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"What's the Big Deal with Miniature Wargaming?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2019 9:59 p.m. PST

From Wells to Warhammer, we're taking a big look at something small….

YouTube link


wmyers29 Sep 2019 4:20 p.m. PST


Hit the nail on the top of the head.

von Schwartz01 Oct 2019 6:39 p.m. PST

Oh, I don't know $4.00 USD for 4 horse or 8 foot in 15mm, not too bad. Average $8.00 USD per foot battalion $12.00 USD for mounted plus or minus for some trim and accessories. Paint is $.50 USD per 2.5 oz. Compare that to model railroading or RC airplanes, cars, boats. Real cars and real boats don't even talk about it, gun collecting, still pretty pricey. Golf? heh heh heh.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2019 7:39 a.m. PST

Hit the nail on the top of the head.

Compared to what? Golf, model RRs, reenacting? Skiing?

I can have a small skirmish game… kids get started with their own money… difficult to do that with many hobbies.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2019 3:58 p.m. PST



The Angry Piper07 Oct 2019 8:06 a.m. PST

What's the big deal? Beats me. But it's all anyone ever seems to talk about around here…

jamemurp11 Oct 2019 12:07 p.m. PST

It's expensive compared to something like soccer that just needs a ball and a field, or basketball.

Golf, RR, and skiing are all expensive luxuries way outside most of the world's grasp and commonly associated with the very wealthy. It's like saying gold isn't expensive because *platinum*.

Miniature gaming is a niche hobby that generally requires a significant outlay of money and time to get into. Sure, there are levels of expense, but to pretend it is some super affordable thing is disingenuous.

I agree that the smaller scales are generally speaking less money and time demanding, but the trend has been towards 28+mm with the big names charging premium prices. And that's what most people will see.

Bowman23 Oct 2019 9:21 a.m. PST

Cost is measured many ways. The financial cost isn't the most expensive part of a figure.

It's time and resources: the amount of work and supplies needed to get the raw metal or plastic into a usable shape on the battlefield.

The figure needs to be cleaned, then mould lines removed, casting vent marks and other flaws removed. Then they are primed. Then painted. Then based and made pretty.

Then they go into the table. Do you want a custom built table surface? Or wargame mats? Do you need a desert mat, or a snowy mat or a forest mat?You'll need to make trees, forest outlines, shrubs, swamps, rivers, hills , roads, paths, fences, stone walls, farming plants and fields, bunkers, terrestrial ruins, sci-fi ruins and settings, etc.

Once you have a beautiful table set up with your figures ( that that means different things to different people) you'll find that the purchase price of the original figures are minimal.

The biggest "cost" to me is time. But that's me and ymmv.

From the link: "These guy put an amazing amount of work into this". I'd say that hits the nail on the head a little more squarely.

Bowman23 Oct 2019 9:23 a.m. PST

Oh and to jamemurp, I guess skiing in Texas is for the upper classes. Not so much here in southern Ontario. Still expensive compared to soccer, though.

Baranovich24 Oct 2019 11:55 a.m. PST

When it comes to the cost of participating in a particular hobby, I go beyond the usual just comparing the costs of the hobbies themselves.

I tend to think about other ways in which people will happily and gladly toss away hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year on various habits and entertainment.

I mean, do you smoke? Do you eat out regularly? Do you go to movies at theaters instead of waiting for them to come out on cable? How much do you spend on vacation? Are you a PC or console gamer that buys every new generation of console when it comes out? How many Xbox games do you have on your shelf? 100? 200? 500? Seriously.

Our consumer lifestyle now has built into it all kinds of things that we are constantly drummed into your heads that we need to do or have to be happy.

Just one example if you eat out let's say 20 times a year and you spend on average $60 USD per experience…well that's $1,200 USD right there. If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day…depending on where you live you're looking at a habit that costs you several thousand dollars a year at least.

See, there are most certainly hobbies that because of their expense lock most people out of them. That yuppy camping/hiking experience that goes along with buying the $80,000 USD "camping" version of that SUV plus $5,000 USD premium camping and hiking gear. Skiing which involves stays at resorts where it's hundreds of dollars a night if the place is any sort of decent location. I get all of that.

But I do also tend to shake my head when people talk about mini. wargaming being an expensive hobby. Oh my goodness, a Warhammer army will cost you $500 USD if you pay GW prices. GW has always been an easy target to pick on.

But look at historical gaming for a minute. I'm doing AWI in 28mm and I am guessing that between buying all the minis. for two armies(several hundred minis. per army), resin buildings, terrain items, etc. that I put about $750.00 USD into getting AWI games up and running in 28mm scale.

The thing is, those amounts of money that we always point to those amounts that for most of us really do have to be considered and have to be budgeted: $500 USD, $1,000 USD, $700 USD…amounts of money that are large enough to certainly keep us from doing certain things or at least thinking we can't do certain things.

But honestly, think about how many different things in life that you gladly toss $1,000 USD a year away on. You'll be surprised where you money goes.

This hobby isn't expensive in and of itself. It has EXPENSIVE SPENDING points for sure. There are points where you simply have to spend some money up front to get the thing started. Buying rules, starter boxes, getting your armies up and running. But after that mini. wargaming is relatively cheap if you think about it.

I do Civil War reenacting and have been doing it since the late 1980s. In 2019, in order to get a truly good, accurate infantry impression done for either Union or Confederate you will need to spend AT LEAST $4,000 USD give or take. Even if you go with crap vendors and buy stuff that are substandard reproductions you're still looking at a few thousand dollars. Getting the better stuff is worth it because once you have it it will last for years.

For me mini. wargaming is one of the least expensive hobbies that I do.

Henry Martini24 Oct 2019 3:06 p.m. PST

A single-period skirmish collection that might consist of a couple of boxes of soft-plastic figures, a green/sand-coloured sheet, some home-made terrain items utilising scrounged materials, a free set of rules from the internet, and use of the domestic dining table as a playing surface are enough to qualify one as a miniatures wargamer.

Ultimately, the cost of this hobby is completely within the power of the individual hobbyist to set.

wizbangs Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2019 4:46 a.m. PST

If you consider it a "hobby" it is not too expensive, in either money or time.

I understand it takes a lot of time to paint your models & put together a table (not to mention the research or book work that many of us put in). But, it's a hobby. The whole point of a hobby is to give you something to do with your spare time that gets your mind off work, politics & all of the rest of the BS we put up with on a daily basis. If you don't have the time, then you should consider a new hobby, or just resort to playing games.

Likewise, if you treat miniatures as a game then yes, it is expensive. What I mean by a "game" is you collect an army, play it for a while, then move onto something else whether it's the next edition or the next big thing. Either way, you've dropped $1,000 USD on it and didn't get much bang for your buck.

I've been playing Warhammer Fantasy for 30 years and have accumulated an extensive collection of armies & terrain. I've probably spent $30,000 USD on it. Let's say $40,000 USD including paint, glue, scenery, etc. That's still under $1,400 USD per year or around $25 USD per week.

So, in my humble opinion, it's not expensive if you are in it for the long haul. I have many friends who are not & they play board games.

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