40K: Welcome to the Imperium’s Wild West

8th Edition is cutting the Imperium in two. Look who is stuck on the wrong side of the railroad tracks:

The Cicatrix Maledictum has split the Imperium in two. On the lower half is Terra from which Roboutte Guilliman is preparing his new crusade to take back the galaxy. On the north is the new “wild west” of Warhammer 40,000. A ever more lawless area beset by xenos, rebellion and the taint of the Ruinous Powers.  They are cut off from the light of the Astronomicon, making warp travel dangerous.

It’s also a perfect opportunity for adventures and tabletop drama. GW has already informed us that the Blood Angels are cut off and fighting for their lives on Baal. Today let’s see who else is up there in the darkness:


We’ve gone through a bunch of galaxy maps to get an idea of who’s trapped up there to get you ready for what GW may have in store, and to plan your next campaign.

Space Marine Homeworlds

Ork Enclaves

Tyranid Hivefleets

Mechanicus & Knight Worlds


Necron dynasties

Imperium Nihilus

Space Marines: Blood Angels-Baal, Black Templars Fleets, Novamarines-Honourum, Iron Knights-Brycantia, Silver Skulls-Varsavia, Invaders-Ogrys, Brazen Claws-Talus IV, Rainbow Warriors-Prism

Astra MilitarumMordian, Valhalla, Attila

Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Worlds: Lucius, Goth, Mezoa, Triplex Phall

Knight Worlds: Avarris, Solitude, Dragon’s End, Krastellan, Argentor

Imperial Navy Segmentum Commands – Cypra Mundi, Kar Dunaish

Necron Dynasties Mephrit, Atun, Novokh, Oruscar, Kardenath, Altymhor, Empire of the Severed

Tyranids – Hive Fleets Moloch, Jorungandr, Kraken, Leviathan

EldarCommorragh (multiple webway portals), Lugganath, Kaelor, Yme-Loc craftworlds

Ork Kingdoms: Waaagh Bork, Arch-killa of Chrisios, Waaagh Ghazghkull, Great Despot of Dregruk, Arch-dictator of Gathrog


Thoughts on Imperium Nihilus:

Most of the big CSM strongholds are in the south side, and fighting against Guilliman. Not much up here.Both the Eye of Terror and the Maelstrom are down south.

There are a LOT of Necrons up there in the Galactic north.

The Eldar have the ability to get anywhere via the Webway so they should be as tricksy as ever.

Ghaz is up there! – That’s going to be a big deal.

The Blood Angels and Black Templars are the only “major” Space Marine chapters up north.

I think at the end of all the darkness the Rainbow Warriors are going to save the day! 🙂

Or Atillan Roughriders may finally their time of glory!

~ What would you do to create some cool narratives for the “bad side” of the Imperium?

  • Bran D

    Didnt commorragh get screwed recently

    • Darth Bumbles

      Commorragh is huge, only a few tiers of the City fell into possession of Chaos and the Mandrakes. Vect is just undertaking a strategic reallocation of his presence ATM.

      • BrianDavion

        translation: he’s running for his life until his people can get the city back in order

        • Dorian Key

          What book or story about commorragh getting screwed?

          • ILikeToColourRed

            gathering storm pt2

          • BrianDavion

            GS pt 2.

    • Evil Otto

      Commorragh gets screwed every day. In every orifice.

      Oh, wait, you’re talking about the demon invasion. Yeah, that too.

  • GnomesForge

    Big Marines. Giant gash across the galaxy. The new GW is really listening to customers.

    • Hee… Bigmarines. I’m using that!

    • kingcobra668

      Translation: “gw doesn’t do exactly what *I* want at every moment and complaining is cool.”

      • Muninwing

        better translation: “some of these new ideas are just silly, a few are actively poorly thought out, and a couple actually don’t work at all the way they are set up”

        and GW is trying hard to pitch them with gusto — just like they did at the start of AoS, before they admitted their flaws and tried hard to fix them:

  • Mathias Vilhelmsson

    I wonder what the Space Sharks are up to.

    • euansmith

      They are trying to find a bigger boat.


      • Mathias Vilhelmsson

        More like their enemy is trying to find a FASTER boat to run away in.

    • Shawn

      I would definitely like to know what they’re up to AND see how they work in 8th edition. A space shark army than can assault after deep strike. ahem, correciton, teleportarium translocation.

