image © Games Workshop

Warhammer 40.000 is wargame that tries to realistically simulate warfare in a high magic futuristic fantasy setting. It is produced by Games Workshop company for their Warhammer 40.000 setting.

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Wargame: Warhammer 40.000

Latest edition: Warhammer 40.000 Ed8 (2017.06.17-)

Rules: Warhammer 40.000 Ed8

Previous editions: Warhammer 40.000 Ed1 (1987-1993), Warhammer 40.000 Ed2 (1993-1998), Warhammer 40.000 Ed3 (1998-2004), Warhammer 40.000 Ed4 (2004-2008), Warhammer 40.000 Ed5 (2008-2012), Warhammer 40.000 Ed6 (2012-2014), Warhammer 40.000 Ed7 (2014.05.24-2017.06.17)

Predecessor: Reaper Ed2 (1981), Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ed1 (1983-1984), Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ed2 (1984-1987), Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ed3 (1987-1992)

Battle! Practical Wargaming (Charles Grant), Laserburn (1980, Bryan Ansell)

Parallel developments:  Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ed4 (1992-1996), Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ed5 (1996-2000), Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ed6 (2000-2006), Warhammer Fantasy Battles Ed7 (2006-2010)

Setting: Warhammer 40.000

Company: Games Workshop company


Warhammer 40.000 Ed1: Rick Priestley

Warhammer 40.000 Ed2: Andy Chambers

Warhammer 40.000 Ed3: ?

Warhammer 40.000 Ed4: ?

Warhammer 40.000 Ed5: Matt Ward

Warhammer 40.000 Ed6: ?

Warhammer 40.000 Ed7: ?

Warhammer 40.000 Ed8: ?

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Players: 2 (2+ with modifications), Player abilitiess: Various, Possibly different, Units: Single miniatures grouped in squads

Turn structure: Taking turns, moving whole armies, Movement: Set distances,

Playing time: 90+ min, depending on the size of the battle, Play style: Abstract, Tries to be Realistic, Competitive, Theme: Combat, Language dependency: Rulebook, army lists, cards

Features: Competitive, Miniatures, Random effects (dice)

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Playing pieces

The game uses 1:56 scale (often called 28mm or 32mm scale) miniatures.



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Changes between editions - Warhammer 40.000 Ed6 & Ed7


Changes between editions - Warhammer 40.000 Ed7 & Ed8

The turn has several phases.

Movement has set distances. A unit must stay away at least 1 inch from enemy models.

Psyker must test for ability using, but even if it's succesful, enemy psykers can negate the ability with Deny the Witch.


  • If a unit is within 1 inch distance of an enemy unit, it cannot shoot, because it's locked in close combat.
  • Splitting fire allows a unit to choose different targets during a shooting attack.
  • Special characters cannot be targeted unless they are the closest unit.
  • Cover is a +1 modifier to Save.

The controlling player allocates the wounds, even to models that can't be seen. (similar to Ed5)


  • Overwatch can be used against multiple charging units as long as they don't reach the unit using overwatch.
  • The unit has to be within 1 inch to be in close combat.

Vehicles get Wounds just like infantry.

Resources Changes between editions - Warhammer 40.000 Ed7 & Ed8

CanHammer: How To Play 40k - 8th Edition: Rules overview video.

OneMindSyndicate: Top 20 rule changes in 8th Edition Warhammer 40K: Rule change overview video.

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Resources - Warhammer 40.000

Warhammer Fantasy Battle WikiPedia article

Games Workshop: Warhammer - Age of Sigmar: Official website.

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Buying the product

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Have you played the Warhammer 40.000 miniatures wargame from Games Workshop? How do you like it? Would you recommend them to others? Tell your opinion in the comments!


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