Tuesday, 13 January 2015

My Experience Getting Into Warhammer 40k

Despite historically being into nothing but games of the digital variety, I have recently taken up the hobby of Warhammer 40k collection. Its been a few months since I've started and I’d like to share my experiences.

The reason I got into the hobby is because I already have a bunch of friends who play it. While at a BBQ they started talking about 40k stuff and I was completely lost. If only for the sake of being able to join the conversation, I decided to give it a try. I’ve also wanted a hobby that doesn’t involve a computer screen. One thing I should point out is that you really need friends who also play it. I suppose you may not mind playing against strangers but I think its very much a social activity. You could just ignore the game completely and collect models.

I like taking photos of the models and then stylizing them.
So far I’ve spent £90 on the Sanctus Reach Stormclaw Starter Set. This comes with Orks and Space Wolves. I got this from Games Workshop but since then I’ve discovered another store right around the corner that also sells models but with 10% off. So in the future, I would go there for models but I certainly don’t need to yet. I’ve also bought some old Orks (Boyz, Nobz, Deffcopters and a Warboss) for £30 from a friend.

At first I thought it would be incredibly expensive to maintain this hobby but then I realised how much time and effort you need in actually assembling the things. They come as bits of plastic on a sheet and you have to assemble and paint them yourself. This may sound like a negative but its actually my favourite thing about the hobby. You see, making and painting the models is time consuming in the best way possible. When starting, I assumed that painting would just be a necessary hassle to get to the main game. The reality is that, so far, I enjoy painting more than the game. Take in mind that I’m still grasping the core rules. Despite not being at all artistically-inclined, it turns out that I’m pretty good at painting. I think this is less about skill and more about how dedicated you are to making your models look good. I usually spend over 3 hours painting a single Ork Nob (an elite Ork). When you add up the stuff you get in Sanctus Reach, well, thats literally hours of entertainment for £90. So yeah, its a lot of money but its already consumed far more of my free time than if I spent the same money on random video games. In these 3 months I’ve only painted 6 Nobz, 10 Grots and a Killer Kan. I haven’t even looked at the Space Wolves yet.

Putting the models on a battlefield really brings them to life.
I meet up with my friends every Sunday at a club which is where I took these photos. If you have a long history with video games as I do, then 40k is a very fresh experience. Just being able to play a strategy game with tangible models is very, very different for someone like me and I can’t get enough of it. The game is very deep and it’ll take a long time to get accustomed to the rules. Just play with friends who can fill in the blanks whenever you get stuck as I do. The starter box comes with a 3 mission Orks vs Space Wolves campaign so you could theoretically play some games with just that. The games are as big or small as you want. I very much enjoy small skirmishes although that may largely be because I’m still grappling with the game rules. There are many great moments in my games such as getting my Ork warboss to knock down a building some Space Marines were hiding in. The funny thing is, I didn’t even know I could do that until someone told me. The game continually surprises me.

I’m not going to lie, the hobby is expensive. I haven’t even mentioned the codex (individual army rules), templates, dice, rulebooks, paints and other assorted things you need to play. But if you have friends who play it and you’re getting a bit burnt out on video games, then I really recommend it. If that seems too daunting or you just don’t imagine you’d like painting then I also suggest Magic the Gathering which I played on my games design course at university (I dropped it because everyone I know at home here plays 40k). Magic is a lot cheaper and lets you play games with less ‘set up’ time.

No comments:

Post a Comment