      • Mathias Vilhelmsson

        “I’m sorry sir, but it seems like you have suffered from a severe case of sudden and devestating teleportarium translocation, leading to an acute case of chainsword to the face”

        • Shawn

          LMFAO. I am so looking to see the Enemies of Mankind suffer an acute case of chainsword to the face!

  • BloodAngel

    Imperium Secundus Secundus

    • DJ860

      Imperium Triundus?

      • Scatter 667


        • AX_472

          had that exact conversation when they released the map a few weeks ago. lol.
          especially as sanguinius was voted to lead Imperium Secundus and the blood angels will be big players on the dark side.

          • BrianDavion

            yeah, I suspect the Blood Angels are gonna be front and center of the new story

          • Shawn

            Yah, it’s always DA, UM, BA, SW, at least in the last few years. Give me an Iron Hands campaign where they mop the ground with the Emperor’s Children!

          • BrianDavion

            those 4 chapters you named have always been the more prominant. refered to as “the big 4” I’m not really expecting that to change

  • BloodAngel

    Maybe since some Eldar have aligned with the Imperium for now, perhaps they will become the intergalactic taxi service for the two halves of the Imperium. Kind of like that train that goes between North and South Korea.

    • memitchell

      You haven’t heard of El-Uber?

    • Shawn

      Or the Underground Railroad during the U.S. Civil War, yeah?

  • SYSTem050

    While I like it is this not an example of two dimensional thinking. Why not just fly/warp under it?

    • euansmith

      Maybe there is a gravity component to Warp travel that prevents ships straying too far from the Galactic Plane?

      • SYSTem050

        Yeah any old hand wave works. Just being pedantic as is my occasional want. It’s very difficult in space to truly have “isolated” areas.

        • euansmith

          I don’t think that 40k has never been very strong in its representation of how big the Galaxy is and how 3D space works. 😉

          • SYSTem050

            No that is though part of the charm. Love the whole buccaneer feel to ffg rogue trader.

            Keep meaning to convert up a rogue trader retinue for 40k but got to many half finished projects as it is 🙁

          • euansmith

            A little Shadow War scale Space Pirates retinue could be fun.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            that would be cool! some non-aligned style factions

          • Muninwing

            maybe on the ship level, but not on the entire galaxy level…

          • Evil Otto

            Yeah, that seems to be a problem not just in 40K but in all science fiction.

    • Evil Otto

      Imperial Commander: “Lord Guilliman, the warp storms have cut off huge areas of the Imperium! What shall we do?”

      Guilliman: “That’s OK, we’ll just fly over them.”

      Imperial Commander: “Wow. You really are a primarch!”

    • Heinz Fiction

      It’s probably possible make a detour and fly around the warp storms by leaving the galactic plane. The real problem is that they block the astronomican. Likely astral telepathy as well. So once you’re there, you’re on your own.

      • Muninwing

        the galactic plane is not flat either. it is warped by external gravitic forces, and it has thickness.

        and the central bulge has much more thickness. the cicatrix isn’t high enough to span all of it.

        the way the cicatrix is pictured in the released material (the pink and purple map above does this), it’s not high enough to block the whole galactic plane in most places, never mind the center.

        so very little of that matters anyway.

        this is clearly a 2-d idea that someone had without remembering that it’s a 3-d setting. my bet is that they had a cool-sounding demon-filled chasm rip open the middle of a country in one of their D&D games, and figured they could reuse the idea without stopping to consider why it doesn’t fit…

        • memitchell

          It’s a Nasty Gash, dude. OUR rules don’t apply.

          • Muninwing

            our rules apply on this side of it… the chaosey side i get is a big fat whatever. but the maps show affected areas, and there are clearly areas that are not affected that the new lore is assuming are.

          • memitchell

            I will bet your the OTHER side is Custode-sized Imperial Marines vs Custode-sized Chaos Marines.

    • angelblade

      On a physics note, the supermasive black hole at the center of the galaxy seems to now be in the warp. That shouldn’t be a Good thing….

      • angelblade

        Also I bet azreal is feeling like a right wolly for destroying those engines that let him make time portals.

    • OldHat

      Yea, lets talk reality about a warp gash in realspace in the year 40,000. Also, it might just be dangerous to cross no matter what axis, because chaos and stuff.

    • Malevengion

      I would imagine it’s because the Astronomicon is cut off as you pass through it. Imagine it like you’re driving through a thunderstorm on a twisting mountain road at midnight with sharp turns and deadly cliffs to fall off of and then your headlights go out.

