How Did You Find 40k?

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Pimpcron tells you how he found 40k and wonders what brings people into the hobby.

Hi people of Earth! Pimpcron here, to talk to you about my early years in the hobby and how I found 40k.

Just a Regular Heretic

I was always known in my group of friends as the guy who constantly and obsessively created his own board games and coaxed everybody into playing them. They ranged from Board Games to Card Games, to RPGs. Some of them were really popular among my friends, others not so much. The problem is that my group of friends at the time weren’t really gamers. They were just “normal” friends who hung out with me and we played games to pass the time. But I always wanted one of my games to be a smash hit, and have people excited to play it.

That kind of happened with a few of my games, but I eventually figured out that I was barking up the wrong tree. They would probably never get excited about a game because they weren’t gamers. So I had toyed with the notion for quite some time that maybe I should just sadly give up my quest to make the perfect game, and join in playing a game that already has avid followers. It was a few months later at a local Flea Market (with little stores inside) that I found a gaming store that was full of different games. One thing that caught my eye was the Assault on Black Reach box on the wall. The owner saw me looking at it and asked if I play and if I’d like to learn, they had a weekly group that met every Wednesday. I thought that this was crazy expensive compared to my homebrew games; but I figured I’d just check out the club and see if there were nice people to chill with.


Just a Regular n00b

It took a few weeks for me to remember to come up on a Wednesday, and being that I didn’t know a soul there or play the game, I was a little apprehensive. But I took the plunge, asked all kinds of questions, hung out with a dozen or so complete strangers, and tried to figure out what army suited me best. I even got cornered by their resident Lore Historian for quite a while who told me everything and anything about races and battles that I had no knowledge of and only passing interest in. 😀 We became good friends eventually and still are to this day.

I picked Necrons originally because they seemed the coolest aesthetically, before I knew about pesky things like the Phase Out rule. Ugh. New players may not know what I’m talking about because it isn’t in the codex anymore.


An Exception, Not The Rule?

I can’t really be sure about this, but I would think that most people don’t get into 40k the way I did, without knowing anybody who already plays it. Is that true? I would assume that most people get into it with a buddy, like by splitting a starter set. Or maybe one of their friends already plays it and they just get sucked in.

In a way, it was the Starter set that drew me in, but I didn’t actually buy one until a year later when I got into Space Marines and Orks. But that brings me to the point that starter sets might be the reason why many of us got into the game. Although most of the new players I’ve seen come into the game didn’t make use of a starter set until once they were in it. So I’m not sure. That’s why I’d like to hear how you got into the game.


I think it’s a great idea that GW has been putting out boxed sets at a semi-regular pace that features different armies. I think these are a great starting point for new people at a nice discount from buying the models individually. Even though to a new player, $120 or so for a starter set is pretty steep. But if two people split it, they end up with roughly $60 spent, which is the same buy-in as a video game. That seems to be a price point that most people spend all the time for new play-things. They also come with basic rules to play and are *supposed* to be two balanced and fair forces to play against each other. But is it new players that really buy these, or mostly existing players who buy them because of the discount?


So how did you find the hobby and what drew you in?

Want to witness my slow descent into madness? Check out my blog at

Pimpcron Signature
  • wong40k

    Dawn of War

    • Same here. Great game and at some point I noticed there was a whole
      range of background and hobby stuff (this was before GW changed their
      homepage from hobby site to pure webstore) and got drawn in.

      only my favourites from the game, a single Hammerhead and Crisis. Then I
      discovered some guys I know played the game for years aaand yeah.

    • DeusXenith

      According to GW management, video gamers dont buy models or participate in the hobby, therefore you are lying or don’t actually exist.

      • Tim Whitehead

        They’ve not met many of us then have they 🙂

        • Spacefrisian

          They met those 5 blokes that were nearby, 1 of them played the other 4 didnt (20% 😉 ) and none of them play video games.

      • petrow84

        Damn, those spam-bots are getting more and more sophisticated, each day!

    • Farler

      Same, gamespot did a preview of the first dawn of war game and I found the games workshop site slightly after and started finding as much lore as I could.

  • Jamie Garrett

    One christmas my parents made the mistake of buying me Hero quest. I was about 9 at the time. That game got played again and again (until it literaly fell apart) so we upgraded to Space Crusade. After 6 months of that (and all the expansion packs for birthday/pocket money) i finally bought the rogue trader. Even then i didn’t play full games until 2nd edition launched (the one in the header picture). We then played at school and even got a teacher to play (who then organised the use of a classroom after school hours to run a club). I’m now 36 so been playing for ages…. (sad face at realization of how long I’ve been playing this game…)

    • The Basement Gamer

      Better picking it up at 9 and playing all those years than someone like me, who didn’t even start it until he was 30.

    • Matthew

      Mine was something similar. There was a hobby store in the mall and I saw some 40k stuff inside when I was around 10.

      I ended up with a Chaos Army box way back then right at the start of 3rd Edtiion. Painted it something awful but ended up playing 40k for the next 18 years.

    • Thokt

      Heroquest was arguably my start as well, I just bought an unpunched copy off ebay – it was worth every penny.

