White Dwarf issue 182 - Febuary 1995 and I was hooked. Inside were articles on than newly released Cadian Shock troops, rules and background for a fella named Commisar Yarrick and an awesome battle report featuring Ultramarines and IG vs. Da Orks!! (sure there was some fantasy and alot of Epic scale articles but who cares hehe)
See back than WD was the only way GeeDub could get new rules for units and errata to it's customers. The back of each mag also had pages of catalogue material detailing new items released and ordering info. Data cards, background articles, painting and ofcourse the battle reports littered the pages. By today's standards the types of articles are largely the same but the content is gone. Today the magazine is a glorified add for new minis and the articles themselves rarely have any information that can be considered useful.
I would go back as much as I could to pickup other issues when i could.
The bookstore didn't do the best at stocking issues so my initial collection was sparse but my interest was already peaked, I would need models. Now call it fate but around this time a new mall had opened up and in it was a store called Dufferin and Games. They mainly carried pool tables, board games and the like but also had a small section for RPGs and CardGames in the back. I got to talking to one of the employees (mostly about CCGs which I played alot of at the time) and he let me know that he could get me Warhammer minis! The addiction began......again, so simply.
Two blisters, a Terminator with Cyclone Missle Launchers and a pack of marines, 2 Mark 6 metal bodies with plastic arms, bolers and backpacks. These were the pizza arm days so possibility was limited but it was awesome to finally have some minis. I dreamed of the armies I was seeing in the battle reports and wanted one of my own!
But I needed someone to play with, so I enlisted the help of my SB brother Sean Bort. He delved into the game as I did and we decided to split a 2nd Edition Starter set, he taking the Orks and I the Marines. By this time I was going to school in a different city so we didn't see each other as much and really never learned the full rules. My love for the models at least and the world was still flourishing.
I picked up an Ultramarines Codex, Mk 2 Land Speeder and of course Dreadnought. I can still remember putting the Speeder together at my Uncle's farm, using so much two-part that the chunk of pewter was nigh invulnerable to breaking apart. The minis were painted with a black primer with white shoulder pads and metal weapons. Very simple indeed as my painting had a long way to go. I suffered a big hit when GeeDub changed their ordering policy (surprise surprise) and I was no longer able to get my fix from Dufferin, this effectively shut down the game for me.
About 95-96 I had started hanging out at one of the local comic stores (Showcase Comics). My new friends and I were into alot of CCGs at the time. Magic, Star Wars, Overpower, Wildstorm etc etc. At some point I gave the new owner Bob my half dozen or so White Dwarfs to see if I could convince him to carry the product. He showed the mags to some of his other customers and it seemed to be a hit. The only problem was that these people wanted to play Fantasy, not 40k. So i wouldn't have anyone to play with yet, but at least I had an in to getting me that sweet sweet pewter.
By the time 3rd rolled out in '98 Bob had bought a new house on the West Side and was hosting Magic and other game tournies with some regularity. With some push from him I finally had people to play the game I had loved for so long with! This only lasted a few weeks as Bob was begining to have problems with people stealing things like cards and the like while they were there. I had already befriended a fellow by the name of Chris Erickson and it turns out he was part of a gming group that had been playing 2nd edition for a few years and now played 3rd.
It was than I began playing as part of my first 'gaming group'. Chris, a fellow named Paul, Barry Gergel, Dave Johanson and i would get together in Dave Bruner's basement about every other Saturday night for some dice rolling fun. Soon my 'nilla army became a Black Templar Force with new minis, better paint and eventually an actual codex. (well mini codex) And the rest they say is history.
There's actually a ton of shit between than and now, but that is a story for a differant day.
- Thank you if you actually read through the whole bit, blogging is new to me. But how about all of you? Whats your first memory of the hobby? Did you see someone else playing or come by it on your own? Leave some stories in the comments.