Warhammer 40k

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Warhammer 40,000 (colloquially known as Warhammer 40K, WH40K, W40K or just 40K) is a science-fantasy tabletop produced by Games Workshop.
Warhammer 40,000 is the sci-fi spin-off of the dark, high-fantasy world of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer Age of Sigmar, and originally shared many of the same game mechanics and some of the same characteristics.

The game simulates combat between the armies of the fictional universe of the 41st Millennium with 28mm - 32mm scale miniatures depicting futuristic soldiers, creatures and war vehicles. The universe of Warhammer 40,000 is heavily dystopian, using many elements from Gothic, Dark Fantasy and Lovecraftian literature.

There are no clearly "good" factions; For example, the human empire that most players might sympathize with is a corrupt, indifferent, and stagnant interstellar government that rules the Milky Way.

Humanity is xenophobic, fascist, and tyrannical at best during this time, albeit with good reason given the sheer hostility of the universe in which humanity lives.

The mood of the franchise is succinctly summed up in the tagline: "In the grim darkness of the distant future, there is only war."

How to play Warhammer 40k

Each player assembles an army from metal and plastic miniature figures (models), each of which usually represents a single figure from one of the official army lists. These armies are constrained by rules contained in the current edition Warhammer 40,000 rulebook, as well as several army-specific codices.

The size and strength of the army is determined using a point system, with each unit being assigned a number of points proportional to its tactical value on the battlefield. Before a game begins, players agree on how many points to use as the maximum army size, and each assemble an army up to that maximum limit.
Common game sizes range from 500 to 2,500 points, but it's possible to play much larger battles if you have the time and inclination. Games generally last from half an hour to several hours depending on the point size of the armies.


The game is divided into turns, with each player on their turn choosing specific actions for all of their units (usually a combination of movement, fire, and melee combat) and using dice to determine the results of those actions. Each battle is assigned a set of additional rules and a specific objective (collectively referred to as a "Scenario") at the start.


The most common of these is a basic "cleansing" mission, which ends after six turns, with the victor being declared based on who controls the four quarters of the battlefield. More complex objectives can include night battles, bunker raids, and ambushes.
Some players organize a series of scenarios, called a campaign, in which two or more players fight each other in a series of battles. These campaigns may contain their own special rules and are linked by an in-universe storyline that may change depending on the outcomes of each scenario as it is played.

Collecting Warhammer 40k

Besides writing rule books, Games Workshop is also known for producing excellent miniatures. For many it is an exciting and fulfilling hobby to collect the various model sets without bringing them to the gaming table.

With new limited models, which increase in price within a very short time, Games Workshop creates a very popular collector's market for their models.

Painting and crafting

Many hobbyists are primarily interested in crafting and painting miniatures and create true works of art in dioramas and individual figures. As the models are all hand-painted and assembled by the player, players are encouraged to design their own color schemes and use the pre-made ones shown in the various books and codices. They are also encouraged to further modify their figures and vehicles using parts from other kits and models (known to players as "Bitz" or sprues) or from plastic themselves (Plasticcard), modeling clay and whatever the modeler has at hand has, have built themselves .


These conversions are often entered into competitions at Games Workshop sponsored tournaments and similar gaming events. Terrain is a very important part of the game. Although Games Workshop provides terrain kits, many hobbyists prefer to create their own elaborate and unique set pieces. Ordinary household items like soda cans, coffee mugs, styrofoam packaging and pill bottles can be transformed into ruined cathedrals, alien habitats or terrain with the addition of plastic, modeling clay and a little patience and skill.

The world of Warhammer 40k

The Warhammer 40,000 universe is best described as a gothic sci-fi setting.
The central and most beloved elements of the Warhammer 40,000 universe are the Space Marines, a combination of sci-fi super soldiers and fantasy knights and the finest warriors of the Imperium of Man, the dystopian, galaxy-spanning, interstellar human empire to which they are sworn to serve and defend.
The physical setting of the story is the material universe or matter, with all action taking place in the Milky Way in the distant future, thirty-eight thousand years from now. Most of this space is controlled by the Empire of Mankind, although it is not the only power in the galaxy.

Other intelligent, space-faring species such as e.g.

  • 40k Orkz, a green-skinned, orc-like race
  • the Aeldari, an elven-like ancient race steeped in magic
  • the T'au, a civilization with powerful battlesuits
  • the Tyranids, these bugs devour entire worlds
  • the Necrons, undead androids who want to rebuild their empire.

In the warp lurk the terrors of the living, demons of the Chaos Gods, and madness. It is described as a realm of pure thought and psychic energy where desires and emotions can take physical form, and with currents and eddies that make travel across great interstellar distances difficult but possible.

Since this is a realm of thought, a merging of extreme emotions often results in the birth of a sinister warp entity. The strongest of these beings are the Chaos Gods,

  • Khorne - the god of anger, bloodshed and war
  • Nurgle - a god of despair, decay and plague
  • Tzeentch - a god of change, deceit, intrigue, sorcery and, oddly enough, hope
  • Slaanesh - a god of joy, pain, depravity, pride and decadence

The gods of chaos are the result of the strongest impulses in the living souls of the sentient inhabitants of the universe. Their cults have a dynamic and antagonistic relationship. Khorne is against Slaanesh while Nurgle is against Tzeentch. Nurgle is the personification of stagnation, while Tzeentch embodies perpetual change, Khorne embodies duty and anger, and Slaanesh embodies the indulgent or sensual.

These four forces are not the only ones in the warp, but they are the largest and most powerful. The background to Warhammer 40,000 states that the true nature of the warp is beyond human comprehension and truly unknowable.

The game's backstory draws on many previous fantasy and science fiction works, including Warhammer Fantasy, Games Workshop's previous fantasy tabletop miniature game, Frank Herbert's Dune book series and the Aliens films, as well as real-life historical elements such as The Two World Wars and the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

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