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Warhammer 40K: GET TO THE CHOPPA! The First Catachans

3 Minute Read
May 2 2022

Back in the 1990s, the Imperial Guard introduced us all to the Catachan Jungle Fighters, who have been duking it out against the galaxy’s predators ever since.

It was the middle of 2nd Edition and a growing Games Workshop was expanding the all new Imperial Guard. Out was the old Rogue Trader Imperial Army, and in was the set of famous Regiments that are with us to this day. Each month was full of new minis and the universe was expanding before the player’s eyes.

Back in December 1994, White Dwarf 180 came out with the first Catachans, both minis and rules.

The Rules & Background

To get ready for the new 2nd Edition Codex release, GW put out a multi-month series of articles on each regiment, plus the new Leman Russ and Chimera kits. Kicking the whole thing off, even before the Cadians were the Catachan Jungle Fighters. Let’s dive into their original background and rules for our favorite death world denizens.

I am loving that retro homebrew terrain! Nothing says alien world like the classic toothpicks-in-foam-ball terrain pieces. Every veteran 40k player has one of these lucking about in a dusty closet.

Here is the original background on Catachan, its death world environs, and the alpha predator culture that evolved to survive on it. You get the link and call-back to the Catachan Devil, one of the original beasts from the Rogue Trader hardback, now given context and a home.

You get the awesome tale of Orks painting red bandanas on their Gargants as a measure of respect for fighting against Catachans, and the humble origins of the IG heavy weapons teams. These would evolve into the later IG plastic teams, but first appears here with rules to cover the 2-model missile launcher team seen below.

The Minis

Catachans ain’t got time to bleed, nor shave. But there’s always time for tats.


Ahh, the original metal Catachans designed by Michael Perry. These tough hombres weren’t as over the top muscled up as the later plastic kit, but all the basics are in place. The vests, the red bandanas, the roided out upper-bodies, the tattoos, the disdain for any visible armor. This is where it all came from 28 years ago.

Fast Forward to 2022

Over the last year or so we’ve seen GW kick out a handful of new Limited Edition minis including Sly Marbo, and you can see a pattern forming.

Let’s hope this means the Catachans are getting some love in a future – (hopefully not dead last 9th Edition) Astra Militarum release. 

When GW gets around to redoing the Lictor in plastic (OMG, how is it still Finecast in 2022!), they better put all these together in a special set.


~ If it bleeds, we can kill it.

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