So what went wrong here and why?
It's simple - the Space Marine army list printed in this issue of the Dwarf. This is the tipping point where 40K went from being a great big goodie bag of sci-fi skirmish "stuff" where you were expected to run scenario play with a Gamesmaster and off into the boring, dull realms of equal pointed, "fair", "1500 point super-armies", line 'em up on opposite sides of a table and have at it. Exactly the sort of crap that had blighted the Ancient wargaming world pretty much ever since the early 1970s. All the early promise in Rogue Trader was immediately extinguished and it became about shit like "balance" and "optimising" and "tournaments". The game had gone from being the bastard child of Laserburn to a clone of WRG Ancients or something. Disappointing. Very disappointing.
It was now a competitive game and much the worse for it.
It's interesting that RT was launched in WD93 and this issue is WD105 so the original state of play was only around for 13 months - but it seemed a very long thirteen months in which it had single-handedly shifted the scene of Brit Gaming from fantasy (which was the only thing people played) over to a sort of sci-fi, which had previously been regarded as a red-headed stepchild.
So for me this issue marks the change in the GW hobby that did start to leave me behind. If it wasn't for the emergence of the Epic scale side of things and the fact that WD was still publishing (admittedly not very good) WFRP stuff I'm fairly certain that all of my GW stuff would have donated to younger cousins and forgotten about. It was a real sea change for my hobby.
That said, it did have some nice beakie illustrations by our blogging friend Mr. Nicholson.
(I love the cheeky amused-looking Ork bottom right here. He reminds of a boxer bitch my family once owned who had suffered a broken jaw when run over as a puppy so ended up with a similar protruding tusk.)
(Note Rogue Trader era autogun carried by leftmost Marine. From the days when random generation could leave a Space Marine squad toting autoguns, lasguns or even Eldar shuriken catapults!)