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Warhammer 40K: 1988’s Original Robots Of The Imperium

3 Minute Read
Dec 30 2021

It was August 1988, and the Imperium was due for heavy metal reinforcements – 40K’s Legio Cybernetica robots!

It was August 1988, and White Dwarf was pumping something new every month for the brand new sci-fi game from Games Workshop. About a year old this new fledgling “Warhammer 40,000” would have a long way to go if it was going to be able to stand alongside the successful Warhammer Fantasy.

White Dwarf 104 showed up sporting this fancy cover promising new goodies for 40k, Fantasy and Dark Future.

The Original 40K Robots

The Robots article went into the background of the wetware and liturgical underpinnings of the Legio Cybernetica, how they interacted with the Space Marines, and their robotic charges. This is the article that gave us the 5 original Imperial robots classes that wold echo down through the ages.

40k robotDANGER BROTHER ROBINSON! DANGER! Fighting alongside my little Astartes buddy


40k robot rules 40k robot rules

Note the customization for the weapons on the chassis, and those beefy stat-lines. the Castellan has T10 and D15! What a bruiser.


Robot Program Costs?

Did you notice you pay a “program cost of 3 points per instruction”? So here’s the deal with that. GW gave you a giant set of logic instructions for you to cut out and ACTUALLY BUILD LOGIC DECISION TREES! Here are a couple examples:

Can you imagine having to do that in this day and age? In 2019?! Once you built your program, you deployed your models on the tabletop, and they followed your program EXACTLY. If you programmed them well – they would move around and kill things. If you programmed them badly, then maybe they would walk in circles or off the table.

Robot Paint Schemes and Minis

Now let’s talk all about the crazy “dazzle” liveries of the robots, both Loyalist and Traitor. Move over Harlequins – I DARE anyone out there to grab some new Forge World models and match these schemes! My favorite is the Imperial Castellan in red, white and black striped trousers – CLASSY!

40k robots paint schemes

40k robot minisAnd at last, the minis! Note the heavy weapon options on the upper back mount on several of these. Then note the £2.50 price apiece and the square bases! These fossils show up every now and then on eBay.

40k robotsHere’s one last piece of artwork to get you in the 1980’s vibe of early 40K


Modern Homages

GW has redone some of these with new incarnations from both the Design Studio and Forge World. You can see a lot of the influence of these ancient designs in some of these recent offerings:

~ Anyone still have some of these burly metal 40K Robots on dusty shelves, or EGADS on the tabletop?

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