Without further ado therefore, I yield the floor to Mr Colin Goodman!
I never set out to become a war gamer. I was more interested in tabletop role-playing games. However, I did briefly get into model building with my father. Together we built old Airfix dinosaur models, cars and the like. In my early teens I did collect and build Airfix aircraft but it wasn't anything I was particularly interested in. It was just something I did.
It wasn't until I finally got into playing tabletop role-playing games that I discovered Games Workshop. A friend of mine and I collected White Dwarf magazine and both become interested in their upcoming Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader game. We were both there at Games Day in 1987 when the game was released to pick up our copies. I picked up the original plastic space marine box and the metal space ork box. For a couple years we played some small games, but that was the start and it certainly didn't take off as much as it has with me these days.
Once 2nd edition 40K came out I dropped out. I had become more interested in playing Dungeons & Dragons and I had players for that whereas I didn't have anyone for 40k. My models were sold and I largely forgot about the game although now and again I would look them up on the internet once I had it.
I didn't come back to 40K for nearly ten years, until the end of third edition when a friend at the time wanted to play. We went over to out nearest Games Workshop store and bought the current edition. Initially I was going to buy into the new Tau Empire but I soon gave up on that in favour of going back to what I started with and still have a love for, space marines. That didn't last though unfortunately. It wasn't until midway through fourth edition that it kicked off big time. A couple people at our local FLGS were interested and I said that if people were going to play I'd start to organise a club for it and that club has gone from strength to strength. Since then I have gone from space marines to death guard and now to genestealer cults.
What keeps me going is a love for the setting, for the universe of 40K. It is what initially grabbed me back then and what continues to drive my enjoyment of the game. I'm also a casual player. I don't care about the competitive angle or making the perfect list. I'm about playing fluffy within the “realism” of the universe that we have. If my opponent joins in with that, then I can walk away, win or lose, having had a great game. As part of that casual and immersive play style I use my blog to record my games in a simple format and discuss my casual approaches.
I'm not really all that into the painting aspect of the hobby though. I find it too time consuming and I really don't have the patience for it. I paint my models with the idea that they just need to be tabletop quality – that is, they look good from eye height as we're playing. I don't like playing grey plastic these days. I am forcing myself to build a unit and paint it before moving to the next one.
Right now I am loving eighth edition. For me, this is the best rules set (bare a couple issues) and it produces the most enjoyable cinematic games. I can see myself staying with the hobby for a long time to come and I'm running our club's own version of The Vigilus campaign which we anticipate lasting three or four years to come!
I'm still a hobby gamer at 45 and I am going to be for as long as I can. These games light a spark in the imagination and provide the needed escapism for myself. My hobbies are vital to me and they make me who I am.
Checkout Colin's blog at: