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The Unofficial Total War: Warhammer 40,000 Game Thread

TomCatMe0wTomCatMe0w Registered Users Posts: 142
This has been a talked about subject for years, so I thought a thread discussing how one could work and how it would play would be fun.

What is Warhammer 40,000?

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war...

This is Game Workshop's second, and agruebly their most sucessful, tabletop game. Unlike Fantasy (and the later Age of Sigmar), Warhammer 40,000 (40k for short) is set in the distant future of the 41th century.

Without going too much into the very long history, the stagnant, but still surviving, human civilization of the Imperium fights threats of vicious aliens and the forces of chaos from outside and within. Though wounded by the civil war known as the Horus Heresy, they still cling to their faith in the immortal God-Emperor of Mankind, as they fight for the very future of humanity itself.

How Would It Play Out?

One of the biggest differences between a 40k is the sheer difference in combat. Since it is set in the future, there is far more artillery and ranged options, but this can be an easily resolved issue as many units would simply have both ranged and melee options. In addition, there is still heavy focus on melee (such as the Black Templars and the Tyranids), and magic would simply be replaced by psychic powers.

The big issue is whether the game would be set on one big planet, set in a galaxy with planets acting as settlements, or a mix of both?

The first issue would resolve a lot of combat issues like what would happen when two opposing armies meet and would lead to a similar, if only sci-fi altered, design setting to the fantasy Warhammer games. However, since there are multiple different alien armies, having like twenty different or more factions may seem out of place.

The second issue would be more "sci-fi" and would fit all the different factions better. In addition, this would lead to a similar map design where ships go to planet. Of course, this means it would seem out of place for two opposing ships to decide to land on a random planet to fight (like how sea battles work now), but this could be resolved by making it, instead, boarding battles where an attacking army tries to get on and take over/destroy the enemy ship. This would lead to various designs based on the various races (like Imperium factions would have a Gothic sci-fi setting, orks a crude and slapped together junk ship, and tyranids flesh and organs since their ships are actual giant Tyranids carrying the others in their stomachs).

What Would be the Starting Factions?

First of all, I think we need to discuss the biggest issue: the Imperium of Man. It would be too much to put all the different factions together under the same banner. Unlike the fantasy Warhammer human empire, the Imperium is several different codexes, such as the Space Marines, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptes Sororitas, and the Astra Millitarium.

I think the best option would be to make all the different "codexes" their own factions, which can ally or fight with other Imperium factions (which is not too against the lore; many Imperium factions are suspected of each other). They can share units and specific lords and heroes (like Inquisitors since they will ally with other imperium factions and have the authority to take command when necessary)

Because the starting number can't be too huge, but should fit everyone's taste, I believe the best starting factions should be: Space Marines, Astra Militarium, Craftworld Eldar, the Orks, and Chaos. Each of the first five factions would get two starting LLs while Chaos would get only one of the four big ones atm (Undivided, Death Guard, Thousand Sons, and Legionus Demonica/Chaos Demons). Thus that give us 12 starting lords/factions to play with in the base game.

So, this who I think should be the base game lords:

Space Marines:

Before I start, I should mention, contary to popular belief, not every space marine chapter is unique enough to be its own faction. Most Space Marines share the same units and have their own special unique faction marines, such as the Black Templars having their Crusaders and the Salamanders the flame throwing users. I believe in these cases, when there's not enough units to stand out, these special ones should be Regiments of Reknown, and be recruited through special means into your army.

Ultramarines: Marneus Calgar. Let's face it, the Ultramarines are the mascots of the series and should be the starter easy faction. Ultramarines do have their own unique units, but more or less carry all the basic ones and can cover most angles of playstyle. I decided not to make the Primarchs the LLs here and instead use the Chapter Masters, because not all are availible according to lore. But can be summoned like the Green Knight in Fantasy, so there would be a means to call upon Robote Guilliman.

Blood Angels: Commander Dante. The Blood Angels are a popular choice, and may be perferred to some people over the Ultramarines. They would play as a more challenging gameplay, being faster and having more powerful pskyers and such over the Ultramarines, but not as strong or variable.

