Astra Militarum First Purchase - Getting Started - Part 6
Getting Started

Astra Militarum First Purchase – Getting Started – Part 6

It is a biggy! First Astra Militarm purchase...

Approximate Reading Time: 5 minutes

Many of you who’ve gotten this far may already have purchased your first Astra Militarum unit. But some won’t have and will be coming at this completely new. So let’s take a look at some factors when considering your Astra Militarum first purchase.

You are currently reading one in a series of articles. Part 1 of Astra Militarum Getting Started has an index of all the published and upcoming articles. There is an Astra Militarum Glossary to accompany this series.

Never miss an article?


And so, where to start and how to format such a topic. I’ve touched upon this subject before in this series and I’m sure over the four years I’ve been playing 40K.

I think there are two routes into this hobby and depending on why you’re here will determine how you make your decision on your first purchase.


If you are drawn to Warhammer 40K and the Astra Militarum because of a love of the hobby; the painting, modelling, conversions, basing,┬ádioramas, etc then you’ll be making your purchase based on aesthetics.


If you’re a gamer and you’re drawn to the battle-scarred landscapes of the 41st Millennium and seek to take part in those battles with your own heroes and warriors. That’s if you’re a casual gamer…

Competitive Gamer

Just to cover all bases there is, of course, the competitive gamer. Gamers that care more for winning than the models or the narrative. But that’s a point most people will arrive at once they’ve gone through the casual phase. Probably.

Recent mini tournament game - Astra Militarum First Purchase

Mini-tournament game – Astra Militarum First Purchase

Buying Your Astra Militarum Army

Depending on why you’re collecting the Astra Militarum your motivation behind a purchase will be different from others. Let’s look at the things to consider when buying your army. Some of these have been covered slightly already in this series. But I hope there is more here for you to get your head into.

There Is No Wrong Way

There is no wrong first purchase. If you like it then go ahead and buy it, enjoy it. Whatever it is it’ll fit into your Astra Militarum force in the future. It could be a Leman Russ, a single Character, a squad of infantry or some Bullgryns.

Whatever it is, get it and get stuck in!

To Codex Or Not

This will be a tough choice for some people because the Astra Militarum Codex books are not cheap.

I’d recommend getting a model first, even if you’re a gamer. Just because once you start building and painting you’ll be hooked. If you get the Codex first you may get bogged down in it and worry about building a perfect army.


The basic rules are free for Warhammer 40,000 so no need to run out and buy the Basic Rulebook right away. You’ll probably want it at some point, however.

Should I Be Countering My Friends?

This is very easy to do when you start playing. You want to beat a friend and therefore buy models to counter their army. It’s a smart idea and can be done if you know a little bit about Warhammer 40,000 and your enemy before you start your force.

But it’s a trap! Over time rules change and FAQs occur. The most powerful units may get changed so they are no longer as effective or cost more points. If you buy lots of Punisher Leman Russ to counter your friends Ork list which uses loads of Ork Boyz in it. You’ll be undone as soon as they switch and bring some Killer Kans or heavier units.

Buy something you like and try not to become too obsessed with countering a specific army.

My friend's Tyranids - Astra Militarum First Purchase

My friend’s Tyranids – Astra Militarum First Purchase

Start Collecting Boxes

These Start Collecting Boxes are the best place to start your force. They contain tanks and infantry. They give you something that you can use right away. They also save you a little bit of money too.

Also, because they contain multiple types of models, if you have the Codex, you’ll begin to see how a force fits together based on Detachments. And you’ll see how different units affect other units around them. E.g. the Commissar improved the Leadership of Guardsmen around him.

Cadian/Catachan Defense Force

The Catachan and Cadian Defence Forces are also of great value and give a significant discount over the individual model prices.


eBay is a good place to get models from. You can get anything from eBay;

  • New models
  • Build models
  • Primed models
  • Painted models (of varying quality)
  • Broken models
  • Bits/spares
  • Discontinued models (for a price)
  • Rule books

These models are often cheaper although it’s amazing how well they retain their value. I’d recommend buying models new to start with and building at least something yourself, to begin with. It’s a big part of the hobby and I don’t want you to miss out on that because you went straight to eBay.

It’ll also give you an insight into how kitbashing and conversions can work. The idea of taking two or more models and creating something of your own. Something unique. That too is a big part of the hobby for many of us.

eBay purchases - Astra Militarum First Purchase

eBay purchases – Astra Militarum First Purchase

Summary –┬áAstra Militarum First Purchase

I hope that gives you some good food for thought without being restrictive when it comes to starting your Astra Militarum force.

It’s been a while since I started my Astra Militarum army, more than 7 years ago, so if you have any other insights – please let me know.

I’d love you hear from you once you start and get your Astra Militarum first purchase!

Get in touch

If you want something else covered in this Astra Militarum 9th Edition Getting Started series, have a question or just want to say hello then please do. You can do so via the comments below, Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, Reddit or email me at trooper@ the domain of this blog.

Finally, you can  to get an email notification as soon as a new article is published.

Read Part 7 – Playing Your First Games

Index of Getting Started Articles