The Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines for the 8th Edition of Warhammer 40,000

A Codex is a publication of Games Workshop that details the units and models each army in the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop miniatures game can use when playing a game.

The name is based on the Codex Astartes, the tome written by Roboute Guilliman, the Ultramarines Primarch, detailing how a Space Marine Chapter should be organized.

Codices follow the same edition publication history as the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game itself.

1st Edition

The 1st Edition of the game, published in 1987, is referred to as Rogue Trader. Game designer Rick Priestly created the original rules set (based on the contemporary 2nd Edition of Warhammer Fantasy) alongside the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

The game play of Rogue Trader was heavily oriented toward role-playing rather than strict tabletop wargaming. This original version came as a very detailed, though rather jumbled, rulebook, which made it most suitable for fighting small skirmishes. Much of the composition of the units was determined randomly, by rolling dice.

A few elements of the setting (Bolters, Lasguns, Frag Grenades, Terminator Armour) can be seen in a set of earlier wargaming rules called Laserburn (produced by the now defunct company Tabletop Games) written by Bryan Ansell.

These rules were later expanded by both Ansell and Richard Halliwell (both of whom ended up working for Games Workshop), although the rules were not a precursor to Rogue Trader. Soon the Games Workshop hobby magazine, White Dwarf, started making army lists and devising strategies for people to use in these Rogue Trader games.

New models were released by Games Workshop for the line and the many people who had always enjoyed Warhammer Fantasy were now thrilled at the idea of Warhammer 40,000 as a tabletop wargame, which was essentially a dark science fiction or more properly a dark science fantasy setting with many of the same tropes and elements as its dark fantasy counterpart.

2nd Edition

The 2nd Edition of Warhammer 40,000 was released in 1993 as part of Games Workshop's strategy to appeal to a younger fanbase and greatly expanded the number of factions and armies that could now be played. The release of this edition was marked by the production of a boxed starter set containing Ork and Space Marine models with dice and a rules book.

The animating idea behind this edition of the game was to provide more opportunities for players to participate in larger battles. Also special characters were introduced to replace the older concept of battlefield heroes (the earlier edition only had three generic "heroic" profiles for each army: champion, minor and major hero).

New rules were also provided for the use of psychic powers which were essentially the equivalent of the magical system deployed in Warhammer Fantasy. True codexes as they later became known to fans of the game were still not available for these early editions, but the army lists and background information for Warhammer 40,000 printed in White Dwarf became far more deeply detailed.

Later in the edition's publication run, beginning in 1993, Games Workshop introduced the first codices for each of the playable faction's armies, though they were far smaller and contained a great deal less fictional background information (what fans refer to as "fluff") than the codices of later editions.

The 2nd Edition was substantially more colourful and the new codices reflected this fact. More detailed information, such as background and organisation, was included, adding more depth and details to the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

The following codices were released for the 2nd Edition:

  • Codex: Tyranids (1993)
  • Codex: Orks (1994)
  • Codex: Space Wolves (1994)
  • Codex: Eldar (1994)
  • Codex: Ultramarines (1995)
  • Codex: Imperial Guard (1995)
  • Codex: Angels of Death (1996)
  • Codex: Chaos (1996)
  • Codex: Sisters of Battle (1997)
  • Codex: Assassins (1997)

2nd Edition Campaigns and Expansions

  • Storm of Vengeance
  • Battles (1995)

3rd Edition

The 3rd Edition of Warhammer 40,000 was released in 1998 and like the 2nd Edition, concentrated on streamlining the rules for larger battles. The rulebook was available alone, or as a boxed set with miniatures of Space Marines and the newly-introduced Dark Eldar.

The 3rd Edition soon introduced codices for each of the major factions in the game, releasing revised editions of each of these codices between 2003 and 2004. Towards the end of the 3rd Edition, four new army codices were introduced: races of the Necrons and the T'au and two armies of the Inquisition: the Ordo Malleus (called Daemonhunters), and the Ordo Hereticus (called Witchhunters); elements of the latter two armies had appeared before in supplementary material (such as Realm of Chaos and 2nd Edition's Codex: Sisters of Battle).

At the end of the 3rd Edition, these Inquisition armies were re-released with all-new artwork and army lists. The release of the Tau coincided with a rise in popularity for the game in the United States.

