Today's post is going to be a little boring, no pictures or anything, but I feel I need to do it anyway. Today I shall be talking about myself (who doesn't like doing that) as a gamer and where I am at the moment. This at least will give you some idea as to where I am coming from in future articles.
My experience as a gamer started a long time ago, back in the days when the Lord of the Rings movies were coming out. Though at the time I was not a fan of the story (I hadn't read it at least) I was interested in the whole fantasy genre thing. I was over at a mates place, Beau, in 2003 where he showed me the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. I was hooked and loved the fact that tactics made an impact. I had been playing games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Chess for a long time before, but this was something different. I remember that it felt real and I felt like I really cared about what happened to my guys. We had a few small battles with Beau's quite large collection, though I realised later that we weren't quite playing it properly. I went home that day with a new aim in life, to play this game and paint the miniatures.
It was a while before I got another game with my friend and it was a similar sort of day, though by now he had painted a few more miniatures. I thought at the time that I would never be able to paint that well, or have the patience to even paint a whole army. I was in Kingaroy (the closest town to where I was living at the time) when I stumbled across a shop that sold these gaming items. They had a table set up with, if memory serves, a battle between Tyranids and Necrons half played. It was an amazing sight and I was just so excited to play a game of this scale, which was a lot bigger than anything I had previously played. Just thinking about that now, it was probably about a 1000 point game, though at the time this seemed like a huge force. Lucky for me it was my 13th birthday coming up and for said day I got a box of Beastmen. I was so happy and excited and I couldn't wait to paint them. I bought some paint (some of which I still have and is still good) and painted them...furiously is probably the word. To be honest, it was a pretty terrible paint job, I didn't even undercoat them. I had no idea how to play Warhammer (I wasn't even aware at this stage that there was such a game, I thought that it was all played by the same rules at LotR) but it didn't matter to me, I had taken the first steps in a wider world.
I had another few games with Beau over the next couple of weeks where I added some High Elf Archers to my army. We made up stats for my miniatures that reflected a similar unit in LotR. I lost pretty easily, but I didn't care, I had never had so much fun. I wasn't even aware of the points system and had I been I would have known that I had about 250points of miniatures while Beau had nearly 1000. But as I said, it was fun and I didn't care.
It was at school that I had my next big experience with wargaming. Beau had moved far away and apart from the sadness of losing a friend I now had no one to play with. One day I was talking to some of the cool kids at school, not because I was their friend but because I thought I might be cool too. Then some of them started talking about "Space Marines" and all these amazing things that they could do. I asked one of the members, Marty, about what he was talking about. He showed me the third edition Space Marine Codex and told me about the game. This got me really excited again as I listened in on Marty and Dov's conversations about how certain hero's had done certain things and how such-and-such a model would take out some other model with ease. Marty told me about the local gaming group and I simply HAD TO go along.
I stepped through the doors of the hall in Kingaroy not knowing quite what to expect. I walked in and was amazed at the diversity and awesomeness of the armies on hand. It was 2004, I was 14 and blown away. I talked to some of the players there, recognising some of the people from school and realising that this was a really big thing. I didn't know that so many people played wargames. All around me were stories of the kind that had inspired me to go to the games night to begin with. I talked to some of the players and showed off my miniatures, now made up of a unit of Empire Knights as well. They were very polite and said that my paint job was pretty good. One of the members, Brodie, asked me what colour i had used to undercoat with. I answered that I didn't undercoat. I even realised it then; all of the people who heard my say this looked around at each other as though I had committed some sort of terrible crime against humanity. Despite not getting a battle I still had a good night though and left with high spirits.
It was a while before I went to the games nights again, in which time I had gathered together a 600 point army of Chaos Warriors, all heavily upgraded and built to survive, though they didn't. I played against Dave alot, the person who ran those games days back then, and always lost against his Skaven. I was slowly getting the idea of the rules though tactics were yet to cross my mind. Looking back on those first few years of gaming I hadn't really grasped the hobby in it's entirety and was yet to fully understand how to play. I had only just bought 5th edition Warhammer rulebook when 6th edition came out. I gathered alot of Chaos Warriors together and lost all the time. I think it was probably two years before I ever won a game. This fact became more and more frustrating. I was enjoying the game but a win occasionally would be nice. I had about 3000 points of Chaos Warrior when I decided that they weren't for me and swapped to High Elves, who, perfect to form, got a new army book just as I got into them. This started the long tradition of me starting an army and then they getting a new Codex or Army Book shortly afterwards.
Wargaming continued to be a big part of my life, though not a very successful one I must admit. Over the years these are the armies I have played; Warriors of Chaos, High Elves, Tomb Kings, Space Marines, Space Marines, Eldar, Tyranids, Space Marines and then onto my current project of army building which I shall detail in the next blog. I took a year off from Warhammer in 2009 I think to have a break from losing perhaps. Coming back from this year was a good feeling, though to be honest I felt a little like I was starting again.
At the time there were two gamers groups in Kingaroy; the Games Day, held every Friday night, and the Veterans, held every second Sunday. I was a part of the veterans, who felt to me and probably many of the others like the 'real gamers'. This is a silly idea really but the politics back then were, lets just say, interesting. I won't go into detail with them just in case someone gets offended. When I got back into Warhammer I started playing with Tyranids, an Army that just suited me. It entailed everything that I believed in and was just the right army for me. I was now living out of home and so could spread my nerdness all over the place, which made me very happy and allowed for games whenever I wanted. I was now a 40K player, and there was no way that I was getting back into Warhammer, I just didn't like the rules at all.
Then, in 2010, I saw a Youtube video on the Beasts of War channel about a different game called Flames of War, who had just released a set called 'Open Fire'. This game intrigued me and after looking into it I purchased one with my housemate, Marty. He played the Germans and I played the Americans. This was something new, a different way of playing that just made sense to me. I loved it, I loved it so much in fact that I gave up 40k and sold all my Tyranids on eBay, though I was sad to see them go. It was a fully painted, 1250 point army of over one hundred models, painted green on top and brown on the bottom (let me know if you currently have them, just out of interest). They were not painted very well, by my standards at the time, but it was a fully painted army, one of the few in Kingaroy at the time.
I started playing flames of war with Marty and loved it so very much, though as Marty moved away I had no one to play with until I convinced some people to get into it only just recently. Even now I don't often get a game of Flames of War, so I am getting back into 40k, now that I have money to support my habits.
So here we are, the present day. My apologies for going on for so long but we are nearly at the end. I am now playing Flames of War as a British Infantry Company and am just starting to build up a 40k army, which I shall detail in the next blog. My journey through wargaming has got me many friends who I respect very much and cherish their company. It is a fun hobby, no matter if you are a painter, a player or just a collector. I am now part of a fully amalgamated group called Kingaroy Wargamers with a wide variety of people and a few different types of games being played. I have enjoyed wargaming for nine years now and weather I enjoy it for the next nine or ninety-nine, it will be time well spent.