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Warhammer 40K: Three Great Xenos Wars Of The Grimdark

3 Minute Read
Jul 5 2021

In Honor of The Octarius Preview, we wanted to take a look at three non-Imperial centric Xenos wars from the Grimdark.

There is a new preview this weekend from Games Workshop and it’s centered around the Octarius Sector. This could be a big one for Xenos fans out there as that particular war zone is primarily Orks vs Tyranids. Anyhow, that got us thinking about some of the great conflicts that don’t involve the Imperium (as least primarily). With that said, let’s check out these three epic war zone from the Grimdark!

Octarius War

Of course we had to start off with the Octarius War. It all started with a certain Inquisitor trying to redirect a Hive Fleet into a growing Ork infestation. The plan was to have these two problems take care of each other. Only, it didn’t quite work out the way he thought it would.

This war’s background was featured in the 4th edition Ork Codex and the 5th Edition Tyranid codex. It describes this conflict as a war all the way down to the microscopic level with Ork spores fighting to survive vs Tyranid phage cells. The battle was fought in the Octarius sector where the Tyranids invaded via a Genestealer infestation from a Space Hulk.

The fight spread from Orrok, to Ghorala, to finally Octarius. It was brutal. The Orks getting stronger as they love a good scrap and the Tyranids adapting and feeding on more and more biomass. It’s one heck of a conflict and whoever wins will come out as an even larger and more serious threat!

War in Heaven – Necron Version

Okay, okay, so maybe this one is a technically before the Grimdark as it takes place 60 million years in the past…but it’s still one Epic Xenos battle.

via Lexicanum


“The War in Heaven was an ancient and devastating conflict fought roughly sixty million years before the 41st Millennium between the Necrontyr (and later Necron) race and their C’tan allies and the Old Ones.”

The Necron Version of the War in Heaven isn’t the same as the Aeldari Mythological one. Although the names being similar, and the battle that was waged kind of makes you wonder if there is some other connection…ANYWAYS, this war does involve the Eldar (as they are pre-Aeldari) – although they are essentially pawns of the Old Ones. This conflict is what lead to the Nercon race allying with the C’tan and eventually becoming the living metal that we know them as. It’s also the reason the Old Ones are no more – or at least not a presence in the current timeline. If you’re looking for a war that “saw worlds consumed, suns extinguished, and entire solar systems consumed,” then this is it!


“Valedor was a Cardinal World of the Imperium and a Maiden World the Eldar, named Duriel. It was overwhelmed by the Tyranids of the Hive Fleet Leviathan in 997.M41. The local populations, and the battle barge of the Iron Lords Chapter were destroyed and only small contingent of the Order of the Sacred Rose escaped.

Later (in 999.M41Eldar forces from Biel-Tan and Iyanden destroyed the planet to prevent it from being absorbed by Leviathan. The planets destruction released the Crystal Tome of Cegorach, which was recovered by the Harlequins.”

Valedor has a pretty rich history compared to these other conflicts. That’s because it’s got a Novel about it and was featured in an Apocalypse War Zone Supplement. Spoilers – the planet is ultimately destroyed. Yes, there were some Imperial assets on the planet at one point but the conflict that led to its destruction mostly revolves around the Aeldari and the Tyranids. That’s the war we’re looking at specifically. We’ve got Prince Yriel leading a desperate fight to prevent two hive fleets (Leviathan and Kraken) from linking up and combining their genetic material. It’s a classic and has Aeldari and Drukhari coming together to halt this threat.



Those are our three favorite Xenos Conflicts – there are many more! Which Xeno wars are your favorite?

  • Warhammer 40K: Astromancer of the Necrons, Orikan The Diviner