24 Factions (Armies) of The Warhammer 40,000 Universe

  • By: Richard
  • Date: October 27, 2021
  • Time to read: 19 min.

The Warhammer 40,000 universe is a dark place. The galaxy is ruled by the oppressive Imperium of Mankind and their elite military force – the Space Marines. It’s also home to some of the most brutal armies ever seen in any sci-fi setting. With every faction being more ruthless than the last, it’s hard to know where your allegiances should lie! This article will cover all 24 factions (armies) that have been released so far in this popular tabletop game.

Where Should You Start?

For some people, the number of Warhammer 40K armies is too much. There are ~26 different options to choose from, and when you get into it for your first time, there’s no way anyone could know where they should start! This guide will help steer you in the right direction with some recommendations on what army types might be best suited towards new players like yourself so that browsing through all these fantastic games doesn’t feel overwhelming–hope this helps!!

How Cool Does it Look?

To get into the game Warhammer 40K, find an army you like. Unlike other smaller gaming systems out there, WH40K requires that users purchase models and then paint them to play with their army – which means if they don’t care for how much work goes into assembling these bad boys, then this hobby isn’t going be very motivating at all! It also has a vital “Hobby” element, so people looking forward will have fun putting together different types of tanks from various factions alongside some really cool miniatures, too- something not many miniature games can compete against when it comes down to bare competitiveness between battlefields.

Everything is Decided by the Style of Play.

Once you have found some Warhammer 40K armies that look like they would be fun, start refining the process by looking at those in your preferred style. If playing a game for the first time ever is not an option, consider what kind of play-style preferences most people seem to like when getting started with games these days and go from there – I always lean towards close combat, so Orks were; my pick!

Warhammer 40K armies is an exciting game because even without knowing the rules or mechanics, you can tell what kind of army it is by looking at their models. For example, Orks are all about chaos and violence, while Tau like order with some magic thrown in there for good measure; so if someone was to pick up Astra Militarum, they would immediately know that these guys love tanks (and infantry).

The Space Marine specialty rule means they have not one but two classes: shooty stuff on foot queued up next door alongside heavily armored battle platforms waiting patiently behind them ready to strike out against any enemy who gets too close – this gives clear indication as well when seeing how many different types enemies each type has available in-game!.

The All Warhammer 40K Factions (Armies)

The 40K universe is vast and complex, with many different armies in play. Some may seem like they have an advantage over others when really there are too many factors for anyone set of rules to cover them all equally well – but don’t worry! I’ve broken down the most important aspects below so you can get started right away:

1. Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle)

1# Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle)

The Sisters of Battle are the only female army in 40K, with a faith system and all! They’re like Space Marines but physically weaker. Adepta Sororitas use their toughness to fight tanks head-on or get into melee combat when necessary; they prefer shooting because these girls willulton anyone who dares attack them – just ask any Taurosaurid around here (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen “Godzilla”).

2. Adeptus Astartes: Blood Angels

2# Adeptus Astartes: Blood Angels

Blood Angels are a Space Marines army through and through with some specializations unique to them. They have nifty units like the Death Company, Sanguinary Guard, or even just their loyal Librarians that can be called as reinforcement in battle depending on what strategy you want to use at any given moment during gameplay!

3. Adeptus Astartes: Dark Angels

3# Adeptus Astartes: Dark Angels

The Dark Angels are the mysterious Chapter of Marines. They come about from houses of knights, maintain that type of noble structure within their Chapter, and love plasma (not surprising). The only other thing worth noting is how different these guys act compared to vanilla Space Marines- they seem more…sinister? Sinful, maybe even? Hard to explain, but you’ll know what I mean when your read ’em smite!

4. Adeptus Astartes: Deathwatch

4# Adeptus Astartes: Deathwatch

The elite brotherhood of Space Marines joined to a common cause from various chapters. Death Watch is an unusual army that packs quite the punch, similar in many ways but with unique options and powerful special abilities, making them stand out among other war-torn factions on the battlefields today!

5. Adeptus Astartes: Grey Knights

5# Adeptus Astartes: Grey Knights

The Grey Knights are an elite army that specializes in smaller, more specialized units. All Space Marines gain the potential to be psychic, and they all fight well at close quarters with their powerful weapons like force weaponry or lightning claws, but these Space Marauders also have some shooting skills up top, thanks to Heavy Flamers! Even if you don’t fancy yourself as much of a tactician—you can still get by playing one on defense since most people just focus down enemy melee attackers anyway (and there really isn’t any better unit than them).

6. Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines

6# Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines

The Space Marines are a well-rounded army that offers lots of variety. The huge Codex offers many options, from tactical objectives to preferred enemy troops and even psychic powers! If you want an Empire builder, this may very well be the force for your needs with its stratagems available everywhere on every map between battles – there’s no shortage when it comes down to how these guys can play their strengths best.

7. Adeptus Astartes: Space Wolves

7# Adeptus Astartes: Space Wolves

The Space Wolves are one of the most unique Chapters in Warhammer 40k. The army is heavy on close combat and has some powerful ranged weaponry at its disposal, with Storm Bolters and Heavy Thunder Hammer Vengeance detonators serving as mainstay weapons for front-line troops. At the same time, strategists rely more heavily upon long-range firepower to take down enemies from afar using Missile Launchers or shotguns like Plasma Talons shot wide open!

