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Subject: Help getting into miniatures rss

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A Guy
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Hello all!

I would like some advice on miniatures. Twice in my life I have tried to get into the hobby, but failed. The first time was in high school, where I made a half-hearted attempt to get into Warhammer 40K. A couple of years ago (I'm 30 now), I tried again with a Tau army but found the painting pretty tough and daunting.

I would like to give miniatures one more shot, however. The idea of having a personalized army that I have assembled and painted really appeals to me. I also like the strategic aspect of the games, though I would probably only be able to play 2 - 4 hours every couple of weeks, but not much more. Painting would be a bit easier to do, I think. I guess that I am looking for a game or army that doesn't have too many pieces and where the games themselves don't last too long. Any advice in this regard would be mightily appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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Mark Anderson
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It sounds to me like you're looking for more of a skirmish-type miniatures game.

I would recommend looking into Warmachine or Hordes by http://privateerpress.com/.

Another skirmish game that has grown in popularity is Malifaux: http://www.malifaux.com/.

If I wasn't already invested in Warmachine, I would give Malifaux a try. The models are very cool.




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Derek Anderson
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Hello and welcome!

I made a geeklist awhile back about mini games that might help you get some direction. The list focuses on small games, like more group level skirmish things or small armies, not the massive armies from games like Warhammer 40k.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/68290/currently-availa...

I used to play 40k a lot, but now have made a focus on smaller sized games due to limited time (both for playing and painting)...

D.
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Alan Gaskell
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations
Re: Help getting into miniatures
+1 for Warmachine

Also Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook and Necromunda. Both rulebooks can be found online and you don't need to paint a shedload of minis - a few will do.
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A Guy
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Many thanks for the list! The games all look quite good. The two that caught my eye were Malifaux and Warmachine. Malifaux looks especially feasible because it requires so few models. How many models are required for a game of Warmachine? I would be happy painting around 20 to maybe 25 or 30 models at the upper end.

Thanks again!
 
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TTorres
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If you like the setting of Weird War II, I would immediately look at Dust Tactics: Revised Core Set, and then the recently posted video for Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook. Someone linked to it here – http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/787809/ffg-releases-dust-war...

I have played Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40k for many years and finally stopped at 40k 5th ed. Now I actively play Dystopian Wars for my long, crunchy minis game, and Dust Tactics for my fast, small unit game.

After the video for Dust Warfare, I'm ready for the two-games-in-one when the Dust Warfare book is released. Tactics, and hopefully Warfare, is fast, furious, and terribly fun. It scratches the itch for an accessible minis game that offers plenty of variety, with little to no prep (minis are pre-assembled and pre-primed), and a very reasonable price point.

Good luck!
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Charles Blair
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You might consider Mantic Games Kings of War. It is a fairly new series that seems to meet your requirements for a tabletop miniatures game that is can be played with smaller armies and doesn't last too long. One reviewer dubbed it "Warhammer Lite". The two army starter boxes are, in my opinion, very reasonably priced as are most of the expansions.
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Matt Shinners
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Infinity is another suggestion. It's a skirmish level game that gives you opportunities to disrupt your opponent's strategy during their turn, which decreases the downtime to as low as possible for a miniatures game. There's a great line of models (if you like the style), and almost any army is viable (so you can build something with just models you like and it still works well). The rulebooks are free to download (though the print ones have fluff and artwork) and a starter pack can be bought for $35 (though they have full starter army lists for each faction that can be picked up for ~$70-~$90).
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Almost everyone thinking of getting into "miniature games" ask pretty much the same questions:
1. Do I have to paint?
2. How much will it cost me?
3. How soon can I play?
4. How long do games last?

1. Many people (who don't already paint) don't mind learning to paint one or a handful of figures (meaning 5 or 6). But if they have to paint 20 or 30, it becomes quite a different story (translated = it becomes a barrier).

So, if one has not painted before, don't mind learning to paint a few figures, then try something like Anima:Tactics. The starter set (Dark or Light faction) has exactly 2 figures and most tournament games will only require you to have 5-6 figures tops. The good news is you do not need the starter set and can just choose any figure of your liking. The figures are really beautiful, and they have factions that appeal to different tastes - so whether you like machines, knights, cute girls with mean weapons or creatures, there is something for you! You can learn the game in 5 minutes, but the variety of different character abilities makes this game infinitely interesting, especially as some of them are stronger in combo. Want to try something new, just get 1 or 2 new figures, or a whole new team of 5-6 figures! The best way I can describe this game is that its like 6-a-side soccer. The universe comprises 120-130 players, all with different abilities. Some better as defense; others in attacking. Some of them play best together with another specific player(s). Then you build your team based on the type of tactics you want to play, and go head to head with your opponent!

