OK, over on Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog he was talking about statistics and the tendency to lose ground in the never ending battle between the unpainted lead and the painter. Now Tim is both more talented and more productive than I am. His blog is updated regularly with pretty pictures of both newly painted and based figures, and actual game sessions. The later often made even more beautiful by his lovely spouse, who actually humors him and plays. I am cheating and using prepaints, and I am not getting anywhere near the same levels of production or, obviously, quality. But one trait we share is a tendency to be distracted by
distracted by opportunities to buy new shiny bits of metal. With his level of productivity he can probably be forgiven. He may one day catch up, and, if not, he will certainly increase his range of playable games. I, on the other hand, probably need an intervention.
I am an avid thrift store shopper. 1 I have made great progress, and I mostly do not buy things I have no immediate use for, unless they seem unusually cool. I passed up a copy of Tumbl'in Dice at the local Good will the other day. I pat myself
myself on the back. But, did you know there is a goodwill online. Addicts like me do. And it isn't like the things that sell there are necessarily thrifty. I mostly look at games. Last week Toledo Goodwill put up piles and piles of lead. Sold in X lb lots, mostly. Very little detail on what the lead was. But a box of War Gods of Ægyptus Asar stood out, and attracted my attention. On my foremost back burner, I have a dream of creating a decent set of Tekumel minis. Asar from this line make pretty good proxies for casual gaurds etc. And in another lot I found some Foundry Numidians. They could make good lower paid gaurds. And there were some Castle Parts from MageKnight. Ok, I figured if I could get these cheap, I would be doing OK. Buying them all would lower per unit shipping, and I would have a good set of generics for Tekumel Skirmish. I put a note in my calendar to look up the prices on the closing day.
Yesterday was closing day. Now, there were a lot of potentially great lots to be had on this sale. Most were simply listed by weight. A couple appeared to be 2 pounds of Greeks, of such. One lot was 7.5 pounds of - I think the phrase was Miniatures for a Rollplaying game. In the description they alluded that they "Might" be 40FnordK. Now I don't have any hankering to play 40FnordK, but 7.5 pounds of lead is a lot of figs. They were sitting around 20
bucks. I had just bought a bag of OG pirates (I hadn't mentioned that indiscretion before, had I? Pretend I didn't now..) and the 30 or so in the bag were less than a pound.
So first I bid on the Asar. I take the lead for about 12 bucks. That is more than I usually like to pay, but far less than the Asar (a 10 pack) normally sell for, and there is also a 10 pack of their Greeks (Spartans?). OK, feeling lucky, I bid on the Numdians, and take the lead there. There are 5 blisters, with a fairly dense number of figs in each. Currently Foundry sells the Numdians in a 70 fig army pack
army pack, so I could tell what their standard packing ratio was. I figure I should get about 40. Price 17 bucks. That seems a good deal. So, I go for the towers.. and take the lead bid at 5. Coolness. I start pushing my luck. I bid on some others, but can't take the lead. I start feeling skunked. I bid on the 7.5 pounds of maybe 40FnordK, cause it is cheap cheap cheap
And I get a lead on that. Then some competitor comes along and outbids me. Now it is personal. Mind you, I don't really care about 40FnordK. But they are still cheap. Thrift disorder starts in, and I start looking for a better deal on a bunch of lead amongst these auctions, but it is hard to beat the 7.5 lbs of uncut Pb sitting out there. I bid on an Oriental Terraform Bridge, and take the lead at 10. OK, not terrible. I have a beautiful array of Samurai waiting for a place to play. This will go well with that, and can proxy into Tekumel nicely. I also take the lead in a lot of 1 lb of what I think are gladiators. GLADIATORS... I hadn't even been considering GLADIATORS. ( I justify it now. Gladiators might, possibly be proxied into a Hirilakte Arena. (this is a key indicator of my compulsion, I think. I hear Alcoholics use this kind of rationalization.) Still Gladiators could be fun, and I am ahead at 11 bucks. The Pb is coursing through me. But there are 10 minutes to wait. The bidding high won't last through that kind of
temptation. I have time to place another bid. I go back and look at the Mega pile. It is a suitcase full of heroin to a dime bag junkie. I think the competition was at 32 bucks. What the hell, I will bid up a bit, and see. Most likely he has a proxy bid much higher. I bid 35. He doesn't. I am in the lead. Mind you I could care less about 40FnordK. And I have no idea what army, or armies, these bad boys come from. They are lead, my need is lead. It may ruin my home, my family, perhaps my job. But it is lead, and it is cheap.
So, about 100 dollars later (shipped), I have a pile of new lead on the way. The real irony; the Asar, my primary target, the thing that got me started in all this, fell victim to a more disciplined sniper during my lead lust 40FnordK shame. I still got the Numidians.. some Gladiators, some towers, a bridge and who knows for what besotted purpose 7.5 pounds of 40FnordK.2
1 Thrift store shopper is just a polite way of saying clinical hoarder.
2. Maybe. they could be something quite different. Won't know for a few days.