The Return of the Noob

I never thought I would get back into Warhammer 40K.  Back in the late 80s,
early 90s I bought the Warhammer 40K rulebook – mainly because I thought the
cover and pictures were cool.  Why else would I have bought it?  I didn’t know
anyone around me that played it.  I watched people play the fantasy version –
Warhammer – at my local gaming shop, but I never ran into any other teenager who
played Warhammer 40K.

At the time, Battletech was still my first choice for gaming.  It was cheaper to
play; I understood it; and, plastic stands and folded cards with Battlemechs
printed on them was waaaaaay cheaper than miniatures.  Yet, it was the
miniatures that continued to work on my subconscious and leave me with a
repressed desire to play Warhammer 40K.  It was art mixed with wargaming; it was
played on realistic looking terrain compared to the printed hex maps for
Battletech.

Aside from the original rulebook which my parents threw out at some point with
my Battletech sourcebooks, rulebooks, expansion sets, etc. after college, I
never gave another thought to Warhammer 40K for years until I ran into a Games
Workshop store in Forest Hills, New York in 1998 or 1999.  I had presumed
miniature wargaming had gone extinct and that young people had found the
miniatures to be prohibitively expensive like I had.  I assumed economics had
wiped them out.

Luckily, I was wrong.  I got back into it in a couple of years ago as an adult
with a young son.  I had been working long hours at my job and I was taking a
Latin class on the weekend at NYU.  I walked by the 8th Street shop every
Saturday.  I was a man without a hobby and plenty of money.  I decided to walk
in and begin anew determined to paint one miniature succesfully before I died.
This time I had the patience to assemble the miniatures and follow
instructions.  And, this time I had a son who could enjoy it with me.

After the obvious choice of a Space Marines tactical squad – I believe I even
had a few back in my teen years, but I can’t recall for sure – my son with his
penchant for all things aviary decided that the Swooping Hawks we be a good
first set of Eldar models.  In retrospect, choosing Eldar and particularly
Swooping Hawks was not a good idea for a beginner.  The models were difficult
and when I started understanding something about the game the Swooping Hawks
were nothing I would probably field in a small army.  On top of all of that,
Eldar are not easy to choose or understand how to play in general when compared
to the simplicity of Space Marines…(argue with me if you will but what other
race starts with a BS of 4, Strength of 4, and a 3+ Armour Save?)

Two years and a few games later, I understand the futility of fighting fate.  I
play Eldar.  Luckily, in my first few games with s00nertp he has had the patience to
put up with a noob that, in the first game, made all the wrong troop choices,
and in the second game, made all the wrong tactical choices.  Now I understand
the rules better and the codices – as a self-proclaimed student of Latin how can
I use the word codexes?  I will continue to struggle to find the perfect
CSM-killing Eldar CP combo, but at last I have returned to the realm of battle.

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