Saturday, September 27, 2014

What was your turning point?

At what point did you decide that your hobby meant more to you than a passing fancy?

For me it was being introduced to a role playing game Empire of the Petal Throne.

My family owned a unit on the Gold Coast (at Burleigh Heads) and the grandson of our neighbours downstairs introduced himself and this novel concept called role-play.  I can't quite remember the year but it was in the later part of the 1970's.  I was fascinated, I had always had an interest in fantasy with the worlds created by R.E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, this world created by M.A.R Barker was something outside the normal western style fantasy.  I was hooked, and from that moment on my desire to know more about the new experience called role-play and wargaming took off.  Thanks to magazines like The Dragon and White Dwarf magazines I found even more options available to me to expand my interest into.  Until I started earning an income I was for the most part a role-player, it was cheaper than traditional miniature wargaming.  I collected miniatures because I liked them, and I could paint reasonably well. In those dark days selling lead miniatures in Queensland was against the law (they being classed as toys - I think).  Unless a retailer knew you as a reliable customer you were required to "place your order" and then collect your figures in a few days time.  Ah the nostalgia...

My leap into miniature wargaming came about after a rather unpleasant collapse of my coterie of friends.  At the time I wasn't aware that my mental health was diminishing and that my friends at the time, like many today still do not understand what living with a mental illness is all about.  So going to miniatures was a way I could distract myself from a world of hurt.  I also didn't need a large number of people to have fun, I just needed one opponent to play a miniature wargame.

So there you have it, while my interest has always been with me from an early age, it took just one innocuous meeting to turn my life around and turn what was just a passing fancy into a full blown obsession.  What was your turning point?


  1. Well I guess I have two, separated by 20 odd years. The first was back in the mid eighties when I spied the box art for MERP in the window of a local GW store. Back then GW used to sell a whole range of different stock not just stuff they themselves produce. They also licensed other work (including some things produced by ICE). I always enjoyed Lords of the Rings so collecting and playing MERP was lots of fun. I then saw the cover to Warhammer 2nd edition and the thought of mass armies battling each other was too much to resist! Fast forward to 2013 and everything was packed in the garage for 20 odd years. But my son asked to see the old figures. Despite being only 10 he really enjoys playing wargames with me now and regularly joins me at the local club. I'm currently painting him a Norse Gael warband for his *second* SAGA tournament.

  2. Of course he only got the NG after I'd finished my own Anglo Danes ;-) one other thing. Being (a lot older) with family and house means I have a room I can dedicate to painting. Having a permanent painting station means that projects actually get completed...