Monday, May 30, 2011

Warhammer 40,000 and The Sixth Circle of Nerdom

On Friday night I played my second game of Warhammer 40,000. This time we played a 1,000 point game as opposed to the 350 point game we played the first time (each individual figure has a point value; higher numbers mean more figures and/or more powerful figures). This time around Bryce didn't pull (too many) punches and gave himself what he called a "Godzilla" army of Tyranids (giant Xenomorph-like aliens that are very hard to kill). Of course he swept my Space Marines off the board, but I managed to take out 700 points of his army (not too bad for my second game). I would have done a lot better but I made a few serious tactical errors and I had a horrible run of dice throws at a crucial moment. However, the fact that I wasn't absolutely slaughtered was encouraging and I became even more committed to enhancing my nerd status.

Welcome to the Seventh Circle
There are, of course, several different levels of nerdom; like Dante's Inferno, you could probably divide it into seven circles. Playing role-playing games (RPGs) and games like 40K has to place one in at least the sixth circle (online versions don't count; it has to be live with cards, books, figures, and/or dice). I imagine the seventh circle is reserved for those who actually dress up as their favorite characters or wear costumes from their favorite franchises.

Anyway, having determined to fully enter the sixth circle, I went to the local gaming store on Saturday to check out their prices on 40K models, rulebooks, and painting supplies. The store was filled with several people playing various games, including two individuals who were enthusiastically involved in some sort of card- and dice-based fantasy game. The gaming store setting (which was as cluttered and musty smelling as you would expect) and the patrons' clothing, mannerisms, and banter proved two things to me: 1) that Big Bang Theory rarely exaggerates in its depiction of its characters and 2) that there exists at least one place in the world that can overwhelm even me with pure, unadulterated geekiness. I almost laughed when one player's cell phone rang. His ringtone? Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: Episode I.

Star Wars is well represented in the Seventh Circle

After determining that had better prices than the game store, I went to a nearby HobbyTown USA. While their selection of 40K models and books was minimal, their variety of paints, brushes, and other supplies was excellent. Once I get June's allowance (I've talked about our allowance system before) I'll probably buy the 40K starter set, complete with basic rulebook, dice, and a generous number of figures, on I can easily get the the paints and hobby supplies I need from HobbyTown. Unfortunately, it looks like the cost of getting into Warhammer 40,000 will initially be on par with that of collecting Lego Star Wars sets, although I expect it to taper off once I have the specialized rulebooks (a.k.a., codices) and a painted army or armies. I'll probably be enlarging my armies with special characters and vehicles over time, but the makers of 40K don't release new models at nearly the same rate that Lego does. Each addition or change to game pieces requires revision of the various codices, which would bring on the ire of the players.

This scene is roughly the same no matter where you go

Whenever I start to think that it's expensive to be a nerd these days, I remind myself that my more normal friends have motorcycles, over-sized trucks, and snowmobiles. I bet I could have a really awesome 40K army for the cost of a cheap motorcycle.

1 comment:

  1. Or possibly take over the world with miniatures for what a Harley would cost. ;) See you in the 7th circle someday.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...