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Subject: Does having plastic minis make a game more fun? rss

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Steffan DelPiano
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I was just reading the strand of chat about whether or not the zombie game should have minis and I was wondering as I looked at many responses that said...Yes, minis are a must, especially for that genre.

Plastic miniatures are just a thing that you push around. Why shoud having a hundred identical plastic minis make or break a game?

I know I'm being overly dramatic and reductive...and I am writing this post in frustration because: hell, we're the geeks here. We know good board games and plastic components don't make a good game. Fun/innovative mechanics make good games. Right?

Sure plastic zombies are fun to look at and push around...for 2 minutes--and an occational joke. Then, they become a visual representation of information like everything else on the board. Am I wrong?
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Well, for me, yes, they do make the game more fun. It depends strongly on the game, though- Squad Leader would suck if I had to look on a stats card.

I think the question was, though, "will this game sell better with minis?". Let's face it, even if every geek on the site agreed that they buy solely on gameplay (which ain't even close to reality), their purchases wouldn't probably pay a years' office rent.

Boxes and bits sell games. Reviews may come a close second; but even there, game snobs don't make a bit of difference to sales figures.
 
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Ryan Newell
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Imagine playing Doom: The Boardgame with coloured wooden cubes.
 
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Philip Thomas
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It depends on the game. For a game involving zombieszombiezombiezombiezombiezombie yes, plastic miniatures makes it more fun (honouroable exception of Arkham Horror aside). For most games I don't think so. However, I draw my fun in board games from the overall experience- if the board game plays well then it will be fun. If you are a person who looks for fun first and the game afterwards, plastic miniatures may well be 'more fun'. After all, they are more toylike, and toys are fun...meeple
 
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Shellie Rose
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Minis can't make a bad game good, but they can make a good game more fun. If I really love a game, and it only has generic pawns or blocks, I will find, make or borrow (from other games) more interesting and evocative bits.
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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I hate it when you're so reticent, Frank. Sometimes I wish you'd just come out and offer an honest opinion. Sheesh!

MrSkeletor wrote:
Some guys also claim to like wood over plastic...


laughlaughlaughlaughlaughlaughlaughlaughlaugh
 
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Henry Vogel
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Imagine watching the original Star Wars (to pick a movie near and dear to my heart, at least) on TV with a 25 inch screen and built in speakers. Now imagine watching it on a full sized movie screen with THX sound. You're watching the same movie both times, but you'll enjoy it more in the movie theater.

So, plastic minis won't make a bad game good any more than a nice movie theater makes a bad movie good. But, given a miniatures type of game that you enjoy playing, having nice plastic minis will make the game more enjoyable.
 
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Colin Hunter
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minis are wxcellent because they give you an excuse to make sound effects...
 
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Stephen Sekela
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ubarose wrote:
Minis can't make a bad game good, but they can make a good game more fun.


Couldn't have said it better myself...

One of my all time favorite games is Assault on Hoth. Well, it's an older game that uses stand-up cardboard counters or counters that lay flat to represent the forces. If someone would re-release the game and it included plastic AT-ATs and Snow Speeders (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE someone do this!), along with a nice cardboard gameboard, it would not make the "game" any better, but it sure would be more fun!

(I can picture myself now, taking the miniatures off the gameboard and playing with them on the sofa, too...)
 
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Steve Lockett
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ibn_ul_khattab wrote:
minis are (e)xcellent because they give you an excuse to make sound effects...

...and somewhat less sadder than when you do it with counters....
(Yes, when not if) shake
 
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John Owen
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I've always thought that only a tiny fraction of Memoir '44 players would still care about the game if it had been released with cardboard chits instead of plastic toys.
 
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J C Lawrence
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The Barefoot Killer wrote:
Imagine playing Doom: The Boardgame with coloured wooden cubes.


Yeah, it would be better.
 
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J C Lawrence
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hvogel wrote:
Imagine watching the original Star Wars (to pick a movie near and dear to my heart, at least) on TV with a 25 inch screen and built in speakers. Now imagine watching it on a full sized movie screen with THX sound. You're watching the same movie both times, but you'll enjoy it more in the movie theater.


Hurm. Sticky smelly place with uncomfortable chairs and no control over the pause/rewind/etc controls versus being at home in a comfortable and clean setting with full control over the show and nobody talking on cellphones or standing up in front of me mid-show? I'll pick the latter thanks.

I get to the cinema three or four times a year. DVD viewings are every couple weeks.
 
