Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Starting a New Army: Dip the Toe or Just Jump In?

I'm a relative newcomer to this hobby.  At the age of 41 years I've only been wargaming for just over 5 years.  In that time I've probably played two dozen games tops, all systems combined.  The armies I have started are as follows:
  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy army (Skaven)
  • 1 Warmachine army (Protectorate of Menoth)
  • 4 Warhammer 40k armies (Blood Raven marines, Orks, Witch Hunters, and Eldar)
Notice the discrepancy there? I found myself compelled to start other 40k armies in addition to my (and everyone else's) original marine army because I loved the models.  After buying small portions of each of the above 40k armies, it has become clear to me that I will probably never paint enough of them to make a 1500 point list.  As such I am liberated to paint them for fun... the main impetus behind purchasing them.

Now, for the first time, I am considering jumping in fully with a wolf/spider mounted goblin list for WHFB.  No Night Goblins allowed.  Since I already have a few units for the army lying around, the complete 2k list would only cost about $200 more at this point.  I am dangerously close to just jumping in and buying everything needed.  This offends my sense of frugality, since I have unpainted Skaven, Menites, Marines, Orks, Ordo Hereticus, and Eldar patiently waiting in the basement.

So the question to you, wargamers, is do you buy a model or two and ease slowly into a new army or do you go nuts and drop $400 in a week to get a playable force?  Do you sell your old army to do so or just whup out the credit card?


  1. Make a budget for your gaming expenses. Credit your self $200 or $400 or what ever your amount is for the year. Buy what you can on the budget. If you sell some stuff - credit the account. I have every penny bought and sold tracked on a Google Docs spread sheet - if you can blog, you can track your money.

    As a not quite 40 year old with family, I find it very important to know what I spend on toy solders. A few hundred bucks over a year is fun money. A mortgage payment is something else.

  2. Find or form an escalation group.

    I've done this in the past, but am primarily a 40k player so usure as to how it fits with whfb, but the basic idea is this, you arrange a schedule of meets, to play.

    for each meet you have a point limit.

    (in 40k terms) start at 500. next meet is 750. next is 1k, then 1500.

    or whatever. it means each time you are adding to your army, and learning how it plays.

    of course your other option is a game such as necromunda or mordheim, which has much smaller warbands, and is great fun :P

  3. hey bud, would definitely agree with the escalation recommendation (a la tale of 4 gamers). i got about 1500 points of novamarines painted up in about 3 months.

    as for the frugal bit - if the money is xmas $$ then go for it - if not, maybe sell some of the other 40K models that won't be as fun to paint?

  4. The escalation suggestion is the right answer, but I'm a credit-card wielding fool. When I find an army that I want to play, I spend a couple of months considering it, and if I can't talk myself out of it by then, I go for broke (literally).

    I can't fathom playing a goblin army without night goblins though. They just look so cool in their cloaks...

  5. I would love to play in an escalation league, but most of the time I just buy what I want and paint it. I three huge unpainted armies right now, that are just waiting for me to get the painting bug. I recently started painting Dark Angels, and started by having a list that went from 1k, to 1750k. This gave me a really nice break at 1k in which to actually game with the army.


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