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.
Titanicus first released
Classic Warlord in plastic
Epic is born
320 Space Marines, 32 Rhinos, 16 Land Raiders
Introduced the Orks and Eldar to both games
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.
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.
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...
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.