Saturday, September 03, 2005

What's the cost of wargaming?

A comment by Dom on my other blog (the other other blog) led me to think about how much time and money we wargamers spend on our hobby.

For myself, I have three hobbies competing for my time: photography, geocaching and wargaming. I can usually only manage one at a time: when one peaks, the others trough. If I'm spending time on photography, my wargaming suffers, and vice versa. There is some synergy: geocaching usually leads to photographic opportunities, and one can always photograph one's miniatures (a technical and somewhat unrewarding exercise), but they usually compete rather than cooperate for limited time. Add to that the regular Friday night LAN games with the guys, and I have limited time that I need to allocate between wife, hobbies, and myself. Reading Lord Horatio's posts, it seems that this is a problem most gamers share. Right now, the wargaming is giving way to other pressures, so this is a low-key gaming period for me.

Cost is a bit more difficult to calculate. I've spent quite a fair bit on cameras and film over the years, probably in the thousands. I know my GPS unit for geocaching cost me $270, and that's about it.

Wargaming, though, is trickier: it's hard to estimate how much money I've spent over the years on figures, paint, and rules, since none of the purchases are big-ticket items that burn in the memory (unlike cameras, which burn a hole in your pocket so big that you're not likely to forget). It's easily in the thousands, but how many thousands is hard to estimate.

So let me throw out this question to my esteemed co-contributors, and the reading public: how much time and money have you spent on this hobby? What's the cost of wargaming?

8 Comments:

Blogger captain arjun said...

Somewhere in the region of a thousand to two thousand dollars a year, I would say.

But then I am a river to my people.

3:39 pm  
Blogger captain arjun said...

Coincidentally, another wargamer-blogger has posted about his cost of wargaming recently:

http://www.stevepugh.net/VTT/?p=289

3:53 pm  
Blogger domgoh said...

$3000 a year and at least 2-3 hours each night painting, not to mention at least 1-2 hours each night reading on war related stuff.

12:51 pm  
Blogger fatgoblin said...

time wise about 2-3 hours for me as well, usually about 5 days a week. Add a few more hours if gaming on sunday.

Money wise, I think about 2K annual. But might be more as a lot of small purchases falls through the cracks like art and modeling supplies.

Luckily I have no other major hobby eating my resources. I suppose the next biggest drain of money would be either DVDs or books.

10:47 pm  
Blogger domgoh said...

I sometimes wonder whether we should spend our time doing something more productive?

5:37 pm  
Blogger wahj said...

Serious wargaming is very productive! I would say that Wargames are a key factor in my wide reading in history, and becoming a well-read person.

4:29 pm  
Blogger fatgoblin said...

You are a strange fellow Dom. Very strange...

9:53 pm  
Blogger Lord-Horatio said...

Probably about £500 on the plastics recently.
Paints and bases still to be bought, as well as timber and a Japanese craft saw for constructing carry cases.

All very good for the soul though.

3:11 am  

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