These Army Soldiers Love Commanding Space Marines

I've always gotten the sense that a lot of men and women in the United States Armed Forces enjoy a good game of Call of Duty — the fast-paced first-person shooter is a good way to blow off steam.

But not all soldiers love fast-paced video games — a good number of them like something a bit more strategic. This cool article over at Slate talks to a number of army soldiers, all of whom are big into Warhammer 40K.

According to the article, 20 to 25 per cent of Warhammer players are members of the military. "I've been an infantryman for 20 years," says Maj Stephen D. Carey, "I'm no stranger to fighting. But I'm a total nerd." Former marine Samuel Corum explains that soldiers are used to following complicated sets of rules, and with its massive rulebook and intricate miniatures, Warhammer 40K is a lot like the armed services:

For service members, the game's appeal goes beyond basic competition. Corum spent a chunk of the last decade living in a meticulously regimented world. Everything, including his uniform and hairline, was heavily scrutinized. "There's an inherent attention to detail that a lot of good soldiers and Marines have," he says. That also applies to 40K. The majority of playable pieces are 1-inch models that must be painstakingly assembled and hand-painted. (The figurines can cost upward of $US20 a pop and are sometimes called "plastic crack.") A particularly dedicated artist can spend 30 hours working on a single figurine, making sure to dab a perfectly round black dot in the middle of a white eyeball.

"I'm not fast at [painting]," Army Sgt. Steffan McBee, who's currently deployed in Afghanistan, said in an email, "But it's calming"-and more intellectually stimulating than what he could be doing. "Everyone knows guys need stress relief. And as I tell my wife, [Warhammer] keeps me off the streets and out of the bars."

Makes sense to me. The rest of the article is a good read, taking a look at the military's history with wargaming while sharing some great pictures of soldiers in Afghanistan playing the game.

Marines Who Love Space Marines [Slate via The Penny Arcade Report]


Comments

    "Plastic Crack" - ain't that the ever-loving truth...

    -The guy with 20,000 points of Imperial Guard.

      And for those who don't know what 20,000 points means?

        well to it this way for the Imperial Guard 10 man with nothing special = 50 points and a basic tank is 150 points, so 20k points equals a feth load of miniatures and thousands of dollars

          I'll be more specific... Sorry. Kind of forgot I wasn't on Bell of Lost Souls for a second, there...

          Breakdown:
          400 Infantry (This includes veterans, basic grunts, officers, commissars & staff)
          100 Storm troopers (Elite infantry)
          30 Leman Russ tanks, all variants (MBTs by any other definition)
          25 Chimera tank hulls (including 12 transports, the rest are various assortments of artillery)
          6 Baneblades (Super heavy tanks)
          1 Shadowsword (Super heavy tank-hunter)
          3 Valkyries (Cross a black hawk with an Apache)
          2 Thunderbolts (Air superiorioty fighters)
          40 Heavy weapons teams

          In technical terms, I suppose you could say the above constitutes an Armoured Regiment.

          ...Been collecting the force steadily since GW ran the global "Armageddon III" campaign in 1999.

          :-)

            damn thats impressive i dont know who you could play with such an army my imperial guard army is close to 5000 pts and a 10000pt space marine army, bought that a long time ago and havent gone back to the game in a while, PC and console keep me occupied. If you have painted that army that would be even more impressive 80 to 90 percent of my armies are unpainted and or unassembled

            oh i also have about 5000-7500pt dark elf and 5000 to 7500 point empire army from Warhammer to complete my GW collection. When i stop gaming (which is unlikely) i still have something to keep me occupied (painting will take me years a good retirement hobby)

      MY GOD... men we have have hit the mother-load.

      On a serious note I use to collect and got into the painting and terrain building and reading the great stories (novels, magazines) and I have always wanted to join the defence force. WAAAAHHH!!!!

    /tg reported many Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primers carried into battle

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