Despite the allure of Space Hulk, it wasn't really until I was buying paints down at Endgame that I knew for a certainty that playing 40k was in my near future. While asking for some advice with the paints, I noticed that they had a copy of the new Space Wolf codex behind the counter.
I knew the Space Wolves from my previous experience with Dawn of War. They're a color choice in the Army Painter, and even though I kind of loathed the color scheme that now graces this blog, I felt compelled to investigate them a bit. I knew that they were the sons of Leman Russ, who was apparently some big fancypants in the 40k world, and that they liked having big, scary wolves along for their fightin'.
Danzig approves of the Wolftime.
I never got much further than that, but they seemed like an okay lot for Space Marines. Chaos and I were still holding hands and skipping merrily through the battlefield together, picking skulls for the skull throne, and nothing was going to ruin our love.
Then I saw the cover to the new Wolves codex up close. Uhm, holy crap.
Turns out that the Space Wolves are more than just an ugly color scheme, they're motherfucking rune magic-slinging Space Vikings with huge goddamned axes and furs everywhere.
Now, I listen to an awful lot of metal, and some of my favorite bands either sing about vikings, dress like vikings, or both. I've got a big beard, I wear t-shirts with the eldar futhark written all over em, and I listen to prodigious amounts of extreme music. The Space Wolves and I, we're going to get along just fine.
If you're a Space Wolf player and you don't listen to Amon Amarth, you should probably kill yourself for doing it wrong so hard.
To prevent myself from doing anything stupid, I force myself out of the store without ordering anything and go home. Unfortunately, the internet is at home, and the internet is full of pictures of the awesome new wolf kits. Before I even know what's happening, I am on the Endgame forums putting in a preorder for a bunch of the new Space Wolf stuff. So much for resolve, eh?
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I've got my first boxes in hand. I start putting together some Grey Hunters and Blood Claws, along with a few Wolf Guards in Terminator Armor. This is where I start to make rookie mistakes. I don't really think about the weapon loadouts I'm giving my Wolf Guard.
If I could do it all over again, I'd take the time to get some magnets and put them inside the arms so that I could swap them out easily. Oh well. I was very excited to start modeling and playing, and my enthusiasm got the better of me. Hopefully it won't happen again!
I also made a few mistakes and modeled some Blood Claws poorly. I made one with a Plasma Pistol and Power Sword, a wargear combination that I don't think I will ever actually use in a list. I ended up just breaking his arms off later on and replacing them, but I still wish I hadn't done it wrong the first time.
Building my first army taught me to be patient. It's really exciting to get your guys together and start playing with them or painting, but a little bit of research into weapon loadouts or a little bit of preparation for future flexibility goes a very long way. Have a good idea of your list and unit makeup before you start putting these guys together; the amount of options can be pretty staggering!