    • matus

      Yup, hero quest, then space crusade and into fantasy. Dawn of war then moved me into 40k

  • Ak318

    I got into it via Lord of the Rings battle game

  • MPSwift

    Back when I was about 10 a mate of mine collected Marines (naturally) and convinced me to get involved and so began my first foray into 40k with the Imperial Guard back in 3rd Ed. Ended up with about 2500 points of Catachans a couple of years later and the rest, as they say, is history!

  • The Basement Gamer

    I was into comic books and roleplaying games as a youth, and there was a comic store (Twilight Books & Games) that carried Warhammer. Every time I was there, I was drawn to that section but price and my inability to paint stopped me from pulling the trigger. A decade and a half later I had a great job and was expecting my first child, I knew I had to cut down on the “bar scene”, so was looking for a hobby to pass the nights. My mind went back to Warhammer. In 2006 the Games Workshop website was an absolute trove of inspiring articles, great scenarios, it even had the forum then. I took the plunge, and now 9 years later I’m getting that exact same kid who indirectly started it all into the game. Which is just as well, since I spent his college education on little toy soldiers.

    • euansmith

      ” Which is just as well, since I spent his college education on little toy soldiers.”

      That got a real laugh out of me.

    • Desmond Burke

      That’s pretty much my story as well!

      I also didn’t know anyone that was into it, and took the plunge going to the local GW…which promptly closed a couple weeks later. One of the employees there said he was going to form a club, and gave me his contact info. I bugged him for what must have been almost a year before we all finally met up and I got to play! Exciting times.

      I still buy and build 40K stuff, but haven’t played in a while. Been loving Malifaux and Frostgrave.

  • Tlhswallow RGN

    Got Battle for Macragge at a jumble sale when I was 8, stopped playing after 2 months for 2 years and then came back to the game.

  • Ebsolom

    Steve Jackson opened the portal for me via Warlock of Firetop Mountain book in 1982. D&D followed along with Car Wars and historical skirmishes (WW2, Vietnam, Cold War era modern). Been a geek ever since.

    • CRW

      I still have that book!

    • templarsmonochromata

      Ahh…but did you ever hear of the most exellent, interestingly contemporary and far less ubiquitious…. GRAIL QUEST books?

      Stand still.
      Don’t fidget.

    • Damistar

      My first SJG was Battlesuit ( an infantry game set in the Ogre world). While I was enjoying playing the game with the little card tiles I thought minis would be coolerl. Then I saw Space Marines ( a little squat one with 2 power fists) and a friend told me about a new game that just came out called Rogue Trader that used the minis. I’ve been playing 40K ever since.

  • Dave

    Hero Quest, BloodBowl, Space Crusade – then Rogue Trader. RT was my personal favorite, the game oozed with options and encouraged creativity. I still have some of my really early original plastic marines. Propeller “flight packs”, grenades and knives glued everywhere. We’d buy any cheap models we could and kit bash up vehicles. To me, that’s when the game was about the hobby. GW didn’t care how you built what you used. They were happy to have folks playing the game.
    The local player base exploded with the second edition starter though, which was a good thing. But the pure creative aspect of the “hobby” has dwindled with every iteration since RT, and that’s a bit sad.

  • jazeroth

    mates started playing it in 2004. i traded a skateboard i found in a swimming pool for a large (over 2k points) of blood angels and now have over 15k points of BA’s, 7k of necrons (i was hoping they could be allies of convenice at least 🙁 but they are still fun to play with), 6k of eldar, a knight, 570 pts of assassins, a knight, and started a tyranid army which i have already got 3 to 4k pts!

    • DragonZnork

      Cool story, especially the skateboard part.

  • shyvax

    Got Heroquest for Christmas…. then Space Crusade, then bought a White Dwarf few months later… then it all started, and 25 years later I still paint small soldiers 🙂

  • euansmith

    My Dad’s mate was Phil Barker who was one third of the “Wargames Research Group” who produced THE War Games Rules… I started going to his place and playing various war games. Though I quite enjoyed the toy soldier aspect, I’ve always been a rubbish tactician. I started spending money at a shop in town that sold Citadel minis. Eventually Rogue Trader came out and I played some games with a friend (lots of Daleks vs Cybermen vs Unit). After a long break, I played 40k again towards the end of 5th Edition, but dropped it when 6th came out. Now I stick to skirmish games.

    • Commissar Molotov

      I remember Wargames Research Group! Cool!

      • euansmith

        The days of average dice and tables and fractions and maths 😀

        • Commissar Molotov

          I remember a WWII North African campaign war-game where you had to account for water supplies…the Italians used more than the Germans because they cooked a lot of pasta. At that point, I threw up my hands and started looking at miniatures gaming instead.

          • grim_dork

            That was the Campaign For North Africa, by SPI. We actually tried to play that game in the mid-80’s. It got a little too involved.

          • euansmith

            Those old one-zillion-counters-and-a-massive-hex-map games really came out a few years too early. They make much more sense on computers.

          • grim_dork

            Aye, but i miss them all the same.

  • euansmith

    Looking at the 2nd Edition box; that is one heck of a lot of stuff.

    • Another Biased Opinion

      Yeah it was – and only £40, I still have most of it and Dark Millennium too.

    • Spacefrisian

      Funny as i mentioned that box earlier this week, in comparison to the AoS contents.

