I started playing Drakar och Demoner, the Swedish-language local version of (GURPS, actually) D & D back in 1980-something with some local middle-school friends. Read Dragonlance books. Read Battletech and Warhammer and Tolkien and the first big 40K story that made a big impression on me - Deathwing.
|Gang Wars/Necromunda style game in White Dwarf 207 (?)|
Got the Blood Bowl game. Got Adeptus Titanicus. Got some 40K terminators but never actually played any of the games. Played computer games. Fast forward to 2002-ish when I got the Diablo bug while studying for a Master's Degree (during a blazing war out to sea in the Persian Gulf, no less - but I digress). D2X. Then World of Warcraft fairly hardcore for 4-5 years, off and on - see coldbear.wordpress.com
All this time I've been more interested in immersion and emotional feedback from games, than winning (I'm hugely competitive in many other aspects of my life, and like to win at games, too). Games are memorable when they create emotions. See http://liquidcode.org/~lostman/wow/dkeserver.se/stuff/angwe/
|Warhammer Fantasy Battle unit platter|
|Warhammer Fantasy Battle - not much terrain, eh?|
Now for the Games Workshop/Warhammer focus bit. Some pictures first:
Warhammer Fantasy Battle - no or little terrain, moving things around on platters. No immersion. Just a flat field and weird big platters taking up space and making it seem like the bases of a bunch of models have a really huge footprint. Let's not forget the "ok, now there's big magic flying bolts going off, and this guy here has a magic sword thing." The latter part which is purely imaginary - there's no visual representation, unless you're in a computer environment.
|40K with more terrain than usual|
|Necromunda professionally done|
Same with Necromunda, Coreheim, Deathsquads, ITEN, Killzone or any of a number of skirmish-focused Warhammer Fantasy/40K styles. This is where the models really look like they fit in. Small bases that don't obscure the terrain much, since the model is large compared to its footprint. Sure it's just a toy soldier, but darnit - it fits. It's not quite an awesome immersive experience, but pretty darn close.
I'd prefer 500 pts or 1000 pts and not so many vehicles and less movement per turn to make the field of battle seem larger and each turn be a "smaller snapshot in time" of the battle. I'd rather have an immersive simulation than a game that you just play to win with GK vs GK and silly things like that. I'd much rather have a story-line narrative tournament/campaign than just a straight-up measure of skill with diabolically and clinically even playing fields to make sure that skill is the only thing that comes out on top - similar to the arenas in World of Warcraft.
|Squat Epic 40K|
Epic 40K and Warmaster etc - big bases that clash with the background. You look like you're moving around little squares with pegs on them instead of units. No. I'd rather not. Epic 40K looks nicer and more impressive and immersive when you're talking Titans. Or Battletech style. Big models relative to base size. Especially if the underlying terrain is a contrasting colour. Pet peeve with me. Nice looking model on crazy base that clashes with the terrain and just ruins how it looks in play.
But then again many people don't agree with me. I'm ok with that. It's just a matter of finding like-minded people to play with. I'd love to play this girl's list: http://elorrahstormbringer.blogspot.com/2011/12/genestealer-overkill.html Yes, she's a real live girl that plays 40K.
So - what kind of player are you? Is it a game or a story or both or more of one and a bit of the other? Is it about painting and the hobby and the fluff or more about finding a way to win.
To each their own.