By: Dark Wave
Here at YeahDudeGamers it is the Season of SciFi so this time around, Unplugged is bringing you into one of the darkest SciFi worlds of them all: Warhammer 40K. The game is set in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium where the Imperium of Man struggles to survive against countless foes both from outside and within. Warhammer 40K is a table-top war game put out by Games Workshop that utilizes miniature figures representing super-soldiers, various alien species, and the war machines these armies drive into battle. The popularity of Warhammer 40K has caused it to expand far beyond the war table and into the pages of novels, role playing games, and more. Join me as we enter a world so ultra-violent that it brought us the term “grimdark.”
In the far future mankind has come together under the banner of the God-Emperor of Man and conquered countless planets. This success is due, in no small part, to the Imperial Guard, the Inquisition, the Adeptus Mechanicus, and possibly most important of all, the Adeptus Astartes also known as the Space Marines. The Imperial Guard acts as the God-Emperor’s hammer and anvil upon which his enemies are forged and broken. While the Inquisition acts as the God-Emperor’s will and the Adeptus Mechanicus keeps the technology of the empire running the Space Marines are the God-Emperor’s sword, crusading against all who oppose mankind. The Space Marines are the mightiest of mankind’s warriors due to a harsh combination of genetic alteration, psychological conditioning, and rigorous training. These warriors stand as titans on the battle field. Between 7 and 8 feet tall, they are even larger in their signature power armor, a suit that is both the epitome in combat defense and space survival.
It is a good thing mankind is armed to the teeth because their enemies come in no short supply. Among these enemies are The Eldar, a society of powerful psychic aliens who view mankind as un-evolved pests. Next are the Orks, with an almost Mad Max like society they live only to spread and destroy. Third are the Tau, who, with their advanced technology, are determined to bring all races under their rule for the greater good. Then come the Necrons, these monsters inhabit robotic skeleton-like bodies that constantly repair themselves, making them nearly unstoppable. However, one of The Imperium’s greatest foes are the dreaded Tyranids. These monsters are a race of rapidly evolving aliens who care about nothing except consuming every trace of biological material in their path. The Tyranids are literal world-eaters that make natural enemies ban together to survive. As intimidating as these foes are, none are as terrible as the forces of Chaos. The Chaos Gods are Khorne The Blood God, Tzeentch The Changer of Ways, Nurgle The Plague Lord, and Slaanesh The Prince of Pleasure. With their corrupt Chaos Marines they threaten the very existence of mankind and the stability of the universe itself.
Now you may be wondering how all of this translates into a game. For every faction in the world of Warhammer 40k there are miniatures to represent their army and a custom handbook for that faction. Along with these you will need a copy of the core rule book, a set of six sided dice, a tape measure, model paint, model glue, and area-of-effect templates. All of which you can pick up at most hobby shops. Once you have purchased your supplies you can begin putting your miniatures together and painting them according to their faction or in whatever colors you like. Now, I won’t lie to you, Warhammer 40K can be an expensive, time consuming hobby and is not for everyone. However, many who give this game a try become hooked and it quickly becomes their passion.
If you find the amount of work to play the game daunting, or if war games are just not your thing, don’t worry. There are other ways to enjoy the world of Warhammer 40K. There are some great video games for you PC-gamers such as the Dawn of War series. If your table-top gaming inclination is more of the role playing variety, Fantasy Flight Games has put out several table-top RPGs that run on the same system allowing you to mix and match your gaming experience. Dark Heresy allows you to play as a new member of the God-Emperor’s Inquisition while Rogue Trader allows you to take to the far reaches of space as a freelance trader and smuggler. Deathwatch lets you become one of the God-Emperor’s mighty Space Marines while you cleans The Imperium and beyond of alien scum. The newest addition to the Warhammer 40K role-playing experience is Only War, letting you join in the might of the Imperial Guard. The 40K experience does not stop there. You bookworms out there will be delighted to hear that there are many novels on book store shelves set in the grimdark world of Warhammer 40K! Now grab your dice, your favorite bookmark, or load up your computer and go to war!