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Tom Hancock
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ubarose wrote:
Minis can't make a bad game good, but they can make a good game more fun.



Bingo.
 
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Mark Wong
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well for me while it does not really 'make' or 'break' the game but the asthetics of it all adds on another level of enjoyment for me. To be able to 'see' my units or characters and removing them as casualties is just a different feeling from when I see my playing chits being flipped over when it takes casualties. Guess that is why I drifted from wargames to Warhammer and its like for a few years and I never really did settle back into seeing a 2D boardgame after that.
 
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Jim Patterson
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hancock.tom wrote:
ubarose wrote:
Minis can't make a bad game good, but they can make a good game more fun.


Bingo.


You even play Bingo with minis? Man, you're hardcore.
 
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Mark Crane
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The Barefoot Killer wrote:
Imagine playing Doom: The Boardgame with coloured wooden cubes.


I play command and colors: ancients with wooden blocks that have stickers...
 
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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craniac wrote:
The Barefoot Killer wrote:
Imagine playing Doom: The Boardgame with coloured wooden cubes.


I play command and colors: ancients with wooden blocks that have stickers...


A wooden block with a sticker is... well... a wooden block with a sticker.

A plastic elephant IS an elephant
 
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Philip Thomas
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no. There are differences between a plastic elephant and an elephant.
Of course, that brings us to the world of living pieces (undead in the case of zombies I guesszombie) Anyone for Wizards' Chess?meeple
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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You don't have to clean up after a small plastic elephant...
 
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I agree with the earlier post which stated that minis can't make a bad game good. Heck, Eagle Games could be a case study of this theory.

But I'll express an opinion not yet stated here: For me, the difference between plastic minis and counters (or wood blocks) is the difference between "toy" and "game". As an adult male, I have to overcome an emotional resistance to buying a "toy" that I don't have to overcome to buy a "game". Of course, this resistance doesn't apply to any toy which is gas-powered...

Real world example: Nexus Ops. I've never played it nor seen it in person. It could offer the most satisfying gameplay ever, but I can't overcome my own negative reaction to the toy-like quality of the plastic bits.

Where can I get an "I Hate Plastic" microbadge?
 
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Steffan DelPiano
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oneilljgf wrote:
craniac wrote:
The Barefoot Killer wrote:
Imagine playing Doom: The Boardgame with coloured wooden cubes.


I play command and colors: ancients with wooden blocks that have stickers...


A wooden block with a sticker is... well... a wooden block with a sticker.

A plastic elephant IS an elephant




http://www.tcf.ua.edu/Classes/Jbutler/T340/TreasonOfImagesSh...
 
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Dale Holmstrom
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I still find minis appropriate for rpg-designed systems such as Doom, Runebound, Bloodbowl, and Descent.
My initial predjudice of minis started as a teen, when games for children had bits, while the majority of more advanced games(wargames and the like) contained counters.
As an adult, I don't see real need to buy games such as Memoir 44, Battelore, Battlecry, etc... because those genres already have excellent, and more advanced gaming systems to chose from.
Now, I may change my mind once we have our own children, as I see they provide a great transition from Chutes and Ladders to the wargaming world.
 
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Björn Hansson
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MrSkeletor wrote:
Minis are like fake boobs. Guys will tell you that the mind (gameplay) is the only thing that's important but the truth of the matter is it's a womans rack (minis/bits) that is the first thing you notice that attracts you.
And even if you marry a plain chick with the greatest gameplay mind on earth, next time you're drunk and playing with her you'll no doubt be imagining what she's be like with plastic bits.
Then when you become an old man plastic loses it's luster you begin to wax nostalgic over those complex flat and ugly counters of your youth, like those in magic realm. It's at this stage where you have mother issues.
Some guys also claim to like wood over plastic - you can draw your own conclusions over that one.
What was the original question again?


Best ever forum reply - without a doubt!
 
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Who Am I Now?
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MrSkeletor wrote:
mmolus wrote:
But I'll express an opinion not yet stated here: For me, the difference between plastic minis and counters (or wood blocks) is the difference between "toy" and "game". As an adult male, I have to overcome an emotional resistance to buying a "toy" that I don't have to overcome to buy a "game".


I read this, look at your avatar and can't help but be burned by the irony.

Also I'm not sure what goes on in the rest of the world but certainly down here while kids may play with plastic, toddlers play with wooden blocks. Think about it.


I didn't say I never buy (or play) games with minis. I said there is some resistance I must overcome before I'll buy. For the record, the mini pictured in my current avatar is metal, not plastic.
 
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