Gaming Made Me: Games Workshop Made Me

By Dan Grill on May 7th, 2011 at 6:34 pm.


I’m ten. I’m sitting in the solvent-soaked school art room doodling, when my friends sneak in. They’ve got something amazing to show me. It’s a little dwarf made out of lead, and Fat Winnie has just bought it off Big-Nosed Will, who actually painted it. It’s like got an AXE! Will’d mainly used red paint on it (“For the blood” he says. He now works in advertising) but it’s soooo cool. This is the start.

I buy my first Warhammer models second-hand. I also grab (from a school bring & buy) the Second Edition box with some rules, card figures and little else. We use the figures from Heroquest and Space Crusade (the entry drug), and books covered in a green tablecloth to simulate a dwarf expedition to the jungles of Lustria. Sven’s piss-artist dwarfs are all massacred by Amazon heroes with blowpipes, but it’s full steam ahead from there.


Two years later, my friends, my brother and I are playing every game Games Workshop make; Warhammer (using the Mighty Empires campaign), 40K, WFRP, Epic, Advanced Space Crusade, Blood Bowl, Horus Heresy, Talisman, Gorkamorka, Space Hulk… For two days, I actually didn’t know Princess Diana had got intimate with an underpass wall because I’d been too busy taking my Delaque gang the “Baldy Brummy Kojak Slapheads” to second place in the Necromunda Grand Tournament. (Incidentally, as my brother Dov points out, the delightfully-balanced two-player gang-warfare X-Com-alike mechanics of Necromunda are begging to made into a video game. THQ, are you listening?)

In 1992, we go to the Games Convention in the Birmingham, NEC. In the next hall along is a biker’s convention, so the carpark is full of nerdy kids dodging hurtling Harleys. Inside, we gawp at the new miniatures, try to get games on the heaving tables, and are wowed by the special machines used to miniaturise the sculptures. Special admiration is reserved however for the new computer games; on huge stands, nervous developers are showing them off, all of them at very early stages; one of them features Eldar running around a 3D landscape, another an Ork racing game (not GorkaMorka – if anyone knows what these games were, please let me know!) Most of them, as far as I know, never made it past this early demo, but thankfully Space Hulk did.


The board game of Space Hulk is all-consuming; the extremely limited recent print run is beautiful, as Rab has reported, but the horror of the computer game was something else. You play as a squad of five Terminators, the most elite Space Marines, deployed on a hulk to battle the insidious genestealers. These speedy four-armed aliens are deadly up close, can crawl out of walls, and outnumber you ten to one; you have lots of guns. The game is a design marvel, especially as it can be managed through both an exceptional tactical map and/or five simultaneous first-person viewpoints. Finally, it featured great John Blanche artwork and the first piece of voice-acting I’d ever heard in a game, as a Terminator Captain shouts “To the left… Overwatch!” in the intro.

Dov and I loved it, but got stuck on a difficulty spike early on, a level we simply couldn’t get through. Space Hulk had a “retire” feature that Dov describes as “a bit like the button on Davros’ panel that turns off his life support”. So, of course, the one time we finished that level, our excitement transferred to our watching cat, who jumped on the keyboard and pressed “retire”. Defeated, we stopped playing and return to the unfinishable Legend (AKA the Four Crystals of Trazere), venturing into derelict interstellar craft only for the hard-as-tactical-dreadnought-nails sequel “Revenge of the Blood Angels”.

Three years of painting and lead poisoning later (now there’s a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen), my longtime Warhammer & 40K foe Space Wolf John gets a new computer WITH A GRAPHICS CARD and with it Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat. I watch him play. This game is rarely talked about now, but it was the spiritual predecessor to Shogun: Total War. It featured a real 3D battlefield, with a lengthy, tough campaign and a lot of character; at the time, it was an unbelievable recreation of the tabletop game, surpassed only by its sequel Dark Omen (which added multiplayer and made the game quite, quite beautiful.) It had the bonus of an awesome soundtrack which, because it was the game came on CD, we could play while we were playing the tabletop game. Oh, and the voice acting was spot on – proper Yorkshire dwarves, rough cockney Orcs and wanky hampshire Elves, just like Rick Priestley intended.

