Friday, 31 December 2010

Von's Frugal Year: Month The Twelfth

Something a bit special for the end of the year; now you too can own your own talking Von head, complete with strange pauses and shoddy sound quality.  Listen to it dispense the starry wisdom ramble on for seven minutes about how to fail at Frugalism, or just leave it paused on your screen to offend the neighbours and frighten the children.

If I've set the jump up properly, you'll find a transcript beyond it.

Hello, Internets!  This is A Year of Frugal Gaming, this is Von, and you're watching the twelfth and final instalment of Von's Frugal Year.  Doing something a bit different this time, and dragging myself kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat: yes, I'm learning to use the malignant orb on top of my laptop's monitor, and I'm going to use my newfound technological prowess to take you back in time...

In January I set myself five Frugal goals, and what I'm going to do now is evaluate how well I've lived up to the five goals that made up my original mission.

Goal the first!  I was gonna build a battlefield: it was gonna be four foot square, it was gonna have some terrain on it, it was gonna be fab.  It's built, it's quite good, it cost me fifty quid and I've played a lot of games on it, and will continue to play games on it until it physically falls apart.  Job well done.

Moving on!  28mm scale gaming.  I said I wasn't going to take up any new army scale games in 28mm.  That... didn't go so well, did it, 'cause I've started playing 40K again, and Fantasy again.  In my defence, such as it is, the 40K project started because of work.  I run a school club, and the kids I run the club for play 40K, so - logically speaking - I should probably play the same game as them.  Plus, I've done my best - I've tried to moderate and discipline the project.  I haven't bought any high cost, low value kits; I've tried to do everything with plastics and as few purchases as possible, so by and large I think it's been a fairly well-run project.

The Dark Elves... less so.  Back in March, when I originally bought the Dark Elf army, a number of you were saying "Von - you're an idiot.  You shouldn't be buying your army all in one go.  Small, manageable chunks.  Learn - take ownership - assess - test - don't leave yourself saddled with stuff you're not interested in owning."  You were right; I was wrong.  I've recently ended up selling a good chunk of that Dark Elf army and going back to basics, starting from 500 points and expanding in small, manageable chunks so that I'm learning how the build fits together.  There were some bits missing, there was some stuff in there that I didn't really gel with; it didn't fit, so...

We did our best there, but owing to Circumstances, we ended up playing more 28mm games.  It has been fun; I have enjoyed playing the Fantasy and the 40K, but there's no denying that it has been £300 that I hadn't been originally intending to put to that use.

Computer games!  I said I wasn't going to buy any computer games apart from World of Warcraft and I've been good.  I haven't bought a single computer game this year, and whilst I have thrown good money after bad as far as Warcraft is concerned, what with faction-swapping characters and then faction-swapping them back again after I realised that my guild of real-life friends were interested in raiding and I'm not... the WoW money has been a good spend, I feel like I've got my nine pounds a month's worth.  Up until now, at least.  I've been playing the Cataclysm demo; downloaded it four days ago and have played about three hours, so WoW is leaving me resolutely unwowed.  I've enjoyed our time together, but I feel it may be over.  Still - resolution made, resolution kept.

Bartertown!  I said I was gonna give up Bartertowning and I have!  I haven't logged in once this year.  My bargain hunting on eBay has generally been directed towards stuff that I actually have a use for, rather than going on and going "oooh, that would be twenty quid in the shop, I'll 'ave that", and then suddenly presents turn up, and I don't notice that I've lost twelve pounds fifty or whatever.  So yes, I've been really good as far as bargain hunting online goes.

Final objective!  I was going to do all of this on a budget of fifty quid a month, and, umm... well, in all fairness, I've been close.  Mostly.  Whenever I've spent a hundred and fifty quid, which I've done twice, there have been at least three months where I haven't spent anything at all.  It can't be denied, though, that the discipline has been somewhat lacking.

You see, there were two parts to the Frugal Mission, originally: spend less and game more.  Gaming more?  I win.  I've played a lot of games this year and I've enjoyed damn near all of them.  I actually played Zombies, which I've had sitting around in the flat for ages; I've tried Space Hulk; I've gotten back into Fantasy and really enjoyed it, and I've taught a lot of very nice people how to play Warmachine this year, so... gaming more?  Yes.

[transcriber's note: I was going to talk about roleplaying there, but since the thing was already running at seven minutes I figured I'd spare you.]

Spending less, if I'm honest, I haven't done so well at.  I have certainly been considering my purchases more as a result of doing this Year of Frugal Gaming, but if I'm honest, I haven't lived up to expectations in the not-quite-shelling-out-so-many-pennies route.

Rather than ending on a downer, though, rather than being a Negative Nancy and starting 2011 with a failure, no!  We're starting 2011 with a promise to do better!  So, my official Year of Frugal Gaming may be over, but I am going to commit, here and now - on the Internet, and you know it's true if I've said it on the Internet - to doing another year of frugal gaming and taking the 'spend less' part of the mission extreeeemely seriously.

This year, at best guess, I have probably spent about £500 on gaming.  I am going to spend less than £500 on gaming next year.  I am not going to set myself a defined figure to feel guilty about, but I am going to spend less.

I've got some New Year's Resolutions to make.  I am going to make some buildings to go on that battlefield, and I'm not going to buy any new miniatures until those buildings are done and look good.  I am also not going to buy any new miniatures until all the Dark Elves, and all the Skorne, and all the Tyranids, and all the Cryx, are painted, AND I am only going to buy one new thing at a time.

So, in other words, if I buy a new unit for one army, that's got to be built, painted, used and played out... and I'm not going to rush off and have four projects on the go all at once.

That's my New Year's Resolutions.  That's my Year of Frugal Gaming over.  I wish you a very happy, very frugal New Year.


Warhammer39999 said...

Videos are so much different than reading blogs. For the most part, I assume everyone is American, but hearing you talk about quid brings a smile to my face.

Congrats on (sort of) meeting your goals for last year. Your new goal of only buying one model at a time, and ensuring it's painted up before you buy the next item is perhaps the best goal I've heard of for 2011. I'd take it up as one of my resolutions as well, but I know I'm not strong enough to do it. Ebay deals are just too tempting...

Best of luck to you, though!

Frugal Dave said...

Love it! I may have to do something similar in the new year... Igor! Set up the cine camera and bring the tinted lenses!

Seriously though, a fantastic post, I'm glad you'll be back for the coming year, I'll be posting my own Frugal Resolutions in the next few days. I just need to work out what they are first...

Keep up the good work matey, happy new year!


Von said...

@Warhammer39999: I'm told that my pronounced Britishness is part of my blog's appeal, so I'm glad it's appreciated. :D

Iron resolve will be required for the next year, especially since I plan on doing a couple of events quite early on...

@Dave: I'll be happy to stick around here and chronicle the efforts for year two, if you'll have me. ;)

arabianknight said...

Nice review, Von. It looks like you're being a bit hard on yourself really even the spend less part seems to have gone OK (initial Dark Elves splurge aside!) with roughly hitting your £50/month target. Good luck with this years goals - I think the bought vs paint ratio is tricky but manageable as long as no large army projects come along...