Frugal Gaming – 2012

My first year of “frugal” spending, please check out the frugal homepage to learn more about what frugal gaming is, where it came from, and why I’m doing it.

The mindset would be to ensure that I don’t spend more than $0 over the year (Net of course, not gross).

So far this year, I’ve been keeping track, and this, my initial post on the subject this year will serve to true up my finances to date.


  • $0 (40k) Wood for Doomsday devices
  • -$5 (40k) Micro Beads for Rivets
  • -$530 (40k)on a Demon Army
  • -$41.27 (MTG) on deck boxes for MtG (25x standard cases and 5x “commander” sized cases)

At first, this would seem to be a bad start for my budgeting, as it seems to indicate that I have almost no willpower at all. However, I looked at this particular purchase as an investment. I was pretty sure that I could sell the stuff I didn’t want and keep some cool toys at a low total investment (though I was going to have to look to ebay to recoup those costs…). In hindsight, I was a little more successful than I’d originally hoped.

January Total: -$576.27
YTD Total: -$576.27


  • +$160 – (40k) Forgeworld Nurgle Marines & Khorne Demon Prince
  • +$40 – (40k) OOP Khorne Dogs x14
  • +191 – (40k) FW Thirst & OOP Khorne Dogs
  • +193 – (40k) FW Lord of Change + Screamers
  • +115 – (40k) Pink Horrors & Flamers

This is where my investment paid off. In this one month, I’d already made the money back to offset my original $530 investment in demons, and still have a bunch of them to show for it. The downside is that, while I was able to turn models over relatively quickly (thanks in large part to Thor from Creative Twilight for spreading the word), I wasn’t able to keep some of the cooler models that I really wanted. In fact, there’s very little left that I was originally attracted to: just a couple of greater demons.

Still, this was a great deal–I didn’t have to fork over any excessive ebay fees, and I made reasonable deals with everyone involved, made a little profit myself, and got to keep a few models. I don’t see how I can complain about that. Besides, where would I have stored those Forgeworld Greater Demons anyway?

February Total: $699
YTD Total: $122.73


  • Full Metal Jacket – “Anyting you want…”

    + 90 – (40k) Fateweaver, Flamers, Skulltaker, & Bloodcrushers

  • +160 – (40k) 3xLeman Russes & 2 Karskin squads

A relatively small month in volume. I sold off the rest of the good demons (officially, I included this lot in the above statements where I said I only had a few models left), further increasing the profit there. I also got a message from another gamer that was looking to pick up some “other models.” He asked what I had, I answered with essentially: anything you want. He was looking for IG, so I did a tally (determining I have entirely too much crap) and agreed to sell him some tanks and karskin. Granted, I gave up good models, but I got a good price for them (again, avoiding ebay fees) and frankly, I still have too many of each of those models.

March Total: $250
YTD Total: $372.73


  • -$53.70 – (40k) Forgeworld Nurgle Arms, Miotic Sacs, & spare resin bits
  • -$58 – (40k) Forgeworld Malenthropes & Bases
  • -$19 – (40k) Rogue Trader Era Chaos Dreadnought
  • -$200 – (BG) Board Games
  • -$100 – (40k) a Tyranid Army from a local player
  • -$54.14 – (MTG) on MtG (4x common/uncommon sets from Avacyn Restored & Dark Ascension + 4x Chronatogs)

Wow, so much red text. Did I really spend another $500 this month on hobbies? Maybe I do have an addiction? Ok, to justify my spending: the two big purchases (the Tyranids & Board games) were completely justifiable. The Tyranids have to retail for $500+ and are in reasonably good condition. The guy was moving out of state and had to get rid of them (see the blog post entitled “Oops, I did it again” for more information). The board games were a similar situation (this time the guy was making room for a new addition to the family and he was pruning the games he doesn’t play anymore). Now, they weren’t the same level of insane deal, and I already own several of them, but this was a solid financial purchase.

The Forgeworld parts were from a questionable dealer in Hong Kong (and I use the term “questionable” VERY loosely, as I have no real reason to expect they’re authentic forgeworld kits), but they were so affordable. Am I a bad person for supporting this operation? I’d give you a link to the site, but it’s been shut down since I ordered.

