40K RETRO: The First Titans


Way back in the early 1988 GW brought us the first titans. Let’s head back 29 years and take a look.

adeptus_titanicus Adeptus Titanicus kicked off EPIC scale gaming and brought us the main classes of Imperial (and later Eldar and Ork) titans way back in.  It was an awesome game that opened up new worlds like the Horus Heresy and illuminated vast new aries of the grimdark previously unseen.


The original game came with styrofoam buildings never seen since and 6 plastic warlord titans! With the arrival of a 21st Century Adeptus Titanicus looming over us all, it’s a great time to look back the the teensy titans that started it all.


Warlord Titans

The original “beetle-back”  Warlord had more weapon options than actual parts of it’s hull to assemble.  It could be purchased in sets of 6 in the below “Battle Titans” plastic box.

warlord-box warlord-sprue2

Here’s the Warlord weapon sprues, designed to come off and on to the weapon hardpoints, so you could swap them out from game to game.


Here’s a single Warlord titan sprue. The base was two parts with an internal column to fit a plastic disk around to track your current void shields. It was similar to the current X-Wing maneuver dials, and the current shield-count was visible through the small hole atop the base in between the Warlord’s feet. There were two different head choices.


Here’s a sample fellow with dual missiles up top and two volcano cannons down below. A slow Nemesis gunship, meant for standoff engagements.


Here you can see the various sub-categories of Death Bringer, Nightgaunt, Eclipse and Nemesis. You will note the more heavily armed versions are substantially slower, yet better protected. The faster ones were very maneuverable and meant to get in fast and kill at point blank range.

Reaver Titans

The Reaver medium titan was introduced in short order and was also a modular design.  It however was all metal and lost the easy mix-and matching weapons of the Warlord.

reaver-EPIC reaver-bits

There were a couple of head variants, and the option of mounting the banner pole atop the chassis for a higher-speed option.

Warhound Titans

The Warhound scout titans arrived with the Reavers and brought incredible speed to the titan legions.


From the beginning, Warhounds were described as being used in pairs.


They only mounted two weapon hardpoints, but had the speed to flank and get into the vulnerable rear of their larger lumbering brothers. Many a Warlord was brought down by a point-blank plasma blastgun to to it’s plasma reactor from directly behind.

~Who still has some of these on your dusty shelves?




  • david

    I’ve a couple up in the loft and a warhound.The Reaver could be fitted with most of the metal add ons that came out afterwards.
    The add on I remember and I have somewhere in my spares box is the Corvus assault pod.The pod was basically a huge battering ram with troops onboard.

  • Anaerian

    I home make a lot original scale titans, I much prefer this scale to the rumoured larger scale. Means larger battles with the size of table I have (8×5) I scratch built a prototype Reaver at the new scale to see what it’d be like. Yeah they’ll get a lot of detail in it but I prefer smaller models for larger battles and more space to manoeuvre.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    This was a fantastic game, my teenage self had lots of fun with it. I wish I still had my copy, must have given it away when I was out of the hobby for a few years.

    Those metal Reaver models are still great looking.

    I hope the new version is as good, and in plastic please GW!

    • Hedwerx

      Unfortunately I think we’ll be looking at resin for £100+ per titan.
      If they’d gone with the original scale, it could have been plastic titans, tapping into the still active Epic community.
      Just look at the prices original titans and epic models go for on eBay, there’s definitely still a market for it… Just seems like they’re purposely screwing over people who still play in order to make their stuff incompatible with the proxy gear that’s come out since they killed the system off.

      • ZeeLobby

        A real step backwards for Specialist Games considering BB seems to be perfectly fine with backwards support. Makes me wonder if Necromunda will end up being some odd scale as well, lol.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          They will bring back the dreaded 54

      • wibbling

        Or, they could see the bigger scale allows for better models.

        It isn’t about you.

        • Rainthezangoose

          Probably a a bit of both.

          But no if nercromunda comes back it wouldn’t be in a different scale don’t be daft. They know as many people if not more who will buy it, will do it for discounted cultists and penal/scum imperial guard army models as there will be people who actually buy it for the game itself *cough* every 40k boxed game *cough*

          • memitchell

            You might be describing Gangs of Commorragh.

        • Hedwerx

          When did I say it was?

      • Patriarch

        We should be able to use the old models with the new rules/components. Beetlebacks still have 4 weapon options and all that.

        I don’t think its like X-Wing where there are bits on the model or its base which form a direct part of the game rules.

        Same goes for Epic vehicles/infantry if that ever happens.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Be closer to Armada in that regard

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I think it will be foolish if they go with resin. This game could be a long term money spinner if they got it right, one of the pillars of their business. But it will be an irrelevance if they choose resin.

  • Boondox

    Here’s my question, which so far has never been answered. Everybody is saying that the new version of AT won’t be released in plastic because “it’s too much of an initial investment on a game that may not perform well”. With that said can anyone tell me why they released the original AT in plastic if it was such a big risk? And why they can’t do the same thing again?

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Different view point now, they are publicly traded which now means the investors and thus the board are less adventurous and are less likely to make risky maneuvers and do what they feel always sells. Also leads to metrics causing weird decisions. Because they feel if 40k metrics drop because cx’s are buying other brands from within their own company it will make 40k look bad and can not have that.

  • I still have 2 Eldar Titans for sure, a handful of tiny Eldar Dreadnaughts, at least one hover tank (Tempest?) laying in my bits bins.

    I really wish I would not have gotten rid of the original game. It was really fun until Space Marine came out and we got wrapped up in gigantic battles with dozens of vehicles and troops. When it was just the Titans it was a fun and pretty fast moving game but got super bogged down after that.

  • Keith Wilson

    at first i thought this was gonna be a feature article of the old armourcast models that should be forever forgotten …

  • BigGrim

    I still have 6 Warlords, 3 Reavers and 4 Warhounds. I love the. The Warlords have some of the metal variant heads. One with a chainsaw in the mouth, one with a huge jaw and one with an enormous cannon!

  • Jon Barnes

    I’ve got a Warhound somewhere. I love every Titan model but my absolute favourite is the Epic 40k Warlord. It’s possibly the best scifi vehicle design in history.

  • John Hess

    I still have a plastic castle top Imperator on sprue. After the model went OOP, I felt kinda weird about assembling it