How to Start Playing Warhammer 40k – Know No Fear!

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Getting started with Warhammer 40,000 can be a daunting task but fear not, for we’ve got a simple step-by-step guide for you. Strap yourself into your seat, as you’re launched into this exciting new hobby world!

Step-1: Choose an Army

Check out the different factions or “armies” as we like to call them. If you’re completely new to the hobby, my personal recommendation is the Space Marines, but the Necrons are also a good choice because they’re easy to paint and they tend to do quite well on the tabletop.

Step-2: Buy Your First Codex

This is one my favourite parts! Once you’ve chosen your army it’s time to get your rulebook or “codex”. Your codex has the whole back-story explaining everything you’ll want to know about your army, as well the special rules that are unique to your faction. It’s seriously the coolest book you’ll ever pick up!

Get this first and enjoy it, because it’s key to playing the game. If none of your friends has the big rulebook for the game itself, then you’ll want to pick that up as well. At this point you should start thinking about the colour scheme for your army.


Step-3: Buy Some Models & Hobby Accessories

Now that you’ve chosen your army, picked up the army codex and had a read through it, I recommend that you go out and get yourself a few models, some paints, paintbrushes, glue and hobby pliers. I usually recommend starting out with a box of troops for two reasons:

  1. Troops are usually very versatile and tend to form the backbone of most armies in Warhammer 40,000 and,
  2. You’ll want to give yourself the chance to make mistakes when first learning how to paint, so starting with basic troops can be better than risking one of your heroes.

Step-4: Play Your First Game

Once you’ve got a few models put together, start by playing a few games with your buddies. It doesn’t matter if the points are balanced or not, and at this point it certainly doesn’t matter if you mess up on the rules.

The key here is just to start getting a feel for the game and learning what you like and dislike about the hobby. When it comes to 40k, there’s nothing more important than having a good time.

Step-5: Learn the Rules

Now that you’ve started to get a hang of things, you can start to think about the rules. In my opinion there are two things to think about here:

  1. The rules in your codex and in the big game rulebook. Everyone forgets rules sometimes, but you’ll want to learn as much as possible.
  2. The social rules of your hobby group. Get to know people and what 40k means to them; make friends in the process.

Now that you’ve followed our 5 simple steps to getting started with Warhammer 40,000, you can check out my video below for the pep-talk of your life!

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About J.P.

Tabletop hobby enthusiast and international man of mystery alike, I've been from Tokyo to Macragge and further beyond, but Canada is where I call home.

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