In my neck of the woods playing one or more of Games Workshops (now renamed Warhammer to make everything stupid and confusing) games has been a hallmark of the nerd.
It’s worth keeping in mind that GW’s games are not so much games, as they are reasons for boys of many ages to collect small figurines of fantastical characters and then painstakingly paint them. The games are merely an incentive to buy the required collectibles.
I’ve never actually played many games. When I was a teen and Warhammer 40.000 was all the rage in my circle of nerds I had amassed the figures of two not insignificant armies (Imperial Guard and The Eldar, if you’re interested). Guess how many times I actually played any of those armies? Yup, that’s right. Zero.
To me, it was the universe that really roped me in (they know what they’re doing at GW … the bastards). The story of the Horus Heresy, and the mighty Astartes (Space Marines, if you want to be colloquial). Absolutely fascinating, and it still is today. For something as weird as the 40k universe, it has an uncanny ability to draw me in.
Now, considering that I never really got around to playing the games, one would suspect that I’d be somewhat inoculated against their charms now that I’m older. And I am, somewhat. But I have also been looking for something I can spend time on that’s not in front of a computer. Because I spend way too much time in front of the computer. Like, really, way too much. And it would be cool to have something that I could also bond with friends over. So when Troels asked if I wanted to join an informal Blood Bowl league (appropriately named “The Old Farts League”) I figured why not? I’d get out of the house and see other people, and when at home I could hunker down with paints and what not and make my new figurines look all pretty and shit.
Tonight I played my first match (and also my first GW game) ever. It was fun. I played a friend of a friend named Kasper, and he was super chill and cool with teaching me the ropes. And so, now, the Kan of Whoopaaaaaaaaggghhh has been born. They’re not very frightening. In fact, since I don’t have my own miniatures yet, they exist only on paper (and on our league website, but yeah, shut up).
What I like about Blood Bowl (which is essentially a fantasy version of American football where orcs, elves, dwarves and humans all have their teams) it’s as much about winning by scoring touchdowns, as it is about beating your opponents players into a bloody pulp on the pitch. Who cares whether you make a touchdown if nobody has any legs left on the opposing team?
I’m already looking forward to my next match. It’s going to be a lot of fun!