Start Competing! Your Guide to Warhammer 40,000 Tactics and Strategy


Hello and welcome to Start Competing!, our series of tactics guides, tournament primers, and general other useful resources for improving your 40k play. This series is intended for everyone, whether you’re brand new to 40k and wondering what everyone means when they keep talking about “the ITC meta”, or a reasonably experienced player looking to kick on and take your game up a level, or even a tournament pro who’s picking up a new faction and wants a quick primer on the good and the bad.

Note: we are finally getting moving on updating these articles for 9th edition. These will slowly filter up from an ‘8th edition’ section below to a new ‘9th-edition ready’ section above. If your article is out of date – sorry, that either means that we haven’t gotten around to it yet, or more likely there’s a big reason not to like a new codex in the near-future. We’ll do our best – in the meantime, check out the 9th edition faction focus articles and reviews of any new content.

Start Competing – 9th Edition

Getting Started with Warhammer 40,000

Two linked articles on how to get started with Warhammer 40,000.

Getting Started with Warhammer 40,000: The Basics
Getting Started with Warhammer 40,000: Ham Etiquette 101, or How Not To Be That Player People Talk About On Forums And Such

Getting Better at Warhammer 40,000

Two articles on improving at Warhammer 40,000 by thinking more about competitive play and understanding how probability impacts the game.

Getting Better at Warhammer 40,000: Upping Your Game
Getting Better at Warhammer 40,000: Understanding Probability

Start Competing at Warhammer 40,000

An array of articles on how to start competing at Warhammer 40,000, with a three-part introduction to tournament play, a three-part introduction to thinking about practice, and a selection of other topics such as how to assess an opponent’s army or how to deal with suspected cheating. Also linked below are the Competitive Innovations Archive, where Wings breaks down successful lists from each GT and major from the start of 9th edition onwards, and the Competitive Innovations List Archetypes which shows off “example” lists for each common archetype. Finally there are our Start Competing articles for each faction, which we are updating as fast as possible as the meta changes and new codexes change the game.

Start Competing at Warhammer 40,000: An Intro to Tournaments, Part 1
Start Competing at Warhammer 40,000: An Intro to Tournaments, Part 2
Start Competing at Warhammer 40,000: An Intro to Tournaments, Part 3

Start Competing 40k: Practice Part 1, Prepping for your first tournaments
Start Competing 40k: Practice Part 2, How to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Games
Start Competing 40k: Practice Part 3, Dealing with Success

Writing Better Battle Reports

Lock, Stock, & Two Loaded Dice: Dealing With Cheating

Start Competing: 40K Deployment Tactics – Surviving Turn Zero
Start Competing: How to Assess An Opponent’s Army
Start Competing: Assessing Armies Part 2, Real Battlefield Roles
Start Competing: Assessing New Options
Start Competing: This Game is Actually Not Bullshit – Playing From Behind and Hanging On When You Are Ahead

Competitive Innovations: Archive
Competitive Innovations: List Archetypes


Space Marines

Start Competing: Space Marines Tactics

Start Competing: Black Templars Tactics
Start Competing: Blood Angels Tactics
Start Competing: Crimson Fists Tactics
Start Competing: Dark Angels Tactics
Start Competing: Deathwatch Tactics
Start Competing: Flesh Tearers Tactics
Start Competing: Imperial Fists Tactics
Start Competing: Iron Hands Tactics
Start Competing: Raven Guard Tactics
Start Competing: Salamanders Tactics
Start Competing: Space Wolves Tactics
Start Competing: Ultramarines Tactics
Start Competing: White Scars Tactics

Start Competing: Other Space Marine Chapters (including the Badab War Chapters, Blood Ravens, Tome Keepers, and Silver Templars)

Other Imperium

The Imperial General’s Field Guide to Assassins
The Filthy Xenos General’s Field Guide to Assassins

Start Competing: Adeptus Custodes Tactics
Start Competing: Astra Militarum Tactics
Start Competing: Sisters of Battle Tactics


Chaos Space Marines

Start Competing: Chaos Space Marines Tactics
Start Competing: Alpha Legion Tactics
Start Competing: Black Legion Tactics
Start Competing: Creations of Bile Tactics
Start Competing: Death Guard Tactics
Start Competing: Emperor’s Children Tactics
Start Competing: Iron Warriors Tactics
Start Competing: Night Lords Tactics
Start Competing: Renegade Chapters Tactics
Start Competing: Word Bearers Tactics
Start Competing: World Eaters Tactics



Start Competing: Asuryani/Craftworld Eldar Tactics
Start Competing: Dark Eldar/Drukhari Tactics
Start Competing: Harlequins Tactics

Other Xenos

Start Competing: Necrons Tactics

8th Edition – Not Yet Updated

General Play

Start Competing: Screening Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Organising a Tournament (8th edition)


Start Competing: Imperium Soup Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Adeptus Mechanicus Tactics (8th edition)
Stop Competing: Dark Angels Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Grey Knights Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Imperial Knights Tactics (8th edition)


Start Competing: Chaos Daemons Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Chaos Knights Tactics (8th edition)

Start Competing: Thousand Sons Tactics (8th edition)

Your Pain Will Be Legendary: Slaanesh Tactics for 40k (8th edition)
See Them Driven Before You: Khorne Tactics for 40k (8th edition)


Start Competing: Genestealer Cults Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Tyranids Tactics (8th edition)

Start Competing: Orks Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Tau Empire Tactics (8th edition)