They get to start fresh. A clean slate.

And if somebody is there to guide them, and they have the discipline, newbies can have a great time in the hobby.

The downside to being a newbie is not knowing where to begin. Another downside is the lure of all of those miniatures out there and not enough time to paint them… but newbies often underestimate the amount of time it takes to finish a figure.

My miniature collection grew haphazardly: first came the miniatures from various board games, then figures I bought for D&D, then I got into wargaming and found myself needing to complete armies. Then I tried to do short cuts like buying prepainted figures.

I hardly ever finished what I started, but there was always more cool figures out there to buy, more projects to complete “someday.”

And many (hundreds) of these figure would simply end up in storage, never reaching the tabletop.

How sad. And how typical this often happens.

In recent years, after going down so many incomplete projects, I came up with this philosophy (or maybe I just started heeding the advice one veteran gamer told me long, long ago, but I didn’t listen):

Miniatures are meant to assembled, painted, and seen. They are meant to be pushed around on the tabletop and enjoyed by players, not languishing in storage. Therefore, finish what you begin before moving on to other projects. 

I once knew a roleplayer who followed this advice. She bought maybe three or four figures at time, pained them up, and placed them in a nice carrying case. Over time she collected a nice assortment heroes and monsters, which were all painted and, at times, showcased on the tabletop.

In the last couple of years I’ve watched newbie wargamer begin to collect his armies. He started small, finishing a warband for Lion Rampant. Then he began building a brigade, one unit at time, for Victory Without Quarter. Now he’s begun painting up American soldiers for Bolt Action.

He’s now a veteran wargamer and a decent painter, with three complete armies he can bring to the tabletop.

Can one always stick to the above philosophy? It can be hard.

Never underestimate the The Social Beast, where your friends and acquaintences try to convince you to invest in the next big thing.

Beware the power of marketing and advertising.

And most of all: beware when those miniatures you’ve been eyeballing go on sale and you say to yourself, “Eh, why not?”