Growing up, I was allowed one magazine a month on top of my regular pocket money. In my early years I opted for the Beano, and later The Punisher, before moving on to proper mags like Zzap64. My trusty Commodore and it's slightly ropey tape deck saw me through the 1980s in style and by the end of the decade, 8-Bit computer games were my main hobby.
That was until I bought my first copy of White Dwarf.
Despite my love for '80s GW, I still have a very soft spot for the 8-Bit era, and the journalism produced in support of it. The glorious painted front covers the Newsfield Publication magazines used (Zzap64 and CRASH being sister titles), the zany, irreverent humour within and the whiff of anarchy that seemed to hang heavy around the authors of these mags. Much the same qualities that would later attract me to White Dwarf.
One magazine I do not recall reading (or even seeing) was Amtix. A rather short lived title devoted to the third best home computer of the '80s - the Amstrad! Luckily for me, Matthew Bloomer (a fan of this blog) clearly was and had been hunting online for classic issues relating to old school software. Flicking idly through December '86's issue of Amtix something distinctly Oldhammery caught his eye.
A short show report about Games Day '86. Let's have a look!
Oh, the days of grainy black and white photography! How we are spoilt in these digital days. On this first page the legendary Nottingham Player's Guild scenery catches your eye almost immediately, as does the astonishing Mega-City below it. Any glimpse of these ancient scenery pieces is inspiring and I just wish they had been in colour.
Of greater interest perhaps, is the short interview (and it is very short) with Gary Chalk
There are a few more GW related references on the second page. I will leave you to hunt them down yourselves. But of particular interest to me are some of the closing words in the article. When speaking on the gaming phenomenon (and fantasy role-playing really was a phenomenon back then, lest we forget) the author felt that the hobby was beginning to feel stagnant. That something fresh was required to breath new life into the scene.
Little did he know that a game called Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader was just around the corner. A game that would breathe new life into tabletop gaming and go on to conquer the world, long after the last Amstrad slid off the production line.
To close with one of Matthew Bloom's thoughts then. If we can find a tiny slice of Games Workshop history in an old Amstrad computing magazine - what else is out there?