Celebrate 30 Years of Warhammer 40,000: Top 5 Catastrophes

If the Warhammer 40,000 universe is build on anything, it’s horrible catastrophes. There’s not a civilisation in the galaxy that isn’t somehow building on the shattered past of their forebears or cruising for some kind of devastating fall – indeed, humanity alone has had about 4 so far (that we know of!). Following on from our Top 5 mutations, adventurers and squigs, here are our Top 5 Catastrophes in the world of Warhammer 40,000:

5: The Dark Age of Technology

Mankind has plied the stars for millennia, and much of the Imperium is built upon the ruins of previous civilisations. Nobody knows quite what destroyed the previous empire of man – rumours blame artificial intelligences, internal revolts, devastating warp storms and simple human hubris – which ushered in what is now known as the Dark Age of Technology.

4: The Coming of the Hive Fleets

The 41st Millennium was, quite frankly, terrifying enough without yet another monstrous incomprehensible threat to all existence – the Tyranids just make things even worse. With the power to overcome even Chaos, the Tyranids may well signal the end for all life in the universe.

3: The Fall of the Aeldari

The Aeldari used to be the dominant race in the galaxy, but the psychic intensity of their combined decadence brought Slaanesh into being, slaughtering them to the point of near-extinction and fracturing those that survived into bitterly opposed sub-factions. Only 10,000 years later has hope returned for the Aeldari, in the form of Ynnead

2: The Horus Heresy

One of the most significant and tragic events in humanity’s history, the Horus Heresy saw the Space Marine Legions turn on one and other in desperate civil war, permanently crippling the Emperor and his Imperium and leaving it to decay into the superstitious, oppressive state it finds itself in now.

1: The Great Rift

Just when you thought the Imperium couldn’t get any darker, Abaddon – and the birth of another Aeldari deity, and Magnus tearing whole planets out of the warp, and loads of other reality-ripping events – go and split the whole galaxy down the middle! The fall of Cadia was only one of the triggers in a chain reaction tearing reality  apart at the seams and threatening to send the galaxy as we know it spiralling into the maw of the Chaos Gods.

Any particularly devastating catastrophes you think we’ve missed? Think that the rise of the T’au rivals the arrival of the Tyranids in terribleness? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page, or order this month’s White Dwarf for many more Top 5s.

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