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Warhammer and Warhammer 40K (Difference Explained)

Warhammer and Warhammer 40K (Difference Explained)

Before the revolutionization that was the invention of video games, people, especially children, used to spend their leisure time competing in tabletop games. These games were usually equipped with their own lore, characters, story-telling, and world-building.

This is probably why fantasy games such as Warhammer 40k and Dungeons and Dragons (DND) were so popular with the unit. They not only allowed them but also promoted them. To use their imaginations to assimilate themselves into these mystical universes.

Warhammer 40k is a more popular spin-off of the original Warhammer. Even though the same creators make them, Warhammer 40k has a darker, more solemn plotline which was dark in its own right. The Fantasy Battle is set in different universes.

If you’re looking for which video games are suited for you, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll be providing all the differences between Warhammer and Warhammer 40K.

Keep reading to know more!

What Type of Game is Warhammer?

Warhammer is a tabletop battle game that puts players in command of armies of valiant humans, noble elves, savage orcs, or a variety of twisted and monstrous creatures.

Players assemble armies of miniaturized plastic models with varying stats and abilities and use them to fight wars on a tabletop battlefield. Unlike in a board game, where players’ movements are limited to specific areas, Warhammer commanders can freely maneuver their units, set distances with rulers, and resolve shooting and hand-to-hand combat by rolling dice.

If you’re not sure which ones are tabletop games, I’ve included a table listing 5 of the most popular tabletop games of all time below.

1) Chessthe chess market is estimated to be worth $40.5 million in North America alone.
2) Checkersup to 50 billion units till now
3) Backgammonby the beginning of 2005, almost 88 million copies had been sold
4) Monopolyby 2011, the sales had reached nearly 275 million units.
5) ScrabbleBy 2017, more than 150 million units of scrabble had been sold.
I hope this helps you decide!

How to Play Warhammer?

Warhammer and Warhammer 40k have similar playstyles. You may even be able to mix and match different factions from the 2 games. Therefore, most of the rules in one game may apply to the one in the other game.

You’ll use a ruler for navigation. A group of dryads is permitted to be able to move eight inches of turn. Models have various numbers that represent how swift they are.

In a large game with many options, you can relocate specific models into different formations to try to capitalize on their strengths. These tables are also generally covered in various terrains, which you must consider. Bear in mind that each type of model has unique abilities.

Here are some details of the abilities of some factions:

  1. Eagles may be able to fly over certain terrain, allowing them to serve a completely different purpose.
  2. Other units in Warhammer 40k might be knocked off due to the homemade tree man walking, which shakes the ground.
  3. A group of orcs armed with pistols may excel at one task, whereas a group of orcs armed with flamethrowers may need to be cautious for fear of injuring their units.
  4. There are different rules for entire armies. The ‘orcs’ need to stay near the commander. Also, they might decide to go rogue and abandon the battle.
  5. If the ‘wood elves’ are near a tree terrain, they may receive bonuses, which may influence how you approach the battle. Each battle will be very different, with at least 15 armies and 24 armies (Warhammer 40k factions) to select from. This means that each battle would be entirely unique from the previous one.

You’ll be using dice for a variety of purposes in the game, so when it comes time to fight, consult your rulebook to see how many dice each player gets to roll as well as what number you need to win a battle.

What is Warhammer 40k?

Warhammer 40K
Warhammer 40K

Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 is a miniature wargame. It’s also the most mainstream miniature wargame in the world. It has strong support in the United Kingdom.  

The rulebook’s first edition was published in September 1987, and the ninth and latest edition was released in July 2020. Warhammer 40,000 takes place in the distant future when hostile extraterrestrials and ethereal beings plague a stagnating human civilization.

The game’s models are a mix of humans, aliens, and supernatural monsters with cyberpunk weaponry and supernatural abilities. The game’s fictional setting was created through a large body of novels. It is published by Black Library (which is Games Workshop’s publishing division).

Warhammer 40,000 got its name from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. It’s a medieval fantasy wargame produced by Games Workshop. Warhammer 40,000 was initially conceived as science fiction.

