Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Tragedy of Warhammer 40K

I recently bought a lot of miniatures for the Warhammer 40,000 game through Craigslist. A man was selling his son's collection because his son had stopped playing the game. I sent them through eBay and did alright but walked away with the sense that Warhammer 40K is just a tragic game.

For one, I can't count how many times I've purchased from parents who got their kids piles of 40K miniatures and watched as the child lost interest and moved on. In my hobby of historical and fantasy miniatures you Never give away your minis. You play Basic Dungeons and Dragons and WRG at age 14 and then thirty years later you've played Warhammer Ancient Battles, Hail Caesar, Songs of Blades and Heroes and, well, Dungeons and Dragons with the exact same figures. As my friend William once said, "Games come and go but minis are forever." But pity the poor 40K army, it seems to have a lifespan of a few years at best.

Then what's worse is that the value of the pieces drops by about 70% the moment you open the box. It's astounding how little you can get for a miniature that retails for $60 on the shelf. I might expect as little as 10$ for some items. There's something just sad about a $45 Dreadnaught that sells for less than the price of a plate of Pad Thai. Poor thing!

I know many older Warhammer 40K players so this is not meant to be a universal, but this game just seems designed to be purchased by hopeful dads for their sons to play and then forget a few years later, and then for the sad neglected army to be sold cut rate online. Harumph! My son is going to inherit a thousand lovingly preserved lead soldiers and if he has a mind to (time will tell) he'll be able to put them on the field of battle and rack up more battle honours. And if he has better things to do, as crazy as that sounds, the troops will have a lively time playing on someone else's table, not languishing in the dusty corner of eBay.

1 comment:

  1. this game just seems designed to be purchased by hopeful dads for their sons to play and then forget a few years later

    Sadly, GW has proven that with their corporate strategy over the past ten years or so. They really are more concerned with new young customers buying entire armies than with taking care of older returning players.