Bang for your Buck!

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Bang for your Buck!

Postby Primarch on Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:46 pm

No, this isn't a post about the opening of hunting season, but instead is about one of our most valuable hobby resources, Money!

As well as making the world go round and being the root of all evil, money allows us to purchase models, attend gaming events and acquire vital hobby supplies. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I never seem to have enough of this magical, mythical substance.

So, my question today is how do we determine if we are getting value for money on our hobby collection? example:
Player A likes 40K and spends 4000 yen on a box of 5 minis.
Player B likes historicals and spends 4000 yen on a box of 40 minis.

So how do we decide who has gotten the best value for their money?
GW do make lovely models, which come with a plethora of bitz. Most of said bitz will reside in a bitz box gathering dust in most cases. (I have about 100 bolters at home). Their models are full of detail, large and fantastic. The historical figures don't come with many extra parts, are smaller and maybe don't have as much eye-catching swoosh about them as GW. But you get more of them in the box. Lots more!

So there is a quality/quantity argument to be made.

But there are no doubt other factors as well. Do you count assembly time as time you enjoy? I like building plastic minis and will happily spend a few hours knocking a Tamiya kit into shape. For me that time is adding value. I despise working with resin. Any time spent cleaning, bending or filing the toxic stuff is decreasing the value for me.

Do you enjoy painting? That time can either add or subtract again to the perceived cost performance. Batch painting or Golden Daemon standards? If you are time poor doing 40 minis may not be a good idea, but 5 figures will fit into your schedule much more easily. If you want to produce a really stand-out paint job, maybe one larger mini is better? On the other hand, there is something to be said about the spectacle of having hundreds of fully painted minis on the table.

How do we determine cost performance from a tabletop point of view? In a game like Malifaux where you have 5 guys on the tabletop, each of them can be very influential in a game. In Black Powder where you have 200 minis minimum, the presence or absence of any one of them probably doesn't matter all that much. Can we rate value by how often we use a model? Something we use every week is a better investment than something that sees the light of day once a year, isn't it?

Is prestige important? Being the guy who owns a fully painted Warlord Titan must be worth something, even if you never use it. Having a carefully converted, unique and well painted army should be worth more to the owner than a force of unpainted, straight-from-the-box models that everyone has, shouldn't it?

As box contents shrink and prices rise, is cost performance something you care about? GW is rapidly approaching the point where centerpiece models cost 100 GBP for a single figure. Is that something you see as being a good use for your hobby funds? For a similar price, you could get 200 mono-pose napoleonic figures with all the mass production and batch painting that that number implies. Is the most efficient way of using money somewhere between the two extremes?

Or are you just going to buy what you think is cool because you like it and damn the actual cost? :D
Prims Painty Points > +924.5
Finished Minis in 2014: 510.....Finished Minis in 2015: 300
Finished Minis in 2016 (as of Nov 30): 369 + 2 Tables of Terrain
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Re: Bang for your Buck!

Postby The Other Dave on Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:53 am

Primarch wrote:Or are you just going to buy what you think is cool because you like it and damn the actual cost? :D

Ding ding ding!

Kind of.

For me, what it comes down to is that this is a hobby, and thus purely a luxury expenditure. Which means that whatever you spend, for whatever you buy, if you think you spent your money well, then you spent your money well. Sure, the 5000 yen I just spent on 10 Skitarii could buy 5 or 6 times that many, I don't know, 28mm Napoleonic infantry from the Perry brothers, but I don't want 50 or 60 Napoleonic infantry, I want Skitarii, you know?

For me personally though, the one overriding "cost-value" calculation is the question of "will I get to play games with these miniatures?" Even if something is dirt cheap, or even not so cheap but really cool, if it's unlikely the model will do anything but sit in a box in my (already overflowing) closet I'm likely to pass. But if something is pricey but cool and likely to see play, I'm more likely to shell out for it. This is a recent development for me (he says eyeing boxes and boxes of Epic, 6mm Napoleonics, Drop<foo> games, 15mm WWII, etc. etc., all very fun to collect and paint but not seeing much - if any - actual use in games), and I won't pretend it's some sort of objective gold standard of value, but I've been gravitating towards it more and more these days.
Miniatures painted in 2018:
28mm: 91 infantry, 6 vehicles, 2 buildings, assorted other terrain-y bits
Currently focusing on: 40K, Shadespire, Age of Sigmar?, Malifaux
My twitter is pretty hobby-heavy: vivanagoya
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Re: Bang for your Buck!

Postby me_in_japan on Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:50 am

what dave said. I spend way too long painting whatever it is I'm painting at any given point, so I could make an argument that smaller count has better value for me, but overall I tend to put value on actual use in games.

fwiw, btw, ToD, I'm actually quite keen to play Dropfleet. One of the few games where almost everything I own for it is painted. Sometime this year, p'raps?
2018 totals
minis
acquired (bought or arrived via KS) : 0 sold : 4 painted : 15 money spent: 0GBP money in: 175GBP
Magic cards
bought: lots money spent: 343GBP
brushes, books, paint, etc
money spent: 0GBP
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Re: Bang for your Buck!

Postby kojibear on Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:26 pm

A bit of a ramble, so excuse the meandering in advance. Just skip to the final paragraph for a convenient gist.

The first thing that attracts me is the genre, and then the story behind the game. I have always enjoyed history, and the fantasy and science fiction genres (history and English (literature) class were the only classes I really enjoyed), and while books give you the chance to immerse yourself in another world, you yourself have no influence over what will happen and you must be satisfied with your role as an observer. When I discovered miniature role playing games, I realised that I could create the story and characters, and in doing so, live vicariously through them and have my own adventures.

That feeling has stayed with me into adulthood, and if I am interested in the story of the game and its world and want to be a part of it (why I was so sad when GW blew up the Old World), then I will shake that piggy upside down and shake shake shake - I am pretty good at not smashing the piggy though. I may not be able to play the game so often, but between games I am building and painting and imagining my own story for the models, so I guess the frequency of using a model and getting it on the table as often as I can, is not my priority in judging its value. That said, never being able to use a model does become a source of sadness after a long time has passed and the dust is beginning to gather.

So, basically, value for me is if the models I buy will allow me to build the story I want in the real or imaginary world that has attracted me. This means I may not choose the cheaper choice, or in contrast, the new hottness, or the most powerful model. Instead, I most often (always would be a lie) reach for the model that will fit well in the story I wish to create for my models. This is certainly not the cheapest and most economical way to enjoy this hobby, but it is the one that gives me the most joy.
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Re: Bang for your Buck!

Postby The Other Dave on Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:36 am

me_in_japan wrote:fwiw, btw, ToD, I'm actually quite keen to play Dropfleet. One of the few games where almost everything I own for it is painted. Sometime this year, p'raps?

Absolutely! I’m not selling my collection quite yet. :D
Miniatures painted in 2018:
28mm: 91 infantry, 6 vehicles, 2 buildings, assorted other terrain-y bits
Currently focusing on: 40K, Shadespire, Age of Sigmar?, Malifaux
My twitter is pretty hobby-heavy: vivanagoya
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The Other Dave
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:46 am
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