Of course, Joe is also a 40K player and is one of my regular opponents. Joe has had a storied career in Warhammer 40K, having had several armies. Whereas Pete "The Hivemind" is strongly interested in the modeling aspects of the game, Mr. "Joe Maneuver" is squarely focused on the game play. Joe continuously refines his tactics and strategy. At times, the concept of the "friendly game" gets lost in the competitiveness, as Joe goes for the jugular in order to prove once again that he is the master tactician in our group.
So, without further ado, let's start the interview...
Q: How did you first get into the hobby?
I first got into the hobby soon after I graduated college. My buddy Dave called me up and asked me some questions about the size of tanks in the military, specifically the relative size of them as compared to a foot soldier. When I asked him why he was so curious, he briefly explained the 40K game. He then invited me to hang out at our buddy Pete's house, he was gaming with his brother Steve. I found the game interesting, and then they asked if I would like to take a try at it. I agreed and was given some Space Marines and played a very small game. I enjoyed the game and began an army soon after.
Q: So your friends introduced you to it; but what made you interested in it?
1. What drew me in ? I guess since I have always been a military history buff and a fan of science fiction the background appealed to me and I have always liked to put together models. I like that it isn't a clean or pretty universe, it was as unlike Star Trek's clean future as you could get. The unusual appearance of the machines of war, such as the Dreadnoughts, were a plus as well.
Q: Which armies have you played over the years? What got you into each army?
I have played Eldar, Black Templar, Night Lords, and Blood Angels. With any army that I collect the most important thing is that I like the story behind them; it doesn't matter to me if they are not the most viable or "toughest" army. The Eldar are the first army that I collected. At the time they had a companion book that had several different lists in it called "Craftworld Eldar"...
Q: I remember that book. I liked those days; Craftworld, Eye of Terror, Armageddon...
I agree 100%. The Craftworld supplement had the better armies that could be tailored to any style that you liked, therefore not locking you into any one way to create a list. A small bit of appeal of the Eldar for me was that no one else had an Eldar army in our group yet everyone had a Marine army of some kind. The Eldar didn't function like any other army and had the most different, specialized units. The Eldar models look radically different yet still have the same feel: they clearly belong together; they're cohesive, which also drew me to them.
Q: I had the beginnings of a Chaos army, as did my brother. But, I did also have Dark Eldar, so nah nah- I had a 'space elf" army first. And besides, you got a Marine army fast enough, didn't you?
Uh huh. The Black Templar were the second army I collected. The Templar had a warrior/crusader look and feel and had a different build than other marine armies. They also looked great painted with a simple and easy to do paint scheme. I have to be honest and admit that, while playing solely with the Eldar, I was getting a little tired of getting rocked by the 'Nids and the Plague Marines. Against those two armies I wasn't able to field a competitive Eldar force at an affordable price. Eldar had and still do have a large amount of expensive models in metal (and now Finecast)- this isn't so bad if the most effective units weren't all in metal. Templar as with most marines is predominantly plastic making far less strain on the wallet, truthfully.
Q: Ah the Black Templar. I still remember the first time I shot up a squad and with their rules they actually charged me, despite their heavy shooting losses...
Ha ha! I still remember the look on your face... Your poor Plague Marines...
Q: Laugh all you want, but you were unable to avoid the slide into Chaos yourself, weren't you?
True. I did start a Night Lords army. The Night Lords had great models and and interesting story line. And their rules were very cool. That is, in 4th edition. Sadly they became the army that I was the least enthusiastically collecting not because, as I started them the 5th edition codex was published and the legion lost all character. They were simply "vanilla Chaos Marines". I lost interest in them after that.
Q: Indeed, Chaos has fallen a long way, unfortunately. However, you mentioned it in relation to the newer books. Speaking of which, what are you working on now?
The Blood Angels are the latest army that I have started to collect. I have always loved the idea of the Death Company, the Rage, etc. The back story is great and the new models and rules are fantastic.
Q: So, of all your many armies, which is you absolute favorite?
I can honestly say that I don't have a favorite army- it will depend on what time you ask me that question truthfully. I will always favor the Eldar because they are my original army and I'm still the only one to game with them in our gaming group- I don't count your Dark Eldar because they aren't true Eldar. I'd say the Blood Angels are the most viable right now but how long that will last is anyone's guess.
So, that concludes part one of our interview with Mr. "Joe Maneuver". I'm sure you're all asking the question "why is he called 'Joe Maneuver' anyways?", but don't worry- we shall answer that in the next interview. Let's just say it has to do with a rather interesting (ie. annoying) strategy that Joe uses in 40K. Until next time my friends...