How did I get to this? How did I acquire so much 28mm World War II gaming paraphernalia, and will I ever get a chance to even use even half of it? You see, I ask myself these questions as I sit down most nights to paint yet another squad of infantry or another in a very long line of vehicles.
An example: I have not one, not two, but three USMC LVT Amphibious transports sitting here waiting to be used. It is hard enough to fit even one into a list with the cost of large transports, but three? I also have three French R35's, arguably one of the worst tanks you could possible field in a Bolt Action army, and yet again I have three! Speaking of the French, I must have over one hundred infantry models, three howitzers, an anti-tank gun, cavalry and seven tanks ,all painted. There is almost no combination of a French army I could not field, and yet I may get a chance to play them once a month, if I am lucky.
As far as my USMC go, all I will say is M4A3 times five, yep five - all JTFM.
I am currently working on my fifth army, and having sold two I now only have three armies on steroids that I regularly play with. This army, as they all are, is themed and in this case its early war Germans based on the Battle of France OOB; and yes it appears without doubt I have gone all or nothing. There are three artillery pieces, a medium howitzer, a heavy SIG33 howitzer, and of course the 88 to complement the vast amount of early war vehicles and armour. You know those Sdkfz 7 halftracks look cool and are so iconic, better get one just in case - hell it can keep good company on the shelf next to the Opel Blitz and Horsch!
When I ask myself how did I manage to get so many miniatures that I will never use, either through bad in-game stats (88) or limited tactical use (Landwasserschlepper), I come to the conclusion that I am a collector of 28mm WW2 miniatures that I can use to game with. I think many people I play and have gotten to know in the community fit another profile, the gamer first and foremost who collects only what he needs to play.
I look at starting a new army and go for what I want to collect first without thought to in-game statistics. The thought of carefully planning an army on paper and buying only those units that fit within your very strict boundaries is as mysterious an art to me as understanding what in Odin's name the movie World War Z had in common with the excellent book!
Anyway I digress; I know I am the type of gamer that Warlord Games and many other companies love. I collect big, but in my credit I only have a few units out of three very big armies that are yet to be painted. I also hope to pass these armies onto my son (or my girls if they are interested) when he gets old enough to enjoy them, so for me it is a long term investment.
What would you classify yourself as, a gamer who collects or a collector who games?