Admittedly, in common with most of my favourite games (e.g. Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption, Pathologic) SotHR’s unfairly tough. It can only be finished through near perfect play of of each level, to get enough money to keep your units at full strength and hire new units; every unit also levels up as the campaign goes, making them even more expensive to restock. Losing a single unit is enough to make you restart a mission, especially, if it’s the enormously over-powered and fragile wizards (who archers always turn into pin-cushions in Dark Omen multiplayer). Despite all this, for a single-player Warhammer campaign nothing has topped these two games.

There was a huge hiatus after that for quality Games Workshop games; Final Liberation, Chaos Gate, Rites of Wars and Fire Warrior were all good for squig-food only. 1995’s Blood Bowl was clunky and the more recent Mark of Chaos suffered from its console cross-development; meanwhile, we all stopped playing the miniatures because they became SO expensive and because GW changed the rules and rulebooks every fortnight. (In fact, GW changed the rulebooks so quickly that quite a few army books haven’t been updated since the 6th Edition – and they’re on the 8th now.).


Since 2004, we’ve left the grim nightmare behind. THQ in particular, has really done well with the 40K license, with Relic’s superbly atmospheric Dawn of War series, and hopefully Dark Millenium and Space Marine will match that output. Warhammer Online could have been great, if they’d managed to fit more people on the servers; when it goes F2P, we’ll probably all dive back in. However, our special affection must be reserved for Cyanide, who’ve kept pestering Games Workshop to allow them to remake Blood Bowl until they finally gave in. Chaos League (writing credit: Kieron Gillen) was clunky and glitchy, but they came good; it shows how perfect the new Blood Bowl is that it’s the only competitive game RPS has an official league and tournament for.

I wouldn’t be the (hunched, pallid, lazy) man I am without Games Workshop and its video games. I know the history of the universe(s) as well as the country I live in, my vocabulary has been permanently expanded through exposure to gubbinz, snotlings and the Ordo Malleus, and it got me into this friendly, fun industry. I learned to paint, to model, to use my imagination, to add up, to cheat… It’s that joyous, anarchic creativity, the art of John Blanche and the Realms of Chaos books, that brought me to Games Workshop and that is going to keep me waiting for whatever they do next; and dreaming of the official Warhammer: Total War. (I just wish Kieron would stop sending me emails about the deals on the new plastic figures and his new dipping technique, and get on with finishing our WFRP campaign.)

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128 Comments »

  1. Nullkigan says:

    SOTHR was the second game I ever tried to mod, after the red alert ini stuff. All the unit stats were held in plain text documents, so after the third time I ran out of money for the final three battles I decided Commander Bernhardt should all 10s for his stats.

    Final Liberation and Chaos Gate were almost as good!

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      Okay, okay, Final Liberation and Chaos Gate were FINE. I retract my faint damning of them and will go back, play them and learn from my errors. Sorry guys!

    • Lord Byte says:

      Yes dammit! Final Liberation and Chaos gate were awesome! If only I could get them to run again on my current rig… I succeeded in Space Hulk 2 (odd mix and match of copying files, running certain things in compatibility but it works…somehow)

  2. Stranglove says:

    WAAAAARGH made me…

  3. Lacessit says:

    Wait, Princess Diana is dead?

  4. Huw_Dawson says:

    GW is a great company, but they do have their faults…
    1) Their one-time excellent White Dwarf magazine degraded from a well-written joy to a catalogue.
    2) They still insist on tiny retail stores having the facility to game in. It’d make far more sense if they re-targeted their small stores towards just selling the product, and instead worked with their staffs to set up evening events in local community centres instead…
    3) The community sometimes is way too anal about the rules. It’s a table top war game – if something’s unbalanced, I can’t see why everyone puts up with it rather than using house-rules.
    4) The models are way, way too expensive. They really need to look at ways to make their games more alluring to those with a smaller wallet, perhaps through smaller-scale games like Mordheim or the original LoTR game.

    I was involved in GW stuff for years – I think most UK gamers have been at one time or another – but I dropped out of it as I got older. The price is the worst problem, really.

