RETRO: EPIC’s Lost Titan Weapons

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Today we look back 23 years at the exotic titan weapons that blasted and stomped across tabletops in 1993.

EPIC got it’s start with the very early Adeptus Titanicus from 1988 . That was a titan-only affair soon to be reinvented by Specialist Games.  EPIC quickly grew into a full GW franchise with two editions of EPIC Space Marine in the very early 1990s.

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The game thrived with four expansions covering all of the Grimdark’s factions:

  • Armies of the Imperium
  • Renedages
  • Ork and Squat Warlords
  • EPIC Hive War

It was a wonderful era of creativity and all manner of minis and equipment appeared, many of which have disappeared into the mists of time.  Today we take a look at a set of very non-standard titan equipment and add-ons that let you really expand what your God-Machines could do on the tabletop.

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Who still has some of these bits lying around your dusty shelves?

Onto the Rules

Now let’s dive into the background and rules for all that stuff up there.  You can ignore the rules, as the background is great enough.  Who knows one day Forge World may bring some of these exotic pieces of kit back in either Adeptus Titanicus or full 28mm scale!

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Here we see two of my favorites, the Barrage Missile Launcher – bane of massed infantry formations.  I once saw one of those unleash a full 7 blast templates on a full IG infantry company caught on the open field – most satisfying!  Next up is the funky Carapace Landing Pad – which came with a free Land Speeder.  It looked cool atop a Warlord, then could dart out to allow non-LoS firing solutions to it’s host titan.  Lots of tricks to be had when city-fighting with that one.

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There is a lot of coolness on this page, but you can read all of it AFTER we talk about the Corvus Assault Pod.  Only the Imperium would devise a giant mouth/assault ram full of  20 Terminators just waiting to get shoved into a building.  Needless to say, there were very, very few defenders who could fight off such a force – making the Corvus one of the most nail-biting risk-reward systems for capturing that enemy objective in a well defended distant building. It also looks AWESOME – scroll up and see. Now read the Harpoon Missile – YIKES!

 

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Here we see the dreaded Trident, a favorite for close-combat equipped titans.  Seeing a hapless ranged weapon only titan get dragged into the loving embrace or a titan-powerfist equiped foe is really worth your time!  Then we can move onto the highly feared Warp Missile.You only get the one shot but it ignores shields and if it hits… watch out – there will be fireworks!

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Finally we get to the Wrecker.  The only thing better than operating a wrecking ball is attaching one to a titan and letting it swing! There really is no better way to take a building down in style than the Wrecker.

 

EPIC-circa-1991

Who knows what tricks that Warlord has up it’s sleeves.

 

~Thanks for this trip down memory lane folks. What are your favorite memories of the old EPIC?

  • I do hope they bring a lot of these options back with the new Epic, will certainly allow for a lot of personalisation. The trident was great for a laugh and the assault pod was a fun way of trying to claim a building objective. Ah, good times.

    • Stephan McColl

      yeah it certainly would be nice. the final iteration of Epic, I felt, really let the Titan’s down with limited customization options.

    • Jordan Holt

      Only Epic? I want a wreaking ball option for the Forgeworld Warlord 😀

  • ZeeLobby

    While I personally loved the customizability of their older games, I don’t think it’s something we’ll see completely redone for their new ones. More options require more effort to balance for a fun game. Reminds me a lot of the hero hammer days, and I see those as not likely to return.

    • wibbling

      Why worry about ‘balance’? All too often it means ‘abuse the rules to favour me’. Play for fun. That’s the entire point of it.

      • Nyyppä

        Is it fun to get beaten 100/100 games?

        • ZeeLobby

          Ignore @wibbling:disqus , he says stuff like this all the time. It’s become his mantra.

          • memitchell

            Yeah. “Play for fun.” Wow, who even talks like that anymore.

          • ZeeLobby

            I know, its shocking that people might have different definitions of what’s fun…

          • Nyyppä

            I know. I was curious if he’s lying or just oblivious to the fact that everyone cares about the balance.

            If you can not keep up at least an illusion of chances to win you stop playing. It’s as simple as that.

        • Bayne MacGregor

          If you get steamrolled don’t play against that kind of player again. Find friendly gamers who care about having fun who realise this isn’t meant to be chess.

          • Nyyppä

            So, if I do not find the 1% niche group from within the hobby that actually fits in with your description I should not play at all?

            Or alternatively: Play against anyone not especially d-bagish in their social conduct because everyone realizes this is not chess, everyone is in it for the fun and excluding the d-bags everyone is friendly?

            These are the 2 interpretations of your post that I could think of that withstand closer scrutiny and neither solves the problem that is the lack of basic understanding of game designing in the GW dev team.

          • Bayne MacGregor

            It’s a whole lot more than 1% and it would be an extraordinary place for you to be unable to find any friendly players at all.

