Getting back into Warhammer Fantasy : Why?

I’ve already posted on this blog that I used to play Warhammer Fantasy Battle to a small degree when I was younger. I remember having a large board that had a Hornby train track setup on one side and was painted up for Warhammer gaming on the other. We used to put the board on top of the half sized snooker table that we had in the spare room. As was the way back in the day we then had terrain pieces made out of cut foam or painted cardboard boxes. This was 3rd edition.

As I’ve been getting back in to the hobby gaming world, I’ve been feeling around to find what fits with me. I’ve fallen back into the blood Bowl groove but have been looking for more. I’ve picked up the 40k rulebook, but haven’t really made a connection with that yet. I’ve also been looking at other types of games – board games, dice games and card games. As I’ve been feeling around I’ve been reading websites, forums, looking in game shops, listening to podcasts and seeing what is being played at the local gaming club.

At this stage of my life I am not a gamer. I’m a hobby gamer. The aspects that appeal to me most are collecting, painting and list building. That is influencing my choice. I’m also seeing what the local gamers are playing and seeing what interests me most. Time is a big factor in my life, so in terms of playing games, smaller scale skirmish games are naturally a better fit.

40k hasn’t connected with me. It seems too nerdy. Even as someone who has played games and is aware of the GW / Warhammer universe, it seems too difficult to get into. There seems to be no real entry point. Seeing people play it and reading what people write about it, there appears to be so much detail, background and general nerdiness that I’m not prepared to get into. There’s so much back story that I don’t want to play it. This is not the fault of the players, but I suppose if you want to keep a game franchise running for so many years then you need to keep adding story. It’s obviously working for GW to some extent but that’s not a topic for discussion now. Another factor is the 40k podcasts that I listened to all added to that barrier to entry. I had about 5 podcasts downloading for a few months and gradually I’ve stopped listening to them all. Again the levels of nerdy discussion broke me. So 40k is out.

I’m on the Mantic kickstarter for Deadzone, so that will come later in the year and cover the skirmish side of things, plus Necromunda has seen a resurgence locally. I’m reading up on that and keeping an eye on the local campaign.

Warmachine has been on my ‘wishlist’ for a little while. I’m quite interested in the miniatures and the time aspect of the gameplay. I like some of the mechanics that I’ve read and heard about but the big downside for this game is that I’ve not seen anybody play it locally. I know I said that I am a hobbyist, but I’d still like to play a few games once in a while.

For me that left a return to Warhammer (Fantasy Battle). It must be something in me that prefers fantasy, or maybe doesn’t like sci-fi as much, but I prefer the concept of dragons and knights to tanks and lasers. The podcasts that I tried have also helped – Bad Dice and Heelanhammer in particular. Nerdy yes, but not to the extent that I found with 40k.

I don’t see myself ever going to tournaments, but a few games down the local club yes. I’ve already decided to collect High Elves. There’s a recent army book for them and lots of discussion about them which helps me learn quicker and there’s already a decent starter set of models in the Warhammer starter set – Island of Blood.

I’ve just got Island of Blood and am already looking on eBay for a few cheap additions to make up a little army. That’s another 50 odd minis for me to paint. While I do that I’ll play a few games at the local club and will start reading the rules, army book and forums with extra gusto.

I do think this will be more of a hobby collection than anything else at the moment, but who knows? Give it a few years and I could have a few armies and be playing every week. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

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