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Warhammer 40K, Christmas Buyers Guide: Know your nerd

It's the most, wonderful tiiiiiime,
Of the yeaaar!

Well, almost. Give or take a month and a half. But as Sainsbury's has already started stocking mince pies and tree decorations, I'm going to say the savvy consumer is out looking for Xmas gifts already. For those of us in the hobby, deciding what to get a friend for the Holidays is usually an easy decision: nothing from Games Workshop, because you'll never like anyone enough for that price tag.

On the other hand, neck beards will often trick a normal person into a loving relationship, and may even fool their partner long enough to have off-spring (known variously as Beardlings or Beardspawn). These poor creatures will attempt to buy gifts for their neck-beard companion/parent, and on the off chance they choose something other than a shaver or razor blade they probably won't know what plastic soldier to get.

Enter this guide. Ye who have stumbled on this site from Google beware, for there are dragons here, and demons beyond the knowing of man. And most of them come in the guise of tiny plastic figures with prices far beyond the mere cost of their material.

And yes, I am hoping my wife actually reads this so she knows what to get me for Xmas.

However, as a very quick check, and to save you a lot of reading (although I appreciate the page views to salve my ego), the first step should always be to pop along to your gamer-geeks bookshelf. If they don't have one, a bookshelf may make for a good gift.

Have a flick through some of their codices. Those will be the big black ones with Codex: Blah Blah Blah on them. They will have an inspiring picture of a warrior crushing his enemies on the front. Don't worry about that, it's just a game.

From here you have two options: look for models from the most worn and read book, or the second one.

The most worn book will most likely be their primary army, and getting an esoteric model from that codex will earn you undying love and affection... from a distance as they spend their evenings in the hobby shed constructing and painting the model you bought them. The hours they pour into the lavish paint scheme will be an eternal reflection of their gratitude, and if you want to experience the glow of their adoration first hand, you can bring them cups of tea and snacks whilst they work.

You got involved with a neck beard, so you probably know what happens when we get a new toy anyway.

The models you buy here will usually be HQ choices or special characters, and will almost always be appreciated, even if they never make it to table top. Quite often a hobbyist will covet their neighbours Lelith Hesparax, but will not be able to justify a purchase for their army. So this is usually a safe bet. Just keep an eye on the price tag. There is a reason the hobbyist will try to justify the model before buying it.

The second option is to take the next worn down book. This will be the army that the gamer will feel drawn to, but is not quite ready to take the plunge to full collecting. Similarly to the first one, their appreciation will know no bounds, as they spend January and February's pay cheque on getting he vital support units for the starter kit you've bought!

This is a bit more of a gamble, but it does mean you ain access to the cheaper and much better value box sets. You may even be able to get one of the campaign box sets, which means you get to spend evenings rolling dice at each other, rather than your neck-beard spending time alone in their hobby-shed.

In either case, always check their miniature collection before buying. You don't want to buy duplicate models. Sometimes this is okay, but if you're buying a Christmas gift you want it to be unique rather than relegated to the bits box.

Or alternatively you could just talk to them and ask them what they want. But where's the fun in that?

Merry Shopping!

Thanks for reading.

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