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Warhammer 40K, possibly the most well known tabletop war-game in the world and for good reason.
The lore (though originally a rehash of Warhammer Fantasy in SPACE) has evolved into it's own relatively unique flavor with an incredibly expansive backstory and mythology that puts much modern science fantasy to shame. 8ft tall genetically engineered space knights, ancient techno crypts that spew forth robotic undead slaves of ancient star gods and eldritch abominations beyond the realm of sanity are all part of the universe and all have reasons for fighting each other (and themselves) making no tabletop battle feel awkward lorewise.
In terms of the actual wargame, WH 40 K is incredibly fun and offers a lot of flexibility with playstyle, providing players with the ability to build an army of a few elite troopers or a massive swarm of weaker miniatures. Each army will field exotic weapons, powerful characters and vehicles which are always fun to use in game and help to differentiate between the different factions (except space marines, who mostly use the same motor pool with few exceptions).
The hobby itself is fun if your into gluing and painting and there exists plenty of opportunity to create your own personalized colors, army heraldry and theme. If your only interested in the game, it can be played with models in naked plastic at no downside to you.
Unfortunately, despite the awesome flavor and kickass gameplay, 40K is hamstrung by the shitty practices of it's owners, Games Workshop. First and most egregiously is the constant price gouging to an almost ludicrous degree. Be prepared to spend an excess of hundreds of pounds/dollars to build a proper army and even more if you want it painted and modeled right with all the "official GW hobbyist accessories". If this wasn't all, Games Workshop is notoriously bad at balancing their own game, with some races objectively more powerful than others and the most powerful army builds (unsurprisingly) being the most expensive (especially with the resin "forge world" kits which tend to be more powerful than the plastic ones purchasable in store).
I'd recommend to anyone interested in the universe and the hobby to find some friends with similar interests and play in small games that aren't a massive pain on the hip pocket first and aren't as likely to devolve into a cheese war as you both go for the most powerful army builds possible. If you like what you're doing, by all means go ahead and start buying more, but be warned, drugs are cheaper.
All in all, an amazing universe, flavor with fun gameplay and hobby aspect (if your into modeling) that is unfortunately ruined by an awful company that blatantly ignores it's fans, customers and is slowly but surely digging itself it's own grave.
Warhammer 40,000 is EPIC. I mean, giant 8ft tall men clad in power armor battle ancient skeleton robots with lazers and small arms that launch grenades. Many characters are flat out awesome or simply to batshit insane to hate. Nearly every army is likeable (At least from a coolness standpoint) with fleshed out back stories and interesting Mythos (Except the 'Nids....they're actually kinda boring.) The forces of chaos stand out as being so utterly terrifingly badass that it's hard to describe and do it justice here.
The game itself has some balance issues, while at the same time costing out the ass to actually PLAY. GW is also sometimes very lazy about updates. The Dark Eldar went TEN YEARS before getting an update recently, where as the Space Marines get one, like, every five minutes. Otherwise, it can be quite fun if you know what you're doing.
And yet....there are problems. While the setting can be enjoyable (Especially if you take it as GW actually intended) it is filled with so much Stupid evil and random stuff happening just to be GRIMDARK that it's almost nauseating at times. The writing can also fail so badly at seeming mature and edgy that it sometimes feels like a Twelve year old took charge (The Grey Knights grinding the Sisters of Battle into holy oil? Seriously?). The setting is almost the epitome of trying too hard when you first start it (I practically HATED this game when I first started lookig it up). Finally, it's fandom can be quite irritating. Especuially if you, say, happen to be enjoying your conversation about Halo and some Neckbeard interjects to tell you about how a Space Marine could rip a SPARTAN apart, and that you're a fag for disagreeing. It's happened to me twice.
But, overall, I Still recomend the game to anyone that actually wants to try it. If you know what you're doing, it's pretty awesome, and can be a blast to play with friends.
40k is probably the darkest setting ever created. I mean, you've got a horde of omnicidal robots that are awakening to destroy the galaxy, a vast swarm of omnicidal alien bugs trying to eat the galaxy, the forces of pure evil pouring out of a rift in the dimensions, an entire species that's out to break things because it's fun, a race who'd gladly sacrifice thousands of any given species to save a handful of their own and go out of their way to set up elaborate plans, the splinter sect of that race that's just as talented but dedicated to torture and slaughter, an alien federation bent on aggressive expansion and armed with uber tech, and finally a massive bureaucracy founded on lies and sustained by the blood of billions that not only has to fight all of the aforementioned threats but has to deal with rebels and heretics at every turn. Yeah, it's that bad. In fact, according to recent fluff, it's getting worse. Now that I've set the mood, I love it. The factions are diverse (Except for the polar opposites), well thought out, and each one has a unique style of play. Now, here's a list of pros and cons:
Engaging universe and endless opportunities to add to it yourself. The Imperium actually loses track of planets, so who could call you out on making up your own planet? No one.
Fantastic miniatures. Each one is well made and highly detailed.
The game itself is fun to play, and there's really nothing quite like seeing your swarm of minis lined up against the other guys swarm of minis with scaled terrain everywhere.
It's GW's cash cow, so it won't suffer from neglect.
This is nothing for you old wargamers, but being drawn in from a videogame setting, I absolutely love the freedom to do pretty much whatever I want with my army. Especially with the Orks.
Price. You'd be saving money by being a drug addict. Also, any army that is primarily metal will cost even more. This means you, witchhunters.
Diffiicult to find. Unless you live in a major city or have been blessed by the Random Number Goddess, this could prove impossible to find outside the internet.
Skill with paints and glue required. You won't get much respect if you have a plastic gray army, but sometimes it may be better to go that route if you can't paint.
Overall, I'd have to say this is a great game. I highly recommend it!
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