|Torrens Purgare - The Leaders: Scout Sergeant, Devastator Squad Sergeant, |
Tactical Squad Leader, Tactical Squad Sergeant, Apothecary
Back in the early 90s, I went through a bit of a gaming rediscovery. I had been out of gaming for a bit, having not found a good role-playing group. I'd kept up a bit during this lag by reading Dragon and following a bit what was going on in 2nd Edition AD&D, but for the most part, I'd stopped playing any kind of games.
Around this time, I got laid off from my first job out of college - an ad agency gig at a place called Foote, Cone & Belding. They let me go the day before Halloween, and I knew that I was going to have trouble finding a job during the 4th Quarter because few companies hire during that time. Most of them are trying to save money from October - December, not spend it. In any event, I did hit the pavement to try to find another job, but was unsuccessful until the end of January of the following year. During my three-month downtime, I re-discovered my love of games, particularly Magic: The Gathering, which had just come out and also Warhammer 40k.
|The Captain. This was a conversion |
I did. That flag and his checker-
board shoulder armor were a
[As an aside, one thing you would need to know about advertising is that the pay is completely dismal for junior-level employees, so most people advertising I knew back then either lived at home and had money to go out and afford a car payment, or they squeezed into an overpriced Westside apartment with three friends and had to eat peanut butter sandwiches every day.]
So my buddy Mike would come over to my parents' place, where he introduced me to MTG and also 40k. I'd never played a miniatures wargame before, but I remember having seen ads for it and I knew a little about the setting. Mike taught me the rules and I quickly bought the main rulebook and some figures on my rapidly filling-up credit card, and we spend almost the entirety of the next three months painting figures and talking about how cool our armies were going to be.
Mike was an incredibly quick, and talented, painter and in what seemed like no time, he had several different armies all painted up - Space Marines, Chaos Marines, some Tyrannids and Genestealers, and Eldar.
|Display Case: In Front - Devastator Squad and Apothecary.|
Behind - Various unpainted Space Marines.
I named my guys the "Torrens Purgare", which was a vague attempt at a semi-Latin sounding name that I translated as "The Storm that Purges." The different divisions were Tacticus (tactical), Devastare (devastators), and Terminare (terminators). I didn't have any assasult troops, so I never translated that, and I eventually did have some scouts and a dreadnaught, but by that time I'd kind of given up on the faux-Latin thing.
|The Display Case (actually an |
old watch display case from a
I also picked up a bunch of painting guides and one really cool book on how to do custom conversions - like sawing off pieces from one miniatures to attach to another. I really loved that book - it had some really awesome customized figures, and I even tried my hand at it, going to far as to get a pin drill and a bunch of different saws and a vice and all that. My painting jobs were slow and tedious and I never did quite get a handled on mixing my paint so that it wasn't gloppy. But, I did like the process of painting - even after going back to work full-time and eventually moving out of the house, I brought my miniatures and paints with me, and would stay up late at night after work to paint. I found it very soothing and relaxing - while painting something that small, you get so focused that you can entirely forget that you hate your boss or that the rent is due.
|My old-school Dreadnaught|
Once i got to my hotel, I would set up my figures and paints on the desk and after either ordering room service or eating dinner in the hotel bar, I'd stay up late again watching TV and painting my Space Marines.
One thing that I didn't like about Warhammer 40k was the actual game play, however. I found setting up the figures to get ready for a battle to be very tedious, and also something that, if you didn't do it often (which I didn't), meant that you could totally make mistakes that meant your army was going to suck. Then, as how, I had a tendency to go for armies (or PCs, or NPCs, or cards, etc.) that looked cool or sounded cool or had a theme, versus something that was going to be effective.
|Close-Up of Scout Sergeant|
Despite my dislike of the game, I love the setting and I still like the idea of painting figures, even though all of my miniatures are back at my parents' house. I went there a few weeks ago and snapped the photos I've posted here, mainly because there was some talk for a while that I might try to play one of the Torrens Purgare in Jeff's 40k game. I've decided to play a straight-up Dark Angel instead, and I'm really looking forward to diving back into the 40k universe in a role-playing game rather than a wargame. I'll post about the results after the game happens.
|Tech Marine on Bike|
Hanging: Home Office (laptop)
Listening: "Mean to Me" (Etta Jones)
Drinking: We're having some tasty Zinfandel with dinner, and I'm considering what kind of pre-dinner cocktail I'm going to make. I'm thinking a martini, which of course is always made with gin. A "vodka martini" is not a martini. It's called a kangaroo (not kidding) and if you drink that, you should really just cowboy up and have a real martini.
|Scout Squad with Captain.|
In the back on the right, you can see part of my Dark Elf Bloodbowl team.
|Tactical Squad. |
In the back, you can see part of my Skaven Bloodbowl team.
|Terminator Squad in various stages of painting.|
|Imperial Assassin. My buddy Mike|
painted this for me as a gift one year.
You can get a sense of how much better
he is at painting than I am.