Astra Militarium:

These are the normal human rank and file soldiers that are the first in line to fight the enemies of the Imperium. I believe they should be a baseline playable faction, with more of a focus on numbers and using vehicles than the Space Marines would be. So they would be more challenging in some ways, but offer a fun alternative playstyle as well.

Armageddon: Commissar Sebastian Yarrick. If any member of the Imperium Guard should be in the game, none is better than the biggest bad-ass in the 41th, Sebastian Yarrick. This is the guy, who over a hundred something years old, fought an Ork war boss, lost his arm, and still killed said war boss, replacing his lost arm with his foe's power klaw. Yarrick is known as "Old Bale-Eye" to the Orks, who see him as an unkillable bogeyman, despite the fact almost nothing scares orks. He's also the mortal rival to the biggest warboss of all, Ghazkul Mag Uruk Thraka. I see Yarrick's army following suit, focused more on the soldiers, just being nearly fearless and hardy in their commander's presence.

Gaunt's Ghosts: Ibram Gaunt. One of the most famous Warhammer commissars, Gaunt should be another baseline choice. I believe Gaunt's style should be more fast-paced and sneaky over Yarrick's "tough as nails" style.

(will continue this next post)


  • TomCatMe0wTomCatMe0w Registered Users Posts: 142
    The Craftworld Aelderi (Eldar): The Eldar are an obvious next choice for a baseline faction. Also known as "Space Elves", they are another "good" faction, though they do come in conflict with the Imperium (who they often rever to as "Monkeigh"). The Aelderi were once the dominant superpower of the galaxy, before the rise of the Imperium, but their incredible hedonism and debauchery led to the fall of their civilization. Their intense powers fed their negative emotions into the Warp, and led to the birth of She-Who-Thirsts: the Chaos God, Slannesh. Slannesh devoured their souls, and brought their civilization to a shell of its former glory. In order to save their souls from damnation, the Aelderi must reclaim soul crystals to save their souls from Slannesh's hunger, and free their gods from the chains of gods. And finally, they must somehow bring down their most foul of foe.

    The Ynnaari: Yvyraine. With so much lore around them, I believe Yyvarine and her Ynnari should be a baseline faction. Her focus would be pysker powers, and her campaign revolving around collecting the Crone Swords in order to revive the god Ynnead.

    Ilyanden: Prince Arlel. This would be represent the Outcasts of the Eldar. Ariel's focus would be more on highly mobile and physical attacking over pskyer power.

    The Orks: It'd be a crime to not have these crazy, green-skinned fighting fanatics in the base game. The orks are said to be the only "happy" race in 40k, as they live for only one fight: fighting. They have no other goal further than that; they only seek the great "WAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHH!!!"

    Goff: Ghazghul Maka Uruk Thraka. With Yarrick as base, Ghazghul needs to be there too. Ghazkul would play as a sheer warrior and tank, leading as a buff to his orks. His army would focus also on machines and ranged options, as opposed to the following faction.

    The Snakebites: Mozrod Skagbad. This would play opposite of Ghazghul. Mozrod would be riding on his great White Squig, and his army more focused on melee options and using squig beasts.

    (Continued next post)
  • TomCatMe0wTomCatMe0w Registered Users Posts: 142
    edited October 2022
    Chaos: Finally, we need Chaos as a baseline option. However, despite some beliefs, I think we should save the Emperor's Children and World-Eater chaos marines as seperate, possible dlcs for later, since they don't have much units (or even official armies. They're usually blended into the Chaos Space Marines or Undivided) in the tabletop.

    The Black Legion: Abaddon the Despoiler. (Yes, I know all the memes about him. But he's the only fitting one for it). Abaddon would be the leader of the undivided Space Marines, and focus on a blend of his units and artillery. He is also the only one who can start off recruiting daemons into his army as well. He can also eventually defeat and confederate with other Chaos Space Marine factions to gain their units as well.

    The Death Guard: Typhus. I choose him over Mortarion, due to the same reasons as Guiliman (Plus there's the lore that Mortarion is techinically trapped in the Warp and can't leave without special conditions). Typhus would play as a psyker, and like the Nurgle factions in the current game, the Death Guard would focus on sheer survivability while infecting their enemies with harmful plagues (and buffing themselves with said plagues).

