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Editorial: How Can We Save a Buck?

5 Minute Read
May 24 2011
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Hello again boys and girls, Unicorns and children of all ages, we’re here today to talk savings.  With the latest price hike, it’s fair to say it’s reached the point budgeting and planning go hand in hand with creating an army.

So, how are you planning to save a buck?

Brent here, and as I write my weekly offering to you, the voracious hobby public, the TV is on behind me covering the devastation tornadoes wrecked upon Joplin, Missouri – a stone’s throw from my family’s humble origins.  So though the article this fine Wednesday covers saving some dough, I thought it necessary to point out how privileged we all are to have extra hobby money at all.

So let’s hold hands and move on!

Honestly, I’ve had something of an epiphany lately; looking around my game room, I saw two decades of miniatures all boxed up in stacks.  With so much invested, how is it I have fewer armies than ever capable of winning games in our modern environment?

It’s because the game has changed, friends.  Maybe your area plays a more fluffy, hobby oriented game than mine… if so fair play, as I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion the pendulum’s swing toward competitive play is leaving behind some important themes of wargaming…

…but that conversation will have to wait.  If your area is like mine, armies on the field have changed.

  • A brand new player brought 9 Las-Plas Razorbacks to last week’s tournament.
  • A veteran sold his Mech Guard and invested in Meck Dark Eldar – that many lawn darts is scary!
  • Another veteran is practicing with a brutal Blood Angel’s Storm-Raven-To-The-Face army.
  • Two all Terminators armies are in the pack, one Grey Knights and the other Deathwing.

So my point is, an army needs to be able to face any of those, plus about 10 more approaches, and have a strategy to play and win.  After all, Competitive is Consistent, so it’s not enough to build a glass hammer and hope you don’t draw the army that breaks it.

You might ask, “How does all this background fit with this week’s theme?”  Yes, Big Red has declared this week Pricing Week, with any and all things money and value free game – let’s go with value, and stretch the dollars we’ve already spent.

I decided to rethink my approach to armies:  rather than investing a considerable amount of cash in a brand new army, the idea is to update existing armies in my collection to bring them into the modern era of Warhammer 40K.

My 13th Company has languished in a box for awhile now, but with an update they’re certainly playable in this new edition.  I’m going to add a few Longfangs to fill out my Heavy selections and then purchase the Rhinos necessary to Mech up.

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That’s a lot of Rhinos… anyone else have a problem with having to purchase brand new transports for each Space Marine army you have?  How many times have you bought a Rhino kit.

No, seriously – that’s one of the questions today!  Inquiring minds and all that.

I’ve decided to build and paint my Rhinos in a standard, neutral scheme, something that could fit appropriately into a wide variety of Marine armies.  Since much of my stuff makes heavy use of metallic paints (I just enjoy that), I think metal with black trim, maybe.  To differentiate the armies, I’m going to create removable banners for each squad.  Using magnets, it’s an easy way to unify the army plus let my opponent know which tanks are carrying troops and which are empty.

Maybe that’ll save some dough.

Here are some models for my fledgling Brotherhood army; many of you have seen these before.  I put them away when my boy Goat made Space Wolves Counts-As an unpopular choice, but after my Bugs! army crashed and burned, I pulled them out again.

Folks, this is going to be my Forever Army.  I enjoy the scheme, which allows me to differentiate individuals and units nicely, so my plan is to create the Swiss Army Knife of Meq forces.  As the game grows and changes, this army will grow and change with it, adding units along the way but building on a core concept.

Here are some Brotherhood work in progress miniatures; the first outing of the army will be as a LoganWing variant.  These are just a few of many, but I basically took the old, metal Terminators and started adding Chaos bits to taste… so to speak.  I liked the look Chaos Warriors’ arms gave, so out came my Warhammer Chaos Warband and off came their arms!

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It’s not a waste; the Knights themselves will be kit-bashed with Space Marine and Chaos Space Marine arms and shoulder pads, much like the picture above, giving me a suitable number of Thunder Hooves for future editions of the Brotherhood.  I’ll have to invest in larger bases, of course, but that’s an inexpensive upgrade.

I’d like to point out, I gave serious thought before vandalizing my Warhammer Warriors of Chaos army… but I came to the conclusion supporting three Warhammer armies was untenable.  I own Beasts of Chaos and Tomb Kings, both of which I prefer and both I have far more invested in.

My advice there is choose what you want to support and stick with it.  It will be cheaper in the long run than trying to support multiple armies – chances are, your final product will be the better for it.

That’s my approach to the current price increase GW announced.  I understand where people are coming from when they write about how upset they are, but from my perspective I’m not going to quit the hobby so there’s no use stressing it.  I want a healthy company supporting my vice so have chosen to believe they have something approaching a business strategy.

My two keys to stretching your budget are: 1) update your existing armies, 2) choose carefully what to support and what to set aside, and 3) shop in your collection if you can.

Now I leave the floor to you:  How do you plan to save a buck?  Any and all suggestions are welcome, and you might just be helping your neighbors out.  Don’t forget to mention how many Rhino kits you think you’ve purchased over the years!

So, thoughts?  Comments?  Hugs and gropings?

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