Monday, 12 January 2015

The Price of Being (playing) Batman!

Recently I have seen a few people mention the price of the Batman minis from Knight Models and say that the Batman Minis game is too expensive.
To be honest, I thought the same when I looked at it to begin with. I thought £12 a model was a bit steep. Until I looked into it further anyway.

The things to remember with this range is that is 35mm instead of the usual 28-30mm. The models are high detailed metal instead of sprue plastic and it's a licensed product. Licensed items always cost a little more anyway.

With this in mind I thought it may be a good idea to do a price comparison with Batman vs 3 of the top games on the market. X-Wing, Warmachine and Warhammer 40K.
I know all of these games are quite different. The game size, model scale, material used and such but as they are the most popular games our there is shows people are willing to pay the prices to play them.

This sort of thing can be a bit of a minefield though. Each game has several different forces, model sizes, army builds and more. You can do elites or swarms and this all varies the price to play.
For this article I'm going to pick the most popular force in each game, pick a starter force and expand it to a standard sized game.
I will also take into account any rulebooks, specialised templates and dice you may need to get started.
There are several expansions and optional extras out there but this is just what's needed. Tokens, scenery and tape measures are something most people will have already as well.

As it's comparing Batman to other games, I'm going to make two Batman forces. One of just characters and one swarm of thugs with a big character added. This should show the cheapest and most expensive options.

Prices will ALL be taken from Wayland Games as they are a large well known retailer that stocks all ranges. To make things a little easier, prices are rounded to the closest £.

First up is the Bat Family. A starter game for Batman is around 200 Rep and a standard is 350 Rep.
I know there is the new rulebook soon, but there is still a free download rules set so I count it as an optional extra.

Rulebook - Free download
Tokens / Templates - In Rulebook
Batman (Arkham) - 130 Rep - £12
Robin (Arkham) - 68 Rep - £12

Starter game - 198 Rep - Total £24

Batwoman - 95 Rep - £12
Robin (Damien Wayne) - 50 Rep

Standard Game - 342 Rep - Total £48

The other end of the scale for Batman would be a Joker Swarm with a big model for muscle.

Rulebook - Free
Templates / Token - In rulebook
Joker Starter (Joker + 3 Clowns) - 158 Rep - £25
Clowns pack 2 - 41 Rep - £12

Starter game - 199 Rep - Total £37

Clowns pack 1 - 51 Rep - £12
Killer Croc - 95 Rep - £16

Standard game - 345 Rep - Total £65

X-Wing is probably to closest of the top 3 to Batman. It's a small model count licensed game.
For this I'm going for a Rebel force. Starter size of around 40 points and standard size of 100 points.

Starter Set - £24
Rulebook, Tokens, Templates - In Starter
X-Wing - 21 pts - In Starter
X-Wing - 21 pts - £11

Starter Game - 42 pts - Total £35

Millennium Falcon - 27 pts - £23
B-Wing - 22 pts - £11

Standard game - 91 pts - Total £69

The next game up is Warmachine. A normal starter set game is around 11 points and a standard sized game is 35 points. For this list I'm going for the boys in blue, Cygnar.

Rulebook - £18
Templates - £16
Cygnar Starter set - 11 pts - £32
(Stryker, Ironclad, Lancer, Charger)

Starter game - 11 pts - Total £56

Hammersmith - 8 pts - £23
Hunter - 6 pts - £9
Trenchers x 10 - 10 pts - £33

Standard game - 35 pts - £121

For the final game, its the most popular tabletop game in the world. Warhammer 40K. Again, it's the boys in blue, the Ultramarines. Or just standard Marines.
For a starter game I'm going for the basic 1 HQ and 2 Troops at 400 points. For a standard game, the smallest you will probably find is about 1000 points.

Rulebook - £42
SM Codex - £30
Templates - £8
SM Captain - 100 pts - £15
Tactical Squad 10x2 - 300 pts - £40

Starter game - 400 pts - £135

Terminators x5 - 200 pts - £22
Land Raider - 250 pts - £36
Devastators x5 - 150 pts - £16

Standard game - 1000 pts - £209

OK, that was a lot of numbers. Again, all prices come from Wayland Games. I'm sure they could be found cheaper or more expensive on other site or in stores.
Like I have said, I know these are all different games with different scales, sizes, materials and army builds but I have just gone for a very general force for each. The sort of thing a new player would walk into a store and buy. This gives an average cost on startng and playing each of these top / most popular games.

As a quick recap -
Batman - £24 / £48
Joker - £37 / £65
X-Wing - £35 / £69
Warmachine - £56 / £121
WK 40K - £135 / £209

This puts the price of playing Batman vs -
X-wing - About the same.
Warmachine - Just over half
WH 40K - Around a quarter

We all know that our hobby isn't one of the cheapest out there, but if you are looking at Batman, it's probably going to cost the same or less than other games you play.
As with any game though, it doesn't stop after the first few models does it?

