Index Astartes: Apocrypha – A MUST BUY


Games Workshop has put out a fantastic trip through the decades this weekend – and every fan of the Grimdark should own it.


It’s hard to believe that the Space Marines are 30 years old.  It seems like just yesterday that I ran over (actually I begged my dad to drive me) to the local game store in 1986 to see the new sci-fi game UK company Game Workshop had put out.  I put down my hard earned cash on the counter and got back in the back seat of the car with my copy of Rogue Trader, and began to devour it on the drive back home.

My mind was blown!

There was some crazy dark empire of man with a dead ruler on some kind of life-support throne, elves and dwarfs in space, a giant bestiary, Inquisitor Sherlock Obiwan Cleauseu, assassins, and so much more. But all of those details came later because really the beating heart of Rogue Trader was the Space Marines!


I was hooked and never looked back.  Over the next 30 years the grimdark claimed my soul and countless others across the globe.  We saw the origins of so many iconic parts of the Astartes mythos, from Primarchs, to Chaplains, Terminators to the first mentions of the Horus Heresy in the late 80s and 90s.


Primarchs were a little smaller back then…


My what large shoulderpads the original terminators had.  I bet Forge World redoes them within the year.


The origin story of the Horus Heresy

Over the decades the fortunes of Games workshop have waxed and waned.  Units, equipment and entire races have both materialized and disappeared from the Grimdark – but through it all the Space Marines have endured.  Thirty years on, new players have to scrape together lore from repositories like Lexicanum, worn and weathered hand-me down copies of books from ancient editions, or even just sit and talk to the old-timers in thier FLGSs about “how it was in my day” (trust me, you’ll be an old veteran soon enough).

But outside of spending a LOT of time, effort and money picking up a bunch of the neolithic 40K classics like these…


A small portion of the BoLS Librarium

You can instead take up GW on thier phenomenal offer in Index Astartes Apocrypha – and take a walk down the yellow brick road for yourselves.  It’s a great voyage that will let you feel some of the rays from that distant golden era’s sun.  It makes a fantastic coffee table book and introduction into the game’s universe for newcomers.  Go grab a copy while you can – you’ll be glad you did.


Index Astartes Apocrypha $33 

Celebrating thirty years of Space Marines, Index Astartes: Apocrypha brings together a number of the most elusive articles from the darkest reaches of the Citadel archives. Discover for yourself the origin, history and development of the greatest warriors humanity has ever conceived!

Inside this hardback book you’ll find classic articles from the early days of the Space Marines reproduced in their entirety for the first time, and see how their design, the miniatures, the wargear and the gameplay have evolved. An absolutely essential read for anyone who follows the Warhammer 40,000 hobby, this book is an unprecedented insight into the history and formation of this iconic army!

Amongst the articles included:

  • – the Space Marines’ first appearance in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader;
  • – early uniforms and heraldry;
  • – the original ‘Making of a Space Marine article from White Dwarf;
  • – a comprehensive look at the evolution of power armour;
  • – incredible early artwork, including the original depiction of Horus’ duel with the Emperor

5 stars (out of 5)

~You’ll have to hustle to secure a copy, so don’t dilly-dally.

  • stiff77

    No need to fret about a physical copy – there is a tablet version for £14.99

    • Erik Setzer

      Sure, there is.

      First of all, a lot of us prefer a physical copy, especially if it’s a book about the history of the hobby, which would look nice on a shelf. Print also preserves (somewhat) the feel of the original articles.

      There’s also this: “This is an ePub 3 file. You will need an ePub3 reader on your device to use it.” My Kindle doesn’t do epub files. They used to do mobi files, but decided that’s another corner to cut. I can’t load files I buy from these guys on the device I have specifically to read this kind of stuff and take it to games with me. Converting epub’s to mobi’s doesn’t always end well, especially with GW’s (seems to either completely destroy the formatting, or just removes a lot of spaces between words so they blend together).

      And let’s not forget that there’s still plenty of people who don’t have tablets.

      There’s a very good reason the print market isn’t dead yet.

      • zemlod

        While I’m with you on the perferring of actual dead-tree-paper-products, I also emailed their customer suppopt because my kindle won’t open epub either. I got a reply back on the same day with suggestions for free epub reader apps that actually run on my kindle. I forget which one it was, don’t have it with me atm, might have been “kobo”. I’d just drop them a line. Solves your question *and* lets them know there’s demand…

        • Erik Setzer

          I’ll try to find one. Been trying to find an epub reader, but it’s not easy, and it’s not like Amazon’s going to encourage you to use other file formats.

          It’s really a bummer because I have some of the early 7th edition codices that were released as mobi’s, and the dataslates as well.

      • Chris. K Cook

        Erik is spot on here with all his points.

        When Erik and I are in agreement, it’s probably a sign you are very wrong.

  • Greatsword

    Must-buy my a….
    Been sold out after 10 minutes. But some jokers already put it on ebay for up to $200, so all is not lost

    • Joe Dom GA

      My local GW store had 2. I didn’t remember that Iwanted the book even tho I was 1st in line so I missed out.

  • Myu

    Sounds awesome

  • MightyOrang

    As a guy who wanted a hardcopy, not one for the tablet, this is another example of GW’s GFY attitude towards its customer base with products like this. This is one that they should’ve published wide and well to generate buzz amongst all guys like myself a new gamers – – particularly as they try to bridge into a broader youth market

    instead they’re treating it like yet another super rare collectible.

    • Arthfael

      Yeah. Can we stop with the whole collectible craze? Can we please just get normal, one size fits all items? This business started in a small flat, remember? It’s supposed to be dirty, not clean. GW is becoming gentrified.

