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Warhammer 40,000 is the game of warfare in the far distant forty-first millennium. It is an age of horror and war, where mankind must fight for survival against unimaginable terrors and innumerable odds. Only the Imperium and its mighty armed forces can possibly save humanity from destruction. But the enemy are cunning, and who knows how many work mankind's destruction secretly from within. Upon the battlefields of the galaxy the fate of mankind is being determined. In this war no sacrifice is too great, no loss is too much to bear, and ultimately no one is inexpendible in the struggle for survival.
The Warhammer 40.000 game enables you to fight conflicts between human and alien warriors on a tabletop battlefield. Opposing armies are represented by models, assembled and painted by yourself, representing the armed forces of your chosen race. Each race presents its own unique tactical challenges and provides different opportunities to hone your modelling and painting skills.
The aim of every Warhammer 40,000 player is to fight battles against other players. Win or lose, all battles are entertaining challenges in which you try to out-think and out-play your opponent, taking advantage of what good luck comes your way, but ultimately relying upon sound tactics to win the day. Collecting a battle-winning force and learning how to use it is something that any committed general can achieve with time and experience. From a small core of troops you can add new squads, gradually painting your forces and bringing them to battle, expanding your army as your generalship improves, until you are ready to play huge sweeping battles with hundreds of troops and fighting machines on each side.
As well as collecting and painting armies, you can create battlefield layouts on which to fight. Warhammer 40,000 is a very demanding game where your skills and imagination are at least as important as the rulebook. Amongst Warhammer 40,000 players can be found many dedicated collectors, accomplished artists, and cunning tabletop generals, as well as the vast majority of players who enjoy the opportunity to get together with a group of friends for an evening's battle.
The Warhammer 40,000 rulebook contains all the rules of the game itself. You don't need to learn all the rules to play, indeed it is probably impossible to literally learn every one off by heart. Very few games will involve all the rules. To start with at least you'll want to learn how to play the basic game as described within the first sections of the book. Don't be put off by the apparent size and complexity of the rulebook, much of its thickness is taken up with examples and diagrams to make things as clear as possible. The most important game rules are summarised on the back cover and you'll quickly find this is all you need to play, consulting the text only occasionally to resolve an unusual situation.
If you are new to Warhammer 40,000 then you'll be reassured to know that meeting other players isn't usually a problem -you'll be surprised just how many players there are. If you are fortunate there will be a Games Workshop store nearby, where you can obtain Warhammer 40,000 models, paints and game supplements. Games Workshop stores are not just shops, they are hobby centres where the staff will happily help you learn the rules, show you how to paint, and suggest ways to use and develop your armies. Games Workshop staff are also players who collect and paint armies and fight battles themselves.