Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bang for Your Buck

We're addicts of an expensive hobby. Not only buying every miniature that our beloved overlords at games workshop concoct, but also every nuanced piece of equipment available from stylized foam transports, to the vast assortments of paints and primers currently available, and we consume them all with the enthusiasm of Charlie Sheen banging 7 gram rocks. Of course I wouldn't have it any other way but in the current climate obtaining armies of plastic crack is increasingly likely to break your bank. But I've stumbled upon a technique for the crafty and likewise patient amongst the gaming community to generally insure you're winning, duh!

I've always been drawn to imperial guard because I just love the militaristic models and fluff, I even attempted to start an IG army with the launch of the new codex a few years ago but it never really took off. As I drew up an army list to build towards I realized that the monetary commitment associated with the army would be substantial, like $500 substantial. Even with the 20% discount on GW product at my FLGS it was unrealistic that I would be able to invest that kind of cash so I did what any shameless gamer abandoning their store allegiance does, I went to ebay.

This is where I discovered something very important: people hate Catachans! Seriously, like Jar-Jar Binks hate. That's the only explanation I have for the abundance of cheap Catachans flooding ebay. A quick search turned up hundreds of auctions for the jungle-fighters (auctions that seemed to be as badly neglected as this blog). Luckily, I don't mind those roided-out 80's action hero rejects. In fact, I actually kind of like them, they're very cool and fun in a Duke Nukem kind of way but more importantly, they're cheap.

In terms of figures, I was able to get 60 catachan guardsmen, and 6 heavy weapons teams, all of which are brand new, unpainted and unassembled, for $106.45 including shipping! That would have set me back $190 before tax, retail!
But it's no secret that there are awesome deals to be found on ebay, and the variety of miniature trading sites out there now, so what am I getting at?

I remember an article not long ago from Bell of Lost Souls (I think) that covered getting deals on ebay, and dealing with the deals you were dealt. Particularly, stripping the gobs of paint off of the indistinguishable abominations you bought. Typically if you have budget eyes for the newest 'dex on the market this is where you'll end up. But for those who can contain themselves, and believe me I know how hard that can be, there is another way. When shopping for a new army, it pays to think ahead of the curve.

If we as gamers can delay our gratification, we're likely to be reap larger rewards. Look at GW's trends, and the multitude of leaked information we have surging the internet these days. It's not uncommon to have a vague idea of when an army is going to be released quite a while beforehand, utilizing this information we can play the curve, building armies of epic proportions for the price of an elite new force, and still not be completely hosed with an outdated codex for very long.

In just a quick ebay search I turned up tons of Tau on the cheap. There's currently a vendor on ebay that goes by "wizardsgames" who put up a brand new boxes of fire warriors and kroot like three times a week, which seem to sell between $6 and $12 dollars! Applying this logic to other codices likely to be updated in the near future could net you a cheap head start on the newest, shiniest GW offerings...

Otherwise, you've got a big, fun new army to occupy your hobby time for a fraction of the cost of a brand new force. And hell, a couple flayed ones I just bought would be shiny and new to me no matter how long they've been on someone else's shelf.