Editorial: The Diverse World of Wargaming

Hey All, Kevin from baals-2-the-waals here to talk about something I've noticed as I trudge my way around the FLGS' across our country, no one is my age.

It is part of a fact that I've noticed since I got back into the hobby....but before we go into that topic lets start at the begining. Even though I am only a college student and fairly young compared to a lot of the wargamers I know I more than likely have been playing this game longer than atleast 75% of the readers. I started at this game about 11 years ago in the dim twilight of 3rd edition at about the young age of 8. While at the shore (I'm from Jersey, only we can drop the Jersey part legally I think) my cousin introduced my brother and I to this amazing new game he played called Warhammer 40k where the stalwart few super warriors of mankind stood against the evils of the universe. Immediatly I wanted tog et into the game. Notably a lot of this generations Elite players started all in the same store called the Dragon's Den. I've noticed that recently.... but back on topic I started my pretty big Guard army filled with Tanks and lots of foot sloggers. For me all I wanted to was have as many different units as possible and not focus on spamming or how to defeat other armies. I was an off and on gamer casually for about 8 years...I still play with those guard, regardless of the crappy childish Michaels craft paints I used or the shotty models I still love them, and Im gonna use them at TempleCon. so if you see 3rd edition Catachan models looking like they were painted by a 9 year old then smile my friend, because they were and Im proud of them....

Anyway back on topic. the above was to show the wargamer I became. Im one of the few breed thats been exposed to this genre for a long time yet I still never meet anyone like me. Its a testament to the wargamer. I know gamers that are older and younger, stronger and weaker. We are a pretty diverse group. In very few places can you see a small 12 year old playing a 40 year old in a game they both love.

The closest person I've ever met that was like me is my bud Marcus and even he is 2 years apart from me. Now he is coming up to game with me for a weekend at a event Im helping to run. We wargamers start these cliques of people we like to travel with and play with but are any of us very similar? I know Division 1 college athletes that played 40k and some guys who looks like they never lifted a wight in thier life but we are all bonded by the love of very little plastic space dudemens (quote the Goat) pwning some Xeno scum across our kitchen tables and basement ping pong tables everywhere.

Now whether your a jock, a not, a player, or a hater, smelly or clean cut, even a unicorn you have to respect our community for its diversity. I'm happy to think that theres not many other gamers like me, people that I know are generally shocked by this hobby. But I usually smile and tell them its important. Now I really should get to my Bakeshop class, I have a final today.....more on this later...... =)

So tell me wargamers, when did you start? How? Who got you into the game? Tell us about your experiences in the comments, and happy wargaming!


Loquacious said...

I started gaming when I was 12. My dad got me started. I played a ton of historical war games and Napoleonic mini games before ever getting into 40K. Now, I'm a married girl with kids. I played Orks in 2nd Ed - gave them away. I'm now trying to relearn the game after 17 years away with BT.

Biodon13/RedWidow said...

Started roleplaying at 11. Been playing 40k since 2nd Ed...Warhammer fantasy since 3rd ed. Before I ever touched my first 40k figures, I played Battletech.

I introduced my son to 40k at 8 years old, which makes him an old salt at (now) 15. He started playing at during 3rd edition and plays CSM, Orks and IG.

Taurynids said...

This was a great read it really brought a new perspective on the game for me. I've been playing 40k for 6 months and I am obsessed with it. I always thought it was a game for super nerds and I was an execption (heh) but your right, the game brings many different types of people together. I have two young kids and a wife, I am working on getting them to play as well!

Thanks for the good read!

Lox said...

I was first introduced to 40k waaaaay back when I was attending summer camp, when somebody brought their guard army (with Space Marine allies!) and spent most of the two weeks painting his army. I loved the look of the models, and having read some of the fluff behind it, I found it was awesome.

Fast forward to when I'm 17. I was in the local bookstore picking up some books for class when I ran across a 40k book called "Emperor's Mercy" (AWESOME book btw). The next time I went by the bookstore, I got another 40k book, "All is Dust" from the Horus Heresy Series. (Another great book!) Anyway, the back of the books had an ad for a free 40k model, so I figured I might have to take them up on that. Apparently, GW only honors that agreement at their stores though. :( Anyway, the gamestore owner talked me into getting the Black Reach kit and the BA codex. TO this day, I still have no idea why I chose the BA's over every other army, but I did, and from there began my 40k journey.

By the way Kevin, I'm in college too, and (attempt) to play 40k. I too have played players that are much older than me.

Anonymous said...

Like Lox, I was introduced to 40K in summer camp, three or four years ago. No TV or internets meant lots of reading or finding other things to do. Well my cousin and his friend were working there that same summer, and they had both been playing 40K for a few years at that point. My cousin plays Tau and his friend had Eldar. The staff leader got into the hobby too that summer, vieing for generic Ultramarines.
Well like I said, there was not much to do that summer, so I watched them play their games, and the complexity of the rules intrigued me. I picked up the giant 4th edition rulebook they had (since 5th wasn't out yet) and started reading that. What got me to decide that I wanted to play: the Nightbringer. Seriously, just the Nightbringer. I saw the model in the hobby section of the rulebook and thought to myself "Must. Have." And then looking into the rest of the Necrons, I thought they were all pretty awesome, and settled on them being my first army.
Unfortunately, the camp was in Colorado. I live in Virginia. So coming back home, I had no one to play with, and I *really* started getting into music at around the same time, so 40K got put on a shelf to maybe rediscover later.
Fast forward a couple years to my junior year of high school, and my friend Brandon brings in this giant book to our English class. Turns out it was the giant 5th edition rulebook for 40K. Brandon had been my friend for a couple years at that point, and I never knew he played 40K. Well, that changed, and back in I came to the hobby. Been here ever since.

Marc said...

First, let me say I don't mean to sound like an old grumbler and I certainly don't mean to chastise the original poster in any way.

I must smile when I read people talk about the dark and remote age of 3rd edition Warhammer 40K. That's not because I think they're bragging or anything of the sort, but because it is a very relative concept – in the true sense of the word. For me, Rogue Trader is a mystic experience the secrets of which an earlier generation alone has been enjoying. But 2nd ed. is regular, and 3rd ed. is "recent". This is partly due to the distortion in time that you experience as you get "older", not just in age but with respect to a begining.

Anyway, I discovered Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (and roleplaying at the same time) via a friend at school. A few months later, I started playing Magic: the Gathering through another friend from the same roleplaying group. The shop where we went to buy cards also sported a large range of Warhammer miniatures. Finally, at around the same time an English student arrived at school in the class of my younger brother, and through him I got my hands on the rulebooks of WH40K 2nd ed. and WHFB 4th ed. – in English! Quite the feat for me to struggle through them at the tender age of fifteen or so. (I'm Belgian.) It was 1995 or 1996 and that's when it all began.

SenriXx said...

My friend got me into warhammer 40k...he helped me put together my first guys...then i had to put my blood angels together...and then he smashed them...but its an amazing game and your right ^_^ ive seen alot of diverse players of all races to all shapes and sizes and hairy to non-hairy, Another friend of mine who plays is actually albino! He plays necrons :P

Jim said...

It seems like you and I have a lot in common actually. I started playing in 3rd when I was about 11 years old, and I'm also from Jersey and a college student. I've had a lot of experiences like yours and have also built up an IG army over the years. These similarities are way too uncanny and have to stop!
What part of New Jersey are you from? I used to play at a FLGS near my hometown but while I'm at school (one semester to go!) there really isn't a gaming scene to speak of.

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