The Mind of Thor: My Love of Warhammer 40K
I thought it was time for a proper introduction. Some of you simply know me as that guy who wrote a bunch of stuff about successful blogging and SEO and many of you probably didn’t care, and that’s fine. I know that sort of stuff isn’t exactly catering to the demographic here. A few will know me from my blog Creative Twilight. Today I thought I’d write about something I love, Warhammer 40K.
I’m an avid Warhammer 40K player. I’ve been playing since 2006 back in 4th edition when just prior to my 10-year high school reunion I met up with some old friends. Those old friends were still playing 40K a decade after high school and my fate was sealed. I could never afford it in high school. I think we can all agree it’s not a cheap hobby, especially for a teenager. As a married adult the barrier was no longer present and I was sucked into the game, the hobby and the world.
Despite that playing all the cool small skirmish games is the rage, and getting free stuff off Kickstarter for up and coming wargames, I remain faithful to 40K. In an article here a few months back SinSynn made a comment about how he couldn’t understand how a player could play just one game. For me that reason is simply a matter of time and money. I get out to play 40K once a week and typically manage a few hours a week of hobby time. If I were to split that time up between different games then I would never get anything accomplished and never really have the time to appreciate a system. Financially I would never have the chance to fully buy into a system if I was splitting funds multiple ways to support various games.
That’s the practical truth. The other reason is because I absolutely love the game of 40K. I’m not a big sci-fi fan. I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy and have devoured the works of George R. R. Martin (before he was cool), Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, R.A. Salvatore, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. and of course Tolkien to name a few. I often found sci-fi stuff cliché and growing up steampunk was coming into its own, which I still don’t care for today. However, once I began reading the fluff for Warhammer 40K I found a setting that was not unlike today’s world but with a dark and sinister feel. There’s a harmonious merging of fantasy and sci-fi with 40K to create a Gothic setting that I really found myself drawn into. Once I found myself absorbed into the story of the game, I was sold.
For me being able to jump into the world in which you play is a requirement. I’m not going to bash other games but I have not heard anything about the worlds of other games that has the same draw to me that 40K does. In fact, I hardly ever hear anything about the setting of so many of these other popular games. Players seem more concerned with a game that’s cheap to get into and fast to play than they are why they play, why the struggle they are representing. That’s what I’m doing when I play, I’m leading my army in some desperate struggle against an enemy who seeks to deny me that which I seek. I am my Chaos Lord and those loyal to the Emperor fail to see the truth of the galaxy.
I have no doubts that there are other games out there with just as deep and rich a history as 40K but when I’m so enthralled with the game, why do I care? For me 40K is like a home. I lovingly build my models, paint them, create fluff for my armies and play out battles with friends. Why would I seek another home when this one has everything I want and need?
Maybe I’m just built differently. In an age where attention flutters likes leaves in the wind, I’m not surprised that so many gamers play so many different games and never truly find one to call home. I know so many people who just bounce game to game. They might give a system a few months, maybe a few years, but eventually they just move on and seek another. They are restless, not even sure what they are seeking, yet my choice to fully immerse myself into one game is seen as the oddity. I would rather play one game that pulls me in and absorbs me than many games that are cool and fun yet fail to offer me something more than passing time.
My point isn’t that 40K is the best game ever. What I’m trying to say is that finding a game where you just feel at home is an awesome thing, whatever that game is. To be able to slip off the robe of reality and jump completely into another world, if only for a few hours, is an amazingly rewarding experience.
I love writing editorials. I came into writing this article with something else entirely in mind but this is what came out instead. I’ve struggled since signing on to being an author here about what to write about and I think I might have finally found something. I don’t just mean 40K but my mindset about gaming. Another 40K player, when I mentioned I would be writing here, had told me I could write about how I create my armies for 40K. I nodded but didn’t really see that being anything more than an article, maybe two. However, it’s the thought process, the mind of the gamer, that’s the interesting part (I hope). So I think my plan is going to be just that. To let you step inside my mind and show you what I see. I hope it proves interesting and becomes a learning experience for you as well as I.