This is a short write-up of how the hell I got to Warhammer – I did this for a forum competition, but it is something I’d like to share.
My first initial contact with Warhammer has been around the year 2000 when my classmates in high-school started playing Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Magic the Gathering. I loved their great figures (it was Bretonia and Dwarves that I saw, still remember it clearly to this day)… however, as MtG was fairly easier to source, at that time both money and location wise, I started dabbling with MtG.
Fast forward 5 years, at the end of the first year at uni we have got nostalgic with some former classmates who have moved on to study in the same city as I were, and we decided to see if Magic is still alive and kicking. In the shop we went to play and get our booster packs, was active Warhammer league and tournaments. They had the boxes (and at that time we still got the huge boxes of whole battalions and armies) displayed. It was then that I learned there is something like Warhammer 40K. I still did not play or purchase any model at that time – still too expensive compared to Magic (not really in total, but at the way you had to fund the hobby) and as I didn’t know anyone in the community and my friends didn’t want to start it with me, I have it a pass… sort of.
I have bought my first Warhammer books to read. I did what many do, and went with William King – both for Fantasy (Slayer series) and with 40K – Space Wolves series. And I became a huge Space Wolves fanboy – in theory. I mean, what’s not to like? Space vikings? How cool can that be, am I right? My dabbling with Warhammer as a game then ended with me purchasing 40K rulebook to learn what is needed to play and dropping it as “cba” at this point.
Fast forward 10 years to 2015ish – already past my career of MtG pro player and just finishing my judge exams for MtG and running my own little club, enjoying my games of Modern, Legacy and very casual Commander with the guys at pub, I have met (my now) wife. That meant some drastic changes in my life, like moving cities, countries, leaving my Magic friends behind… I took my cards, of course! In the new city, I tried to get back into the MtG playing but it didn’t really feel… engaging. And then, one friday evening, playing at FNM (Friday Night Magic – basically the least competetive get-together-to-play-some-games event in Magic world) I sat at my third game against a kid (I think he was like 14 or so), flicking his cards and being so over-hyped to get a win – then it hit me. This is not for me anymore. I’ve been that kid at the opposite side of the table before, but now I was a husband, a grown man (they say) and moreover, it was not fun to just play cards if there was no one fun to play them with/against.
Opposite on the same street (and 2 doors down) of the store where I used to play Magic, has been a shop with “nerd” and metal peripheria – you can get anything from Dr. Martens shoes to funko-pop of Groot in there, as well as collectible figures of movie etc props. And they had this big sign saying “Games Workshop” overhead. As I was slowly transitioning out of Magic at that point and picked up scale model building (as another forgotten child hobby I now had the possibility to just pick-up, try and see if I like) I one day sat at the desk, building something and pondering all my Black Library books in my library, the old dusty 40K rulebook I have always kept and occasionally flicked the pages of to see those awesome models and battles… I made the decision.
I started investigating into the local 40K scene – thinking that worst case, I will build and paint few models like I always wanted to for the sake of building the models and painting them and never play them (but hey, that’s one thing off my bucket list!). Oh boy was I in for a surprise. I found out a very engaged and passionate community of people willing to teach me anything from rules to painting tips, I found plethora of “old farts” who really just enjoyed playing the game for playing the game’s sake – I had so many losses that were bloody enjoyable battles I can’t even remember them all!
What started then at the end of 2015 has been one hell of a ride. I went back looking for Space Wolves, but as the Dark Vengeance was the cheap kit at that time (and remember, I wanted something cheap to model at that time) I got into Dark Angels. I never wanted a full-out Chaos and never felt like Xenos player, so I started investigating about these brooding robed guys… and I fell in love. I fell in love with the Chapter, fell in love with the models, fell in love with the hobby that allows me to convert the hell out of all plastic kits, that allows me to hobby on my own free time and then pick up games with others… Yes, there were rough patches where I left 40K for about a year for AoS as I hated how complicated 7th was (for new player to memorize all the rules, books, opponent armies) but hey, I am now back, stronger than ever and already expanding my hobby projects so wide that I have no idea what to do first!
I have just finished painting my Shadespire warbands (from starter box so far) as my wife likes Shadespire. I have boxes of Skaven to be painted. I have all new Primaris boxes lying behind me that I need to get to doing – seriously the kits are modeler’s heaven! I have box of Calth and Prospero that I need to split between my Consecrators and my new project – 30K Alpha Legion that will dabble in 40K first…
Yeah… I am now in the same boat as many of others!