Ordo Acronymicus


Warhammer 40,000 is alive with slang and acronyms that can make things a bit confusing if you’re new to the game. That’s why, I have been commissioned by the Holy Inquisition to establish the Ordo Acronymicus. In this archive, you will find lots of initials, acronyms and terms that are used throughout the game, both in books, on the net and in discussions. You will be familiar with many, and some of you will know all of them. You have been granted access to this repository on the condition that, if you see something missing, you must add a comment below including that missing term. If judged to be worthy and pertinent to the list, it will be added by our scribes.

We begin with the Annals of Acronyms:


#+ – Armour Save or Cover Save (Game Rule)

#++ – Invulnerable Save (Game Rule)


AA – Anti Aircraft (unit that’s good at shooting flyers)

AM – Astra Militarum (Army – new name for the Imperial Guard)

AP – Armour Penetration (value assigned to weapon based on effectiveness)

APC – Armoured Personel Carrier (vehicle with transport capacity)

ATSKNF – And They Shall Know No Fear (Space Marine special rule)

AV# – Armour Value # (attribute pertaining to toughness equivalent of vehicles)


BA – Blood Angels (Army – Space Marine Chapter)

BFG – Battlefleet Gothic (Former Games Workshop game based on space battles)

BL – Black Library (Games Workshop’s publishing house and location in the Webway)

BL – Bright Lance (Eldar Wargear)

BP/CCW – Bolt Pistol/Close Combat Weapon (Wargear)

BRB – Big Rule Book (Rulebook)

BS – Ballistic Skill (Profile Component dealing with shooting skill)


CC – Close Combat (Hand to hand combat)

CD – Chaos Daemons (Army)

CCW – Close Combat Weapon (Wargear)

CF – Crimson Fists (Space Marine Chapter)

CM – Chapter Master (Space Marine HQ)

CoD – Cities of Death (Supplement)

CSM – Chaos Space Marines (Army)

C:SM – Codex: Space Marines (Army)


D# – Die with number of sides denoted by number (Dice)

DA – Dark Angels (Army – Space Marine Chapter)

DC – Death Company (Blood Angels unit)

DE – Dark Eldar (Army)

DG – Death Guard (Chaos Space Marine Legion/Warband)

DKoK – Death Korps of Kreig (Imperial Guard regiment)

DoA – Descent of Angels (Blood Angels special rule)

DoW – Dawn of War (Computer Game)

DoW2 – Dawn of War 2 (Computer Game)

DP – Daemon Prince (Chaos Daemon/Chaos Space Marine HQ)

DT – Dedicated Transport (Unit Codex Designation)

DW – Deathwing (Aspect of the Dark Angels Chapter)


EC – Emperor’s Children (Chaos Space Marine Legion/Warband)

EoT – Eye of Terror (Galactic anomaly where the warp spills into real space)

EW – Eternal Warrior (Universal Special Rule)


FA – Fast Attack (Unit Codex Designation)

FD – Fire Dragons (Eldar Aspect)

FE – Farsight Enclave (Army/Supplement/Tau force)

FLGS – Friendly Local Gaming Store (Games Shop)

FMC – Flying Monstrous Creature (Unit Type)

FNP – Feel No Pain (Universal Special Rule)

FOC – Force Organisation Chart (Army Composition System)

FW – Forge World (Sister Company of Games Workshop)


GEQ – Guardsman Equivalent (Unit with similar statistics to an Imperial Guardsman)

GFR – Go Fasta Red (Ork Vehicle Upgrade)

GK – Grey Knights (Army)

GUO – Great Unclean One (Greater Daemon of Nurgle)

GW – Games Workshop (Company and/or Shop)


HH – Horus Heresy (40k History)

HH – Hammer Hand (Grey Knights special rule)

HHH – Hobby Half Hour (A period of time dedicated to painting/modelling – often shared with #HHH on Social Media)

HS – Heavy Support (Unit Codex Designation)


IA# – Imperial Armour # (Forge World book)

IC – Independent Character (Universal Special Rule)

ID – Instant Death (Universal Special Rule)

IF – Imperial Fists (Space Marine Chapter)

IG – Imperial Guard (Army – old name for the Astra Militarum)

IH – Iron Hands (Space Marine Chapter)

IW – Iron Warriors (Chaos Space Marine Legion/Warband)

IWND – It Will Not Die (Universal Special Rule)



