Monday, November 11, 2013

New strategy - Collecting a New Army

As many of you know it is easy to get swept up in the new release of an army.  The new dark elves are the latest craze in fantasy and soon we may see that Tyranids in 40k set the hook into many a hobbyist with too much money on their hands.  I have had this happen to me in the past and this post is not only about the issues that I have had but also about the new strategy that I developed for the latest army to set it's hook into my hobby desires...

This represents the look we get at new models, not any part of the male anatomy though I thought the picture was funny.

First let's look at the problem.  In 2010 I read the book Malus Darkblade and immediately decided I needed a dark elf cold one cavalry army.  I built several lists and went out and bought the models I would need: 25 Cold Ones, 4 characters on cold ones, a battalion box, additional repeater bits to convert some dark riders, glade riders for the conversion.  The list goes on but the investment was substantial.  Fast forward to 2012 and I had clipped the models off the sprues which is as far as I had gotten.  At this point though I was ready for another big spend...I was going to redo my dwarves.  I purchased 4 boxes of the new plastic models, harvested some additional old metal war machines from ebay to match the others, I even began to bid on some scibor models for characters and unit fillers. Then I found that Kansas City had a strong following of War Machine players so I purchased two 30 point armies built and used apoxiesculpt on their bases played a few games and was transferred to Chicago...warhammer was back!  Next I bought some Tyranids to play some 40k....and this brings us almost up to today.

At this point I had a lot of stuff that I had no intentions to ever use.  So the dump began including Khador, Tyranids and Dark Elves.  I hope I have learned my lesson but perhaps I needed something to give me the option to start a new army without going over the when Eldar came out and I witnessed the beautiful paint scheme that is Saim-Hann and the coolest models in the Wraiths I knew I wanted them but I HAD LEARNED MY LESSON right?

On the Garagehammer podcast what works for Witek is to wait a month to let the excitement settle and determine if it's just the new shiny syndrome or if it is genuine interest.  I applaud him for his self control but I knew this strategy wasn't going to work for me.  So what did I do I set up some rules for myself:

Strategy A:  I can buy models of any new army that I want but I can only buy one box at a time and in order to buy another new box I have to have it fully painted and based.

So I immediately bought a Wraithlord model from the local GW.  The hobby high was in full swing and I had him built and magnetized within a week.  Then in another week he was fully painted.  "Wow, this is actually working!" I thought to myself as I then purchased the new farseer model.  Another week and another Saim-Hann model was completed.  The new strategy was in full swing and although all other hobby projects were taking a back seat I was riding my hobby interest and my new rule was giving me the motivation to build and paint my new models so that I could make a new purchase.

Next up was a box of wraithguard and these too I build and painted in 2 weeks.  My force was nearing 500 points and I began to use it in 40k games as allies to my Dark Angels.  Then I found a small loophole in my own rule....the battalion box.  This was a single box, but contained 3 different units: Wave Serpent, Guardians, and a Vyper.  So again the hobby high was on and I finished the Vyper.  Then I began the wave serpent and the guardians....this is as far as I have completed this army as I had to finish a Soul Grinder for BITS and then I went to work on High Elves for Northstar.  However, I wanted to stick to the plan so I have made progress on the guardians and wave serpent...

The Eldar In Order of Purchase and Completion

How many of you guessed that my Strategy was doomed for failure?  Well I would have held strong, but there was a deal that I couldn't refuse.  Our very own Magnificent Bastard Rhellion had Jumped on the Eldar train and was jumping out.  I couldn't pass up the deal, but I couldn't break my strategy...I was in a bind.  In the end the financial (devil) conscience won out and now I have the army you see below (THANKS BRAD!!!)

What goes around comes around in this hobby.  I liquidated my hobby assets and with the money that I made I purchased someone else's liquidation.  I hope that Rhellion and many others find this article useful.  I highly recommend giving it a try the next time you want to go out and buy an entire army based on a 2400 point list you've created.  It worked for a point and I am going to follow this rule for the next fantasy army that I start.

  • Spend $40 instead of $500 on an army that you never end up finishing.  When you go to liquidate you'll lose 40% which means $16 instead of $200.
  • Stay motivated longer as you press on to get to that next purchase
  • Lose less time rehashing a paint scheme as you will finish a unit or group of models before taking the base coats to the entire army
  • You get that hobby purchasing rush more often in smaller doses
  • If you do not already own an army you won't be able to play the game for a very long time!
  • Less chance to try the models/units out before putting them on the battlefield as you will be playing with only what you have purchased for awhile
  • If you do end up scrapping the project you've put more time into the few models that you have purchased (paint/assembly) and depending on painting ability may be worth less on the secondary market
  • Lose out on that HUGE hobby rush when spending 3 figures at a time.
With the Pros and Cons on the table I do not recommend this strategy for someone who is taking the dive into the game for the first time.  You want to play the game and roll some dice so you'll need to make that initial investment and assembly in order to play.  If you can I would suggest borrowing an army or getting some practice games if you can with one of your friends armies before you invest in your own if you can.

Hopefully, gradually, eventually, you'll see more of my Eldar painted up and additional projects underway.



Unknown said...

Hmm, I've tried the same on several occasions but the wheels have always come off. Usually it's been for exactly the reason you suffered 'this deal is just too good to pass up'.

For that reason I now have 4-5 separate unpainted wfb armies in boxes, an eldar army, an epic eldar army, a warmachine force and a malifaux crew. Plus a couple of kickstarters!

I am now on a hard 'you cannot buy' restriction until I've cleared out at least 2 of those forces through painting them (I never sell an army I down own painted as gonna get them all).

gas_monkey82 said...

nice post - the strategy I have arrived at as I fall squarely into this camp is that instead of buying new models I'm going to spend that cash on getting someone to paint High Elf army for me while I take the one unit at approach time for my lizards :) win win

Ryan said...

@Dave - It worked great while it lasted. Even though I now own a big army I'm still going to take them one at a time to strip (if needed) remodel if necessary and then repaint. Not quite the same, but I shouldn't have to buy anything for a long time.

@gas_monkey82 - Not a bad idea. Utilize the strategy and another strategy (pay to have someone paint) together and end up with 2 armies.

Unknown said...

You have always been a planner and strategist, especially when you want something, planning ways to convince your parents or yourself that something is essential in your life. It is nice to have the money to support your habits. Obviously you inherited some of your Mothers bargain shopping techniques. I am glad you have a hobby while you are young, more kids and more of their activities will eventually change your life, and it is not a bad thing just different priorities. Enjoy reading your posts when I get a chance or think of it. Keep up the good work!

Post a Comment