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40K Retro Corner: Apocalypse 1.0

3 Minute Read
May 2 2019

Fire-up your time circuits and push the petal to 88 mph – it’s time to visit a pair of classics with the first version of Apocalypse and Apocalypse Reload!

With the return of Apocalypse coming to the tabletop from Games Workshop, we figured now was a great time to reach back in our Librarium and pull out these puppies from the vault. It’s time to visit the Apocalypse!

The End Is Nigh

Apocalypse (2007) and Apocalypse: Reload (2008) were a pair of books that put formal rules for playing massive games of Warhammer 40,000. Before GW released these books, if players wanted to play really big games of 40k, they would just use the standard 40k rules. Heck, I was one of those players – we’d just call them Megabattles and make an entire day of it and it was a blast! I think GW noticed that folks liked to get together and play in these massive spectacles of plastic and so they created Apocalypse!

The Apoc rules added a lot of interesting mechanics to the game. We got the massive Apocalyptic templates added to the game. We got Super-heavy Rules We got Flyer Rules. We got formations with bonuses and special rules. We got Strategic Assets. And we got Datasheets – lots and lots of Datasheets! Oh and this was the era when GW produced the first plastic Stompas and Baneblades, too!

Reload added even more Datasheets and Strategic Assets into the mix and helped to round out some of the factions that didn’t have a ton of Formations in the core book. It was a solid addition to this era.


One of the neat things to go back and see is the Formation rules. You can see that these formations are the prototype of the more modern Detachments. It’s also where the concept of paying points for using those formations came from. A concept we see now in Age of Sigmar with their Battalions. It’s funny how things get recycled. Strategic Assets are another concept that has been re-worked and reintroduced as Stratagems. They might not be a 1:1 translation, but they share a lot of the same DNA and concepts – they are just implemented differently.

Apocalypse had a few more iterations which we’ll revisit in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more 40k Apocalypse goodness!

Want to learn more about Apocalypse and Apocalypse Reload? Check out the Lexicanum!


Did you play Apocalypse in the 4th edition era? Share some of your war stories in the comments!

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