I’m a fan of both Warhammer universes; though, I’ve never had the money to play the too-expensive-for-my-tastes wargame, I’ve played most of the video games, I own all three editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and I received as a gift literally all the Warhammer 40,000: Dark Heresy roleplaying books. So, when I (finally) had a chance to check out the Games Workshop store in Rockford, IL, I jumped at the opportunity.
As I walked in, I was immediately greeted by a nice man who ran the store. I wish I could remember his name. (I’m terrible at names. Seriously. I once misspoke my wife’s name when introducing her to a large group of people. It was very embarrassing.) I mentioned my love of all things Warhammer and that I would one day like to play the wargame. He immediately began showing me the starter products and left me alone for a bit to handle other customers.
In the store, various games were going on. I saw a Warhammer 40,000 game going on. I’m pretty sure some Space Marines were battling the forces of Chaos, but I didn’t pay very close attention. I was too busy lusting over Ork army pieces and the new The Hobbit wargame sets (I had just seen the movie and was (still am) very excited about it).
The store employee (Steve? Andrew?), approached me a few minutes later and asked if I wanted a FREE paint lesson that comes with a FREE mini war-figurine. I’m a big fan of free. I picked out a dwarf figure (because dwarves are awesome, and I was still obsessing over The Hobbit), and learned proper painting techniques.
What I got painted of my dwarf looked pretty decent, if I do say so myself.
The employee then played a simplified game of Warhammer 40,000 with me. It was very simplified, but I love rolling dice, so it was fine. The employee asked me if I wanted to buy the set… I did. But, being a guy with two kids and no space to store all the cool stuff, it’s simply too hard to justify the price for plastic figurines (and doesn’t include the paint).
It’s really odd to me that a wargaming store with basically one product can exist. I’m glad it can, and I wish I could support it, but I find it interesting that such a niche store can operate, even if it is VERY small.
Now, let me tell you the horror part of the story.
First, a little background. I’m allergic to a lot of things. And I break out in terrible, itchy hives whenever something sets the old immune system to “crazy.”
After painting the miniature, I broke out in hives.
I’m allergic to the paint.
Meaning, that if I ever wanted to actually start playing Warhammer, I couldn’t paint my own stuff.
And that’s half the fun. I’m allergic to a game. A guy that loves games gets all itchy and bumpy thanks to a game. Ironic terror.