How Much Would You Pay for a Model

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Surprises ahead. Before you click, think how much you would be prepared to pay for a single human sized model.

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With the release of the £22, (€29, $35) Khârn the Betrayer model from Games Workshop, let’s set your price expectations for miniature buying.
Prices below are found by dividing number of models in a box by its cost and use the UK price run through the xe.com.

Ex Illis – Paper proxy – Free

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Few Acres of Snow – Wooden token – £0.12 (€0.14, $0.16)

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Flick Em UpMeeple Cowboys£0.34 (€0.40, $0.45)

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Perry Miniatures – American Civil War infantry – £0.55 (€0.64, $0.73)

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Mantic Kings of War – Basilean Infantry – £1 (€1.17, $1.32)

Games Workshop – Freeguild Archers – £1.5 (€1.78, $1.99)

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Gates of Antares – Concord infantry – £2 (€2.35, $2.64)

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Games Workshop – Space Marine Tactical Squad – £2.50 (€2.97, $3.32)

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Warmachine – Kossite Woodsmen – £3.50 (€4.17, $4.65)

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Hive, Pillbug expansion piece£5 (€5.85, $6.64)

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Dropzone Commander – Ares Battle Walkers – £5.25 (€6.25, $6.97)

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Infinity – Hassassin Govads – £5.40 (€6.43, $7.17)

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Bushido – Cult of Yurei starter – £6 (€7.14, $7.97)

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Warmachine – Forward Kommander Sorscha Kratikoff£7 (€8.34, $9.30)

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Guild Ball – Hunters Guild starter set £8.33 (€9.92, $11.07)

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Infinity – Tariqa, High Rank Councillor£8.66 (€10.31, $11.51)

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Games Workshop – Freeguild General – £9 (€10.72, $11.96)

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Kingdom Death – Twilight Knight pinup£18.90 (€22.52, $25.12)

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Edited: 15/09 due to errors.
~ Which one did you pick, and why?

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  • Alexander Slizewski

    I pirate all my toy models via underground Chinese networks operating on North Korean child labor. It’s a pretty cheap alternative; they have a great tax rate.

    • Benderisgreat

      They also ship via the Tubman Memorial Underground Railroad, but you can pay a little more for a junkie in a 1983 Honda to deliver to your door.

    • Old zogwort

      Green Resin Is People!!!

    • Hawt Dawg

      Ah, an environmentalist!

  • Lee Williams

    I thought this was supposed to be about a life size model?!? I mean, isn’t that what the question posed at the beginning said?

    • Valourousheart

      That was what I thought too… or some sort of custom sculpt.

      But what found most interesting is how both the Age of Sigmar and 40k Space Marines were cheaper per model than the cheapest warmachine entry on the list.

      That would mean that all the Warmachines players have been lying about how their models are cheaper. Shocking!!

      • Mike X

        I made note of this in the comments of a previous article not too long ago. People then argued against the presented facts.

      • Ben_S

        I think the normal claim – when stated precisely and accurately – is that their *game* is cheaper, since you need fewer models. I don’t recall anyone arguing that their models are cheaper, on a model by model basis.

  • Martin Lucaj

    For me it’s not so much the issue of price, although yes price is still very relevant, it’s the issue of time. I have a diverse set of hobbies and enjoy them all, but something like a GW hobby which becomes an only hobby due to everything that comes along with it BESIDES playing the game, it can become a real pain. I look at 40K and AoS as amazing Hobbies I WANT to get into but I don’t have the time with what they demand of you. If there was an easy pick up and go pre-painted models I would be all for it. That’s just my specific needs though and I totally see the thrill behind painting and building your own armies as an expression of you. Just don’t have the time sadly.

    • Martin Lucaj

      With rules and rule books everywhere, rules being convoluted at times, painting, assembling, codices, etc etc. There is just so much that a GW hobby demands of you that I want that, but I don’t want to give up everything else. I want to have my cake and eat it too. #feelsbadman

      • Impy

        Best be for rules is just to play with friends who already do. You can pick it up fairly easily as you go along.

