The new release of Warhammer 40000 is almost apon us. While I write this the new rule books have not been released to the public, however they have been Pre-release to a select few and some of these have leaked the content of the Rule book to the rest of us. These tactics are written using these pre-release sources for the moment. When the rules are released properly I will update these tactics with any missing information or other amendments.
What is Warhammer 40000?
Warhammer 40000 is a table top wargame played with models, dice and rulers. It is set in a dark gothic version of the far future. In this future the human race has expanded to fill the galaxy, meeting several different races, most of whom want to kill them! However after this glorious expansion the human civilisation collapsed. In this game you join either the human race or one of the various alien races as humans try to rebuild society, mainly by beating everyone one else up!
What is Warhammer 40000 8th edition?
The first release of Warhammer 40000 in 1987 was called ‘Rouge Trader’ and this was a role playing game with a bit of skirmish table top fighting thrown in. In 1993 Games Workshop took the game and re-wrote it to be a fully fledged tabletop battle game called Warhammer 40000 2nd edition (WH40k 2nd edition), and when I started playing WH40k. This became an instant hit. On the back of this game Games Workshop sold masses of models and rule books. Over the next years these rules where expanded and improved through the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th editions. Now in 2017, twenty four years later, Games Workshop have seen that the game needs a full overhaul. Much like the leap from Rouge Trader to 2nd edition, all the rule books have been thrown out and rewritten from scratch. This is the new Warhammer 40k 8th edition.
Armies of Warhammer 40k 8th Edition
As you may expect, after 30 years of development since the release of the original Rouge Trader version of Warhammer 40k the universe of WH40k is very developed with a number of races each with their own backgrounds and play styles. If you are new to the game you may want to browse through the different army types and discover which one is more suited to your play style and temperament.
One of the great advantages of the 8th edition reset is that no one army will have a dominance over any other. This means that you should have an equal chance of winning regardless of the army you select, and winning or losing will be dependent on your skills and not on the armies rules.
What are WH40k Imperial, Chaos, and Xenos armies?
Warhammer 40k armies fall in to 3 broad categories, Imperial – which is the human forces that follow the Imperial Emperor ( who is currently mostly dead and has been on a high tech life support machine for the last thousand years), the Chaos – human and daemons corrupted by another dimension called the realm of Chaos ( these are the basic bad guys), and Xenos – all the other races that just want to live peacefully and gorge themselves on human flesh!
Space Marines are genetically enhanced humans developed to fight the enemies of the human race and bring order to the universe.
In game terms Space Marines are big, tough and well armed! The downside of the Space Marines are that they are few in number. When you are playing Marines you are saying that quality is better than quantity!
Space Marines are an excellent starter army for beginners. This is because you need fewer Space Marines models to play a game and they are good all round troops. Space Marines always included in the Warhammer 40000 starter box sets that Games Workshop release.
Space Marines come in different factions called Chapters. Each Chapter has it’s own colours and markings. Most of the Space Marines use the same rules, but there are a few exception to these rules.
You can find the rules for the Space Marines in the Index: Imperium 1 rule book.
- Also buy: Discount pace Marines from Element Games
- Also buy: Discount Index Imperium 1 rule book from Element Games
Imperial Guard ( Astra Militarum ) and friends
The imperial Guard depend on lard number and big guns over the skill of individual infantry men. This stand back and shoot does lead to difficulties if the enemy gets close, or if you have to go over the top of your barricades to claim objectives. To fill this gap the Imperial Guard have a number of friends to call on. These vary from Assassins, Nuns with guns, and Giant walking robots!
You can find the rules for the Astra Militarum, and friends in the Index: Imperial 2 rule book
- Also buy: Discount Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) from Wayland Games
- Also buy: Discount Index: Imperium 2 rule book from Element Games
Chaos Space Marines and Daemons of Chaos
In the Warhammer 40000 universe psychic power are drawn from another dimension where evil spirits and the pure energy of chaos reside. The use of psychic powers and warp space travel has created rips in reality where this force of chaos can spill in to our reality, twisting, warping and corrupting all that it touches.
Chaos Space marines are Space Marines that have been touched by, and succumbed to the seductive chaotic powers. The Daemons of Chaos are the raw stuff of chaos in corporeal form.
In game terms, the forces of Chaos are a very diverse army. All this corruption and mutation means that there is a massive variation in skills and abilities between units. The up side of this is that you are never short of interesting and wickedly devious models to play with. The downside is that you have to form this chaotic maelstrom in to a game winning army!
You can find the rules for Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Daemons in the Index: Chaos rule book.
- Also buy: Discount Chaos Space Marines from Element Games
- Also buy: Discount Chaos Daemons from Element Games
- Also buy: Discount Index: Chaos rule book from Element Games
Eldar Craft Worlds
Eldar are mostly human friendly, but there is a good degree of mistrust and battles between humans and Eldar are as frequent as battles where they fight side by side.
In game terms Eldar are fast, nimble but fragile. With this army you will need to get various specialists working together hitting the right place at the right time, and at the same time avoiding the big guns of your enemy.
You can find the rules for the Craft World Eldar in the Index: Xenos 1: rule book.
- Also buy: Discount Craftworld Eldar from Element Games
- Also buy: Discount Index: Xenos 1 rule book from Element Games
Metal Skeletons from the far past, or is that the far future? Either way they have the unnerving ability to re-animate. Will these dead things just lie down and die!
On the table Necrons are considered slower than most armies, however there are Necron units that move really, really fast. This can catch your opposition off guard. With Necrons it is essential that you know your army and all the special rules they have.
The rules for the Necrons can be found in the Index: Xenos 1 rule book.
- Also buy: Discount Necrons from Element Games
- Also buy: Discount Index: Xenos 1 rule book from Element Games
Orks are savage green Orcs of fantasy. Armed with guns and war machines that seem to be built from scrap. These machines seem to work purely because the Orks have an absolute conviction that they should!
On the gaming table Orks are masters of close up hand to hand combat. Some are on foot, but there are post-apocalyptic trucks, and easy rider motorbikes. They are also backed up with some awesome, crazy war machines.
The rules for the Orks can be found in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.
The Tau where one of the top performing armies in the 7th edition. They may be toned down for the 8th edition but they will still be a force to be reckoned with. Speed and firepower is their stock in trade, but they do have a weakness in close combat.
You can find the rules for the Tau empire in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.
- Also buy: Discount Tau from Element Games
- Also buy: Discount Index: Xenos 2 rule book from Element Games
Is that a monster lurking in the darkness? Oh yes! Tyranids are aliens from another galaxy, totally unlike anything seen before ( unless you have seen any on the Alien’ films ), they have come to gorge on all living material, plant and animal, who’s genetic material is used to create new Tyranids and repeat the process. Tyranids are sometimes called the Great Devourer. Tyranid monsters come in all sizes from those the size of large dogs to some the size of four story buildings!
Tyranids have a very specific play style. They are mainly close assault creatures however they are brood creatures and controlled ‘node’ Tyranid creatures. Without these node creatures the lesser creatures start reverting to instinctive behaviour – and not doing what you want then to! So you need to protect your node creatures and get the the other creatures in to close combat with the enemy without loosing too many to gun fire!
You can find the rules for Tyranids in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.