|Rab of the Geekly Digest (Thank you!)|
This yellow flyer, which I certainly didn't get when I bought Warhammer 2nd Edition back in the day, nor did I get it when I bought another copy of eBay some years later (although I did get some bendy D&D toys with it!) Anyway, this arcane scroll mentions two Warhammer posters. One of the posters is the Joe Dever and Gary Chalk one that Goblin Lee did an epic job of identifying the miniatures of in his post on Warhammer Posters .
|Warhammer Poster via Goblin Lee|
Both posters were also mentioned in Chalk and Devers Tabletop Heroes column in White Dwarf 62 - February 1985, so that puts a possible date on the insertion of the flyer, as Warhammer 2nd Edition came out late 84.
The second poster, which I've never seen, but probably now I mention it a million will fly out of the basements of the worlds grognards like so many blood-thirsty Stirges from the Caves of Chaos, is described thusly:
"This poster features the cover art from the new Warhammer box, extended to include the forthcoming Warhammer Role-Play cover too! A magnificent picture poster, and a fine example of John's widely acclaimed fantasy work."
Warhammer 2nd Edition, cover by John Blanche, looks like this:
|Warhammer 2nd Edition box via Tenkars Tavern|
And the poster, which intriguingly had the proposed artwork for the cover of Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play added to it, must have looked something like this:
|Warhammer Poster Mock-up|
TL:DR the image would need to be completely redrawn to get it anywhere near fit for human consumption. I need not have bothered as VeronaKid pointed out the poster was up for sale on US eBay at the time of writing, for the very reasonable price of $75 (that's not a reasonable price):
Some further observations - the 3rd Edition reprint has clouds going in the opposite directions, the pole-arms and the bats (or Stirges) have been removed or replaced. Visually there seems to be more image missing on the right-hand "Warhammer Fantasy Role-play side" - otherwise it wouldn't have had the same proportions - the composition of the skull-face is also weirdly off-centre. Looking at the poster there is a lot of 'air' - obviously for the logos and publishers blurb, and in fact it looks very much like a 2-in-1 image one would have made for a wrap-around cover, rather than a box front.
But, perhaps more importantly than these details, the addition of the content on the right-hand side. This isn't a Grim World of Perilous Adventure, nor the gothic adventure of rat-catchers in Medieval Cthulhu sewers getting bitten by syphellitic dogs, the Enemy Within that we know from Warhammer Fantasy Role-play. No. It's heroic blood and gore outside Castle Greyskull.
|THIS IS WARHAMMER!|
Not only that but it has a wizard who looks like a purple version of The Vision, with an explosion coming out of his backside, standing on top of Castle Greyskull.
|THIS IS WARHAMMER!|
Not only that but it's got what looks like a woman on it, running out of the mouth of Castle Greyskull. In the front middle. The colouration makes me think maybe she's a Dark Elf or similar - tho' the costume is exactly the same as the Runequest 1st Edition (and 2nd) illustrating what I believe to be the incalculable debt that Warhammer owes Runequest, whilst also continuing Warhammer 2nd Editions all too brief attempt at gender equality.
|THIS IS WARHAMMER!|
There you have it a weird, half-baked reconstruction of what might have been.
So what if Warhammer Fantasy Role Play had been published in 1985? We know what the cover may have looked like, but what of the game itself? We know from interviews that Fellowship and the change to 2-digit stats were late changes, so it likely would have mechncially hewn closer to Warhammer Battle Second Edition. The Careers system may well have been in place, but as published it lacks any focus outside of the Empire (that Dark Elf warrior maiden, must surely have had options)? Would the Enemy Within and all the Renaissance Call of Cthulhu have been sidelined for the Doomstones Campaign and replaced with funky sci-fantasy South American Runequest?