Way back in the primordial soup that was the nineteen eighties I started my gaming proper with Warhammer 40,000 eventually purchasing the 2nd edition box set when that came out. As cool as the Fantasy game seemed after a youth filled with Star Wars re-enactment with cardboard lightsabers I was very much a sci-fi child and 40k spoke to me in a much greater manner than the green fields of fantasy. Way back then I started out with Blood Angels but then, with the release of the Angels of Death Codex (gribblin still has a copy sitting on his bookshelf!) I switched to the secretive and clandestine Dark Angels. My 1500pts army consisted of Azrael, Asmodai, Ezekiel, a unit of Terminators, a lascannon and heavy bolter Predator, a Lascannon tarantula and a Vindicare Assassin. No, it didn’t win much actually!
Eventually I sold off all my 40k collection and bought a copy of Warhammer Quest which I enjoyed immensely. I bought models here and there as I got older and tried to get a proper Fantasy army. However, no matter how many times I’ve tried to get away from it I’ve been unable to shake my love for 40k. People lament it as the dumbed down cousin to Warhammer proper, or a travesty of power creep at the hands of Mat Ward and his Codices of ultimate power. Despite all this I can never stay away for long and come crying back for more.
There is a reason that a lot of the Internet refers to GW stuff as plastic crack. Like an addict I can try to clean myself up, but it is always easy to fall back into the welcoming embrace of stuff that is of debatable value and longevity. So what has prompted me to post a somewhat nostalgic look at the game that birthed my gaming dependence? The new version of the 40k box set launches this weekend, it’ll be in two flavours as well, a limited edition version that gives you a Chaplain and the standard set that comes with a prodigious amount of models but no zealous spewer of the Imperial rhetoric. I’ve ordered mine from a local game store. This will be the first box I’ve bought like this since that fateful day in the early nineties.
Currently all I have is my Dark Eldar, who I am honestly not that enthusiastic about in the new version of 40k. With a much heavier focus on shooting now my favourite Dark Eldar stuff has been reduced to anti-tank duty. Generally I’m a sucker for an aesthetic and I get very put off, very fast if I lose the momentum on something. Hence the Necrons codex sitting at home, I really like them.
Also, I’ve been playing Space Marine on my Xbox lately and that has caused a resurgence in my feelings towards humanity’s finest, even though long-suffering alien love Gribblin may have even more T4 3+ saves in his future. I know he’s a big fan of the Dark Angels too.
So it is that as much as I try to leave behind the universe that first swept away my childish imagination I seem forever lost in the warp, damned to forever circle around the vortex of 40k as it eddies and whirls its way through time. And while I might have to cry myself to sleep at night for succumbing to the fanboy’s favourites at least I can console myself with the thought that, for once, the boxed sets are actually a good deal for how much you get in them.