For more than a hundred centuries The Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die.
Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the Warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor's will.
Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defence forces, the ever vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants - and worse.
To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.
What is Warhammer 40,000?
Warhammer 40,000 (informally known as 40K) is an ever-expanding Gothic science-fantasy setting based in the Milky Way Galaxy around the end of the 41st Millennium and the beginning of the 42nd Millennium, created in 1987 by British miniature wargames company Games Workshop. The central and most popular elements of the Warhammer 40K universe are the Space Marines, futuristic versions of fantasy knights and the finest warriors of the Imperium of Mankind, a dystopian and degenerate galaxy-spanning empire beset by enemies within (traitors), enemies without (aliens) and enemies beyond (daemons).
Originally developed as a sci-fi spin-off of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the 40K setting contains many elements of the fantasy genre, for example the concept of magic and adapted versions of classic fantasy races. The inspirational sources for the 40K universe include classic and contemporary sci-fi, horror, and fantasy movies and television series and the works of renowned genre authors such as Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, H. P. Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock, J. R. R. Tolkien and Robert Heinlein; medieval, baroque and surrealist art, popular depictions of historical settings, such as the World Wars, Victorian Britain, Imperial Rome, the Inquisitions, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.
This mix leads to a wholly unique fictional universe, in which every side is to some extent evil - though some are slightly less evil than others. The Imperium for example, is often presented as the 'good side', and while it may be true that there are many good people within it, as a whole it is an oppressive, xenophobic, corrupt mess which is only able to keep control of its population through the fact that being worked to the bone assembling rifles and worshipping the Emperor is slightly better than being worked to the bone and then brutally killed by a hostile alien for instance.
Now in its 8th (and arguably best) edition, the Warhammer 40K tabletop wargame is a fun, engaging, creative and social game for two or more players centred around 28mm scale miniatures representing epic heroes, futuristic soldiers, deadly monsters and armoured vehicles of war. Players assemble and paint each miniature, and these miniatures form armies under your command that can be pitted against those of other players. Each player typically fields a roughly equally powerful army, usually determined either by total power level or points value.
Armies are deployed to a tabletop battlefield, and battles range from simple skirmishes to complex battles involving objectives and reinforcements. The miniatures are moved around the table to engage in ranged attacks, hand-to-hand combat and more. Play is turn-based, with various outcomes determined by tables and the roll of dice. Battles can last anywhere between half an hour to a whole weekend depending on the size of the armies, and battles may be strung together to form narrative campaigns. Many hobby stores host battles and competitive tournaments, and official gaming events are held on a regular basis.
The 40K franchise has expanded in many directions over the years, including other tabletop wargames (Horus Heresy aka Warhammer 30K, Kill Team, Necromunda: Underhive, Adeptus Titanicus etc), RPGs (Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader etc), board games (Space Hulk, Deathwatch: Overkill etc), video games (Dawn of War, Space Marine etc), card games, novels and audio books, all of which may be discussed within this thread in addition to the Warhammer 40K tabletop wargame and setting discussion. Feel free to share photos of your miniatures here too, as well as army lists, battle reports and anything else related to 40K. Welcome to the 40K Era!
- Games Workshop (40K miniatures and rules)
- Forge World (40K miniatures and rules)
- Warhammer Community (40K news)
- The Black Library (40K novels and audio books - some also on Audible)
- Official 40K FAQs and Errata
- How to play 40K 8th Edition
- 40K galaxy timeline of events
- Lexicanum (40K lore encyclopaedia)
- Warhammer 40K Wiki (40K lore encyclopaedia)
- The Independent Characters (40K podcast)
- StrikingScorpion82 (40K battle reports)
- Tabletop Tactics (40K battle reports)
- Winters SEO (40K battle reports and unboxings)
- Sup3rSaiy3n (40K unboxings)
- The Vaults of Terra (40K lore videos)
- 40K Theories (40K lore videos)
- OneMindSyndicate (40K lore videos)
- 40K spin-offs
- 40K video games