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

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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: all of the content below was written in the context of 8th edition 40k. With 9th edition upon us, most of it is at least a bit out of date, particularly anything to do with points costs, and with a flurry of Psychic Awakening updates right before 9th ed several of those are missing too. We will be updating them as soon as we’re able to – in the meantime, check out the 9th edition faction focus articles for our initial thoughts on the new edition. 

Getting 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

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

Start Competing at Warhammer 40,000

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: Organising a Tournament (8th edition)

Writing Better Battle Reports

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

The Imperial General’s Field Guide to Assassins
The Filthy Xenos General’s Field Guide to Assassins
Tactica Quick Hits: Removing Casualties (8th edition)

Start Competing: 40K Deployment Tactics – Surviving Turn Zero
Start Competing: Screening Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Charge and Fight Phases (8th edition)
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

ITC format

Corrode: these primers were written for the 2019 ITC format. Following the finalisation of the 2020 version, we will be updating them accordingly. We’ll have a new post when they’re updated!

Prime Time – ITC Primary Mission Tactics
Second to None – ITC Secondaries Tactics

NOVA format

Understanding the NOVA Tournament Format: A Primer

Imperium

Start Competing: Imperium Soup Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Adeptus Custodes Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Adeptus Mechanicus Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Blood Angels Tactics (8th edition)
Stop Competing: Dark Angels Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Deathwatch Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Grey Knights Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Imperial Knights Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Sisters of Battle Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Space Marines Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Space Wolves Tactics (8th edition)

Chaos

Start Competing: Chaos Tactics
Start Competing: Chaos Daemons Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Chaos Knights Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Chaos Space Marines Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Death Guard 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)

Xenos

Start Competing: Aeldari Tactics
Start Competing: Asuryani/Craftworld Eldar Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Dark Eldar/Drukhari Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Harlequins Tactics (8th edition)

Start Competing: Forces of the Hive Mind Tactics
Start Competing: Genestealer Cults Tactics (8th edition)
Start Competing: Tyranids Tactics (8th edition)

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

Tactica: Necron Monster Mash(8th edition)