Edited by Simon Forest, with picture credits for contributors Dave Andrews, Bryan Ansell, Andy Chambers, Phil Lewis, Rick Priestly, & Nigel Stillman, this issue comes from a time when White Dwarf had already made the transition to solely covering GW product lines, though before they ceased to acknowledge the existence of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play.
The inside front cover features an advertisement for a Dark Future novel, a gameline I was completely oblivious to prior to the establishment of the recent Facebook group as an offshoot of the Oldhammer community. After a slew of more ads for GW retail locations, upcoming tournaments, a programme for the '91 Golden Demon Awards, and an intriguing one-page description of the "play-by-phone" adventure game "The Slaughterhouse" (a follow-up to Steve Jackson's F.I.S.T.), we jump right into a Bretonnia-themed 'Eavy Metal.
The preamble over, we turn to an article that holds legendary status among Skaven players, especially those of the Oldhammer persuasion, the reason I sought out this issue; Andy Chamber's Skaven Army. Rather than flacidly describing the thing, here it is courtesy of Orlygg for those who've never read it before or would like to refresh their memories...
To explain, I need to back up a bit here (or leap forward, depending on one's point of view). I didn't see this article when it was first published. Indeed, I read next to nothing of White Dwarf in my youth. To this day, I own only a scattering of issues, most purchased secondhand, and even then there are very few that I've read cover-to-cover.
No, I first encountered Andy Chamber's Skaven Army online during a random Image search of Skaven (as I am wont to do on occasion, mining Bing for inspiration), with this series of pictures lifted from the article:
So, needless to say, these pictures came as a bit of a revelation. Binging "Andy Chamber's Skaven Army" led me straight to the titular White Dwarf issue, and an ebay purchase later it was in my hands.
Part II of this post will feature a more in-depth look at this army, what makes it so visually impressive, and its overall influence. For now I'll continue with a look at the remainder of the issue's contents.
The Skaven article is immediately followed by a 2-page full colour advertisement for the then-current line of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play supplements and adventures. Admittedly, nostalgia choked me up a bit at this point, especially so when I read the blurb about items "in the works", tantalizingly and frustratingly describing a number of products that would never see the light of day.
Marauder Miniatures gets a full-colour one page advert spotlighting a pair of goblin heroes riding giant spiders (along with some photocopy-ready banner designs) and several Space Orc Boyz.
Warhammer Fantasy Role Play's feature article for this issue is entitled "Storm Warriors: Characters by Carl Sargent taken from the novel Storm Warriors by Brian Craig". Sargent further explains: "This article is the latest in an occasional series that takes the major characters from Games Workshop's range of novels and translates them into game terms". Nifty. This is the sort of article exceedingly common in RPG fanzines prior to the internet, often leading to protracted debates in the letters columns as to Conan's Dexterity score or Gandalf's "wizard level". As this is coming from "Word of God" however I highly doubt this led to any sort of arguments of that type (not the least because White Dwarf had no letters column).
Next up is "CONFRONTATION", a continuation of serialized rules for a role-playing skirmish game. Unless I'm missing my mark, this seems to be a direct precursor to Necromunda, and it fills up the remainder of the issue with rules for combat and equipment. A fascinating read, and one I'd like to compare to the rules for first edition Necromunda at some point.
The last page of the issue (80) is a mail order offer for a 1500 pt Skaven Battle Force, a 500 pt Skaven warband, and a 1000 pt Skaven Raiding Party. The prices make me weep.
Next up: Part II, in which I delve into more detail on Andy Chamber's Skaven Army.