Saturday, May 7, 2016

Index Astartes Apocrypha: Impressions

Index Astartes: Apocrypha

To help celebrate 30 years of Space Marines, alongside releasing the Imperial Space Marine model, Games Workshop also released a hardcover book, collecting a range of early Space Marine material called Index Astartes: Apocrypha.  I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the book, despite its limited print run (it is available in a digital format on the Black Library, however), and figured I would let you know what I think of it via pictures!

It begins...

The book is filled with all manner of interesting information. Most of it was pulled from issues of White Dwarf magazine following the release of Rogue Trader (1987).

A series of incredibly iconic images from Rogue Trader that first introduced Space Marines to the world.  And they shall know no fear.

Also from Rogue Trader, the first instance of Space Marine Heraldry.  Many of peoples’ favorite chapters have been around since the beginning! 

Only a year after Rogue Trader’s release, the Traitor Legions were created and the Siege of Terra explored.

The Ultramarines were greatly expanded in the first Index Astartes article (1988).  Notice Marneus Calgar, who became Chapter Master at the young age of 44 (977.M41)...

The Fire Hawks, before becoming the Legion of the Damned, were even around since 1988.

Deredeo and Contemptor Dreadnoughts were were introduced in White Dwarf 100 (1988).  Notice Jes Goodwin’s sketch in the top corner.  I wonder where Forge World’s Contemptor design came from...

Everyone’s favorite Chapters from the Badab War in all their glory (1988).

Proof that the Deathwing used to have Black Armour at one point (1989).

They included the excellent “Making of the Land Raider” article in its entirety from White Dwarf 245, an issue that I remember vividly (2000).

The background material from the Horus Heresy board game (1993), and what FFG based their Horus Heresy game upon.

Adrian Smith’s iconic image of Horus dueling the Emperor.  It has never been equaled (even by Smith later in life, he he).

For less than $25, I cannot think of a better way to learn more about the origins of the Space Marines that we all know and love.  Regardless of whether you were around since the beginning, or only more recently, the book is an excellent resource.  It is filled with material that has been out of print for a long time and would be difficult to find otherwise.  It has been a joy taking a trip down memory lane, remembering classic White Dwarf issues, and being reminded of the incredible wealth of creativity that was spawned in only a few years following the release of Rogue Trader.  Looking back at all of this material, it is really not surprising that Space Marines and Warhammer 40,000 created such a legacy.

- Eric Wier


  1. I have most of the content of the Apocrypha in the original WD's and supplement rulebooks I bought when I was younger, but I really wish I had gotten this book when I had the chance. So many many influential pieces of art...

    1. Yeah, it is certainly a cool book. And while I had some of the material in Rogue Trader and old WD magazines, it is great to have it all in one place. To see how far things have come, and how much as also stayed the same.