            I’ve done work with companies that deliberately design asymmetric power games and scenarios. Fun can come from a lot of things other than knife-edge balance. Heck the difficulty of winning Lost Patrol is a lot of what makes it fun

            Furthermore for true game balance you need a factor taking into account player experience and natural talent let alone a standardised terrain requirement (or a point multiplier for melee focussed forces depending on terrain coverage such as that used by Kryomek). Original Space Hulk’s expansions, Tyranid Attack and others have put in ‘bidding’ systems, there’s a fair few attempts to come up with ways to orchestrate that.

            And as one example i’ve known a decent non-d-bag 40k player who loved challenge and difficulty who had awesome games against a fluff-based player who regularly took non-competitive forces by seeing how much lower a points value he could take than the fluff player and still win, essentially setting up a ‘hard-mode’ without disrupting the fluff-gamers enjoyment one iota.

          • Nyyppä

            Not a whole lot. I know plenty of casuals and tournament players. The difference between these is that the casuals do not go to that many tournaments.

            We are talking about 40k, not other games. What other games have is moot in this discussion.

            For true game balance you make a sample table terrain or 5. Design the forces so that they can manage in those circumstances roughly as well as others. Play test, tweak and play test again until that balance is achieved. You count out the experience and skill level by switching who plays what within the test team. The whole test team tries to abuse the rules as much as they can all the time.
            The result? A game with good balance.

            You have one example. Great. Now, if we consistently had say 50% of all the game breakers do that you’d have a case. Now you have an anecdote.

          • Bayne MacGregor

            Tournament gamers are in an evolving arms race of strategy anyway, if they are in it to win then they do what needs doing to win and lack of balance is just something they can and should adapt to, the most crucial aspect is biology, the innate aptitude to a specific sort of thinking, just like anatomical variations give an edge to physical athletes and so like any sport fairness is entirely impossible. Wanting fairness in sport is to cling to the delusion that there is no natural biological variation and thus advantage.

            I’ve been involved in a little bit of game design and i’ve run a team of playtesters. The only way to have perfect balance is to have identical forces with no variation, an identical board.. but even Chess is not balanced. Turns and random game elements will remove balance from matches as will playing opponents of different skill and innate talent. Anything else is a compromise. Some will do better at that compromise like Kryomek’s points multiplier.. shame it fell apart when they added more factions. The moment you do anything fun, the moment you do anything interesting and you compromise balance further.

            Oh it’s still good to TRY, and i’ll be running playtesting on other games and expansions to games again soon. But there will always be combinations you miss, tactics you don’t envisage at the time. And expansions will always change the relative values of things. Balance will always remain ephemeral, nebulous, unachievable and abstract.

            As for fun gaming well see that doesn’t need balance. Not even a little bit. It needs compassion, camaraderie, a willingness to adapt to the opponents needs and desires and playstyle, the ability to ask a struggling opponent if they’d like some advice mid-game and to give it if they say yes even if it loses you the game and to respect them if they decline even if it means you table a learner kid.

            The requirement for having a fun game is social skills, philosophy and psychology, learned or innate. It can be cultural and involve the social expectations that evolve in one game community or another. It can just be the enthusiasm to make pew-pew noises and to cheer when your opponent takes you out with a lucky roll or desperate gambit or clever manoeuvre.

            The simplest way to have such a game has nothing to do with the rules, it’s either to find a person with those skills/traits to play against or to BE one and spread those good gamesship notions to everyone else. I’ve seen how game-group cultures can be shifted by people doing that and done that myself.

          • Nyyppä

            So you agree that “git gud” is inherently BS? It’s either that or you have some very glaring inconsistencies in your opinion.

            I have never seen anyone who recognizes the problems in 40k demanding perfect balance. It’s a popular straw man that tryhards throw around when they lack arguments. Good balance is perfectly within reach and frankly closer than it seems. To reach it there just needs to be less fanboyism involved in codex and rule design.

            For most of us predetermined winning/losing is not fun and that would mean that balance is pretty important for most of us. At this point I’ll be content with noting that your idea of fun is not universal and looking at the various forums, FB groups and such involving this game your fun is not even common.
            Do you have fun loosing every game forever just because devs see the faction you like as something that should not win, ever? I don’t. I want fluffy, tough and close games. That’s fun for me and seems to be for almost everyone else too. Hell, the thing you are talking about de facto is not a game, it’s child’s play for ages too young to know how to read.

          • Bayne MacGregor

            “git gud”? I’m unfamiliar with that term.

            So as actual balance is an impossibility as i already mentioned you should define how much imbalance is ‘good balance’. Should all players be tested for strategic forms of intelligence first and then only play against the same ranking? See if you want a competition then you can adapt to whatever meta and take your lumps and find where you fit with your skill like any physical sport defined by innate biological advantage of metabolism and muscle attachment points and limb proportions and then training and skill and injury. In which case anything is fair because nothing is, just like any other sport.

