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How to get my friend into Warhammer Tabletop?

Which army should my friend be?

  • Space Marines! He likes Japanese soldiers, meaning melee. You already have primaris marines for him.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Imperial Guard, because he likes the Soviets and likes old time tanks.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tau, because they're "Asian" and have cool guns.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Let him play your Orks.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Necrons, because they're great for newbies.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • You should split for bloodbowl, it's way easier.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Well-Known Member
I was not sure if this should be in the books section, but considering this goes past several topic threads at once I'd put in off topic.)

Anyways, I've finally heard from an old friend of mine who lives nearby called Jacob. He's seemed to be interested in potentially us playing Warhammer tabletop, or Bloodbowl. The problem is he hasn't picked an army yet and I'm not sure if he understands the lore or all his options. I want him to pick an army that he likes, since it makes it both fun for us to play. He likes War Thunder and likes the Soviets/Imperial Japanese and he likes to collect WW2 Japanese imperial solider equipment. (Not the actual ones of course), and he's shown interest in the Imperial Guard. The only problem is that shit is utterly expensive. I've tried to get him into Space Marines, but I'm not sure. I was thinking he could be Tau as well, he likes old time things though. I have Orks, and I have Dark Imperium. I was thinking of lending him my primaris marines, (because I am a Chaos fanboy) and playing Death Guard/ Orks with him.

Another thing, he could play Bloodbowl with me. We're from Georgia so football is a BIG deal here IRL. The problem is that is also expensive, and we'd have to to decide who buys the Second Season edition.


"I say we forget this business and run."
Selling people on the Tabletop Hobby specifically for the Tabletop experience can be a bit of a hard sell as the mix of the great GW Store Contraction (wherein something like 100-200 stores closed across the US) and the whole "End Times showed that GW can and will squat entire game lines on a whim" thing both left some pretty deep scars in the community. That various non-Warhammer / GW alternatives (like Infinity) have been picking up in popularity hasn't helped either, likewise how wargaming and social distancing are a hard pair to mix.

Usually one of the better places to start is using something like Roll20 or Tabletop Simulator or the like to let somebody get a feel for how things work. It'll save money for trying out various lists, give a very rough idea of how things play (neither tends to have anywhere near the amount of finnicky precision of playing with an actual table top), and covers a lot of the basics. It also unfortunately means dealing with those systems, but it at least keeps somebody from going in blind and is undeniably cheaper than the hobby itself.

If you are set on playing with actual models, a good place to start is usually one of the side games like Kill Team or a minor escalation league aimed around armies of only a few hundred to - at most - 1000 points (though tapping out at 750pts might prove cheaper and more viable). Bloodbowl is a good example of this with the Fantasy / Sigmar line as... well, once you have the basics (the Bloodbowl field, dice, and tokens)? You generally don't need more than a handful of models, and many of those can often be converted from a sum 1-2 boxes (or even just use one of the pre-made team sets). Same basic principle with Space Hulk, Kill Team, etcetera (though Space Hulk / Kill Team are a bit better for re-using models than Bloodbowl).

Another good place to start for collecting, if you have some local non-GW hobby shops (I don't think any GW's have run a Bizarre Bazaar for ages), is see if they have any flea market events where people might be interested in selling models. I recommend these over online as you tend to at least be able to see what you're buying beforehand, as well as the prices tending to be a little more negotiable. Knowledge of local non-GW hobby shops can also be nice as they open the door to 3rd Party model makers, which... while not quite as big for 40K (outside units with no official model, see the old Tyranid Mycetic Spore incident), do at least offer additional cost-saving options. Particularly for out-of-production lines: Purchasing actual Tomb King models for a Tomb King army can cost as much as buying exclusively from Forgeworld at this point, while some trustworthy 3rd Party companies will sell alternatives cheaper than the originals were worth when on shelves. If you go to any major WH or WH40K communities like DakkaDakka or the like you can usually ask the community for trustworthy supplies and get a good list in short order.