    • Josh W says:

      Points three and two go together; the rules matter because the “house” many of the people play in starting out is the shop they bought them in. The community is very tied to “official policy” because of that, as well as because some of the best people to play with often end up working there at least some of the time. If the company was less hobby orientated, the hobby itself would very likely start swinging off into a thousand different rules-hacks, mix-and-matches between different companies model lines, and world retcons. You can see it happening with a lot of the independent websites set up around the GW stuff.

  5. Jake says:

    This all sounds familiar to me, even down to the Ork racing game though I can’t recall it’s name. I disagree about Final Liberation though, it was a brilliant game with possibly the best cut-scenes ever.

    • Jake says:

      Actually I think I am remembering the cancelled Gorkamorka racing game: http://bit.ly/iCTcsW, can’t find any mention of another one.

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      Apologies for damning Final Liberation; I’m going to go back and play it now, if it’s on Abandonia.

      YES. Where did you get that?

    • Jake says:

      It’s a screenshot from the cancelled Gorkamorka game. I seem to remember a PC magazine had a giant preview of it. I’d try and find it but my mum gave all my gaming magazines to charity. Damned charity.

      I haven’t played Final Liberation for… decades, but it was great at the time. It was quite true to the tabletop game – turned based, with army deployments and everything – which made it great fun two player. And yeah, the cutscenes are classic, up there with Red Alert easily. I miss FMV.

  6. Spoon says:

    I have wanted a Necromunda game for so long.

    • Nick says:

      me too =(

    • Sp4rkR4t says:

      Indeed Necromunda screams out to be made into a PC game.

    • McDan says:

      That would be awesome. I’d have to say that Games Workshop also made me, introduced me to science fiction in general, and then computer games. Ahh, the good times.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      yep, Necromunda, please… it’s like some sort of tabletop X-Com + Mad Max

      I always liked it more than their “big sellers” 40k/fantasy

    • Nick says:

      much more fun than Blood Bowl too.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Desperately want to play Necromunda. It sounds like a cross between turn-based Syndicate (edit: which is X-Com, as mentioned above, durr) and the Paranoia RPG.

    • Will Tomas says:

      Necromunda I really loved, and I also agree (and have done so for ages) about it becoming a PC game. Even if it was like the original Rainbow Six, that would be awesome.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I love Necromunda, I really do but I’d rather see a Mordheim game first. That would just be brill.

  7. geldonyetich says:

    I try to keep some distance between me and Games Workshop, lest the persistent purchase of miniatures pitch me out into the street.

  8. simoroth says:

    Final liberation was amazing! Its worth buying for the amazingly hammed up cutscenes… the good old days when Spacemarines were English and not.. steve blum.

    Chaos gate, although a disappointment is a surprisingly good xcom clone.

  9. Mad Hamish says:

    Could one of of those games been Aspect Warrior. I remember reading about it in a mega drive magazine some time in the mid 90s. I was also giving chunks of my money to GW at the time and was really looking forward to this, but it was canceled.

    Edit: I also have been wishing for a Necromunda game. That’s what caught my attention with Brink. It really reminds me of the setting.

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      YES. That was it. It looked awful.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I was wondering about that too. I was totally pumped for Aspect Warrior but it just disappeared. Maybe Core Design acquired the source code and built Skeleton Krew off of it because the games look really similar.

  10. ShedMonkey says:

    “dreaming of the official Warhammer: Total War.”

    Oh this, most definitely. It’s always surprised me that Creative Assembly haven’t branched out into licences now that they’ve been through most of the obvious historical eras.

  11. JB says:

    +1 for Final Liberation being good stuff. Wish I could find my disc =(

    And a Necromunda game would be awesome!

  12. edgeblend says:

    Games Workshop and its games also made me what I am today… a miniatures designer for Games Workshop. Makes sense I guess.

    • The Codicier says:

      I guess that mean’s you get to work with the Perry Twins, those guys are legendary.

    • phuzz says:

      One of my former warhammer buddies from school is currently working at a Games Workshop store (he’s the one with half a machinists shop worth of metal in his face).
      Given that we’re now 30 you could think that maybe his life hasn’t gone entirely to plan, but part of me is still deeply envious (or still 13 years old, which amounts to the same thing).

    • edgeblend says:

      The Perrys are indeed legends and also the nicest people you will ever meet. Even with one arm Michael can not only sculpt like a demon but play a mean game of Day of Defeat.

