Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Are You a Builder or a Collector?

Old School here with a question and some thoughts on building lists and collecting models. There are two seperate terms to some, but not always mutually exclusive.

In the beginning, many of us are builders. We kind of collect a few things, but then it becomes obvious that we must build a list and thus buy the models for it; in this case we are builders. Some folks build that first list and have just the models for it and maybe a small selection of stuff to sub in and then move on to another army.

For my first couple of years in the hobby, I was a builder. I built a Tau army based around a list in my head, played it and sold it. I have a Deathwing army for a while - once again, my range of models was really just my list and a couple little guys to switch around for wargear or an extra HQ choice ... Then, much like the Primarchs who came before me, I was lured to the influence of the Dark Gods.

From the beginning, I was just buying stuff that looked cool, losing tons of games and eventually building cohesive lists. Even though, that sounds very Collector-ish, once I started getting good lists together, I simply bought what I needed for the latest Chaos list I wanted and stopped there. Recently, I got into the idea of the 14th Black Crusade and over the last few months have collected enough gear that when I caught my breath and looked around, I realized I could field any unit in the CSM codex to the extreme, with the exception of multiple TSons 20 man squads (that is just ridiculous anyway). It didn't really make me feel special until I saw the benefit of being a Collector.

With the Grey Knights Codex hanging above the heads of the 40k universe, one player in our area (actually one of the best) already has collected anything he might need barring completely new and unique units when the codex drops ... and to top it off, I think it's all painted. This means day one, we will all be feeling the wrath of the GK codex including nearly any possible lists that can come out of it. It was this realization that made me feel very happy about having purchased so many Chaos items!

With that being said, how do you purchase? Are you a list buyer, placing value on the ability to throw down a few hard lists with multiple armies? Are you a Collector, who has his fun fielding any possible combination of units and tactics from a single dex? Are you a collector for your first army and a list builder elsewhere? Let's hear your thoughts and why you do it!


  1. Good question. I would have to say by instinct I'm a collector, by necessity I am a builder. I hold on to armies I don't play, because someday I "might" play them, although in reality it is apparent that I wont. Chaos for example, I had a 1500 point list for them and held onto them for quite a while, but just recently decided to sell them in order to fund a new project. I should have sold them a long time ago, but my pack-rat mind wouldn't let me get rid of them.

  2. While I build armies to fit a list, usually I make 8 lists and build all of them, so more collector at that point. So while I have a Chaos army list, it is 8,000 pts. I mostly just build a unit I would like building, then another cool unit and so on until I have an insane amount of stuff. I wish I could part with some of it, but I don't think that is possible for me. I will sell extra models for armies I haven't built yet, but almost never fully built ones.

  3. Collector, 100%.
    I just go crazy thinking about converting and kitbashing, specially for units that don't have models (Chaos forsaken for example) or for units with miniatures I dislike (like the chaos marauders), even considering I'm not gonna use them often (any WHFB player who can tell me something useful to do with 18 forsaken?! xD)

    I've built my first chaos knights unit, with six models, because I think they would look cool 6-models-wide xD
    Yeah, 100% collector!

  4. totally a collector. it's actually kinda getting out a control. seriously i think i might have a problem.

  5. More of a builder. I've done the collector thing with previous forces and, while I've enjoyed it, I'd rather have the variety of being able to throw down two or three different lists for each of the four or five game systems I'm interested in at a time. Besides, I move house quite often (usually once a year, sometimes I get to stay in one place for a bit longer - have to go where the work is, after all), so big collections are something of a burden.

    It's a shame, because I have a strong completist urge as well - it's just suppressed by the realities of the situation. And I do kitbash loads of things, too, especially with my Tyranids. :)

  6. After thinking about it for awhile, I am still not sure.
    My first gut feeling is to say collector just because of sheer quantity. though, for 40k I only buy things for lists I intend to use, I just don't sell them when I am done using them... like the 30 swooping hawks I have because they were good last codex...
    In fantasy though I am definitely a collector, 20k pts of HE's I never use, but is my only fully painted army. I put it out on display and recently bought models just to make the display symmetrical.

  7. i buy stuff that catches my eye, I prefer to work out lists as I go along by myself too, rather than sticking with one idea