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Warhammer 40,000: 10th Edition – Getting Started

5 Minute Read
Jun 3 2023

So you want to dive in to the grimdark of Warhammer 40,000: 10th Edition? Here’s the place to get you started!

Are you new to Warhammer 40,000? Don’t know the difference between a Bolter and a Railgun? Did you think I ment “nail” gun? That’s okay — because somehow you found yourself here and this is the place to get started with Warhammer 40,000!

And if you already know those things because you’re a veteran player maybe share this article with a friend who’s interested and doesn’t know where to start. We’re here to help!

Download the Rules For Warhammer 40,000: 10th Edition

Get To Know The Basics

At its core Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop miniatures wargame from Games Workshop. Players get together and construct armies to duke it out on the tabletop in a structured, rules-backed format. They use dice to determine the outcome of events on the board. Basically, it’s a lot like playing with those plastic green army men when you were a kid but with rules and dice now. And yes it’s a lot more complex than that but in our How To Play video we breakdown the basics into more easily digestible chunks.

An example of two Warhammer 40,000 Armies. Space Marines on the left, Tyranids on the right.

Why Is There Only War In The Grim Darkness Of The Far Future?

What is everyone fighting about? Well there are many different armies over 22 — and that’s before we get in all the different Space Marine Chapters — and each one has their own various reasons. For over 35 years Games Workshop has been developing this system so saying there’s a lot of lore is a bit of an understatement.


We’ve got a sister site called the Lexicanum that you can check out and read all the lore you can think of and probably more. It’s also used for official lore only — no fan fic on the Lexicanum. There’s nothing wrong with that stuff but the goal of the Lexicanum is to document 40k accurately with only sourced, official lore. We’ve also got a Lexicanum Youtube Channel that has lore videos that make for great listening while you’re building and painting.

Warhammer: It’s A Hobby

“Wait a minute, what do you mean building and painting? I not looking to get into house construction.” No, no, no…not houses. Models. The miniatures that make up the various armies. Part of the fun of Warhammer is that it’s not just about the game but also the hobby of building and painting your own custom army. That makes your army truly your army and unique from everyone elses.

One of the biggest choices players make is what army to play. I’m not going to lie and say that’s an easy decision. But I will say find an army that you like the look of because you’re going to be looking at it A LOT. All the miniatures come as bare plastic and have to be assembled before you can start playing.


Khorne Berzerker Sprues

The good news is that there are starter boxes and Warhammer 40,000 has a new Starter Box with Levithan coming out. In fact, if you’re completely new, that’s probably going to be your best starting point in general. Plus the miniatures are “push-fit” assembly. That means you technically don’t even need glue to put them together.

They still won’t come painted but this boxed set will get you started for sure. I recommend a good pair of hobby snips to clip out the models and a hobby knife to do any fine cutting or cleaning on the bits. I’d also recommend plastic glue if you want to make sure your models stay together — especially if you plan on painting them.

Warhammer 40,000 might be a tabletop miniature game but it’s also a long term hobby. I’ve spent countless hours listening to podcasts, watching videos and movies, and just kind of relaxing while I build and paint miniatures. It’s also fun to do as a hang out with friends. And once you’ve got some stuff built you can start playing. You don’t have to paint your miniatures to play — but it does help with the vibe if you do.


Games Workshop has an official Warhammer Youtube Channel that you can check out for a ton of painting tips. If you want to paint your stuff like the box art you can. Or you can do your own thing. That’s all part of the hobby fun.

Warhammer: It’s Also A Social Thing

Warhammer 40,000 is also a worldwide community of gamers who all enjoy the hobby and playing of the tabletop game. A quick search on the internet can find you a place to meet-up and play with like minded folks. Games Workshop even has a store finder to help you connect with the nearest Warhammer Store to you. If a buddy sent you this article then they are probably also plugged into their local scene and can help you get plugged in, too.

The community aspect of Warhammer is a big deal as well. Many local groups will have a regular meet up night. Some cities even have clubs formed by players from the local area. Stores might even host tournaments for Warhammer 40,000. And while the game can be competitive lots of folks will go to tournaments just to hang out and play a few games on a weekend. Games Workshop even has Grand Tournaments which are a ton of fun to check out. Even if you’re not playing in them just seeing all the folks playing with all their painted armies is inspiring.

Check out the Warhammer Twitch Channel for live game play and more.


It’s Time to Get Started with Warhammer 40,000

Getting started with Warhammer 40,000 can feel like quite the undertaking. But my best advice to new players is to start small and build from there. The great thing is that you can play Warhammer 40,000 at all sorts of game sizes (also called points levels) and it’s still fun. Get that first squad together and maybe a character and go roll some dice with friends. The first step is the hardest but Warhammer is totally worth the trip!


If you’re brand new then welcome to Warhammer! If you’re a vet then share this with a friend who might be interested in playing but doesn’t know where to start.

Author: Adam Harrison
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