    • bill says:

      So you have the power to bring back pointy-beaked space marines?? ! Pretty please. Just sneak some in there.

      though i haven’t played 40k for a decade, so maybe they came back already.

    • Stompywitch says:

      My favourite story about the Perrys is how one of them lost his sculpting arm in a cannon-related accident.

      So he got a device for holding miniatures mounted on the stump, and taught himself to sculpt with the other arm.

    • BobbleHat says:

      So…er…when are we getting some updated Warp Spiders? That’d be sweet.

  13. Archonsod says:

    Can’t agree on the quality of the games. Final Liberation was excellent, as was Chaos Gate. Rites of War and Fire Warrior on the other hand were a bit crap.

  14. DeepSleeper says:

    When people say “I want a new Homeworld game”, I mentally filter it to “We should have the guys who made Homeworld make a Battlefleet Gothic game”, and then I start nodding.

    • Koozer says:

      Well a Battlefleet Gothic game by Relic is the last hope for Homeworld fans too at this point.

  15. heretic says:

    There was a turned based wh40k strategy game which I played a demo of many years ago, it was awesome but quite hard for 12 year old me back then :( it had great music too. You could choose the loadout of your marines and upgrade stuff iirc, the gameplay was action point based and in the demo you fought the forces of chaos.

    • Shark says:

      Chaos Gate is what you’re talking about

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I absolutely detest that it doesn’t work on modern systems without faffing around with virtual OS’s. I frigging LOVED Chaos Gate.

  16. Mr Chug says:

    Watching my cousin play Shadow of the Horned Rat is one of my earliest gaming-related memories. That, X-COM and Commander Keen would be top of my ‘Gaming Made Me’ list.

  17. Howl says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hThEKrOI0b0

    I remember hearing speech for the first time in a game and practically wetting my pants. Citadel and Nodes of Yesod both came out in the same year as well.

  18. Eight Rooks says:

    While Shadow of the Horned Rat was indeed awesome, and sadly neglected these days, my God, the voice acting. No, Dan, no. It was utter rubbish. Pure unintentional comedy of the highest order. Bonus points for the fact that although I’m not sure if it really was just two guys doing all the characters (I never checked the credits as a lad), it definitely sounded that way, giving the impression mission briefings were being read out by a lunatic in a darkened room along with all his imaginary friends.

  19. The Codicier says:

    Warhammer has probably been gaming wise is bigger influence on me has evidently has been on you. For better or for worse I wouldn’t be the geek I am today without Games Workshops uniquely dystopian and British take on the fantasy and sci-fi.

    At school it was the work of John Blanche, Kev Walker, Wayne England, and Mark Gibbons who inspired me to focus on art.

    At uni I paid for my textbooks & beer nights out in Bristol by ‘Pro Painting’ miniatures & selling them on ebay.

    As a adult it’s one of the things which has kept me & my friends in touch despite our path’s in life diverging wildly.
    It doesn’t matter if one of us is in Iraq with the forces, in India doing IT work, fixing buses in North Wales,or in London doing media consulting, give us half a chance and a pint of beer and will soon be talking about how land raiders used to cost a fiver.

    And all thats without considering the games influenced by GW & some of the work studio alumni like Ian Livingstone or Andy Chambers has had.

  20. dalziel86 says:

    This is a lot of my gaming history right here. My teenage gaming was dominated by the quest to mimic on a computer for cheap the miniatures our poverty couldn’t possibly afford to buy me. That quest drove me to Warcraft, Syndicate, X-COM, Command & Conquer, etc. It’s a big part of why I like the first DoW over its sequel. And all of those gaming experiences were filtered through my GW obsession & judged by how closely they matched 40K units & setting concepts. Even the SMG in Half-Life (before the graphics pack) was a bolter to me.

  21. Crimsoneer says:

    Forget Total War, what we really should ask for is Mount and Blade: Warhammer. Or Mount and Warhammer.

    Also, Dark Omen is where it’s at.

  22. BobsLawnService says:

    Why have I not heard of Final Liberation until now? Those cutscenes look classic,

    • Diziet Sma says:

      I spent far far too much time playing Final Liberation against a mate of mine. It’s a fantastic game and worth a bash now if you can nab a copy. I’ve played it recently on a win 7 box so it can be done.

