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The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness




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The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness is an iconic era within the Warhammer 40k universe, marked by betrayal, chaos, and a galactic civil war that forever altered the course of humanity’s future. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the lore and history of this tumultuous time, while also providing you with a step-by-step guide to engaging with the Warhammer 40k hobby, from collecting armies to playing the game itself.

The Dawn of the Horus Heresy: A Story of Betrayal

The Horus Heresy was a defining moment in the Warhammer 40k universe, setting the stage for the grimdark future that we know today. The event was a galaxy-wide civil war that erupted after Horus, Warmaster of the Emperor’s forces, fell to the temptations of Chaos and turned against his father, the Emperor of Mankind.

In the years that followed, fully half of the Emperor’s Space Marine legions would turn traitor, plunging the galaxy into an age of darkness from which it would never truly recover. But what exactly happened during this pivotal period in history? Let’s take a closer look at the key events and players that shaped the Age of Darkness.

The Warmaster’s Fall

Horus, once the most trusted and beloved son of the Emperor, was appointed as the Warmaster to lead the Great Crusade to reunite humanity across the galaxy. However, he was soon corrupted by the Chaos Gods, who preyed upon his ambition and resentment towards his father.

The seeds of rebellion were sown, and Horus began to plot the downfall of the Emperor, gathering like-minded Primarchs and their legions to his cause. The stage was set for a bitter conflict that would engulf the entire Imperium.

The Battle of Isstvan III

The first major engagement of the Horus Heresy took place on the world of Isstvan III. As part of his plan to seize control of the Imperium, Horus ordered several legions, including those whose loyalty he doubted, to quash a rebellion on the planet. However, this was merely a ruse, as Horus unleashed a deadly virus bomb upon the unsuspecting loyalist forces, decimating their ranks.

Although the virus bomb was devastating, a small number of loyalist Space Marines survived and managed to warn the Imperium of Horus’ treachery. This marked the beginning of the Age of Darkness, as brother turned against brother in a brutal struggle for supremacy.

Building Your Horus Heresy Army

Now that we’ve explored the history and lore behind the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness, it’s time to get started on building your very own army to wage war on the tabletop. In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing an army, collecting miniatures, and preparing for battle.

Choosing Your Army

When it comes to Warhammer 40k armies, there are numerous factions to choose from, each with its own unique aesthetic, playstyle, and lore. During the Horus Heresy, you have the option to choose from the original 18 Space Marine legions, as well as the forces of the Mechanicum, Solar Auxilia, and the Imperial Army.

Before you dive into collecting miniatures, it’s important to decide which faction appeals to you the most, both in terms of aesthetics and gameplay. Take the time to research each faction and consider how you’d like to approach the game, whether it’s through strategic maneuvering, overwhelming firepower, or cunning tactics.

Collecting Miniatures

Once you’ve chosen a faction, it’s time to start building your army. For beginners, a Warhammer 40k starter set is an excellent place to start, as it provides a solid foundation of miniatures and essential gaming materials.

When building a Horus Heresy-themed army, consider focusing on iconic units and characters from the era, such as the Space Marine Legions’ Primarchs, the elite Adeptus Custodes, or the Mechanicum’s cybernetic war machines. Many of these models can be found on the Forge World website, which specializes in resin miniatures tailored to the Horus Heresy setting.

Painting and Assembly

With your miniatures in hand, it’s time to bring your army to life through painting and assembly. This can be a daunting task for beginners, but don’t be discouraged! With practice and patience, you’ll soon develop the skills to create a stunning army that you can be proud of.

For painting tips and techniques, consider checking out online tutorials or seeking advice from fellow hobbyists. Remember, the most important aspect of painting your miniatures is to enjoy the process and create an army that reflects your vision of the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness.

Learning the Rules of Engagement

With your army assembled and painted, it’s time to dive into the rules of Warhammer 40k and learn how to play the game. Although the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness is set in a different time period, the core rules for playing Warhammer 40k remain largely the same.

In order to learn the basics, we recommend starting with the 7th Edition Warhammer 40k rules, which are widely regarded as a solid foundation for both beginners and experienced players alike. This edition provides a robust and engaging framework for playing games set during the Horus Heresy, while also being compatible with the vast array of miniatures available.

When playing games set during the Horus Heresy, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the unique rules and units specific to this era. The Horus Heresy rulebooks provide a wealth of information, including detailed background information, unique army lists, and scenarios inspired by the iconic battles of the Age of Darkness.

