Warhammer and Warhammer 40K – All The Differences

Steven Hayes
By Steven Hayes 21 Min Read
21 Min Read


For enthusiasts of tabletop gaming, Warhammer and Warhammer 40K are iconic titles. While both come from the same publisher (Games Workshop), they have distinct differences in terms of lore, gameplay, and settings. Warhammer is set in a fantasy world while Warhammer 40K is based around sci-fi futuristic themes. These distinctions are critical to grasp as a player’s choice can impact their level of enjoyment.

The plotline for each game is significantly different from one another. For instance, Warhammer features heroic knights battling against evil monsters while also trying to save their king from dark powers. In contrast, Warhammer 40K depicts space marines fighting against various alien races throughout the galaxy while defending their human civilization.

Furthermore, Games Workshop offers individuals with complete creative freedom for painting their models (minis), which can be time-consuming but enjoyable for many people.

Pro Tip – When choosing between games, it is important not to feel intimidated by either army or setting theme – choose based on what interests you. Ultimately engaging in any form of skill-building activities should be fun, so it’s important to pick something that piques your interest. If you’re a fan of miniature battles and sci-fi epicness, prepare to be sucked into the never-ending warzone that is Warhammer and Warhammer 40K.

Warhammer and Warhammer 40K: An Overview

The world of Warhammer is vast and varied, with two notable franchises: Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. Warhammer is the original tabletop miniature game that revolves around medieval fantasy warfare, whereas Warhammer 40K takes place in the far future and includes both sci-fi and fantasy elements. Both settings include factions battling it out for dominance on the battlefield, but with different lore, armies, tactics and gameplay mechanics. Each has a devoted fanbase that revels in an extensive list of rules books, novels and collectibles.

What sets each franchise apart is their unique set of characters and factions to choose from. In Warhammer, you will encounter various creatures such as Dwarfs, Elves and Orcs whereas in Warhammer 40K players will encounter obscure cults such as Necrons or Tyranids who fight against human-like factions such as Imperium or Space Marines. The games also have different playstyles with distinctive differences in models used; For example, an imperial knight model is larger than most other models in either game.

Due to their long-lasting appeal (and interactivity) on pc games like Total war recently released Troy: A Total war Saga, influenced by the Bronze Age-era of literature works like Iliad players relive Trojan war era battles with godly interventions.

Wired’s feature shows impressive fandom crossovers between real life events which don’t lose their charm amongst players at events.

The only difference between Warhammer and Warhammer 40K? About 38,000 years of extra doom and gloom.

Differences in Lore and Setting

Warhammer and Warhammer 40K have differences in their lore and settings which create unique characteristics for each franchise. Here are some of the most significant distinctions:

Criteria Warhammer Warhammer 40K
Time Period Fantasy, medieval setting Dystopian, futuristic setting
Technology Limited technology Advanced technology
Factions Various factions in the fantasy world Factions based on space cultures
Lore Based on Norse and Celtic mythology Mix of sci-fi and fantasy elements

In addition, Warhammer 40K has a darker and grittier tone compared to Warhammer. The gameplay in Warhammer is strategy based while Warhammer 40k is more about skill and tactics in a dystopian war universe. Players of Warhammer are suggested to invest in army-building strategy, while those in Warhammer 40K are recommended to focus on developing combat skills. Both franchises offer vast opportunities for players to delve into the world-building for a more immersive experience. Expect dragons, knights, and wizards – but no wifi – in the fantasy-based world of Warhammer.

Warhammer: Fantasy-Based Setting

The Warhammer universe is a fantastical realm filled with intricate lore and unique settings. This fictional world draws inspiration from Medieval Europe, infusing it with elements of dark magic, mythical creatures and epic battles.

The vastness of this universe means there is a plethora of locations and factions to explore. From the ruins of ancient cities to sprawling green fields, from towering mountains to fathomless seas, each location presents its challenges for adventurers.

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However, what truly sets Warhammer apart is its rich history. Every faction has its story that unfolds across centuries of war and conflict. This narrative depth gives meaning to each battle fought in the game’s tabletop or video game adaptations.