  23. King Toko says:

    Anyone else play table top Man O’ War, Hero Quest and Space Hulk?. The Space Hulk videogame I remember being frightening back then.

    • JB says:

      Oh yes, Man O’ War is lovely. Still got my box in the loft, with a 1000pt Dwarven fleet and a 1000pt Empire fleet. And the expansion with the sea monsters…Seas of Blood?

  24. clive dunn says:

    I’ll never forget the day when i sold all my imaculately painted minatures (including some really quite impressive diaramas). The guy at the local games workshop gave me 80 quid for the lot.
    Went and scored a load of drugs.
    Happy days.

  25. haircute says:

    Absolutely lovely article. I was about the same age when I first discovered GW and WHFB grabbed me and my cousin and refused to let us go. For almost the next decade we played countless games of 40k, Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Space Hulk, and WHFB. We lost weekends to massive battles between the dwarfs, empire, and wood elves versus my Uncle’s MASSIVE Undead army. So many fond memories spent around the kitchen table with my cousin and it was all thanks to GW.

    finally: oh god yes the space hulk game. My body was literally shaking with excitement during the car ride back home after I finally saved enough to get it (last copy, bottom shelf, behind a copy of some Zork game at the local Electronics Boutique. I had stashed it there a few weeks ago). When that cinematic started…I melted. Damn…guess I’ll go flip through my second edition rulebooks and call up Sean to see if he wants to get together this weekend for a game or two of something. It has been too fucking long.

  26. Diziet Sma says:

    I own Gorkamorka but have never played it. Had a good cadre of friends playing Necromunda back in the day so bought Gorkamorka when it came out.. shortly after that our little gaming circle drifted apart.

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      Surprisingly good, if a little random. Lots of comedy potential from inaccurate Orks driving badly at high speeds and blowing chunks off each other. Great for building an Ork army too.

  27. Casimir Effect says:

    I was just thinking about Dark Omen the other day and how I wish it would be on gog.com. I played that game many times, making sure to get every single magic item and keep every unit alive. Yet it was still ridiculously hard in places. Not as bad as ‘Horned Rat was, could never get anywhere in that game

  28. Evilpigeon says:

    Dark Omen rocked, I played it with my dad when I was little, our game box came with a Dark Omen keychain which we still use lol. This article has fried my brain with nostalgia, I’m going to go play DoW and try really, really hard to keep the tabletop game from opening up a black hole in my wallet….

  29. Daave says:

    Chaos Gate was good! I think it’s a testament to how good the core gameplay is that the RPS blood bowl community is so strong in the face of lazy french programming.

    Also, can all those who have signed up for the RPS Cup please join the in-game league?

  30. Colonel J says:

    I never got into anything Warhammer but ah, this brings back fond memories of some of the brilliant GW boardgames of the 80′s. Cosmic Encounter of course was an all time favourite and got a RPS retrospective here recently. Our RPG group lost many evenings to Railway Rivals, that was a great one. And I remember playing the Judge Dredd boardgame so much the cards were falling apart. Also Apocalypse, Warlock, Talisman, Battlecars….

    I had a clear-out and I sold them all to local uni gaming group more than 10 years ago, wish I’d kept them now.

    • JB says:

      I think I remember having the Battlecars game on my Spectrum. Good stuff!

  31. Scilantius says:

    I have to vehemently disagree on your judgement of Chaos Gate – I found it the most atmospheric WH40K game to date – the voice acting and the music,… oh, the music! The whole soundtrack is in my playlist constantly, simply so epic. I really ought to replay that game, I remember I stopped after getting into the warp I think,… plus the whole cultist-laspistol crash thing sucks now on W7.

    Ah well,… FOR THE GLORY OF THE EMPEROR!

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      Okay, I’m going back to play both that and Final Liberation. I only tried the demos, all those years ago, so am willing to admit I’m wrong.

  32. Kieron Gillen says:

    I once stepped on Jervis Johnson’s foot at Games Day.

    This is all.

    KG

    • Nick says:

      And you never washed that foot again?

    • Will Tomas says:

      Well, that’s a claim to fame right there.

