Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Warhammer 40,000 (informally known as Warhammer 40K or just 40K) is a science fiction tabletop miniature wargame, produced by the British gaming company Games Workshop. Play centers around 28mm scale (approximately 1:65) miniature figurines produced by Citadel Miniatures, which represent soldiers, creatures and vehicles of war. The game requires a combination of tactics and luck.
Warhammer 40K is the science fiction companion to Warhammer Fantasy. Warhammer 40K allows for less regimental, formation-based movement, and deals with more advanced weaponry.
The first edition of the game (Rogue Trader) was published in 1987. The man responsible for creating the original rules set and the Warhammer 40,000 gameworld was game designer Rick Priestley. This original version came as a very detailed rulebook, making it most suitable for fighting small skirmishes. Much of the composition of units was determined randomly, by rolling dice.
A few elements of the setting (bolters, dreadnought armour) can be seen in a set of wargaming rules called Laserburn produced by Tabletop Games. The influence of these can also be seen in the prototype Necromunda game mechanics. Laserburn was turned into the computer game Lasersquad that subsequently evolved into the UFO computer games.
The second edition was published in 1990, aimed at making it easier to fight larger battles. This and later developments of the game are the work of editor Andy Chambers. This version relied greatly on cards, and came as a boxset including Space Marine and Ork miniatures, scenery and dice, as well as the main rules. An expansion pack Dark Millenium was later released.
The third edition was released in 1998, and again concentrated on streamlining the rules for larger battles. The rulebook was available alone, or as a boxset with miniatures (Space Marines and the newly introduced Dark Eldar).
The current version is the fourth edition, and was released in 2004. It was not such a major change as between previous editions, as it did not break gamers' old army lists or codexes. It is also available as either a boxset (Battle For Macragge - featuring Space Marines and Tyranids) or just the rulebook.
Over the years the game has been expanded by many supplements. There has also been cross fertilization from other games in the same setting.
Warhammer 40K, the Game
Each player assembles an army from one of the official lists (see below) and constructs an army of pewter and plastic miniatures representing the various units in that army. Rules for constructing armies are contained within the Warhammer 40K rulebook, as well there are army-specific Codexes that contain specific information on the units and rules for each army. (certain armies have multiple Codexes (Codices)-- for example, many of the major Chapters of the Space Marines army have individual Codexes).
Army size is determined by "points" (pts); each figure and vehicle has an associated cost proportionate to its potential worth on the battlefield. Players agree on how many points for the game and each assemble an army up to that maximum limit. Typical game sizes are 500, 750, 1000, 1500, and 2000 points. Games can vary in length of time from half an hour to several hours.
Play is divided into turns, with each player choosing specific actions for all of his units on his turn, and using dice to determine the results of those actions. Each match, at the onset, is assigned a set of additional rules and a goal (collectively called a "scenario") specific to it. The simplest of these is a basic "cleanse" mission, which ends after six turns, the victor being declared based on the control of the four quarters of the board; more complex goals can include night fights, take-and-hold missions, and various others.
Some players organise a series of scenarios, called a campaign, where two or more players fight against each other in a number of battles. These campaigns may feature their own special rules, and are tied together by a storyline, which might alter according to the results of each scenario when it is played.
The hobby is widely considered even by collectors and enthusiasts to be very expensive. A running joke among critics of the game is that "It's called Warhammer '40K' because that's how much money you'll spend on it." New players wishing to start playing should expect to spend upwards of $200-300 US dollars for a reasonably sized army (1000-2000 points worth of models), including costs for rulebooks and paints. Players must purchase units, sold individually in blister packs or in squads in boxed sets. A typical blister pack with 1-3 models will cost $5-$20, with boxed sets varying widely ($20-$100) depending on the contents.
In addition to the current line of units, Games Workshop makes available past model lines as a part of their "Classic" series. This is the only way to get certain factions (for example, Harlequins), which have been discontinued.
Since the models are hand-painted and assembled by the player, players are often encouraged to design their own paint schemes as well as using the pre-designed ones displayed in the various books. They are also encouraged to further modify their figures and vehicles using parts from other kits and models (known as "bitz" to players), or scratch-made from plasticard, modeling putty, or whatever the modeler can scrounge up. These conversions are often entered into contests at sponsored tournaments and similar gaming events.
