Many miniature war game players fall into two categories. You have gamers and painters. You also have virtuosos out there who are accomplished at both painting a great army and a putting a superb list together. Scanning the blogs out there will tell you where people fall. I think for the best hobby experience you need a mix of both. 40k is pretty much two hobbies one is the painting and the other war gamming.
Now most people who focus on painting can get taken with particular models. You see certain pieces you think they look great and you just can't wait to paint them up with your own scheme in mind. What this means is you end up with a hodge podge of minis that don't necessarily translate into an army. Now if this is what you want to do there is nothing wrong with that. However most people at some point do want to play the game. There's nothing wrong with getting a model here and there you want to paint however if you want to actually play that can't be your main method of collection.
Here are some quick points on why I like this method.
You can play games of 500 and 750 points. These games can be faster and help you pick up the rules and rhythm of the game.
Painting up 500 to 750 points is easier than trying to pound out a 1500 point army (I subscribe to the notion that is the standard point total for 40K) and when you are trying to get started and be motivated it really is a milestone to have a list and a corresponding the army painted in front of you.
Once you have a core of 500 and 750 pts it's easier to add on to reach other playing totals like 1000pts. And as you play with these totals you will learn what your units can and can't do and most of all what no blog can tell you what your style is with your army. Building small like this helps you get acquainted with your army.
Put a list together your comfortable with it does not have to be the greatest list ever the idea is to have an army you can start playing. There is a lot of information on lists out there if you try to research it all before you actually build your army you never will. The point is not to have the best army ever but to have an army you can play.
Chances are if the list isn't working for you adding a unit or two will help, it's highly unlikely that every unit in your list is terrible. Remember it's a game not a real war. If you lose no one dies. We all like to win unless your incredibly insecure you can play a quality game, lose and still have fun. Unless your my wife she's always out for blood.
Well that's my suggestion for getting you from the brush to the bolter. I hope this is helpful and as always comments and thoughts are welcomed.
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