Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition is here and to celebrate we wanted to take a look at the previous editions.
It’s been a long road – Over 30 years and 8 Editions of Warhammer 40,000 have been produced and fans world wide have been drawn into the “Grim Darkness of the Far Future.” Today, on this very special day, we want to go on a trip down memory lane and remember all the editions that have come before:
The first rule book for the Warhammer 40,000 game, Rogue Trader was published in 1987 and written by Rick Priestley, and was quite different to future versions of the game. Largely a cross between Role Playing Games and Table Top Battle Games, rather than an out and out Table Top Battle Game, Rogue Trader contained much more background on the wider universe, races and technology found in the Warhammer 40k universe than later editions did, and for this reason is considered a prized collectors’ piece.
The book is considered much less imperio-centric than later editions, as it employed a much broader spectrum of views within the narration than was common in future versions and proactively encouraged mixed faction forces.
The second edition Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook was published in 1993 as a softcover book and was included with the second edition starter set. Its companion books (Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition), Codex Imperialis, Codex Army Lists) were devoted to background, wargear and army lists, while the Rulebook detailed how to play the game. It contains 8 pages of full-colour images in the centre, a weapon summary and quick reference sheet at the end. The combat rules and shooting were identical to those of Necromunda. The much more complex nature of the rules meant that games were intended to be played on a much smaller scale than the current Warhammer 40,000 rules.
The 3rd Edition Rulebook, also known as the Big Black Book, was first published in 1998 with the third edition of the game. The book contained rules, that although very similar to the first two editions, were much more austere, removing many of the more difficult ideas of the previous versions in an attempt to streamline the game. This was heavily criticized at the time by more veteran gamers, who had become used to the tables, charts and templates that had been employed previously, as it was seen as being too simplistic and had eliminated much of the fun for that audience. Nevertheless, the modesty of the newer rules opened the game out to a wider (and much younger) audience.
The book itself was written from a much more imperio-centric point of view, and contained large quantities of information on the basic structure of the Imperium, from Imperial planetary classifications to the Imperial dating system and more. It also departed from the previous edition in its much more pessimistic outlook; Appearing much more grim and dark than it had previously. Lines between good and bad were blurred to the point that they were almost unrecognizable. In addition it contained background for many armies as well as simplistic, pre-codex army lists for the Space Marines, Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Eldar, Chaos Space Marines, Imperial Guard and Orks, as well as a small Sisters of Battle list with various heroes of the Imperium such as Confessors and Preachers.
‘Warhammer 40,000 4th edition rulebook. The previous edition of the game, published in 2004, released as both a hardback book and in a reduced format in the Battle for Macragge boxed set. This edition of the game has relatively few differences to its predecessor so almost all supplements produced for 3rd Edition work with this version.
This edition of the rules took a much more objective look at the background of the 40k universe, yet still remained largely focused on the human perception of the world.
The hardback book has 304 pages and the cover is printed in colour with the majority of the book being in full colour, although the Reference and the Rules sections remain white and black. However, those are less than one third of the book.
The hardback book has 432 pages and the cover is printed in colour.
The first 144 page book, A Galaxy of War, explores the art of collecting and painting your own force of miniatures.
The history of the 41st Millennium is presented in the second book, Dark Millennium. In 128 pages it describes the crumbling Imperium of Man and their many enemies, within and without, which wage war against humanity and each other.
The final volume, The Rules, is a 208 page book contains all the rules for playing games of Warhammer 40,000.
A 280-page hardback, this is the essential book for any fan of Warhammer 40,000 – everything you need to know to collect, build, paint and play with Citadel miniatures.
The Core Rules explain everything you need to play to play Warhammer 40,000. Moving, shooting, using psychic powers, charging, fighting and morale tests are covered, giving you the basic framework to play with. You can play a game using only these 8 pages, bolting on more advanced and complex rules when you and your opponent are ready.
8th is out now, but which edition is your favorite and why?