Sunday, December 22, 2013

Too much stuff?

I think I have too much gaming stuff.
In the vendor's room at Millenniumcon last month, there was a treasure trove of wargaming miniatures set up in the back corner.  Thousands of minis, some long out of production, in just about every genre (historical, modern, fantasy, sci-fi).  The most remarkable thing about this: they all came from the collection of a single person. 

The man was a decades-long wargamer who had picked up a wide range of figures from just about every manufacturer out there over the years.  He died a few years back, and now his friends and relatives are renting tables at gaming conventions to sell off this massive collection and get his family some money. 

And I do mean massive--they had five or six tables covered in blister packs, storage containers and original boxes.  The castings ranged from mint condition, never opened, to painstakingly detailed and painted, and everything in between.  And as soon as the relatives started bringing in those boxes of minis, a horde of con-goers looking for bargains (including yours truly) swarmed in like a pack of hyenas to the kill.

I gave the sellers some of my money and walked away with a good deal on some miniatures.  But I got to thinking about the guy who amassed all those minis over the years--including tons that he never even took out of the box.  Yet here I was doing the same thing.  I splurged on a whole lot of  sci-fi tanks because I was thinking about gaming in that genre.   And I already have a bunch of 6mm sci-fi for OGRE/GEV (and I just dropped a Benjamin on the new edition of that game)
Am I becoming a hoarder?  I already have games I never get to play, complete with unpainted minis (some decades old already).  It's difficult to keep everything stored as it is, yet I keep buying new figures because I think they'll make a cool army, and then I never get around to painting or gaming with them.  The whole point of this hobby is to have fun, not to obsess over adding more and more trinkets to my pile.  When I die, I don't want to leave behind a bunch of unopened game components.  I want to leave behind a collection that's painted, used, and enjoyed.

Maybe it's time to downsize.  In the new year, I'm thinking about getting rid of some of the figures I bought that I haven't painted yet.  There's no point in keeping things around if I don't have the time or the inclination to work on them.  I need to let them go, and be more productive with a smaller collection.  When my stuff gets sold off after my death, I want people to look at it and say, "Yeah, that guy did a lot of gaming."  Not, "That guy had a lot of minis he never used."


Colgar6 said...

I think many of us are like this to a greater or lesser extent. I've certainly got stuff that hasn't seen daylight for 10 years of more. Trouble is, if I get rid of it then I just *know* that I'll need it within a few weeks.

Perhaps the act of sorting stuff out for sale reminds us of why we wanted it in the first place and therefore spurs a need for it?

Ski said...

I've gotten much better over the last year about keeping a very short "lead pile." I tend not to over-extend my purchases but a lot of times I'll have two different subjects going at once because I get bored quickly.
That being said, I have loads of painted minis that never see the light of day, but to me that's no different than having a game of Risk in the cabinet that only gets played once a year.
Cool pick-ups you lucky skunk!

pahoota said...

I did a massive gaming purge about 15 years ago when I left the hobby. Now that I'm back into it, the first thing I've done is buy copies of the same rulebooks I sold off. But I'll never get those wonderful Ral Partha and Citadel figures I sold.

To me, it's not a hoard, it's reference material. I say, if you have the storage space and aren't moving every two years, then hoard away!

Collin Schrader said...

I feel your concern, Scribe. One of the quirks of our hobby is the amount of money and space it takes up. I, like you, play a huge variety of settings, and even different scales within the genres. It's a lot of stuff; there's just no getting around that. I don't think it's a bad thing - it's just a thing.

If some guy died, and in his estate I saw full gear for baseball, hockey, fencing, soccer, etc., I'd think man, this guy really enjoyed his sports with a broad interest. I would not think, psh, this guy should've picked one and had fun with it.

Game on as you feel best. An eye out for waste won't hurt, but I doubt any of us are thinking you a hoarder. ;)

Gonsalvo said...

There is a reason that we *had* to have a full basement when we bought a house 25+ years ago. :-)

I at keeping the unpainted lead percentage quite low; usually anything I buy has a definite purpose in mind, and a plan for it to reach the table within 2-3 years. There are, of course, *occasional* exceptions, however...


Sean said...

Something like this does make you stop and think. With the current painting challenge I am determined to paint my 20+ year old Citadel miniatures. I had fantastic dreams of all the new stuff i was going to buy and paint and then I looked through my stuff and decided it was time to paint the buggers.