YIKES! The HIGH Price of Wargaming…


There are a LOT of out of stock minis these days and that leads to insanity like this…


From the port situation, to runaway hits, to the randomness of major manufacturers restocking schedules – it’s an odd time to be a wargamer.  It seems like we live in a two-faced Golden-Age of tabletop wargaming.

On the one hand, there has never been more consumer choice with each week bring us more and more product choices.

On the other hand, there are massive shipment delays and out of stock items all over the place, from the kickstarters up to the major manufacturers.

But wargamers have to game and if they want the hard to find minis bad enough there will always be someone there to give them their fix.  Over the past few weeks BoLS has been receiving links and emails with examples of the craziness the aftermarket is descending into as desperate gamers scramble and claw to get those hard to find out of stock miniatures for their armies.

Here are merely two quick examples pulled from Amazon and Ebay (go search, you’ll find em) .  There are DOZENS more, and the scary thing is that on ebay, you can run searches on sold merchandise and see that some of these items do sell!


See anything unusual with these items for sale?

price gouging-tomb blades

Hey, Necron Tomb blades are good now.  Too bad they have been out of stock for months…




Over in X-Wing land, the brand new Scum & Villainy faction has spiked demand for the long out of stock Slave 1 (given a shiny new set of rules for the new faction).


~And you thought the price of minis was high now… Would you pay whatever it takes to get the out-of-stock minis you wanted, or just wait?


  • Daniel Sundblad

    Those better be life-size spaceships or hovering attack chairs.

  • Joseph Mattera

    I like how they still want the person to pay 4.99 for shipping….what complete twats…..

    • BEAR812

      Or the financing @$41 for 6 months? Just what GW needs… A new way to price and land us all in debtor prisons…

    • WestFargo Dave


  • ted1138

    Yes, that;s a buy it now style listing, which means unless someone actually buys them, the price means nothing.

  • I’m not sure exactly how it works but sellers on Amazon and eBay will up the price so they don’t sell when they run out of stock rather than have to end a listing and re-list later and pay fees

    • An_Enemy

      There might be relisting fees for Amazon, but I’ve never had any on eBay.

  • Sorien

    Hrm. I just got a used but 100% complete Slave-1 off Ebay for $36 shipped. Didn’t even have to fight over it or anything.

    • Erik Setzer

      I can find a new one at any time for $50-$60 max. And we’re talking about the ship of BOBA FETT. No offense to GW, but I’d imagine that character alone has more fans in the world than GW’s IP does, so it’s not a surprise that his ship in a popular game would sell out and people would have to buy slightly up-priced versions.

      Kind of odd that they went for the most extreme example they could possibly find, and then went for an even more extreme example of said extreme example…

      • TweetleBeetle

        …but in a game that makes cheaper quality miniatures with a much smaller Ayer base, and thus fewer shipping and overhead costs. While Star Wars is huge, X-Wing is peanuts compared to 40k.

        Also, the extreme examples were kind of the point. People are paying insane amounts for hard to find, or out of print models. Yet they’ll complain about the market price of gaming, even though the corporations make nothing from a sale on eBay or Amazon.

        • As I understand it – its purely the psychological impact of “I only need 5 of these models so its ok that I’m spending this much” compared with “I need 50 of these models and then I have to paint them, and I don’t really want to play with more than a dozen models anyway so this is bad value”

          The xwing players in my group spend more on xwing than the 40k players do on 40k generally speaking. There are guys that have 5 of each ship, to include the bigger ships, just to get the cards.

          To me from how I’m reading the argument on price, its not the price itself as people are showing they will pay 40k prices for other games, its that their desire is more being catered to (be it a desire for a skirmish scale game, star wars space ships, a game that encourages you to grind your opponents balls into dust via page 5 and play like you have a pair or “sack up” as I see a lot on forums these days, etc) and “40k costs too much” is just an easier way to say all of that.

          • ChubToad

            People complaining about GW prices are the same that spend the same or even more with other games. It’s all about perception.

            People are convinced that the price of a GW product is not worth the price tag. In fact it is highly possible that these same people will never consider a GW´s price tag fair, even when the prices drop. It’s how people are so schewed with GW prices.