It’s a counterpart to Warhammer Fantasy, and while they are not connected to each other in a shared universe, their settings share similar themes.

Are Warhammer and Warhammer 40k Different?

Warhammer is a fantasy setting with some hope, but it’s mostly a dark take on the typical fictional universe. It is where the good guys are jerks, and the bad guys are even worse.

You get a portion of its ridiculousness, but only enough to feel like Warhammer Fantasy (as it became known after 40k entered the picture) is mocking you.

As TV Tropes puts it, if you put together equal parts of Tolkien, Michael Moorcock’s Elric series, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the result would look very similar to Warhammer.

Warhammer 40k originally started as pretty much a straight-up Warhammer, but IN SPACE! The days of Rogue Trader were just as darkly humorous and bleak as their fantasy-based progenitor.

The Imperium of Man is an entity that runs on human-centric xenophobia, unbridled militarism, a fear of technology, rampant paranoia, a ridiculously reactionary mindset, and genocidal hatred of everything arrayed against it.

Differences Between Warhammer and Warhammer 40k: Characters, Worlds, and Races

The Imperium is the good guy because everyone else in the setting is so much worse than they are. So, hey, both games have jerks as heroes and villains.

Consumers also claimed that the lore of Warhammer 40k was much richer and more immersive when compared to the original.

Here is a list of characters, worlds, and races which differentiate Warhammer from Warhammer 40k.

  1. -Dwarves aren’t a part of Warhammer 40k. The same goes with the Lizards and most Undead. (Tomb Kings become Necrons)
  2. – The Tau of 40K has no Fantasy equivalent. Tyrannids too.
  3. – Skaven may be in 40K, but not as an actual faction, just very minor pests on some worlds.
  4. The toads who command the Lizardmen were in 40K, but they died out after creating the Orks. 
  5. In Fantasy, the Elves fare about as well as any other faction. They’re dying in droves in 40K, unable to reproduce to replenish their numbers.
  6. In Fantasy, the human Emperor is awake and active in the world. He’s a body on a throne in 40K. It’s unclear whether he’s still alive.
  7. Exterminatus is something humans can do in 40K. It destroys entire worlds. Consider a single nuke capable of converting the entire surface of Earth into the surface of Mars. There’s no equivalent in Fantasy, mostly because there’s no ‘rebuilding’ possible after.

Is Warhammer and Warhammer 40k Connected?

Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000 are separate universes.

There is no definite crossover. There are occasional hints due to the authors being cheeky. They had the same developers and, therefore, shared the same tone of the gameplay.

The gameplay could be grim, dark, doomed, and with extra spikes, so they’ve happily used many elements in each:

  1. The same Chaos Gods
  2. Fungal Greenskins (a cop-out in the 8th edition, IMO)
  3. Aesthetics of the Dark Eldar / Drukhari, and so on.

Necrons of 40k are the equivalent of the undead of WH. They are nowhere near alike.

Other than that, WH has Lizardmen, Beastmen, Skaven, and movie monsters as species that are not in 40K. It has different gods and different rules in its physical world and the warp.

Here’s a video detailing the connections between the two games’ lore.

Are they connected?


Here are the main points of this article:

  • Warhammer is a tabletop battle game. It puts players in command of armies of valiant humans, noble elves, savage orcs, or a variety of twisted and monstrous creatures.
  • Warhammer 40,000 is a miniature wargame, it’s a more popular spin-off of the original Warhammer. It’s also the most mainstream miniature wargame in the world,
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40k are set in entirely different universes. However, some creatures bear resemblances between the two separate universes
  • Warhammer 40k takes on a darker, more sci-fi genre of war games. Whereas the original Warhammer is simply more fictitious.
  • The two have entirely separate settings with limited resemblances in creatures.
  • Both share similarities but are set in contrasting fantasy and sci-fi worlds.
  • Knowing differences helps the players choose tabletop games as they prefer.

I hope this article helps you decide which tabletop games suit you most.

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