It was a dark and stormy sunday afternoon,my friends and i were bored and decided to help tidy a friends loft,in a dusty box one of my buddies uncovered a thick paper backed book that bore the title DragonQuest, over the next week we read the dusty old book from cover to cover and understood it to be some form of "role playing game".
The rules of the game required us to have miniature representations of our characters for combat as the game used a hex tile system.One of my buddies said he thought the comic book store in the city might have something we could use so we took the bus in to the city the following weekend.The guy in the store couldn't sell us anything but pointed us in the direction of a black fronted store over the road,on the side of the store were red and yellow letters "GAMES WORKSHOP".
We stood outside the store quite nervously, the store was full of guys in leather jackets with long hair, heavy metal played on an unseen tape recorder,i could see cabinets with miniature men made of lead(yes lead not pewter), then had been washed in black ink to show the detail.
We entered the shop,it had an odor i couldn't place and rows upon rows of blister packs and books,names like dr who, judge dread,elric,thrudd the barbarian and kaleeb dark all swam through my mind.
We quickly found models that fit our characters plus some paints and off we went.
Needless to say we went back, pretty much ever week to look at other things like orcs or skeletons to add enemies to our role playing system, we picked up storm bringer and warhammer, then rogue trader came in to our lives or as its now known 40k along with space hulk, adeptus titanicus,blood bowl and pretty much everything ever since.
Back when i started 40k it was simpler but more confused (as jim morrison might say) we had alot more freedom because nothing was available plus codexes didnt really exist so it was nice when the game caught on and GW started to give it a bit of structure, through white dwarf army lists and compendiums etc
I have to admit alot of the early stuff was very ropey in terms of quality and i would be one of the first to admit that back then i didn't see it lasting this long,but i think what keeps people coming back or staying is how the game ticks all or alot of the boxes we want from entertainment/hobby.
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