            If on the other hand competition is not what you are after then find friendly players who will happily house-rule a flawed or un-fun rule design or take a points cut to balance out a persons desire not to paint 5 of that miniature they hate or take a fluff-based army that’s not centurion grav spam but instead the codex astartes following force from the 2nd war of Armageddon or the forces from that cool novel or audio drama and myriad other ways of tailoring the game experience to the two individual players in ways even a million playtesters never could.

            Yes such players exist i’ve played with tons of them. As for whether it’s currently common that depends on Culture. The Culture of 40k players is built by it’s community not it’s rules (all the Forge the Narrative stuff a while back was an attempt to change the culture with the rulebook and rules, AOS even moreso), each local gaming group can have a different culture to the forums online. I’m running a campaign currently that mixes Battlefleet Gothic, Kill team, Zone Mortalis, Necromunda and both a strategic map and a narrative branching arc down at my local independant store and EVERY person in the campaign is the kind of player i am talking about. and i can point at games like War Rocket and Retro Raygun with small playerbases but radically different game cultures to 40k, and 40ks game culture has changed a lot since i started playing back in 1990. Assymetric power scenarios and games exist and are great fun. Lost Patrol is fun precisely BECAUSE it’s near impossible for one side to win (i got within one 5+ roll of wining with the scouts and rolled 4, it was AWESOME!) and the most fun way to play it ‘balanced’ is to swap sides and play again.

            As for suggesting what i am talking about is childs play for ages too young to know how to read that makes me lol because i had an adult reading level before my first day of school. I’m just talking about the way a person DOES get fluffy tough and close games, via social skills and intelligence, which are necessary to adapt to different player skills and ever changing editions and releases which guarantees the balance will be in flux, and if you lost those pretty important skills when you were a tiny kid then maybe your development went askew.

      • ZeeLobby

        LOL. This argument you continue supporting is just the best. Please keep going. It’s just the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.

        Balance = abusing rules to win.

        Lol, classic.

    • Mr_Pickles

      I gave up carrying about balance as it just leads to disappointment in 40k. Telling a good story or causing a funny event to happen is a better use of my time. Aim for the their favorite models, cause chaos on a scale the opponent can’t comprehend. After the game is said and done, The forces keep fighting, the 6 round bash we play is only a snipet(small part) of the actual battle taking place.

      • ZeeLobby

        Eh. I just started playing other games, got balance, and continued having fun the way I wanted to play games. I’d just like GW to swing back towards sanity.

        And I imagine this game will actually be pretty balance. Specialist Games was formed combining staff from both GW and FW, the FW designers being involved in rules development, so I have faith it’ll be far better than what GW proper puts out. It’s crazy that there’s that kind of divide inside one company, but it’s definitely there.

  • Every time I see pics of Epic I also see GWs current vision of 40k…it makes me sad…

  • euansmith

    Titan Weapon Salesman, “Listen, buddy, you don’t want any old Laser Destructor like your Pappy used to have. You want a brand new Turbo Laser Destructor!”

    • ZeeLobby

      It does sound much more turbo….

    • Iconoc1ast

      i will take 6 please… on each arm

      • euansmith

        Ah, the new Tzeentch Titan 😀

    • memitchell

      The word “Turbo” always reminds me of our Parenting Safety Class when my wife was pregnant with our first child. A young, handsome, new father-to-be (NOT me) asking the instructor in our Parenting Class, if a baby’s car seat can be fastened to the floor of a “two seat car.” The incredulous look his pretty young pregnant wife shot him silently said, “Goodbye Turbo Carrara, hello Minivan.”

  • Ah, green-rim bases.

    I miss those days.

  • wibbling

    I’m really looking forward to Adeptus Titanicus. The opportunity to have your ‘weapons’ be your troops, to manage resources from reactor output to weapons to shields is really exciting.

  • Iconoc1ast

    nostalgia overload!!!!!!

  • Iconoc1ast

    “There really is no better way to take a building down in style than the Wrecker.”

    Unless you ram it! but i guess it lacks style…. XD

    • Ross Allan

      I always preferred the Trident. Pull the enemy Titan off it’s feet, then quip ‘Look, it’s fallen. And it can’t get it up’

      • Iconoc1ast

        XD

  • nurglitch

    The concept of the original Adeptus Titanicus Titans was great, if not particularly well executed, by having the weapons literally plug into the Titan bodies. That way you could literally swap out weapons and loads between every battle, and that really improved the replayability of the game. If they keep this feature they may be onto something for a great product.

    • Andreas Noche

      Which might even explain the (rumoured) price tag

  • Andreas Noche

    The Corvus sounds inconvenient. “High Command to Princeps: Engage” “Princeps to High Command: Ready to engage. 75% operational” “High Command to Princeps: How? This is your first mission in this campaign?” “P to HC: Still negotiating with several SM chapters, none of which has been so kind to deploy their finest warriors to arm our weapons”