    • Erik Setzer

      Mmm, yep. Figures, card terrain, templates of all sorts, dice, charts, rulebook, unit details book, wargear book, cards for psychic powers and wargear, all kinds of goodness.

      Guess it was “too complicated,” though.

  • Tirnaog

    Started as a WFB player from the 2nd version of that.
    Most of friends wanted a SciFi game so we got the WH40K 1st version. Played each version after that up to the current one.
    But prices has slowed us down. Lost a few because of it. And the last two of us has about given up on it now. Even with a six figure salary this game is just too expensive.
    We have switch lately o X-wing. Great game by the way.

  • CRW

    In the grim darkness of the 20th century my mum bought me the Lord of the Rings when I was 10 or so. I got into fantasy stuff saw the store and went in.

    Warhammer fantasy took me into 40K.

  • I think it was 1996. My friend brought over the second edition boxed set but we only used two squads. these were Terminators and Howling banshees. He gave me the terminators to use, told me they wee better and I couldn’t seem to hit or save. some time later I was invited to a group game at his house. I think I decided I liked 40K after that. Second edition was…challenging. I can’t recall winning too many games. But I also didn’t grasp all the options available to my armies at the time. How I miss plasma missiles, real smoke launchers, and real overwatch.

  • Maus

    My dad took me into a GW to buy paints for his historical wargaming*, and I saw Space Marines and decided they were cooler than the model airplanes and tanks I was into. It was a couple of years before second edition came out.

    * “REAL wargaming” as he calls it whenever a GW staffer asks him what he’s working on when he goes in for paints these days

  • Yosef BenSadon

    two diffrent times:

    first as a kid 9-14 i found it throught friends and played principally fantasy and a litle bit of 40k. i rember to ahve collected around 3-4 armies 1000 points each.
    then just last year after soem firends cancelled on us in a poker night, we found his old lotr warhammer… then we begun to buy in ebay and now only 1 year after we own like 8000 points of lotrs,
    and 2-4000 points of each warhammer 40k army except eldars (both), marines spinoffs and orks.

  • Devourer

    1995 I saw some old tyranid warriors and a carnifex (screemer killer) at some dudes house (I was 15) and found out that there was a lot more of those fantastic minis and even one of only a handfull of german GW stores in the city. So next time in the city I searched for the store and then I was in 🙂
    Found a guy there who wanted to sell his (all metal) tyranids and that was my first army!

  • JonnyRocket

    I bought the set seen in the first pictures when I was in high school with the intention of playing with my AD&D group and it never really happened so I used the minis in other games.

  • Hendrik Booraem VI

    I found WH40K through a friend at church. He had found a White Dwarf magazine that had rules for Tactical Marines in SpaceHulk (hint: they die a LOT) and had been drawn in by the artwork and the story.

    I was 18, had a job and a car, and a bunch more money to spend than he had, so before long I had the rules (Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader), a bunch of tactical Marines (box of 30: $30, including only RL and flamers as special/heavy weapons choices, but a power fist on every sprue!), and even a few pewter models (Space Marine officers, apothecaries, and Grey Knights Terminators with force halberds). I bought an old-school Land Raider, and eventually bought Space Hulk to get the terminators from that game too. (they looked totally different from today’s termies. They were like something you would 3D print today)

    Anyway, before long I had my group of friends playing WH40K, Rogue Trader edition. Did you know that back then (1989), Orks only had S and T 3? They got buffed in a White Dwarf because everyone was treating them as if they were S/T 4 anyway. Without that buff, they made no sense. In 1990, an Imperial Guard boxed set was released – lasguns were the ugliest things imaginable. They were really just little plastic tubes with a flat part that glued onto the soldiers hand. The current lasgun looks SO much better.

    You could also buy a boxed set of Squats. You could buy Hearthguard blister-packs. Ahh, those were the days. The Warhammer Compendium had numerous articles explaining why the squats and the eldar hated each other, and why the squats hated the orks, because Tolkien’s universe still ruled everybody’s thinking about orks, dwarves, and elves.

    In about 1996 I threw away everything that I had – Space Marines, terminators, a full set of old-school Harlequins, 60 Ork boyz, all the books, etc. I was newly married, had no friends, no one to play WH40K with, nowhere to buy new stuff, and nowhere to store the old stuff.

    But in 2003, Dawn of War was in development, and I got interested again. So, I’m back, and now I’ve recruited about 15 new players in the town where I live. We spent all summer playing a campaign every Thursday night, and eventually I hope they’ll set up a student organization so we can have more games on Saturday’s here on the campus.

    That’s right. I’ve been playing WH40K since 1988. And I’ve introduced two score players to the game. In the grim, dark future, there is only… WARHAMMER 40K!!!

  • Necro Alienerd

    When I was a child I used to buy my Pokemon cards from a shop which had walls covered in GW boxes, and I remember the bright blue models on all the 3rd ed space marine boxes like it was yesterday! Then when I started secondary school the boy I was alphabetically sat next to had a white dwarf with him on the first day, and to break the ice I asked if I could read it with him and yeah… that was that.

  • Erik K

    I had been playing historical miniatures for years (original owner of 1977 Ral Partha minis) but it wasn’t until my son turned 10 and started getting into 40K with his friends a bit. I ended up buying the Assault on Black Reach set and splitting it with him. Three 40K Armies and Five WFB /AoS Armies later, I now have my painting station in secretariat desk next to the kitchen table so I can paint there every night after work.