    Thousand Sons: Ahriman. As the Tzeench focused focus, their strength would be using pskyer power and fighting at a range, while suffering in close combat. Their only defensive units would be Rubric Marines and heavily mutated monsters summoned through rituals and such.

    The Legiones Demonica: Bela'kor the Dark Master. As he exists in both games, Bela'kor would be in this game too. He would be the leader of the Chaos Daemons, and focus on them. Bela'kor would be able to summon daemons right from the start from all four pantheons, but could eventually confederate with the Black Legion to gain control of Chaos Space Marines as well.

    What Would be the DLC Factions? And How Would They Appear?

    Of course the other factions of 40k should appear eventually. I figure there would be faction packs and of course rivalry ones. Here's who I see as faction parks and who would be probably just be ROR due to small numbers:



    1: Adeptus Mechanicus/Tech-Priests (They will appear earlier though as part of the Astra Militarium as they have members there too)
    2: Adeptes Soritas/Sisters of Battle
    3: The Talons of the Emperor (Adepetus Custodes/Sisters of Silence)
    4: Black Templars
    5: Space Wolves
    6: Death Korps of Krieg
    7: The Grey Knights (Yes, they are space marines, but they are a seperate codex and army from the others)

    1: Drukari

    1: Freebootas (Horde faction. Probably led by Kapitan Badrukk)

    1: Emperor's Children
    2: World-Eaters

    1: The Necrons
    2: The Tyranids
    3: The Tau (Both regular and Farsight's Enclaves)
    4: The Leagues of Votann (The squats)


    1: Salamanders
    2: Iron Hands
    3: Blood Ravens

    1: Harlequins (I love these guys myself, but they don't have enough to be their own army unless CA works at it. They do however work with both Craftworld and Drukari)

    So these are my ideas; feel free to share your own thoughts on ideas
  • davedave1124#4773davedave1124#4773 Senior Member St Helens UKRegistered Users Posts: 22,124

    A lot of the YouTubers see 40k as a good call.

    There’s no real evidence to suggest 40k is unlikely, add to that CA and GW have an excellent relationship, share employees and judging from the popularity of WHTW it’s obvious that 40kTW would be a lot bigger.

    Lore won’t stop characters like Morty and Gullimen appearing, they’re really popular snd fans will want to use them. I’m terms of balance consider the Everchosen compared to Tretch.
  • TomCatMe0wTomCatMe0w Registered Users Posts: 142
    I suppose that can work too. The big question would be whether a primarch or a chapter-master should be the leader of a space marine or a CSM faction. I suppose in some cases, both could be used (Like Typhus and Mortarion controlling seperate Death Guard factions with different strengths).

    There could also be a Horus Heresy mode (Like how 3Ks had multiple time periods), where the primarchs are playable when leading the original chapters. Of course, the only problem is it would be basically two-ways between the Legiones Astartes and the Liber Hereticus. The lore would have to be stretched to explain why there would be infighting within the two major factions.
  • davedave1124#4773davedave1124#4773 Senior Member St Helens UKRegistered Users Posts: 22,124

    I suppose that can work too. The big question would be whether a primarch or a chapter-master should be the leader of a space marine or a CSM faction. I suppose in some cases, both could be used (Like Typhus and Mortarion controlling seperate Death Guard factions with different strengths).

    There could also be a Horus Heresy mode (Like how 3Ks had multiple time periods), where the primarchs are playable when leading the original chapters. Of course, the only problem is it would be basically two-ways between the Legiones Astartes and the Liber Hereticus. The lore would have to be stretched to explain why there would be infighting within the two major factions.

    Mortarion could be an over all leader of plague companies 1 to 6 and Typhus could control the 1st plague company which specialises as an infantry buffed faction of the Death Guard race.

    I imagine that the HH could be a good test for a wider 40K game. Balancing unique space marines factions is a lot easier than balancing everything within the 40k universe. It also seems that the HH has become very popular within the community.
  • TomCatMe0wTomCatMe0w Registered Users Posts: 142
    edited October 2022
    Horus Hersey mode would give players the ability to play as their favorite Primarchs when they were avalible.

