Wednesday, 16 March 2011

What got you into 40k?

Inspired by a post on the hogs of war, I thought I’d write up a response here.

Wildeyedjester asks the question, “What got you into 40k?”

Well folks I’ve been here since the beginning, and it was pretty much by accident.

I must have been about 13. I’d been playing D&D about 3 years, and had already had my first “Citadel Miniatures”- this box in fact


I’d painted them all, badly with humbrol enamels, the only paints I knew existed from the airfix phase, and added them to my D&D collection of grenadier and ral partha stuff.

I think I’d even seen a White dwarf or two in among the copies of Dragon I read.

Then, while on holiday in Cornwall, and shopping at a strange department store in Penzance, the upper floor of which had a RP section, after selecting an oriental adventures book, and an interesting looking box of chaos dwarves, i saw it.


I admit, when I bought it, I thought I’d found a sci-fi RPG system, and it was quite a while before i read Enough to realise it wasn't. well it kinda was.. it was an odd book. it was clearly for skirmish battles, but everything was there for RP too.

Well it didn't take long to get my RP group interested, and a few weeks after returning from that holiday, having digested every freakishly lovely page, I found a box of plastic marines.

I primed them with car spray paint. bright bloody red, painted blood drinker symbology on them and sent them to war. Orks followed, games played on the bedroom floor with clothes for hills and books for buildings.

Twenty four years of gaming later, not always 40k, years away sometimes, but war machine, second world war, RPG systems galore, PC gaming, console gaming, board games, card games..

Hell I even teach Game design for my day job now.

Redbox D&D was my gateway drug. What was yours?


  1. I started with Space Marine.. we were on vacation and popped into a GW in Toronto when I was about 12. Not Space Marine the army, the system. Precursor to Epic, and Titan Legions. I even had to buy the "Renegades" expansion which added Eldar and Chaos rules.

    Played Eldar back then and I still do now. But it was a great time controlling huge armies in strategic battles.. however, moving up to 40k was a blast as everything became larger, the painting options were many more and you could envision everything better, which for a kid, is tons more "Winning" than just milimeter tall troops and a battlefield abstract.

  2. ...oh, and the Dark Millennium expansion later, to add psychic powers.

  3. Now you've done it, pull up a chair lol...Got introduced to D&D by some American friends at school back in 85, yes I feel old. Started getting White Dwarf, they did D&D articles then plus Thrud, Travellers and a whole heap of fun stuff that is no more *sniff*.

    Progressed to Judge Dredd role playing which was Drokk'tastic; whilst buying some new figures for the game in a Norwich hobby store, saw the cover of RT's Crimson Fists last stand and was hooked.

    My plastic beakies were given an unhealthy dollop of red enamel and were 'Drinkers too. Never looked back.

  4. It was Hero Quest, Space Crusade and passed down copies of White Dwarf from a friends older brother that first drew me into the hobby.

    My first 40k miniatures were a box of 36 plastic orks, a battlewagon and a couple of metal nobs with bionic legs which I got for Christmas 1990. Shortly after that a copy of the Rogue Trader book arrived from my uncle, who I guess took pity on me after reading my terrible home made rules.

    I stopped playing around about the time 3rd edition came out, but accidentally stumbled back into the hobby not long after 4th edition was released and got hooked all over again.

  5. Dave, I played space marine too, eldar. but it wasnt really "for me".
    I've always prefered more skirmish level stuff, which is why bigger games of 40k even feel a bit bleh.
    those minis were stupidly small too..

    Bix, yeah it would be about 83/84 that I sgtarted D&D. I miss Kaleb Dark. and the Idea of a chaos god who actually was, rather than an pantheon of four chaos gods who organise themselves neatly along areas of responsibility :)

    Hamalope - I used to play heroquest as a regular fixture with freinds, it was awesome, D&D lite. I really should get the boardgames out more :)

  6. Space Crusade and then Space Marine (epic forerunner) for me. I think an older friend of mine had a box of the old beige plastic marines from the Rogue Trader era.

    Although I think I was into Fighting Fantasy books before that so that would be my real beginning.

    What kind of game design do you do?

  7. Hi Pete, yeah I think my first foray was "forest of Doom" :)

    I actually Run a HE course in Computer Games Design and Animation. And I teach on lower level courses too.

    Mostly digital art, 3d modelling, level design, that sort of thing. we sometimes get to delve into mechainics as well, and I get a bit of sculpting and drawing in there as part of the design process, so it keeps me busy :)

    Interestingly, and coming full circle, a colleague of mine looks like he might have talked Ian Livingstone into coming to speak at the institution I work at, to our students :)

  8. @Karitas: You're not at Wolverhampton Uni, by any mischance, are you?

    It was Fighting Fantasy for me as well; then a couple of mates got me into second edition 40K, fifth edition WFB was just coming out so I figured what the hell, and then I started roleplaying a couple of years after that when someone invited me into their Vampire: the Masquerade game and I left the first session thinking "I could do better than that." Mind you, I was always the one kid who was coming up with games for the others to play, so I'm starting to wonder if I wasn't practically born a GM...

  9. Hey vom, not Not at Wolvo, though not a million miles away, I'm at Birmingham Metropilitain, running the HND and teaching on ND and other courses, 90% game design, some other stuff.

    These stories were a wicked read, thanks everyone who responded and thanks to wildeyedjester for thatring this ball rolling :)


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