Monday, March 2, 2009

The Sickness

This post began life as a comment on the Santa Cruz Warhammer post entitled "Squid Therapy". After the third paragraph or so, I realized I had a full-blown post on my hands...and so, here it is:

I call the sickness CMBS -- Compulsive Model Buying Syndrome.

Me: "Hi, my name's Joe, and I have CMBS."

Group: "Hi, Joe!"

I only have three armies -- Marines, Chaos Marines and Warriors of Chaos -- and compared to the number of armies talked about in that post on Santa Cruz Warhammer, that's nothing! So, I guess I don't really have a problem (remember: an addict will always deny that they have a problem, and/or attempt to minimize it's impact on his life or the lives of those around him).

Oh, you mean I need to count stuff from Specialist Games, too? Oh that's easy. I only have the beginnings of 2 fleets, Imperial Navy and Chaos. Note I said beginning! I haven't even played the game yet, I just happen to like the idea of it quite a bit and there are some other people that play it here in Austin and they've promised to show me how to play. So if they're going to show me how to play, I should probably at least see if I can pick up a ship or two. I just so happened to find a few auctions where the price didn't go over my self-imposed limit. It's like it was destiny that I won them, then...right? It's not like I searched for hours or anything, I just happened to put "Battlefleet Gothic" in the search field on Ebay because I was curious. Nothing wrong with curiosity, is there?

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, yes, how I was overcoming my CMBS. You see, I used to just wander around the ol' FLGS and pick up what looked neat. It was only when I got better at making lists that didn't involve my having to only use models that I own did my symptoms begin to subside. If I bought a model, it was because I needed it specifically to complete a list. My purchases weren't random anymore, oh no, my purchases were the result of my focus on completing an army concept! You're supposed to be WYSIWYG, aren't you? But then I began to make up lists that used quite a few models I didn't have, and some of those were it was back to the FLGS, cash/credit card/debit card warm in my hand, making me feel alive when I checked out with new boxes and blisters of models, glorious models! Um...yeah...but I'm better now, I really don't feel alive inside when I buy new models...nope, not even a little bit. And NO, my hands aren't shaking, thank you very much!

I never wanted to play any other army than Space Marines, either...but then there was this local guy that wanted to sell a complete CSM army for a very, very reasonable price. Was it MY fault I happened on a good deal? I mean, I'd have been a fool to pass that deal up! And even though I knew I was going to have to strip it and re-paint it, and I knew that was actually adding HOURS to the total time to have the army fully painted and table-top ready, I didn't mind, because in the long run I was saving money! Right? And let's face it, even though it was a completely playable army, it didn't have every model I needed to make a list I was 100% happy with. And if you're not happy with your list, you're not really happy, now are you? And let me tell you, I'm all about being happy, and that meant I've had to pick up a few MORE Chaos models. Obliterators? Check! Defiler? Check! Oh, and the Land Raider that came with the CSM army wasn't really a Chaos Land Raider, and I've begun to use it in my loyalist army...but that's OK, I didn't really want to run a loyalist Land Raider in a Chaos army anyway -- it's just not right! So now -- to make everything "right", of course -- I need to pick up a Chaos Land Raider and only use that loyalist one with my Ultramarines. It's the right thing to do! Right? Who's with me?

And what's that "other" game they play at the FLGS? Something about "fantasy battles" or something. Sounds like "fantasy football". I mean don't get me wrong, I used to loveses me some AD&D, but I'm definitely more into the "hard" Sci-Fi world of 40K, no, that fantasy business doesn't interest me at all with it's square bases and silly movement trays! Plus every army has more models in one UNIT than I do in my Space Marine army! Too much work, I'm telling you, and very little reward...
...oh, hey, what's this "Warriors of Chaos" business? Wow, you're right, those are some VERY kick-ass models right there! What are they? "Chaos Knights"? Are they as cool on the table as I think they are? Yeah, sure, I'll get a box...on, and that WoC Army Book, too...oh holy shit, I completely forgot I have a Tomb Kings army! Yeah, that one the kid was selling off, and I traded him an army case or something for it...that's when I bought the WFB book, wasn't it? Hmm, well, at least I don't have to buy that big ol' book again, and now maybe I can actually USE IT! Damn it, "core" choices? Rares? Generals? Heroes? Well let's get crackin', I've gotten a lot better and faster at painting than I was when I first started out! I'll just make a list I'm happy with, post it up and let the local guys critique it, tweak it and then build it, and I will only buy models that I need to make that list. Yeah, cavalry only, baby! Oh, wait, where'd this box of CHAOS WARRIORS come from? Oh, yeah, that was the first box I bought, figuring I was going to need some "core" units anyway...and the FLGS was out of Chaos Knights, so I figured, "Hey, I'll be helping them out, and I'm going to NEED them later anyway, might as well pony up the cash now while I'm here..." We won't mention that "Khorne Lord on Juggernaut" I bought because I thought it would work out pretty cool as a Khornate Chaos Lord in my CSM army...yeah, he'll make a good BSB, won't he? Right!

Come to think of it, I haven't seen that Tomb Kings army since we moved to the new place. I wonder where it is?

When I first got in to this hobby and learned about Forge World, I thought, "No matter what, there's no way I would ever pay that much money for models that don't give you any advantage on the table top! What's the point in that?" I mean, yeah, they look great and there's all kinds of pretty, amazing details...yeah, I have a box of CSMs that I bought a while back, but only took a couple of bits out of. But never mind them, I'm looking for some Plague Marines. Huh, "Nurgle Death Guard Marines Upgrade". Interesting, you can use it with the regular CSM box and get 10 Plague Marines, and wow those bits look fantastic! What, other people are making a big FW order so we can get free express shipping? Well I could use that "Nurgle Death Guard Marines Upgrade" from FW, it's not all THAT much, really, and it would give me those Plague Marines I've been for that "The Army of The Crowing" CSM project. Since I'm not going to use those CSMs anyway... You know how I know the set is called "Nurgle Death Guard Marines Upgrade"? I'm reading it off the label on the ziplock bag that Forge World ships it in! But man, look how AWESOME those bits are! Hey, Forge World has Ultramarine terminator shoulder pads. Those would look great on those assault temrinators I'm building. Some more guys are putting together another Forge World order...? Sure, count me in!

But at least I can take some solace in the fact that I'm not one of those guys that go all crazy and buy a lot of specialized gear and tools. I mean, I really needed the Army Transport II, it was just so much more convenient than anything else...and who can resist the Gale Force 9 stuff? C'mon, they put that little hole there on the TAC template so you could spin it around on your finger! Oh, that application? It's called Army Builder, and it really makes the whole list building process a lot easier. No, you don't need it to play or anything, it's a convenience. What's wrong with having something that makes a task easier to do? It gives me more time to build and paint minis, I swear. And that airbrush, and the compressor that go with it? Well, you can't count that! I mean, you can clearly use it for SO many other things than just painting minis! I mean...I guess you can, anyway. I've only ever used paint minis. But I COULD use it for other things, so it doesn't count. Nope, not at all...and the Dremel? Hey, my dad gave me that Dremel, so that totally doesn't count! And you can definitely use it for other things! I mean, I'm pretty sure you can...all I've ever used it for is...yeah...model building.

So...anyway, I've gotten a lot better. I barely suffer from CMBS at ALL any more. In fact, there are times when I don't even THINK about buying more models.

I call those times "being asleep".

So...any of you guys have CMBS? If so, how do your symptoms flare up? Have you ever had a serious relapse?

God-Emeperor grant me the serenity
to buy the models I cannot trade for,
the courage to trade for what I can,
and the wisdom to stay off Ebay.