If you do not plan to paint, then pick up DUST Tactics. The models are not painted but they are "base coated" so you can just take them out of the box and play! Best of all, you can play it as a board game or as a miniatures game with the new DUST Warfare rules. I do not know yet how big/small the units will be in the miniature game (since the rules are not out yet), but for the board game, you only need 5-6 squads. Its fun already as a board game, so I guess it will be just as fun as a miniatures game!

Both the above are "small unit" games, but very different in terms of the type of units. Anima is a gathering of individuals, while DUST is a squad level skirmish.

In the middle you have GW's Lord of the Rings. Unique in the sense that it is story driven, you replay scenes from the story. If you like this, then check out LOTR. Its a combination of individual heroes and squad type units, and you are looking at painting between 10-20 figures for most scenarios, but you can of course play bigger games if you wish.

At the big scale end, you have Flames of War, Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy. In a sense, they share one similarity - many people fall in love with the idea of having a large army and going into a mega battle. However, that dream is quickly shattered when the time comes to actually having to assemble and paint a massive number of models (30 and above). Many take months before they can even play a game, and as you can guess, many give up along the way!

2. Anima will set you back around USD60-80, DUST slightly more. LOTR will run you around USD120-150, and the big games will cost you in excess of USD200. And these are just for the models. Paints, brushes, tools, books, extra! Book-wise, you are best off with Anima since the basic rules are free (that's about 80% of the rules) and all the character stats are easily obtainable online. This is truly a case of spending your money on models, not the books! With all the other games, you need both the rule book and at least 1-2 "army list" books. This alone will burn another USD80-100 in your pocket.

3. DUST wins here. Open the box, read the rules (for the board game) and you are playing! No painting! No downtime! With Anima, its how long you take to paint 3-6 figures. The rules are fairly simple so you can be up and running pretty quickly. And for both of these games, I mean you are playing pretty much the full rules. With the other games, it will take you weeks/months to just assemble/paint the models and then some to figure our the rules.

4. Both Anima and DUST play in less than an hour to an hour half tops. An important point to note is in this time, you spend less than 5 minutes setting up and the rest of the time actually playing. The same cannot be said about the other big games, which often take as long as 30-40 minutes just setting up, and another 1.5 - 2.5 hours playing a game.

I have not played the other miniature games so I can't comment. Hope this helps!



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A Guy
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This is very helpful and useful to think about. A major concern that I have is whether I will be able to find others to actually play with. I know that there are Warhammer games just about everywhere. It also seems like Warmachine is quite popular and I have seen Malifaux as well. Some of these other games seem great, but I'm not sure whether I would be able to find people to play with. I work pretty long hours, so my best bets for being able to play would be on the weekends.

Like I said, I don't mind starting off small (say 10 models to learn) and then working my way up. I just remember being totally deflated when seeing that the Tau army had so many figures to paint.
 
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David Boeren
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Do you have any preferred type of setting? ie - fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, etc...?

Skirmish games are small and stay pretty small. You don't start with 8 figures and later grow to 25 - they're specifically meant to be at that scale. My favorite of these is Infinity, and it's reasonably popular. Just be aware that you need lots of terrain for cover, which every review on Infinity mentions repeatedly

If you want something that starts small and then grows then you definitely want Warmachine/Hordes. The starter boxes have about 5 models in them but a full game may be more like 25. There is a specific format called "Mangled Metal" for playing small games with no infantry. It works really well since it's built into the game rather than artificially trying to pare down a game that was meant for more models.

Warmachine/Hordes is not only one of the most popular minis games, but it's also probably the best game from a BGG'ers point of view. I mean this in the sense that it's well balanced, rules are clearly written, there's a huge variety of playstyles, and lots of room for good moves to influence the outcome of the game.

If you're interested in naval games, look at any of the Spartan Games stuff. They have Uncharted Seas for fantasy naval, Firestorm Armada for starship combat, and Dsytopian Wars for steampunk land/air/sea battles. These are also among the rare games that vary in scale where a starter box has 10 models and plays a good battle but you can also play with bigger fleets and it scales very well. These play in a fairly different style to most (land based) minis games in that you can do a lot more long term planning and maneuvering.

For opponents, it's best if you have an established game group already. Warmachine will probably have the best chance of having a community already as it's VERY widely played. Your other alternative is to convert some players yourself, in this case you'll need to have at least two starter armies (the cheapness of skirmish games helps here) and then run some demos.

