• Space Marines are the most popular faction in
    Warhammer 40k,
    offering versatile armies and a wide variety of models to suit any play style.
  • The lore of
    Warhammer 40k
    is vast, spanning tens of thousands of years and multiple races, with Space Marines being the most written about faction.
  • New players looking for a well-balanced and beginner-friendly army should consider starting with Space Marines for their simple models and vast range of options.

Warhammer 40k has become one of the largest tabletop wargames in the world. This expansive game features vast and complex lore, a growing range of models to collect, and numerous spin-off products, including video games and animations. The tabletop game, now in its 10th edition, is more popular than ever, and looks set to grow even more.


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As new fans discover the hobby, the first step is to decide which faction is for them. 40k has a huge range of factions to collect, each with unique strengths, weaknesses, and abilities, be it the fast-attacking Aeldari, the slow but resilient Death Guard, or the war-hungry Orks. The best army to choose will always be the one the player thinks is the coolest. However, for most new players, one of the best starter factions are the poster boys of the entire setting: the Space Marines.

7 The Lore

In The Grim Darkness Of The Far Future, There Is A Lot Of Lore

Warhammer 40k: 7 Reasons To Play Space Marines Ultramarines fight against an army of chaos

Since September 1987, with the release of the first edition rule book, Warhammer 40k has been steadily growing in both popularity and lore. The ever-expanding story of the setting is vast, with a timeline that stretches over tens of thousands of years and covers multiple races and countless planets. Of all the factions in the setting, the one most written about are the Space Marines.


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In Warhammer 40K, Space Marines are humanity’s strongest warriors, and the members of the Loyalist Chapters are particularly powerful.

The generically enhanced super-soldiers of the Emperor of Mankind are the game’s most famous icons. The faction comprises thousands of Chapters. Such as the Blood Angels from the planet Baal, cursed to lose their minds to the Black Rage, or the infamous Space Wolves of Planet Fenris, waiting for their lost Primarch to return. Each Space Marine Chapter has a unique backstory that further adds to the expanding lore of the setting.

6 The Models

They Have The Largest Range

Warhammer 40k: 7 Reasons To Play Space Marines an army of Ultramarines models from Games Workshop

The Adeptus Astartes, more commonly known as the Space Marines, are the most popular faction in the game. With this comes a large, ever-expanding range of models. From Terminators to Scouts, Jump Pack Intercessors, or Assault Intercessors, the range of figures available to players is vast. This allows hobbyists to create unique armies that suit their play style. Players may choose fast attacking vehicles such as Outriders or the Stormspeeder, or heavy weapon specialists such as the Primaris Hellblasters or Desolation Squads.

Playing Space Marines means players will have a versatile army that can suit almost any game. Their range also includes a large selection of leaders, each with abilities that enhance the units they lead. In addition, choosing to play either the Ultramarines or Dark Angel chapters means players have access to two of the best models available for the faction, Roboute Guilliman, and Lion El’Jonson, the only two loyalist Primarchs currently in the game.

5 Reasonably Balanced

A Good Starter Army

Warhammer 40k: 7 Reasons To Play Space Marines An army of Dark Angels Models vs a swarm of Tyranids models by games workshop

Warhammer 40k can be a difficult game to learn, from the different phases of a battle to the individual army stratagems, unit abilities, or model stats. For new players, this can quickly become overwhelming. While learning the game, the Space Marines are a good choice as a first army.


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They’re usually a well-balanced faction, and while armies will rise and fall in strength, Space Marines have a large enough range to compete with any other army in the game. Choosing a smaller faction often limits players to one style, but Space Marines don’t have this issue. This will allow new players more opportunities to win their early matches, gaining more confidence to continue playing.

4 Painting

Simple Models To Paint

Warhammer 40k: 7 Reasons To Play Space Marines An army of Blood Angels Space Marines by Games Workshop

One of the biggest parts of the hobby is painting, and with so many quality painters sharing their work on social media, starting a first model can be daunting. For new hobbyists, Space Marines are recommended as a first painting project. Their simple armor, while detailed, isn’t overly complicated, and is perfect for learning different painting styles and techniques.

There are also many kinds of paint available to hobbyists. Most people who are new to the game will first try the traditional base and layer paint on their models. However, the industry has grown to include other painting styles, such as dry brushing and contrast paints. Each requires a different technique and creates a unique look. The Space Marines’ simple armor allows new hobbyists to try out various styles, often with surprisingly positive results. This will hone their painting skills, readying them for more complicated and ornate models later on.

3 The Chapters

A Different Flavor For Everyone

Warhammer 40k: 7 Reasons To Play Space Marines A Dark Angel, Space Wolf, Blood Angel, Black Templar and other Space Marine

For new players interested in collecting Space Marines, one of the first options is to choose which Chapter to play. From the original nine loyalist Astartes legions, countless smaller chapters were eventually created in the lore. From the fanatical Black Templars to the mysterious Carcharodons, the Space Marines are not a singular entity, but thousands of elite fighting forces dedicated to the Emperor and the Imperium.

For new hobbyists, this offers a huge range to choose from. Players may pick a Chapter for their color scheme. Many Chapters have a deep backstory that may appeal the most. Some may choose a Chapter for its play style. Each Chapter is unique, making the Space Marines faction the most diverse in the setting.

2 Unique Chapters

Flex Those Creative Muscles

Warhammer 40k: 7 Reasons To Play Space Marines Primarch Roboute Guilliman holds the flaming sword of the Emperor

Warhammer 40k offers a lot of freedom to players when creating their armies. This is most true with Space Marines. In the lore, there are countless Space Marine chapters scattered around the galaxy. Many of these have become largely unknown to the wider Imperium. This opens up the hobby, allowing for creative “home-brewed” armies unique to the player.


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Hobbyists can create their own color schemes, background lore, characters, and even heraldry for their new Chapters, and take them from the painting table to the gaming table. Space Marines are the perfect faction for creative people looking to make a unique army that represents them.

Best Played With Friends

Warhammer 40k - Strongest Primarchs Header Image Showing All Primarchs Together-1

With the growing popularity of the hobby, online media has become a big part of Warhammer 40k. From faction-specific forums on Reddit to live-streamed battle reports, video essays, and painting tutorials on YouTube or Twitch, the community surrounding the game is vast, ever-growing, and very welcoming.

As the most popular faction, there is more content for the Space Marines than any other, making it very easy for new players to learn the ins and outs of the game. Hobbyists will easily find painting advice, gaming tips, and even local clubs to play their first real games, all within the online community. The Space Marines are easy to pick up, paint, learn the ropes, and quickly jump into the wide world of Warhammer 40k.


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