With another large purchase incoming, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the myriad reasons we wargamers find for buying figures and models. Here they are, in no particular order. Feel free to add more in the comments section.
1) They're on sale.
Always hard to resist. What's that? A stock sale of 20 packs of Old Glory Achaemenid Persians at $7 a shot? Gosh, that's 180 cavalry and 500 infantry for only... Woohoo! They may still be sitting in a large plastic tool box eight years later, but no one on earth can tell you that they weren't a bargain.
2) I just need a few guys to finish off my current project.
This is a good one. When you need three packs of spearmen for your Carthaginian army, but, well, since you're going to be paying for shipping anyway, you may as well get eight packs, a few more Numidian light horse, perhaps grab some of their thorakitai for your Seleucids, and now might be the moment to make a start on that German cavalry you may need if you ever finish your Marian army. Hmm, come to think of it, the Germans are reputed to have mixed infantry in with the cavalry, so maybe a couple of packs of javelinmen as well.
3) Dear, the grapevine says to expect a new set of rules from Designer X on topic Y, so I'd better avoid the rush and get some appropriate figures now.
Oooh, very cunning. If it sounds kind of reasonable to the missus when mumbled to her during the ad break in an exciting episode of her favourite TV soap then it must - ipso facto - be perfectly reasonable. Don't you agree? Thousands of Orcs for Simon Miller's forthcoming fantasy version of To the Strongest! is not madness, it's good planning.
4) Our prices will be going up soon.
The thought that that crushingly massive order we know every self-respecting wargamer has to make someday for WWII/ECW/ACW/WotR/100YW but that one hasn't quite worked up the courage / found the right rules / figured out where to draw the line for might be rendered even more catastrophically expensive by a sudden and dramatic price increase is enough to give a man the cold sweats. So when you get warning that it's going to happen, you buy, buy and buy. That's all there is to say on this, really (it's still too raw).
5) Hey, the Society of Ancients' battleday next year is ______. How about it?
This is time for that fine talk you have with your wargaming mates only to realise on the train ride home that while Ted, Rupert and Ignatius get to add legionaries to their collections, you somehow drew the straw for supplying the Cretan archers. 80 of them. That you'll never use again. Oh well.
6) Good Lord, Blogger Murray's 1/3000 fleets for Jutland look magnificent!
At heart we're all suckers in our own way for naval and air games, but most of us will never actually get around to finding a set of rules that is a) playable b) realistic (enough) and c) is not hated immediately by everyone we know. Nevertheless, we live in hope, and a blogpost featuring a beautiful fleet can be enough to get us sending emails to Heroics and Ros, Langton, Scotia, or a letter in longhand to Navwar.
7) We're discontinuing the range.
We all know the story of a Frazer (pronounced like you're pissed as a goose) who could've picked up six packs of Grogan Miniatures' Minoan bull jumpers for a song in 1982 but thought he'd wait till the following week. Of course, by the time he went back they'd all gone, never to be heard of again, anywhere, on earth or in heaven. He still posts despairingly on TMP around Christmas, hoping against hope that someone, somewhere, has a pack that they will part with for a small fortune.
No one wants to be a Frazer, so best to buy all you can. Just in case.
8) There's this kickstarter...
I've never actually gone for a kickstarter myself, but I've seen the results in those who do. The frantic, noble thought that "[T]hese miniatures may never be made unless I pledge $250 right now. For these to languish unrealised would be tragic for the hobby. NOT ON MY WATCH!"