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Subject: Direct Costs of the Wargame Hobby ? (Poll) rss

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Roger Hobden
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The recent discussion about collecting vs playing wargames has got me thinking about the issue of the costs of the hobby, and in particular the financial investment in buying games, whether you play them or not.

A lot of hobbies, leisures or sport activities can be quite costly (skiing, etc.), if you start to add up the direct and indirect costs, and some others are really cheap (jogging, etc.).

Compared to some very costly hobbies or sports, my perception is that collecting wargames (played, or not played) is a relatively cheap activity.

Am I right in believing this ?

I would like to know about the BGG wargamers perceptions on the overall life-long DIRECT costs of the hobby (i.e., the purchase of the games themselves).

It may be that some subdomains of the wargame community (for example, miniatures) might be much more costly then others. Feel free to comment.

EDIT: There is now a poll in this thread on the number of wargames to be owned during a lifetime of gaming.


Poll
1. In orders of magnitude, what would be your opinion on the reasonable total life-long DIRECT cost of the wargame hobby ?
100 dollars or less ?
Between 101 and 1000 dollars ?
Between 1001 and 10 000 dollars ?
Between 10 001 and 100 000 dollars ?
Between 100 001 and 1 000 000 dollars ?
More then 1 000 001 dollars ?
2. In orders of magnitude, how much have you spent up till now on the purchase of wargames ?
100 dollars or less ?
Between 101 and 1000 dollars ?
Between 1001 and 10 000 dollars ?
Between 10 001 and 100 000 dollars ?
Between 100 001 and 1 000 000 dollars ?
More then 1 000 001 dollars ?
      336 answers
Poll created by Mallet
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Joe Thompson
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Best not to think about it
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Lucius Cornelius
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Unless one is heavily into collecting,
wargaming is one of the cheapest hobbies I know.
Trust me; I am both cheap and poor.
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Andy Beaton
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It's not so bad when you calculate the number of hours you will spend enjoying that expensive investment.
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Richard Boyes
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What about the addition to the house that is needed to store all the goodies and have ample table space?

That could run $100,000.
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jeff miller
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I've really just gotten back into heavily in the last three years, and during that time I've still spent less money than I used to on a serious golf habit.cool
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Tom Stearns
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My primary ftf game buddy and I talk about this frequently when we are whining about the grief our spouses give us. Compared to other man hobbies war gaming is not only cheap in the initial outlay of capital, but also cheap in subsequent events of playing. Also cheap time wise. Compare wargaming from initial and follow up investment plus time to man hobbies like hunting, fishing, playing golf, bowling, gambling, skiing, drinking and porno.

Once games are bought, the future use of the game is pretty much free. We see no reason for our wives complaints considering the money and time we could be investing in other hobbies.
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Kanalja
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Wargames are cheap. It’s beer that is expensive. I drink while I play.
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Jeb
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There are all kinds of other costs involved:

- Gas to get to game
- Food, beer, pretzels
- conventions
- opportunity costs (cause you KNOW the honey-do list grows while you our out doing other stuff)

But I have to agree, if you look at gaming as hanging out with buddies is a pretty cheap way to spend time.
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Jon Gautier

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I think the OP may be having a . . . discussion . . . with his significant other.
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Go pick up golf or fly fishing (hell, even bowling) and compare the costs.

Edit: Tom beat me to it.
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Adam Hickey
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Flying, one of the most expensive hobbies that a middle class person would contemplate undertaking, would see an individual spend roughly $8,000 to acquire a private pilot certificate. The average person would spend about 120 hours flying/studying/planning, and the course of study would be completed in three to six months, depending on the intensity of effort expended. After that, the sky (literally) is the limit on what one could spend, but to keep a minimum of proficiency for safety, probably around $3,000/year would be recommended. That translates to around 25-30 hours flying, or going up once a month for two hours in a rental aircraft.

Compared to that, gaming is so cheap it isn't even funny.

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Hunga Dunga
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Ossessione wrote:
Wargames are cheap. It’s beer that is expensive. I drink while I play.

If the wargame costs $50, you spend over $50 on beer on game night?
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Ryan Powers
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Hungadunga wrote:
Ossessione wrote:
Wargames are cheap. It’s beer that is expensive. I drink while I play.

If the wargame costs $50, you spend over $50 on beer on game night?


On one game night? I don't. Over the course of the lifetime of a game which I enjoy? Easily.

Alternatively, if we use the one game a month for $50 provided above, it's not $50/night it's $50/month while playing games. I probably don't hit that, but that's because most of my beer is homebrew. If I were buying quality beer retail, I'd hit that number easily. Unfortunately, I'm also not near keeping it to $50/month for games. Not with stuff like Where Eagles Dare and such.
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Gary Averett
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uh...whose turn is it?
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I spent 100gg for this?!?!
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ahickey wrote:
Flying, one of the most expensive hobbies that a middle class person would contemplate undertaking, would see an individual spend roughly $8,000 to acquire a private pilot certificate. The average person would spend about 120 hours flying/studying/planning, and the course of study would be completed in three to six months, depending on the intensity of effort expended. After that, the sky (literally) is the limit on what one could spend, but to keep a minimum of proficiency for safety, probably around $3,000/year would be recommended. That translates to around 25-30 hours flying, or going up once a month for two hours in a rental aircraft.

Compared to that, gaming is so cheap it isn't even funny.



No kidding, and make that aircraft a helicopter. The least expensive wet fee I have found locally is around $200/hr.
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Michael Lucey
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Hungadunga wrote:
Ossessione wrote:
Wargames are cheap. It’s beer that is expensive. I drink while I play.

If the wargame costs $50, you spend over $50 on beer on game night?


You need to build up your drinking stamina and drink every night so you can 'perform' at your best on gaming nights. So actually that value should be much higher on a monthly basis if you do it well.
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Confusion Under Fire
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Wargaming is as expensive, or as cheap as you want it to be and I bet there are not too many hobbies that you can enjoy for several months when your budget is zero. Playing solo or by Vassal will negate most subsidiary costs.

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Kanalja
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Hungadunga wrote:
If the wargame costs $50, you spend over $50 on beer on game night?


Hey rookie, welcome to Finland. Seriously speaking, I play my wargames multiple times. Moreover, microbrewery beers I like are pretty expensive.
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David Hughes
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I probably spend around $250 per month on games and related books, another $50 per month on food, drink and travel to my local club, and $500 at CanCon each January.

So, not much change from $4,000 per year.

But even after playing them, and valuing them conservatively, I could re-sell those games for $2,000. So the real cost is probably less than $40 per week.

I "play" at least 8 hours per week, so the hourly cost is below $5 per hour (probably a long way below,) which is not much in the scheme of things.

On the other hand, I have at least a 20 year backlog...
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Enrico Viglino
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I'd guess having bought a house, primarily so I could have
the security to own/play my games, ain't direct?
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David Dockter
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Can't think of a lower cost per hour of entertainment/learning.
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M@tthijs
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I don't care what it costs. Total.
What matters to me is the cost per hour.

Money well spend.
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Judd Vance
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A buddy of mine got into guns and knives this year. He said he spent $4,200 on it. I think that is about the cost I spent on my entire gaming collection. I told the missus that she's lucky I got a "cheap" hobby
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Justus Pendleton
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A game a month? Just to have something sit on your shelf? Wargamers are like the old, white, male equivalent of cat ladies, aren't they?
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ian morris
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airjudden wrote:
I told the missus that she's lucky I got a "cheap" hobby


I'll save that one for an appropriate moment...


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