    • Bhazor says:

      Do you think Jervis Johnson has ever said “Kieron Gillen? He tread on my foot once”.

    • Griddle Octopus says:

      Jervis Johnson is lovely, but somewhat like a giant Mr Bean. He shook my hand and giggled when he had to say my gang’s name. So proud.

    • Buceph says:

      I once won “a game of anything” against Jervis in a charity auction. I bid €40 to get it going, but no-one bid anything higher, damn recession. Not having played GW stuff, but being interested in the BB game, I just went for coffee with him and his son. He filled me in on a load of details about the BB computer game before they were announced. I felt like a superspy/games journalist.

  33. Megadyptes says:

    Shadow of the Horned Rat was awesome but targeting flying/bouncing units was a pain in the ass. I recall one mission in a tunnel, or great hall or something with some bouncy goblin dudes and the bastards kicked the shit out of my army thanks to me having a hell of a hard time targeting them. Still it was an awesome game though.

    Epic 40K Final Liberation was a mighty fine game as well, much fun was had with duelling Titans and whatnot.

    • Megadyptes says:

      Also I remember never completing SOTHR, I got to the penultimate mission I think but by that time my army was a shadow of it’s former self and I was simply overran by Orcs.

  34. TooNu says:

    Necromunda game PLEASE.

    And, Shadow of the Horned Rat was a reskinned Panzer Generals but it was pretty awesome none the less.
    Final Liberation had the worst cut scenes but the game was bitching good. I loved having 2 player custom games and having great Titan and Warhound fights against Big Mechs and Stompas.

    LASTLY, Warhammer Quest the game? or even Mordenheim would be sweet.

    WE WANT NECROMUNDA TEH GAME PLEASE!

    • malkav11 says:

      Rites of War is the Panzer General reskin and, while not strictly speaking a proper 40K game it was fairly fun as far as I’m concerned. Really, the one genuinely rubbish Warhammer game to date is Fire Warrior, which is a terrible, terrible Halo knockoff with awful graphics, wimpy weapons, bad sound effects, a vastly inadequate shield mechanic, and a host of other problems..

    • TooNu says:

      ah yes I stand corrected :)
      Firewarrior was terrible indeed. Will we ever get a licensed 40k FPS worth a damn? hmm

  35. Chunga says:

    GW made me too. I remember a friend of mine painting Chaos Hounds (old style, lead) and I just was… “oh man… I gotta do this too!” So I ended up spending a lot of the time that I should have studying for university courses on painting and reading rulebooks and dreaming of a large Skaven army. In reality, I couldn’t paint well and I was so slow a thousand years wouldn’t suffice to get me even a regiment.

    I still have all the minis somewhere. The Bloodbowl halfling team is probably ready for a re-match. :-)

  36. Teddy Leach says:

    “Admittedly, in common with most of my favourite games (e.g. Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption, Pathologic)”

    I love you.

  37. Eljay says:

    A better headline for Games Workshop would be “Gaming made me poor.”

    I spent far too much money on those little pewter men while growing up playing Fantasy, 40K, and just about every spinoff GW decided to throw out. I’ve kept my distance from the tabletop since graduating college and been overjoyed that Relic continues to deliver excellent products that can satiate my desire for at least part of the universe While I was extremely disappointed by WAR I hope Dark Millennium succeeds.

  38. Arglebargle says:

    An interesting read. Not nearly my experiance though. As an old fart gamer, Games Workshop wasn’t nearly my first in anything. No major influence or nostalgia here. I do recall just loving their early miniatures (I think I still have a number of ‘em in a box somewhere), and their strategy of having superb staff painters was top notch.

    Games, a lot less influential for me. I liked the Warhammer background because it was so wonderfully grim. But the rules systems were far too fiddly. 40K on the tabletop was even more fiddly, and always appeared to me to be a bad joke taken far too seriously (at least here in the ‘States). Our PnP group (which includes a bunch of old industry stalwarts) recently played a session of Warhammer, and pretty much everyone hated the rules and deep sixed the campaign.

    The game company I worked for really liked them though: They were honest in their mutual dealings, and paid on time.

  39. Wubble69 says:

    Thanks for calling my accent wanky!

    Love you!

    NO REALLY!

    Thank you!

