Thursday, 31 July 2014

Raiders of the Lost Adverts: Warhammer 40,000, Blood Bowl, Fantasy Roleplay and Talisman

I have been chronicling these funny two page adverts for a while now, and I must say that I love them. Not only are they very well put together considering the technology available at the time, they are also jammed packed with the product we love to pour over on eBay, only in these ads all that product is brand new! The first two pages are dedicated to what would later become Epic, but were originally termed Epic Battles, and really, this means Adeptus Titanicus and its cousin, first edition Space Marine. Both sought after boxsets these days. Its great to see this spread of releases. I can remember vividly pouring over the hundreds of models that were used to build the dioramas for these. 

What I find curious about these ads is the fact that they mention White Dwarf magazine. I have often wondered if these ads ran in any other non-GW publications back in the 1980s. They do seem rather indulgent just to run in the house magazine don't you think? Does anyone recall seeing ads of this type in other magazines?

Next up, the advert for second edition Blood Bowl. I just love this game and its miniatures. One far off day I shall collect all of these brilliant miniatures and paint up all the teams. For now, I will make do with pouring over this fantastic selection of models, art and paintwork. 

I enjoyed playing Blood Bowl more than any other game back in the 1980s, but I failed to notice that the 'board' for Dungeon Bowl was made up from artwork used in the Dungeon Floorplans releases. Pete Knifton's artwork is very obvious here, and his work really sets the tone for this game. 

By the later '80s, Flame had been set up to pump out WFRP material and this is one of their ads. Great art in support of this game, don't you think? It makes me wonder why much of the fantasy art you see used in roleplaying games in so sub-par!

Empire in Flames ad next. I bought a copy of this in about 1995 when I was running the Enemy Within. We never got as far as playing it but I later sold my copy of this book for £78. In the age before pdfs, books like these really went for a song. 

And finally, and rather surprisingly, a two page advert for Talisman. A classic game, though I am only famiilar with the Black Industries one that was put out about 6 years ago. It was so good even my wife played it. Even my wife's friends came around and played it. I now have the app for my Kindle and enjoy completing its challenges during my holidays abroad.

This page shows off the lovely, and rather collectible, range of miniatures produced/selected in support of the game. I only own the Inquisitor figure out of this set but have seen lots of lovely painted examples of the set online in recent years. 



  1. I think some of these ads ran in Dragon. GW certainly paid to have the original black and red covered WFRP insert to be there.

  2. Had a great game of Talisman 2nd edition with the kids last Saturday. We only played with one expansion (The Dungeon), but enjoy playing with all when we get the chance. The kids love it and it's one of the few games my wife will play.

  3. They absolutely ran in Dragon, sometimes across four+ page spreads. They were really eye-gripping and inspiring at the time, as I recall.