The Greatest Hobby Ever Created: "Warhammer 40,000"
I'm relatively new to the Warhammer 40k universe, only having been immersing in it for the last three of its thirty-seven year existence. Since day one, hearing an Astartes screaming, "For the Emperor!" for the first time, I have been drawn into the nightmare universe that is 40k. I have some of the novels, a few of the video games, and I'm working on getting into painting and assembling the miniatures for participating in the tabletop games.
If you aren't immersing in the hobby, then you need to start because you're really missing out!
What the Heck Is It?
There are so many different books for the 40k universe that I couldn't name every single one if I tried. Short stories, novels, graphic novels, comics, fan fiction, and so much more makes up the entire universe of 40k. With the complex faction system, all the different sub-factions, it makes total sense that a vast amount of lore has been compiled to encompass what makes up the universe as a whole.
Personally, just reading the books is not enough after having heard the fleshed out audio books. It is one thing to imagine the grumbles of a lowly Imperial Guardsman, and it is another thing to have a Reclusiarch yelling an inspirational speech right in your ear. Even greater is being able to hear the author's idea of what all the different races and factions actually sound like, the pretension and energy in their voice, it adds an irreplaceable facet to the Warhammer experience.
Never again in life will your actions carry such consequences. Never again will you serve as you serve now. No duty will matter as much and no glory will taste as true! We are the defenders of Helsreach! On this day we carve our legend in the flesh of every alien we slay! WILL. YOU. STAND. WITH. ME?!— Merek Grimaldus, Reclusiarch of the Emperor's Eternal Crusade
The Best "40k" Fan-Made Movie!
My favorite book, and the one I recommend to everyone interested in picking up a 40k novel to start out with, is because you can't go wrong in following the Inquisitors on their mission to uphold the Emperor's will in the universe. This book follows Merek Grimaldus, Reclusiarch of the Emperor's Eternal Crusade, in his endeavor to lead the defense of the city of Helsreach on the Hive World Armageddon. From start to finish you can feel the tension, the young Reclusiarch's apprehension and reluctance, and the suspense is absolutely riveting. Helsreach
Now, the price and length of these novels can be quite daunting, even to the point you never pick up a single one; but this is why I suggest Helsreach as the place you start because it has its own accompanying, purely fan-made film. Don't be turned off by the 'fan-made' aspect of the film, I'd argue that it is better than most of the trash coming out of Hollywood and its competitors these days. You won't be going wrong in immersing in this gruesome, exciting adventure!
The Video Games
If you aren't much of a reader, such as myself, and the idea of audio books and films based on novels aren't grabbing your attention, then you could always go and pick up a 40k video game and immerse deeper in the universe through live-action! Nothing can beat the video games based on the Warhammer universe, and there is a genre for each and every type of gamer. Whether you want an RTS, first/third-person shooters, hack and slash, city builders, MMO, or even RPG... you won't be disappointed in your purchases of any and every game available for 40k.
I've wasted days, weeks, months of time on the Warhammer franchise and a majority of that has been spent immersing in the games. These days I am more for single player games, and there is no shortage of that within the franchise. However, if you are the type to want to game with your friends then they have both free MMOs and paid games that will suit your tastes more than perfectly.
Herald of the coming doom, by cry of raven we are drawn. This oath of war and vengeance, on blade of exalted iron sworn. With blood-anointed swords aloft, advance we into dread's dark shade. Punishment divine unleashed with hate, a wrathful storm of bolt and blade. Purge with plasma, fist and shell, bring fire's righteous breath. For the Emperor, Knights of Caliban, the Lion's anointed Angels of Death.— Poetry, The Dark Angels
For anyone who wants an immersive single, or multiplayer experience I always point them toward and all the horde slaughtering action it contains. This is a first-person shooter that provides both an immersive environmental and narrative experience without making you feel overwhelmed by the lore. Walking through the halls of a massive Space Hulk, donning the Terminator Armor bequeathed to you by the Emperor himself, it makes you feel like the ultimate bad-ass. Space Hulk: Deathwing
I say this is a great game for single and multiplayer but that is a bit factitious as the main draw for the game is the multiplayer aspect, and having friends to come along with you is a key to the all-encompassing slaughterhouse fun in this game. Much like in the 40k universe, you're going to want to bring some Battle Brothers along for the ride as you slay the Tyranids. The xenos scum won't stand a chance when you and your Battle Brothers bring out the plasma cannons and heavy flamers!
Get out there and spread the Emperor's light amongst the darkness between the stars!
The Miniatures and Tabletop Games
This is a facet of the 40k universe that I have yet to fully immerse myself in, as the investment of currency and time it takes to truly partake is daunting to me. However, I'm going to get into it at some point because after watching others play the tabletop games and paint their armies, I can't resist such an immersive experience that promotes skilled hobbies, camaraderie, and an active lifestyle. Looking into it all there are so many places to start, and it took me a while to actually formulate my plan for purchasing and immersing in the products.
You can always depend on Youtube to find the die hard fans that will give you all the best advice for how to start your journey into the hobby!
The Man Who Inspired Me!
At this point you can see why Warhammer 40k is referred to as "the hobby" rather than just a hobby. It is because once you pick up you've now taken a daunting leap into an all-consuming hobby. The set I just linked will be my first purchase, and this is because I enjoy the style of the Space Wolves. your first miniature set
Going with the Space Wolves was a very difficult choice for me because I could not decide whether I wanted to collect Imperium models or Eldar. The deciding factor for me was as I continued to immerse myself in the novels and other sources for lore, I found that I preferred the back story behind the Space Wolves. As it concerns fighting style, as well, the Space Wolves have that vicious endurance that I'm looking for in an army whereas I am less familiar with the fighting style of the Eldar.
Most important to all the facets of the hobby will have to be becoming familiar with whatever faction you choose to collect (or all the factions if you so choose) and to do that you need to pick up and read the rule book/lexicon. Once you have a fully assembled, painted, and prepared army then you can start arranging battle reports or even attending Warhammer 40k events!
If you plan on taking part in the hobby that is Warhammer 40k and my article isn't cutting it for you then head over here for all you could ever need!
Do you see yourself taking part in the "Warhammer" universe in the future?
There can be no bystanders in the battle for survival. Anyone who will not fight by your side is an enemy you must crush.— Lord Solar Macharius
What Are You Waiting For?
So, answer the question! What the heck are you waiting for? Why aren't you immersing in the hobby, the all-encompassing nightmare universe that is Warhammer 40k? How could you resist joining The Imperium on their Eternal Crusade for the Emperor of Mankind?
I've never met a community so loving, accepting, and open as I have within the 40k community. Such a diverse community centered around a nightmarish universe, you'd think that everyone who takes part is a little off. Heck, even I may agree with such a statement, but that is what makes it so great!
Warhammer 40k gave me a place to let loose, to take on a vast swathe of different roles and personalities within the context and safety of a fantasy universe. The fans of the franchise are an absolute wonder to get to know, and the act of taking part really brings more an endearing feeling than it does an intense desire. Although it would be accurate to say that once you start, the intense desire to immerse further never ends.
Come now and fight by our side, join the ranks of us Warhammer 40k fans; you won't regret it!