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Core Rulebook - 2023 Edition (Warhammer 40000)

  • The definitive guide to games of Warhammer 40,000, including Core Rules and Combat Patrol missions
  • Everything you need to know to collect, build, paint, and play with Citadel miniatures
  • Explore the grim darkness of the far future through immersive lore, stunning illustrations and photography

This 280-page hardback book is an essential guide to Warhammer 40,000, and contains everything you need to know to collect, build, paint, and play with Citadel miniatures in the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium.

You'll find an overview of the Warhammer 40,000 hobby in all its aspects, core rules for playing out battles that range from small skirmishes to massive Onslaught games, and an in-depth introduction to this rich and ruinous setting through immersive lore, stunning illustrations and photography, and an evocative look at each of the factions waging war in the far future.

The book opens with an introduction to this amazing hobby through its four keys – Collect, Build, Paint, and Play. You'll find out how to start your collection of Citadel miniatures, learn how people build and paint their models, and get suggestions to tools and guides that will help further. You'll also begin your journey as a commander with a look at how, where, and why players engage in dynamic tabletop battles of Warhammer 40,000, an example Battle Report between two armies, and an explanation of different styles of play – self-contained Combat Patrols, competitive Chapter Approved games, and narrative Crusade campaigns.

This expansive lore section provides a doorway into the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium. It is a far-distant future dominated by an oppressive and corrupt Human empire, its crumbling borders defended by doomed heroes and imperiled by threats from both without and within, its history marked by ignorance and carnage and the laughter of thirsting gods.

The first part of this guide explores the decaying Imperium and the galaxy in which it resides – the long-dead God-Emperor who sits eternal on his Golden Throne, the High Lords and Adeptus bureaucracies that rule in his name, the fanatical Ecclesiarchy which preaches the Imperial faith, the secretive Ordos of the all-seeing Inquisition, and the post-human Space Marines who fight battles no other could endure. You'll also discover the hellish dimension known as the warp, which fuels psychic mutation and interstellar travel, the mad Gods of Chaos who rule its infinite depths, the blasphemous cults that serve them, and the Great Rift that splits realspace itself in two.

There's also a double-page galactic map, highlighting vital planets, systems, war zones, and warp storms.

The second half delves into the history of the setting, from its myth-shrouded past to the apocalyptic clashes of its present. You'll find a timeline of Humanity's development through the Ages of Terra and Technology, the Ages of Strife and Darkness, all the way to the Age of the Imperium. You'll explore the superstitions that fuelled the Imperium's worship of lost technology and its fearful hatred of aliens and mutants, the Great Crusade through which the Emperor sought to unite Humanity, the Horus Heresy that set the galaxy aflame, and the millennia of war and loss that shaped the Imperium.

Finally, you'll enter the Era Indomitus – marked by the opening of the Great Rift, the birth of a new God of Death, and the revival of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman. Even as the new Lord Regent's Indomitus Crusade strives to reunite the dying Imperium, a psychic awakening heralds a terrifying Age of Witches, and Abaddon the Despoiler plagues the galaxy with aid of the daemonic demigod Vashtorr and their Arks of Omen. The return of Lion El'Jonson, the First Primarch of the Emperor, only forestalls total disaster – and with the resurgence of Hive Fleet Leviathan, the galaxy may be reduced to nothing but food for an alien swarm.

Explore each of the factions waging war in Warhammer 40,000, with detailed background information plus tactical descriptions and a miniature showcase of their Combat Patrols. The mustered Armies of the Imperium include mighty Space Marine Chapters, the ranks of the Astra Militarum, the fanatical cults of the Adeptus Mechanicus and Adepta Sororitas, and the golden guardians known as the Adeptus Custodes. The blasphemous Forces of Chaos feature ancient Traitor Legions and more recent Heretic Astartes, as well as the otherworldly Chaos Daemons. Finally, the insidious Xenos Threat ranges from the brutish Orks, mercenary Leagues of Votann, and expansionist T'au Empire to the ancient branches of Aeldari and Drukhari, the deathless Necrons, and the ravening Tyranids and their Genestealer Cults.

The Warhammer 40,000 Core Rules contain everything you need to know in order to wage glorious battle across the war-torn galaxy of the 41st Millennium. These basic rules are used for games of all sizes and styles, and provide a foundation for use with other supplements.

You'll learn the general principles and core concepts of Warhammer 40,000, the datasheets and characteristics used by your models, and the rules that apply to the five phases of the game: the Command phase, the Movement phase, the Shooting phase, the Charge phase, and the Fight phase. You'll also find Stratagems and abilities used by all armies, as well as additional rules for elements like Strategic Reserves, terrain features, and aircraft.

Lastly, there are rules for mustering an army, setting up your models for a game, controlling objectives to claim victory, and a mission – Only War – to get you started playing right away.

Combat Patrol is the ideal starting point for playing Warhammer 40,000. Fast-paced and quick to learn, it uses the Core Rules to play out tactical clashes that should last up to one hour, using only the contents of Combat Patrol boxes. These forces each have bespoke, self-contained rules which are presented online and in other publications, and provide everything you need to get playing. This section provides an introduction to the Combat Patrol game mode, an explanation of the Battle Ready standard of painting for games, and six different Combat Patrol missions – Clash of Patrols, Archeotech Recovery, Forward Outpost, Scorched Earth, Sweeping Raid, and Display of Might – each with their own objectives, mission rules, and deployment maps for a variety of game experiences.

The book concludes with a separate index for the Core Rules, acting as a handy reference for use while playing games.

Product Specs
CategoryTabletop Miniatures Games
TypeWarhammer 40000
Game TypeRulebook, Starter Set
BrandWarhammer 40000


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