How to Run an Apocalypse Battle in "Warhammer 40K"

Written by alistair wilkinson
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How to Run an Apocalypse Battle in "Warhammer 40K"
You'll need lots of dice to run a game of Apocalypse. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Games of Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse are big: bigger armies, bigger monsters, bigger tanks and bigger guns. The original Warhammer 40,000 system is designed to be played with relatively small forces, usually less than 60 to 70 models and no more than a few vehicles or large monsters. These games can easily be played over one afternoon or evening. Any bigger than that and the Warhammer 40,000 rules start to feel the strain and the game slows to a crawl. This is where Apocalypse comes in. It's a system designed to fight with armies as big as you like, using whatever models you like.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Two Warhammer 40,000 armies of at least 3,000 points each
  • Dice
  • Tape measure
  • Warhammer 40,000 rule book
  • Warhammer 40,000 Apocalypse rule book
  • Large playing area

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  1. 1

    Find at least two players to fight the game. Two is the minimum and it's a good idea to have more. In Apocalypse battles, the sheer number of models on the table can be overwhelming to just one player. Things can (and often do) get forgotten. With multiple players on either side, one player should be named general and each player should be given control of a section of the army.

  2. 2

    Create army lists. The Apocalypse rules allow for wide variations of allied forces. There are no restrictions, as in regular games of Warhammer 40,000, on force selection (such as the limit on HQ choice). If you want five Hive Tyrants in your Tyranid army, then you can have them. The only restriction on force size is that you must have a minimum of 3,000 points on each side. If you and your fellow gamers have been playing Warhammer 40,000 for awhile, then you probably already have a reasonable collection of models between you. These forces can be allied to create huge armies of any composition you like. Add to that the special range of super heavy vehicles (for instance, titans and gargantuan creatures), and you'll have more than enough to enjoy games as big and as long as you like.

  3. 3

    Equip yourself with the Apocalypse templates. There are three to add to the standard measures used in Warhammer 40,000: the Hellstorm teardrop, the 10-inch blast and the Apocalypse Barrage templates. These are only required if you intend to use weaponry and models only available in Apocalypse games, and so are not compulsory. Once you start using these templates, however, you will be removing models by the bucketful, speeding up game play enormously.

  4. 4

    Plan ahead and make sure your gaming area is big enough. Standard games of Warhammer 40,000 are played on a 4-by-6 foot square or table. Apocalypse games need a bigger area, especially if you're going to have a huge battle of 5,000 points or more. Find yourself a 6-by-8 foot space. Usually, the floor is a good option when deciding where to play. Time is another important factor. The larger games will take many hours, most likely a full day to set up and play.

Tips and warnings

  • If you can, set up and play in an area that doesn't have to be cleared away. This gives you more playing time. If you run out time, you can take a break and then pick up the game where you left off.
  • Apocalypse games are not like regular games of Warhammer 40,000. You will need to prepare your armies and gaming table well in advance, and make sure you have plenty of time and space to play the game.

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