EPIC Armageddon

Games Workshop’s Epic Armageddon is the mass combat system for the Warhammer 40k universe. It features most of the units found in the later scale Warhammer 40k system as well as very large warmachines usually not seen on the 40k battlefield. Unlike most Games Workshop systems it does not follow the “I Go You Go” model. Instead, each player activates a company sized formation, executes all available actions (movement, shooting, combat) with it and then passes the opportunity to active to the opponent. This model creates signification tactical complexity and greatly increases the depth of the game even though only 4 turns are played.

History: The game system was first released as “Adeptus Titanicus” in the early 90s and has gone through several evolutions since then. The initial editions focused on battles between large warmachines with tanks and infantry filling only a minor support role. The second edition, titled “Space Marines” introduced more group troops. Larger battles “Space Marine” became very time consuming as each infantry model had to follow almost the same mechanisms as the small number of warmachines that the system was originally intended for. Nevertheless, the system was immensely popular in the 90’s and for a while even carried as one of the three core Games Workshop systems. Unfortunately, an attempt to simplify the system with the launch of the “Epic 40k” edition failed spectacularly. The overly simplified system removed almost all differentiation between units and, while fast, lost most tactical aspects of the game as will. Support of the system by Games Workshop also dropped during this time. The re-release of the rules as “Epic Armageddon” successfully combined the best elements of the faster Epic 40k system (including the “We Go” concept within turns) and Space Marine. The result is one of the best game systems in the Games Workshop line-up.

I encountered Epic during the early “Space Marine” era and became an avid player with a large collection. A move and the decline of Epic during the “Epic 40k” phase led me to one of my larger gaming related mistakes: the sale of all my Epic armies (some 50k points in 6 armies). Of course that was just before Games Workshop discontinuous large portions of the Epic range and the prices went through the roof on EBay. The launch of “Epic Armageddon” caught my interest and after resisting the “call” for a little over a year I gave in. Not a friend of half-measures, I bought enough for each major army to be able to field “the book” (every unit in the army list at appropriate quantities). With the initial enthusiasm resulting in a garbage bin full of lead, I am now in the slow process of actually pointing each of these hordes.

Scale: Epic Armageddon uses a 6mm scale which allows for regular sized games (~3000 points) to include several company sized formations ranging from 50 to 300 infantry models or 5-15 vehicles. Infantry models are based as squads of usually 5 while vehicles are based individually. Plastic and metal models are available from Games Workshop for most armies though the system is only weakly supported. Currently only the core forces are available in full scope (Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Orks, and Eldar). Fortunately, a larger selection of models and armies is available at second hand sites (e.g. EBay, Bartertown, etc.) due to the larger range previously available in earlier editions of the game.

Painting & Basing: Unlike most game system, Epic does not enforce a specific base size. Only general size limits are provided which allows previous basing systems from “Space Marine” and “Epic Armageddon” to be used. In my cases I decided to base all models on round bases of varying size. While there are some cases where the narrow rectangular bases from the Epic Armageddon era offer game advantages (more models in combat, etc.), I find the more varied look of round bases to be much more appealing. At the 6mm scale an infantry base represents a squad of 5 soldiers and a round base allows you to place these in different configurations and include terrain around them. I am using 25mm diameter metal washers for infantry, 30mm for vehicles, 40mm for super heavy vehicles and 20mm for walkers and small vehicles. I based vehicles both for durability of the models and consistency.

Painting at the 6mm scale requires different techniques compared to larger scales. In particular, the best visual results come from a consistent, unified look across formations and not from detailed perfection on a single model. In most cases I wetbrush the entire model in the predominant colour, then block-paint all other colours (over the wetbrush) and finally wash the entire model in an appropriate colour (usually black but occasionally brown).

Accessories: Epic Armageddon is mostly an open battlefield gaming system but there are still some scenarios where fortifications are needed. Below are a some sections of razaorwire and dragonteeth tank obstacles for special scenarios.

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