Thursday, 4 July 2013

Chicken Feed

Some civilians for the Indians and the Rebel Militia to murder....

A recent episode of Noobhammer had rather interesting discussion about price, Mantic, Kickstarter and the way in which these three interconnect.

Anyone who has ever sold figures on ebay will know that a decent paint job is valued in the historical market and worthless if it is applied to a Games Workshop figure. There are perhaps reasons for this - notably the age group of GW players, and the way in which this may reflect the paint job - but the Noobhammer discussion did highlight the basic cynicism that lies at the heart of large sections of the wargaming 'community'.

Yet, it is curious - and this is something highlighted on Noobhammer - that when Mantic offer poor quality figures and badly edited rules sets, this attitude is reversed.

I have no idea what the resale value of painted Mantic figures is. And, perhaps it is a mute point, as I suspect the pile it high sell it cheap approach of the company just feeds the vast piles of unpainted figures that lurk the homes of all wargamers. Not that it matters to Mantic as they have got the money - and for some reason that I cannot fathom are the blue eyed boys of the wargaming media.

And, in my opinion Kiskstarter is pretty much the same.

It is increasingly difficult to find a podcast, or a blog, these days that isn't prattling on about which Kickstarter they are backing. Now leave aside the fact that the companies they are backing are simply using them to fund bubbles of growth of doubtful sustainability. What amuses me is the basic illogicality of the process, and the way in which it reflects the good old days back in the 1980's, when I was just starting out in 'the hobby'.

In those days there was no internet, and so one had to peruse the wargame magazines and read the runes in the adverts to try and get a grasp of what exactly it was you would be getting for your money. There were pictures - sometimes - but lets face it a picture is can only tell you so much and every order was a leap of faith. I recall the shock of receiving parcels of badly moulded figures, that bore only a passing resemblance to what it was I imaged I was getting. Not that it stopped me telling all and sundry about the wonderful models I had just received and how they were the est thing since Minifigs. Very few, if any of these figures ever saw a paint brush, let alone a coat of Humbrol enamel paint.

Of course I could have just gone into practically any toy shop and bought a box of Arfix soldiers.

But that wouldn't have been proper wargaming.


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