        • Martin Lucaj

          Yeah I have played a few times with friends using their minis and books and etc. It’s not that the rules are so difficult to understand, it’s that the rules are everywhere and nothing is organized. That, on top of the other issues I mentioned, the lack of time to devote to 40k makes this hobby so daunting. It was fun when I tried it but that’s because I could pick up and play without all the other added work. When you add everything together though, it becomes a hobby that involves all your time.

    • Damistar

      Perhaps Killteam would work for you? A 200pt force is less than 2 dozen minis at most.

      • Martin Lucaj

        I have tried kill team and I like it a lot. The quick games and less rules needed for all the wargear and traits etc etc. Having rules all over in different places is still a pain to me, but overall enjoyable.

        • Joshua Boyle

          They are very good and short PDF documents that summarize the rules available. Just Google it.

  • Thatroubleshootah

    From this list I buy antares models and infinity models and drop zone models. I have almost everything available for my infinity army for $300. I have a drop zone army that is composed of 3 starter sets plus a few other units for about $250. My two antares armies which consist of the two player starter set plus the ghar and concord starter boxes cost about $200. My dark angels army cost about $900. I simply need more models to play 40k and a lot of those models cost a lot of money compared to other games. Ravenwing black nights are 40 bucks for 3 bikes.

    Gw is doing a great job releasing boxes that represent a savings. They need to keep it up.

  • Just get a regular Khorne Berzerker, hand him a plasma pistol, bling him up a bit. Boom, Khârn for cheap.

    • Pyrrhus of Epirus

      chinaforge will have this kharn model for $5 dollars.

  • m3g4tr0n

    If it makes my orks even more OP, no price is too high.

  • MechBattler

    Why did I think this article title was talking about an actual 1:1 scale human sized model?

    • ILikeToColourRed

      in plastic or a carbon-silicon hybrid?

      • Old zogwort

        Lab grown tissue cultures

  • WellSpokenMan

    I’m OK with about $10. My Darksword minis for Frostgrave and Infinity miniatures are both generally around that price. I don’t want to have more than $300 invested in a single game.

    • It is kind of sad that you have set an arbitrary total spending limit on something that you’re supposed to be doing for fun.

      If it was a weekly spending limit of $20, fine. But a total?

      That’s just so limiting. You don’t do a hobby because you HAVE to. You do it because you love it. And love doesn’t have a maximum price.

      [SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK FOR EUAN SMITH TO MAKE A JOKE]

      • WellSpokenMan

        It’s an eggs all in one basket thing. I mostly play infinity now, but if it jumped the shark a bit and started adding formations or a “hacking phase,” I can play something else. Also, variety is the spice of life. Instead of having thousands of dollars tied up in one game, I spread it around.

  • Old zogwort

    How much do I like to pay 1-3 $ a model.
    How much did I pay in the past. Up to 40$. Something here goes horribly wrong.

  • Nvision

    I think everyone is aware that GW character pricing is whack. You can’t claim it’s based on detail or points value, as Privateer’s equivalent of HQs cost half the price, Infinity minis are $10-12 on average, and both have incredible levels of detail. GW boxed minis have just as great detail, and they’ll often pack in multiple hard plastic character models in their big boxed sets, so why are they still milking their customers ridiculous prices for single monopose characters? I dig the new Kharn model, but at $43CAD, no thanks. That’s the cost of an entire box of Berzerkers…

    • DeathBy SnuSnu

      The only rationale I can see is they’re experimenting with their market to try and find the top pricing customers will actually pay for a single model.

      Fortunately I abandoned GW games years ago and now just watch bemused from the sidelines.

      • Hawt Dawg

        Looking at your posts, watching from the sidelines must be a full time job.

    • The reason is that people buy them, that’s really all they reason they need to overcharge for low volume models like characters. They lose sales to those of us who just scratch build (or who buy old metal models at flea markets) characters, but the margin is so crazy high on those minis it’s still worth it.