Ultimately, Warhammer is a setting for those who crave immersion in an imaginary world full of surprises and unpredictable outcomes.

Fans of fantasy worlds should not miss out on this comprehensive universe that offers depth, detail and an unmatched sense of wonder.

Warhammer 40K: Where the future is so grim, even the cockroaches have PTSD.

Warhammer 40K: Science Fiction-Based Setting

The 40K universe is a fantastical science-fiction-based world. It is set in the distant future, where humanity has spread across the galaxy. There are several factions vying for power within this universe, including massive armies of genetically engineered super-soldiers serving their respective emperors or leaders.

The setting includes numerous planets and star systems, each with its unique landscape, flora, and fauna. Various races live on these planets, some friendly while others hostile. Warhammer 40k features vast spacecraft battleships and futuristic technology such as artificial intelligence, cybernetic augmentation, warp gates which allow instant travel across galaxies.

One unique feature of Warhammer 40K is that it involves Fantasy elements like magic and ancient gods in this far-off futurism setting. This makes it stand out as a distinctive realm compared to other Sci-fi universes.

Pro Tip: For those new to the franchise- try starting with the Horus Heresy book series as it takes place before the start of Warhammer 40k’s official story arc hence helps establish an understanding of various interstellar factions intertwining motives in this universe.

Why pick a side when you can just create your own faction and declare war on everyone else?

Differences in Factions and Armies

To understand the differences in the factions and armies of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, we need to delve into the various units, strengths, and weaknesses of these two games. The main difference between the two lies in the time period – Warhammer is set in a medieval fantasy world, while Warhammer 40K is set thousands of years into the future.

To get a better understanding of the differences in factions and armies, let’s take a look at the following table:

Game Factions Army Composition
Warhammer Empire, Bretonnia, Dwarfs Infantry, cavalry, artillery, wizards, monsters, war machines
Warhammer 40K Space Marines, Orks, Eldar Infantry, vehicles, walkers, characters, flyers, Titans, magic

As we can see, Warhammer features medieval factions such as the Empire and Dwarfs, while Warhammer 40K features futuristic factions like the Space Marines and Orks. The armies in Warhammer mainly consist of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, while Warhammer 40K armies include vehicles, walkers, and flyers.

Furthermore, while both games have a similar turn-based gameplay mechanics, Warhammer 40K features a more complex rule system and a wider range of available strategies and tactics.

It is interesting to note that these two games are developed by the same company, Games Workshop.

A true fact is that Warhammer and Warhammer 40K have a vast lore and background stories that are constantly expanding with new novels and sourcebooks.

Prepare to enter a world where knights ride giant eagles, rats lead armies, and battles are won by giant, fire-breathing lizards. Welcome to the fantastical world of Warhammer factions.

Warhammer: Fantasy-Inspired Factions

Factions and Militaries of Warhammer: Fantasy World are Intriguing

Warhammer: Fantasy World is a rich universe featuring various factions and armies. Whether it’s the proud High Elves, the savage Orcs, or the vile Skaven clans, each faction possesses unique traits and characteristics that set them apart.

  • Each faction has its strengths and weaknesses in battle.
  • Their troops’ skillsets range from expert marksmanship to brutal hand-to-hand combat abilities.
  • Wizards with arcane powers sway the tide of war during battles.
  • The armies are divided into different corps like infantry, cavalry, ranged weapons, and war machines.
  • Special units such as monstrous cavalry or creatures can also be enlisted to aid in battles.

Besides typical fighting tactics, factions have distinct cultural backgrounds featuring diverse beliefs, customs, social systems, and overall ways of life. This dictates their interactions with other factions in both peaceful negotiations or hostile scenarios.

To immerse oneself wholly into the world of Warhammer: Fantasy requires a keen understanding of this vast universe’s complex layers. The game’s lore is riddled with endless information about each faction’s history and traits that are worth exploring.

Missing out on this fantastic spectacle would be regrettable for any fantasy enthusiast; therefore, gallivanting through Warhammer Fantasy’s unique factions is undoubtedly time-worthy.

The future may be uncertain, but in Warhammer 40k, there’s no shortage of factions gunning for it.