Engaging in Epic Battles of the Age of Darkness

Now that you’ve built your army, learned the rules, and delved into the lore of the Horus Heresy, it’s time to take to the battlefield and recreate the epic clashes of the Age of Darkness.

Whether you’re playing with friends or participating in organized events, the Horus Heresy offers a vast range of opportunities for engaging in thrilling, narrative-driven battles that are both challenging and rewarding.

By immersing yourself in the Warhammer 40k universe, exploring the rich history of the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness, and engaging in the hobby of collecting, painting, and playing with miniatures, you’ll experience a world of intrigue, adventure, and epic conflict unlike any other.


In conclusion, the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness is an enthralling period in the Warhammer 40k universe that offers a wealth of opportunities for hobbyists to explore, collect, and play.


Is Horus Heresy Age of Darkness worth it?

Absolutely! The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness is an immersive and engaging era in the Warhammer 40k universe that offers a wealth of opportunities for hobbyists to explore, collect, and play. The rich lore and unique miniatures associated with this time period make it an exciting and rewarding experience for both newcomers and seasoned players.

Is Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Limited?

While certain miniatures and box sets related to the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness may be limited or available only for a short time, the overall setting and its associated products continue to be supported by Games Workshop and Forge World. This means you can expect to find a wide range of products and miniatures tailored to this era.

What comes in the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness box set?

The contents of a Horus Heresy Age of Darkness box set can vary, depending on the specific product. Generally, a box set will include a selection of miniatures, rulebooks, and other gaming materials needed to play games set during the Horus Heresy. Some box sets may also include exclusive models or unique scenarios to enhance your gaming experience.

Is Horus Heresy good for beginners?

While the Horus Heresy setting can be more complex and involved than the standard Warhammer 40k universe, it is still an excellent option for beginners who are interested in exploring the rich history and lore of the setting. By starting with a Warhammer 40k starter set and gradually transitioning to the Horus Heresy, newcomers can build a strong foundation in the game while also enjoying the unique aspects of the Age of Darkness.

Should I read Primarchs before Horus Heresy?

Reading the Primarchs series before diving into the Horus Heresy can provide valuable insight into the origins and motivations of these powerful beings. However, it’s not a strict requirement, as the Horus Heresy series itself contains a wealth of information about the Primarchs and their roles in the unfolding conflict.

Can you use 40K knights in Horus Heresy?

Yes, you can use 40K knights in Horus Heresy games, although some modifications may be necessary to ensure they are compatible with the rules and setting of the Age of Darkness. It’s important to consult the Horus Heresy rulebooks and discuss any adjustments with your opponent to ensure a balanced and enjoyable gaming experience.

How many Horus Heresy books are left?

The Horus Heresy book series is an ongoing project, with new titles being added periodically. The exact number of books remaining in the series is subject to change as the story continues to unfold and expand.

Do I have to read every Horus Heresy book?

While it’s not necessary to read every Horus Heresy book, doing so will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the events, characters, and conflicts that shape the Age of Darkness. If you prefer, you can also choose to read select titles that focus on specific aspects or factions within the setting.

What book should I start with Horus Heresy?

The best starting point for the Horus Heresy series is “Horus Rising” by Dan Abnett, which serves as the first book in the main series. This novel introduces the key characters, events, and themes that will be explored throughout the series, providing an excellent foundation for newcomers.

How many hours is the Horus Heresy?

The total length of the Horus Heresy series can vary depending on the specific books and materials you choose to engage with. With over 50 novels, novellas, and anthologies, as well as numerous audiobooks and related publications, the Horus Heresy offers countless hours of immersive storytelling and rich lore for fans to explore.

Who is the strongest Primarch in Horus Heresy game?

Determining the strongest Primarch in the Horus Heresy game is subjective, as each Primarch possesses unique abilities and strengths that can make them formidable opponents in different ways. Some might argue that Sanguinius, the angelic Primarch of the Blood Angels, or Angron, the ferocious Primarch of the World Eaters, are among the strongest in terms of raw power. Others may point to Magnus the Red, the psychic prodigy of the Thousand Sons, or Horus himself, whose martial prowess and strategic acumen made him the Warmaster. Ultimately, the “strongest” Primarch may vary depending on the specific context and the preferences of individual players.

Hey there! I’m Richard Baker, a miniature painter who’s been in the game for a solid decade now. I’ve been painting miniatures for ten years and I’ve got a ton of tips and tricks to share with you all. My website is a treasure trove of knowledge that I’ve gathered from both my own personal experiences and from reading all sorts of books.

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