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Getting Started
Posted By Jake

Astra Militarum Products Summary – Astra Militarum Getting Started – Part 2

Lets look at some Astra Militarum Products and see where we can start...

And so let’s begin looking at some Astra Militarum Products to get you familiar with what is what. I’m starting here because it’s this Stuff to buy which confuses the Emperor out of most people. There is a lot of stuff to buy when you start. Or so it seems that way.

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.

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Introduction to Astra Militarum Products

There is, of course, the models, a rulebook and a Codex. If you’re unsure what those are, stay tuned. But on top of this you’re also probably thinking about; cards, models from alternative manufacturers, terrain from various manufacturers, battle mats, dice, objective markers, and a whole lot more.

It’s very overwhelming when you first start because all you really should be doing is throwing dice and slapping on paint. The extras can come later once you have an idea of how you want your army to progress. As not to waste your time and money on things you may never use or need.

Astra Militarum Codex

There is only one book you need to start playing and that is the Astra Militarum Codex. It contains all the rules, power levels, points values, lore and more you need to play with your Astra Militarum force.

The 40K Basic Rules are free. These rules are short and they cover the basic game mechanics. So you don’t need the Warhammer 40K Basic Rulebook (also know as the BRB) to start killing things.

So just the Astra Militarum Codex will get you started in terms of books. The basic rulebook is the main resource for rules. It contains further rules for the 40K game. I’d say 99% of players use this book. So if you want to get into 40K you’ll need this book so that you and your opponents are referencing the same rules.

The BRB also contains; missions, various deployment layouts, narrative missions and a lot more other than extra rules.

We’ll come back to the Codex and what it is later in the series. For now, know that it contains the rules for the Astra Militarum.

Astra Militarum 8th Edition Codex (left) and the BRB (right)

Astra Militarum 8th Edition Codex (left) and the BRB (right)


Oh yeah, the juicy stuff. The first rule of buying models for new players is:

Buy what you like the look of!

If you buy based on the abilities of a specific unit on the battlefield or because someone in a store told you that unit X was the best, then you may hate your purchase by the morning.

No one collects Astra Militarum products because of their ability to smash enemies left, right and centre – and consistently win. They get into the Astra Militarum because they look awesome!

So buy something that you think looks awesome.

Build it and paint it, make it your own.

There are specific ways in which to build armies in 40K. But they are varied and numerous. So whatever you chose there will be a way of working that unit into a proper Astra Militarum fighting force.

Have fun with your first model. Don’t stress.

Start Collecting Box

The Astra Militarum Start Collecting Box which contains a Commissar, a Leman Russ and a 10 man Guardsman Squad with a Heavy Weapon is a great investment. At £42.50 it will save you around £10 on the individual prices from Element Games.

Element Games also do an Astra Militarum Starter Bundle for around £120. It contains two of the above Start Collecting Boxes, plus another Leman Russ and a Command Squad. This is a significant investment for a first purchase but makes an excellent addition for a second purchase. The savings are significant over the full retail price and are even decent over Element Games own pricing. T

This Starter Bundle is £30 cheaper than buying the models on their own from Element Games. And it is £50 cheaper than buying from Games Workshop.

You can, of course, get these direct from Games Workshop.

Astra Militarum Start Collecting - Astra Militarum Products

Astra Militarum Start Collecting – Astra Militarum Products

Where to buy Astra Militarum Models?

This is a good question and there are several places;

Pick somewhere you feel comfortable with and buy something you like. You really cannot go wrong here, whatever you buy will fit into a force. Maybe just don’t buy a Baneblade right away – its a big project!

Astra Militarum Cadian Shock Troops on the painting table - Astra Militarum Products

Astra Militarum Cadian Shock Troops on the painting table – Astra Militarum Products


You’ll see cards available too for the Astra Militarum. There is one pack of cards and they are called Astra Militarum Data Cards.

Everything on the cards is in the Codex. The cards just make the information easier to find and use. You don’t need them to throw dice and paint.

They can come later. They’re essentially reminders, which you can make yourself with pen and paper.


You’ll see terrain available from Games Workshop and from other retailers I’m sure. There are a lot of types and a lot of different materials used to make terrain. This is great because we have a large selection as consumers.

But you don’t need purpose built terrain to have a game of Warhammer 40K. You can use cups, books and candles. Just litter your dining room table or floor and start fighting.

As you can see from the below photos. My battlefields have changed a lot over the four years since I started.

Full Game Boxes

One easy way into Warhammer 40K hobby is with a box that contains everything you need. Rules, missions, models and dice. Sadly no such box exists for the Astra Militarum as none contain any Astra Militarum Products. So we’ve no easy win here I’m afraid.

Chapter Approved

So this is where it gets confusing. You have the Codex, you have the BRB and you’re all set! Yay!

But, there is another book called Chapter Approved 2017 which changes some rules in the BRB and also adds new ones.

Phew. I know. It’s a lot to take in. It is these little things that make starting Warhammer 40,000 hard work for some people. There are so many little extras it is hard to know what is what. One store will tell you something different from someone else and then a friend of a friend will then say something else. It’s hard to keep up with. But I hope this article goes some way to distilling all these various products into something more manageable in your mind.

So do you need Chapter Approved to slap on paint and hurl dice? No! It’s meant to fix a few rules and abilities that get abused, clarify some grey areas and add new rules where there were none before. It gets used in tournaments and by a lot of regular players too.

Games Workshop plan on releasing one a year in order to refresh and fix rules. Which is a good idea if you ask me. But it’s not needed for new players.

Chapter Approved is not an Astra Militarum product, its a general book for the whole of Warhammer 40K. Also, note that the latest Chapter Approved is called Chapter Approved 2017. Game Workshop plan on releasing one a year and there is no 2018 edition yet. So if you do ever get a copy of Chapter Approved, be aware of when the last one was released and will there be another out soon? Don’t waste your hard earned human money on a book which will be obsolete in a month or two.

Edit: As noted in the comments by Westrider – Chapter Approved is meant to be released in December. So remember that when buying it.

Summary – The Essentials

To summarise, as the bare minimum to play a game you’ll need:

To the untrained eye, this is a table. It is actually a 40K battlefield - Astra Militarum Products

To the untrained eye, this is a table. It is actually a 40K battlefield – Astra Militarum Products

And that’s it. Just two of those things are actually Astra Militarum Products.

This is an important step. Once you play a game like this you’ll either be hooked or unsure. If you’re hooked it’ll be because you enjoyed the flow of the battle and the events that occurred. You’ll have enjoyed the decision making regarding how your force fought. To begin with, I find it less about winning and more about the story that plays out in your head and what you went down fighting!

Having stunning models and terrain only adds to that experience, they’re not essential. In this raw form, 40K is still really enjoyable – as it should be. Having that spark ignited for 40K will then inspire you on to go on and build out your own stunning Astra Militarum army.

My Guardsmen going down fighting!

My Guardsmen going down fighting!

And let is it for this article on Astra Militarum Products.

Get in touch

If you want something else covered in this Astra Militarum 8th 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, 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 3 – Ways to Play 40K

Index of Getting Started Articles

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