The Dice do not Abide, man: Price Complaints
Hey everyone and welcome to a new year of TheDiceAbide! This year, I decided I'd start with a rant. I don't do these often, but sometimes I get fed up and have to share it with each and every one of you young people who have the good taste to read our blog. Very recently, some pictures were leaked of the new Vampire Counts models, which most people think are jaw-dropping and stunning, but, like any other new release, people on the internets are upset with how much money their plastic toy soldiers cost, and that is what my rant is about today.
Where to begin... Okay, how about the entry level cost of our hobby. To get started with WHFB, all you need is the Island of Blood box and a bottle of glue, which totals up to about $104, if you decide that you want to keep both armies, and/or don't have friends to share with. While this does not get you a 2500 point army, it does get you enough to get started into the hobby. Now lets compare that to other hobbies.
Needlepoint: $13.50 gets you started with a basic pattern, and all you need to make a cute little turtle. After you've spent an hour or so doing this, you now have a turtle to look at and if you want to enjoy another hour of your hobby, you need to spend another $13.50 to make this delightful pineapple. As soon as you stop spending your money, you've quit the hobby, as this hobby literally requires you to spend more and more money every time you touch it.
Paintball: this is probably something that Warhammer players may be more interested in doing than needlepoint, but getting started is about $129.95 for the bare bones essentials, all of which you will definitely replace as time goes on. The first time you take this guy out though, you'll spend about $20 on paint (if you share a box with a friend), $20 on all day air, and $20-50 for park admission for the day. By the time you've played your first game, you're usually in the hole about $200. After you have played a few times, you're probably going to want to get a better gun, and once we start talking about competitive paintball, you're starting to talk about guns that are over $1000 (Angels) paint that is $60 a case, a nitrogen tank, paintball clothes, plus your normal park fees... It gets expensive quick.
BMX: This is a great hobby where you get to break limbs and ride children's sized bikes, I have a friend who is a pro-BMX rider and he enjoys Warhammer as his "cheap hobby." An entry level BMX bike will set you back about $250, and a helmet anywhere from $25 to $200, depending on how much you value your brain. One nice thing about BMX though is that you can enjoy it most anywhere and many cities have free parks.
Dirt Bikes: Now we're getting into serious money. An entry-level Yamaha YZ250F will put you back $7000 new, but you could probably find a used one for about $1000. Throw on at least a $200 helmet (I recommend a better one), plus park fees, and I don't think I need to go on further...
Video Games: Back to a more nerd friendly hobby, the good old fall back, video games. You'll spend about $250 on a console, regardless of your preferred flavor, then $60 each time a new game comes out that you want to get your sticky fingers on. I don't think I know anyone with a PS3 with less than 10 games, so some quick math says that you're already in the hole $850, and everything you own will be obsolete every 4-6 years when a new console generation comes out (about as often as a generation of Warhammer, coincidentally enough).
Warhammer: Now we get to my hobby of choice, plastic toy men. If you've been reading recently, I have built a rather fun and as I've learned, competitive, Necron army. I made the army from 6 boxes of Immortals, 1 box of Praetorians, 5 Annihilation barges and 2 Wraiths, total cost for the entire army $422.50. My planned Dark Eldar army consists of 2x Battle Forces, 5x Venoms, 3x Ravagers and a Succubus, adding up to $503.75. The most competitive leaf-blower list I could find comes in at about $800 retail. That army will last you until the next codex comes out, giving it a lifespan of about 4-6 years with the usual GW codex rewrite cycle. You may have to modify the army slightly when a new edition comes out and the codexes rarely change an army to the point where you need to throw it in the trash, so you might want to spend a few extra bucks a couple times a decade.
All-in-all, yes, war-gaming, like any other hobby (except needlepoint) isn't cheap, but when you compare miniature prices to the prices of other popular hobbies out there, it really is not anywhere near the top of the price charts. If you enjoy the hobby, then keep playing and have some fun!
I for one am glad that GW has been pushing forward, releasing ever more detailed and wonderful designs, and I will happily pay a few extra bucks to get what I consider to be some of the finest sculpted miniatures in the world.
See you next time!