The doom ridden horror fest that is Warhammer 40k has been around for decades. Since 1987, fans have enjoyed collecting, making and painting their own intergalactic armies before sending them to fight and die against other players. The combination of creativity, strategy and a horrific vision of the future seems to draw in new enthusiasts by the drove. The range of factions and models available allow players to stamp their own personalities on the hobby before they even pick up a brush.
But while other hobbies have fallen by the wayside or seen their market share cut into by digital media, 40K has only gone from strength to strength, seemingly unfazed by recessions, demographic changes and the death of the high street.
In some ways, it's easy to see why. With its extensive backstory, engaging designs and addictive business model, Warhammer always had its fair share of unique selling points. But year on year, Games Workshop have ensured their beloved series continues to thrive. From a welcoming community and free expert advice on top to a seemingly bottomless pit of grimdark lore, new reasons to get involved are popping up all the time.
10. The Fan Community
Nerd-based fan communities can be toxic at times and the 40K world is no exception. But the community is making strides to become more inclusive and welcoming and there's a core of wholesome Warhammer enthusiasts who have always been happy to share their hobby with newbies.
Old hands generally give newcomers advice and encouragement when they proudly present their first crude models. And everyone from Games Workshop employees to seasoned players enjoy sharing lore and expounding on their favourite units.
A quick look through 40K videos on YouTube illustrates the point. There are any number of helpful guides offering hints and tips on everything from painting to board design, choosing a first army to advanced strategy. It reflects a community overwhelmingly likely to offer help, advice and a warm welcome to new players and enthusiasts.