That only leaves the Rogue Trader Era dreadnought (I’m a sucker for these classic models), and the MtG stuff. While I overpaid a bit for the Dark Ascension set, I’ll get over it. For years now (since Mirrodin), I’ve been purchasing 4x common/uncommon sets from each set that comes out so that I’ll have tons of cards to make decks with at fairly reasonable prices. In total, I spend about $100 per year (which is too much still), assuming they release three expansions and a core set, and occasionally I sell some of the more expensive uncommons (ie. my wastelands) for a huge profit, that helps fund the addiction in perpetuity…

So, the month looks like a collosal failure, but I have a feeling it will turn out to be a break-even proposition eventually (if not a bit profitable).

April Total: -$484.84
YTD Total: -$112.11


  • -$163.83 – (40k) The Warstore (Tervigons x2, Ultramarine Paint, Lords of Waterdeep & Various MtG deck boxes)
  • -$40.60 – (40k) Amazing Magnets – 300 magnets (Various sizes)
  • -$46.20 – (40k) Hobbycraft (local) Tervigon
  • -$19.09 (BG) Warcraft (board game)
  • -$42.00 (BG) Founding Fathers (board game)

Another month that hasn’t started on the right foot. I managed to avoid the Tervigons until now, but I’m a snowball sort of gamer. I assembled my Adeptus Arbites this month, and wanted to go prime them. Then I decided I might as well prime the Forgeworld bits I’d purchased last month, along with the reminents from the newly purchased Tyranid Army (in April). Hell, if I’m going that far, I might as well do a complete Tyranid 2nd wave to include everything I could want to finish them up–and that meant buying Tervigons (for the record, I tried to buy them locally first to support the FLGS, but when they ran out, I happily skipped off to the War Store for the rest, plus some Ultramarine blue paint–in case I run out). Of course, you can’t have Tervigons that aren’t magnetized, and I’d run out of the proper size magnets for that–so I had to place an order for more of those….

May Total: -$311.72
YTD Total: -$423.83


  • -$30 – (40k) 2x 2nd Edition Whirlwinds (MIB)
  • -$31.97 – (MTG) MtG Planechase 2012 Deck “Night of Ninjas” & 2x cans of Armory primer
  • -$69.39 – (MTG) 3 more MtG “Night of the Ninjas” decks (here’s to hoping that Sakashima’s Student keeps going up in price!)
  • -$28 – (40k) Battle for Skull Pass Goblins from Sons of Twilight’s Bargain Bin
  • -$12.50 – (40k) 14x Chaos Marines (badly painted) – to use with my Nurgle Forgeworld Upgrade Kits
  • -$125 – (40k) Imperial Guard Force
  • -$67.99 – (40k) Resin bits (Death Guard Terminators, Chaplain Dread, etc.)
  • -$6 – (40k) Forgeworld Nurgle Renegade on ebay
  • -$2.24 – (MTG) 4x MTG “Chainer’s Edict” on ebay (No, I don’t need to buy card singles, but it’s a good card and you can’t seem to get a single of it from any online retailer for less than a buck)
  • -$44 – (40k) 2x Tyranid Hive Guard on ebay – This is a purchase I’m not 100% happy with, as they were astonishingly close to retail price (current retail value: $49.50).  The thing is that I refuse to buy finecast models, and these things seem to often go over current retail value on ebay (for the metal ones, at least), so when I saw some cheaper than retail with a BIN, I bought them.
  • -$50.35 – (BG) World of Warcraft, the board game
  • -$28.38 – (40k) 2x Rogue Trader Chaos Dreadnoughts

Wow, in one month I managed to double my yearly total.  Now that wouldn’t have been impressive in February, but in June, that probably says something about my spending habits.  Without a doubt, I need to sell some stuff to be able to justify these purchases.  The good news on most of these items is that I got them for rather good deals (and with the mindset that I’m going to resell).  The whirlwinds and IG should see instant profit, whereas I’ll probably have to sit on the magic cards to see anything.  Really, I shouldn’t play investory with MtG, as it’s a slippery slope that I really shouldn’t get into.  My goal for MTG was to collect commons and uncommons cheaply, so spending nearly $100 on the hopes that Sakashima’s Student goes up in price wasn’t a good move (regardless of whether it proves profitable or not).