    • SWISSchris

      Agreed, I would 100% purchase this book but as I had no idea it was even coming out, despite frequenting bols and other 40k sites daily, I have now missed out. No interest in a digital copy, but at least I may be able to read the articles on something like scribd one day! The collectible thing from GW is really annoying too, creating false shortages of products that they could easily make sufficient copies of. I get that it’s supposedly to avoid having to destroy surplus stock or whatever but 1-2 copies of this book per store and near instantaneous sell-out online is just insane.

  • Erik Setzer

    “A must buy!”

    Click on link…

    “Availability: No Longer Available”

    Good job, guys. Rub it in for those of us who couldn’t get it online in seconds (and it was online only, so couldn’t get it in stores).

    You guys have been on a role with some really out-of-touch articles, but this one really takes the cake. Maybe stop rushing articles to the website and actually THINK about what you’re writing before you click “Publish?” This one’s just pouring salt into an open wound for a lot of us.

    • wibbling

      Have you asked Workshop if they’ll be doing another print run?

      In this day and age the cost of printing is making the plates. Once that’s done the ink and paper are fairly cheap.

    • These were on sale at our GW (physical copies) so it wasn’t online only.

      • Erik Setzer

        I was going by what the item linked above says. Wasn’t going to assume just because I didn’t see any copies at the local GW or FLGS.

        I’m situated in the US, Florida in particular. Not sure if that makes a difference.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          It sold out at every store in Illinois within like 5 minutes of open. The models however stayed in stacks.

        • Dave Scammell

          It sold out almost instantly at my local store in London too. By the time this article came out I’d imagine in store copies would have been just as rare as online.

        • Joe Dom GA

          Index Astartes Apocrypha only 75 on ebay

    • Damistar

      I just walked into my FLGS and bought one on Saturday along with the marine figure. Just lucky I guess.

    • nuggy

      Pretty sure that it were only meant to be on sale for the weekend like the miniature so it makes it pretty weird that they publish this afterwards. And that is not to take into account that it sold out pretty much immediately day one so it would have been too late even yesterday.

    • You do realize that “out of stock” just means the GW webstore right? It was still available at hundreds of FLGS and GW physical store locations. The book isn’t a “online only product”.

      • Erik Setzer

        You do realize that “WEBSTORE EXCLUSIVE” does mean “online only product.” If their website is wrong, then so be it. (And seriously, you should check the link in your own article, which has those exact words on it.)

        I haven’t seen a copy at any FLGS in my town, or the GW store. So I guess I’m to drive around the country trying to find one, hoping I stumble on a store that still has a copy?

        Maybe in the future, instead of saying “A MUST BUY” or “You need to buy this product NOW!” you should word it as, “If your local store has a copy in stock, you owe it to yourself to grab one.” Comes off as a lot less tone-deaf, *especially* when your article is linking to the product page that says the product’s no longer available.

  • OptimusDerf

    Only sold out in the time it took me to put it in my cart and enter in my credit info. I tried to give you my money, GW, but your “limited release” concept is driving me further from their game than anything else.

  • Douglas Burton

    Just so you all know, this is not a limited release. More copies are coming. GW has said this book will stick around for a while, so if you don’t have one, give it time, they’ll restock it soon enough.

    • Erik Setzer

      Well, it’d be nice if they worded their website to suggest that. There’s no “current not in stock” with an “email me when it’s back in stock” like normal out of stock items, just “No Longer Available.” When you see other items at this moment with a different message, it doesn’t create the impression it’s temporarily out of stock and will be back.

      Hey, maybe they just screwed up, like they did with claiming softback books were hardbacks (at least they finally fixed that on the website), or forgetting to actually place some Undead units in categories so filtering units meant you couldn’t find them. But I’d like to think that they aren’t just piling up errors, especially on an important release. The category error could be forgiven as someone missing a field when entering data. The hardback issue… well, no, that’s not really forgivable, it was across other media. But add on a screw-up like that with a popular item? Makes you wonder what the heck’s going on with this “highly competent” company that “knows what they’re doing and should never be questioned.” (Just for the record, that’s not hating on the company, that’s hating on the trolls who claim you can’t call anything the company does into question.)

      • Douglas Burton

        I’m with you on this Erik. I wonder if they didn’t make it so vague on purpose to make a mad scramble for the books to pump up their sales.

      • Hedwerx

        One guy in the Oldhammer group said they emailed GW, and were told they had no plans to reprint. Another guy said he knows an area manager, who says it’s not limited and there’ll be a second run of it.
        So… yeah. Even GW employees don’t seem to know.

        • Erik Setzer

          I still remember the local manager having to rely on Internet rumors to have an idea of what might be coming up… They don’t do a good job informing their employees.

    • Greatsword

      Source? That *would* be great news. Just hard to believe…

      • Douglas Burton

        Sorry, it was in White Dwarf 115. Article at the end of the issue about 30 years of space marines.

  • SacTownBrian

    I’m kind of happy it sold out since after a single read it would have simply sat on my shelf occupying limited real estate and collecting dust until I packed it for storage, donated it, sold it or tossed it.

  • Slaanesh Devotee

    I was foolish not to get one on the day when I picked up the model, but I’m very pleased I just managed to get one from Ebay for £44.95 (they were £20 retail for comparison).

  • Agent OfBolas

    I love the look of those old space marines… they are so great!

  • Warrior_of_Sound

    I have a whole squad of those alter-termies might just have to buy this book

  • JP

    I’m going to jump up, grab all my money, and go… deposit it in my bank account.

  • This Dave

    Would love to buy one but it seems to have sold out instantly everywhere.