The return of Epic 40k: Warhammer: The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis

EDIT 01/07/2023: Epic scale conflicts has been officially announced as Warhammer: The Horus Heresy - Legions Imperialis.

The return of Epic 40k has been rumoured for some years now. With the re-release of other specialist games from Games Workshop like Necromunda, Space Hulk, Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronatica Imperialis. Many hope that Epic will be soon to follow,

What is Epic?

Many moons ago, Games Workshop released a game known as Adeptus Titanicus (1988). A 6mm game focused on the Epic Titan battles of the 41st Millennium. This game would later become known simply as Epic and later Epic: Armageddon. It would introduce entire legions of infantry, battalions of tanks and squadrons of Aircraft.

Loved by fans for its more tactical approach to gameplay. Rather than the "I go, you go" game system of the main Warhammer 40,000 line. Epic lets to activate individual formations, allowing you to react to your opponent much more readily, before he can wipe you off the table. An issue many have with the main line 40k game.

Unfortunately Games Workshop decided to cease support for Epic after its 4th edition (Epic: Armageddon). Though many fans of the game kept the game alive by developing their own rules. Expanding the number of armies you can field, often, to allow them to match their 28mm counterparts.

Inevitable Return of Epic 40k.
EDIT 01/07/2023: Epic scale conflicts has been officially announced as Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Legions Imperialis.

Games Workshop re-launched Adeptus Titanicus in 2018, and although the focus has strictly been on Titan Legions and Knight Houses of the Horus Heresy. With no rules allowing for the other elements present on the battlefield.

It was then shortly followed by Aeronautica Imperialis in 2019. A game focused on the Air wars above the battlefields of the 41st Millennium. Both games were released at 8mm scale. Which many have theorised would later become the new scale for a re-released Epic system.

And while there has been no official word from Games Workshop about the return of Epic. It would make sense for them to eventually merge the two systems.

It would only require the printing of a handful of vehicle/tank variants and a couple of Space Marine infantry stands to produce the core elements needed for a full game of Epic. Set in the Horus Heresy era, where both sides can share the same sprues. Where players only need a paint job to differentiate them.

From there, Games Workshop can expand the rules as and when they see fit to include the other races.

Which brings it into the Warhammer 40k timeline and utilising the Xenos models released for Aeronautica Imperialis.

Even if Games Workshop doesn't make official steps to return Epic 40k. Rans are already hard at work, building Epic Armies to the new scale. Using the fantastic new titan and aircraft models, augmented by 3D printers and 3rd party bits.

Epic: Armageddon Factions

Space Marines

The poster boys of Warhammer 40,000 and the Horus Heresy era games. Marines are certainly the starting place for any minis to be released. A single sprue consisting of tactical marines and a couple of rhino class tanks/transports, could very easily form the backbone of a Space Marine army. Especially if the focus is initially on the Horus Heresy era. Where both sides are all but a mirror match for each other.

Easily expanded out to include Landraider variants, dreadnoughts, and their other support and super heavy options with fairly minimal risk.

Imperial Guard

Another no-brainer for Epic, the Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum/Imperial Army should be the next. Allowing GW to bring in some of the quirkier Imperial vehicles that were fielded on both sides of the Heresy. Many of which many are still in operation in the 41st millennium.

At the scale epic is played at, an Imperial Guardsman won't look too different from their heresy era counterpart. They have plenty of models in Aeronautica Imperialis, making up the bulk of the Imperial faction. Fitting well with knights and Titans. They could be added to the game with just a handful of sprues. Needing just an infantry sprue, a tank formation and a super heavy/titan killer sprue.

EDIT: Okay so I was slightly off with this one, it looks like the Solar Auxilia are getting the spotlight this time, which means that they can't be proxied as Imperial Guard... but time will tell.

Chaos Space Marines

While Chaos Space Marines, at their initial launch, could share much of the same components with their loyalist brothers for the initial release. It would be a shame if Games Workshop didn't eventually expand the range to allow for Deamon Engines, Possessed, and, even just pure deamons to ally along side the core army.

As well as introduce the different sub factions of Chaos from 40k with Death Guard, World Eaters and Emperors Children. And while the range doesn't need to be as granular as the larger 40k game. Adding a bit of flavour to each with unique models would be a great way to expand the range down the line.


Orks and Space Marines are the classic matchup, Loved for both their savagery and for the comic relief they often provide to the setting. With their rickety and cobbled together war-machines that often misfire to amusing effect. Orks were one of first factions outside of the Imperium of man, to receive minis for Epic. To bring Orks into a new edition Epic would require a bit more work, while they do have Aeronautica Imperialis models, they lack any models to match the Titans or Knights in Adeptus Titanicus. Requiring nearly a full range of models to bring them up to standard with Imperial factions. Though a core army could consist of an Ork Boyz sprue, some battle Waggons and some Mega-Gargants.


Like Orks, they exist in Aeronautica Imperialis, but have nothing in the way of Titan or Knight support at Epic scale and would require more work to bring them to the game as they stand currently, especially if they want to match their 1st or 2nd edition Epic variety.

Other Xenos

Most other Xenos would require a complete set of models to bring to Epic.

How can I play Epic 40k?

While Games Workshop has abandoned the game (for now), it is still a very playable game, provided you can source the miniatures and don't mind doing a little digging through Forums. The Majority of the rules you need can be found for free here.

You might need to dig around or ask on their forums where you can find rules for your particular faction. Especially if you want to play a sub faction like Alpha Legion or Iron Warriors, who don't have an official set of rules but the community has developed their own set of flavourful options.

Sourcing the minis is a bit trickier, with Games Workshop not manufacturing any for the game in years. While you might get lucky on Ebay and find some Epic scale minis, you will be paying a premium for the privilege and your likely only be getting a few at a time, they are also the old scale, which was 6mm, where as the newer Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronautica Imperialis models are 8mm scale so won't match up very well.

Your best options are to either find proxy minis, of which there are plenty, though again, often at the older 6mm scale as this is was a lot of veteran players still use.

Or you can 3d print an army, and honestly, at the price of just £150 you can pick up a very good Elegoo Mars 2 Pro and have an army in a few hours, and then go on to print a huge selection of scenery for very little cost. There are plenty of Space Marine style minis on places like Thingiverse or Cults3d that will do a great job as "stand ins" for infantry or tanks and you can scale them to any size you like.

Meanwhile I will be patiently awaiting the return on Epic 40k and the return of huge Titan Battles with swarms of tanks and infantry between their feet.

EDIT 01/07/2023: Epic scale conflicts has been officially announced as Warhammer: The Horus Heresy - Legions Imperialis.