June Total: -$495.82
YTD Total: -$919.65


  • +350 – (40k) Sold 15 heavy weapon teams and 100 Imperial Guard (including the “Brettonian conversions“). Everything else was new in box.
  • -$9.52 – (MTG) 4x Thrumming Stones on Ebay.  Retail is more like $20 minimum, so it seemed a good deal, and I wanted to try to make a Relentless Rats deck.
  • $0 – (40k) Skaven Army (trade)
  • -$500 – (40k) Space Wolf / Blood Angels / Demon Armies
  • +40 – (40k) Sold a squad of 5x devastators (2x missile, 1x melta, 1x las) and a squad of 5xBA honor guard from the $500 lot above

I was doing great this month, in that I had arranged to sell a bunch of IG.  Without any major purchases, it was looking good for me to finally cut into the deficit I’d be wracking up, but then the $500 army deal came, and I felt weak again.   Though I definitely need to get to selling things (ACK! The total for the year is already over a grand!), I think the total for the month is a reasonable deficit (definitely better than last month!).

Baby steps, right?

July Total: -$119.52
YTD Total: -$1,039.17


  • -$5 – (40k) Traded a Furioso dread for two finecast hive guard (cost is shipping only)
  • +$68 – (40k) Sold two units of Sisters of Battle + Celestine (in hindsight, I probably should’ve asked for more–but I also got 10x Poison Wind Globadier backpacks in the deal, so it’s not so bad).
  • +$285 – (40k) Sold a mixture of IG, Demons, & even a few space marines.  Due to the complexity of the deal, it’s hard to really determine where the original models came from, but I’m estimating that $120 came from IG, $25 from marines, and $139 from demons.  It really puts me quite a ways from breaking even on the latter deal, but the IG have paid for themselves already.
  • -$45 – (40k) Purchased a Games Day 2012 model (The one that’s on the cover of the original 2nd Edition boxed set) from a local retailer.

Hard to beat this month, as I finally turned a profit (first month since March), and still picked up a few things I wanted.  I did try to buy a copy of From the Vault: Legends (a MtG product), but no local retailers had any in stock on release day.  I know I’ve sworn against MtG investing, but that would’ve been a no-brainer (MSRP is $35, and they were already selling for $80 on the day they release–due in no large part that they had a foil Maze of Ith, which the standard version retails for $70).  But alas, I didn’t get to purchase it…

AugustTotal: $303.00
YTD Total: -$741.17


  • -$12.42 – (40k) Yearly domain name charge for
  • -$171.20 – (40k) Two copies of Dark Vengeance from a local retailer (Hobbycraft).  I really think the models are high quality, but after opening them up, there’s only one that I really want to keep (the librarian).  Anyone looking to pick up some DV bits?
  • +$10 – (40k) Commander Dante
  • -70.73 – (40k) First Contact terrain by Dark Arts Miniatures (to be used as a defense line for my Tyranids)
  • -$121.00 – (40k) Dreamforge Kickstarter
  • -$15.00 – (40k) Local tourney – won a box of Chaos Space Marines

Not a good month.  Realistically, I shouldn’t have purchased two copies of Dark Vengeance, and after opening, I confirmed that.  The Dark Angels are almost universally too DA’d out for me to use them, and the Chaos, while good, I really only have need for the Chosen/Champions from a single box.  So now, I have to get rid of these guys… any takers?

The other downside is that after having a good profit last month, this month saw me drop below $1000 spent for the year again.  Shame on me…

September Total: -$380.35
YTD Total: -$1116.52


  • -$200 – (40k) Sisters of Battle Force
  • -$13.50 – (40k) Limited Edition goblin fanatic diorama
  • +$120 – (40k) A bunch of CSM stuff to a local friend.  Retail value was approximately $260, but he threw in some of the new CSM psychic cards to even it out…
  • -$60 – (MTG) 6400 commons/uncommons from Ravnica: City of Guilds.  It’s the better part of 4 common playsets and 1 uncommon playset (missing all of the super expensive stuff, but having a fair amount of extras).  Hoping to sell the common sets to recoup my costs.
  • +1908.63 – (40k) Ebay sales (price already includes cost of listing, shipping, etc.  See this post for more details).
  • -$26 – (40k) Tyranids models off ebay.  I really wanted the two biovores, but it also included some misc gaunts, mines, & stealers.
  • -$19 – (40k) Classic renegades on horseback (without horses) to be used as chaos bikers one day…

Clearly my best month to date.  Not because I was able to keep things in check (I did buy another army), but because I was able to finally part with some stuff.  With the year almost over, this gave me a big jump into the black, and it seems unlikely that I’d fall off the horse in just two months.  From here, I find it hard to believe that I’ll fail on my goal, but knowing my complete inability to pass up a good deal, I know it’s entirely possible.  Nobody try to sell me models at a great deal, and we’ll be fine. 🙂

