Victor Hardy Takes a Fond Look Back at Warhammer 40k’s More Than 30-Year History

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A miniature wargame now more than three decades in the making, Victor Hardy looks back and shares a brief history of Warhammer 40k, produced by Games Workshop.


First surfacing in 1987 when the primary edition of its rulebook was published, globally popular miniature wargame Warhammer 40k is currently more than 32 years in the making. Now the most popular miniature wargame in the world, decades-long Warhammer 40k fan Victor Hardy takes a fond look back at the game’s history. 


“Launched in September 1987 and now 32 years in the making, the story of Warhammer 40k really begins in 1982 when Rick Priestley, the miniature wargame’s creator, joined a subsidiary of Games Workshop responsible for producing the figures used in Dungeons and Dragons,” reveals Hardy, a fan of Warhammer 40k since the early 1990s. 


Just a year later, Warhammer Fantasy Battle was born. “It was from Warhammer Fantasy Battle,” Hardy explains, “that Warhammer 40k would eventually evolve some four years later.” 


Warhammer 40k, initially marketed as ‘Warhammer 40k: Rogue Trader,’ received its first full preview in the magazine White Dwarf, dedicated to the miniature wargames produced by Games Workshop, just prior to launch in 1987. “It was an instant success,” reveals Hardy. Warhammer 40k, he says, very quickly became Games Workshop’s biggest, best-selling, and most important product. “It was colossal, stupendous, and spectacular!” he adds. 


Much like other miniature wargames, Warhammer 40k involves enacting a battle upon a tabletop battlefield or playing area. Set in the distant future, models in the game—which are essential and central to Warhammer 40k—include a mix of humans, aliens, and monsters, often boasting magical powers and wielding futuristic weapons, according to Victor Hardy. 


The second edition of Warhammer 40k’s rulebook was published in 1993. The third edition came six years later, in 1998, with a fourth edition in 2004. 


Editions five, six, and seven were released in 2008, 2012, and 2014, respectively. “The most recent edition of the Warhammer 40k rulebook, and the eighth to be released, meanwhile,” reveals Hardy, “was published a little over two years ago now, back in June 2017.” 


“Since its launch in 1987, Warhammer 40k has gone on to spawn numerous video games,” he adds, wrapping up, “as well as a large body of comic books and novels which have helped to further develop the fictional setting, and in great detail.”


To learn more about Warhammer 40k, visit Alternatively, to find out more about Victor Hardy, an award-winning artist and renowned attorney from Austin, Texas, head to