    As my son’s interest in the game waned over the last couple of years, I’ve stuck with painting but a busy schedule has kept me from playing it having a book open all the time. AoS has changed that. We’ve played more AoS games in the past couple of months than all of WFB, primarily because we don’t need a PhD in WFB rule set in order to enjoy it. 40K will come back too for us as a result.

  • Squirreli

    Back when I was a kid we had a group of friends who fooled around and did what kids used to do back before computers and internets and whatnot. Someone got a Hero Quest. Then I got Space Crusade and soon it was RPGs and M:tG. Then, in -96 we went to a convention to hang around and play some and saw people playing Warhammers. Hooked.

    Half a year later, we had all added both both WHFB (4th ed) and WH40K (2nd ed) to our hobbies, with our small and badly painted armies. For both games, the first things we got were starters, and for both games, someone started building an army on the starter minis.

  • I split the 3rd edition starter set with my mate after playing fantasy for a short time. Still have those marines in my army to this day.

  • Jacob Karlsson

    Depends on what we consider the hobby, but I started painting at the age of 9 because… well, my older brother did. It started out with toy soldiers and went on to role- playing miniatures. In the meantime my brother picked up Warhammer and 40k. After a few years I started painting Warhammer minis too (just to collect)… Dark Elves. There were kids my age in the neighborhood who played 40k, but they didn’t manage to sway me into switching system and start playing. It wasn’t until I was 13 or 14 when a friend of mine wanted the split the starter box for 3rd edition 40k that I got into playing the game. I have ever since though.

  • Ruadhan

    For me, It was when I met the younger brother of a friend of mine and discovered I had more in common with him than the friend.
    We started hanging out, and he showed me a few little plastic dudes he had, and this tank..
    I’d never seen anything like it and thought it was utterly awesome.
    The tank was a Tau Devilfish, so within the week, I went out to a hobby store and bought a Hammerhead Gunship.
    I spent that summer playing battle after battle with my new toys.

    That was 12 years ago, and that same hammerhead gunship lives on my shelf today.
    Alongside the better part of 15,000 points worth of tau, necrons, imperial guard, tyranids and adeptus Mechanicus.

  • I started with the hobby 2 months ago because of age of sigmar. A good entry point for newbies which gives the universe a new start

  • Lee D Boosey

    I first got interested in Warhammer when a mate of mine turned up at school with a bunch of Skeletons he’d built out of Citadel Miniatures original box of 30 skellies. with so many
    pieces he’d built them with extra heads and arms, just for fun.
    I then discovered WD which I began collecting from issue 111.. the one that originally had the Squats list in. Got hold of issues 107 to 109 (the original Imperial guard list) and from there having found a couple of fairly local shops began building a Guard army. and with blisters of 5 minis at a pocket money price of £2.50.. it didn’t take me too long to build a force containing tactical, assault and devastator platoons of plastic guardsmen.. beastmen units, penal squads wt explosive collars and hidden human bomb guys, commissar squads, jetbikes and rough riders (on those horrible early white plastic horses), rhinos and landraider transports.. one of which i later converted to a whirlwind with a WD article..

    • Damistar

      Do you remember the WD with the Baneblade plans 🙂

      • Lee D Boosey

        I don’t remember that issue but then I’m getting on a bit now.. not to mention I’ve moved a few times since I started this “bloody stupid*” hobby.

        *an almost direct quote from my Mum

  • I played fantasy, and most of our community played 40k so I looked into playing it too. If it weren’t for the community overwhelmingly supporting 40k i probably would have passed on it.

  • Another Biased Opinion

    A few of people collected the models at school (@ about age 10), I thought the models where cool but they didn’t actually play, I brought a box of Space Marines for a fiver (10 Marines for £5!) built and painted them and then persuaded my parents to buy me the 2nd box set (£40) went to secondary school (about age 12) and met some more ppl who collected and now armed with the rules we started playing on Saturdays.

  • Tomek Nowik

    Well I noticed Warhammer minis in store where I used to buy cards for MTG and Doom Trooper back in the Dork Age of 90s. And I got my hands on WH40k chaos gate and Final Liberation. Commisar Holt was my role model in my teenage years.

    • euansmith

      Best Commissar EVER!

  • synapris

    when i was very young, back in roughly 2003, i went to the “pokemon league” in munich (basically a huge hobby building with lots of floors and tables, where people could play all types of board games, pokemon was one of them), my brother and i saw some people play with 3-dimensional models on a board, and i watched them for a while. i remember one of them playing tyranids, afaik, memorizing the zerg-like appearance.
    when we finally left, i told my brother that one day, i would play this game too.

    well, my brother then met a friend who played WHF orcs in 2007 or so, he brought us into warhammer, which later got us into 40k.

  • Draco Aleksander

    Home games of D&D and Battletech lead to going out to play Mechwarrior: Dark Age (the now-defunct Clix game), which put me in the hobby store for long enough stretches to become aware of WH40k. Once I started learning about the lore, I was hooked.

