Friday, May 1, 2015

A Brief History of Gargants

Welcome to a crossover project between myself and fellow Warlord, Pete over at In The Grim Cheapness of the Future. He is going to papercraft a Ork Gargant to be used at our annual BBQ/Booze/40K Kill-fest, Carnage Asada!
I'm just going to ramble about about the Ork war machines and come up with some rules. This week: real world releases.

Epic Scale
Of course it all began with Adeptus Titanicus. That glorious game of giant robot war machine combat set during the Horus Heresy. Soon after its release in '88 a sister game, Space Marine came out and added tanks and infantry of the Traitor and Loyalist Space Marine Legions. A few months later, Codex Titanicus hit the streets and brought the Epic system into the Post-Heresy era. Rules for Imperial Guard, Eldar, and Orks. The masses rejoiced.
White Dwarf 114 had the first ever image of a Ork Titan, not yet named Gargant.
Two months later in issue #116 the Ork Gargants had full rules and supporting units. The Gargant came in two main variants: The Smasher, armed with a huge "Gut Buster" cannon and the seldom seen Crusher, which had a enormous set of metal jaws called the "Snapper".
Just before Space Marine 2nd Edition came out, the Gargant line was expanded to include the Slasher, which was a smaller Gargant, and the Stompa, not much bigger than a Land Raider back then.
The Snapper Gargant faded into the mists of legend, while the Crusher became the Great Gargant.
Space Marine had a good long run with many supplements. The last major expansion for it was a big box sex, Titan Legions, which included a pair of plastic Mega-Gargants.
The Epic Space Marine system would slumber for a few years until Epic 40,000 hit the scene in 1997. The Great Gargant, and (no longer Slasher) Gargant got more angular remakes, still in metal.
Great Gargant

The Stompa was done in plastic, and still about Land Raider sized, taller of course. Epic 40,000 didn't go over well with the fans and bit the dust six months later, so did any further plans for any new Gargants.

Epic Armageddon rose from the ashes in 2003 and was well received but not well supported by GW. The Orks got a few new metal Stompa variants but that was all for the Gargant line.

40K Scale
In the early Nineties, Game Workshop licensed a few companies to make 40K size resin models from the Epic scale vehicles. A sign of things to come. Epicast made a pair of Stompas, still much smaller than the current GW plastic one.
   And of course, Armorcast made the massive Great Gargant.
Both had very short production runs, and were the last 40K scale Gargants until GW's plastic Stompa in 2009. Next time we will talk about the current state of Ork Gargant/Stompa/Dredz and scale.

Orks wuz made ta fight and win!
Just not Spelling Bees


  1. I don't think I ever knew that Epicast made stompas. Learn something every day, I guess...

  2. Man, my nostalgia gland is working overtime. Guess I'll have to clean that up later.

    I had Adeptus Titanicus shortly. Complete with styrofoam buildings, clear plastic range rulers, 6 (6!) plastic titans and a critical hit chart that was as artsy as it was confusing. Seriously - that thing had arrows going everywhere.

    But it was a fun game. I kinda miss it. Space Marine and Epic never quite did it for me. Probably because I got slaughtered every game. I distinctly remember a game of Space Marine/Epic where my first company veterans got pwned by a unit of Shokk Attack Guns. Bit of a turn off, that.

    1. Oh, nostalgia gland - when will you stop pumping? Mr. Blackheart - Epic (or whatever variation was available at the time) is the very firstest game we ever played together! You beat my pretty bad with your Tyranid army.