Honestly, I don't know a single really good large-scale game. Most of them are either decided in army construction before the game starts or mostly have big masses of troops grinding against each other until one runs out of guys (ie - low amounts of strategy/tactics). Apparently it's just really hard to have that many models AND have enough freedom that they can do interesting things. It would just take too long to play. So, between this and the huge investment of time & money I just can't recommend these to anyone.

Anyway, if I can be of any help just ping me. I'm only just getting back into boardgames after about 7 years of playing minis games exclusively and I have experience with lots of different games.
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Ed Sagritalo
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Cardboard Carnage wrote:
Hello and welcome!

I made a geeklist awhile back about mini games that might help you get some direction. The list focuses on small games, like more group level skirmish things or small armies, not the massive armies from games like Warhammer 40k.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/68290/currently-availa...

I used to play 40k a lot, but now have made a focus on smaller sized games due to limited time (both for playing and painting)...

D.


Nice list!

+1 for the following that I have played and would recommend highly depending on mechanics, theme, or both.

Infinity
MERCS
Malifaux
Hordes Primal Mk II\Warmachine Prime Mk II
Okko: Era of the Asagiri

I love the miniatures for the Infinity line. The interrupt mechanic is interesting though how success is calculated is different from any of the other games I have played. You can play with as little as 5 miniatures though an even dozen is more likely the table size for an interesting skirmish.

The Mercs miniatures are also interesting though limited to the armored combatant look. I haven't played a game with more than 5 miniatures and haven't found the need to grow the table to make it more interesting. Action if fast when it occurs though positioning is key. So, you get a lot of maneuvering activities going on versus straight combat. Very tactical feel.

The steampunk look really comes through with Malifuax which I love. I haven't played any games past using the starter boxes and found the games to be interesting at that level. Boxes normally have 5 figures. A leader and supporting cast though that isn't necessarily the case. The interaction between models in the same unit is really important in figuring out your strategy.

Hordes and Warmachines also leverages a lot of unit combinations. Starting out with a starter is a good idea unless you can get someone to teach the game to you. The basic mechanics are easy enough to figure out but the combo or supporting interactions between units makes it much more difficult to get a full grasp of the game. Most games I have played have under a dozen figures though many others mostly play with about 2 dozen figures.

Okko is in an ancient Japanese style with one side being demons and the other side being demon hunters. The game comes with paper stand-up figures though metal miniatures are available. If you like the look, they are pretty cool. The interesting thing I like about this game is the area control mechanics which you need to take into account as you maneuver for an attack.

 
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Ed Sagritalo
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Strikes Back wrote:
This is very helpful and useful to think about. A major concern that I have is whether I will be able to find others to actually play with. I know that there are Warhammer games just about everywhere. It also seems like Warmachine is quite popular and I have seen Malifaux as well. Some of these other games seem great, but I'm not sure whether I would be able to find people to play with. I work pretty long hours, so my best bets for being able to play would be on the weekends.


Warmachine\Hordes is more popular at my FLGS than any of the Warhammer versions. One good thing about Warmachine\Hordes is that you can play models from either set against each other. I still don't believe it is balanced, but no one is complaining at the store.

Malifaux finds a niche group but many lurkers abound and when the discussion turns this way, it is surprising to find how many people have at least a starter box.
 
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A Guy
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You guys are awesome! Part of my motivation is that I have been playing video and computer games for years and, while I love them, they lack a social aspect and leave me a bit unsatisfied. I sank over 150 hours into beating Neverwinter Nights and all its expansion packs. At the end of it, I had some solo memories and save files. I would like to get into something where I can meet people and hopefully end up with some pretty cool figures. The price point isn't too much of a concern for me, but time is a limiting factor. The incredibly positive response I have gotten here confirms that this may be a really worthwhile thing to pursue. It would be nice to be part of a community.

Both Warmachine and Hordes look really great, as does Malifaux. I also think that Infinity seems to have some definite potential. I will probably head out to the store near where I live (in Houston, TX) and take a look at both and see when games are held.
 
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Charles Blair
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Strikes Back wrote:
Like I said, I don't mind starting off small (say 10 models to learn) and then working my way up. I just remember being totally deflated when seeing that the Tau army had so many figures to paint.


If painting figures is discouraging you from a miniature game you otherwise like, I suggest you consider having someone paint them for you. I have painted a few hundred figures for my gamer friends. Although all were from board games (e.g., Descent, Battlelore, War of the Ring) and were not painted to as high a standard as some tabletop miniatures I have seen at tournaments, the players were pleased with the result did not have the expense of painting supplies. I got to pursue my hobby of painting figures without the cost of buying them (as well as relief from my wife’s observations that we definitely do not need more miniatures just sitting around gathering dust).