  • Cameron Chapman

    I was six or seven, and I’d just found my dad’s box of old Fantasy miniatures and 3rd ed rulebooks in the attic. He came home to find me pointing the cannons at piles of dwarves and making ‘pew pew’ noises, so he took me to a GW when we visited scotland and asked if I’d like to play Fantasy or 40k. Being a kid and obsessed with Star Wars, I took the one with lasers. I eventually left the game for greener pastures at 6th edition, but I’m still glad I played while I did.
    To be fair, the 1st Edition WFRPG book I found probably had a bigger impact on my life as a whole, though.

  • Divergent_Reality

    I worked at a traditional games store in college and started playing 40K to get better at selling it. I still play my Necrons.

  • Commissar Molotov

    Bought the WHFB 2nd edition box in the mid-80’s because I wanted rules to fight out large-scale D&D battles – when Rogue Trader came out a few years later I noticed the stat-line was the same as WHFB and the rules were similar, so I snagged it to see if I could adapt stuff over to WHFB. I fell in love with the art and background of 40K and I’ve played it ever since.

  • Warboss Sotane

    One day I just kind of wandered over to the Warhammer tables and started poking about. Next thing I know it’s been two years and I gave up Dark Angels to become a Warboss. For Da Waaaaaagh!!

  • Benderisgreat


    In like, 1989.

  • Malevengion

    By the time 40K showed up at the FLGS I was already an avid Battletech player and gamemaster for a number of rpgs, I liked the blisters of Space Marines and circled buying them for fun for a while. When I found out there was a game to use them in (and that they had basically taken fantasy races (elves, dwarves, orks, etc.) and made them sci-fi) I was all in. $37.50 for the Rogue Trader book felt like a lot of money back then but we played almost every weekend so it was worth it.

  • NagaBaboon

    Space crusade. I’m going way back.

  • Marcus George

    Fire warrior.

    And good god am I glad it did 🙂

  • Xodis

    Dawn of War was the first time I ever heard of it, but I never got into the miniature Wargame until a few years later. A buddy (who was looking for an opponent during 5e) started talking it up and gave me Lucius and a Squad of Plague Marines to start with. Well that was a Slaanesh hero and foot soldiers of Nurgle so that didn’t seem right (I like unit cohesion) so I picked up a squad of Noise Marines and Typhus shortly after. My wife was out shopping with his wife and they went to the game store. His wife knew about the game and the fluff enough that she convinced her I needed Abaddon…..its been a black crusade from there that has cost me a lot lol.

    • euansmith

      That’s the trouble with Abaddon… he doesn’t like to suffer alone.

      • Xodis

        Very true, using him in 5e was awesome. Didn’t matter where I dropped him or with who, he usually took at least 2 shooting phases himself giving all my Bezerkers time to get in place, Noise Marines time to hunker down, and time to bring in the Oblits for destruction. It was awesome lol

    • Me

      Awesome wife!

      • Xodis

        I think so too lol

  • David Metcalfe

    I played Heroquest at my friends house, and pestered my parents for it. I got Advanced Heroquest for my birthday in 1991 and never looked back!

  • zaeley

    Started in 2004 With tau, 3rd edition still existed then. Though I had encounters with the hobby previously through friends, school presentations (sort of like a glorified show and tell) And a very long time ago a white dwarf for warhammer in the late 1990’s.

  • BrianAWC

    Was playing in a particularly bad Battletech tournament at the local mall, age 15 in 1993. The TO had set up a featureless battlefield, just a white hex grid with a single hill in the middle. Each player had 1 ‘mech and it was a free-for-all.

    Some guys were playing 40k off to the side. Dozens of painted miniatures, tanks, cool-looking terrain, handfuls of different dice (back then you needed d10, d6, d20, and even the odd d4 or d8 for 40k.)

    My friends and I looked at our single, sad looking miniature on a featureless battlefield and said “we should try that other game.” My friend bought the 2nd edition box set soon after that.

    Edit: I would not have stayed with 40k had there not been a strong local league. An older guy in the area started the “Fantasy Adventure League” in the back room of the local bowling alley! 40k was played there every month.

    We went back to our good old friend Battletech for a few stints over the years. Don’t take this a slam against Battletech. We still love that game.

  • aka_mythos

    My first exposure to GW was through Heroquest, though I didn’t know it at the time. That lead to me looking at other miniatures… while I bought a few random citadel miniatures, GW wasn’t really consciously in my head. One of the sales people at my local store one quiet afternoon asked if I’d wanna try Space Hulk; we played and I walked out with my own copy. After that’s when I first looked at GW and 40k.

    • euansmith

      “One of the sales people at my local store one quiet afternoon asked if I’d wanna try Space Hulk…” It is not to late to sue that person for loss of earnings…

      • Me

        Don’t forget emotional distress (a big one here in the States)…

  • Me

    I started in second edition. Some friends of mine started hanging around the local store (which was a pretty neat place for a town of 10-15k. I really liked the owner, so I just picked an army that sounded cool and (mostly) looked pretty cool without knowing anything about them. Got my butt kicked a lot, but had a lot of fun. Then I went to college and got married (at the same time even), so my disposable cash ran away in horror. That was over twenty years ago. I got back in on the very end of sixth. Things really changed, but they are still a bucket o’ fun!

  • Big Fat Fred

    There was a little comic in the box set of the Judge Dredd RPG. It had a little story about a Space Marine getting overenthusiastic about little toy soldiers. A commissar shot him. Excellent – I had to try this game out, so I bought Rogue Trooper the next day.

