January 16, 2012
No really, Warhammer 40K does offer good value for money. Despite the price hikes, despite the units becoming cheaper and us all having to buy more as a result, other 'normal' hobbies are surprisingly more expensive!
This article started off as trying to justify the cost of my little plastic men with their little plastic guns to my girlfriend. However, I soon discovered that Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K really is quite an affordable hobby compared to video games or even going to the gym!
40K vs Video Games
So by comparison how much do we spend on a Warhammer 40K unit? About £20 to £40. And it will take us a whole weekend to build and paint said unit, much like it will take us a whole weekend to finish a video game.
But how often do you play your games again once you've completed them? And unlike video games, Warhammer 40K units can be added together to build an army and be used simultaneously while video games cannot.
So in the short term a Warhammer 40K purchase provides equal 'hobby time' as a video game. However in the long term, a Warhammer 40K purchase will provide more 'hobby time' as you continue to play games.
Collectively, a Warhammer 40K army of say, 2,000 points will set you back in the region of £400. A games console and 5 games will come to the same amount. But will those 5 games last you longer than 5 weekends, perhaps 10? If one of them is Call Of Duty, then yes, it will have a better long term return. But you're more likely to play the Warhammer 40K army over and over for a much longer period of time.
40K vs Gym Membership
Alternatively for something a little more active, let's compare Warhammer 40K to my new gym membership. I got myself a Gold membership for just £444 (I get a special rate for being a local resident) and bought a new pair of running shoes for £70 so I don't mash my feet. So that's £514.
Because this is a one-year investment, much like a Warhammer 40K army, it's difficult to count up the 'hobby hours'. But while I could spend an hour a day at the gym, I could easily spend an hour a day building and painting my army, and up to 3 hours a week playing a game.
So in terms to 'hobby time' for your money, a 40K army would actually be a lot better. And this is probably the cheapest gym membership I've ever seen.
Sure, £40 is a heck of a lot of money for some of the bigger Warhammer 40K tanks and it can be tough to justify the costs for our man-toys. But when you measure the value of these kits in terms of 'hobby time', then Warhammer 40K and tabletop wargames in general become a surprisingly cost effective way to make the most of our free time.
I mean, why burn out your retinas playing video games or get fit by going to the gym when you can build, paint and play with little plastic dudes for potentially less?
Okay, we should all get some exercise to stop us from looking like a sack of potatoes, but you get the idea.