Guild Ball or Bust: An Iron Cheapskate Homage
Bruce McG
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Way back in 2014, Kevin did the first Iron Cheapskate (Iron Cheapskate 2014). The idea was simple - a zero sum (in terms of money) year of game purchases. Simple, but impossible, right?

John picked it up for 2015 (Iron Cheapskate 2015). When I ran into a surprise need for Gen Con lodging, I did a variation (Gen Con 2015 or Bust!). Now I find a need for another round.

The short story is that I want to get into Guild Ball - a new miniature games that combines football/soccer/futbol with a human-centric fantasy world. I could do it on the cheap, but that's not my style. I'll try to tell the rest of the story in the item entries.
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1. RPG: Far West Adventure Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG: Far West Adventure Game
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
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The journey started on September 14 when I received a surprise $55 refund from the Kickstarter campaign (taking me down to the digital $10 level).

The timing was a bit strange as just the week before I made the decision to hang up my GM screen. Long story short, I was still interested in playing RPGs (very much so!) but not running. This made my large collection of RPGs seem excessive.

My interests were also straying elsewhere.

Yes, I realize that the Far West seed money was simply returning money that came out of my pocket years ago. It really felt like "found" money though.

Game Fund: $55.00

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2. Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:171] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Bruce McG
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This was on my Steam wishlist for a long time and went on sale for a ridiculous price.

I played it for 25-30 minutes and haven't gone back to it. Bad sign.

Cost: $2.99

Game Fund: $52.01
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3. Video Game: Cross of the Dutchman [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Bruce McG
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Another Steam item that sounded perfect for me. Something like Diablo, only historical (okay, quasi-historical).

I was a bit bored but willing to give it a go when I hit Chapter 3. This really doesn't seem like a game where you need mAd SkIllz, but I simply couldn't get by the combat obstacle. I watched a play-through online to find that I was doing the same exact thing - only I was being attacked by 3x the enemies. I rage quit.

I think I'll take a little break from computer games.

Cost: $7.64

Game Fund: $44.37
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4. Board Game: Guild Ball [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:2312] [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked]
Board Game: Guild Ball
Bruce McG
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In early August, traitor to the RPG hobby

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told me about Guild Ball. I love Blood Bowl and was just getting into Dread Ball. Fantasy Sports is one of my favorite game categories. While Guild Ball looked fantastic, it was a mini game, there wasn't character advancement, and it didn't have a hex/grid system.

Still, it had burrowed into my brain.

I downloaded and read the rules. I liked what I read. In researching the game, I heard why they don't have character advancement (unbalances leagues due to front-runner syndrome). I ordered the book in dead-tree format (just a preference).

We recently played a demo game and really liked it quite a bit. I started to implement my sell/buy plan.

Cost: $37.46

Game Fund: $6.91
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5. RPG Item: Night's Black Agents [Average Rating:8.25 Overall Rank:127]
RPG Item: Night's Black Agents
Bruce McG
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When I sell, I'm going to try to include fees at the same time. I may have to adjust.

I listed a bunch of RPGs on Amazon. I like Amazon for selling books over Ebay; they take a bigger cut, but I get a better price (I think).

NBA was probably a top 10 RPG in my collection. It's a great blend of system and setting.

Simply put, I was never going to play it.

I did take a bath on shipping; I miscalculated in addition to being surprised by the quick sale.

Net gain: $16.14

Game Fund: $23.05
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6. Board Game: Warhammer: The Mass Combat Fantasy Roleplaying Game (1st Edition) [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1795]
Board Game: Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles (6th Edition Boxed Set)
Bruce McG
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The other things I have in my sales arsenal are painted and non-painted minis. For years I wouldn't sell painted minis, but when I realized most had been in storage for over 10 years... It seemed kind of silly.

