Man-Child Gets Into Wargaming – Part 1

I wanted to get into miniature wargaming (specifically Warhammer) so badly when I was a teenager.

In fact, I bought a starter set back in 1998 when I was 14. I carted the box home, opened it tenderly, surveyed the stacks of plastic sprues which held my unassembled Orks and Space Marines prison, and thumbed through the arcane rule book inhaling the addictive scent of freshly printed material.

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I then proceeded to leave the entire package in the store room for the next 18 years.

You see, I had neither the patience (time) to assemble and paint the miniatures, nor the money (resources) to afford the hobby, as a kid. The rules were also a little too complex for my 14-year-old brain (efficacy) then.

But that didn’t mean I gave up the notion of one day playing the game. Today, this adult now understands how to apply for a BTO flat, and can also buy McDonalds on a whim, which means that efficacy and resources are something that I have. Time, on the other hand, is still a precious commodity to spend, so what better way to spend it, than on a hobby of killing daemons and aliens in the grim darkness of the far future?

So this series is about a man-child (as my wife sees me) getting into the tabletop wargaming hobby, and hopefully you will be inspired to do some dice rolling yourself.

The most important “tool” you need to get into wargaming.

This tool will determine how well you overcome the inertia of starting this hobby. This tool will drag your ass out of your bed during the weekends to do some hobbying. This tool will also emotionally blackmail and guilt you whenever you fall behind on your hobby goals.

This tool is a friend.

This is my friend:


This is Geek Culture’s Gerald Chan, my friend who has been unwillingly dragged into my man-child endeavours. I love his enthusiasm here.

Warhammer 40k: Kill Team

Warhammer 40k is a complex sci-fi game involving relatively huge armies, sometimes amounting into the hundreds of miniatures.

To make the torture more bearable for my clearly-enthused friend here, I’ve decided that Warhammer 40K: Kill Team would be a perfect way to get our feet wet, before I gently drag him into the deep blood-filled waters.


Best day eva!

Kill Team is a game where you take command of one squad, or Kill Team. This typically ranges from 5 – 12 models, like this:

Explaining to Gerald that Kill Team would take significantly lesser time to get started because only 10 miniatures were required, he replied with an ecstatic “Ok…”

The best way for anyone to warm up to the idea of the hobby is probably to let him/her put a miniature together. So here goes.


Squads can be outfitted with different gear configurations. Gerald’s eyes lit up oh so slightly when he realised he could take a shotgun-like pulse blaster for his Tau Fire Warriors. “Space Marines are boring,” he says. You will pay dearly for this heresy!


“WTF there are so many parts. This is epic”. I’m not sure whether he is enjoying it or not. But I am. That’s all that matters.


Ten minutes in, we realised that we have no idea what we were doing, because like everyone who has just acquired a new phone, we didn’t bother with the instruction manual. That’s a rookie mistake we will never make again.


Once we figured out what type of Tau squad we were building, it was back to modelling.


Look at that intensity. It’s the same look we have when trying to figure out why our wives are pissed off at us.


It’s all coming together. Yaaaaaaaaasssss


Tau Fire Warrior meet your new commander. He will love you. Always.

It seems like a lot of work just to get started on a game. But don’t think of assembling miniatures as a chore, think of it as a form of escape. For that precious hour of modeling, your mind is focused and relaxed at the same time. It is only thinking about the miniature in your hand, all the worries of family life, of work project deadlines, of your screaming toddler (OK, you gotta tend to your kid), all the noise of life is out the window.

Take us for example, we’re slowly putting together the miniatures during our work breaks even as curious colleagues and bosses milled around, wondering whether we are audaciously skiving in their faces by putting together plastic toys. Yes indeed we are.

Balls big as planets.

We’ll be back with Part 2 where we pit our assembled armies against each other.