Sunday, 9 June 2013

My Mid Life Crisis - Impressions of a n00b

It's Cyanide's fault really.  Well, perhaps not completely but I think they can take a fair portion of the blame.  Along with the other contributors on this site and my friend Andrew.

During the 80's I was heavily in to the tabletop RPG scene.  AD&D, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller and countless others.  Three or four nights a week I'd be involved in some game or another.  I dabbled in some wargaming, Warhammer fantasy, Ancients, Napoleonic and Micro Modern.  As the decade wore on I drifted away and by the early nineties I'd more or less lost interest.

Jump forward to 2009 and Cyanide released their pc version of Bloodbowl.  It sparked my interest, partly thanks to a number of regulars on the Guardian Gamesblog site and awakened memories of some fun evenings in the dim and distant past.  After taking the plunge I began participating in regular leagues.  It was all downhill from there.

I'd originally lost interest in the hobby around the time that 40k was just starting to take off (and when White Dwarf became little more than a GW catalogue) so I'd never really taken much notice of it.  It transpired that a few of the Bloodbowl players also played 40k and I started taking notice.  I was starting to get a geek itch that needed to be scratched.  Around the middle of last year I met my friend Andrew.  Our mutual interest in RPGs sparked the friendship and in conversation he mentioned he was starting to get back in to 40k.  Given I may have an opponent to play, my interest grew.

However, I didn't have the first clue where to begin, it had been over 20 years after all.  In the end (and after much advice) I decided to make the choice an aesthetic one.  Having always had a certain fondness for the Drow in AD&D I picked up my first battleforce, the Dark Eldar.  Upon opening the box I confess to feeling somewhat intimidated.  There was an awful lot to paint in there and it had been a long time since I'd brandished a brush in anger.  Then there were the rules.  I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of 6th edition and the Dark Eldar codex for under £40 from ebay.  I looked at the rulebook for a while, a long while.  There were lots of words.  And pictures.  At this point I started feeling quite lost and mostly befuddled.  I put the rulebook down and picked up the codex.  That was much better, not as heavy and focused on my chosen force.  I could also use the rulebook to cross reference.  That felt like a much better way of approaching it.

After doing a lot of research online regarding colour scheme I finally decided on mine and set to work painting.  I'd forgotten just how much I enjoyed this aspect of the hobby.  Sitting down with some music in the background painting my way through an army.  Admittedly frustrating at times but ultimately satisfying.

Which more or less brings us to today.  I've started playing 40k with my partially painted Dark Eldar force (well, I've had one game which I lost badly but it counts).  My initial impressions of Warhammer 40k are mostly good.  There are a lot of rules to get used to, a lot of terminology I'm still getting to grips with but I've enjoyed it all so far.  The biggest downside at the moment is the expense.  Admittedly a portion of that is just getting set up from a modelling/painting point of view but it certainly seems a lot more expensive these days.  I've spent what feels like a fair amount so far and I have maybe 1000 - 1250 pts of Dark Eldar, which doesn't feel like enough for a decent fleshed out army.  I think it's going to be a slow and steady build, one which I am looking forward to.  Another thing I haven't really gotten to grips with is the fluff.  More so than in wargames I've previously played there seems to be much more emphasis on storytelling within the games themselves.  I think this is a great idea, my creative side has become somewhat rusty in the past 20 or so years but I'm looking forward to learning more about the 40k universe as I delve in to the Black Library.

Although I've only just started gaming again I'm already finding the urge to head off in a number of different directions.  I've invested in the X-Wing miniatures game and I'm finding myself very tempted by Malifaux.  Who knows where it will go from here?  It should be fun finding out.


  1. A great post, I always like knowing a persons journey into the hobby.

  2. Glad to have helped the crisis along

  3. One of us one of us gooble gobble gooble gobble