I had 23 painted (from terrible to average) older WHFB miniatures including a once-beloved Goblin Trebuchet (the Skull Crusher). I knew with the recent reboot that the lot likely didn't have much value, and I actually got a bit more than I predicted.

Net Gain: $46.95

Game Fund: $70.00
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7. Board Game: Clan War [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:10453]
Board Game: Clan War
Bruce McG
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Indiana
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I have a ton of painted Clan War miniatures. There is no way that I'd ever play a regiment style mini game again... much less something Samurai themed.

This lot was 23 painted Samurai infantry in the Dragon Clan colors (Green & Yellow). I had no idea what to expect, so I was just glad they sold.

Net Gain: $17.39

Game Fund: $87.39
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8. RPG Item: Earthdawn Player's Guide (Savage Worlds Edition) [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Earthdawn Player's Guide (Savage Worlds Edition)
Bruce McG
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This is why I love Amazon.

I couldn't give this book away. It was a mess, frankly. When you do a Savage Worlds book, you want to show restraint with the system changes. They didn't.

Net Gain: $15.42

Game Fund: $102.81
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9. Board Game: Warmachine [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1768]
Board Game: Warmachine Prime
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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Time - already - for a brief interlude.

I expected my cash cow in this effort to be my painted minis for Warmachine. They are all from the first few years of the game. I thought the fact that they were decently painted (or better), it's a popular game, and the figs are metal were all in my favor.

My first lot - a troop of 6 Menoth Deliverers - didn't draw a single bid with a $19.99 starting point. I would have paid (and probably did) $50+.

I have another lot on Ebay now, but I've lost my optimism. The market isn't what I thought. I have several thoughts on why that is, but let's see what happens first.
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10. Board Game: PBI II: 15mm Scale Company Actions of World War 2 [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Board Game: Poor Bloody Infantry: Company Level Combat in WW2
Bruce McG
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Not for the item listed, but instead I sold 23 more Clan War Samurai infantry. I had speed painted these in a neutral color.

I assume most of the figs I've sold so far are headed for the Pine Sol unless someone is desperate.

We were having fun with Clan War back in the late 90's. We had a few competitive battles, and I was still dabbling with painting (but also buying painted figs on Ebay).

A new player joined the group, and he was also a Clan War player. He basically laughed when he saw all of the figs we had painted. "I can beat your army with one unit" he boasted.

Bullshine.

And then he did.

Our enjoyment for the game dropped straight to zero. We couldn't unsee what we had just seen.

Net Gain: $19.67

Game Fund: $122.48
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11. RPG Item: Call of Cthulhu (6th Edition) [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:7]
RPG Item: Call of Cthulhu (6th Edition)
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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I've played CoC once, 30 years ago, with a terrible GM. While I don't think it's the genre for me, I've always felt a pang of remorse that I didn't play more sessions. It's just so beloved outside of our little RPG world.

This has stayed on my shelf due to reputation and nothing more. It looks like my timing was good here with 6E departed and 7E not quite here.

Net gain: $24.39

Game Fund: $146.87
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12. RPG Item: CM4: Earthshaker! [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:5569]
RPG Item: CM4: Earthshaker!
Bruce McG
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Not for this item, but rather for a painted Earth Dragon for Clan War. This thing is massive and painted pretty well. The only issue is that the joins are pretty gappy.

Net Gain: $17.99

Game Fund: $164.86
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13. RPG Item: Book 20: Sword of the Samurai [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:2216]
RPG Item: Book 20: Sword of the Samurai
Bruce McG
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Not for this item, but rather another lot of painted Dragon Clan minis for Clan War. I'm not sure where this lot came from, but the 13 figs are nicely painted.

The Clan War stuff has been a consistent seller around $20 a lot. It's a grind, but it's getting me there.

Net Gain: 20.06

Game Fund: $184.92
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14. RPG Item: Acts of Villainy: Solo 088: Naga [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Acts of Villainy: Solo 088: Naga
Bruce McG
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Not for the item, but rather for two painted Clan War Naga. These were pretty dismally painted and are likely bound for the Pine Sol.

