BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Warhammer 40K: The Original Adeptus Titanicus

3 Minute Read
Dec 23 2021

Today we turn the clock back to 1988 to look at the White Dwarf rollout of the original Adeptus Titanicus.  Tiny Titans ahead!

Adeptus Titanicus was Launched in White Dwarf 108, in December 1988. Boy, look at that cover price!  The boxed game was a young Jervis Johnson’s first game design and the box came loaded with tons of stuff:

Look at that awesome John Blanche artwork!


The original game came with 6 plastic Warlord titans, a bunch of styrofoam buildings, rulers, dice, a rulebook, and a ton of tokens.

Back to The White Dwarf rollout… The game got its obligatory splash 2-page spread and that soon to abandoned “3D-Roleplay” logo, that a growing GW would toss down the memory hole.  What was that about?

Look at that fantastic black and white artwork – formative stuff for 30 years back!

Next up we got a 2-page spread of ‘Eavy Metal showing off some paint schemes for the new plastic Warlords, all painted and bannered up in a variety of Legio schemes:


Even back then, the Death Heads (Legio Mortis) were the big villains, Fire Wasps were the good guys. 

Here we see even more paint schemes and a full illustration of where and what type of banners festoon a titan.  This is THE original chart where it was all worked out – and remains in effect to this day. We also get the start of two pages of text on exactly how to assemble and paint your warlords, both loyalist, and traitor.  Lots of detail in here on things like kill and rank markings and the like.

Next, we get the sample banner and titan Legion examples.  These are the original templates that would lead us to the current revemped verisons in the modern Adeptus Titanicus Legio books.

30 years later the Legio Ignatum reborn.

Let me tell you that back in those days there weren’t color copiers around. So gamers would photocopy these on black and white copiers, cut them out, and paint over them.  I know – MADNESS! It was all hobby stone knives and bearskins back in the 80s.


Last but not least at the very end of the White Dwarf we get the introduction of the new Reaver Titan, the SAME MONTH Adeptus Titanicus shipped. Note it’s fetching camo carapace! Also don’t even think of not ordering your Adeptus Titanicus Ring Binders, and some Chaos Dwarf Swivel Guns…

~ We’ve come a long way in three decades. Any old-school Princeps out there who remember the dark days fighting during the Heres…, erm the 1980s.


  • Warhammer 40K: Tyranids Crusher Stampede List Ideas