Monday, August 04, 2008

All In...

When I get involved with leisure activities, I tend to pick one thing and get waaay into it.

In high school, I finally was able to find a martial arts school and go there. I really enjoyed that activity and wound up going 4-5 times per week, usually for 2-3hrs per time. I went to a few tournaments along the way and did win Forms Grand Champion at the tournament hosted by our school. In my senior year, I made it up to Brown Belt 3, the last belt before Black Belt. My instructor had a stoke during the spring and had an extended recovery. I then went off to college and have been looking for a martial arts school ever since. Turns out that have a job and family makes attending martial arts a bit of a trick.

In the first few years after college, I discovered the wonderful world of Everquest, the first major MMORPG, Massively Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Game. Untold hours were spent on this, both playing, and researching. I've had a subscription to one MMO or another just about non-stop ever since.

In past few years, my co-workers and I played first person shooters like Counter-Strike and Battlefield 2 for nearly 2yrs solid. We made a gaming 'clan' (NCK - No Crying in Kickball), had our own server, etc. Three of us working in the same group and the first 1-2hrs of the morning would involve debriefing the games of the night before.

When I was in Muscat, the husband of the IT manager we were working with kept asking us to come over and take a look at his toy soldiers. We didn't really know what to make of that request and typically changed the subject as soon as possible. On one of the last nights, we went over to their place for dinner and drinks. Naturally, as soon as the food was done, out come the 'toy soldiers.' Turns out, my man was a table top war gamer...stuff like re-playing Waterloo or Gettysburg. One group of soldiers he had was from Warhammer 40k, a sci-fi war game some of my friends in junior high messed around with. This guys models (toy soldiers) were very detailed and painted to an impressive standard. I thought, wow, that's pretty neat. When I got back to the world, I was kinda of between activities. I had been playing EVE Online (a spaceship MMO), but had grown tired of it. I decided to give Warhammer 40k a try. I've assembled two armies (Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Demons) painted 85/95% of them, respectively. Turns out I'm pretty good at that game, too. I finished in the top third in my first two tournaments, finished #5 out of 32 in a recent 3 month league, and am currently ~ #6 out of 37 in the current Summer League. So, I do my usual bit and read up on the subject, cruise the relevant forums, and read the associated fiction books. Incidentally, the 40k novels are generally excellent and a really enjoying aspect of the hobby.


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