Hammer time: One Warhammer player here spent $60,000

Hammer time: One Warhammer player here spent $60,000
The composition of armies in a match is determined by an agreed-upon maximum point value. Players then select units, which have different values, up to the agreed limit. In this way, one can opt for a large number of low-cost units, or a small number of powerful, high-cost units.

Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a game.

Now imagine that amount to be in excess of $60,000 - that is the sum one engineer paid to customise his legion of plastic figures to be pitted against other armies in a tabletop strategy game.

Welcome to the world of Warhammer 40,000, or simply, 40K.

Players can buy, assemble and paint individual miniature figurines of soldiers, creatures and military hardware.

These items are collected to form armies which are then pitted against those of other players.

Set in a dystopian sci-fi world, 40K players wage epic battles with a roll of the dice to determine their moves.

The strategy game has fans around the world, and in Singapore, its epicentre is in Funan DigitaLife Mall, where Mr Kenny Tan has set up a shop dedicated to 40K - Battle Bunker.

In the shop, there is a massive 3D landscape where battles can be waged. This game brings people of different ages and backgrounds together. Indeed, kids as young as seven can slug it out with corporate hotshots in their 40s.

Mr Tan, 29, estimates that there are several hundred 40K players in Singapore, including casual ones.

Many gather at his shop during weekends and school holidays, or after office hours, to wage war with their armies.

He explains that the cheapest set contains ten items and costs $45. Some larger individual units can cost more than $100 and the most expensive set is a box of seven vehicles costing $600. That does not include the cost of customisation yet.

"The more powerful or versatile a unit is, the more expensive it will be," Mr Tan explains.

And many veteran players own several armies comprising characters such as aliens, demons and Orks (ogres) of different "races".

Between the complex lore (there is a thick guide book for each race in the game for players) and the cost, it is not a hobby to be picked up casually.

But there are fanatic fans.

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