      • Azhrarn

        In theory Imperial ships might be able to emulate the Warp skimmer drives the Tau use and just sail along the interface and over the top. And with Gellar Fields they’d be safer while doing it too.
        Real-space navigation still works for the most part then, Tau don’t have Navigators after all.

        • Malevengion

          True enough, there were methods during the dark Age of technology to do longer warp jumps without the Astronomicon as well. The Imperials can still get around, just much more slowly on the other side of the rift. I also imagine that crossing the rift itself has unimaginable perils since it’s a warp space/ real space overlap.

  • euansmith

    Typical, the government is focus most of its resources south of the Watford Gap.

  • Rob brown

    A few comments on the fluff.

    Isolation by massive warpstorm is nothing new. After all the first set of crusades took place after a warpstorm cut Terra off from the Galaxy. Though in that case they receded revealing a brave new universe. With these only having happened a short while I don’t really see that they are that dramatic.

    The size of space and the time it takes to travel means that the majority of people are isolated anyway. After all it takes years to cross the Galaxy.

    I’ve never understood why chaos are always portrayed as losing and why the only people who matter are space marines. Look at the Gaunts Guard books Chaos took a whole sector and held it for 20 years corrupting who knows how many worlds.

    To my mind in a Galaxy wide setting it’s a bit naive to need Galaxy shattering events all the time, and to make it all about Terra.

    • memitchell

      I bet you question why almost EVERY species in the Star Trek universe is humanoid, similar in size, and mostly the same intellect. And can have interspecies sexual relationships. I just bet you do.

      • pskontz

        its one reason I never liked star trek and loved star wars. yeah lt of humanoid aliens in wars but a lot more diversity

        • Rob brown

          You are absolutely right. I don’t really question it, it just is that way. Just a challenge of the medium.

          In the case of Warhammer, I just don’t understand why we need to cut the galaxy in half. I suspect the new GW staff have a size complex for some reason. The eye of Terror wasn’t big enough for them.

          For me some of the best story telling campaign wise happened around the Armageddon campaigns all based on one system. Plenty of drama and great characters without needing to ruin the entire Segmentum, re-invent space marines or cripple the eldar.

          Playing Dark Heresy I in the Calixis sector shows just how big one tiny subsector of the universe is, as does the Gaunts Ghosts series. Of course it’s easier to just look at the forty of so worlds on a flat map and start moving pieces.

          • memitchell

            GW has done quite well with carving out 30K as a separate entity. One with mostly Marines. They don’t seem to be afraid to partition 40K. Now, they have 40K played with MegaMarines.

  • Fergie0044

    Thanks BOLS! I appreciate it that someone took the time to do this. I was interested to see if anyone important was cut off from Terra.

  • spla5hmummy

    I’m pretty sure you’ll find Medusa is in the north, just above the eye of terror; making three ‘major’ space marine chapters.

  • Ryan Miller

    I just hope the Iron Hands don’t get shafted fluff wise… again… Damn Fulgrim…

  • Muninwing

    that pink-and-purple map shows pretty clearly that the Cicatrix isn’t a huge wall blocking off the side of the imperium. it’s drawn with limited volume, and definitely does not span the entire up-down of the core.

    meaning that it’s not all blocked off.

    meaning that by using a 2-d map and forgetting about the galactic bulge, none of their fluff actually works.

    • memitchell

      Maybe. But, even a little Warp Rift causes problems. With the Nasty Gash, it’s like they closed the road you use to get to the game store. So, now you have to take a 3-state detour.

      • Muninwing

        i think it’s more like they closed the road, so you need to take a detour around the city instead of go through.

        only on a much larger scale.

        there are still wide expanses to either side. it just blocks the main route.

        but it blocking the routes entirely would take it being far larger than it is depicted. mostly because the galaxy isn’t a 2-d plane. whoever came up with this idea made some big mistakes. they’ll fit it in, sure… but it still doesn’t cover over the sloppiness.

        • memitchell

          If a 2D Galaxy is good enough for Star Trek and Star Wars, it’s good enough for me.

          • Muninwing

            funny enough, that was always one of the things that bugged me about them too.

            and SW really reads like someone’s D&D campaign ported over into a new setting, with how fast and easy it is to get anywhere.

            i’ve always liked that 40k kept some of the reality of galactic travel — that it actually takes decent time to cross from one place to another, even in the same sector. it reads as understanding the sheer scale involved. so seeing that get left behind is unfortunate.

  • Matt Razincka

    I’m really curious about Fenris. Its right in the storm!