What follows is a new player guide for Epic 40K. I had first posted this on the Dakka forum (where I am most active) but wanted to put it into some different forums/blogs to get some more exposure and hopefully get some more feedback and updates to the content.
So, anyone would like to add anything, please let me know and hopefully help this to grow!

The purpose of this thread: You want to give 30/40k at 6/8mm scale a go, or even collect and paint some miniatures. But where do you start?

In amongst the Adeptus Titanicus news threads and some other threads dotted about the internet, it's come to attention that a lot of gamers don't know about the continued existence of Epic 40K game and the ongoing community, especially as official support from GW ended some years ago now. This applied to me too until only a short period of time ago! Upon finding some miniatures in the attic (which had been untouched for 20yrs) and giving them a much needed new coat of paint, I was pointed in the direction of various forums, facebook groups, websites and blog posts that continue to service the game. It's been a shock (a very nice one!) that the game is still going so strong, with regular tournaments and campaign events (held globally) and dedicated groups focused on keeping the rules and army lists fresh and balanced.

So my thoughts turned to how many people are in the same boat as myself? Perhaps someone that played the game (in its various incarnations) in the past, has pulled some minis out of storage and is wondering how to get back into the game? Or perhaps the younger generation that have only ever known smiting in the name of the Emperor in 28mm, but is intrigued by the scale of conflict possible in this game? Or even someone that wants to get a head-start on the forthcoming Adeptus Titanicus game?

There are several other, very comprehensive guides that can tell you everything you need to know, from people much more experienced and knowledgeable than I (and more on those later), but I thought it would be a nice idea to record my findings as a relative newbie (or oldie!) beginning to collect in 6mm again. And perhaps there will be other Dakkanauts who can share their thoughts here; What version of the game to play? Where can I get miniatures and won't I get ripped-off on ebay? What's the hell is a Squat, and are you sure it's OK to buy something not covered in shrink-wrap?!

So please bear in mind that this thread is very much a formative one and I'm hoping others will add their input - or at the very least will save people some time if they want to learn what the game is all about!

The Community
The important one! Some links for places to start:

The Epic Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_(game)
What is Epic? A very useful summary for the uninitiated.

The EPIC SPACE MARINE Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/SMEPIC40K/
A great starting point, although there are other Epic/6mm groups. Very active community with 2000+ members, see lots of pics of armies and battle reports, artwork, event news and rules queries.

The Tactical Command Forum http://www.taccmd.tacticalwargames.net/index.php
Find literally everything you need to here about any version of epic, and have any rules question answered from a cadre of very dedicated and friendly members. A great hub for events.

Epic UK http://epic-uk.co.uk/wp/
A hub for the UK-based event and tournament scene, a great source for army lists and other info.

Net Epic Armageddon http://www.net-armageddon.org/
A substantial rules and army list suppository for the Armageddon version of Epic.

Epic Armageddon by Guildford Games Club https://guildfordgamesclub.wordpress...ic-armageddon/
A comprehensive collection of army/faction guides. Great place to start if you want to start with an army but are not sure where!

Epic Heresy AU http://epicau.com/mw/index.php/Main_Page
An attempt to re-create the Forgeworld Heresy 30k range and books for 6mm scale. Comprehensive army lists and advice for getting started.

The Rules
Firstly, it's important to mention that GW have been very, very nice about allowing old rule sets to remain in circulation. They're not officially hosted on a GW server anymore, but they are available to download for free from various sources depending on which version of the game you want to play. You do see a few of the 'old guard' (either ex or current GW developers) in amongst the online community from time to time, which gives the impression of fond feeling towards the game.

As there is no 'official' version of rules instead the community formed around the last (and in the eyes of some, ultimate) version, Epic Armageddon. However there are other epic groups centered around the older 'Epic Space Marine' and 'Epic 40,000' versions of the game. The great thing is, that as they use the same miniatures it's relatively easy to adapt a force to use in one system or another.

Here are some links to currently used rule-sets:
Armageddon (also called 'NetEpic' and 'NetEpic Armageddon' - the currently live & ongoing development of the 4th edition of the game) http://epic-uk.co.uk/wp/rules/ or http://www.net-armageddon.org/page/rules
NetEpic Gold (a 'finalised', and very nicely presented, version of 1st/2nd edition Epic Adeptus Titanicus and Space Marine) http://www.netepic.org/netepic.html
Epic 40,000 (based on GW's 3rd edition of the game - the very fast/streamlined, but short-lived, one) https://app.box.com/s/u2lp17fjol5izgcihdcwz4liulm7v8mr

The Miniatures
The best bit!

In summary, there has never been a better time to get into Epic (except perhaps back in 1995!) and there are three main choices here:

eBay - The obvious choice, there are masses of miniatures available. Expect to pay top $ for new, boxed or sealed miniatures from old ranges, however some prudent shopping and a bit of patience (especially if you enjoy treasure hunting, and are prepared to gamble a bit when zooming in and searching through clear-out miniature piles!) it's very easy to collect a substantial force for relatively little money. Ignore the 'buy-it-now, single 6mm miniature for £5' range - the chances are the same mini will show up again, at the fraction of the cost, as a part of a clear out or collection. As far as I know, counterfeiting is rare - it's not something I have experienced, and the usual tell-tale signs (resin copies of metal minis, suspiciously cheap collections from Russia or China) aren't present. So you should be safe with most purchases.
See also: Buying miniatures from the Epic facebook groups, trade sections of Tactical Command, very useful if you're after a rare miniature.

New 3rd-party miniature producers - A few of these have sprung up over recent years, basically since GW Legal stopped pursuing garage-casters and claiming legal rights to halberds, skulls and the like. These have had the double benefit of helping to push down eBay prices of official 2nd hand minis, but have also resulted in some fantastic new sculpts - arguably better than the older GW minis in a lot of cases, if you can put up with something looking slightly different to a Rhino. Here are a few of the more popular choices:
Vanguard Miniatures - http://vanguardminiatures.co.uk/ - Your one-stop shop, Vanguard have gobbled up a few other miniature ranges and now sell everything from Skinnerz (Orks), Novan Elite (marines), Grudd (Squats/Demiurg) and others. Constantly expanding range, very high quality and notably 'dynamically' posed infantry, rather than the static rank & file of the old GW plastics.
HLS Miniatures - https://hlsmodels.com/ - Sell the miniature range of the now sadly defunct Steel Crown miniatures - contains approximations of Necrons, human sci-fi armies amongst others, and some nice titans.
Onslaught Miniatures http://www.onslaughtmini.com/ - Great proxies for Tau, Dark Eldar, Cultists, Squats and others!
Bradley Miniatures - https://www.bradleyminiatures.com/6mm-star-legion.html - Some proxies for Marines and Guard
Trolls under the bridge - https://www.trolls.cz/collections/6mm-warfare - Some conversion components (yes really!) for the GW miniature range.
Microworld Games - https://www.microworldgames.com/collections/6mm-scifi - These guys have their own game, but there are some good proxies for 'sci-fi humans', chaos beastmen and the like.

Adeptus Titanicus- Last but not least, GW's forthcoming re-imagining of the original game from 30 years ago. A lot of people are really looking forward to this, not least because the mind boggles with what GW will be able to do with a newly produced titan. Details and release date info has been sparing, although some of the going information suggests an 8mm scale and a skirmish format for the game (which suggests GW is going for something other than the re-release/update of old rule sets we saw with Blood Bowl or Necromunda).

That's it for now! Any comments or corrections please post below.

Now get out there and start Epic gaming!