It’s easy to forget that Warhammer 40,000 is more than just a tabletop game. In fact, the Warhammer 40K universe is one of the largest, most persistent science fiction universes in existence. Spanning hundreds of books, the universe is incredibly deep and rich with countless heroes, villains, and stone-cold badasses. Let me introduce you to 5 of the most bad ass women the Warhammer 40,000 universe has ever produced.
5. Commander Shadowsun
Commander Shadowsun as the Imperium calls her, or colloquially known as O’Shaserra in Tau, is an incredibly gifted Tau Fire Caste commander. She demonstrated her potential shortly after joining the Fire Caste academies, where she broke every academy record and proved that she is one of the most brilliant military minds in all of Tau space. Because of this potential, the Ethereal Caste selected her to learn from the greatest Tau general who ever lived; Commander Puretide.
Despite being the youngest student to be given the honour of learning from Puretide, she quickly adopted his strategies and outperformed most of his other students. Working with another of his top pupils, Commander Farsight, she helped to stop the Imperium’s advances into Tau space during their Damocles Gulf Crusade. Near the end of the crusade, the ailing Puretide died and the Ethereal Caste made an important decision; to freeze Puretide’s top pupils in stasis to artificially extend the Tau’s short lifespan. Shadowsun was one of these top students and her future in the Tau Empire was decided.
Being awoken only at times of great need, Shadowsun continues to prove her value as a Tau Commander, eventually being named Supreme Commander of the Tau’s Third Sphere Expansion.
4. Alizabeth Bequin
Alizabeth Bequin led a life of hardships before fate put her into the path and eventual employ of famed Imperial Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn. Eisenhorn initially employed Bequin because of her unique nature; she was a psychic blank. This meant that she is completely immune to the psyker magic of the warp, but it unfortunately makes everyone else, psyker and non-psyker alike, incredibly uncomfortable to be around her.
Despite having no official training as an agent of the inquisition, she proved invaluable to Eisenhorn and his team during the Necroteuch affair and following it, chose to remain in Eisenhorn’s employ.
Bequin was instrumental in assisting Eisenhorn through some of his most high profile cases, but it’s what she did in her downtime that really elevates her. Knowing the life of an inquisitorial agent is deadly, she threw herself into combat training. Simultaneously, she recognized the importance of psychic blanks in the operations of the inquisition. As a result, she spent well over a century, recruiting and training other blanks and created an organization that could be hired by other inquisitors whenever the need arose. This organization became the Distaff and was led by none other than Bequin herself.
3. Lelith Hesperax
To have a reputation as the most deadly single combatant within a race as addicted to murder as the Dark Eldar is significant. Lelith Hesperax is the undisputed champion of the gladiatorial arenas on Commorragh, where every event is a fight to the death. She has never lost in that arena. What further separates Lelith from other Dark Eldar is the fact that she doesn’t use combat drugs. Followers of any Wych Cult stim themselves with combat drugs to further push their performance beyond what they are normally capable of. Lelith doesn’t need them.
This combat prowess has seen her rise to the rank of Succubus and leader of an entire Dark Eldar Wych Cult and a reputation of needing nothing more than a piece of edged steel to fully outclass her foes.
2. Captain Lotara Sarrin
The good captain of Angron’s flagship is so badass that it’s hard to say anything that does her any justice. Her cunning and ruthlessness in battle earned the respect of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters. She’s also able to manage the rage-driven Primarch and his sons enough to keep them from killing her ship crew despite their unbalanced nature. She is the commander of the Conqueror; the World Eater’s Flagship, and earned that Imperial command during the Great Crusade (the youngest officer to ever earn that rank). She even wears a bloody hand mark, an honour emblem typically only bestowed to World Eaters whose fury surpassed those of their brothers on the battlefield for her battlefleet prowess.
The scene where she cemented herself as the coolest character in the 41st Millennium, for me, was following a narrow defense of the Conqueror. A World Eater’s company was commanded to stay and defend, but instead, they succumbed to the Butcher’s Nails (which drove them into a fury) and they launched themselves to the surface in drop pods. Following the battle, she met the captain of this company and shot him in the head with her service-issue laspistol and had to be restrained by other World Eaters as she vented her anger at a genetically modified superhuman in fearless rage.
1. Tona Criid
Tona Criid was dealt a bad hand in life. She was born in the lower hive of Vervunhive and by the age of 16 had been a member of a dozen different gangs and had the tattoos to prove it. When the siege of Vervunhive began, she was caught at a rail station and witnessed hundreds of people get torn apart by the shrapnel, include the mother of two young children. Despite having nothing and now living in a literal war zone, she took in the two children and protected them throughout the conflict. Choosing to muster into the Tanith First following the siege, her life as an Imperial Guardsman began.
Tona quickly proved her abilities as a soldier and rose through the ranks of the Tanith First. She became the first female sergeant in the regiment’s history and was even welcomed into the senior command of the regiment.
What other badass women from the 41st Millennium did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credits: Games Workshop