            On the other hand these same people will go and fund a lame game on Kickstarter, paying 400 to 500 dollars in add-ons and extras just beacuase they perceive the deal as excellent. Kickstarter (and CMoN in particular) does that to great effect. “Pay XX dollars and get a sh++load of minis!”. They can pay whatever since they have the impression they’re getting the deal of the century. Low prices big rewards. Most people want little risk and high rewards, so they tend to invest heavily on a cheap item but end up spending the same or higher that on a more expensive product.

          • Another source of the protesting from those players is simply them trying to recruit for other games as well.

          • CertainlyNOTmccarthy

            Sorry auticus, I like you man but I need to call bull$¥/t on this one.
            Your comment makes it sound like every new x-wing player is going to buy 5 of every model at some point.
            That is just bull$¥/t!
            It like saying if you play 40k you will buy a whole chapter at some point.

            You are telling us that all x-wing players you know bought 5 of each ship including the tantive?
            This reaks like a “GW ain’t so expensive” excuse comment.
            How much would it cost to buy 5 of every product GW released?

            You also might want to tell your x-wing friends that you can buy those cards separately.

            Now I going to tell you something that you said here at least a dozend times.

            A hobby is only as expensive as you want it to be.
            Am I right?

          • Not 5 of the tantive but five or six of every starship, and 2-3 of the mid sized ships like slave 1 and the falcon etc.

            A good majority of our league players have this… well in excess of what a 40k army would cost.

            Its not bulls**t at all… thats what I’ve seen. The warmachine guys are the same. They own as much in warmachine as any 40k player does in one army.

          • CertainlyNOTmccarthy

            So that means that WMH and X-wing are just as expensive as 40k?
            Because the players in your group feel the stupid obligation to buy 5 of every model?
            Even though they could never field them all together?

            Your reasoning is basically, that if you start x-wing you will buy 5 of every model and that will make x-wing more expensive then 40k in the long run?
            Did I sum it up right?

            One more question.
            How much points of 40k has the ususal player in your group, and how much do they usually field in a single game?

            Because it’s totally unheard of that a 40k player might have more models in his collection then he could field in a standart game.
            In 40k It makes sense.
            In x-wing certainly not.

            Do you know why this pi$$es me of?
            Because I didn’t expect to see this kind of weird reasoning for someone like you.

          • That’s because the weird reasoning you have come to the conclusion about is not anything what I said. It is a conclusion that you’ve drawn not based on anything I have said.

            I said that people will spend the same stupid amount of money on whatever game they choose.

            Many people that will complain that $600 is too much to spend on plastic 40k men will often gleefully spend that much on xwing or whatever.

            I never said that wmh and xwing are just as expensive as 40k.
            I never said it matters how many points are being played.

            I simply said that the people i know that play xwing and warmachine etc often spend as much as the people that play 40k spend.

            That’s all I said.

        • amaximus167

          I do not think that the people paying insane amounts for hard to find minis are the same people that are complaining about the market price of gaming. As a matter of fact, I am one of the complainers about price and I can totally assure you that the people who are paying over $200 for a box of Tomb Blades really upset me. They create an unrealistic inflation in the 3rd party re-sale market and also give GW the idea that it is ok to charge more $’s because people will pay stupid prices.

          • thebouv

            But if the market will bare it, it IS okay to charge more. That is capitalism. You might be priced out of affording it, but as long as others are buying it is perfectly fine for GW to do so. In fact our whole society encourages them to do so — they’re not being evil, they’re being a normal company.

            But yes, I’m about priced out as well. I just don’t harbor resentment about it. I’ll just choose a different hobby.

          • amaximus167

            I am not sure they know what the market will bare. I mean, let’s be honest, we are talking about little plastic toy soldiers in space. Not really worth the current asking price in any way other than emotional and quite frankly, that is a bad reason to buy something. Speaking of emotional, as far as resentment, I do not have resentment. Just a lot of disappointment from investing so much time, love, care and money on 40k for so many years. It is that investment that gives me these frustrations. But despite that emotional investment, I will not be buying their kits much anymore. Maybe a few things here and there for a conversion, but I am basically out of the market. I do still come here to see the cool new stuff, but that is really window shopping.

