Sunday, 14 March 2010


Yes, Frugal fans, a Dilemma!

I'm confronted with two ways in which I could pick up the WFB army I've been thinking about getting.

On the one hand, there's the thought of doing a new Vampire Counts army, with hardly any GW models in it - I've been poking around making lists of suppliers and I think I've worked out where to get most of the things the army's going to need for a more reasonable price than GW are asking for - and it'd be a bit different from your average Vampire Counts army too.

On the other, there's my old mate Edd, who's thinking of selling off his Dark Elves. There's a bargain price attached to a decent-sized army that's built and mostly primed or basecoated - it would need some work, but not nearly as much as starting a whole army from scratch. It would also represent a change of style as far as gameplay goes (I've been playing Vampire Counts for as long as there's been a Vampire Counts army to play), which I have to admit has a certain appeal to it.

The Vampire Counts option is the plan of small expenditures over the longer term, which strikes me as the more inherently Frugal option. However, there is the hidden expense of a Vampire Counts army (i.e. it's a large army which frequently needs even more spare models for raising in-game) to consider, as well as the potential for delays between starting the project and playing some games (even small games with Vampires tend to involve a lot of models on the board).

The Dark Elf option is a large up-front instant-gratification sort of purchase, and feels instinctively Not Frugal, but it is a one-off expense that enables gameplay to start sooner and interest in the project to be maintained. It might also be the sort of thing that helps me control my urge to spend, since new purchases will have to be weighted against the "there's stuff unpainted at home" factor.

(I'm getting better at not buying new stuff when I've old stuff that hasn't even been painted yet, although, that said, my Steelheads have been primed for three months and haven't seen either brush or tabletop... so maybe I'm just getting better at lying to myself?)

As usual when confronted with decisions, I am now all of a dither, and therefore opening the doors to you lovely people for some advice.


ADB said...

First thing to remember with any GW army purchase - they will change the rules within 3 years and most of your figures will not fit any more!

Seriously though I would combine frugal with purchase. For each bit of kit re-used / dug out / sold buy a figure or two as a treat and build up the army that way.

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Hiya Von, an interesting position to be in!

I'd be tempted to go for the 'ready to play' army to make sure make sure I'm going to enjoy playing WFB. Then, if I do enjoy the game, I can start collecting the army I want in 'slow-time' knowing that I've got an army at home that I can continue playing with as I buy and paint up the other army.

My own current plan is to get my goblins onto the table, make sure I enjoy playing the game, then look around for another army to put together.

Oh God, more expense...

(reposted due to terrable sepeling)

sonsoftaurus said...

If you want the DE, go that route. Good deal, you help your friend out, and you get a head start.

pete the pagan-gerbil said...

I would disagree with Dave, and say go for the slow build approach. It'll be much easier to avoid temptation and stay frugal that way.

And you can always adapt the Mordheim rules to make small skirmish scale Warhammer games - GW produced a booklet once full of skirmish scenarios like 'Goblins sneak past an Empire watchtower', 'Slayers attack a Troll near a bridge' and 'Knights take on a dragon'. Would be fun to come up with some ideas of your own.

I'd also find that it makes the force a bit more personal, as you have the 'core' army that gets added to over time, like the story of your general growing in power.

MxConnell said...

I guess my question would be "Are you inhereently interested in the Dark Elves or is it just a good deal?".

I have doomed myself (and my wallet) many a time by not asking this question.

So getting a good deal on an army you are truely interesting in = frugal.

Buying it because it's just a good deal = not frugal.

Von said...

@ MxConnell - good question.

I've thought about doing a Dark Elf army, on and off, for at least ten years, but never gotten around to it. Having had a look at their army book, I am quite enthralled by the tactical prospects they present.

I am, the more I think about this, not inherently interested in the alternative, which is doing another Vampire Counts army - that faction has pretty much lost its appeal for me on all grounds except nostalgia - or a generic Elf army using Mantic Games' cheap figures. That feels like the bargain-for-the-sake-of-it route.

The only other thing that's really tempting me, at the moment, is Bretonnians, and the thing with Bretonnians is that they'd be really expensive to do (even the third-party miniatures I've been finding are far from affordably priced) and it can't be that long before their rules are revised, given the length of time for which the book's been out.

I think, after careful consideration, the Dark Elves are probably the way to go.

Dave said...

Good point about the bargain-for-the-sake-of-it army. I've always said that the best way to game frugally isn't just to buy the cheapest, but to make wise investments on quality products that will last you for years. It works out cheaper in the end (you're less likely to replace them) and they look better on the table!

WQRobb said...

If you do go with the VC, I'd take a look at Mantic's Undead, which average about a dollar a miniature, which is a particularly good deal when you get around the ghouls, etc.

By the same token, they make elves as well for the same price, and since DE are a smaller army in terms of minis, you'd spend even less.

Von said...

@ WQRobb - it was the Mantic Undead that got me started on wanting to do them again, actually. It's highly unlikely that I'll do a second army for WFB, but I might post up the list of suppliers and models I was looking at anyway as a sort of guideliney thing.

If I were starting the Elf army from scratch I'd be using Mantic's models and doing High Elves. It's almost insultingly cheap and easy to do a cheap High Elf citizenry army with those, and I reckon it'd be quite a good army too.