When is your army Complete?

So, recently I’ve come to the conclusion that my Space Marine army is, after 25 years of on again / off again tinkering is “Complete”.


Now, by that I do not mean that I will never buy anything for it again, but I feel that I have at least one of every unit I think I might use or that fits my potential play style. I’ve also hit the point where I have more stuff than I could ever use in a single battle with 7700 points of Marines alone and, as you can see from the picture, more stuff that I could ever fit on a 6×4 table. The only reason I can see me buying anything more for this army is if there is a change to the codex which renders parts of the force list obsolete or incomplete or if I get bored and want a project… and with 2 complete armies sitting un-built in boxes for me to work on this year I do not see myself needing a project for a while yet.

This has made me wonder how people decide what counts as complete for an army. In the past for me it’s come down to a couple of factors

The first is I have all the units I want in whatever the current set of rules is which is where I am with my Marines. In this case there is room for expanding some units to gain the benefits of various formations but really, they’re not significant benefits and they’re formations which I may never use.

The second is that the army if for a game I don’t play much and I have enough of a variety to let me field a few different force lists so I don’t get bored or, worse still, predictable. This is the state of a couple of my older armies which have later gone by the wayside.

The third is I either got bored with the game or stopped playing it due to a lack of opposition, the exception being the above Marine army where there were long periods where I didn’t have an opponent but I kept collecting it because I liked the models and had a mental investment in the unit I had created.

This last one is probably the main reason for most of my armies being finished or, at least, went dormant. I am a compulsive buyer of armies and gaming systems, I buy something because someone I know plays it or is interested and eventually they drift away and my army dies a death.

So? When is your army complete? Is it ever complete?

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