The following codices were released for the 3rd Edition:

  • Codex: Space Marines (1998)
  • Codex: Blood Angels (1998)
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (1998)
  • Codex: Dark Angels (1999)
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (1999)
  • Codex: Imperial Guard (1999)
  • Codex: Assassins (1999)
  • Codex: Orks (1999)
  • Codex: Eldar (1999)
  • Codex: Space Wolves (April 2000)
  • Codex: Tyranids (2001)
  • Codex: Catachans (2001)
  • Codex: Craftworld Eldar (2001)
  • Codex: Tau (2001)
  • Codex: Daemonhunters (March 2003)
  • Codex: Necrons (July 2002)
  • Codex: Witch Hunters (2003)

3rd Edition Revised Codexes

  • Codex: Dark Angels (Revised) (1999)
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (2nd Codex) (2002)
  • Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Codex) (2003)
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (Revised) (November 2003)

3rd Edition Campaigns and Expansions

  • Codex: Armageddon (2000)
  • Codex: Cityfight (2001)
  • Codex: Eye of Terror (2003)

4th Edition

The 4th Edition of the game was released in late 2004 and the Revised 3rd Edition codices were used until the release of the 4th Edition codices between 2005 and 2008. This edition did not feature as many major changes as the prior editions, and was "backwards compatible" with each army's 3rd Edition codex.

The 4th Edition was released in three forms: the first was a standalone hardcover version, with additional information on painting, scenery building, and background information about the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The second was a boxed set, called Battle for Macragge, which included a compact softcover version of the rules, scenery, dice, templates, and Space Marines and Tyranid miniatures.

The third was a limited Collector's Edition. Battle for Macragge was a "game in a box," targeted primarily at beginners. Battle for Macragge was based on the Tyranid invasion of the Ultramarines' homeworld, Macragge, during the First Tyrannic War. An expansion to this was released called The Battle Rages On!, which featured new scenarios and units, like the Tyranid Warrior.

The following Codices were released for the 4th Edition:

  • Codex: Space Marines (2005)
  • Codex: Tyranids (2005)
  • Codex: Catachans (2005, Free PDF download)
  • Codex: Black Templars (November 2005)
  • Codex: Tau Empire (March 2006)
  • Codex: Eldar (November 2006)
  • Codex: Chaos Daemons (May 2008)
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (September 2007)
  • Codex: Dark Angels (March 2007)
  • Codex: Blood Angels (2007, published in White Dwarf 329 and 330 (US))
  • Codex: Orks (January 2008)

4th Edition Campaigns and Expansions

  • Cities of Death (2006)
  • Apocalypse (2007)

5th Edition

The 5th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 was released in the summer of 2008. While there are some differences between the 4th and 5th Editions, the general rule set shares numerous similarities. Codex books designed prior to the 5th Edition are still compatible, with only some changes to how those armies function.

The replacement for the previous edition's Battle for Macragge starter set was called Assault on Black Reach, which featured a pocket-sized rulebook (containing the full ruleset but omitting the background and hobby sections of the full-sized rulebook), and starter Ork and Space Marine armies.

Each army contained an HQ choice, either an Ork Warboss or a Space Marine Captain. The following Codices were released for the 5th Edition:

  • Codex: Space Marines (October 2008)
  • Codex: Imperial Guard (May 2009)
  • Codex: Space Wolves (October 2009)
  • Codex: Tyranids (January 2010)
  • Codex: Blood Angels (April 2010)
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (August 2010)
  • Codex: Grey Knights (April 2011)
  • Codex: Sisters of Battle (2011, published in White Dwarf 380 and 381 (US))
  • Codex: Necrons (November 2011)

5th Edition Campaigns and Expansions

  • Apocalypse Reload (2008)
  • Planetstrike (2009)
  • Planetary Empires (2009)
  • Battle Missions (2010)
  • Spearhead (June 2010, published in White Dwarf 366 (UK))

6th Edition

The 6th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 was released in June 2012. The replacement for the previous edition's Assault on Black Reach starter set was called Dark Vengeance.

The following codices were released for the 6th Edition:

  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines (October 2012)
  • Codex: Dark Angels (January 2013)
  • Codex: Chaos Daemons (March 2013)
  • Codex: Tau Empire (April 2013)
  • Codex: Eldar (June 2013)
  • Codex: Space Marines (September 2013)
  • Codex: Adepta Sororitas (October 2013)
  • Codex: Inquisition (November 2013)
  • Codex: Tyranids (January 2014)
  • Codex: Legion of the Damned (February 2014)
  • Codex: Imperial Knights (March 2014)
  • Codex: Militarum Tempestus (March 2014)
  • Codex: Astra Militarum (April 2014)

6th Edition Codex Supplements

  • Iyanden - A Codex: Eldar Supplement (June 2013)
  • Farsight Enclaves - A Codex: Tau Empire Supplement (July 2013)
  • Codex: Black Legion - A Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement (August 2013)
  • Sentinels of Terra - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement (October 2013)
  • Clan Raukaan - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement (November 2013)
  • Crimson Slaughter - A Codex: Chaos Space Marines Supplement (March 2014)

6th Edition Campaigns and Expansions

  • Death from the Skies (February 2013)
  • Apocalypse (June 2013)
  • Apocalypse: War Zone Damnos (September 2013)
  • Crusade of Fire (November 2013)
  • Escalation (December 2013)
  • Stronghold Assault (December 2013)

