Ask the Artist: David "Miniwargaming Dave" Nordquist
It has been quite a while since my last interview and let me tell you, I have definitely missed doing these!
I am super excited to announce today's Artist, but before I do, a little backstory. My first introduction to the charismatic personality we know and love as MiniWargaming Dave was through his video "Why I Love Space Wolves". At the time, I was waffling between starting an Ork army or Space Wolves. Truth be told, seeing Dave's passion for his Space Wolves pushed me to embracing my wolf boys. To be honest, after seeing the new Ork lineup I'm probably going to be starting an Ork army too....
As I started the Ask the Artist series, I knew I had to reach out to the MiniWargaming Team. These folks have been truly instrumental in morphing me from a sideline observer to a gamer/ commission painter. I knew I didn't have the time to build and paint a massive army between commissions, but I thought I could at least put together a kill team list and learn to play that way. Right around that time, MiniWargaming came out with their Kill Team Campaign - Genestealer Cult vs. Space Wolves and it seemed like yet another point of connection between Dave and me.
I watched every episode, learning the strengths and weaknesses of the Space Wolves kill team. I studied Dave's every move, listened to his strategies...I even wrote down helpful reminders! I was SO excited to try my new-found skills against my buddy. I even put together a little Blood Angels Kill team for him, and we sent our boys to battle. I kid you not.....of the 30+ games we have played together, my wolfy boys have won maybe 3 times. So, I guess I'm just glad I'm a better painter than I am player. That being said, my guys looked GREAT as they were being mercilessly mopped up game after game.
Anyway, back to Dave! Looking back, it's apparent I reached out at the absolute worst time possible! The team had JUST begun preparations to move into their brand-new bunker, which unfortunately was right around the time Grandfather Nurgle so graciously gifted the globe with his....love. This was also right around the time they had to find a new video streaming/hosting service and there was a massive campaign to boost their vault memberships. That's a LOT to juggle!!
Understandably, a request to chit-chat with an unknown weirdo (yours truly) had to be a bit low on the list of priorities. I assume it looked something like this:
1 - Feed Families
2 - Pay Bills
3 - Create Content for loyal subscribers and Vault Members
4 - 99 any number of crucial daily tasks and company critical endeavors
100. Speak with hobby weirdo
Months passed since I had posed the initial request to the team. I had honestly forgotten about sending the request since my life had taken so many awesome twists and turns. Then suddenly (I love that plot hook) I get a DM. It's Dave asking if anyone has answered my questions. I couldn't believe it! THE Dave was reaching out to me! After picking my jaw up off the floor, I quickly responded and sent out our list!
Without further ado, I present my interview with MiniWargaming Dave!! Hobby Questions: How long have you been involved in the hobby in general? "14 years". How long have you been actively promoting your batrep content on social media? "14 years". What initially drew you to the miniature model hobby realm? "My friend Matthew introduced me to Lord of the Rings. It was the miniatures game made by Games Workshop".
What tabletop game would you say is your favorite? What particular faction within that game is your favorite and why? "My favourite tabletop game is Warhammer 40K. My favourite faction is Chaos Space Marines. At first, it was purely rule of cool, so aesthetically they really stood out to me. Then after diving into the lore, I really fell in love with them". What is the most enjoyable aspect of the hobby? (Playing, making content, facilitating collaborative opportunities?) "The most enjoyable aspect of the hobby is collaborating with other hobbyists. That can take the form of doing a battle report or just simply meeting in person and discussing fun ideas". If money or time weren’t a consideration, what single purchase/upgrade/expansion would you make to further your hobby enjoyment? "This would definitely be having a suit of power armour for each of the nine traitor Legions. Because why not? LOL". Where do you get the inspiration for your particular army theme or style?
"Mr Duncan Rhodes is definitely on this list. I enjoy his approach to the hobby. Also, Omegon’s Wrath by Cerxis. Recently, I’ve been digging Algerothen’s Legion of the Damned models as well. This list is extensive, so I’ll leave it at that for now. There are many more unnamed".
What tips or advice would you give someone just starting out in the hobby?
"Follow the rule of cool. Pick an army that looks aesthetically pleasing to you. Then read up on its lore. If you like the lore, then you’ve got an army for life. Editions of the game change and rules will be altered. But aesthetics and backstory pretty much stay the same". Content Creator Questions: What was the moment you realized creating batrep content was something you wanted to pursue as more than a hobby? "It was a gradual process. It didn’t happen overnight. I started the business part-time and after three years I dedicated full-time to it. It took that long for me to be able to sustain myself from the business". What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome on your path to becoming a full-time content producer? "The most difficult obstacle was definitely having to wait that three years. There was uncertainty. It was all a big unknown". What was the most rewarding experience you’ve had since making MiniWargaming your full-time? "There are many experiences, but I would have to say at the top is having my wife play with me in a battle report". If you could do anything to expand your company/studio/hobby footprint, what would it be? "A logical extension of my business would be to create Miniature War Games". What 3rd party product lines do you endorse, and what about their products do you feel sets them above their competitors? "There are many companies that we work with who sponsor us. Over 50 to be exact. I would be remiss if I were to name one and not the others. All I can say is, working with these companies that support the hobby has been a fantastic experience".
If you could earn a sponsorship or endorsement from your dream (company, painter, collaboration, etc.) who would it be and why? "Haha, a battle against Henry Cavill. Either that or hanging with Joe Manganiello. Why? Because why not! Lol".
What advice would you give to someone interested in taking the plunge to becoming a content creator, especially in your space of battle reports? "Make sure you have good audio equipment. If your audio sucks, then your content becomes unwatchable. If your audio is good, but your video quality isn’t the best, you can at least follow along because you can hear everything. Once you have good audio, improve your quality from there. Then I would say make content based on what you find interesting and what you like. Don’t chase an algorithm or the flavour of the month".
Dave, thank you so much for agreeing to chat with me! I want to take a moment to personally thank you for being the charismatic, energetic and entirely genuine person you are. You bring so much dynamism to the game, it's contagious! I also wanted to say I've been LOVING the Throne of Chaos Interviews and Chaos Bombs! I feel another point of character convergence between you and me is our desire to give back to the hobby community. You truly are a hobby hero and an inspiration to me and countless others!