8. Adeptus Custodes

8# Adeptus Custodes

The most elite army of infantry you can field. In terms of fluff, these are the protectors and bulwark for all that is emperor-worthy about Mankind! They’re created from his gene-seed directly with compelling characteristics compared to Space Marines or even Primarchs themselves. Still, They don’t get too excited because they fall short, only being on par as a highly High-Rank Imperial Astartes Psycher (like Perturabo!).

9. Adeptus Mechanicus

9# Adeptus Mechanicus

These elite warriors are a small army with few units to choose from. They have the skills necessary for close combat and sharpshooting, but they’re still fragile in battle, so you need a good strategy if you’re going up against these guys! The background is that all Imperial military gear gets made by these folks – armor suits, weapons, etcetera…

10. Aeldari (Eldar)

10# Aeldari (Eldar)

The Aeldari are a ton of fun to play with because they have tons of options. Depending on your preferences, they can be as close range or mid-range, and their psykers make them really powerful in psychic battles! In general, though, these guys will hurt you if we get into melee, so we should always stay back until after he cast his spells (or attacks).

11. Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard)

11# Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard)

The Astra Militarum is a weak close combat army that prefers to pound the enemy with firepower at range. Speaking of, they have got some powerful artillery options for when you need something up in your face without having to see it all!

12. Chaos Daemons

12# Chaos Daemons

Daemons are a diverse army in terms of unit choices but generally aimed at close combat. Their Daemonic Invulnerable Save (5++) makes them quite durable and shatters most infantry charges with ease- though countercharges can be devastating! Some units rely on their own invulnerability saves instead; these have much lower toughness ratings than that found among Psykers or other enchanted creatures like monsters/units sporting either sacred or psychic marks alike, so they must take care not to let themselves get surrounded by foes during battle plans where cutting off retreats may prove necessary before finishing off weakened enemies after deployment has been completed.

13. Chaos Knights

13# Chaos Knights

The Codex for Chaos Knights is very similar to that of the Imperial Knights. In short, it will let you field an entire army of angry robots who stomp around and punish any foe they find in their way! So if this sounds like your cup o’ tea, then check out Chapter Approved: The limited-edition rules set contains all types from Sir Palance himself – heavier armor-plated arms can take more shots before being destroyed. At the same time, lighter plate-mailed legs offer better mobility but less protection against ranged attacks.

14. Chaos Space Marines

14# Chaos Space Marines

The Chaos Space Marines are not as diverse or unique in their units. They do have some daemonic flavor giving them the ability to be very dangerous at range. Still, it’s otherwise pretty average for this faction with only close combat abilities suiting CSM best of all (to my dismay).
A jack-of-all-trades type can fill roles across battles; they really shine when given an appropriate balance between offense and defense, so play usually goes better than expected!

15. Drukhari (Dark Eldar)

15# Drukhari (Dark Eldar)

The Drukhari are an army that values speed and agility. They use lightly-armored fast vehicles with poisoned weaponry, making them one of the most fragile armies in existence and capable of hitting hard thanks to their large volume when compared against other legions’ stature.
The main focus for this force lies heavily on shooting as opposed to hand combat where there are some close-quarter fighting sections included due to population count restrictions imposed by weapon type choice; however, these individuals often wear light armor coatings, which makes up much difference between losing an arm or leg during intense engagements than if you were wearing chainmail gloves!

16. Genestealer Cults

16# Genestealer Cults

The Cult is still pretty new, but they’ve made quite the name for themselves already. Genestealer Cults are probably one of if not the best army when it comes to alpha strikes, with most units being able to spring up anywhere on your table turn 1 which puts their opponent on an early backfoot and gives them an advantage right off the bat! The uniqueness in this amalgamation creates some really cool strategies within gameplay you won’t find elsewhere-kinda like how Astra Militarum + Tyranid merge together = digestible gameplay all around!

17. Harlequins

17# Harlequins

The Harlequins are a new army to 40K, but they’re also tiny. I haven’t faced them yet, so my knowledge is lacking here; sorry about that! But as far as I know, these guys should go well in an Eldar or Dark Eldar army (If anyone has any good insights on what types of troops would work best with it, please let me know).

18. Heretic Astartes: Death Guard

18# Heretic Astartes: Death Guard

The Death Guard are followers of Nurgle, the God who brings about pestilence and plagues. These warriors are both resilient and strict with their ability to take hits for their allies while also having some capable psykers at hand should you need them.
This isn’t an army entire, though; it suits someone looking specifically into Plague Marines or those wanting more focused gameplay through just one Regiment/Division if that’s what strikes your fancy!

