Tuesday, June 26, 2012

UK Deep Dish

Move over bacon, now there's something meatier
     Acaeum member Gnat the Beggar posted the above picture today in the Recent Fun Finds thread. It nicely shows off the height difference between the US (left) and UK (right) versions of Holmes Basic Set (produced by Games Workshop) compared to the US version. As you can see, the UK version is much taller (more room to store modules!) and is missing the overlapped artwork on the box edges. Gnat also posted a photo of the contents of box:

     In addition to the rulebook, the module B1 and a set of standard Holmes dice, there are two loose sheets. One is an advertisement for White Dwarf magazine (which began its run in mid-77, just before the Holmes Set was published in the US). The other sheet replicates pages 31 and 32 of the module (player's background material), something which has been found before with UK copies of B1.

     The printing history of the UK Holmes Set is convoluted. The first two known printings of the rulebook were sold alone (without a box) and had different artwork on the cover by John Blanche of Games Workshop fame, and throughout the interior by Fangorn (Christopher Baker). I believe the text of these are the same as one of the earlier US printings (1st-3rd printings). After this, the UK version appeared as a boxed set with a rulebook that returned to the original cover and interior art (as pictured above). The interior of this rulebook appears to match the 2nd edition (Nov 1978) of the US version. Strangely, however, this UK version retains the Lizard Logo and F116-R code on the front cover instead of using the new Wizard Logo and 2001 code.

     The various printings are described on the Acaeum Basic Set Foreign Editions page, which has at least one error (the 3rd UK printing refers to Halflings, not Hobbits) and is missing a putative 5th printing with prices missing on the back cover.

     See also the Zenopus Archives website Foreign Editions page.


  1. Not totally related to the post, but you have just brought back some nostalgia for this Brit, for back in the days when White Dwarf was a gaming magazine, not just a monthly glossy catalogue for nothing but their own products.

    i really do miss indy games magazines that you can pick up from a store...

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. In the late 80s, I would sometimes go to the Games Workshop store in Baltimore (1st in US, IIRC), when they still carried a full range of games. Bought the TMNT RPG there.

  2. Games Workshop did like their deep boxes. My copies of GW's edition of Call of Cthulhu and their own Judge Dredd RPG came in boxes like that - and they've stood the test of time.

    I assume my copy of Holmes (bought off eBay) must have been in a box originally. It's got the Sutherland cover, F116-R code, lizardman logo on the cover (but wizard logo inside), and the only price listed on the back cover catalogue is for White Dwarf sample copies or subscriptions. Presumably it's the "fifth printing" you mention.

    Oh, and I second shortymonster's comment too.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I didn't realize that GW's boxes were all of the same large size.