NetEpic may be the best Games Workshop game ever, and
perhaps, ironically, because Games Workshop has not created it...
Space Marine edition
short history of Space Marine
In the eighties and nineties, GW
designed a set of rules for Titan combat in Warhammer 40'000 universe,
called Adeptus Titanicus. Titan models were roughly 10cm height and
were fighting in city ruins, each model being as tall as a building in
Later infantry and tanks joined the fray with Space
Marine (1st and 2nd editions). Since Titans were towering giants, they
dwarfed even the mightiest tank. Infantry models were 6mm
Finally the last supplement for this product range was Titan
Legions which was only providing minor fixes to the rules and newer,
bigger than ever Titan models.
During the course of years, the game
became very interesting and colorful, each race (Eldar, Imperial Guard,
Chaos...) having its unique units and special abilities. The game was
known through different names, either as "Epic" (the scale name) or
"Space Marine" (the boxed set containing core rules).
The death of
Epic and the birth of NetEpic
Unfortunately, all came to an abrupt
end circa 1998. Despite the success of its Epic line, Games Workshop
removed the game from its sales catalog in order to revamp it completely.
Game designers were not happy with the rules and wanted a more abstract
game, relying more heavily on morale and chain of command.
If all the
gaming community was agreeing that Space Marine could have been made
better, Games Workshop's output for this task - known as Epic 40,000 -
was a failure in nearly every aspect they tried to address, ie. worse than
the imperfect game it was supposed to replace. Units were all too similar
and the rule mechanics were full of abstract concepts such as break point,
firepower and impact counters.
Epic 40'000 received little support
from its own editor and was a commercial failure. It disappeared within
months of its release.
But when Space Marine was removed from Games
Workshop's product line, a dedicated group of gamers disagreed and
decided to continue supporting their beloved game. They were the NetEpic
founders. Using Internet as a community tool, they built their own set of
rules, expanding and correcting Space Marine rules to produce a newer
version of the rules, clearer than ever before, called NetEpic.
Still aware of the commercial potential of 6mm
wargaming, known as the "serious gamer scale", Games Workshop struggles
to bring a newer version of the game. This time it's called
Epic:Armaggedon, but since it's still based on the flawed Epic 40'000
framework it's of little interest to the NetEpic community - except for
newer models, of course!
On the other hand, NetEpic is alive and well.
The ruleset is evolving through its 5th edition, and every army list
always incorporate all models, never leaving any player with unusable
models, either old or new. NetEpic dropped long ago the alternate-turn
system in favor of the lot smarter unit-activation system, resulting in
unmatched tactical depth.
NetEpic is what Space Marine never dared to
become - a clever, tactical, elegant and complete 6mm game. Don't worry
if you are new to NetEpic. You can join at anytime, you will always be
welcomed by a cheering group of players ready to help. Rules are all
available online for free and Epic miniatures can easily be found on ebay.
published on 13 Apr 2004