Titanicus hype intensifies

//, Epic/Titanicus hype intensifies

It is no exaggeration to state I have been waiting over twenty-five years for this day, a reboot of my all-time favourite Games Workshop game Adeptus Titanicus. We are not quite there yet as at time of writing the actual release date beyond a commitment to ‘August’ hasn’t been publicised. But it’s coming and after the big product reveal at Warhammer Fest it has now also had its first showing on Warhammer TV, which is also something I never really thought would happen. When the Specialist brands and studio were wound up years back I’ll be honest and say I never really anticipated Epic would return and especially its progenitor Titanicus. This warrants a bit of a nostalgia trip so please indulge me. Epic in all its guises over the years was not the beginning of our tiny Titans journey and there are I suspect some who maybe don’t know this. It was fantastic that Andy Hoare in his piece on Titanicus for Warhammer TV referenced that. Back when Jervis Johnson wrote Adeptus Titanicus the game was solely about War Engine versus War Engine set during the Horus Heresy. Loyalist versus Traitor. It was only when Aly Morrison sculpted a tiny metal Space Marine to go in the blister pack with the Reaver to help demonstrate scale of Titans that things headed off in a more ‘Epic’ direction. People wanted more of the tiny infantry and tanks so ‘Space Marine’ was born to introduce plastic Land Raiders, Astartes and Rhino transports into the game. It also served to really cement the events of the Horus Heresy at a grand scale. The game lived on in it’s new expanded scope but ultimately needed a successor and Space Marine (Edition 2) was released shortly followed by Titan Legions which bought in the even bigger Imperator and Mega-Gargant classes of War Engine. By now it was Epic that headlined the billing and the conflict had moved beyond the events of the Heresy to embrace the 40K universe in all its diversity, xenos races and all. To be fair first edition had by then established Eldar and Ork expansions via Codex:Titanicus, but we shall gloss over that.

Space Marine/Titan Legions lived on as what was arguably a third core product for Games Workshop until it was replaced by Epic 40,000 and a much more streamlined game. Not to everyone’s taste it has to be said and the epic community fragmented sadly. The Titans by this stage had also started to take an even more supportive role, no longer the stars of the show they became tough high points-cost tanks with big guns and void shields. Ultimately passed over in favour of more points efficient super-heavy detachments and such like. This made me sad.

1988

Titanicus first released

Classic Warlord in plastic

1989

Epic is born

320 Space Marines, 32 Rhinos, 16 Land Raiders

Codex Titanicus

Introduced the Orks and Eldar to both games

1991

Second Edition

Space Marine & Titan Legions brings Epic out of the events of the Horus Heresy and into Warhammer 40,000. The Squats, Imperial Guard, Chaos and Tyranids all get added to the range of supplements and miniatures.

Gods of War

Imperator, Warlord, Reaver and Warhound firmly established in lore as the primary Titan classes, each equipped in a variety of ways for differing roles.

1997

Epic is re-launched

Now a single boxed game Epic is re-branded as Epic 40,000 with a whole new range of miniatures directly inspired by their Warhammer 40,000 counterparts.

2003

Epic goes Armageddon

After a period out of print Epic is reborn in book form as Epic Armageddon by the Specialist Games team. This remains the current version of Epic today.

Adeptus Titanicus Returns...

Epic Armageddon

For a number of years the great War Engines slumbered, forgotten as the once gods of the battlefield, surrendering the field to the mass of infantry and tanks. There was a brief attempt to re-introduce them under a free set of rules released in the ‘Firepower’ Specialist Games publication titled Adeptus Titanicus II to let people replay all of the Titan vs Titan combat with the detail it deserved. These were eventually rolled up in part to give the war engines a more satisfying role again in what became the Epic Armageddon project. Epic Armageddon took (in my obviously biased opinion) all that was best from the previous iterations of Epic and weaved the Titans back into that in a way that really gave them back their potency. War Engines had a valid place once again in players Epic scale stratagems with a definitive role to play and more importantly a reason to collect, paint and field them. Ultimately however they were still a component in a wider battlefield meta, not the core focus. As an ‘Epic’ game however this was still a good thing and I still feel Armageddon is the best version of Epic to date, representing the full spectrum battlefield of infantry, armour, war engine and aircraft.

I feel it’s important to say at this stage the Adeptus Titanicus re-boot is not an ‘Epic’ reboot. It is exactly as it says in the title a revisioning of the original game that started it all and as such focused wholly on the rich detail of Titan combat, the very thing that was lost when Titans were inexorably absorbed into the wider scope of Epic. I have read many comments over the past months as the details of Titanicus emerged which expressed disappointment that there were no infantry or tanks or Xenos mentioned yet  (my emphasis on yet). Could they expand Titanicus into a new Epic? Probably if they want to, however I’m not convinced they should for the historical reasons I have discussed above. By all means a new version of Epic would be fantastic. Not convinced it needs it but if that brings it back into mainstream studio or even specialist games support then I’m totally for that. But not at the expense of Adeptus Titanicus. Let it stand alone as a game of Titan on Titan. Allow the god machines their time again I say and as such you can bet I will be supporting this enthusiastically on the Twitch.TV/studiodropship channel for the forseeable future.

