The Warhammer 40K CCG was a trading card game that ran from 2001-2003 and was produced by Sabertooth Games, a Seattle-based subsidiary of Games Workshop. It was the first trading card game set in the 40K universe, and consisted of five sets:
- Battle for Pandora Prime (PP) – Released Fall 2001
- Coronis Campaign (CC) – February 2002
- Battle for Delos V (DE) – Summer 2002
- Invasion: Verdicon (IV) – November 2002
- Siege of Malogrim Hive (MH) – February 2003
From 2001 to 2003, Sabertooth ran an online player rewards program called the Astronomican. Players could upload game results to earn points towards ranks – the higher the rank, the larger the selection of promo cards to redeem. Promo cards would cost a certain number of credits, earned by sending in booster wrappers.
You can’t find a lot of information on this game now, and I think it’s a shame. The 40K CCG holds a special place in my heart alongside Magic: The Gathering and Decipher’s Star Wars CCG. I was a big Warhammer and Magic player in high school, and the release of the 40K CCG combined two of my nerdy pastimes. I helped get a group of high school friends hooked on the game, and on lunch breaks we played and uploaded our game results to the Sabertooth website to level up our player ranks. I remember being so excited when I finally earned the rank needed to unlock the awe-inspiring Phantom Titan promo card.
I was also a frequent user on the Sabertooth online forums, and often traded online with players around the world. My username was Rathillir (I was mainly an Eldar player).
So, 17 years later, why write this now? I think the main reason was because COVID-19 currently has us all locked inside. During a bout of housecleaning, I found some of my old cards and was spurred to do something to help preserve a record of this game. I love the game mechanics and a lot of the art is top-notch and hard to find (some of the art decidedly isn’t top notch, but we’ll get into that another time).
In addition to writing out my thoughts on the game, I’m continuing to hunt down cards to rebuild my collection. Finding these cards isn’t easy – much of the time people will be confused with the host of other Warhammer CCGs that have been released since.
But I think of it as a labour of love – a worthwhile effort to collect and maintain records of a past hobby.