    You could make all the Primarchs playable in the current era, except many of their fates led to the reasons why the Imperium and the galaxy itself is why it is.

    Taking which SM/CSM factions would actually be playable at launch, the only ones without stretching the lore would be:

    1: Roboute Guilliman.
    2: Mortarion.
    3: Magnus the Red

    Now if we include possible dlc, they could "in game lore" that says the missing primarchs have returned.

    1: Dark Angels. Lion El'Jonson (Most likely to return; he's just in a coma)
    2: Black Templars. Rogal Dorn. (Technically his Legion was the Imperial Fists, but they don't have enough unique units for a whole army against the Black Templars, who have far more. Their gene seed comes from Dorn)
    3: Space Wolves. Leman Russ
    4: World Eaters. Angron
    5: Emperor's Children. Fulgrim

    I didn't count Primarchs with space marines with not enough unique units (Bearing CA being allowed to create for them). The ones whose deaths are in lore are Horus, Sanguinus, Ferrus Manus, Konrad Curze, and Alpharius.
  • TomCatMe0wTomCatMe0w Registered Users Posts: 142
    So to continue, I'd thought I'd write the campaign ideas I thought of for a theoritical 40k TW.


    I thought every faction should have some story explaining why they're settlng out to conquer the galaxy, with unique goals in mind, leading to an epic final battle against different opponents for each story. This would alleviate one major problem of TW:WH3's storyline, which became repetitive after multiple plays. This, instead, would allow for different experiences.

    Space Marines: The Imperium has discovered a means to seal the Eye of Terror, and decided to send the Astartes to conquer specific points in the galaxy as part of a ritual/device to weaken the opening and close it. But the Space Marines must deal with the unfriendly xenos and threats from Chaos, who hope to prevent this. The final battle will be the Space Marines against Abaddon and the Black Legion.

    Astra Militarium: The green tide, known as the Orks, has been on the rise, and the Imperial Guard must stand up and fight back. The final battle here is the Astra Militarium against Ghazghul and the Orks.

    Aeldari: The Eldar seek the Crone Swords (in a vein similar to the Tomb Kings and the Books of Nagash); each one will grant a special boon when collected and can be equipped by your Eldar lords. The Eldar must conquer specific words and wandering enemies that have obtained the swords. Their final battle is against Bela'kor and the Chaos Daemons, who wish to steal the swords and give Bela'kor the means to gain god-hood.

    Orks: There is only goal for the greenskins: the great Waaaggghghhh. Through conquest and continous fighting, the Orks fill a bar of endless battle to elevate them (as orks get bigger and stronger the more they fight and the better their enemies). The final battle of the orks is against the Astra Militarium, led by Sebastian Yarrick.

    Chaos: Here, each one would have their own campaign seperate from the others to fit their lore better.

    Black Legion: Abbadon discovers a means to expand the Eye of Terror and proceeds on a new Black Crusade to conquer specific areas to prepare the ritual to do so. The Black Legion's final battle is against the Space Marines, who seek to stop them.

    The Death Guard and the Thousand Sons. Since Nurgle and Tzeench are rivals, I figure they would share opposing campaigns. A great source of souls/power has been discovered, and both the Death Guard and Thousand Sons race to get to it. I could see this playing similar to the Chaos Champions in WH3, but maybe instead of souls, they need to spread enough corruption to open the way for their specific god to be able to claim it. And naturally, the final battle for each is against the other.

    The Legiones Demonica. Bela'kor seeks his place among the gods, and has discovered the Crone Swords. Should he claim and corrupt them first, he could use them to elevate himself to godhood, possible capable of slaying the Chaos Gods. Like the Eldar campaign, Bela'kor and his daemons must find and claim the swords, conquering planets and defeating specific enemies to do so. And each sword can be equipped by lords to grant them powerful boons, as well as passive bonuses for your armies. The final battle would be against Yyvraine and the Ynnari, hoping to claim the swords back to revive their god.
  • TomCatMe0wTomCatMe0w Registered Users Posts: 142
    Bumping this with some ideas I had:

    Campaign Mechs

    This ultimately comes down to how the map will be formed between if its just one whole world, a space map with planets as settlements, or a mix, where armies will fly between planets and then move on foot to capture specific points.

