Monday, 16 May 2011
University work Hiatus and Warhammer.
Now not much has really happened that I am aware is blog worthy but I did think I could make something up about a rather nerdy hobby...
I'm sure most.... gentleman who at some point in their lives have crossed into the boundary of tabletop games, its almost a right of passage for 12 years olds to spend parental money on metal and plastic miniatures where they labour over for days trying to paint all the little details and eventually fight imaginary wars.
For those not initiated into this... I hesitate to call it 'Cult' I will try and give a brief summary:
Warhammer is one of many 'popular' tabletop game franchises that branches off from the main company 'Citadel' which then splits into two separate Sects, Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. The idea of this game is to use miniature models that represents units of an army to wage war against another army, These cover a variety of Unit styles and races, in a way its very closely linked to Dungeons and Dragons.
This is of course a simplified version missing out all the rules and restrictions in place to make the gameplay fair and structured.
Now I did 'Play' this game when I was about 12, I use inverted commas and I cant say I really understood the game at the time. I bought Eldar; Glorified space elves from the 40K universe, Got frustrated with painting them so they ended up solid gold and entered a fight with a friend where neither of us really had a clue what was going on. Needless to say it wasn't really that fun so off into the distant memories it went.... Skipping forward to midway through the Easter holidays where I was sitting around said friends house, watching him play Crysis 2 with a few others when what should come up but the topic of Warhammer 40K.
It turns out that several of my little group and I do stress little have begun to collect the different armies again just for a laugh as we never really understood it as children but now the rules and tactics of warfare sounded much more interesting.
Several of them had already collected sizable armies by spending 20 pound or so a month and seemed to want to expand further.
I wasn't particularly sold on the idea as it costs alot of money, you have to buy the units and then buy paint and glue to make and decorate your army and even then you need to understand the rules, however a seed was implanted in my head when someone mentioned about the new army just released. The Grey Knights.
A specialist army of superhuman men whose sole reason to live is to destroy the armies of chaos, demons and other things threatening mankind.. I liked that. So after much umming and erring I bought an unit. Specifically a mech called the dreadknight. Now I have a weakness for Mechs in general but when you have a thing that looks like the power loader from Aliens (an all time fav) whats not to like? and then I bought a small army, mainly due to financial cost but also because as fun as spending time painting these infuriatingly small models is I wish to keep a level of maturity and distance from the subject.
The reason for this as a person i know often remarked, is have you seen people who play warhammer?
Not that I am judgmental, I am sure that these people live perfectly normal lives but god it seems surreal as an outsider. Those who take the hobby a little to seriously, whom take it past just a way to waste time or a childish endeavor, Those who literally allow it take take over every waking moment of their day scare me. They seem ill at sorts in their bodies or out in the real world, preferring the games workshop or personal spaces, Ill kempt hair, Loose ill-fitting clothing, Man bags containing models and rule books... I can see why any girlfriend would worry if a young adult or even anyone over the age of thirteen decided to play.
Of course as a designer I give props to these people, they 'Mod' their units to make fantastical creatures or dramatic poses, they work their craft to such a high point its even masterful or perhaps works of art. But it is a little sad/geeky/ take your pick for a descriptive word.
I love Sci fi and I find it to be an interesting way to pass time that isn't staring at a computer screen or sketchbook (physical exercise is always preferred) but I do not wish to ever be so caught up in something that isn't real. Escapism isn't a good trait to have. equally perhaps we shouldn't be so judging of those who do play it if they are happy knowing that I/we will never go there.
Needless to say it provokes alot of thought on the subject.