How much does Warhammer 40k and other tabletop games cost?

Table top gaming can be an expensive hobby. Whether it’s collecting all the source books for your favourite RPG, building up your miniature armies or chasing the latest hot board game (with all of its expansions of course) it can take quite a bit of investment. It doesn’t need to be this way and in this article I’m going to look at the approximate cost of setting up a game for a table top miniature game. This doesn’t include the cost of an actual table top or any scenery and terrain but it does consider the cost required for two people to get a game together. All prices listed are the recommended retail price (RRP) in UK pounds. In all cases I’ve assumed you’re going to be using official models and no proxies.

Warhammer 40,000 

The new Dark Vengeance boxed set represents an absolute steal. At a time when Games Workshop is being criticized for rising costs across the board they have released a boxed set where buying just half of the miniatures separately would cost the same price.

Warhammer 40,000 Dark Vengeance £61.50
However it could be that Dark Angels or Chaos Space Marines aren’t your thing and you’re going to need to splash out on a full rulebook and a lot of miniatures. (Edit: The original article forgot that you need a Codex for each army!)
Warhammer 40,000 rulebook £45.00
Eldar Codex £20.00
Eldar Battle Box £65.00
Eldar Autarch £11.00
Ork Codex £20.00
Ork Battle box £65.00
Ork Warboss £12.30
Two player cost £238.30
Unsurprisingly Warhammer Warhammer 40,000 works out one of the most expensive games. At over £200 it’s quite a sizable investment if you fancy dabbling in the 41st millennium.

Warmachine & Hordes

Steam powered undead pirate robots, the Cryx just need some ninjas an then they'll have everything covered.
It may seem unfair to lump Warmachine and Hordes together; they are separate rule books and separate miniature ranges. However the two systems are compatible and many of the rules are shared between both. The prices and miniature systems are also both very similar. Just like Warhammer 40,000 a two player starter set is available and gives everything you need to get a 25 point game on the table.
Warmachine Two player battle box £70
Hordes Two Player battle box £80
You will find the two player battle box cheaper in a number of places but the RRP is rather high which makes Dark Vengeance even more of a bargain. It’s also a little odd that the Hordes box is more expensive. As with Warhammer 40,000, what if Russian steambots and flame belching Catholics isn’t your bag, how about some lightning powered highwaymen and undead robot pirates?
Warmachine Prime MKII rule book £20.00
Cygnar Battlegroup £35.00
Cygnar Stormblade Unit £27.00
Cryx Battlegroup £58.00
Cryx Bane Thralls £57.95
Two player cost £175
This list is a little bit subjective as the cost will depend on what units you want to support the battlegroup box. What I’ve tried to do is a select unit from the prime rulebook, it’s just a shame that those Bane Thralls aren’t cheap models and this is an issue that goes for many of Privateer Press’s unit boxes. It may come as a surprise to some people that Warmachine comes in at around the same cost as Warhammer 40,000.

Dropzone Commander

The chances of anything coming from Mars, are a million to one, he said......
New kids on the block and dominating the skies are the Hawk Wargames with Dropzone Commander ( A 10mm science fiction game based around dropships and rapid troop deployment, Dropzone Commander has only been out a few months but its resin cast tanks and dropships are some very pretty models.
Dropzone Commander Rulebook £15
UCM starter army £68
Scourge Starter Army £68
Two player cost £151
Hawk Wargames are a modest sized company so their miniature costs are reasonably high at the moment. Let’s hope the game become more popular and the miniatures become more affordable. At the moment taking the plunge on a new system at a comparatively large cost is going to act as a barrier to entry and it will be interesting to see how the system fares in the future.


This is a sizeable game of Infinity, around ten miniatures is he most you need.
If you’re looking to do some miniature gaming on the cheap then skirmish games are an obvious route. In most skirmish games you can get a good size game on the table with just a handful of miniatures each. Infinity is the current hotness in sci-fi skirmish games and has a lot going for it. I can’t really do it justice so go check out Firebroadside’s excellent starter guide.
Infinity 2nd Edition Rulebook £33 or free
PanOceania Sectorial Starter Pack £30
Nomad Bakunin Jurisdictional Force Starter Pack £30
Two player cost £93 or £60 with free digital rulebook
Corvus Bell’s miniatures don’t come cheap; £30 for a box of six miniatures is enough to make a Games Workshop hater turn their head. However, it should be considered that Infinity is not a WYSIWIG system so you don’t need a miniature for every single eventuality of equipment and weaponry. It should also be pointed out that skirmish games thrive with a lot of scenery.

Mordheim & Necromunda

Necromunda is free! Now stop complaining about Games Workshops price hikes.
A long time ago Games Workshop produced more than three games. Mordheim, Necromunda and Gorkamorka may all be games that Games Workshop has forgotten about but they still hold a special place in many people’s hearts. Mordheim was Games workshop’s fantasy skirmish game and Necromunda was a battle between gangs in the under-cities of a hive planet. With only a handful of models and a rulebook that can be downloaded for free it works out as one of the cheaper ways to get a miniatures game to the table. If you already own fantasy miniatures you could proxy them in for Mordheim and the new chaos cultists from the Dark Vengeance boxed set would make good gang member proxies but you can still buy the official miniatures from Games Workshop’s mail order site.
Mordheim Rulebook Free
Undead Warband £20.50
Dwarf Treasure Hunter Warband £20.50
Two player cost £41.00


It’s no surprise that the skirmish level games come out the cheapest; with only a handful of models to deal with you’ll also find that these games can be more tactical as well as easier on the wallet. It’s also refreshing to see that most skirmish games come with rules that are available for free. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

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  1. I would like to add Kings of War to this.
    Rulebook: £25
    Rise of Morgoth box set: £50, Dwarves & Undead.
    Two One player boxsets: £60
    Total: £135
    This is very rough calculation, as there is a two player set for £40 with Orcs & Undead.

    1. Good call (and excellent user name). I'm hearing some good things about Kings of War and how its more tactical game than Warhammer (with its silly giant monsters).

  2. This article is fairly short and imprecise. You miss many games (warpath & kings of war - both of which prize themselves on their cost) and lump in big wargames in with skirmish games - which are completely different. You should've compared the army games with each other and skirmish games with each other seperately.