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Warhammer 40K: Futuristic Factions

Exploring the Futuristic Factions in the World of Warhammer 40K can provide an insight into the differences and unique traits that these groups possess. Here, we delve deeper into the armies and factions of this imaginative universe to understand their nuances and characteristics.

A table showcasing the differences between some of the major armies and factions in Warhammer 40K is as follows:

Army/Faction Unique Traits
Space Marines Superhuman strength and agility
Chaos Space Marines Corrupt followers of the dark gods
Orks Brutish warriors who revel in combat
Eldar Ancient and graceful race with advanced technology

Each army or faction brings a unique set of abilities, weapons, and philosophies to the battlefield. For instance, Space Marines excel in close combat while Chaos Space Marines use Warp-based powers. Similarly, Orks are masters of adapting on-fly whereas Eldar are renowned for their maneuverability.

Beyond these differences, it’s worth noting that each sub-faction within an army has its own playstyle as well. This complexity allows for players to create customized armies with different combinations of units.

In terms of suggestions, one possible approach could be to explore different sub-factions within a chosen army/faction to find a playstyle that suits your preferences. Additionally, researching online resources such as forums or YouTube channels dedicated to Warhammer 40K strategy can provide useful insights on how other players approach army building.

Why settle for one way to play when you can have multiple factions with their own unique mechanics? Variety is the spice of digital warfare.

Differences in Gameplay Mechanics

In this section, we will explore the distinctions between the gameplay mechanics of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. The following table highlights the key differences in gameplay between these two games:

Differences in Gameplay Mechanics
Warhammer Warhammer 40K
Fantasy setting with medieval weapons Futuristic setting with advanced weapons
Turn-based gameplay with simple mechanics Turn-based gameplay with complex mechanics
Melee-focused combat Ranged combat and varied combat styles
No psychic abilities or advanced technology Psychic abilities and advanced technology
No terrain effects Terrain effects on gameplay
No factions with unique rules Unique rules and abilities for factions

It is worth noting that Warhammer 40K emphasizes strategy in a more comprehensive sense, due to the inclusion of psychic abilities and advanced technology. Unique faction rules are also a standout feature that can affect gameplay significantly.

Overall, players looking for a more straightforward experience may prefer Warhammer, while those seeking a broader range of strategic options and high-tech gameplay may enjoy Warhammer 40K. If you are new to either game, it is highly recommended that you try out both versions to find which one resonates with your preferences.

Warhammer: Where you can finally live out your dreams of being a general, without the pesky inconvenience of actual warfare.

Warhammer: Large Scale Battles with Army Units

Warhammer’s dynamic gameplay involves commanding an army and engaging in large-scale battles with diverse units. A comprehensive strategy is necessary for success.

Warhammer: Large Scale Battles with Army Units
Army Units
Variety of Special Abilities
Tactical Positioning & Formations
Resource Management

To dominate on the battlefield, a player must carefully consider their available army units and their special abilities. Additionally, they must strategically position and form these units to optimize tactics against the opposing force. Resource management is key to sustain attacks and ensure victory.

In the heat of battle, one particularly cunning commander rallied his forces behind enemy lines and slowly dismantled them from within. With sly deception and strategic maneuvers, he emerged victorious against all odds.

Looks like Warhammer 40K took the phrase ‘pick your battles’ to a whole new level with their individual model combat – don’t forget to bring your mini guns and vehicles to the party.

Warhammer 40K: Individual Model Combat with Guns and Vehicles

Warhammer 40K employs an individual model combat system that utilizes both guns and vehicles. Understanding the intricate differences in gameplay mechanics can drastically improve your gameplay strategy.

To better comprehend this gameplay system, let’s examine a breakdown of the major components through a detailed table.

Components Model Combat Guns Vehicles
Range Close combat only Varies based on weapon type Varies based on vehicle type
Movement 1 phase per turn, limited distance N/A (unless used in close combat) moves freely until action taken
Targeting System Uses line of sight and range modifiers Uses range modifiers and other factors (such as armor penetration) based on gun type Uses firing arcs, movement restrictions, and other factors based on vehicle type

It’s important to keep in mind that there are unique details involved in each component beyond what is listed in the table. For example, certain models or guns have special abilities or rules that aren’t necessarily reflected solely through statistics.

