Warhammer 40k armies need a reason to fight, just as you need a reason to play them. I just can’t bring myself to play a game without cause and my armies need to have to have a back story that I care about. Wargaming isn’t just about numbers and probability, (well it is, but that’s not much fun!) it’s about being lost in your imagination.
My first ever miniature was a modern British Infantry toy soldier. I would spend countless hours setting up battlefields for him and in truth, he was my avatar in the field of battle. When building my first non Warhammer 40k army, I looked for my muse: a miniature to inspire the look and back story of my army.
Ancient Greece and other popular historical periods just wasn’t cutting it for me, until I came by a miniature space cowboy with two guns a blazin’. This miniature inspired the look of my entire army; a futuristic adaptation of an American Civil War solider.
While I had a theme and color scheme in mind, I needed a more colorful backstory for my General. While listing to the radio one day, I heard the name:. It was at this point that my model came alive: he was a Southern aristocrat who believed in the freedom of all men. He decided to give up his title to join the Army of the North, to fight and die next to like-minded souls.
My army finally had a back story, a purpose to fight and a reason for me to take them to the battlefield.
The next big game for me was: Magic the Gathering. I insantly fell in love with the game, but when I first started playing, I didn’t really know what constituted a good card. On most occaisions, I got my arse handed to me and this didn’t stop at my local hobby shop. My eldest son would crush me week after week at home. I kept trying and I kept making mistakes: Goblin Siege Commander, without Goblins, Strip Mine without Life On The Loam, Kiki Jiki but no Pestermite. and so it went on. Needing a win, I would suddenly remember that I was his father and it was time for him to go to bed. (Hey don’t judge me!)
So anyway back to drafting… Let me tell you why Thrun The Last Troll is so good: He costs 2 and 2 green, he can’t be countered, he’s Hexproof and is 4/4. While he may seem unstoppable to an inexperienced MTG player, experience states otherwise. Now, for a non competitive player like myself, this card also has another layer: Flavor Text.
Thrun The Last Troll’s Flavor Text reads:
“His crime was silence, and now he suffers it eternally”
Whoa, how thrilling is that!? I could begin to imagine his past: That he refused to fight with his fellow Trolls in war. With the Trolls now extinct, he has nobody to speak to. This made him real and gave him life.
Now as a parent I find this to be important when playing games with my two boys When building Lego, their odd collection of blocks is something entirely different to them: it’s is a space ship, a fort or a house for their Lego Ninjas. This extends to every game they play including Magic the Gathering and Warhammer40k.
Warhammer 40k has a rich backstory set in a fictional universe; a dystopian future where mankind battles daemons from an alternative dimension. They believe in this world and so should we.
I’d love to know what made you fall in love with gaming and which games you enjoy playing the most?
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