    If any kind of flight will be involved, these are some concepts for the map I had.

    Star Ships. All armies will be assigned a ship with a random generated name (that can be changed) unless in lore, said lord has a specific named ship.

    All ships can be upgraded to benefit the army, such as casualty recovery, campaign movement, and even weapons that can be called upon a limited number of times during a fight (like aerial bombardments or deploying summoned flyers).

    Some factions will have the ability to build faculties to produce units for the army themselves, such as Craftworld Eldar, freeboota orks, and tyranids. (Not they can't do it on occupied sights, but this fits their lore). As such, these armies will have availible slots for such in balance to other factions.

    Boarding Battles. This is something I talked about before. A common complaint was how odd it was in TW: Warhammer that two enemy ships meeting at sea would happen to find a nearby island to fight on. This will be even weirder for a space-themed story, so I thought the idea of two ships in space being docked so both armies can walk over to both ships.

    Since ships in Warhammer are supposed to be gigantic, this will play well. Essentially, ship battles work where you're either trying to beat the enemy army or take over/disable their ship while protecting your own. In gameplay, both ships will be docked to each other with walkways, creating a field with two different thematic halves. Some of these would be:

    1: Imperium. Generally gothic and dark. The Mechanicus may be more machine-based, but generally think of how a lot of the ships look like space cathedrals with little lighting from inside.

    2: The Eldar. Their ships will be more mystical and crystaline inside. Much more "Brighter" in sense than the Imperium.

    3: Orks. Imagine the inside of a factory, but everything is just slapped together from random junk and somehow holding (if barely)

    4: Chaos. Many of their ships started out as Imperium, so a similar base, but corrupted and every darker. Imperium symbols would be replaced with the marks of Chaos, and show the signs of said alligance. Undivided would just be generally glowing red and lots of skulls, while Death Guard would have fleshy and slimy green growths all over and the Thousand Sons would have crystals and just generally blue everything.

    Ships can of course be upgraded to better suit ship battles (such as adding turrets, traps, altars that buff your forces and/or weaken your enemies, etc), but bear in mind, you only have a limited number of slots to upgrade.

    Map Movement (If space is involved)

    Ships only have a limited number of movement on a star map, formed by different map objects. For example, ships can't pass through meteor fields (so basically mountains here) or go into empty space (a way to give the maps an "end". Ships will "light jump" through warp fields to different connected sectors (so basically the map is a series of smaller sectors with pathways connecting them). Planets will act as settlements, though they can have multiple ones on such depending on the overall final design (for example, an orbiting space station can be part of its region). Capturing an entire region through conquest and/or vassalization will allow you to make degrees for buffs similar to the current game (like casual recovery, control, corruption, money, etc)

    Corruption. Regardless of what form the map will take, there of course will be corruption that the specific factions will generate and others will have to deal with. While there could be others, I thought these would be the starting ones:

    1: Orks. The idea here is orks are just so hard to be rid of because their reproductive spores can survive nearly anything and grow fast. Ork corruption doesn't harm any armies going through an area, but high levels will generate random rogue ork armies that will attack you and your settlements. Orks will also reduce your control of a region.

    2: Undivided. Basically, just damage for non-Chaos worshippers and lost of control to your settlements. This also will hurt your standing with other factions, since letting chaos run while in your areas will look bad for you.

    3: Nurgle. Damage to enemy factions, lost of control, and a higher chance of plagues forming in your settlements, which can cause enemy spawns, damage to your armies, and slower growth.

    4: Tzeentch. Like other chaos corruptions, you will lost control and take damage if you're an enemy to Tzeentch. This also will make it easier for Tzeentch armies to affect you with the "Changing of the Ways" (If you're playing as Thousand Sons though, areas with high corruption will have faster cooldowns for you to use said mechs on)

    These of course can be buffed (if you're the respective army) or combatted against through army buffs and settlement buildings and degrees.

