After the massively positive and popular response I got the other day around my poll for featuring hobbyists and other animals here, I am pleased to introduce the first one. Here are the thoughts of ‘Captain Nice Guy’ himself:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I go by Pandora’s Bitz Box throughout the various online communities I’m a part of, and I live in a small city called Hereford in England.
How did you get into the hobby?
There have always been board games at home, I have brother that’s 5 years older than me and we played a lot of the games together (even if I didn’t really know what was happening a lot of the time while I was young). I remember playing a lot of games that had miniatures like Hero Quest and Space Crusade, but also looking through brochures for new minis for Advanced Hero Quest. I properly started to dip my toe into table top wargaming when I was about 11 or 12, when I started playing Warhammer Fantasy with a couple of friends. I played that for maybe 5 years or something, but at some point we stopped (I cant remember why) and by the time I tried to find my minis again they had sadly vanished. Then when I was in college I was walking past Games Workshop in Cardiff and my friend said “oh I used to play that, Warhammer 40,000…”, I told him I used to play Fantasy. We went in, played an intro Game of Battle of Macragge, and then left with the starter set and a starter army box each, I bought Tyranids. Its been over 15 years since then… now I’m up to about 11 factions of 40k of various sizes, I have about 8000 points of Tyranids now.
What is your favourite aspect of the hobby and why?
This is easy, its the social aspect. I obviously wouldn’t be playing if I didn’t have people to play but I also wouldn’t bother painting the minis either. I don’t derive a enough personal achievement working on these things to do it for myself, I really enjoy the engagement with others. Until relatively recently this was limited to my small circle of friends that play, but about a year ago myself and a couple of friends started a blog together. We were getting frustrated by the lack of hobby feedback we got from our own circle of friends in a chat app we use to keep in touch. It felt like the same few people were answering all the time, so we decided to combine our efforts and see if anyone in the aether of the internet would be interested in giving us feedback on our minis.
After we started the Krakendoomcool WordPress blog I decided to promote it on the forum Bolter and Chainsword and on Twitter. So I just started to involve myself in those communities. Suddenly I was immersing myself in these communities I didn’t know about and the really breathed a new lease of life into my hobby.
So in a way I feel like I’ve “got into the hobby” about 3 times… so far.
Which is the best faction, in your opinion?
Yikes… This feels like a can of worms waiting to be opened, after all “favourite” and “best” are two very different things! I honestly cant make a meaningful choice as I like them all for different reason. I think one of the things that Games Workshop has done so well over the years has created (or borrowed) so many interesting concepts and put them together. It was something I appreciated in the Dawn of War game too, each faction played quite differently but had a really decent balance between them. Not to mention the really rich lore to each too, even the younger additions. If I was pushed on it though… Probably Tyranids. That’s at a push though, I could easily argue against it. When I was a kid I never drew people, it was always robots, aliens and monsters. Things that were as far from people as possible… so in 40k, that would be marines, they are the faction that appeals to me the least. Certainly the vanilla codex anyway. Another thing going for Tyranids is that I like nature and they are basically animals, like super scary space locusts… and arguably the least morally corrupt race, as their motive is plain and simple, indiscriminate consumption of all organic matter. Not evil… just dangerous.
Has the hobby helped you develop as an individual? How has it done so?
When first read this my initial thought was no… after all I’m 36 and I have done a whole lot of developing in that time, none of it hobby related. Then I started to think about the last 6 months though. It may seem like a minor thing, but since getting more involved in the community I have noticed myself pushing to do some more things/trying harder in my hobby where previously I wouldn’t have considered it. So, putting myself out there more… offering my opinion, saying yes to things like this, or even pod cast interviews, painting for a Golden Demon competition, even considered taking part in a friendly (non GT) tournament. While it’s very hobby centric, I think this is a development of my confidence in how I present myself socially.
Oh Also I have plans to do some charity stuff, using the hobby as a avenue for it. I didn’t realise quite how strongly I felt about inequality and mental health awareness until I kept seeing things come up about it and I never thought that this is something I would want to do. I have been planning some stuff though, short term and long term.
Have you any pictures you can share? This can be miniatures, of playing, artwork or anything else that is relevant.
Details on this beautiful creature found here!
What, in your opinion, is the greatest strength of the hobby at the moment?
The community, without a doubt. I could go on about all of the awesome overhauls that Games Workshop have done with their new management in place… but the best part of what they are now is their Community team, which would not exist without the Hobby Community itself. Its supportive, helpful, inspiring, not just specifically regarding hobby either. The community is so full of great people that I have seen people doing charity work helping those out with other aspects of their lives and just being great examples of people in general.
What would you like to see in the future?
New factions are always nice, but i’m not holding my breath.
Anything else you would like to say?
Thanks for giving me the chance to contribute to your blog! I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s interviews.