Many people know you from Hyper RPG’s Warhammer show Grim Dark Dawn. How did you get involved with the world of Warhammer?
I’ve been a fan of toys and miniatures forever, but I only got into Warhammer relatively recently. I always knew it was around but didn’t have an obvious in, even though I knew a couple of my friends dabbled in it. Then the perfect storm happened. In 2015 I was running a miniatures news and reviews site (CritToHit.com – long since defunct), so of course, I was covering new Games Workshop releases, and some new Space Marines models caught my eye.
At the same time, I was the organizer for HeroClix events at my local game store (Emerald Knights in Burbank, CA), and a couple of my regular players were lapsed Warhammer dudes looking to get back into the game… and talking about it constantly. When I casually mentioned to them that I thought the Centurions looked cool they jumped on that and decided it was time I got into the game and hobby… and so I did! They taught me, I started building my first army and reading novels, and that was that. Now, if you’ve ever heard me talk about things I like, you’ll know that I love to share and get people interested. It’s pretty much my favorite thing ever.
So, once I was hooked on Warhammer, I wanted all my friends on board too, and soon after I started bugging different streaming outfits to feature 40k on a show. Luckily, we were able to do just that at Hyper RPG, first on a modest level and then subsequently with the incredible Grim Dark Dawn saga!
Even though it’s an expensive game, what keeps you coming back to it?
My crazy collector mentality makes me want to catch ‘em all, and especially because I play a couple of the more popular armies Games Workshop continually releases new models for me. I don’t even play that often (especially during quarantine), but I love acquiring and building models, always thinking of what is going to be next. It’s also handy having large amounts of units when it comes to teaching others, and for Grim Dark Dawn shows. I can grab some, or sometimes hundreds, of models to add a new element or bolster a current one if the need arises. Lastly, and probably the best thing, is that I’ve got my young son into the game! We build and paint models together and play, which is super fun and helpful for lessons with math and vocabulary.
What are some of your most treasured Warhammer figures?
That’s almost like telling me to choose between my kids, but I think it comes down to three different categories. First are the figures that I’ve spent the most time customizing (“converting” in hobby parlance), like my Chaos Lord on Bike that I’ve been adding bits and pieces to for… years without being finished. Then there are naturally the rare and exclusive models, picked up at various events and conventions over the years. Lastly, models that have performed incredible feats (or infamous missteps) on the tabletop gain a special place in my collection and my armies! These include some lucky snipers, a jet that always seems to be shot down on the first turn (but which I’m sure will do better the next time), and a particularly tough Space Marines captain who has single-handedly taken out entire tank squadrons with his Thunder Hammer in multiple games.
What advice would you give people looking to dive into the vast Warhammer universe?
Yes, join me; you won’t regret it! I talk a lot about the different ways to get into, and be a part of, the Warhammer hobby. These include playing the video games, learning the lore (often via reading some of the hundreds of Warhammer novels), building and customizing models, painting models, and then of course playing the tabletop game. Whichever of those paths you are interested in, and they are all great even if you just do one, there are approachable ways to do it. For the lore curious there are a couple of good Warhammer 40k wikis out there with thousands of articles, and even I use them for research all the time.
If you’re interested in building and/or painting models, check out the Games Workshop site to see all of the unique and dynamic factions for a sense of where you can go with them. Even better, but only when you can do it safely, take a visit to a Warhammer store or your local game store; you’re sure to be impressed by what you see there. And to get into the game itself, go to the Games Workshop website to get a free download of the rules and check out some How-Tos on YouTube. But of course, the best way to learn and get excited about Warhammer 40k is to join me on my streams where I talk about the lore and the game, and build and paint models!
Purchase Rubin’s book Naming Your Little Geek: The Complete List of Comic Book, Video Games, Sci-Fi, & Fantasy Names at various location here. Be sure to follow Rubin on Twitch, Twitter and Instagram.