    Character Customization:

    Because there is a greater emphasis on specific weapons and ranged combat in 40k over fantasy, I thought this would be a new fresh take on a Total War game. You are actually able to customize your characters and units far with their weapon choices, and many units will actually carry more than one (depending on their type and background)

    The Basics. Every character will have an equip feature much like currrent Total War. You can customize their armor, trinkets, and ancillaries for buffs for the army, character, and specific units (Like "banners" to give to specific units). Since many characters use both melee and ranged, you can give weapons based on their hand space. So basically, your character can't hold more stuff than they have hands (Tech-Priests are an exception, but we'll get to that). You can give someone a power sword and a bolter for example, or a two-handed weapon such as a rifle or a power hammer. This will change how they fight in combat.

    Legendary Lords and heroes. Because many characters have special lore weapons and armor that is part of their character, they shouldn't be seperated from said weapon at any point. Instead, when a LL has lore gear, they are locked to those specific items and can't be removed. But through a questline, your character can upgrade them with new abilities and increased stats.

    Here's an example we will use. Abaddon the Despoiler has three special items: His melee weapon will be Drach'nyen, his ranged weapon the Talon of Horus, and his armor the Armor of Abaddon. He will start with these in his inventory with their greater abilities locked, and can not be removed from his inventory.

    In the case of Drach'nyen, Horus can go on a series of quests to make it stronger. For example, one quest may be to win enough battles to unlock its life-draining abilities while another may be to cause enough corruption to unlock its terror causing aura.

    Lords and Heroes. Most cases your specific lords and heroes will use weapons you earn over time from winning battles and completing quests. As mentioned before, characters can't hold than slots allowed, and their weapons will decide their fighting style. For example, a corsair character armed with a chainsword and a bolter will fire the latter at ranged and swing the former at enemies in melee ranged. Meanwhile, a Space Marine lord armed with a flamer gun will spray flames at enemies in ranged, but can use it as a crude blugedon against close up enemies (though naturally not as good as a regular melee weapon). So characters can only fight as their weapons allow them to.

    A special case to note are tech-priests, which are part of multiple different Imperium armies such as their own and the Astra Militarium. Because tech-priests put special Doc Ock type arms into their cybernetic backpacks, they will actually have multiple slots up to five. Most Tech-Priests will use both their regular hands to use Omnissian Axes, and so put their additional weapons onto their tech arms. How you attach these will determine their abilities.

    For example, you could make one arm a bolter for ranged, flamer for mid-ranged, a claw for debuffing enemy tech, and finally a special recovery arm for either human units or machines. (so in some cases, weapons will be more of a skill than an actual usable weapon). In cases like this, you can order your tech priest's behavior to do as he wishes or adjust to specific circumstances (like focusing on using a flamer to keep enemies away over using a bolter to attack far away ones)

    Units. This is based on the warband upgrades ideas. Basically, you can give your specific units different weapons to affect their behavior and upgrade them through leveling up and earning the better gear (not limited, just needing specific research and possible settlement stuff to unlock) to better units.

    In this case, let's use Space Marines. Your basic space marines can use a variety of weapons such as power swords, axes, chainswords, power fists, bolters, melta guns, and such. As mentioned before, you can only give your space marines gear based on their free hands. You could give one unit powerfists and bolters, another plasma blasters and hand axes, and a third melta guns.

    With the warband system, you can eventually turn basic space marines into terminators, or chapter specific units like Sanguary for Blood Angels and Sword Brethern for Black Templars.

    Relics. Unlike the specific lord gear, these are quest/mech related gear your army can earn over the game based on the actual special gear you can give your specific characters on the tabletop.

    For the example here, let's go with the Death Guard. One relic that could be is used is Fugaris's Helmet, which you can give to any lord character in an open talisman slot. This grants them an enhance aura ability to boost their leadership affect's range. Another can be Plaguebringer, a legendary sword, which here, would give its wielder powerful stats and the ability to attack twice as many times than normal speed (in the tabletop, it can destroy more than one model at a time through dice rolls, so I thought this would be its version here).
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