19. Heretic Astartes: Thousand Sons

19# Heretic Astartes: Thousand Sons

The Thousand Sons are a very psyker focused army with lots of ranged weaponry that’s good at cutting through armor – seriously. Even the primary weapons in this army can cut power armors with ease. It can be resilient, like Death Guard but additionally kind-of Tzeentchian about it all (though not quite as much). There aren’t many unit choices here either, which makes for some limitations compared to most other codices..8th edition made improvements, though, and now every model counts; certainly better than before where you were getting bullied by some of the other armies around.

20. Imperial Knights

20# Imperial Knights

With an army full of giants, you won’t be lacking firepower. The Imperial Knights are small in terms of how many models they use because these guys eat up points like nobody’s business! But don’t let their size fool ya; with the 8th edition now open-available to all players thanks to Codex: Space Marines – there is more than enough variety when building your own Chapter or taking on challengers from across the battlefields (or galaxies).

21. Necrons

21# Necrons

The Necrons are an army of the undead, and they’re not afraid to show it. They possess some slow-moving robotic zombies who can shoot quite heavily while remaining in one spot- making them perfect for ambushes or traps that you set up ahead of time! These guys also have other units with better close combat abilities if their slower models get outmaneuvered by your enemy (though this usually won’t happen). Overall I think necro’s pretty well balanced; there is an option no matter what type of play-style suits individual tastes best, though, so players should find something fun here regardless 🙂

22. Orks

22# Orks

Orks are known for their love of melee combat. They can also do well with shooting, but they’re really not great at it, so you need quite a few to make up for that deficiency. The army is best used as hordes or in green tides where lots are going on all around them and something unexpected every minute! But if you want more control over your forces, try out Speedfreeks- fast fragile vehicles that will always get the job done (but don’t expect any help from those precious grav guns).

23. T'au

23# T'au

The T’au are an army built for long-range combat, with powerful shooting and plenty of it. They have few dedicated close-combat units, but their massive arsenal also makes up for this deficiency in that area. If you like anime aesthetics or just want to destroy your enemies from afar, then there’s no better alternative than these guys!

24. Tyranids

24# Tyranids

The Tyranids are a race of bugs, and they have many different kinds to choose from. They try their best not just with shooting but also close combat by using creatures that can swarm the enemy or even match them in strength if need be! You could play this army more like an elite force where you only use more enormous monsters to fight tough battles against enemies whose numbers seem limitless; however, most players find themselves balancing between these two strategies depending on how well things go during any given game session.

The beauty of 40K is that you can play an army anyway you like, really. There are no black-and-white decisions in regards to which style would be the best for your game- it's all about finding what works best with who and where!

A unit focused on shooting doesn't mean they're unable or ineffective at close combat, while Horde factions might use more elite tactics than swarming enemies head-on - so choose how you want to play and use your favorite section!

What's the Best Army for Warhammer 40K?

It's hard to say which army is best in Warhammer 40K. Every new codex and rule edition changes the power level of each army, so what was once a powerful one can become weak or even bottom-tier! At least this way, you'll always have some kind of enthusiasm for your choice no matter how subpar they turn out to be - not like those guys who don't care at all...

A lot more people play with an Army they enjoy instead of choosing ones based solely on tier lists because there are too many variables involved when playing tabletop games that make it difficult to predict accurately whether something will work well unless everyone has already tried them first hand before deciding.

And remember, if you don't like your army, then try a different one because the best way to play any tabletop game is to have fun! You can even make a new faction or two with some simple conversions- all it takes is paper and glue.

Best Starter Army for Warhammer 40K?

Like anything, it's going to depend on you for what the best starter army would be. That being said, any of these armies are a good place to start: Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard) or Adeptus Astartes- Space Marines are an excellent choice with how solid they can be across all units and their diversity allowing them to tackle just about any situation; Imperial Guardsmen also make strong contenders as people may find themselves in need if faced against varied opponents like monsters or Eldar warriors!

This leads to my next point - there really isn't one "best" force out there since different players will have varying play styles, so it's essential not only to analyze your preferences but take note of which ones work well for you! It's not a perfect science, but it'll provide some general insight.

Talk to Warhammer 40K Players and Conduct Research

Now that you have a general idea of which Warhammer 40k armies are suitable for your gaming tastes and style, it's time to find the perfect gamer friends. Talking with other players will help guide as well as cement this decision! If possible, try finding someone who's more experienced than yourself, so they can share some wisdom about their choices in military might from across all eras for those looking into more detail may want some assistance navigating through it all, don't worry though, because after reading these tips below I'm sure anything seems manageable.

Few armies in 40K do well with close combat, but how they approach it will vary. Orks often try to drown the enemy and swarm forward, while Grey Knights can use more elite assault units with fewer models for their strategy; some might favor stealth or speed, while others prefer direct assaults, which may not be as fast-moving (although effective).

There's no better way than an experienced player; you know what army benefits best from each tactic!

Conclusion

If you are a new player to the Warhammer 40,000 universe and want some guidance on starting your army building, talk to other players about their armies. Find out what they enjoy playing and why or ask them which faction is easiest for beginners. You can also do research by reading more in-depth articles covering each of the faction's strengths and weaknesses, so you know what will suit your play style best before making any purchases. Once all this information has been compiled, it should be more accessible than ever for you to find an army worth investing in today!

Richard

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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