I suspect like many gamers of my age (mid 30s), my introduction into the world of toy soldiers was through everyone's favourite object of hate; GW. A natural progression from the B/AD&D with the C-series and early slotta, onto WFB, Rogue Trader, Space Hulk, Space Marine, and all the rest.
Nerfed systems all. Every race/faction/unit/system had a Nerf unit - from the Assault Cannon terminator marine in Space Hulk, to the Reaver Titan in Space Marine; little objects of pain for your opponent. Being of that age where utterly crushing my opponent is important, I happily built armies around the most obscene units. WFB Bretonnians because they had a gazillion Knights, Imperial Guard in 40K and Epic because of the Shadowsword and Baneblade (and staggering array of artillery in Epic), and so on.
Now I'm a bigger kid, I've always taken time to build armies either as historical representations, or as balanced 'interesting' (read; easy to lose with) units. Nerfed was for beardy tourney players, I'd never indulge in that sort of ultra-competitive nonsense.
All was right with the world until I got onto Splintered Lands. Whilst you couldn't say an Armoured Badger was truly nerf, in that system they're like little Tiger tanks. I'd forgotten just how much amusement could be had from recklessly wading into lesser opponents safe in the knowledge that it would probably be very messy for the other side.
Late this afternoon, Pete rang from the bowels of a gaming store in the City. Conversation was broadly thus;
Pete: "They've got Dystopian Wars French here, (reels off list of stuff)"
Me: "Ah, nice, just grab me one of the Battleships will you?"
Me: "No, wait, put it back... they've got the Sky Fortress thing? Yep, right, I'll have that. Text me when you're home and I'll pop down with the cash"
Several things then happened which I wasn't really expecting. Firstly, I became increasingly impatient as the afternoon wore into the evening; I wanted my new toy now dammit!
Then, when I finally got down to Pete's place, I tore open the blister pack like a complete kid, and then expressed delight at the a) the silly size of said toy, and b) the nerfed-to-hell stats and special rules for it through a series of cackles, and a bit of gloating at the mighty victories this thing will give me.
The nerf within is reawakened, and in the manner of all things nerfed, I now thoroughly look forward to invoking the immortal gamer phrase;
"I'm gonna need a whole load more D6s for this one"