“You Have Chosen… Wisely”

As I have a limited hobby budget, there are certain times of year that I look forward to – namely Christmas and my birthday – as I can usually guarantee that someone will forego actually thinking about buying me a present (as I never actually get any hobby-related stuff from my family) and give me cold, hard cash instead.

Now, as these funds are relatively modest, I always spend a fair amount of time contemplating how best to utilise them. Whilst I do have a mental ‘wish list’ of figures and scenery I really would like to own, as the majority of these are stocked by smaller companies and will therefore incur their own shipping costs, I need to factor this in to my overall budget.

Yes, I could immediately order a set of figures that I’ve been craving for a while, but as the minimum postage cost in the UK is around £3.50, effectively a third of my overall funds could end up on just getting the items to my door. Which is not ideal.

Hence the title of this post – in order to maximise the amount of stuff I can get with my alloted funds, I need to try and limit the number of companies I’m ordering from, so that I get the most bang for my buck.

(As an aside, up until I was researching this article, I would have sworn that the title of this post was a quote from the ITV children’s TV series Knightmare. Turns out my memory isn’t as reliable as I thought, as it’s actually from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where our eponymous hero correctly selects the right Grail from the Knights Templar House of Cups…)

So, to illustrate how this works in practice for me, let’s roll back to Christmas Day…

Amongst the socks, books and DVDs I received (because I’m old school and like owning a physical copy of cool movies or TV shows. No monthly fee, no buffering or wifi issues and no portability issues. All I need is power, a screen and a player and I can watch what I want, when I want.) I received £30.00 cash and a £15.00 Amazon giftcard. Total funds = £45.00.

Looking at my proposed projects for the upcoming year and not-so-subtly influenced by the BBC’s three-part Dracula adaptation shown over the Holiday period, I decided the vague hints I’d sown in previous Tales of the Black Museum posts did indicate that there was a faction of vampires lurking in the shadows of my fictional borough. However, in order to present a credible threat to my Boys in Blue, I needed some more minions.

I had my vampire lord (although whether I go for the classic cape-wearing aristocrat or a Nosferatu-like Count remains to be decided, as I have both.) I have my three vampire brides, from Belt Fed Gaming;

and a converted Heroclix Jackal figure, representing a gnarled ‘ghoul’ in the Count’s employ. So, five figures in total. Not quite enough, so who or what to add to provide further minions for the Count?

Do I go for further ghouls, utilising either Heresy Miniatures metal sculpts or Mantic Games’s multi-part plastics? Or do I get some of the new-ish Victorian Zombies by Ironclad Miniatures?

All valid choices, but suffered from the same issue – if I wanted them, in order to maximise my funds, I’d need to order something else from the same company to get the best value. And I couldn’t use the Amazon giftcard, as these companies either don’t sell on Amazon or don’t sell the bits I wanted.

So, back to my Mind Palace I went, for further contemplation.

Now, buying from a bricks and mortar gaming shop would circumvent the need to spend any of my funds on shipping costs. However, the only local gaming shops I have easy access to only sell Warlord Games stuff and Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures, neither of which were suitable for my needs. That left Games Workshop, so off I went to their website to browse for inspiration. I dismissed the Crypt Ghouls as being a little TOO out there to be seen on the streets of Blackwell, but then remebered I had been rather enamoured of their Myrmourn Banshees;

Four fully-detailed plastic miniatures for £10.00, so working out at £2.50 each. Not bad.

So, I wandered in to my local GW and the manager was kind enough to let me have a closer look at these models from his window display. Very nice and, with a bit of creative thinking, they could represent past brides of my blood-sucking Count that no longer possessed physical form, but were still tied to him spiritually.

Rather than buying them then and there, I returned home, as I knew that GW stuff WAS available on Amazon and, with Prime membership, wouldn’t have to pay any shipping costs, so would have an additional fiver to spend on something else.

If only it were that easy…

Amazon do have GW stuff and did have the Banshees for £10.00 – but with £2.65 shipping costs, as the seller was not part of the Prime network. The only Prime seller wanted £13.00, so roughly the same cost. Cheaper to buy direct from store.

Of course, like Steve at The Games Cupboard, I saw THAT TV ad…

Games Wokshop’s Mortal Realms part-work, first issue only £2.99. I was aware of this publication, but hadn’t really given it much thought, as it was all Age of Sigmar related stuff, so of no real use or interest to me. However, the ad did pique my curiosity, so back to the GW site I went to see what it actually was.

So, the first issue was advertised as coming with some figures from both the Stormcast Eternals and Nighthaunt factions – 13 figures for £2.99, which seemed like a good deal if you were into or wanted to get into AoS. However, the second issue contained the Myrmourn Banshees…for £5.99. Bargain! Whilst that issue doesn’t come out until next week (22/01/2020), waiting a few more days to make a 40% saving will be worth it.

I then decided to go back and have a closer look at what you got with Issue 1. Three Stormcast Eternal Sequitors and 10 Chainrasp Horde spirits – RRP £35.00, yours for £2.99. Looking closer at the miniatures, I realised that the Stormcast Eternals would make a good addition to my Dominion forces in Distant Stars, whilst the Chainrasp Horde could be used in both the Age of Unreason setting and any Scooby Doo or Ghostbusters games.

So, for less than buying the Myrmourn Banshees direct from the GW store, I will be getting the 4 Banshees, 3 Sequitors and 10 spooky-ass ghosts…AND still have £35.00 to spend on OTHER stuff.

The title of the post says it all…