Less than a day after posting my new plan for miniatures, I faced my first major temptation to break it…
I was in W. H. Smith, and as always, I gave the extensive magazine rack a quick perusal. And there it was, Mortal Realms Magazine #1, the latest ‘thing’ from Games Workshop. Of course, to call it a ‘magazine’ is disingenuous*. Really, it is a set of 13 miniatures, plus some dice, that just happens to come with a free magazine. But here is the kicker, it costs £3.
There is no way around it; this is one of the best money-to-miniature deals in the history of the hobby.
Now, when it comes to Age of Sigmar, I have no strong opinion. I think some of the miniatures are lovely, and this includes the ones offered in this set. I find the lore behind the game mostly impenetrable. The game itself is not for me, but plenty of people seem to have fun with it. But £3 for 13 really nice miniatures? And those ghosty things would make great spectres for playing Rangers of Shadow Deep: Ghost Stone…
I picked it up. I examined it from all angles. I put it back on the shelf. Then I picked it up again. I considered buying two or three copies and getting an army of ghosts for £9! I pondered how I could get it in my bag (not planning to steal it; I’d just come on my bike).
But I had a plan for my miniatures, and this wasn’t in it! I mean, I could always modify the plan right? Just get these now, and they could be the next project after I finish one of my five.
I mean, I’d have to be pretty dumb not to buy 13 Games Workshop miniatures for £3 right?
Finally, taking a deep breath, I put it back on the shelf and walked out of the store. Honestly, it wasn't easy.
In the end, I managed to resist, not because I had a plan, but because of the truth that lies behind my plan. Buying these miniatures would not increase my enjoyment of the hobby, in fact, they would decrease it. They would distract from the projects that I had carefully identified as the ones I most want to pursue.
So, by walking out of the store empty-handed, I not only felt £3 richer, but I once again felt freer to pursue the projects that are really important to me. It was like that great moment in The Fellowship of the Ring where Bilbo finally lets go of the ring, steps outside, and breathes the fresh air of freedom.
I won. I beat the world that is constantly trying to pull me apart with distraction, and I am stronger for it.
None of this, of course, is an attack on the product itself. Like I said, it’s an amazing deal, and if starting Age of Sigmar was something I was really excited about, I’d be all over this. But I’m not, and thankfully, I was able to remember this before pulling out my wallet.
Of course, now I’ve shown this deal to you, dear reader, you are faced with the same question! Irony, I suppose. (Although only if you live in the UK or Spain as its not available anywhere else!).
*In the UK, magazines (and books) are exempt from the 20% Value Added Tax that is applied to most commercial items. There is a whole industry devoted to taking advantage of this loophole by packaging things as free-gifts with a magazine.