How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army

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How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army– the easiest way to begin your journey into the battles of the 41st millennium!

The 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k has been out for almost a month now, so players had some time to try out the completely overhauled rules and unit datasheets of the most popular tabletop wargame in the world. While there have been some heavy criticism for some aspects of the game, 10th Edition has been a success overall, and with the rough edges smoothed out in the coming months, this version of Warhammer 40,000 could be one of the best yet.

While factions such as Aeldari and Imperial Knights run rampant, and the Leagues of Votann failing to achieve a 30% win rate in tournaments, Games Workshop have been faster to respond to there outliers (they already nerfed Aeldari Fate Dice and increased the points costs of the most problematic Towering and Indirect Fire models). There’s never a wrong time to start playing the tabletop wargame, but because of the unusually fast response time of Games Workshop and the solid foundations that 10th Edition is built upon, this could be the best occasion for a new player to join the grim darkness of the far future. The only question is how to start a Warhammer 40k army – don’t worry, in this article, I tried to collect all the tips to make the beginning of your journey as easy as possible!

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army

Choose a faction

Of course, every start is difficult, and it’s no different with Warhammer 40k. Choosing your first faction can define how you view and the hobby and the game itself, so you should gather all the information that you can before buying your first box of Games Workshop miniatures.

But there’s one crucial rule to keep in mind when choosing your army, which is basically the golden rule of Warhammer 40k: The Rule of Cool. The Rule of Cool is that no matter what the current game state is, which army is strong and which is weak, you should choose your miniatures based on what resonates with you because of it’s lore, it’s general playstyle or it’s appearance. The creators of the game release a new edition every few years, while constantly updating the rules and points values of the figures and armies. What is the weakest faction right now can become the strongest in a few months – but their cool looks and stories will be there forever, and even an unplayable army looks great on your shelf!

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Keeping the Rule of Cool in mind, it’s now time to look at all the factions of Warhammer 40k – brace yourselves, there’s a lot, even with some of the factions merging on the tabletop at the start of 10th:

The Forces of the Imperium

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army The Forces of the Imperium

  • Space Marines:
    • Generalist ones who currently don’t have special rules, just some unique heroes which only they can take:
      • Ultramarines
      • Imperial Fists
      • Raven Guard
      • White Scars
      • Iron Hands
      • Salamanders
    • The specialist ones who received Codex Supplements (separate rulebooks) and retained special rules in 10th Edition:
      • Blood Angels
      • Dark Angels
      • Space Wolves
      • Black Templars
      • Deathwatch
    • Grey Knights
    • Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard
    • Adepta Sororitas
    • Adeptus Custodes
    • Adeptus Mechanicus
    • Imperial Knights

The Forces of Chaos

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army The Forces of Chaos

  • Chaos Space Marines:
    • The CSM factions who don’t have separate rules:
      • Emperor’s Children
      • Iron Warriors
      • Word Bearers
      • Night Lords
      • Alpha Legion
      • Black Legion
    • The Chaos Space Marines who are their own faction:
      • World Eaters
      • Thousand Sons
      • Death Guard
    • Chaos Daemons:
      • There are 4 kinds of Daemons here for the 4 Chaos Gods, but you can mix and match them on the tabletop (you can even take Daemons as allies with Chaos Space Marines!
        • Khorne Daemons
        • Slaanesh Daemons
        • Tzeentch Daemons
        • Nurgle Daemons
      • Chaos Knights

The Xeno (Alien) Factions:

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army The Xeno (Alien) Factions

  • Aeldari:
    • There’s 4 factions of elves, but currently, only 2 of them are represented on the tabletop with rules:
      • Asuryani
      • Drukhari
      • Harlequins (which are not a faction at the moment)
      • Ynnari (which were never a true faction, but they could take all 3 of the other types of Aeldari)
    • Tyranids
    • Genestealer Cults (which are hybrids between Tyranids and Humans)
    • Necrons
    • Orks
    • T’au
    • And the newest faction of the 41st Millennium, the Leagues of Votann, aka Space Dwarves

With these many options, it can be hard to decide which faction you want to start even with Rule of Cool kept in mind, as there are a number of cool factions! If you just want to paint and collect you don’t need to think about anything else, but if you want to take your miniatures out for a spin, this is the point when you have to delve deeper into the factions that resonate with you. By reading the Core Rules of Warhammer 40k, you’ll get a general idea about the game, and by reading even parts of the Faction Indexes that are available for free, you can get a general idea of each army just by their Army and Detachment Rules.

For example, if you want a melee heavy army, Chaos Daemons, World Eaters or the Adeptus Custodes could be some armies to look at, while if you prefer shooting, the T’au Empire, the Adepta Sororitas and the Leagues of Votann might be more your jam. Of course, there are factions which can do both, just not to the extent as the more specialized factions. The best example here is any of the non-specialist Space Marines, which have a huge model range, so the playstyle of your army is essentially becomes what kind of miniatures you buy. But what should you buy at the beginning?

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What to buy when starting a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army

Currently, your best bet when starting a Warhammer 40k army are the Combat Patrol boxes: each faction has one which is a great starting point for all armies (except for like the Necron Combat Patrol, but that is currently being worked on by Games Workshop). Not only do these boxes give you a number of useful miniatures for your new army at a very discounted price (around €125/$160 for at least a 75% discount compared to buying the minis separately), at the start of the 10th Edition, Games Workshop introduced a new gamemode to Warhammer 40k of the same name.

The Combat Patrol mode pits each box against one another with simplified mission and army rules on a smaller playing field, which is not that overwhelming for a player that’s completely new to wargaming in general.

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army Combat Patrol Box

While the Combat Patrols are great to start and get the hang of Warhammer 40k, the Boarding Patrol and Battleforce boxes are also great. While these kits are limited, there’s still a number of them available at official Games Workshop stores, LGS’s and resellers, so if you want to find one, you most definitely can. The Boarding Patrol boxes are a unique spin on the Combat Patrol boxes, usually featuring newer models and epic heroes such as Castellan Crowe for the Grey Knights one or Abaddon the Despoiler for the Chaos Space Marine Boarding Patrol. Boarding Patrols also have a special gamemode of the same name, but they are a bit more complicated with small corridors and extra rules played on the deck of enormous spaceships, so I wouldn’t recommend them for new players.

The Battleforce boxes contain a bigger number of miniatures which are thematic and extremely useful for their faction. For example, the Salamanders’ Warforged Strike Force has a unit of Aggressors and Eradicators – flamethrower and meltagun units, which are staple for the fiery Space Marine Chapter. These boxes could be a great way to expand your army from a Combat Patrol, but I strongly suggest that you start from a smaller kit and work your way up there.

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army Strike Force

From then on you can branch out to almost any part of the hobby: painting, casual gaming or the competitive aspect of Warhammer 40k. The vast world of the 41st millennium is an incredible adventure with something for everyone wishing to fight epic battles with, for or against humanity, the Chaos Gods or the alien races! Follow ESTNN, as in the next few weeks, we’ll take closer looks at the aforementioned boxes and all of the factions of Warhammer 40,000!

How to Start a Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Army
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.