I picked up a box each of Fire Warriors & Pathfinders and put em together soon after. Even started painting the little guys, though I did a pretty terrible job at it.
The hobby didn't take that time around, though. My early/middle twenties were a terrible time for anything that required a significant investment on my part, either in money or hours. There were just too many other things that needed doing, too many other cities to visit and adventures to have. Alas, my beloved Tau soon became the de facto property of Andrew after sitting in his house unloved for so long. I wonder what ever happened to those guys!
Years pass and I pick up a copy of the original Dawn of War for my PC. Games Workshop's licensing would see me return to the 40k universe for another crack at fandom. This time I really enjoyed myself, though that's hardly surprising. I've always been a big RTS fan, and Dawn of War was a well-designed and unique game that really took advantage of the setting.
I kept up with Dawn of War for as long as it was supported, buying each of the four (!) expansions and playing multiplayer games over Hamachi with some internet buddies for weeks at a time. Eventually I'd get bored and stop playing for a while, but I always came back to DoW at one point or another. There are very few games I've revisited as often, and that speaks volumes.
An oldie, but a goodie.
Dawn of War served as an excellent introduction to the armies and universe of Warhammer 40k. I loved the Orks and their low-tech weapons, but Chaos was my jam from day one. I favored the Tau once they came along in the Dark Crusade expansion, thanks to the loveable smashy Krootox and pewpew goodness of Fire Warriors. When Soulstorm came out, the Sisters of Battle charmed me with their love for heavy flamers and creepy mechanized units. Unfortunately, bugs and balance problems marred that particular expansion so fiercely that I never really got to enjoy my time with them. Perhaps another time, Repentia!
Fast forward a bit to the release of Dawn of War 2 this last February. A redesign from the ground up based on the Company of Heroes model for RTS gaming? Intriguing! I bought this game on day one, of course.
Dawn of War 2 didn't really light my fire, but it did do some interesting things that kept me playing for a while. Multiplayer was just too competitive and broken at launch for me to get really into it, and Warhammer 40k fell out of my world once again, only to return with the relaunch of Space Hulk.
Tomorrow: Buying my first army! Maybe even a bonus list, my very first published on the internet. Exciting shit.