Terrain is an important part of play. Though Games Workshop makes terrain kits available, many hobbyists prefer to make their own elaborate set pieces. Common household items like soda cans, coffee cans, styrofoam packing pieces, and pill bottles can be transformed into ruined cathedrals, alien habitats, or the like with the addition of plasticard, a bit of putty, and a bit of skill.
Current state of play
As of September 2004, Warhammer 40K is in its fourth edition. The core rules are presented in a single large volume, with details for each army appearing in separate codices. As of January 2005, only the Space Marines codex had been updated to fourth edition, though errata for other codices are available.
The Warhammer 40,000 gameworld is most readily characterized as a gothic science-fantasy setting. The central and most popular elements of the Warhammer 40k universe are the Space Marines, futuristic versions of fantasy knights and the finest warriors of the Imperium of Mankind, a dystopian and degenerate galaxy-spanning civilization.
Since it originally was created as a sci-fi spinoff of the Warhammer Fantasy Battle game, the 40k gameworld contain many elements of the fantasy genre, for example the concept of magic and adapted versions of classic fantasy races. The eclectic mix of inspirational sources for the 40k universe include classic and contemporary sci-fi, horror and fantasy movies and television series and the works of renowned genre authors such as Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, H.P. Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock, J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Heinlein (Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers inspired many aspects of the dystopian, militaristic universe of Warhammer 40K), medieval, baroque and surrealist art (especially H.R. Giger), popular depictions of historical settings, such as the World Wars, Victorian Britain, Imperial Rome, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Therefore, there are countless anachronisms and juxtapositions in the Warhammer 40K setting.
The battle for survival takes place on two different planes of existence:
The Forces of the Imperium
There are two main arms of the forces of the Imperium:
Additionally, the Emperor has at his disposal the tripartite forces of the Inquisition:
- Alien Hunters (Ordo Xenos), including the Death Watch Space Marine units, which are specially trained squads taken from various chapters, who owe allegiance to both the inquisition, and their chapter.
- Daemonhunters (Ordo Malleus), including the Grey Knights chapter of the Space Marines
- Witch Hunters (Ordo Hereticus), including the Sisters of Battle
The Forces of Chaos
Ten thousand years ago, the Horus Heresy nearly tore the Imperium apart. Forces loyal to the dark gods of the Warp corrupted nearly half the Space Marine legions, and plunged the Imperium into a cataclysmic civil war. The Imperium defeated the traitors, but at great cost.
The Forces of Chaos still tear away at the Imperium. The sinister whispers of the dark gods turn many people away from the Emperor and their own people, and the remnants of the traitor Space Marine Legions still reside in the Eye of Terror, occasionally striking out against their former home.
Mankind is not the only sentient race in the galaxy. Many other races vie for survival and dominance of the galaxy. To the Imperium, all of them are enemies to be destroyed.
The Eldar are an ancient race that has long since fallen into decline. They still wield advanced technology and great psychic power. There are several different factions of the remaining race:
- Craftworld Eldar
- Eldar Exodites
- Eldar Outcasts
- Eldar Pirates
- Dark Eldar
The Dark Eldar are a faction of Eldar that have been corrupted by the allure of the Warp.
Other major races
- The Emperor
- Abaddon the Despoiler
- Khârn the Betrayer
- Commander Farsight
- Eldrad Ulthran (deceased)
- The four Chaos Gods (Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, Tzeentch)
Warhammer 40K spin-offs
Miniature based games
Other miniature-based games in the Warhammer 40K universe include:
- Battlefleet Gothic - a spaceship combat game
- Epic 40,000 - a much larger scale war simulation, with much smaller 6mm miniatures
- Gorkamorka - Ork gang fighting based on a desert planet, with a focus on scavenging
- Inquisitor - a smaller scale fight simulation, with relatively large 54mm models
- Necromunda - gang fighting in a large underground slum
- Space Crusade - a board game where Space Marines battle the forces of Chaos
- Space Hulk - a board game where Space Marine Terminators fight Genestealers on an abandoned spaceship
Several computer games have also been based on Warhammer 40K:
- Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
- Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior
- Space Hulk
Apart from official computer game projects there have also been a number of mod developer teams inspired by the Warhammer 40K background. WH40K : Rival Species is a mod for Half-Life which uses the background of Warhammer 40K.
The popular computer game Starcraft is thought by some to have been largely inspired by the Warhammer 40K universe.
Include books, comics and art albums, published by the Black Library Books include the Gaunt's Ghosts series and Eisenhorn trilogy by Dan Abnett, the Space Wolf series by William King and the Inquistion War trilogy by Ian Watson.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details