Beginning with Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader in 1987, 40K—as it’s commonly abbreviated—is a sci-fi tabletop wargame, now in the ninth edition of its ruleset. Players build, paint, and collect armies of various human and alien factions, then pit them against each other in competitive battles, vying to control areas of a board or wipe out their opponent’s forces. Unlike Dungeons & Dragons, which utilizes an array of dice for decision-making rolls and combat, everything in Warhammer 40,000 uses standard six-sided dice to determine things like whether your attacks hit and wound an opponent, how far your units can charge into battle, or if one of your heroes can pull off a special action or magical ability.
Warhammer 40,000‘s success has created a vast array of spinoffs developed by its creators, Games Workshop. Set within the same 40K universe there are small-scale skirmish games like Necromunda and Kill Team, and there is an adjacent fantasy setting, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar—the evolution of what was previously known as Warhammer Fantasy Battles—with its own universe and spinoff titles. The series has slowly but surely expanded into a transmedia empire, with Games Workshop releasing its own novels and short fiction, and licensing out the series for comics, video games, and now TV and movies through a new deal with Amazon Studios.