If you ask around at your FLGS, you may find someone that would be happy to paint figures for you.
 
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Ed Sagritalo
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dboeren wrote:

If you're interested in naval games, look at any of the Spartan Games stuff. They have Uncharted Seas for fantasy naval, Firestorm Armada for starship combat, and Dsytopian Wars for steampunk land/air/sea battles. These are also among the rare games that vary in scale where a starter box has 10 models and plays a good battle but you can also play with bigger fleets and it scales very well. These play in a fairly different style to most (land based) minis games in that you can do a lot more long term planning and maneuvering.


+1 Firestorm Armada
Setup is fairly straight forward and the starter fleets will get you into the game quickly and can keep you interested in it for awhile. The ships, being larger, are fairly easy to paint in a two or three color scheme unless you want to bring out more detail. The game mechanics are fairly straight forward though the card mechanics can make things interesting. Some people don't like the variability that it introduces but you can decide not to use them.
 
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Martin Larouche
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+1 for Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook.

Tons of minis already available and the game isn't even out yet!

(It will be in about 2 weeks).
 
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David Boeren
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Okko is more of a boardgame that can use miniature, I wouldn't consider it a minis game. Doesn't mean it isn't good of course.

A less well known minis game that gets some play locally and has lots of flavor is Pulp City, which is a superhero (or supervillain) themed game.

I tried a demo of MERCS, but they cut it short and I didn't get enough exposure to really form a solid opinion.

Malifaux has some cool ideas, but they seem to love complexity for its own sake and I see kind of a torn personality. The flavor and card mechanics seem to attract casual players but the complexity can make it infeasible to stay casual if you play against others who aren't.
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David Boeren
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RandomOne wrote:
+1 Firestorm Armada
Setup is fairly straight forward and the starter fleets will get you into the game quickly and can keep you interested in it for awhile. The ships, being larger, are fairly easy to paint in a two or three color scheme unless you want to bring out more detail. The game mechanics are fairly straight forward though the card mechanics can make things interesting. Some people don't like the variability that it introduces but you can decide not to use them.


Personally, I think the cards are one of the best parts of the system, and you'd be missing out if you omitted them. Most of those who don't like them seem to be the historical or "serious" type wargame guys - they're looking for more of a simulation than a game

Out of the three, I like Uncharted Seas the best as it features race-specific card decks that really add a lot of extra flavor. The more generic decks of Firestorm and Dystopian are good, but not as cool as custom decks for each race.
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Just want to fly the flag for historical miniatures. If you have an interest in history and you have local opponents, they can be great. I particularly like the Field of Glory Ancients rules set.

That said, I'm painting a Dystopian Wars fleet right now. My gaming group jumps from one thing to another.
 
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A Guy
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I have never really considered the idea of a naval battles-type miniatures game, though it seems like a completely self-evident thing to produce now that I look at it. The Dystopian game seems like a really cool setting and I like the way the ships are designed.

On a side note, the amount of miniatures games is incredible. I never realized that there were so many different options. And to think that these are all different from board games. I guess asking about that would open up a whole other can of worms!
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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I think all the answers on which game are missing the key point. What you want is opponents, and ideally a "try before you buy" approach. And what's best for those is a club. Don't know where you are in the world. If it happens to be Essex (England) drop me a line. If it's elsewhere in the UK, I may know someone who could help. If it's elsewhere in the world, sorry, can't help.
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David Boeren
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Dearlove wrote:
I think all the answers on which game are missing the key point. What you want is opponents, and ideally a "try before you buy" approach.


Nearly all minis games let you try before you buy because they typically have free downloadable rules. In some cases these are the full rules, in others they are "quickstart" rules with just what you need to play a beginner sized game. The stats of the models are typically also downloadable either as a separate file or sometimes combined with the rulebook.

Then all you need are proxies, which is what minis guys call things pretending to be something else. You can use models from other games, or just whatever you have lying around. I tend to recommend making paper circles/squares equal to the base size of the minis you want to represent with the names written or typed on them. These are pretty easy to make in Word or whatever you have. It's a good idea to have the correct size if you can because bases that are too big or too small may skew the mechanics of the game a little bit.

For local groups, call the local game stores and ask them what games are played there on different nights, or if you have a specific game in mind they usually all have their own forums where you can look for local players.
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A Guy
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That's a good bit of advice. I have seen a program called Vassal that let's you experiment with games and their units. Is it any good for figuring out whether you will enjoy playing the game in question? I would still like to buy the physical units and play, of course.
 
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Don't forget the super cool Hell Dorado set in the same universe as the popular board game Claustrophobia.
 
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