I've always been a gamer. Gaming consoles of all kinds, collectible card games (Star Wars CCG, Dragonball Z CCG, and M:TG), or MMOs such as Guild Wars and World of Warcraft litter my past like badges of honor. I don't regret them; they made me who I am today. I find comfort of kinds in the mastery of the chosen game. The challenge to be the best that I can, even if it didn't matter in the real world, drove me. Sometimes into obsession. Did I have to win? No. Would I be angry if I got beat? Absolutely not. There would always be someone better than me. But I wouldn't allow anything myself to perform at anything less than my maximum potential. If I couldn't reach that potential, I did everything I could to get myself to that point.
It was the chase of perfection that enticed me. The challenge of doing what few could. Using armies, builds, or decks that most players found too difficult to play. Over time, my needs evolved a little bit. It didn't change, but it grew into something more. While I still felt the need to master my craft, now I needed to bring as many as I could to that level too. They say that this is the mark of a true competitor. That a great player will make everyone around them better. For me, the satisfaction of teaching others to become better gamers themselves is far greater than earning recognition for myself. Sure, I want to be the best player in the game. But when I leave that game, I'll quickly be forgotten in the winds. Help someone else succeed, then they'll remember. They'll appreciate you. And the feeling you gain from that is far more fulfilling than simply being the best.
Bring Warhammer 40k to center stage. I first started playing 40k in 2000 and picked the Ultramarines because I liked the feel of Space Marines. But they didn't feel right to me, because I preferred a more "in your face" style in my gaming. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long because Games Workshop released the Codex Armageddon supplement later that year. Inside it was what I was looking for: the Black Templars. They matched everything I wanted from my games. Close combat oriented, knightly, devoted to their cause, but most importantly, they strove to gain their vision of perfection. Between their game rules and background, I was hooked.
It didn't take me long to figure out the best way to play my armies and I was quickly taking over my local game store. Back then, I didn't see the value of teaching others so I just continued to work to build my own skills. In retrospect, I was utterly ruthless in my games and I would actively try to annihilate my opponent's armies whenever possible. Knowing what I do now, I wouldn't have done so. But I was young.
Fast forward a few years and a couple 40k editions. The previous edition saw a new BT codex, but it also brought the near destruction of the game with a truly unbalanced rule set. The community survived and we now had this new shiny 5th Edition to play with. By this time, I felt I had learned all I could in my isolated area, so I expanded my horizons to the internet.
As a result, I continued to grow as a player. I wasn't perfect, nor could I claim to be the "best", but I certainly knew my chosen army intimately and I was very good using them. It was very early in 5th Edition that I realized that I could no longer use my Black Templars army in my preferred style (close combat). So I adapted yet again. It was disheartening, but I still had the need to strive towards perfection. Indeed, there would be few players in our community that would claim that I have not mastered the BT codex. It wasn't enough, however, so I created this website. I wanted to provide a resource for BT players and perhaps pass on what I had learned in the game. Implausible Nature has become so much more than I could ever have hoped for. My goal to help just a single person has been exceeded many times over and its the greatest feeling in the world. These people have become my friends, as well as my readers. A true community; a second family.
I play this game because its fun and I'm good at it. But more than that, I play because my efforts on the tabletop might help my fellow gamer become better than they were. These players might eventually reach the same end point without my help, but if I can ease that learning curve, I feel like I've done something meaningful. That I've used my experience, time, and efforts to help another. That their enjoyment level might be higher. That they might save money by not making poor purchasing choices. That they may avoid frustrating games and learn to appreciate the feeling of a close fought battle. And maybe, they'll grow to become a better player than I am. The ultimate flattery.
This is why I play the game. Why do you?