Some of you here about quilting might be wondering what the heck this Warhammer thing I sometimes talk about is. Here's a little primer to fill in the curious.

Essentially, it's the coolest game that you aren't playing. The easiest way to explain it is as a complex version of Risk. You have an army of miniature figures and your opponent has their own and you battle against each other on a 4'x6' tabletop mat. It was created by Games Workshop who makes the rule book, individual army rule books (called a codex), and the miniatures. There are two separate games- Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 (40k for short).

Each game has separate rules, armies, and miniatures and each has its own merits and pitfalls. At the moment, Fantasy is in its 8th edition and 40k is in its 6th. In my humble opinion, Fantasy is probably the better balanced game, but 40k has less cumbersome rules. I started playing 40k in 2010 and I just started learning Fantasy in 2012.

You get set number of points total per game you can spend, and each model costs you a certain number of points. Games of 40k typically run 1650-2000 points. For example, Flesh Hounds cost 15 points each, so in an 1800 point game, you could take ten of them (for a total of 150 points) and still have plenty of points for other models. Part of the technique is to create a balanced and powerful army within the point allotment.

The miniatures come unassembled and unpainted, so you do that yourself. I love the painting aspect as much as the playing part. You don't have to paint them in order to play, but most people I play with do. There are tournaments held on both the local and national level, and often painting is factored in so there is definitely incentive to paint well.

I have one fully painted army right now, my Chaos Daemons for 40k (Dwarves and Space Wolves are in progress). It took me a few hundred hours to paint the whole army. There are just about 110 models in all. Some small models took me 30-40 minutes to paint, while some of the lager, centerpiece models took a couple hours each. Now, I am not a good painter, but I've definitely started seeing an improvement in my abilities and I'm really excited about that

It's not the cheapest hobby in the world (although cheaper than quilting, I must concede), but it's certainly a ton of fun. Between the models, the paint, and tournament fees it adds up, just in the same way as a quilting project does once you factor in fabric, batting, thread, and wear and tear on your tools.

I now have an entire site devoted solely to my Warhammer and miniature painting posts called Chickhammer. Check it out if you're interested in seeing what I've been up to lately.
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