Tale of a Wargamer #1: The Beginning

Spud here with a journey of how my wargaming adventure began. Many moons ago while at High School in year 7 -9 (11-13 years old), we had to take design & technology as a core subject. One of these subjects was graphics where you designed something on paper and eventually you made it come to life using different materials. One school term the goal was to create your own vehicle, I decided that I wanted to design and create a TANK. My Graphics teacher at the time said, “Sean, I have some magazines at home that have some tank designs in. I promise I’ll bring them in for the next lesson.’’

Promises were upheld and the class teacher brought something in called White Dwarf!

White Dwarf Issue 245, Image source: lexicanum.com

This was first ever time I’d seen or heard about Warhammer in my life, I had not even seen a Games Workshop store at the time. It blew my teenager mind to see these gigantic tanks in different colours, massive armoured soldiers, aliens with four arms and some massive green monsters carry giant axes.(choppas)

To be 100% truthful I didn’t even finish the school project as the whole lessons I just spent my time reading these magazines that I had no clue what they were referring to. My teacher let me keep the magazines too that were a dream and the beginning of my adventure.

 The closest that I had ever got to toy soldiers were my green and grey plastic ones I played with at Grandma Spuds after school in front of the TV watching Pokemon eating ‘proper’ chip and egg sandwiches on toast. (oh they were the days!).

They were a few other issues that I was given too, one was with a Ork, a High elf one and one other that I can’t remember. I spent most my time just looking at the pictures to be honest. 

So…around 1 year later, I visited one of my still good friends to this day house where we used to play computer games nonstop till early hours (even on school nights) in his parents converted garage. One day we were doing ‘course work’ together and he noticed I had my White Dwarfs in my back pack. He then went rummaging in the garage and pulled out a giant tool box full of paints and cardboard box containing metal miniatures. IT WAS WARHAMMER! But in real life.

We spent hours upon hours talking about Warhammer and my friend was explaining to me the wonderful world of the Warhammer 40k universe. How these gigantic genetic humans went all over the galaxy fighting Orks, Tyranids and CHAOS! 

This is when my journey truly began to unravel, I couldn’t stop thinking about Warhammer. So as a young lad we didn’t have a lot of money in my family and I used to be able to earn 50p a week for doing chores around the house, so you can imagine how long I had to wait to buy models. My friend had all the glues and paints, so I just needed to get my hands on my first model that I could build and paint up. 

It was birthday time and I asked my family for hard earned cash. I knew were my first stop would be the Games Workshop store. 

The first time walking into that Games Workshop store at the White Rose was any young lads dream. Just colourful pictures and boxes of art of these monsters, heroes, tanks and machines killing and battling each other. There were other young people huddled around a table painting their little toy soldiers, big bearded men rolling dice at tables with pre set up battlefields and well even now I remember it smelling a little different. 

At the time, I was stuck between Chaos and Tyranids but I was swayed by the Chaos gods to choose them. My first ever purchases were Abaddon the Despoiler (£8) (The leader of the dreaded Chaos), a Chaos Space Marine Bike (£5) and a squad of 5 Chaos Space Marines (£5). Total cost of £18 (at the time) and change of £2. I went straight to my mate’s house and started gluing and painting up my miniatures, just copying paint schemes from the White Dwarfs. I couldn’t wait to get back to the local Games Workshop and slay folk.

The weekend after we rode our bikes down to the White Rose and were ready for battle!

’Oh you can’t field Abaddon, needs an army of 2000 points to use him, you need 3 bikes to make a squad and 10 Chaos Marines for a full squad too’’, said the Games Workshop man. WOW! Why didn’t they mentioned this when I spent all my birthday money? 

Oh well the journey did continue that day and me and my friend joined forces, Chaos and Space Marines together to play other people that weren’t serious and knew that we as young enthuastic lads just wanted to battle with our toys soldiers.

This is where it all began 19 years ago or so. This is my first ever blog post for a very very very long time and hope you enjoyed reading and following the adventure of once a young wargamer. The tale of a wargamer has many chapters and I look forward to bringing them all to you very soon. 

Thanks for reading and love you all, don’t forget to wear your seatbelts. 

Peace!

Spud

2 Comments

  1. Awesome post spud!
    Memories of saving pocket money and trying desperately to get into the hobby 😀

    I remember my first model I ever bought was an Ork Nob on bike, a little while after that an Ork with heavy weapon, then a bit after that a Ork Goff Nob on foot.

    Remember someone asking me what I collected and the conversation was like:

    “What do you collect?”
    “Space Orks!”
    “Cool how many have you got?”
    “3”
    “What..!?! You mean like 3 squads yeah?”
    “No… Just 3…”
    “Oh…”

    It took me all my pocket money just to travel over to Leeds to hang out in the shop with a bit left over. Was a lot easier for me to get into the hobby once the first Bradford store opened. Then I walked all the way to town and home again and every penny went on new models!

    Mad days 😀

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