It seems I have not posted a bio of myself on this blog. As it is perfectly possible that there are people reading this that do not know to personally, this is a bit remiss of me. And as this is the 150th post it also seems a good excuse for something a little different.
So who am I? Well, my name is Richard, and I have been into this wargaming thing for over 26 years. And its all John’s fault.
My introduction to wargaming came via a school friend and White Dwarf 101. As an impressionable young 13 year old who had already read a fist full of fantasy books starting many years ago with the Hobbit, and having been brought up on a steady diet of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactic and Buck Rogers; the whole Warhammer universe was really interesting. And then there was this new Warhammer 40000 thing. Miniature soldiers, in space, with guns. Nothing wrong with that.
After that, my fall from grace was pretty quick. My first White Dwarf was 102, Blood Bowl, and the first edition of Warhammer 40000 that followed soon after. During my school years I collected a diverse mix of 40K models and in time quite a sizeable Skaven army. All fuelled by a local toy shop, and a mysterious place in Reading called Games Workshop.
Many a school lunchtime was spent playing Car Wars, complete with Micromachine cars and scenery built in art class. I even indulged in a fair bit of roleplaying, starting of course with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and then moving to Rolemaster (via MERPS), Shadowrun, Torg, and a host of other systems
By the time I left school I had an impressive collection of Games Workshop games, armies, and roleplaying books; and then came college, work and other things, and I drifted away from the hobby for a number of years.
Fast forward to 1998 when a friend of mine introduced me to a local Science Fiction club. Although dubious to begin with, I became a semi-regular member and fell in with a few guys who had started playing Battlefleet Gothic. A trip to the Games Workshop Basingstoke later, I had the beginnings of an Eldar fleet.
Within a few months, that small Eldar fleet had been joined by a small Eldar 40K army, which steadily became a larger Eldar army. After a short our little gaming group also expanded to include Warhammer Fantasy (happily I still had my Skaven from my school days) and gained a few more players.
This prompted our little group to start our very own gaming club, mainly as an excuse to play more regularly, and also as an excuse to meet and play more people. Thus the Sad Muppet Society was born!
For my sins, I volunteered (was volunteered…) to be Chief Muppet and helped run the club until my job changed and made that rather impractical. Over the years I edited our club Newsletter, organised our first big 40K tournament, A Small Matter of Honour, and organised numerous other things.
This is without a doubt the most satisfying stretch of my wargaming journey and I’m really proud of the community established around Muppets and the various spinoff projects initiated by myself and other former muppets.
Being a bit of a believer in community building, I also got involved with the Gaming Club Network around this time as a regional rep. This was a great experience and I made a lot of friends around different parts of the country. I was President of this organisation for a couple of years, which was interesting experience where I learnt even more about myself and human nature in general.
In the last few years, family has had to take priority over hobby, so this blog has been my outlet as I have dropped out of more community stuff. With less time to dedicate to the hobby, I have been mostly concentrating on Warmachine with a couple of Warhammer 40000 relapses.
So that’s my wargaming biography. Today, I consider myself to be a tabletop gamer having long since given up on roleplaying, card and board games. Although I haven’t necessarily played everything recently, I still have Eldar and Blood Angel fleets for Gothic; Skaven for Warhammer Fantasy and Blood Bowl; Cygnar and Retribution for Warmachine; and finally Eldar, Blood Angels (x2), Grey Knights, Death Guard and Tau armies for Warhammer 40000.
That all adds up to a lot of toy soldiers, and excludes all of the smaller projects I’ve built up over the years or the current projects that are not quite at a meaningful stage yet, such as the new Eldar.
Of course, all of those are subjects for future blog posts.
Yep, my name is Richard, and I am a wargamer…