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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Saturday, December 18, 2010

email in: An Army for Cheap

Whilst I was trying to get some suggestions for last weeks MDHD, Manuscelerdei kindly offered up an article he had written about acquiring an army on the cheap.

“I don’t have enough money to start a new army”

“I wish GW stuff was cheaper”

“My mom doesn’t give me enough money for warhams”

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Then you might know somebody suffering from spending retail disorder. SRD is a serious condition effecting 93.75% of the gaming population. Fortunately there is hope, you too can buy a new army for cheap. Hi, I’m Dr. Manus, here to help you save more, spend less, and avoid getting ripped off.

As I have mentioned before in chatbawks I bought a 2700 point, 69 model space wolf army for 91 dollars, which comes out to about $1.30 per model. There are quite a few ways to build armies for cheap. And many of them are either not well known or explored. So get out your notebooks and pencils, cause school is in session.

First lets talk about things you have to expect going into this.

1-Sacrifices. First off its worth mentioning that you will almost certainly have to make sacrifices. The chances of you getting a brand new in box army for super cheap are next to nothing. You might even have to forget the same kind of model. My wolves for instance use khorne berzerkers as wolf guard. I got them for cheap, and they are WYSIWYG. Chances are if someone is willing to argue that the guy in power armor with pistol and chainsword doesn’t count for WYSIWYG, they are an all around douche. Old edition models are great. Now is the time to buy older dark eldar. And you can still find old metal terminators for cheap.

2-Pre painted stuff. A lot of what you get will be pre painted, and not well. Squad of black reach terminators for $10 is a good deal. But they have so much blue sprayed on them I cant see details. Well I can get the details for 5 times the price of these guys. Im taking the cheaper models. In general you have to know that this army will not be a prime example of quality modeling.

3- Marines. Marines are easily the most sold models. There are more marine armies selling second hand than anything else. And you have more options. A guy with power armor and a bolter is a grey hunter, tac marine, plague marine, thousand son, regular CSM, death company with bolter, and plenty of other options. Who cares if hes blue, green, pink, gold, black, has or doesn’t have spikes everywhere. Marines will always be your best bet for finding a cheap army.

4-WYSIWYG. This is worth going into in detail. As established before if the wargear is the same everything else is irrelevant. If somebody starts crying about the fact that some of your grey hunters are grey hunters, some are chaos marines, and some are regular marines, tell them STFU. Converting is often a great idea, so long as it is consistent. Most all of my cyclone launchers in my space wolves are actually old havoc launchers that I and a friend had left over from our respective chaos armies. I have nothing in my army that is a havoc launcher. So it stands that those work as cyclones. The worst example is my long fangs. Who are guys holding 1 inch long pieces of plastic drinking straw. The gw rocket is $8.00 each off bits sites. These are a dollar for 100 straws, hell yes. All it is is a plastic tube, same as the gw one, so I don’t see the problem. Once again make it somewhat believable and very consistent and you will be fine.

So how do you go about acquiring things for cheap.

1-used bins. Some LGS offer a used bin. Players can trade in used models for store credit, and the store sells them back for cheap. This is how I got my stuff. Nobody was buying anything, so delicious used models just accumulated for cheap over about 2 weeks.

2-friends. Some of you may be unfamiliar with this type of people. You hear people mention them, but don’t know what they are talking about. Friends often have stuff for cheap. And they are willing to sell you things, or just give you old bits. I picked up some random chaos warrior shields for my wolf cav from a friend. You can get melta guns/power fists and such easily from these people.

3-Guy at your LGS who cant pick an army. You know the guy. He buys tau, thinking they are cool. And then sells them 2 months later and spends the money on eldar which will be sold for guard and so on. This guy just cant stick with an army. And you should take advantage of that to get some models for dirt cheap.

4- your own bits box. Save those old bits. I have a good 20 plasma guns I am convinced will become good in 6th edition. You would be surprised what you can find 4 years later from that army you sort of started and then quit on.

Just keep your eye open and a credit or ATM card on you when you are hunting cheap guys. The good deals go fast, and when the chance hits you need to grab it.

Heres my own sample of cheap army building. The army looks like such.


Rune priest-115

Jaws, lightning, chooser of the slain, melta bombs.

5 wolf scouts-110

1 melta gun, melta bombs

10 wolf guard-300

2 combi meltas 2 with terminator armor, cyclone launchers, power fists,

5 wolf guard-150 x3

1 combi melta, 1 with terminator armor, cyclone launchers, power fist,

Wolf cav-110 x3

Thunderhammer, storm shield

6 long fangs-140 x2

5 missile launchers

6 long fangs-140

5 multi meltas

And was bought like this

5 black reach terminators-$10 (sergeant became logan, rest were used as wolf guard with cyclones.)

Random wolf guy with rune sword-$3 (rune priest)

5 rogue trader era mohawk marines-$5 (super short with thin armor, these are scouts)

4 bags of 5 khorne berzerkers-$24, $6 a bag (wolf guard)

1 rogue trader era terminator-$1 (another wolf guard terminator with cyclone)

5 noise marines with sonic weapons-$20 (multi melta long fangs)

Bag of 10 chaos marines with pistol/hand weapon-$10 (long fangs with rockets)

3 dark elves on cold ones-$6, $2 each

3 chaos marines with pistol/hand weapon-$3, $1 each (these and the cold ones became wolf cav)

3 random marines with bolters-$3, $1 each. (long fang sergeants)

Can of white primer-$5

Can of gold paint-$9


So there you go, $129 dollars for a 2k space wolf army.

But to make it better my store has this sweet deal, if you buy over $100 in stuff you get 20% off.

So total army cost to buy a mostly pre assembled space wolf army?


I also have the parts to make another 4 wolf cav, 10 man wolf guard squad with terminators, and 2 lone wolves with th/ss for like $15 more.

So that’s how I did it. No why don’t you go try it?

Maybe I will! A fine little article and some of those purchases are a great steal! Maybe MKoopa or Rupert will do an article on stripping models, so those cheap minis can be as good as new for just a few extra £/$/€s...

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