Can I like 40k?

I have never really clicked with 40k, I have thought often about why that is. I am not for one second poo pooing it or saying it isnt good. I understand a great many people enjoy the game and fully immerse themselves in it and love it, which is great! But having (like a great many people) started initially with 40k, my interest wained with optimising lists, chasing formations, feeling like I had to buy X,Y,Z just to ensure that I actually still had some models on the table by the end of turn one, or equally having to remember a gazillion special rules and not enjoying the game as I needed to remember that wee Frank re rolls hits of 1 if within 6 inches of wee John, or something. `

Now this might have been down to the playing environment I first encountered, it may be down to the game, it may be down to my own personal traits and characteristics, it is probably a little of all of these. It possibly actually says a lot for the game that despite me not really clicking with it personally that I still want to interact with it.

In this first article of three I am going to try one final time to enjoy 40k. It is the game that holds my interest the most due to its ready availability and the deep setting it resides within. I am starting from a point of wanting to like it, I WANT to like it. I have split my articles into 3 areas. Modelling/Painting, Playing, & Next Steps/Lore


I picked up the First Strike box from my local Games Workshop, it comes with 3 Primaris Intercessors, 3 Primaris Reivers, 3 Deathguard Plague Marines, and 6 Poxwalkers. It also comes with all the things you need to play some basic scenarios including a paper play mat, some card terrain, dice, measuring sticks, and rules. Pretty darn good for the price point.

I set about painting the models and they have been an absolute joy. I have been painting a lot of other models and they have been great but there is just something about painting GW models that makes me want to spend longer, try harder, and engage more with. I am no pro painter, but I find the model really helps me to become better and that its design helps to crate shadow and edge highlights, giving you opportunities to practice your paint work. 

You can see from the Reivers that the shoulder pauldrons alone are a great painting challenge. Creating shade in the recess, solid colour on the plate, an edge highlight, then a blank canvass to try some free hand squad markings. A pauldron!!! A mere pauldron and I am super pumped. The other 3 marines, the Intercessors, are a slight variation and offer 3 other poses which are great, including a guy looking at an auspex (a scanner thing).

The Deathguard marines offered an entirely different challenge and I like them EVEN MORE! Puss filled buboes, dents & rents in armour, horns growing out in various places. Such a contrast to the loyal marines and such a great model design. Again as a middling painter the model really gives you opportunities to get the shade recess, the opportunity to highlight, and also opportunities for special effects. It makes it easy to pick out and try these areas. 

The Poxwalkers are different again and offer opportunities to work on skin. A lot of bared skin, a lot of boils etc as previously, & some cool industrial workwear and tools. You also get a chance to work on eyes here, which was fun. 

All 15 models supplied here offer a great painting challenge and an opportunity for you to develop technique. Skin, shading, highlights, special effects, pitted metal, slime, puss, clean metal in good working order, free hand, are all areas that can be practiced. These models offer an amazing challenge for a learning painter and for a great initial outlay. 15 models of a massive variety fort a low price. If you are interested in painting alone then you should seriously get this. 

As I reflect on this box I think it is great value, a great challenge, great variety of model style, and the most fun I have had painting for a good while. 

So, can I like 40k? At this price point, with this variety, in terms of painting and modelling I AM ALL OVER IT! 

But………Is the price respective of the price for models across the board? Or is this box just a little taster to make you enjoy it and then the price escalates if you want to get involved more? Well….Yes! haha. But also GW offer a number of ‘Easy Build’ models for both Space Marines & Deathguard to keep costs lower for a little while whilst you gain some more painting experiences such as vehicles and different troop choices.