Net Gain: $1.79

Game Fund: $186.71
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15. Board Game: Imps Vs Puppies [Average Rating:4.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Imps Vs Puppies
Bruce McG
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Indiana
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Not for the item shown, but rather for 10 Imps from the Impact! Miniatures range of Fantasy Football figures. They are perfect proxies for Blood Bowl Snotlings.

External image


Dollar per weight, this may be my biggest score so far.

Net Gain: $13.39

Game Fund: $200.10 (Woo-hoo!)
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16. RPG Item: Realms of Sorcery [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:280]
RPG Item: Realms of Sorcery
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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I'm a big fan of WFRP2 and owned almost the entire line a few years ago. I started parting with a few items here and there, and it's never easy. Most of our players just don't like a game where you aren't a big damn hero from the start, and I think it works best when you have a Rat Catcher, Burgher, and Camp-Follower trying to survive the muck and mire.

Net Gain: $17.57

Game Fund: $217.67
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17. Board Game: SuperSystem [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
Board Game: SuperSystem
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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I never enjoyed HeroClix even though I liked the figs. When I found SuperSystem and the SuperFigs line of minis, I thought I found my match.

That came right about the time that we stopped playing mini games.

I sold the rules and some figs previously, but I still had a blister of cool Pumpkin-head dudes, a big robot, Sabre-Skull, and three werewolves that I bought for Blood Bowl purposes. Everything out of the blister was partially painted.

It flopped, but I was going to the post office anyway.

Net Gain: $3.81

Game Fund: $221.48
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18. RPG Item: Clash of Kings: Guilds and Money [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Clash of Kings: Guilds and Money
Bruce McG
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Indiana
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Second interlude... wherein I talk about money.

My goal for this endeavor was to raise $500 by mid-November. I'm not likely to get there at this point.

Why $500? Pricing out all of the minis and game components that I want is going to run about $300. Guild Ball is expensive... Also, I'm trying to jumpstart something, so I'm aiming for three teams. A team of six players runs about $75... add in the mat (which I like), the templates, and cards. There you go. Heck, I'd like to go more than six players per team.

The other $200 is to send the minis to Sri Lanka for painting. I dealt with Paintedfigs.com several years ago, and they consistently came through for me with paint jobs that are worth the price.

I just don't have the patience to paint these days, and my quality was often sub-par. I always wanted to love the hobby side of miniatures, but I never did.

I have a good amount of stock for sale at Amazon, but sales come in sporadically. It will probably get me there eventually but not by mid-November.

I have four buy-it-now mini items on eBay. No takers over the last 20 days, but there's been some activity (views/watches).

I'm running out of painted minis except for Warmachine.

I do have board games, but shipping always vexes me.

So I'm settling in for the long haul... unless my massive Warmachine lot does something. I'll be listing it next week. Low expectations...
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Board Game: Blood Bowl (Third Edition)
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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For those who have requested, I tried to do a call back to Fantasy Sports in my life. It was a bit of a struggle.

If I missed something, let me know.
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20. RPG Item: Monster Island (RuneQuest) [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:2675]
RPG Item: Monster Island (RuneQuest)
Bruce McG
United States
Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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My three eBay painted mini auctions went unsold during the weekend which was kind of a bummer, but I did get a random Amazon sale.

Monster Island is a great example of bad timing. I was super-hot to get this in my hands after passing on it at Gen Con 2013, but it was taking forever to get into distribution. Chad knew my interest, and we worked out a trade.

At some point along the way, though, I lost interest in the book and didn't know it. I didn't do more than flip through the pages when it went on my shelf where it sat for two years.

Looking at my net for this, eh, it feels like I should have been able to do better. Stupid supply and demand.