  • Azhrarn

    I own a fair number of Kingdom Death models, and yes they are expensive. But they are also exquisite. Insanely detailed, lovingly crafted limited run resin models.
    Same goes for their incredible plastic models, both singles and those included in my pledge for Kingdom Death: Monster.

    No regrets, totally worth their price.

    • Statham

      They aren’t really that bad price-wise. For me living in the UK, it’s more importing them, given I’ve typically had to add customs on top of postage.

      • Azhrarn

        I’m in the Netherlands, I feel your pain. Shipping costs a small fortune and then there’s the Import Fees. 😀

  • Krizzab

    its no the price, its the price vs amount needed to play finely.

    • Richard Mitchell

      True that.

  • GreyPanthers

    My wife, who loves painting, is willing to pay any amount she can afford to get her hands on a model to simple just paint it. I, on the other hand, tend to only invest in models if they have a competent and fun game system to go along with it. As it stands right now, there aren’t any GW model’s that I’d be willing to buy. Not because of price or availability but simply because the game systems themselves are either needlessly complex or overly repetitive.

    I think the question that needs to be asked here is “which one of these game system is actually worth the price?”

    • nurglitch

      And, really, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    • Davor Mackovic

      But what is worth? Some people will piss $200 at a bar for a few hours of fun, and those people will balk at buying a $200 miniature that they can use all the time.

      Some people will blow $200 for a dinner and not balk but for me that is mind boggling for a couple.

      Other’s will get hookers, drugs, what not. The money there is a few seconds to a few hours of pleasure.

      Wife will blow $200 at bingo for 2 or 3 hours of fun, but I find that not worth it.

      So what is worth? It’s all subjective just like art, music movies etc.

      • GreyPanthers

        That’s the point… It’s all subjective. I guess that wasn’t clear enough in my original post for you.

        • Davor Mackovic

          I thought that is what you were saying but your last sentence asked “what is worth the price?”

          That is what I was commenting on. Since you didn’t give any price on what your wife would buy or what you wouldn’t buy, I didn’t think you were using that example. So hence why I said what I did. 🙂

      • Ben_S

        $200 at bingo? Does bingo mean something different that side of the pond?

        • Davor Mackovic

          Not sure what you mean? What side of the pond are you on? Here in Canada Bingo is a place where people go to play Bingo. And man do people gamble big time here just on a smaller scale than they would in a Casino, or for some people more money than they would in a casino.

          What is Bingo for you?

  • ZeeLobby

    Definitely depends on the price to play, not the model price. If models cost $50, but you only needed 4 to round out all your options, that’d be preferable to a game where models cost $0.50, but you needed $1000 worth.

    Frankly this is the issue with GW’s systems right now, and is why I see myself gravitating to other systems and/or their board games (though limited by lacking replay-ability). I know they’ve begun releasing start-collecting box sets, but it’s still only a fraction of an army, or tactics available to it. With a family I just can’t drop that kind of money anymore, UNLESS it was the best game out there, and it just isn’t now…

    I much prefer newer systems where making single switches in a list (Warcaster, general, etc.) cause lists to play very differently. At a <$20 investment I've bought days of additional play experiences.

    • Brian Griffith

      The character miniatures are almost always cheaper to get in a boxed game, a start collecting box, or what have you. That to me speaks to GW not wanting you to buy just that guy.

      It makes it rough for the folks who already have the army to go with that guy and just want an updated version, but I can at least see where they’re headed with it.

      Taking Kharn as an example, I’d bet we’ll see him bundled with the new Berserkers if/when we get those.

      • ZeeLobby

        True. I was considering pricing as far as new players go, as that’s honestly when pricing is one of the larger deciders. With sales falling each year, you’d expect GW to be offering a more attractive price point, and while I mentioned the start collecting boxes as that, it quickly gets much more expensive to make an army out of it.

        It’s also hard for people who enjoy playing competitively, which I do, to meta chase when prices are so high. Definitely easier to do in other systems. I’d still be playing 40K if starting a 3rd army that I could compete with just wasn’t so expensive.

