Thursday, September 06, 2012

Distorted Sense of Value

I picked up the Dark Vengeance Limited Edition box this week. Actually, I should say someone picked it up for me, since I spent absolutely zero energy on the endeavor (funds, yes... energy, no.) Let us, for one hot second, compare the value of the new 40k box set to the prior 40k box set.

Assault on Black Reach:
  • 20 basic foot soldiers (Ork Boyz)
  • 10 Marine tactical squad
  • 5 elite foot soldiers (Ork Nobz)
  • 5 Terminator squad
  • 3 bikes (Ork Defkoptas)
  • 2 independent characters (SM captain and Ork warboss)
  • 1 walker (SM dreadnought)
Dark Vengeance:
  • 20 basic foot soldiers (Chaos cultists)
  • 10 Marine tactical squad
  • 5 elite soldiers (chaos Chosen)
  • 5 Terminator squad (Deathwing)
  • 3 bikes (Ravenwing)
  • 3 independent characters (chaos lord, SM captain, SM librarian)
  • 1 walker (Hellbrute)
That seems amazingly similar, except for one thing. Black Reach was $60 when it came out and Dark Vengeance is $99. What in the world would warrant a 65% price increase in less than four years? Okay, I'm not starting on that rant... so basically Dark Vengeance is $2/mini. It didn't seem like a very good deal when I thought it over, but I think my box set value baseline might be skewed, for the following reasons:
  1. Assault on Black Reach was an amazing deal at its release price
  2. Sedition Wars kickstarter (about 100 minis) for $100
  3. Reaper Bones kickstart ( >200 minis) for $100 + lots of cheap extras
Is it really fair to compare those three? Maybe not. Let's compare other things I have purchased and been perfectly happy with.
  1. Warmachine starter box (5 jacks, 10 heavy infantry models, 2 warcasters) for $100
  2. Malifaux "The Body Thieves" box (5 miniatures) for $36
  3. "Dead Justice" LE Malifaux box (5 miniatures) for $50
  4. Space Hulk (35-ish miniatures) for $100
So what am I complaining about? I'm not really sure. Maybe it's the fact that after all this time, I finally have enough miniatures. Wait, did I say that? Yes, and maybe I meant it.... not sure yet. I have 51 more figs now than I did a couple days ago, and another 300+ coming in March from kickstarters. I have battleforces in my office that are still in shrink-wrap. I have a shelf of unopened blisters, collected mostly through playing "impulse buy theater" at FLGS (what is dead may never die.)

Since I can't seem to bring myself to sell anything, I suppose I'd better stop acquiring them. And paint them. Maybe I can make a dent in them before I die, if I live to a ripe old age. 


  1. As much as I'm not one to defend GW much, the one I have to say about the new starter set to the old is that the models are much more detailed and (imo) much nicer (though not because of the detail I hasten to add).

    Compare the Hellbrute to the Dread and you'll see where I'm coming from – they obviously spent more time and money designing it. Then there is the several years' worth of GW blanket price increases.

    I bought one myself but I can't say whether I'll paint any of it. I guess I have enough minis too!

  2. You forgot to factor in the value of the mini rulebook! That alone was going for $35.00 at certain online shops.

  3. I agree with The Dark Templar. Furthermore, I think it was clear (at the time) that Black Reach was something in the vein of a loss leader: sell low to get people to buy in. That's clearly not the case with Dark Vengeance.

    And, as you point out, in terms of $ per mini: it's still a great deal.

  4. I compared it to the Reaper kickstarter and went with that instead. Only thing I am really interested in is the mini rulebook (maybe at $15 certainly not $35+) and I will be damned if I will start random armies just for allies or buy "flyers" that are just ugly because they throw in new unbalanced stuff only to sell new models.

  5. "Enough miniatures" just means that it's time to get into historicals. ;-)

  6. ^^ sonsoftaurus to quote the recent internet meme "ain't nobody got time for that!"

    GW's pricing is... yeah as you said Mike, better not to start on that rant. Box sets are ~ always a better deal per-miniature than assembling a force yourself, but that's because you're stuck with what's in the box. Don't want a Hellbrute? Too bad. Also, obviously it's a lot easier to manufacture a standard set of parts/minis that all sell at the same rate. So compared to singles this IS a good deal (unless you don't want the Hellbrute or whatever, but there's always eBay to try and recoup that).

    30% price increase over Black Reach is just "price pointing" IMO. They can claim that materials are costlier or whatever now, but I bet a simple fact is that GW believes a lot of the market for this are people who got into the game with BR, and now want another set... and now that they're in the hobby, they are willing to pay more. As we all know :P

  7. Nitpicking, sorry- but there are six chosen, though admittedly one is a duplicate of the other.

    I play Daemons, and my friend plays Vanilla Marines, so we split it (I got the mini rulebook) for the allies. It's... not bad. Not bad at all. The lack of options I'll have to get used to, but at least they didn't choose bad options, like if they gave the helbrute a hurricane bolter.


I had to add anti-spam measures because, let's face it, almost nobody comments on blogs anymore unless they are spamming. Sorry.