Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tips for the Warhammer Hoarder

The secrets out that I'm a collector with a taste for big armies.  Over the years I've collected some really monster sized armies.  Though I blame this on my gaming groups desire to play huge mega battles some may even label me as a bit of a hoarder.  However, to be fair I would only use that moniker for such esteemed gamers as Tom McClure.  :)

No matter what we inevitably label my condition, er passion, I figured I would share a few tips for collecting and hobbying I've gathered over the years. 

General Tips

·         Set a budget for you gaming expenditures.  Weekly or monthly budget works best.  It limits your impulse buys and pushes you to plan your purchases.
·         Try challenging yourself with every new purchase either paint or get rid of something your already have. 
·         Limit your trips to the LGS. When you do go to the LGS have a list of the items you intend to buy and stick to the list. 
·         Make your collection as compact as possible to save space.  Store armies with units in tact rather than having each model stored separately. 
·         Pack away anything you don’t need in the immediate future.  After 6 months if you still haven’t used it consider getting rid of it.
·         Know what you have in your collection.  Avoid re buying what you already have.
·         Research your options and use the right tool for the job as it will save time and money.  A more expensive brush that lasts much longer is a better investment that multiple cheap brushes. 
·         Take care of the materials and equipment you have and they will last longer, saving you money in the long haul.
·         40% Coupon on Hobby Lobby / Michaels - Printed one weekly in the paper.  Also available from their website.  Use this to buy in bulk hobby staples or big ticket items.  Things like craft paint, matte medium, air brush, air compressor, Envirotex clear resin (for water), brush cleaner, Smooth On molding kits.  Just remember that the coupon can only be used for items that are not on sale.  Also, you don’t have to buy everything you need in one go.  If you are just getting in to the hobby make your purchases over time.
·         Buy the cheaper equivalent tools and materials from Dick Blick, Micromark, Harbor Freight Tools, Big Lots and Dollar General.
Options for acquiring NEW, latest edition models/armies
·       Plan out your army list and try to only acquire what you need and nothing more.
·         See if you can make a trade.  It's better to trade your unwanted stuff for what you want then to outlay more money.  Sometimes have excess stuff from presents or tournament winnings that they are willing to let go.   This also helps keep your current collection under control.
·         In general the battalions and army boxes are better value provided you will use the units included.  If you go with 2 army starter boxes make sure you have a friend to take the other army off your hands.
·         Take into account the extra bits (like extra characters) that are included on the sprues.  By planning out your purchases you could end up saving yourself having to purchase additional kits.
·         Time your purchases to annual or special sales to increase the discount.  Some stores like to turn their inventory and will have an annual clear out sale.
·         Stay alert for store closures, especially the EBay stores that come and go at a blink of an eye.
·         Make use of customer loyalty reward programs to increase your discount.
·         If you play in a LGS ask them what kind of deal they can you cut if you spend $$$.  Usually they can cut you a better deal if they know that you are buying a whole army in one go and that you will give them the money up front so they are not on the hook
·         Check to see if your LGS has trade in or scratch/dent stock.  Sometimes you can find a great discount on a box that's smashed in but the model is intact. 
·         Check to see if buying the bits separately (on eBay for example) is cheaper than buying the whole kit.
·         Buy exactly what you need.  Sometimes you should just buy and extra odd model to get just the unit size you need rather than buying another regiment box.
·         If you don't play in a LGS then online retailers like War Store or Miniature Market (25% off, Free shipping over $99) will give you decent discounts.  Make sure to factor in shipping and sales tax into your decision.
·         If using EBay using sniping services like Esnipe as they will keep you out of bidding wars which will only run up your costs.
·         Push off buying decisions to a later date so you aren't making impulse buy.
Options for buying earlier edition models/armies
·         Buy alternative model ranges - Reaper, Mantic, Avatars of War, etc.  Look especially for lesser known model ranges like Wargames Factory as they can be really great value.  Just remember that not all alternative ranges are in fact cheaper than GW.
·         Swap / trade existing armies with other players.
·         Consider alternative or older materials. With most companies moving to resin and plastic there still is a wealth of metal models to be had at a fraction of the resin or plastic counterparts.
·         If you can tolerate the older versions of a model/unit they are sometimes cheaper.  Most stores will make a push to sell of existing inventory before the new versions hit.
·         Some stores buy old inventory and/or used army's models.  They will usually cut you a decent discount because they know exactly what they have tied in to this and the faster it moves the more money they make on their investment.  If your LGS doesn’t do this look into heading to gaming conventions (like Adepticon) that are attended by vendors (like Toledo’s Game Room) that do offer this service. 
·         Ebay for old or used models.  Simple Green or LA’s Totally Awesome can rejuvenate even the most heinous pro-paint job!

Well, that's it folks.  Hopefully you will have found something useful in the post and I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic as we continue the conversation.


Anonymous said...

I never build my armies more than 3-3.5k - probably since our local group doesn't do mega battles. I wish we did so I had more reason to create some epic armies like you have, and so I could have some experience playing some epic games.

Dennis G said...

Great article! I have been collecting for a long time also. Storage of painted minis in units and organizing what I had into boxes helped give me some much needed space. Also Jake I got 6k of painted Chaos anytime your up for a game :)

Hoodling said...

Consider selling things after only 6 months of disuse? I don't think anyone has any right to call you a hoarder, my friend...

I love big armies and am fortunate to have a couple of friends with a similar mindset. As a general rule it appears to be more common for people to build an army up to maybe 3000 points before looking elsewhere for a new challenge. That can make it hard to line up big games when you've collected too much stuff yourself. You know when you're recruiting friends to use one of your own armies against you that you're kind of outstripped the general collecting habits of your community.

retroalias said...

To be fair I'm all talk in that department since I've not gotten rid of anything for sometime! ;).

retroalias said...

Jake - definitely try out a big game sometime its a totally different experience. When you get 50k points on the table it's a sight to behold.

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