        • Horus84cmd

          Lack of accessible products was acknowledge as an issue and weakness in the 2015 end of year report. In the 2016 report is was mentioned that the rollout of the Vedros product had gone down well with buyers (trades) and they had plans for more of that kind of product to follow to build on that success.

          I feel we have begun to see more of this move to a wider range of starting points and products (ala Gorechosen, Lost Patrol, Storm of Sigmar etc…).

          So all positives to me, and encouraging evidence that something is being done to make the hobby more accessible. Hopefully one GW will be able to capitalise upon.

          What, I feel often get forgotten, by us outsiders, is that a company as big as GW can just flick a switch and we see a instant change. Things need to go through the machine and planned into into the product production schedules (with ordering stock e.g. packaging, arranging distribution etc..) and allow all departments to sing from the same hymn sheet.

          • ZeeLobby

            But again. Those are just fractional deals. Even with Vedros, expanding your force to the expected 1850 will cost way more than other games. I mean in reality what GW needs to do is just reduce prices. Whether that starts with new releases (which clearly hasn’t been the case) or across the board, its really up to them. Regardless of what they think of themselves, gamers care a lot less if they’re buying “premium” products. They shouldn’t expect the same return that Apple garners in the electronics market (their profit margins are pretty equal). My guess is until they do flip a switch, even if it is just the gradual reduction in prices through new models, they’ll continue to see competitors eat into their market share.

          • Horus84cmd

            None of the mini-boxed games released “need” to have models added to play. In no way, does GW force people to add to them, they encourage it, but not force. A buyer can quite easily stick with what’s in the box and enjoy.

            I feel 1850pts is a unfair level to place on 40K*. This “expected” level has been very much driven by the community – particularly in the USA. It also a bit of black flag on the what is the “standard” level. Nowhere in the rules for any of GW games does it say “you must play with this x points values”. It only recommends how long certain points levels will take to play. It’s a complete fallacy and false representation of what is actually needed to play to contest otherwise.

            *Back when I started the game norm was 2000pts for both WFB and 40K BUT standard point values were higher for a unit were higher – 10 marines was 300pts. GW shifted 40k to 1500pts (i.e. 1500pts was the same game length as a 2000pts battle previously) with 3rd edition when points values roughly dropping by a 1/3.

          • ZeeLobby

            Oh, I agree. The standalone boxes work fine, even if the gameplay is rarely replay-able, and often pretty shallow.

            My point was/is that for a new player, going into a store, and watching people play, and getting interested in starting, will be basing his purchases off a 1500-2000 pt standard, and will most likely be introduced to AoS or 40K, not just one of GW’s boxed games.

          • Horus84cmd

            Coolio. In a GW store what a customer is introduced to is really down to the staff.

            This is where really good staff matter for introducing new players. They should be showing off all the different choices available to a new customer and let them decide on what option is right for them. This is where I feel AoS is really strong, regardless of what people feel about the rules, is that a customer (new or old) can literally buy what they want and then use it. I personally feel, that building up to a “standard” level for a gaming group should be a organic process. This not only allows a player to learn to enjoy the fundamentals of the hobby but also learn what kind of player/collector they are going to be.

          • ZeeLobby

            I agree, AoS definitely has that opportunity to start small, and grow big, something a well-established game like 40K would be difficult to promote. That said, GW does a lot of that army size creep as well. Although AoS was pitched as a smaller skirmish game than WHFB, every single advertisement or picture for AoS has massive hordes of models in the background. The same goes for their battle reports which tend to skew towards the large side.

            As for introductions in-store, all our local GW’s closed down (used to have 4), and the one that’s still open is only open like half of the week. So the only introduction people get are at the 3 FLGS near me that are actually pretty successful. There you never find small games of 40K, and the store owners will honestly tell you what you’re buying into with no bias. They still want to sell GW products, and promote them often with escalation leagues, etc. But they could care less if you spent $1000 on a GW army vs the same amount on 3 different Infinity armies. They’ve honestly had trouble shifting GW products lately.

