@Chris_S_79 has written a cracking post over at Paint & Biscuits about Games Workshop’s Epic. And it was Epic! Seeing as we’re related, his journey into Games Workshop games mimics mine (or vice versa) and I too graduated from the awesomeness of Hero Quest and Space Crusade to Epic. Mainly because he got the box set so I played too.
The first game we ever played was over my mini-snooker table, with the datafaxes precariously balanced along the edge. Cardboard buildings hastily made (and springing open throughout) and I’ll never forget how he ‘mistakenly’ informed me that Howling Banshees were long-range fighters and Dark Reapers were the close combat monsters. Needless to say I was horrified when my Dark Reapers charged headlong into a detachment of Space Marines and were pistol whipped to death.
Like @Chris_S_79 my collection of models was silly. At one point, through shrewdly cultivating a second-hand market at my secondary school, I’m pretty sure I had enough Space Marines to field all the first founding chapters. Not that they were painted. You didn’t paint Epic infantry. Oh no! You only paint Titans and Super Heavies my son!
Where @Chris_S_79 and I part ways in our hobby journey was that I never really fell out of love with Epic. I still got into 40k and Warhamster, and he’s right in what he said about Epic 40,000. It was bland and disappointing. There were some genius rules in that game but the liberal coating of grey that covered everything meant they were largely ignored. But despite that I just couldn’t let it go. In no small part because of the models – particularly the new Warlord Titan which remains, to this day, one of my all time favourite models. And despite the hideous generalisation of the rules I carried on playing.
I only stopped playing because I simply ran out of people to play against. Even though I’d collected two sizable armies so my opponents didn’t have to collect themselves, I had no takers because the fact remained that the rules simply made being anything other than Space Marines a complete waste of time.
When I became a Games Workshop member of staff back in 2000 I took advantage of the quite silly discount and bought myself a bunch of Warlord and Reaver Titans just to paint. Shortly after which I discovered Adeptus Titanicus 2 which was simply brilliant and prompted many an enjoyable evening against of The Chaps (before they were The Chaps) spanking his similarly sized Eldar Titan force across a ruined city-scape.
When Epic Armageddon came out I was really excited as it seemed to answer all my prayers for the rejuvenation of the game – the best bits from Epic & Epic 40k with a bunch of new cool stuff thrown in. The true tragedy is that it was never going to be successful. It’s an absolutely brilliant game (although Battlefleet Gothic will always hold a higher place in my heart) but the models were all suddenly produced in metal making it impossibly expensive and was the first warning sign that the Specialist Games range were being abandoned like a prom-night dumpster baby.
It’s true that I could proxy or pick up models on eBay the fact remains that despite all those things, I still have no one to play against and so the book sits on my shelf unread and unloved waiting for someone to come along to challenge me for the fate of worlds…