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My sons (12 & 13) are new to Warhammer and want to start playing 40K with Chaos Space Marines and Blood Angels.

We already have the free 'Warhammer 40,000 Battle Primer' but need to know what else we need.

I thought that we'd just need the new 8th edition Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines codexes, but I understand that Blood Angels need their own codex which isn't out yet. (BAs are apparently 'non-codex', which I don't understand as we are not very knowledgeable of 40K lore and history).

Q. **What rules/books do we need to play from the following list?:

  • 280-page hardback rulebook
  • Index: Imperium 1
  • Codex: Chaos Space Marines
  • Codex: Space Marines

or would we be better of getting either of the 'Know No Fear' or 'Dark Imperium' sets (we already have lots of miniatures, as well as older mini-rulebooks and both Chaos and Space Marine codexes)

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Strictly speaking the barest minimum needed to play would be Index: Imperium 1 and Index: Chaos. If you already have the CSM Codex you can do w/out Index: Chaos. You do not actually need the Codex: SM for Blood Angels. They will eventually get their own codex, but in the meantime you could either use the Index or the Codex until the chapter specific book is released.

You do not need to purchase the rule book, but you'll probably want to. The core rules (about a dozen pages) are available for free. However the main rulebook does have a lot more options for play, more missions, and advanced rules, plus fluff and more.

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    Thanks, that’s what we’ve done - the Chaos codex, the Index Imperium 1 and the basic free rules. – Steve Ives Aug 28 '17 at 19:17
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You only need the emperium 1 index and the chaos index for all of the stats for chaos space marines and normal space marines. If you are willing to spend the money, the dark emperium set is pretty nice since it gives you some really nice models and the core rulebook which in total costs more than the box itself. The only problem is that the box only comes with the stats for the units that are in the box. The codex's have a ton and I mean a TON of lore with the stats for each unit and weapons in further back section in the book. My suggestion is get the index's and leave it there.

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