          • Horus84cmd

            I’d say the swath of pictures (whatever company) we see in publications, are more often than not, there to tell a story and inspire to collect. A large number of well paint miniatures is always going to do that in a more grand way than a small number. I would extrapolate from that a company is trying to subliminally advertise that that’s the only way to play.

            Oh, for sure, a trade store (or GW really) is not going to be two fussed as long as the moneys being spent in their store. As you allude to “escalation” style events are often used to encourage new purchases for a existing collection or to start a new one.

          • Hawt Dawg

            GW games aren’t exclusive to this. Only the company that get the most discussion on the internet. The games I have played over the many years have all been “you only need this” when in fact that would only result in repetitive gameplay.

          • Horus84cmd

            Oh yeah – no doubt, that’s the nature of the beast. New things and new ways to play add layers of variety to the games. As a side-ways example, I’ll hazard that is why loads of traditional-board-games now offer many different versions i.e. Monopoly having a Star War Version or Risk having a Game of Throne Edition, which all have extra rules above the basic.

          • Hawt Dawg

            I just don’t see this at all. If you want to play with diversion and big size, most games will be expensive. My Minions collection is probably the most expensive army I have ever owned. And also my own, my prescious… Only my Ogre Kingdom is higher ranked.

            40K is grand, and to make it look grand you have to add dough. Warmahordes will never be grand, not even with colossals or huge amount of units. Yet you need to add dough to get diversion. This is just the way these games play. GW have however, more possibility with 40K when it comes to play styles.

            AoS is not the same beast as either.

    • I guess I don’t really get that point of view, I paint about 10 models a week, if I was playing a game with more expensive figs I would still need about that number, maybe a little less since I might spend more time on each. That still adds up to way more $ on say infinity or malifaux over the year than 40k (especially if you shop strategically, eBay, flea markets, bundle deals).

      Which isn’t to say I don’t have a bunch of models from other games in my stuff pile, just that the savings seems pretty illusory

      • ZeeLobby

        I wish I had time to paint that much. As you prefaced though, you might be in a unique circumstance. Just as competitive players are a small niche, heavy painters are as well. Most players struggle to find an hour every couple days to paint (hence a lot of hour a day initiatives).

        I agree that when purchasing a constant stream of weekly models, most systems are a wash as far as cost. But my guess would be that’s not the norm. According to my FLGS, most players buy a model or two once a month.

        Also shopping strategically has little to do with it. I can often find better savings on non-GW models as well, outside of maybe tactical Marines simply cause every box comes with them. 50% off almost new WMH, Infinity, etc. Is pretty easy to come by.

  • Austin Becht

    Price is quite subjective, as there’s always multipel things to consider when seeing if prices are fair for the game in question.

    What material is the model made of? Plastic is often cheeper, but only really when it comes to massed units. Metal is often more expensive, but can be cheaper then plastic at the single model price; same goes with resin.

    How many models are in the box? Hilariously enough, the smaller amount of models in the box, the more those miniatures are going to cost individually, even though the price might be lower, say, $33 for 5 versus $50 for 10. The same idea works when considering the model’s role in the game. Elite units often cost more because the company expects to sell less of them, while your basic troop that you’ll need a hundred off will likely be dirt cheep in comparison.

    What’s the average size of the game/army? If the game is a light skirmish game, here you really only need 10-20 models, then you might be fine with higher prices, as you still won’t be shelling out much over $200. Larger wargames, however, where you regularly field 50-100+ models, might often see lower prices to make the game affordable, but even then that can end up costing you a pretty penny.

    Quality is another concern. Higher quality miniatures will come at higher prices. This is not always the case, but more often than not, it is. This is why character models, as well as large centerpiece models, often cost more then you’d think they should, because there’s more attention to detail put into them than your basic troop, or even your elite units, as they’ll be the models drawing the most attention on the battlefield.

