As I recall, it's fairly similar to first edition 40K, just a little more... self-published. I've never had a chance to play it, of course, but it doesn't seem too hugely different.
I bought it because I have every edition of 40K so thought that this was the missing one, but now I've sat down with it the first thing that strikes me is that it's actually Proto-Inquisitor. That might just be a slightly skewed viewpoint brought on by the fact that our group have been discussing Inquisitor a lot recently so it's pretty much in my mind at moment.Quite a lot more... self-published!A blog post for the future will be a run-down of all the bits of Laserburn that have survived nearly 30 years into modern 40K and related games.
As you say, this is more akin to Inquisitor than 40k, although the two pages of background in there include some concepts that made it into Rogue Trader.More than being 'proto-40k', its actually 'proto-necromunda', as pretty much the same rules were used for 'Confrontation', the early Necromunda rules set published in White Dwarf.If you want to refine your retro-fu, get hold of a copy of 'Combat 3000' from 15mm.co.uk, which was written by Rick Priestly and shares more of the gaming philosophy (though no background whatsoever).
i know an 11 year old who plays this!