KFF – Kustom Force Field (Ork Wargear)

KOS – Keeper Of Secrets (Greater Daemon of Slaanesh)


Ld – Leadership (Profile Component dealing with bravery)

LF – Long Fangs (Space Wolves unit)

LGS – Local Gaming Store (Games Shop)

LOC – Lord Of Change (Greater Deamon of Tzeentch)

LoS – Line of Sight (Ability to see model)

LOS! – Look Out Sir! (Universal Special Rule)

LotD – Legion of the Damned (Space Marine unit)

LoW – Lord(s) of War (Apocalypse/Escalation specific unit)

LR – Land Raider (Space Marine Vehicle)

LRC – Land Raider Crusader (Space Marine Vehicle)

LRR – Land Raider Redeemer (Space Marine Vehicle)


MEQ – Marine Equivalent (Unit with similar statistics to a Space Marine)

ML – Psychic Mastery Level (Ability relating to the use of psychic powers)

MM – Multi Melta (Wargear)

MoK – Mark of Khorne (Special Rule Set for Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines)

MoN – Mark of Nurgle (Special Rule Set for Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines)

MoS – Mark of Slaanesh (Special Rule Set for Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines)

MoT – Mark of Tzeentch (Special Rule Set for Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines)

MSU – Multiple Small Units (a number of small units)

MSU – Minimum Size Units (the smallest size of a unit)


NF – Night Fighting (game aspect relating to special conditions, typically during the first turn)


OB – Orbital Bombardment (Wargear)

OC – Over-Costed (perceived as being too expensive in points for abilities and game balance)

OP – Over-Powered (perceived as being too powerful for points cost)


PA – Power Armour (Wargear)

PC – Plasma Cannon (Wargear)

PF – Power Fist (Wargear)

PL – Phoenix Lord (Eldar HQ Type)

PW – Power Weapon (Wargear)



RAI – Rules As Intended (what a rule is supposed to mean)

RAW – Rules As Written (what a rule actually says)

RT – Rogue Trader (1st Edition of Warhammer 40,000)

RW – Ravenwing (Aspect of the Dark Angels Chapter)


S/I – Skyfire/Interceptor (Universal Special Rules combination)

SAG – Shokk Attack Gun (Wargear)

SaP – Slow and Purposeful (Universal Special Rule)

SG – Storm guardians (Eldar Unit)

SH – Swooping Hawks (Eldar Aspect)

SitW – Shadow in the Warp (the way tyranid hive fleets affects the Empyrean)

SM – Space Marines (Army)

SoB – Sisters of Battle (Army)

SS – Serpent Shield (Wargear)

SS – Striking Scorpions (Eldar Aspect)

STC – Standard Template Construct (pertaining to originality of vehicle/wargear design)

SW – Space Wolves (Army – Space Marine Chapter)


TDA – Tactical Dreadnought Armour (Wargear)

TEQ – Terminator Equivalent (Unit with similar statistics to a Space Marine Terminator)

TFC – Thunderfire Cannon (Space Marine Unit)

TH/SS – Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield (Wargear)

TL – Twin-Linked (Universal Special Rule)

TO – Tournament Organiser (Person in charge of a tournament and its rules)

TWC – Thunder Wolf Cavalry (Space Wolves unit)


UC – Under-Costed (perceived as being too cheap in points for abilities and game balance)

USR – Universal Special Rule (rules that are used by all armies though in different ways)


VOTLW – Veterans Of The Long War (Chaos Space Marine rule)


WAAC – Win At Any Cost (Player who only cares about winning)

WG – Wolf Guard (Space Wolves unit)

WIP – Work In Progress

WS – White Scars (Space Marine Chapter)

WS – Weapon Skill (Profile Component dealing with close combat skill)

WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get (models perfectly representing unit)




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Slang is the vulgar communication of the Emperor’s subjects and heretics alike. Below you will find a guide to those words and expressions most often used in daily communications.


2nd Ed – Refers to the second edition of the Warhammer 40,000 rules


AdMech – Adeptus Mechanicus

Apoc – Of or relating to games of Apocalypse, or games of Apocalypse themselves


Baledrake – Heldrake w/ Baleflamer

Bat Rep – Battle Report

Big E – The Emperor of Mankind

Bike Spam – Space Marine army (often White Scars) that utilises large numbers of Bike Squads

Blob – Large unit, typically comprised of low cost infantry

Buff/Buffed – a unit’s/weapon’s power being improved with the release of new rules

Buffmander – Tau Battlesuit Commander with all available weapons system taken

Bugs – Tyranids


Crons – Necrons

Codex Creep – Perceived rules breaking and altering created by new army rules being added to the game


Dakka – Ork word for firing lots of shots

Death Star – Expensive, Powerful Unit

Decurian/Decurian-like – Force Org alternative for Necrons whose name is now used to describe any army with this type of army build mechanic.