Net Gain: $17.97

Game Fund: $239.45
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21. RPG Item: The WFRP Companion [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:830]
RPG Item: The WFRP Companion
Bruce McG
United States
Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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Wow... Listed this recently when I saw the prices, and it didn't last long.

It doesn't look like I even read it.

SCORE!

Net Gain: $39.97

Game Fund: $279.42
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22. RPG Item: Nations of Théah: Book One: Pirate Nations [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:3917]
RPG Item: Nations of Théah: Book One: Pirate Nations
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
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7th Sea might be the most frustrating RPG that I own. I like most of the flavor, and I like most of the mechanics.

The flavor stuff I don't like is easy enough to snip or alter. The system stuff I don't like kills the game for me. Many fans have tried to fix it, but they can't agree on what needs fixing and how to fix it. It's a game that you should just suck it up and run "as is", but I can't do it.

And then there's the bloat... OMG, splat book after splat book. Most add more great flavor at the cost of additional character options that appear to be unplaytested.

Several years ago, I acquired everything I could for 7th Sea. When I sat down with my group to make characters, it all just unraveled.

It's my #1 pick for a game that needs a Second Edition.

Net Gain: $23.57

Game Fund: $302.99

I'm at the point where I can start ordering the stuff, but it's virtually sold out in the US at the moment.
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23. RPG Item: Redefining the Nature of Fluff [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Redefining the Nature of Fluff
Bruce McG
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Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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Interlude time!

"But I really don't read the fluff of stuff" - Josh Bazin

Who knew Josh was a smart guy? That was his response when I asked him about the Guild Ball fluff.

The rulebook contains a ton of fluff. I would call the fiction novella length. Each of the players has up to a half page of fluff/description. I skipped it when I read the rules but went back and read it over the last several days.

Ugh.

It's not poorly written, but it is brutal. I have a friend who calls almost everything "too dark and gritty." This was too dark and gritty for me.

I had planned on buying the Brewers, Union, and whatever team interested my buddy. After reading the fluff, though, I think I'm going to pass on the Union. I know it's silly. It's fluff in a miniature game, the minis have a cool look, but I'm not going to be able to get some things out of my head.

The Brewers (a bunch of drunks), the Masons (the "good guys"), and the Fishermen (show boaters) are okay. The other five teams are mostly comprised of serial killers, psychopaths, torturers, and worse. The captain of the Union team is a rapist and mass-murderer. WTF. In the fiction, the Fishermen Guild (not the players) brutally torture someone in some level of detail. One of the Butchers leaves a teenager to die at the hands of three thugs who I guess are joy-killing.

Yikes.

Look, I think bad guys are cool. I play Skaven in Blood Bowl. I'm sure they do horrible things, but I haven't read detailed accounts of them. In BB, they are just fast, sneaky, Rat guys.

Holy crap... It's a mini game. Nail down your rules, establish the flavor, and get out. We don't need much world building. We certainly don't need a novella.

So lesson learned, don't read the fluff.

I'll be getting the Masons and Brewers instead of my original plan. Stupid fluff.



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24. Video Game: Pillars of Eternity [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:324]
Video Game: Pillars of Eternity
Bruce McG
United States
Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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I am weak.

My buddy has really talked up PoE, and it does look like my kind of game. The last time it was 50% off I almost grabbed it, but I opted for the two cheaper choices instead.

Net Loss: $22.49

Game Fund: $280.50
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25. RPG Item: Pact of the Angelic Choirs [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
RPG Item: Pact of the Angelic Choirs
Bruce McG
United States
Lawrenceburg
Indiana
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Not for this item... but rather for three lots of painted Warmachine minis that I sold on eBay.

I'm still bumming about their value, but that's due to ignorance.

I sold my Choir of Menoth figs (6 in the unit) for $26. They are some of the best painted minis I owned, and the unit is still used by players.

From gallery of brumcg

From gallery of brumcg


Sigh.

Net Gain: $35.98

Game Fund: $316.48
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