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Pro Tip: Familiarize yourself with these lesser-known details to gain an advantage over your opponents.

Why argue over which game is better when we can all agree that we’re just procrastinating from more important things in life?

Differences in Fan Base and Popularity

The disparity between the two franchises’ followings and market prominence is a striking one. It is useful to understand what causes it, and how it reflects in other areas such as product range, community involvement, and financial success.

Differences in Fans & Popularity Warhammer Warhammer 40K
Timeframe Medieval Fantasy Science Fiction
Age Rating ESRB M ESRB T
Play Style Strategic Board Game Tactical Tabletop Game
Community Size Relatively Smaller Far Larger
Market Penetration Limited to select audiences Wide range of Demographics

A unique aspect of each franchise’s division lies in their origin stories and settings, catering to various flavors. While Warhammer’s medieval fantasy resurrection provides knights, dwarves, and numerous mythological creatures for its adherents, 40k entices players with space marines, aliens, robots, and elevated tech levels.

Moreover, with countless media adaptations under their belts – video games, novels comics e.t.c., both franchises have attracted loyal fandoms who frequently attend conventions, compete in tournaments and discuss the lore’s intricacies on numerous blogs.

For anyone interested in investing their time or money into these franchises, the answer may lie in understanding these differences well. As the popularity of Warhammer and 40K increases dramatically over the years. One does not aim to miss out on a potentially lucrative investment while also gaining insight into an enormous community.

Choose your battles wisely, but in the end, only the Emperor can truly guide you in your quest for domination.

Conclusion: Which Game to Choose?

When deciding between Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, there are a few key differences to consider. Here are some essential factors to help you make the right choice:

  • Setting: Warhammer is set in a medieval, fantasy world while Warhammer 40K has a futuristic, sci-fi setting.
  • Game Mechanics: Warhammer is based on turn-based strategy with a focus on melee combat, while Warhammer 40K involves mostly ranged combat and incorporates elements of real-time strategy.
  • Army Types: Both games have several different armies to choose from, but Warhammer generally features armies that are more grounded in reality like humans, dwarves and orcs; whereas Warhammer 40K includes more outlandish armies such as aliens and genetically-enhanced space marines.
  • Accessibility: Depending on your preferences, one game may be more accessible than the other. If you’re new to the genre or prefer a simpler gameplay experience, then Warhammer might be the way to go.
  • Creative Expression: If customization and creative expression are important to you, then both games offer plenty of opportunities for that. However, the futuristic setting of Warhammer 40K lends itself better to creating unique army designs thanks to its imaginative lore around factions and units.

It’s also worth noting that both games have passionate communities that support them with official events, fan content creation and player stores.

A Pro Tip for newcomers is that before committing time and money on purchasing any game edition or army starter sets, take some time researching both games through their rulebooks first. That way you can get a feel for which system resonates best with your playstyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Warhammer?

Warhammer is a tabletop wargame where players build, paint, and command armies in fictional worlds.

What is Warhammer 40K?

Warhammer 40K (or Warhammer 40,000) is a futuristic, science fiction version of Warhammer that takes place in the year 40,000.

What are the main differences between Warhammer and Warhammer 40K?

The main difference is the setting - Warhammer is set in a medieval fantasy world, while Warhammer 40K is set in a dark, dystopian future. The armies, units, and weapons are also different, reflecting the different themes and technology of each game.

Can I use my Warhammer armies in Warhammer 40K?

No, the armies and units in Warhammer are not interchangeable with Warhammer 40K. They are separate games with separate rules and different armies.

Which game is more popular - Warhammer or Warhammer 40K?

It's difficult to say which game is more popular, as both have a dedicated fan base and are played around the world. However, Warhammer 40K tends to have a larger competitive scene and more frequent updates and releases.

Can I play both Warhammer and Warhammer 40K?

Yes, many players enjoy both games and even mix elements from each in their armies and gameplay.

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