October Total: $1710.13
YTD Total: $593.61


  • -$7.99 – (40k) Snow/smoke for my vehicle explosion markers and some cork for basing my Tervigons
  • -$58.95 – MTG Singles.  I know I said I should stop, but free shipping on Black Friday was too hard to pass up.  I was able to buy some really cheap singles for less than the cost to ship them.    Because of this, I was able to fill out some of the common/uncommon playsets that I’d ordered in the past that were missing just a few cards.  Plus, I ordered far too many rares that I really have no need for.  What can I say?  I have an addiction for good deals. 🙂
  • -$167.99  (40k) from  This included a bunch of Wall of Martyr stuff (I’m a sucker for pretty terrain too), and a copy of the Infernal Contraption card game.
  • -$173.25 – (40k) Battlefoam. For Christmas last year, my mom gave me cash to buy battlefoam, but it didn’t make sense to pay full retail for it, when I knew that I could wait until Black Friday to get it for 25% off.  Granted, this still seems like too much to pay for foam, but Mom wanted me to have it!
  • -$52.50 – (40k) More Legion of the Damned models.  I wanted more variety, and this was well priced for the quantity, but it means I have to sell more models…
  • -$9.83 – (40k) Adeptus Mechanicus model (I intend to use him as Nurgle)
  • +80 – (BG)  Sold Stronghold & Civilization, two games that I’d purchased back April.

One of the worst months to date, but I don’t really fault myself on this too much.  First of all, I’m coming off my best month ever, so I treated myself a bit.  The bulk of the purchases were on one day/weekend (black friday), where I jumped on a chance to take an extra 5% off GW through thewarstore (which I’m certain will be stolen/purchased from me and regifted during Christmas by my family–so I expect that to come off my total before the end of the year).  It also includes Battlefoam that my mom gave me for Christmas last year (but I waited to purchase in order to get the discount).  Had I started tracking a year earlier, you’d see those numbers already accounted for.  I look at this as more like spending $120 in hobbies this month, which is pretty good restraint considering the status of Frugal gaming so far this year.

November Total: -$390.51
YTD Total: $203.10


  • +$100 – (40k) Sold 20x Daemonettes that sold (but weren’t paid for) in the Ebay auctions of October, 1 Greater Demon of Khorne, 14 CSM (purchased back in June–I no longer needed them after winning the tourney and getting a box of new models), and a metal CSM Demon Prince (Sticker on the box said $25.  I remember purchasing him from a store in Wasilla that was going out of business, and I’m sure there was a discount on the price beyond that, but I can’t remember how much), plus some extra bits I had lying around.  Most of these were already paid for, or were purchased prior to the year, so it’s hard to determine how much this cost, but I assume I at least broke even on these.
  • +$50 – (BG) Sold Super Dungeon Explore (Board Game)
  • +$201.65 – (40k) Mom’s Xmas reimbursement from last month.  This was supposed to cover the wall of martyr stuff ($167.99), but that left some extra.  She left an oddly precise amount, but gave the check to my wife.  Not sure what else was covered–maybe the Crusade of Fire book?
  • -$15.36 – (40k) A can of Minwax Polyshades “Antique Walnut Satin,” a package of rubber gloves, & some plastic tarps (for dipping)
  • $2.20 – (40k) Purchased Crusade of Fire, then sold it to a friend.  I never even got to read it, but I did flip through it once and see that the Tyranids seemed to go completely unmentioned in it.  When my friend came over to check it out, he seemed really interested in where I could’ve gotten a sold out copy, so I told him he could have it at cost, but he didn’t have exact change…
  • -$24.00 – (MTG) 4x Common/uncommon set of Return to Ravnica
  • -$6.36 – (40k) 4x “59” drill bits – smaller than 1/16th for modelling

With November being a down month, I was happy to end the year on a high note.  Was also happy to sell off another board game (though technically it wasn’t one that I purchased), but it did help deflate my total cost spent on board games over the year.  More importantly, I achieved my goal of spending $0 net over the year on my hobbies.  Frankly, I did better than that, as I actually made money–and though I haven’t bothered to go through with a fine toothed comb, I’d wager I also have more models as well (though that’s not as good as it sounds, as I have to find a place to store them).  I guess there’s always ebay!

December Total: $308.13
Total for 2012: $511.23

A complete wrap-up / analysis of the fiscal year can be found here.

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