In a nutshell it is a tabletop strategy game. Outside of a nutshell it is a strategy game that still pits your fortune at the roll of a dice.

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My attempt at a summary in more than one sentence:

Warhammer was created by Games Workshop, think of it like toy soldiers, but you are the general, dictating your troops over a map, but unlike other strategy board games you are free to manoeuvre as and where you wish. The game is set up on a tabletop battlefield, like this one below:

Image credit: RedCraig

Do a minor bit of online searching and you will see this one is somewhat basic compared to what is out there, but in my own experience, something as simple as this really provides enough for you to form your strategy and take to the game.

Warhammer keeps itself relevant by offering many versions of the franchise (I think it gets called that!?) each one giving players the choice of futuristic themes and of those similar to novels filled with lore. On top of all this, a few years back (5 maybe) the creators ended something like 30 years of battles and strategy in one universe with their own in-game event called the End Times. This offered them the chance to forge their own universe and move into characters and lore forged of their own thinking and no-longer inspired by literature of the past. They’ve done an outstanding job on this!

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Finally the other thing to mention in this initial introduction to Warhammer and my beginners guide to the tabletop game is that playing is only one element of this game. Crafting and development of figures, landscapes and story lines means that even when not gathered around the table, Warhammer still offers hours of immersion in the universe.

For me, this actually feels like more of a barrier to the game. I do not have the patience nor skill to undertake this part of the game, but you can purchase pre-painted figures and worlds. But I would imagine those who are the real die-hard fans of the game will confess to only being so by doing the crafting yourself, although that’s only purely suspicion.

So what is like to play Warhammer?

Using the figures you have built or painted yourself what tends to happen in Warhammer is you pit yourself against an opponent. Your force could be a series of units or one whole army. Warhammer is a turn-based game, you use rulers and dice to measure the distance you can travel in a game and the successes of the attacks you intend you use. Each game provides you with a limited resource of command points in which to employ any stratagems you may want include to boost the effectiveness of your units.

I’ll admit, not the best explanation of how to play the game. But since so much is agreed and set up at the time of playing and each franchise offers its own take on how the game is played. I promise, having played the actual, what I’ve said in those last two paragraphs will make much more sense!

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Getting started with Warhammer

The easiest way to get started with Warhammer is to check out the Games Workshop website, what I’d do here is just read up on the different versions of the game on offer. Once you’ve seen what you’re interested in trying watch a game being played out, it was the easiest way I got to grips with it. Ideally visit a local Games Workshop and see one live in action. If that isn’t possible, this video below, albeit long, really gives you a good idea of how the game works.

Finally, what I would recommend for getting started with Warhammer would be this set here. It offers the chance to paint and assemble, but can be played straight out of the box.

My final note, be warned, it is very easy to delve further and further into Warhammer. You may just sign up to a lifetime hobby.

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