Well, that's about it really. The numbers are there and I can't argue with them. I wont say one game is better than another either. It's all down to personal taste.

Did this work out how you expected?
Were you surprised or shocked by any of it?
Let us know below.

EDIT - Some people have asked why I haven't compared Batman to Pulp City, Infinity and Mailfaux.
The new edition of Pulp City doesnt come out until next month and I have no idea what the prices will be yet.
As for Infinity and Malifux, I would love to add them here but at the moment I just don't know enough about the games to make informed lists and comparisons.

- Hendybadger


  1. Being really new to the game of Batman and having played ALL the games you have mentioned in the article, it did not surprise me.

    Some finecast characters will hit the £12 mark in 40k as well as ordinary characters in metal from Batman.

    But at the end of the day it all really boils down to one thing in my mind: Is it fun to play?

    Let me answer that myself by saying I just bought 8 models for the game of Batman, have sold all of my Warmachine and am considering reducing my 40k.

    1. I take that as a yes then?
      Which ones did you pick up?

  2. I think people are saying this is too expensive a game to get into because they have other games they support. The per figure price on BMG stuff is high...though the quality is high too.
    I am working on a budget way to play by rebasing my heroclix and touching them up. Heroclix have every model you could want to represent the gangs in BMG (though I am having trouble finding a Tommy gun toting gangster)

    1. You have a fair point.
      If people have several games on the go already, picking up Batman as well could be too much. But as you say, there are other options.

  3. AWESOME post, really informative! I for one will be giving this game a go with my son this year!

    1. Thanks.
      Great to hear that. Let us know how it goes.

  4. A good post there....still one of the hardest things is finding another person to make that same investment to play against. So, often some gamers like myself invest in two gangs instead of a single gang to get people to play and try something. That makes the investment higher, it also is the same with the other games like X-Wing, 40k, etc....

    Plus one of the other painful aspects is dealing with the exchange rate overseas, just of late there is finally a retailer here in the US but does not carry everything yet or has access to some of the better deals offered overseas (which cancels out when you are getting hit with an exchange rate and overseas shipping).

    1. That's always an issue. Getting others playing a new game. I think the new book and more exposure may help with that as well.
      Best option? Get 2 Gangs you like for yourself!

    2. As for the overseas availability, I expect that to pick up more soon as the game gets bigger.

    3. Miniature Market has started to pick up some of the line, but not the newer stuff which includes the Arrow team which is what I would rather collect over Batman, I know the game is named that but I have to go with my favs....

    4. I have heard the U.S. is a couple of months behind on releases.
      I think it has become 'more' than just the Batman game now.

  5. Nice comparison between games.
    What we are talking here is a hobby, you don't have to spend money on it. But if you like Batman and skirmish games you can't go wrong here.
    Also, the cards are free to download, so you don't have to have the official mini's to enjoy a game with friends.

    1. Not that I would endorse such and idea. But if you have alternatives lying around and want to give it a try .......

  6. Good article. It's also worth noting that the League of Shadows can allow you to play for even less. Just buying the starter set gets you a 200 rep force using Ra's, Yang and Lotus. Adding Origins Deathstroke gets you to a 350 rep gang and you've still got Ying spare for further combinations later. All for under £40.

    1. The Leaue seem to be a quote potent force as well.
      Maybe not the easiest to play, but brutal once you have them worked out.

  7. Well, i have to make a new wargame. It will be played with ONE miniature. That miniature with rulebook will cost 30 pounds. That´s the cheapest wargame EVER, buy it!!
    People say that Batman miniature game is expensive cause...their miniatures are really expensive. And some of their miniatures are great but a lot are bad or normal. I don´t pay 18€ for one Batman and i don´t pay 20€ for a plastic Legolas

    1. If you made that and people thought it was great and worth the money I'm sure they would buy it.

      I'm not denying the Batman minis are expensive compared to say Space Marine troops but like I said above, they are a larger scale, high quality metal and licensed. Characters for games like Warhammer are similar prices but you need a lot more making Batman a relatively cheap game to play.
      It's your choice on what you are willing to pay for things. It's all down to personal taste.

  8. Ian: The Warmachine comparison could be debated to be inaccurate due to the free starter rules, and alternatives to the hard templates are probably easily sorted out (same as listing templates fro 'free' with BMG). Just wanted to point those issues out. :)

    1. I put the WM book in as the starter rules don't include the full rules. Power slams and such are left out.
      The template are there as I have only ever seen plastic ones used for WM and Batman doesn't have any yet.

    2. In which case you can knock the price of the WM/H templates from the debate since they can be copied from the back of the rulebook that you factored in, and therefore costing no more/no less than the BMG ones really. :)

    3. I'll remove that one later then when I'm home.


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