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Warhammer 40K: The Oldest Warriors Of The Grimdark…With Rules

6 Minute Read
Jun 30 2021

There are some old vets on the battlefields of the Grimdark. And there there are some OLD timers.

=In Warhammer 40,000, with all the death and destruction happening you’d think that the lifespan of heroes would be pretty short. There is a book about how high the death rate is for Guardsmen. And sure, they are just guardsmen, but anyone can catch a stray bullet or lasblast and that’s the end for them. When you think about it, the odds of living a full life are pretty slim, but these characters have beaten those odds.

Now, there are stories of folks getting trapped for 10,000 years and “living” but those unfortunate fellows don’t all have rules. So today, we’re looking at some of the greatest and oldest warriors still alive that have rules! And we’re going for OLD characters. Dante? Sure, he’s been around for over 1100 years (some estimates are more) – but he’s a baby compared to some of these characters.
Also, we’re also skipping Warp Entities like Chaos Daemons OR Chaos Primarchs/Lords who have become Daemons. Who knows how time actually works in the warp anyhow.
Let’s dive in.

All The Chaos Characters

Abaddon, Kharn, Ahriman, Typhus, Fabius Bile – you know the ones we’re talking about. All of those guys have been around since the Heresy and they are still up and around kicking butt in the Grimdark. Plus they have rules you can use! However, they are still basically the children of this list. Again, it’s debatable how “old” they really are – it’s hard to gauge thanks to the warp. But they aren’t technically Daemon Princes so we’re keeping them on this list.

Bjorn the Fell-Handed

Bjorn Pre-dates the Heresy and as a Space Wolf, he was actually a part of the Great Crusade. He had a long and eventful career and even fought along side Russ himself. Bjorn also had the honor of becoming the First Great Wolf of the chapter in Russ’ absence. Unfortunately, he did get grievously wounded and was committed to interment in a Dreadnought. He still fights for the Space Wolves and the Imperium to this day. Over 10,000 years old at this point, Bjorn is clearly one of the oldest Space Marines still “alive” and kicking.


Cypher is a “Fallen” Angel – the title of “Cypher” actually pre-dates the Heresy as well. It’s not 100% clear who Cypher really is either – is he from Caliban’s pre-heresy era or is he someone else. He’s a bit of a Mystery but he’s been on the run since the Heresy, that much is established. So he’s got to be at least as old as all those Chaos Champions running amok – and he hasn’t had the “benefit” of the warp entities helping him out. Or has he?! Darn that Cypher. So mysterious…


Roboute Guilliman

Guilliman is awake after a 10,000 year nap. He’s looking pretty good for a living Primarch. Sure, he might have been in a couple thousand year stasis,  but at least he’s up and moving finally. Also, he’s got rules and helped shaped the 40k meta when he arrived. He’s got to be older than the Champions of Chaos, too. That pegs him in the 10,000 year old range.

Eldrad Ulthran

Here’s the thing about Agent Smith Eldrad Ulthran, he was the first to warn the Imperium about the treachery of Horus. So pre-dates the Heresy that means he’s over 10,000 years old. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he pre-dated the Primarchs, too. He is an Eldar (he pre-dates Aeldari) so that means he doesn’t exactly age like a human either. He also looks pretty good for someone who’s apparently “died” but not really. But most important of all – he’s got rules for 40k!

10,000 years is a long time – but all these guys are just the tip of the Iceberg. Let’s head back to the Age of Strife…


As a Man of Iron, UR-025 pre-dates the Imperium itself! The Age of Strife is the time between M23 and M25. During this time is when Humanity had to battle the machines known as the Men of Iron. These sentient robots were created in during the Dark Age of Technology which is actually the era before which started somewhere from M15 to M18. We don’t have an exact age of UR-025, but he’s been around since at least M25. That means he’s survived for at minimum 15,000 years – but probably even more. UR-025 was able to survive the Age of Strife and make it until the current timeline of 40k, that’s impressive! And now we’ve got rules for a Man of Iron – which is pretty sweet.


Age of strife is old – but let’s go all the way back to the fall of the Eldar and the birth of Slaanesh.

Eldar Phoenix Lords

It’s hard to gauge the life of a Phoenix Lord. The original Phoenix Lords are probably all dead – but their souls live on within the spirit stones attached to their armor. They are reborn when a new warrior wears the armor. We do know that Asurmen was the first and has been around since the fall of the Eldar and, because they are essentially Immortal, that makes them eons older than anything from the Imperium. Possibly older than the Emperor himself! But unlike the Emperor – they all have rules!

Urien Rakath

Another Aeldari and witness to the Fall, Urien is ancient. The master the Haemonculi he’s probably got a few “upgrades” under his skin that might aid in his long life. That’s why he makes the cut, unlike another well known Dark Eldar Character, because he’s actually got rules still – and a miniature too!

The Fall of the Eldar in ancient. But there is an entire race that pre-dates even the Aeldari and their entire rise and fall.

The Necrons

“I’m coming back…and I’m REALLY Old.”

If you thought 15,000 years was old then the Necrons are going to blow your mind. They have been around for 60 MILLION years! I mean, yeah they were asleep for the vast majority of that time – but they survived! And now they are back from their slumber and are here to exterminate life across the galaxy. Are they alive if they are technically robots? They are self-aware enough and want to kill you. It doesn’t matter how you define “alive” if they are the ones pointing the gauss flayer in your face! After than Cthulian-esque nap, they are back and have rules for 40k…so they make the cut!

Can you think of anyone else that deserves to be on this list? Who’s old and still has rules for 40k?


Author: Adam Harrison
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