Looking get into Warhammer — these are the 6 sets you should buy first

space marine and stormcast
(Image credit: warhammer.com)

Starting out in any of the Games Workshop properties is an expensive, and often confusing experience. The multitude of different kits, painting selections, and blister packs often make it difficult to know where to start and what to look for. However, we have compiled a simple list for those looking to start a great new hobby.

While the Warhammer property encompasses several different games, most people start in the two main games. Warhammer 40K is set in the far future where the Imperium of Man fights for its existence against alien hordes and chaotic possession. Meanwhile, Age of Sigmar is the fantasy version of the game and focuses more on spells against devastating ranks of armored warriors.


 Warhammer 40,000 Introductory Set ($65/£40) 

warhammer 40000 intro set

(Image credit: Warhammer.com)

The best starting point for anyone looking to get into Warhammer 40K. While there doesn’t seem to be that much in the kit, it has been designed to introduce people to the game and teach them the basic rules while being relatively affordable. 

This kit contains 16 push-fit models that won’t require glue to put them together, including 5 Infernus space marines armed with flamethrowers and 10 Termagants and 1 ripper swarm. These small numbers are ideal for those who get confused by the wealth of rules in the game by allowing them to start simple and then build upon that. 

The kit also contains a pair of clippers, dice and a measuring stick. Finally, there is also a 30” by 22.4” gaming mat to play on, a selection of paint with a paintbrush, and a handbook that outlines some tutorials for rules and painting as well as several missions to play through.

 Warhammer 40,000 Starter Set ($110/£65)

Warhammer 40K Starter set with mini

(Image credit: Warhammer.com)

The 40k starter set offers a more complete army than the prior kit, it includes an HQ and several squads for both the Space Marines and the Tyranids. It offers a better play experience for two players but does not have the tools or paint included.

The Starter set includes a 64-page starter set handbook which has all the construction guides, rules tutorials and training missions that new players could want to learn the game with a friend. 

There are 38 push-fit models included in the kit and a reference sheet of their stats and abilities. The Space Marines included a single captain in Terminator armor with five heavily tooled up veteran Terminators and 5 Infernus marines. Meanwhile, the Tyranids are supplied with a Winged Tyranis Prime, the monstrous Psycophage, a trio of Von Ryan’s Leapers, 20 Termagants and two Ripper Swarms.

There are plenty of models to get started with and the box includes a 30-inch by 22.4-inch paper gaming mat, 10 dice and a duo of range rulers to play. Aside from the paints, this kit contains everything needed to play the game, as well as learn the basics of two of the more popular armies in 40K.

Warhammer 40,000: Infernus Marines + Paint Kit ($35/£22.50)

Warhammer 40k Infernus marines + paint

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For those who want to get more into the hobby side of the game, this is a great kit to learn how to use the paints on some of the easier models. The kit contains a selection of paints that are designed to color the Ultramarine Chapter of Space Marines.

The paints in the kit are as follows: Corax White, Macragge Blue, Balthasar Gold, Abaddon Black, Agrax Earthshade and Armageddon Dust. Alongside the paints are three plastic push-fit Infernus marines and a single paintbrush. 

This kit is an ideal starting point for beginners as the marines are some of the easier models to practice painting on due to the lack of minuscule details and flat armor pieces. 


 Warhammer Age of Sigmar Warrior Starter Set ($50.00/£32.50) 

Age of Sigmar Warrior Edition

(Image credit: warhammer.com)

 This kit is the perfect starter kit for those looking to give Age of Sigmar a try, it contains just enough models for a short game. While there isn’t much variety, it does give just enough to help someone decide if they want to experience more.

The box set contains an 80-page warrior edition book filled with lore, tutorial battle plans that make use of the models in the kit, and an easy-to-understand rules breakdown. There is also a 56-page core rules book that takes the basic content from the main rules book and offers it to new players and is great for furthering knowledge of the game.

There are 18 push-fit models in the box, enough to form two squads from the Stromcast Eternals and Kruelboyz, as well as a leader for both. For the Stormcast there are 5 Vindicators and a Knight-Arcanum, a powerful mage with access to a variety of spells. The Kruelboyz, while less elite, bring the numbers with 12 warriors armed with shields and a Killaboss who has his own stab-grot. 

There is also a selection of cards and allegiance abilities to help make gameplay quick and easy to understand, and a 30-inch by 22.4-inch game matt to play one. Finally, there are 10 dice and 2 range measurers that are essential to actually play the game. 

 Warhammer Age of Sigmar Harbinger Starter Set ($99/£65)

AOS Harbinger set

(Image credit: warhammer.com)

The Harbinger set offers more models to the Warrior set, enough to make two larger armies which offers a more in-depth look at the game and allows for longer, more strategic games. 

This kit contains the same 80-page book as the prior kit, but this book's tutorial battle plans cover the larger model groups. There is also the same 56-page core rule book that will give you everything you need to know to actually play the game.

However, the big difference is the number of models, and this one offers more troops and more heroes for new players to get to grips with. The Stormcast Eternals, for instance, come with a Lord-Imperatant armed with his powerful hammer and his loyal Gryph-hound. Accompanying him are 3 Praetor bodyguards and 5 Vindicators. The Kruelboyz have also increased their numbers with the kit containing a Swampcaller shaman with a Pot-grot, 10 Gutrippaz and 10 Hobgrot slittaz.

As with the prior kit, there are also warscroll cards for all of the units, making looking them up a breeze, and 2 allegiance ability cards for quick reference. Finally, there is a 30-inch by 22.4-inch paper gaming mat, 10 dice, two range rulers and a reference sheet for all the rules. 

Stormcast Eternals Vindicators + paints set - $35.00/£22.50 

Age of Sigmar Paint set with minis

(Image credit: warhammer.com)

For those who want to get more into the hobby side of the game, this is a great kit to learn how to use the paints on some of the easier models. The kit contains a selection of paints that are designed to color the stormcast.

The paints in the kit are as follows: Corax White, Leadbelcher, Kantor Blue, Retributer Armor, Stirland Mud and Agrax Earthshade. Alongside the paints are two push-fit Stormcast and a single paintbrush. This kit is an ideal starting point for beginners as the Stormcast models are easy to work with and don’t contain a huge amount of tiny details that annoy new painters. 

Both Warhammer and Age of Sigmar are expensive hobbies to enter into, and Games Workshop has designed these kits to give new players the best chance. There are a wealth of other kits that are worth looking into, but these are the best ones for beginners as it currently stands. 

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.