    So really, there’s a lot of factors that go into properly determining the price of a model…

    • Horus84cmd

      Yay normal sensible thoughts! Agreed sir. I add to this list that there is also the element of what a company feels something is worth and consumers will pay for e.g. limited run products, special edition or anniversary kits etc… One example of this that stands out was the LoTR Mumak. At release it was priced at £50. In the end of year report for that year it was commented that it sold so well they felt that even priced at £75 the kit would have sold pretty much the same volume of units. In fact we setting the price apparently there had been conflicted discussion of what was the ideal price ranging from £40 to £95.

  • My problem is that I’m not really into low model count games (I like armies) and I’m big into visuals.

    So that means I’m going to pay a lot.

    I also want the game to come down to how its played and not about what your army list is composed of first.

    In today’s culture that also means my opponent pool is going to be very thin.

    This is why I play less and less these days and paint and model about 10x as much as I used to.

    • GreyPanthers

      I’m not entirely sure I understand what you mean with that third statement. I do understand that desire to play those bigger style games. There is a local guy here, I genuinely feel bad for the guy, who is constantly asking around for games that are over 3k points of 40k. I think I’ve seen him talk one person into playing with him and they never actual finished their game. I’ve always enjoyed the smaller model counts/point cost games. They tend to make each movement matter, each action decisive and each battle memorable. With that being said, I have no problem paying any of those prices listed above if that means having a fun, easy to play, and enjoyable experience with the game system that goes along with said mini.

      • If you mean “I also want the game to come down to how it is played and now about what your army list is composed of first” – that means I’d like 2000 points to mean 2000 points (or whatever).

        The game has for many years been mostly about chasing the meta and I rather play a game where I know points actually are balancing mechanisms that are a lot closer than what GW games do.

        40k for instance… 2000 points of thousand sons is going to get erased by most eldar armies or space marine armies just by the list strengths alone.

        • GreyPanthers

          Ahh, I’m picking up what you’re putting down. As you mentioned above, 40k is hardly a balanced and finely tuned rule set.

          • Yeah. It works out ok when I’m playing with friends that know not to try to bust the game but events and what not its just not my thing.

  • Simon

    This list seems a bit absurd as it doesn’t include any sort of consistency in the quantities of dolls needed for use in games. It also only includes a single doll more than $12 (the Kingdom Death one at $25), while from the tons and tons of coverage that GW gets on here, we know that a great deal of their single blister packs run over $20.

    I’m not harping on GW here, I’m harping on this article. It doesn’t actually offer the reader anything.

  • TheSlann

    Check your numbers, how can 1GBP be 0.40 Eur with the KoW minis, but 0.55 GBP = 0.40 EUR for perry’s? And a couple of other odd numbers…

    • Yeap some errors crept in, I think they are squashed now.

  • Talos2

    Well I own all the primarchs so…….

  • I don’t see the big deal with Kingdom Death stuff. Sure the subject matter is weird/adult, but the sculpts generally aren’t super awesome IMO

  • Vass Bence

    I’m an artist. So i’m broke. So i make my own minis.

  • Agent OfBolas

    Infinity and Malifaux Wins. Always.

    best sculpts ever, and they doesn’t cost arm and leg.

  • I fail to see the point of this article, other than to point out that per-model prices for units and characters across different manufacturers could best be described as “comparable”… and we already knew that.

  • Chad Underdonk

    Price per model is somewhat an example of value.

    Price per entry level into a system is another.

    Price per force (as in an army or tournament level purchase) is another.

    Price per collection (for those of us with the completionist sickness) is another.

    They all stack quite a bit differently, and each is just as relevant to the right audience.

  • Benoit Tremblay

    A good Magic card is quite expensive. However people usually don’t have a deck of 60 cards worth 35$ a piece

    I see characters that way. you pay a premium because they don’t sell as many and yet cost the same to manufacture as a mini they’ll sell a whole lot more.

    Consider the 40k playing population
    Then consider those playing CSM
    Then consider among those players, who will buy it

    … They will only buy one.