Hype intensified. Damn straight.

Panoply of War

Before I wrap this post up I want to share something very special as my way of celebrating the Titans that started this all and as a nice send off before I give attention to the newly scaled war engines that will be their successors in the new Adeptus Titanicus. Many years ago, when I was still somewhat involved in supporting Epic and in particular the Armageddon products I had the great honour of being gifted a piece of Epic heritage by a benefactor who contacted me out of the blue. He had acquired some years ago the original studio painted War Engines that graced the publications around second edition, including Titan Legions and wanted me to have them as he no longer had the space to display them. Satisfyingly old-hammer they still completely outstrip my painting abilities over twenty years on and are still a proud part of my collection. In the lead up to Titanicus launch I will share a few of my own painting efforts from a few years back, along with plans to ‘resurrect’ an old project. More on that soon. In the meantime I leave you with the wonderful war engines of Legio Metallica I believe from Games Workshop.

*PS: If anyone knows who the original painter(s) is/are I would love to credit them.

By | 2018-08-05T14:02:50+00:00 August 5th, 2018|Adeptus Titanicus, Epic|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Alexis West August 6, 2018 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Adeptus Titanicus was actually my first introduction to GW stuff, in the form of a hand-me-down set from a family friend. Unfortunately, I only got to play it once before the whole lot was lost during a move. Really wish I still had that. Those original Warlord designs with the beetle shell carapaces are still my favourite.

    I’m with you on the focus, too. I played some Epic 40K 3rd Ed, and a bit of Epic Armageddon, and they were certainly fun, but I always loved the concept of Adeptus Titanicus, and anything smaller than a Knight just not even being worth noticing. It really showed off the true power of the God-Machines of the Legios Titanicus in a way that a combined-arms game can’t do. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to afford to get into this anytime soon, but I really hope it becomes a wild success, because it’s so great to see this scale of action getting attention (and amazing Models) again.

    Also, that is totally awesome that you have custody of the original Studio Titans. Those are a real piece of GW history there, great stuff.

    • Carl Woodrow August 6, 2018 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks Alexis, gutted that you lost your AT stuff, I still have a mega soft spot for the original beetleback design. I too hope it becomes a success but like you say price of entry point may put that under pressure. I’m hoping it’s not too far out of gamers reach.

  2. Iain (CyberShadow) August 6, 2018 at 5:02 am - Reply

    Right there with you on the hype train. I have always felt that the inclusion of tanks at the scale was critical to give context to the Titans, to give them proper sense of scale and power. There is a danger of a pure Titan game losing that in my opinion and becoming Battletech where it doesn’t really matter how big the minis are because there isn’t a sense of scale to the average gamer, beyond being in scale with each other. But as soon as you post a picture with them next to a Rhino, it gets a totally different reaction. However, I totally agree with that 1) Armageddon was the best version of Epic, 2) This new version is very unlikely to include troops and tanks, and 3) It will be a better game for the focus on the Titans. Despite my affection for the tank battalions alongside the Titans, with the limited resources available to these ‘one shot’ boxes and seeing the how other games have been released, I do think that its better to focus the resources available on the core theme. Blood Bowl is still coasting along but without a lot of external force, Shadow War has been replaced, Necromunda doesn’t seem to have a lot of official support…. If we look at the reality of the future for AT I think that getting the core box sets out and then maybe Orks, Chaos, Eldar….. Tyranids (?) would be a massive result and I would be happy with that alone. I am nervously awaiting the retain price for this box set though!

  3. Carl Woodrow August 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Totally get where you are coming from regarding having the tanks and infantry to give context. I guess where we differ is I feel that can be achieved with a few choice base garnishes rather than a full integration of the full spectrum battlefield into a single ruleset. For me the utopia is two stand alone games so I have the choice of playing either Titan vs Titan with all the crunch and detail that deserves (or) Epic and a fully integrated battlefield at a grand scale of infantry, armour, air and war engine. So I’m with you also in I hope it eventually inspires a new version of Epic, but don’t hold out belief it will. I think an expansion into post-heresy to integrate other Xenos could be possible if successful, but like you I wait for the retail price as an indicator of likelihood that happening.

    Either way still super-excited even if I roll the beats into EA and just have more ‘epic’ Titans in my Epic games. Sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂

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