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Welcome to the world of Warhammer 40,000 (40K), General; you’ve got some serious choices to make. The biggest choice is which army is going to suit your purposes as a new General. Listed are the various army choices that are available to you as of 5th Edition of Warhammer 40K. As you can see, there are twelve (12) armies to choose from and all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Space Marine - 5th Edition

Space Marine - 5th Edition

Keep in mind the lore, or “fluff”, of the army that you’re choosing. It’s often a great way to learn your army’s place in the universe and how you can use them to the advantage of your future opponents. That, and well, GW tells a great story. For more on their lore, check out the Black Library through Games Workshop.

Which Army is Right For You?

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons (as well as the lore) behind each of the armies that you’re initially attracted to, you’re ready to begin collecting the pieces of your army. The best way to do this is to pick up a box-set army from your local Games Workshop. With it, you’ll receive everything you need to get started, including the models and the Codex of Rules for your particular army. You will also need to pick up a Warhammer 40K Rulebook for the basic rules of how the game itself works.

Finally, before jumping onto the battlefield, pick up a copy of ArmyBuilder, which is an excellent way to automatically compute point values of Wargear, Upgrades, and Army Composition without you having to do the math yourself. If you use ArmyBuilder or something similar, you’re going to find that you will have fewer mistakes and much shorter downtime before army builds.

I won’t go over the basics of how to play a game of Warhammer because GW is way better at that. If you’re looking for a guide for getting started on assembling and painting the army you’ve chosen, check out my article on Painting and Assembling War-Games Miniatures.

Happy playing, fellow Generals.

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Author’s Note: Check out the original article on Helium!

Here you are, a newly recruited General for the armies of Warhammer Fantasy and/or Warhammer 40,000 and/or some other war-game that I haven’t mentioned, and you need to assemble your army for glorious battle. But, you don’t have the faintest ideas as to where to begin with all of your various sprues (unassembled plastic models) and metallic warriors.

First thing’s first, take a deep breath and remember that you are not required to have the best painted or best converted army right out of the gate. This will require three things from you: rudimentary knowledge of colour theory and lighting, as well as a lot of patience for both yourself (you’re learning) and the process (it takes a while). It will also require you to pick up the following materials from your local hobby store:

  • Plastic cutters, to separate the pieces from the sprues and to snip chunks of flash off of your metal miniatures
  • Super glue and/or plastic glue
  • Modelling putty aka. Green Stuff (use the GW (Games Workshop) stuff, if possible, as I’ve found it to be the most pliable)
  • Exacto knife with some extra blades (use with caution!)
  • A set of small files to get rid of flash and flash lines
  • Black Primer, from GW
  • ‘Ardcoat, from GW
  • Paintbrushes: one for base-coats, for medium detail, and fine detail
  • Paint (use Vallejo or GW)
  • Cup and saucer for the mixing of the paint

Find yourself a large table to set up shop and tell anyone and everyone in your house (including your pets) to stay away for fear of your wrath. I made the mistake of leaving my miniatures out around my dog when he was a puppy. He thought they were toys. I lost a squad of Space Marines to his tiny, gnawing teeth. Set out your shiny new tools and bust out the box that your army came in. You ready? Let’s get started.

Definitions You’ll Need to Continue

Sprue – all of your plastic and metal bits that are attached to one another, due to the crafting process

Flash – extra bits of model that are left over after you extract them from said sprues

Flash lines – ever present on your models, since no models are made in one piece. These lines really detract from the finished product, so make sure you get rid of them!

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