  40. Colonel J says:

    Still waiting for your Gaming Made Me / Cardboard Children on Chaosium and Call of Cthulhu.

  41. MiniTrue says:

    It’s lovely to see SoTHR and Dark Omen get so much love! Incredible games, to this day. I actually downloaded DO’s demo the other day, just for nostalgia, and was amazed by how little it’s aged. Great, great game.

    Mark of Chaos (not to mention Battle March!) makes me physically sick. Appalling gameplay, and doesn’t capture the spirit of the world at all. I want my Dark Omen back!

  42. The Pink Ninja says:

    Shadow of the Horned Rat was so hard I couldn’t complete it with the cheats on : /

  43. Chiron says:

    Dark Omen/Shadow of Horned to me still feels superior even to Shogun et all, I’d also say they have more of an influence on them than a lot of people like to admit.

    The AI in Final Liberation was godawful. I played a game and it didnt do anything, never played again.

    That Ork game was for one of the consoles at the time, Dreamcast I think? I remember seeing it in 95 or 98 but it was never released.

    • Chiron says:

      Also Chaos Gate was bloody awesome, I replayed the entire thing the other week

  44. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Couldn’t stand Space Hulk. Too bloody difficult. Is there anyone on the planet who actually ever finished that game?

    Anyways, Games Workshop certainly is a large contribution to the games that made me. Their board games and their miniatures (boy I miss collecting ink bootles, several sizes brushes, mini files, turning sand and glue into grass, watering blacks and brushing off whites to paint armor…). Heaps of fun around this company.

    We would paint miniatures mostly for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and for AD&D.

  45. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Those miniatures were stupidly expensive little bits of plastic (Unless you were made of money or paris hilton, the lead models were way out of your price range -___-)

  46. Davie says:

    I own exactly one miniature–an Eldar Aspect Warrior that my cousin let me paint. He is heinously rich, and can afford many armies. I am not, and must make do with my one little man. He is a rather well-painted little man, though, and that is enough.

  47. bill says:

    Awesome article. My school lessons were mostly spent drawing bloodbowl characters (with ever increasingly huge spiked shoulder pads) on the textbook covers.

    I’m probably just getting old, but I enjoyed playing GW games a lot more when it was just me and my freinds bodging together units (from random figures), vehicles (with airfix kits) and battlefields (a mix of handmade houses and hills of books).
    The editions of the rules never mattered that much, because we were just mixing together whatever cool things we’d found recently in a copy of White Dwarf or a rulebook we’d picked up. So we had v1.0 Mentor Legion Space marines against v2.0 weird hit-table vehicles and we just bodged it together.
    Winning never really mattered anyway.. it was just fun.

    I did manage to finish both SotHR and Dark Omen, despite all the difficulty (and interface) flaws you mentioned. Back then we were so desperate for GW games that we’d fight our way through anything when we got them.

    I also played the demo of Final Liberation and thought it was awful. Maybe it had a bad demo. Maybe it just took time to grow on you. It also kept crashing, which probably didn’t help.

    The Space Hulk – Vengeance of the Blood Angels game was awesome too. It wasn’t quite as “pure” as the original, but the atmosphere and voice acting was awesome – it was genuinely scary when one of your (actually useful!) squadmates screamed, shouted about incoming forces on the left, and then died in a load of static.
    The “command time” mechanic was awesome too.. i don’t know why all pauseable single player games don’t use it.
    Was never into x-com, but it seemed about as close as a FPS could get to x-com.

    Unfortunately, a little like star wars, I don’t really care for the new GW stuff so much.

    • bill says:

      PS / Marines aren’t proper marines if they don’t have pointy heads!

  48. idespair says:

    GW had a huge influence on me, which is probably why even though I took the usual route of giving up games for girls in my late teens, on getting married I ended up getting straight back into miniatures.

  49. drewski says:

    I’ll join the “Chaos Gate is awesome” chorus.

    I enjoyed SotHR until I got my army too slaughtered to get anywhere near progression, but in retrospect, I didn’t even get that far in it. I used to just play all the starting missions over and over because I wasn’t good enough to do well enough at them to save my mens.

    Good game. Adamantium hard.

  50. Phydaux says:

    Space Crusade (the version on the spectrum) was one of my favourites.