, there had it come from, were there any more?
Kryptman had a premonition that he and the whole Imperium would soon need to know the answers.

Again, like Confrontation, I knew nothing about this stuff, but I was getting in on the ground floor in a way.

Then, another big article; the Chivalry card game of duelling knights. This was also part of an upcoming game that never saw the light of day - a historical wargame set in the 1300s by Dave Andrews, Nigel Stillman and the Perrys. If you look at the miniatures thePerrys were putting out for the Bretonnians and Empire, they were basically historical 30 Years War and 100 Years War models, and are still sold as such by Wargames Foundry. I think this was intended to use the Warhammer rules as a base, and this card game was a mini-game to fight out duels between opposing heroes. I played it once, and a single fight took us the best part of an hour. Some more development work required there, I think. Still, as a standalone game it was quite fun, and has some potential.

If you've got some spare time, give it a try.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/14 18:39:30

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut


I love this era.
Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

Love that story, the early Nids were really scary and alien, more than just Space Bugs.

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

There's another one in the next issue, partly from the point of view of the Tyranid grabber-slasher. Kryptman goes through minions pretty quickly.
Made in au
Anti-Armour Swiss Guard

Newcastle, OZ

I think I still have that issue in the shed.
I certainly have some of the "Bratt" confrontation models in the collection. They're my Necro gang "The Diamond Dogs" (all named after Bowie songs or characters).

I'm 50.
Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a ****.

That is not dead which can eternal lie ...

... and yet, with strange aeons, even death may die.
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

I've got the three that saw general release - the ones designed to take separate plastic arms. None of the single-piece ones, though; I've never seen them until I joined the Oldhammer FB group.
Made in gb
Enigmatic Sorcerer of Chaos

 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
Love that story, the early Nids were really scary and alien, more than just Space Bugs.

Yes! They were so much more unnerving back then.

Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

 AndrewGPaul wrote:
I've got the three that saw general release - the ones designed to take separate plastic arms. None of the single-piece ones, though; I've never seen them until I joined the Oldhammer FB group.

??? Armless arbites? I've never seen them

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

Sorry, I meant Brat gangers. The only armless Arbites I have are the ones where I sawed the arms off to make conversions.
Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

 AndrewGPaul wrote:
Sorry, I meant Brat gangers. The only armless Arbites I have are the ones where I sawed the arms off to make conversions.

Got it. Shame. I painted 10 RT Arbites this week and they very obviously used the plastic SM arms. If GW has made an armless one conversion would be SO EASY.

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

Like I said, the "sergeant" one with the power maul and bolt pistol has his arms out to the sides making them easy to remove, and has no high collar so you can easily reposition the head. Get a few of that guy, some plastic Marine arms and guns and have at it.
Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

 AndrewGPaul wrote:
Like I said, the "sergeant" one with the power maul and bolt pistol has his arms out to the sides making them easy to remove, and has no high collar so you can easily reposition the head. Get a few of that guy, some plastic Marine arms and guns and have at it.

I have 10 of him

I think i'll wait for the plastic enforcers rather than hack up a 25 year old model to convert with bits that are just as old.

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka

The current (non-Primaris) Marine arms fit too. They’re roughly the same as the original sprue that came with the Strike Force box set.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
 AndrewGPaul wrote:
The current (non-Primaris) Marine arms fit too. They’re roughly the same bulk as the original sprue that came with the Strike Force box set.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/22 11:16:53

Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut


I suggest part of the reason the mean population of hives is far too low is because many hives are actually deserted or dead.

Most of the planets population is concerntrated into the main few hives.
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