  • Arkham

    Space hulk first edition, a looooong time ago.

    • euansmith

      Doh! You just reminded me I’ve got a copy of the more recent release sitting untouched somewhere in my house… tooo much stuff!

  • Thokt

    An article in Inquest Magazine reviewing something like the Top 40 games. The picture shown was from the Imperial Firebase – tyranids and marines. Bought the starter with my best bud not too long after.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    started playing Traveller and Judge Dredd RPG at school in around 1985, think I saw an ad for Tabletop Games of Nottingham in the back of a copy of Dragon Magazine, or possibly some wargames magazine. Sent for their catalogue (in those days you had to send a stamped addressed envelope) and saw the Laserburn rules advertised. Thought they might work well as an adjunct to Traveller whose combat rules were a bit lacklustre, but we ended up playing Laserburn in 15mm at school, sometimes leaving skirmish games set up inside our desks! That was my introduction to tabletop gaming.

    Started to attend a local wargames club in 1988 at 16 and saw GW games. Moving on to Rogue Trader seemed a natural progression from Laserburn, the weapons and fluff are much the same due to Bryan Ansell’s involvement in both games.

  • Damien Coté

    Actually mine was a close call. I was 12 on a road trip to Edmonton with my Family. We had picked out various stores to go to a the West Edmonton mall for the two days there. On the last day I got jealous that my sister had picked more than me, so I looked at the registry and found “Games Workshop”, and thinking it was a video game store, I pushed to go there just to spite my sister haha.

    We almost couldn’t find it, and almost ran out of time, but then I saw the red and yellow writing. I was so glad it wasn’t a videogame store.

    I remember seeing this really cool terrain set up, it was like some factory, but they had a sewage river in the middle (really thick and various shades of green intermixed). I thought it was the coolest thing. It was Tyranids vs Marines set up, and being a fan of starcraft (I now know the error of my ways) I instantly wanted to play. We didn’t have time to play, but I did buy a starter paint set (that had 9 FULL paints and 5 marines with the lovely parade formation stature), which the guy at the store had given me at a discount because I was just short on being able to purchase it (man have their sales tactics changed).

    13 years of loyalty and they eventually priced me out because I am a student who started my BSc in Astrophysics but finished it in Molecular and computational biology, then moved to Finland to do my MSc in Bioinformatics, and finally plan on going on to do my PhD in Nanomedicine. I just don’t have the time for a well paying job to afford all the good stuff. And the old stuff just has trouble stacking up against the new stuff.

    But it was a great 13 years! (Sadly I couldn’t afford to take everything with me so they are sitting in boxes back home. Perhaps when I finish all my schooling and if I can find a job, I will pick it up again).

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      enjoy your time in Finland, its a great country. Sorry to hear Gw have priced you out, hope you haven’t given up gaming entirely. There are a few very cheap games, like SAGA or Frostgrave, if you can find a group nearby to play.

      • Damien Coté

        Thank you! I’ve actually returned to card games as I can play them with friends over Skype as I travel the world.

        (Went to Highschool in Arizona (US), BSc in Manitoba (Can), now MSc in Turku (Fin), and looking into a variety of places for that PhD (I see the light at the end of the tunnel!)

        On another note, the friend that I gave all of my 40k to wants to have a battle over Skype. I feel like I need a special Commander’s Chair for that one, as my men are moved for me haha

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          card games over Skype sounds like a great idea!

          I was meant to be in Turku this month at a musical instrument makers conference but real life got in the way. Finnish folk music (the old stuff- jouhikko, kantele, runolaulu etc, not Tango) is cool.

          If you play 40k over Skype you need a robot arm to move the models for you!

          • Damien Coté

            Yeah… Pokemans (haha that’s what we call it, with pookachu) brings that those childhood fuzzy feelings.

            Ah crazy. So close but so far haha!

            Nah my friend is going to move them haha. But I could build the robot, given my education haha. Good thing I don’t really play horde (Emperor’s children and Farsight).

          • Shiwan8

            I suggest that you go for Korpiklaani to hear what good finnish folk music is.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I like Korpiklaani for their sense of humour, but I’m not really into folk metal. My favourite Finnish artists are Timo Väänänen, Minna Raskinen, Pekko Kappi, Rauno Nieminen, and Sanna Kurki-Suonio. I liked the band Hedninagarna when it was heavily influenced by Finnish folk and had Sanna and Anita Lehtola as singers. I also listen to Värttinä though they can be a bit ‘poppy’. I am a really big fan of Gjallarhorn, who are technically Finns though they are Swedish speaking Finns and their music is mixed, likewise Wimme Saari and Ulla Pirttijärvi who are Saami Finns.

  • Spacefrisian

    Revell Tank models way back got me into 40k, funny that i recently bought a new 1:72 WW2 tank after so many years (17 years to be precise)

  • Jon

    I’m starting to think my buddy and I are the only one’s who started play the game after reading the books. We were reading 40k books while in AIT in 04. Were semi aware of the game but mostly read the books. In 05 we started looking into the game more and took the plunge a year or so later with an assault on black reach starter.

