40K Editorial: The $300 Challenge!

This hobby can get expensive!

The challenge: Build a fun, unique, competitive force with everything you need to get started in 40K for $300 or less. Can it be done?

We all know how expensive this hobby can be. We don’t call it a plasticrack addiction for nothing! Often the cost of getting started in the hobby can scare a new gamer from taking the plunge. We decided to set a challenge for ourselves: to start, from scratch, in the hobby with a budget of $300. Why $300? That is about what it costs to buy a new video game consul with a game or two and controllers. This is a pretty good analog that most people will understand and a benchmark we felt was realistic for most people.

Can it be done?

We think so. And not just any old force either, but something cool, fun and that has a fighting chance on the table top.

So, which army should we choose? Mechanized armies won’t cut it as they cost more by their very nature. The first army that comes to mind for me is Draigowing. However, since I really dislike the Grey Knight codex on principle, I choose not to go that route. I love the models but I think the rules for the army are not much fun.

So what then? I love Daemons, so I decided to take the challenge with Daemons. A fun, rarely seen army that is both characterful, powerful in the right hands, and gong to be great fun to paint! I love bright armies with lots of crazy colors, so I think this will be a really enjoyable force to assemble and paint for me, which is important in seeing an army through to completion.

So the gauntlet has been thrown down, and picked up! I will build, paint and play a Daemon army, from start to finish, with a budget of $300. Let’s see if it is possible to do!


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

20 Responses to “40K Editorial: The $300 Challenge!”

  1. madival December 5, 2011 3:35 pm #

    1500 points of sang guard with dante is under 200$ ( 5 squads of sang guard with dante) so you have 100$ to do with as you please. That would be my army for the challenge.

    • Reecius December 5, 2011 3:40 pm #

      That is a very good point, I actually had not thought about the Bling Wing! We can try that list out for the next $300 challenge. We plan on doing several of them to show that people can get into the hobby for not too much cash.

      • madival December 5, 2011 3:43 pm #

        Unfortunately, even then, our hobby is expensive. I started playing as a younger kid, and I had to weigh getting a small warhammer army with buying an entire video game system. I am glad I chose 40k, but at the same time, not too much cash is still expensive as sin for most people in an already established hobby, not even a brand new one.

        • Reecius December 5, 2011 4:17 pm #

          It is not a cheap hobby, but it is still a lot cheaper than a lot of hobbies. I Cycle and Ski, and those are quite a bit more expensive (well, that depends on how much hobby stuff you buy every month). I don’t golf, but that is really expensive, as well.

          I think that you can do it on the cheap if you want, but it really depends on how much you’re willing/able to spend on it.

  2. Cyric December 5, 2011 4:11 pm #

    Its certainly possible. The real test is if your patient to work on the army over time and find the right deals, or if you must have certain things right away and can’t wait to get on the table top.

    Craigslist and Ebay are amzing tools at finding some very well priced things that people are looking to get rid of. Its just an exercise in patience as you read up, figure out what you want, and wait for it to come about.

    • Reecius December 5, 2011 4:16 pm #

      Good point, I should have clarified that the challenge was to build a new army using new models for that cost.

      But yes, if you are patient, eBay can be a great tool. It stinks when you get a crappy deal, or not what you ordered though. I stopped using eBay many years ago after some bad transactions.

  3. Zarryiosiad December 5, 2011 5:57 pm #

    Hola! With the release of the new Megaforce boxed sets, it is simplicity itself to build a 1500 point army of Space Marines, even if you buy the models at GW retail prices. For $285 you can purchase one of the Megaforce boxes, plus a five-man devastator squad and a razorback. Equipped as shown, it comes up to an even 1500 points, and you have $15.00 left over.

    • Reecius December 5, 2011 10:23 pm #

      That is true. Plus, if you can find a discount on the megaforce (we sell them at 20% off) it is even cheaper! A really good buy. We could definitely go that route, too. Not a bad idea at all.

  4. madival December 5, 2011 7:50 pm #

    but the mega force is no where near competetive or unique. demons/bling wing/ and the likes are unique and work well. If you are doing ebay, I have seen plenty of armies go that would be great starters. Hell, my first army was 40 warriors, 2 monoliths and the deciever for 200$ from ebay.

    • Reecius December 5, 2011 10:25 pm #

      That’s a good buy!

      I agree that Marines are a bit passe, but I do love them. I have 3 different power armor armies! I wanted to do something less ordinary with the Daemons though, while still remaining under budget.

  5. Kingpin December 6, 2011 9:57 am #

    Chaos marines, 1850 for $300. Two battle forces, a sorcerer, and a land Raider. It will give you two 15 man marine squads a 8 man berzerker squad in rhino, 8 man berzerker squad in a land raider, and 10 possessed in a rhino.

    all for $299.25 on GW’s site so cheaper else were. That is what I would do… In fact I just may do.

    • Reecius December 6, 2011 10:06 am #

      Yeah, and with the new Chaos rumors, they look to be coming back to their old Glory, soon! I have 2 Chaos armies and hope they bring them back in a big way. If you do take up the $300 challenge, be sure to send in some pictures!

      • Kingpin December 6, 2011 12:11 pm #

        Will do.

        I have to say I found your site from watching a couple of your youtube battle reports and I really like what you guys are doing. Good tactical reports from experienced players is always nice to see. We actually met at Ard’ Boyz finals. I had the triple land raider Grey Knights.

        • Reecius December 7, 2011 4:41 pm #

          Ah yes, nice to meet you! I had a good time at Ard Boyz finals, but lost round 2. How did you do?

  6. TheDave December 7, 2011 9:16 am #

    $215 Dark Eldar Megaforce, $20 Archon, $20 Succubus, $33 codex. Done. 🙂

    • Reecius December 7, 2011 4:41 pm #

      That definitely would do it! Seems like this challenge was easier solved than I had initially thought! Haha.

  7. madival December 7, 2011 9:34 pm #

    It seems that the difficult part isn’t competitive or cheap, but unique. Mega forces make armies.cheap, but they are far from unique .

    • Reecius December 7, 2011 10:10 pm #

      That is what I was thinking too, but the Dark Eldar Megaforce is pretty cool. Competitive? I don’t know, but definitely cool.

      I thought Daemons would provide a cool, unique, and hopefully, competitive, army.

  8. Hardcore December 8, 2011 11:24 pm #

    Blood Angles:
    Anyone seen the new megaforce?
    also I got a Blood Angles Battleforce 25% off right after Thanksgiving
    $300 for 1 Land Raider, 1 Rhino, 1 Drop Pod, 1 Land Speeder storm, 30 tactical marines, 20 assault marines, 10 scout marines (if you know how to convert), 5 man command squad, 1 commander, 1 dreadnaught. roughly 2000 points

    Anyone see the Warrior Phalanx?
    add in 2 ghost ark/doomsday arcs and the fact that you can scratch build Night scythes/doom scythes
    $300 for 48 warriors, 12 scarabs, 6 destroyers, 4 night scythes
    (scratch), 2 doom scythes (scratch), 2 ghost/doomsday arcs, 1 monolith 1 lord/overlord. roughly 2500 points

    • Reecius December 9, 2011 1:35 pm #

      That is a good option, too. Seems like a lot of people have some really good ideas for ways to pull this off. Maybe we’ll have a competition to see who can come up with the best $300 challenge army? That would be fun.

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