Defi – Chaos Space Marine Defiler

Dice Gods – Luck, or the quasi-theological personification thereof relating to the performance of dice rolls

The Doom – Tyranid Character, The Doom of Malan’tai

Draigowing – Grey Knights list using Master Draigo, Librarian and Paladins

Dread – Dreadnought

Dual Wing – Dark Angels army utilising Ravenwing and Deathwing units



Failaddon – Abaddon the Despoiler, derisive term relating to “failed” Black Crusades

Fexes – Tyranid Carnifexes

Fluffy – A force built to represent an army’s narrative or traditions, rather than competitiveness

Flying Circus – An army that utilises a large number of flyers and/or flying monstrous creatures

Flyrant – Tyranid Winged Hive Tyrant

Footdar – Eldar force featuring large quantities of infantry

Footslogging – Any army that uses very few or no transports


Gants – Tyranid Termagants

Gaunts – Tyranid Hormagaunts

Grey Tide/Legion – A hobbyist’s collection of unpainted miniatures

Grimdark – The depressing nature of the setting of Warhammer 40,000

Grinder – Chaos Daemons Soul Grinder


Helturkey – Chaos Heldrake

Highlander List – force made up of unique units with no duplication (“there can be only one” reference)



Jetseer – Eldar Farseer on a Jetbite



Lasback – Razorback Tank with twin-linked lascannons

Las/Plas – Rasorback turret with Lascannon and twin-linked Plasma guns

Libby – Librarian


Mathhammer – System for working out unit/weapon potential based purely on averages

Meta – An individual’s local gaming scene, components and zeitgeist

Meatshield – A typically cheap unit that provides cover/distraction for better, more expensive units

Morty – Short for ‘Mortarion’, the Primarch of the Death Guard


Nerf/Nerfed – a unit’s/weapon’s power being reduced with the release of new rules

Netlist – army list that is current flavour of the month online due to perceived high power

Nids – Tyranids

Nidzilla – Tyranid army list that utilises as many large monstrous creatures as possible


Oblits – Chaos Space Marine Obliterators

ObSec – ‘Objective Secured’ referring to units that have this core game rule. Typically ‘Troops’ choices


Parking Lot – Army using lots of tanks/armour

Pen/Penning – shots that score penetrating hits on units with armour values

Pie Plate – Large blast marker

Power Gamer – Player constantly searching for the unbeatable list

Pred – Predator

Psyfleman Dread – Grey Knights Dreadnought with two twin-linked Autocannons and Psybolt ammo



Redread/Reddread – Shortened form of ‘Redemptor Dreadnought’

Riffleman Dread – Space Marine Dreadnought with two twin-linked Autocannons


Screamer Star – Tzeentch Daemon army build with lots of Screamers and Heralds that gain a 2++ save

Scythe Spam – Necron force using lots of flyers

Serpent Spam – Eldar force with lots of Wave Serpents

Smurfs – Ultramarines (derisive or familiar)

Space Monkeys – Jokaero Weaponsmiths

Space Poodles – Space Wolves (derisive)

Spam/Spammy – Using one model type heavily for tactical advantage

Squatted – When a unit/army/species is removed from the lore/game (just as the Squats were)

Squishy – A unit that is easily killed, typically due to low toughness or low/lack of saves


Tabling – Defeating your opponent by killing his entire army in a small number of turns. A one sided win.

Tarpit – A tactic utilising a tough but unimportant unit(s) to tie down your opposition’s good unit(s)

Taudar – Tau force with Eldar allies

Termie – Terminator




Waaaagh!!! – Ork war cry/call-to-arms/army


Xenos – Any non-human species



Zerkers – Chaos Space Marine Khorne Berzerkers

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Remember your duty: If you see missing information and can provide more, add it below for it to be judged…

2 comments on “Ordo Acronymicus

  1. Pingback: Happy 1st Birthday To Me! Heresy & Heroes Turns One. | heresy and heroes

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