          • thebouv

            They know what the market will bare by testing it with raised prices. If they never tested it, they’d never know. You participate by voting with your wallet.

            Emotional reasoning is pretty much the only reason to buy a luxury item, is it not? “I want that toy soldier cause it is cool/pretty/awesome/makes me feel good to buy”.

            The fact of the matter is, GW models are NOT more expensive than other companies most of the time. In fact, they’re just now catching up to some on a model-by-model cost.

            And the kits that are more expensive, are quite frankly just better than what you get from other companies. It is hard to argue that GW doesn’t have the best plastic kits on the market right now.

            You get what you pay for and if you don’t, then next time you don’t buy.

    • Benderisgreat

      They’re selling them for like $20 on CoolStuffInc.

      NEVER pay more than retail.

  • The Amazon one looks like algorithm prices – computers setting prices based on other Amazon sellers. When they all use algorithm prices, they get into a bit of a feedback loop and things go crazy.

    I read an interesting article about it last year, but can’t remember where. It’s the reason obscure books are occasionally listed at thousands of pounds/dollars.

  • Malisteen

    Welcome to the new normal for warhammer fantasy, if the ‘all releases are limited releases’ rumor proves accurate.

  • Aezeal

    LOL @ frequently bought together (not the composition, not even at the price… though it’s laughable… but at the “frequently”).

  • Matt C

    and I pretty much quit wargaming because of this.

  • JP

    Boy those sellers are stupid. Nobody is going to pay those prices for Tomb Blades when they know they’ll be available again at some point. There’s a limit to how far the supply and demand formula can be pushed.

  • Spacefrisian

    lol that Slave 1 only costs 24 Euros in stores over here.

  • I would say that wargaming can be very expensive, but these ebay auctions and amazon displays etc are simply gouging.

    • Mechhead13

      Wargaming is an expensive hobby, but on the other hand both amazon and ebay are examples of the good and flat out stupid. Other Tomb blades were listed at 25.00 with buy it now and free shipping. So its back to P.T. Barnum and the fact that a sucker is born every minute.

  • Talarius

    I wrote to GW customer service last week asking about Tomb Blades and received a response that they are expecting to have them back in stock on or close to March 20th. I hope that anyone that pays these super-inflated eBay prices immediately paints up their new models and plays a dozen games with them between now and then. :-p

    I have heard that some Amazon sellers use bots that manage the pricing of their items. When stuff goes out of stock, bots for different sellers will begin to increase the price and as these bots are watching each other increasing pricing, they will continue to do so, continually “raising the ante” against each other to ludicrous levels. A human didn’t set the price of that Slave I ship. It was Bots Gone Wild.

  • kensaix

    The Vela nonsense strikes again.
    There have my klicks, be aware however they are placed as advance credit in good faith of actual content in the future.

  • ellobouk

    The sad thing is, my FLGS had like a dozen Firespray/Slave One’s in stock around new year… shoulda bought one.

    Still waiting on that restock of Falcons though

    • thats why i can be an impulse buyer. what i want is always around when i don’t want it but gone when i want it lol

      • ellobouk

        Oh, I largely buy on impulse with this kind of thing. But my impulse to buy the Millenium Falcon is a long lasting one 😛

  • ForgottenLore

    Just a friendly PSA for x-wing players, fantasy flight has now moved the falcon and slave 1 reprints to “shipping now” status. This means they should be showing up in stores again in another 2 weeks or so.

  • Local Ork

    I’m ok with eBayers re-selling stuff at any price, especially if it is OOP/OOS in mint condition.

    I’d call BS if that would be official output (GW/FFG) price tho. Like I do for single $30 plastic Twаtsy McClown.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Amazon has always been the home of crazy high prices for out of stock/out of print stuff.

  • Tim Currey

    I think it’s kinda funny how people say games workshop charge too much (their prices are high but most hobbies are)
    But here in Australia at least your paying $20-$50 for one ship in x wing and they are tiny

  • paxter

    That is interesting i got 2 slave 1 which i dont use