    Then I read my first dark angels book and was hooked on the unforgiven. Many thousands of dollars later I have a room dedicated to war games in my house. However 40k is losing my interest. The game is going down hill and the books are also getting worse. They fragmented the HH books so much that people don’t want to read the whole series. Even I find it irritating that I need to download 15 audio dramas, 15 e-book exclusives plus a bunch of limited edition books just to get the whole story.

  • zemlod

    My first contact with GW was the HeroQuest game we played as kids, but I kinda forgot about it until I discovered the Praetorian Guard while procrastinating online instead of doing some paper for uni. My wallet hasn’t been the same ever since.

  • Mr.Gold

    I enjoyed painting model tanks (Airfix) etc. when I was younger (about 12+ years ago), and one day when I wandered into a model shop I saw a “Spiky Tank” (CSM Rhino), I knew I had to have it so my parents got it for me for my birthday, along with some CSM Marines. my wallet has hated me since then…

  • benn grimm

    It was a land raider a friend had received and didn’t want that first got me into 40k, then fairly soon after the 2nd edition box set; there were kids at my school who played and in those days they used to really encourage gaming in gw stores. Halcyon days indeed. 🙂

  • 6Cobra

    Battle Masters led to Hero Quest, which led to Warhammer, which led to 40K. (Which led to Horus Heresy!) That’s my hobby history in a nutshell, with a few side forays into Necromunda and BFG.

  • Damistar

    Reading all these posts it seems that GW should do a reboot of Heroquest. It seems to be a common denominator among the majority. Maybe they could do one for 40K?

  • Splicer

    In the late 80’s went to my local comic book store and they had a display up. That was all it took. I spent a lot of summer earning money so I could ride my bike to get more minis.

  • Retconned Legion

    My friend introduced me to warhammer in my first year of secondary school. I went to the school club, heard some people talking about Las weapons and went over to see what they were going on about and bam I was hooked.

    It’s been twenty years now since my plastic crack addiction began.

  • Eric Lindgren

    Friend wouldnt shut up about it. Convinced me to buy dawn of war, as I enjoy rts games. As I started looking up the lore of the factions I grew more and more interested until a few yaers later I bought my first starter set.

  • Talos2

    They discount the bundles? Is that right?

  • polyquaternium7

    I didn’t choose the 40k life, the 40k life choose me

    • euansmith

      K 4 Life!

      • Shiwan8

        Lyfe, even.

    • polyquaternium7

      I started with 2nd edition via a friend of mine, I started with just one box of genestealers….Those were some genestealers with an epic battle history.

  • Sutr

    I came from fantasy… Back in 96 went to a presentation on a comic book store i went to and found out there was this strategy game with miniatures and they had dwarfs as a playable race.

    Hooked ever since.

    Started playing 40k in 3rd edition from an expanding gaming group but came to starting to love it somewhere in 6th edition.

  • Senexis

    I read a review of 1st edition Space Hulk in Space Gamer magazine. It said that Space Hulk was one of the few games that not only lived up to its hype, but gave more than it promised. They were right. I played through the solo campaign and got my mates into this awesome game.
    Eventually we’d played the spots off the thing and tentatively (we were all roleplayers who’d come to know 40k as ‘that game where people argue over tape measures all the time’ but slowly we became hooked.
    That journey started over 25yrs ago and I’m still here (on and off) including 3yrs running a GW store

  • DragonZnork

    A friend told me about 40K and WHFB when I was in middle school. As I always loved sci-fi settings and crafting stuff, I got hooked quite easily. It was like 12 years ago, I feel old when I think about it.

    Even if I rarely do Warhammer stuff currently, I never stopped painting minis.

  • King Muddah Effin Brandon

    It was the late 90’s. I found the models at Past, Present Future In West Palm Beach, FL. Bought the holiday catalog. Then picked up a few back issues of White Dwarf. Then the Space Marine codex. Then a Terminator. Then a Marine w/missile launcher. Then a Tactical Squad. Then a Rhino. Finally, I remembered that lived in West Palm Beach, FL… and couldn’t afford this game.

    I escaped FL in 2009, and relocated to Louisville, KY. I had caught up with my debts by September, 2013. I then took the plunge, first with Marines. Then Guard. Then Inquisition. And now, Tau & Eldar. I’ll be starting on either Orks or Dark Eldar, after Thanksgiving.

  • Gunther Clone C

    Friends drove to a hobby shop about 2 hours north of town without me and started getting into the hobby. One bought Necrons for “zombies,” and the other bought Tau for “anime/gundam.” They called me after I got off work and told me to come up and get in on the hobby. 40k had just released 5th edition. I arrived some hours later and my friends were already putting their models together and getting paints (because it was also an assembly & painting contest). I looked around and my Tau friend was trying to get me to buy Orks, but I could help but notice the gaunts and genestealers on a nearby display table for the Battle for Macragge starter set. I thought, ironically, I know, “These look like the Zerg from Starcraft (I know, now, Nids came first), awesome!” And I never looked back. I bought a battalion and this was also back when they sold five carnifexes in a formation for apocalypse. I still have two gunfexes (heavy venom cannon and barbed strangler combo). I never got all of my stuff painted (but it’s primed), but I was given plenty of help on how to build my models and lots of information. I love the hobby a LOT, except for the fact that I have no time to play and no money to buy the amazing new models. Love the game, and I love my Skaven too.

