How I Believe Various Characters From HBO's "The Sopranos" Would React If I Tried To Teach Them The Rules Of Warhammer

Previously in our Sopranos coverage:

A woman who cannot calm her husband down, no matter how much ham is in the fridge. He is absolutely furious with crime, this big tall husband, and his name is Mr. Don’t You Do That Bathrobe.

Top Guys Have Dark Moods: “I don’t know how to answer fag questions,” he had tried to explain to his mother once, who accused him of trying to be a smart-ass. “A fag question,” he tried again, “like something I don’t know, that’s a fag question.” Beyond the limits of the known was all faggotry, like California and strangers and unfamiliar highway routes and how to make espresso.

Which Misconception About Testosterone Therapy Does Each Character From “The Sopranos” Subscribe To?

Over the last few weeks Grace has been teaching me how to play Warhammer, which is a tabletop miniature game that involves throwing an absolutely astronomical number of dice around to see whether your guys can whale on some other guys (you also have to bust out a tape measurer every so often to see whether you’re sufficiently close to the other guys in order to whale on them). It sounds fussy and maths-based, and it is, and normally that’s the kind of thing that shuts my brain off immediately, but I’m going absolutely nuts for it. At present I am three rounds deep in a pitched vanguard battle pitting my Nurgle warriors against Grace’s Fyreslayers in a Battle for the Pass. There is an essay I have not yet written about how the Glottkin and the Great Unclean One have done more to bolster my love of my own fatness and disengage from an “always-be-privately-and-mentally-dieting” mindset than almost anything else, but in the meantime I’ll simply say that I love the beautiful bulbous sons of Nurgle and their munificent rot more than life itself. Anyhow!

Despite their many flaws (fictional, murders, etc) I believe the members of the Soprano crime family would mostly be willing to learn Warhammer if I offered to teach them. Here are there responses, in no particular order.


A true gentleman, a curious mind, a natural enforcer – Furio has an intuitive respect for the brutal nature of the Great Game between the Chaos Gods, and an instinctive sense of strategy. “If the Runefather’s Magmadroth has Volcanic Blood, why would you attack him with melee weapons, where your own victory will be used against you? Better to use missiles, even if it takes longer. The Milanese knew this when they took Naples in 1494, may God curse them forever.”


Dismissive at first – “I don’t have time for this, just make sure you don’t leave them all out on the counter” – insists on calling them “toys” instead of “miniatures” or even “units” – her interest is piqued on learning of Furio’s knack for the game – “So it’s like a strategy thing, huh?” – ends up going all-out with a Slaanesh campaign, heartbreakingly thrilled over her first victory, goes to confession immediately afterwards. “He’s the God of obsession and excess, I know I should be fighting for Alarielle, who’s the closest thing the Mortal Realms have to the Holy Mother. I feel just terrible. I’m going to give back my marauders to Furio. It’s the right thing to do. This is how they get you, they lure you in with all the promise of pleasure and the lusts of the flesh, but there’s always a price to pay, Father, I know that. I renounce Slaanesh, I really do.”


Depending on what mood you catch him in, is either entirely dismissive (“Get this shit off the table, this table is for your mother’s cooking, and if I end up tripping over one of these goddamn figurines in the hallway I’m gonna throw them in the incinerator”) or completely enraptured by the concept of Disgusting Resilience (“You’re telling me all I gotta do is roll a 5 or better for these plaguebearing guys, and nobody can fucking touch me? Jesus Christ, why does anybody play anything that isn’t Maggotkin of Nurgle? What’s next? My Glottkin? What’s he do?”).


Incredibly good at it; doesn’t care. Loses on purpose if Christopher is playing, but is so good at losing on purpose that only Bobby Bacala notices. Bobby doesn’t say anything. (Bobby, incidentally, has played for years, but never with anyone in the family, and keeps his Warhammer life and his Mafia life as separate as possible.)

Dr. Melfi

“I can’t take a position on that. But I do find it interesting that you’re most often drawn to the forces of Chaos, despite all you’ve told me about the soldiers’ code and your sense of order.”


Not especially interested in the game, but impressed that Games Workshop managed to corner the market with proprietary models when older wargames used generic and interchangeable models. “You want to play, you have to go through them. Smart.”

Paulie Walnuts

“This is perverse. It’s anti-Catholic. You’ll bring forces into your home, all kinds of forces.”


“You know, there are a lot of moves I could make right now that I’m not gonna make.”

Tony insists she just doesn’t know her units’ warscrolls. “Name one of those moves, then, if you’re so familiar. You just picked the Daughters of Khaine because they were the first girl characters you saw.”

Later, the two get into a fistfight when Tony compares Livia to Tzeentch, the Great Conspirator and Corrupter of Nobility. Janice snaps the heads off of every one of Tony’s Rotbringers in the middle of the night before leaving town.

Artie Bucco

Is plunged secretly and wildly into debt after buying up the most expensive kits and completely fucking up the painting on Szarekh, The Silent King three times in a row. Forgets to check whether successive units are compatible with one another, so ends up with half a Destruction Army he can’t use in tournament play because everything else he got is part of Order.


Accidentally stocks up on 40K units, then storms out of his first matched play upon realizing everyone else is playing Age of Sigmar. “Fuck this.”