7th Edition

7th Edition was released in May 2014. The following codices were released for 7th Edition:

  • Codex: Orks (June 2014)
  • Codex: Grey Knights (August 2014)
  • Codex: Space Wolves (August 2014)
  • Codex: Dark Eldar (October 2014)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Blood Angels (December 2014)
  • Codex: Necrons (January 2015)
  • Codex: Harlequins (February 2015)
  • Codex: Khorne Daemonkin (March 2015)
  • Codex Adeptus Mechanicus - Skitarii (April 2015)
  • Codex Eldar - Craftworlds (April 2015)
  • Codex: Imperial Knights (May 2015)
  • Codex Adeptus Mechanicus - Cult Mechanicus (May 2015)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (June 2015)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Dark Angels (June 2015)
  • Codex: Tau Empire (October 2015)
  • Codex Chaos Daemons - Daemonic Incursion Edition (May 2016)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Deathwatch (August 2016)
  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (September 2016)
  • Codex: Imperial Agents (December 2016)
  • Codex: Adeptus Custodes (March 2017)
  • Codex: Sisters of Silence (March 2017)

7th Edition Codex Supplements

  • Waaagh! Ghazghkull - A Codex: Orks Supplement (June 2014)
  • Champions of Fenris - A Codex: Space Wolves Supplement (August 2014)
  • Haemonculus Covens - A Codex: Dark Eldar Supplement (October 2014)
  • Cadia - A Codex: Astra Militarum Supplement (January 2016)
  • Flesh Tearers - A Codex: Blood Angels Supplement (January 2016)
  • White Scars - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement (January 2016)
  • Raven Guard - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement (January 2016)
  • Angels of Death - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement (April 2016)
  • Codex Supplement: Traitor Legions (December 2016)

7th Edition Campaigns and Expansions

  • Apocalypse War Zone: Pandorax (October 2013)
  • Apocalypse War Zone: Damocles (March 2014)
  • Warhammer 40,000 Companion - Altar of War (May 2014)
  • Apocalypse War Zone: Valedor (May 2014)
  • Sanctus Reach: The Red Waaagh! (July 2014)
  • Shield of Baal: Leviathan (November 2014)
  • Shield of Baal: Exterminatus (December 2014)
  • War Zone Damocles: Operation Shadowtalon (October 2015)
  • War Zone Damocles: Burning Dawn (October 2015)
  • War Zone Damocles: Kauyon (October 2015)
  • War Zone Damocles: Mont'ka (November 2015)
  • War Zone Fenris: Curse of the Wulfen (February 2016)
  • Death from the Skies (May 2016)
  • Black Crusade - Traitor's Hate (September 2016)
  • Black Crusade - Angel's Blade (September 2016)
  • War Zone Fenris: Wrath of Magnus (November 2016)
  • Planetary Onslaught (2016)
  • Gathering Storm - Part I - Fall of Cadia (January 2017)
  • Gathering Storm - Part II - Fracture of Biel-Tan (February 2017)
  • Gathering Storm - Part III - Rise of the Primarch (March 2017)

8th Edition

8th Edition was released in June 2017. The following codices were released for 8th Edition:

8th Edition Indexes

  • Index: Imperium 1 (June 2017)
  • Index: Imperium 2 (June 2017)
  • Index: Chaos (June 2017)
  • Index: Xenos 1 (June 2017)
  • Index: Xenos 2 (June 2017)

8th Edition Codices

  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (July 2017)
  • Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (August 2017)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Grey Knights (August 2017)
  • Codex Heretic Astartes - Death Guard (September 2017)
  • Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus (September 2017)
  • Codex: Astra Militarum (October 2017)
  • Codex: Craftworlds (October 2017)
  • Codex: Tyranids (November 2017)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Blood Angels (December 2017)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Dark Angels (December 2017)
  • Codex: Chaos Daemons (January 2018)
  • Codex: Adeptus Custodes (January 2018)
  • Codex Heretic Astartes - Thousand Sons (February 2018)
  • Codex: T'au Empire (March 2018)
  • Codex: Necrons (March 2018)
  • Codex: Drukhari (March 2018)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Deathwatch (May 2018)
  • Codex: Harlequins (May 2018)
  • Codex: Imperial Knights (June 2018)
  • Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Wolves (August 2018)
  • Codex: Gellerpox Infected (September 2018)
  • Codex: Elucidian Starstriders (September 2018)
  • Codex: Orks (November 2018)
  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (February 2019)
  • Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (Revised Codex) (March 2019)
  • Codex: Chaos Knights (July 2019)
  • Codex: Space Marines (Revised Codex) (August 2019)

8th Edition Campaigns and Expansions

  • Imperium Nihilus: Vigilus Defiant (December 2018)
  • Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress (2019)
  • Urban Conquest
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