  • sleeplessknight

    I felt the urge to build, paint and collect models, I saw how amazing the warhammer 40k models were and decided I needed to start buying awesome warhammer 40k models to build, paint and collect!

    Haha, j/k. GW wishes that’s how I got into the hobby.

    Here’s how it really came down. Me and my D&D group came across a GW store and got a demo game of Necromunda. We really enjoyed it and decided it would be a great filler activity in between D&D games and when we’re waiting for late players to show up. So the next week I went back down to the GW store where the staff then sold me the Warhammer 40k 2nd edition starter. I took it to my next D&D game where everyone groaned and called me an idiot because I bought the wrong game. We decided to give it a chance and tried playing it anyways and found it to be a bit lacking. Because we were all kids, none of us had the funds to collect the size of army necessary to really play the game. We shelved it for a few years until we all got a bit older, and had part time jobs and more income and decided to give it another go since 3rd edition had just hit. Eventually 40k practically took over the D&D night and we alternated between playing 40k and D&D each week.

  • Ira Clements

    Collected miniatures and painted avidly from around 1980. Played RPGs. Tinkered with home brewed miniature only rules. Warhammer Fantasy turned up in the hobby shop around 1987 I think. Bought it. Bought Adeptus Titanicus. Actually held off on Rogue Trader until around 1990. Bought Space Marines and just about everything else GW put out all through the 90s. Also played Warzone, Chronopia and DBA/DBM. Never really stopped. Although I dont play any GW stuff anymore as it all sort of went to crap some time back. Models are still nice but there is no justifying the price they charge any more in the least.

  • Mikillangelo

    Awesome post, Pimpcron. It’s nice to see an article with comments that are actually positive toward 40K.
    I can’t remember how I ended up with the book, but I first started “playing” with Rogue Trader on my bedroom floor. I had books for mountains and whatever miniatures I could find around the house. Rogue Trader was the most amazing impossible-to-play game ever made. I can’t remember exactly what got me into 40k, but I pretty much play ever major dork game there is, so of course 40k is on the list.

  • Shiwan8

    From epic to rogue trader. Skipped 5th edition.

  • Chris. K Cook

    HeroQuest => Battle Master => Warhammer Fantasy Battles => Necromunda => 40K

  • The first thing that got me into “characters have stats” was Das Schwarze Auge, a German RPG comparable to D&D. From there it was Hero Quest, Blood Bowl, and then Fantasy 4th edition. I didn’t get into 40K until I moved into a different city in 2008 where somehow no one played Fantasy, but everyone played 40K.

  • minifanatic

    It all started at my local hobby shop that I would visit after school. The guy there asked if I was interested in this new miniature box set of space marines since I had already been buying and collecting Ral Partha fantasy miniatures.(I bought their campaign book also, Chaos Wars) I told him no I didn’t like the futuristic stuff. Then another box set came out later called Eldar Harlequins and the rest is history. Fell in love with the hobby and bought back issues of white dwarf starting with #106 and then buying the rogue trader rule book in between there. My brother bought me a box of the first space marine plastics. We had a blast building them, too bad I converted most of them when the next edition came out. Then I bought more of the plastics as they came out orks, IG and then squats believe it or not. Like you none of my close friends game and were more into video games than war gaming, good ol’ snes/sega master system. So I ended up just reading about the game until 3rd edition when I actually played a game. I couldn’t really afford all the miniatures back then but bought a lot by saving my lunch money :). With prices now, I think it’s even harder for kids to get into the hobby unless their parents spoil them. Now, I’m just a casual gamer that will teach kids and friends how to play if they’re interested. I don’t game much anymore but I guess I am what GW thinks it’s audience is and that is a collector. I have most of the GW line including Fantasy, forge stuff and some specialist games. I have also collected miniatures of many different lines that I don’t know where to store things anymore. lol If you read this whole thing cheers to you. I have been collecting Citadel/Games Workshop minis for about 29 years.

  • Erik Setzer

    My dad played miniatures games when I was young. I would stand around, a young kid (wasn’t even 10 yet), watching guys playing all kinds of games. Fell in love with Space Marine/Adeptus Titanicus, and I’d draw Titans all day and imagine them blowing up buildings and their enemy. Eventually, my dad let me play in some games. Then I got my own figures, some Blood Angels (and later Orks, the first of soooooo many Orks/Orcs). I joined the guys on the table top, playing games in small shops scattered around town, staying up all night playing a game in the living on a pair of folding tables with felt tossed across them and terrain on top. Eventually the community grew and I had more people to play with. Found the GW board games as well. Have since played pretty much every game GW’s put out.

    But it all goes back to watching, and then joining, those guys playing in the shops. Attached a photo from one of the games… back then, we liked painting, but we wanted to get on the table ASAP. And yeah, that’s various card templates, psychic power cards, terrain made form wood and felt, a couple of BattleMasters towers, some plastic buildings, all kinds of goodness. Today the modern gaming crowd would probably look down on that table with derision, but it was where my love of the hobby was forged.

  • jrallnella

    Was hanging out with friend at the games work shop part of my store waiting for the next round of Friday night magic the rest is history.

  • euansmith

    Any chance of you posting some of your Pimpcron Games (TM); the ones you used to write yourself?