Classic Warlord

In 1981 I acquired a GW boardgame called ‘Apocalypse‘. It was one of the first boardgames I bought for myself, with money I had earned from Saturday and Sunday jobs. I had travelled down the Victoria Line from Walthamstow Central to go to the Games Centre in Oxford Street, handed over the money, browsed some more at all these wonders it would take me months of weekend work to afford, and then headed home. Once there, I pressed out the simple colour counters,  city counters, radiation markers and clipped together the white plastic rocket stages. Then I opened the mapboard and began to explore the rules and the game itself. I played that game with my mates until ‘Traveller RPG’ was discovered, but it was always there in reserve as a sure-fire favourite.


(Said to be Tony Roberts artwork adorning the box lid – I wanted to be the pilot of that bomber!)

I never knew until much later on that this GW version hailed from an earlier design. I had seen references to a bigger board, and H-Bombs and not just A-Bombs, and different game-start options. I learnt the back-story via BGG in the end, and it came as a surprise then that GW would miss out on so many opportunities when they acquired this (aye, as I learned about this game’s creation, I also found out plenty about GW!)

Then years later in 2012 I learned that the rights had reverted to the original designer, Mike Hayes. And from that moment onwards I was determined to follow the plans he had, and to acquire what was heralded as the proper version of the game – ‘Classic Warlord’.

The game restored the missing (eastern) half of the map, included H-Bombs, clarified the rules, and brought it back to what it was supposed to be, from the ‘cut-&-shut‘ job done by GW. And I’ve had some cracking good games of it since, and swapped some valuable thoughts and ideas with the Hayes too. Rejuvenation of an old favourite from a long distant time in the past is always somehow comforting, and I’ll return back to Classic Warlord as subject matter soon.

BGG Entry:  Classic Warlord



Author: taggb

UK-based, gaming and writing, and generally aiming to get back to being more creative.

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