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Friday, August 5, 2011

Maximizing Your Gaming Dollar The Chaos Way

Hey friends! Welcome back to another edition of Chaos Corner. I've got a bit of a treat for you today, something a bit different. So, strap yourselves in, it's going to be a cool ride...

The global economy is in taters. 401(k)s are being wiped out even as I type, gas is going up, food prices are up, and taxes keep taking a bite out of people. How is a Warhammer 40K player supposed to build and play in these conditions? It doesn't help that GW raised their prices again... ugh!

Is this a rendition of the global economy as a battlefield?
Now, before you think this will be a GW bash session, just hang on there a second. I am a big fan of GW. I love 40K- and my wife says it keeps me off the streets. I love the world they have created- in the Codexes, the Black Library books, etc. It sparks my imagination- for me and so many others (look at all those web sites out there like Bell of Lost Souls and Bolter and Chainsword). And then. there's the models and the game itself. Its engrossing, allowing me to be creative, building something unique, and getting to be a General in a war is exciting too. I love GW, and the hobby (I never understood trolls posting on sites like BoLS saying "That looks cool/lame- but you'd never catch me buying GW"- to each his own, but if you don't play GW, then why are you on a site that's predominantly about that? Sheesh!).

It ain't bad, but I wouldn't spend $20 on one...
But, it is a fact that GW has raised prices... again. It is also a fact that GW has weird pricing for some things. 25.00 for 5 amazingly detailed Scourges is a great deal- but 20 bucks for a single, uninspired and unposable Grotesque is a shame. I don't understand how they figure these things out, but the facts remain. Wargaming GW style is increasingly expensive. What can one do? Well, here is something that a DE player might find economically useful: Building a beastmaster/khymere pack on the cheap!

OK, so lets say you're looking to get some beastmaster/kymere action (which I did recently). You go to your local hobby store, and you look at the DE section. You will notice that a blister for a single Beastmaster is 15.00. Now, if he were a special character, 15 ain't bad. BUT... there can be several Beastmasters in a squad, and that works out to be quite a bit of dough. And then, you'll want some Warp Beasts to help 'em out. The Kymere are 14 bucks a pop- with one per blister. Yikes! The models are all nice, but as I looked at this I thought to myself- "Self, that's really pricey. 5 Beastmasters would be $75, and 10 Khymere would be $140! That's a damn expensive unit... is it worth it"?

Worth is a relative term. Worth it to paint? Worth it to field? Hmm. Now, here is where my days as a Plague Marine player/modeler came in. I could make my own! I've done it many times with the Plague Marines- kit bashing, scattered bits from old sprues, green stuff- you name it. Perhaps I could find a solution here- a cost effective beast pack that I could enjoy building. Now that's a plan...



So, for the Khymere- I decided I'd do kit bashing here, nice and easy. I bought a pack of Dire Wolves. This cost $24.75 for 10 wolves. As an olde timey Chaos man, I have Spawn and spawn bits out the ying yang- now what if I used these bits to create my Khymere? Now, if you had to buy the Spawn in the store, it's $33. Add it up, and the 10 wolves will be $55.75- that's only $5.77 per animal- versus $14 for the one in the blister. For 10, its the $55.75 versus $140- now that's savings! If you do it just right, they'll look just fine. My advice is don't overdo the spawn bits, just enough to add an "otherworldly-ness" to them. Take a look at my pics and see what I mean...







Now, do they look THAT much different? Nah. With the right bits and paint job, they're just fine. Plus, it doesn't take that long to make them either. You've just saved $84! Now, what will you do with that? Buy the Beastmasters, of course. But, why buy the blister? Buy a box of 5 Hellions, and kit bash with your other DE bits that you have left over. I'm working on mine now, but I'm basically giving them all whips from the various kits. Is that SLIGHTLY curved skyboard and bone helmet REALLY worth the extra $$$? I thought not. 5 Hellions is $25, while it's $75 for the metal Beastmasters. No contest, is it?

With this, you're getting to do some great conversions/kit bashing, saving money, and you're still buying GW. It's a win any way you look at it. See that- better living (and $avings) through Chaos. Until next time...

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