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Subject: Need Suggestions for Miniatures rss

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Mr. B @ Rockin' B
United States
Batavia
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14 year old nephew wants to get into miniatures / gaming. Please help with suggestions. The focus is on miniatures but welcome boardgames that closely fit the bill.

Requirements:
Theme - WWII to modern or Medieval(Teutonics)
Limited play area required (he lives in a small apart. in NYC)
Not long complicated rules.
Play time easily within an evening. No large set-up requirements.
Easily accessable.
Can be played solitaire and still be fun.


My first thought is A&A Mini's, but I have never messed with them.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Dimitri Gia
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Genk
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Well, does he want to get into miniatures or boardgames? If you want both and let's face it, this is the cheapest option, the most obvious option would be Memoir '44.
I think it closely follows your requirements except for that solitaire part.

But if he's more interested in mini's, Flame of War perhaps? Nicer system than A&A mini's?
just my 2c, hope it helps,
/dimi
 
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Andrew Parkin
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From your list of requirements it sounds like De Bellis Antiquitatis would be a perfect fit

Theme - Medieval(also Ancient)

Limited play area required (2 foot square if using 15mm scale miniatures, 4 foot if 25/28mm)

Not long complicated rules. 6 pages

Play time easily within an evening. No large set-up requirements. Usually sets up and plays to a finish within an hour.

Easily accessable. The only problem area, rules writing style san be difficult for those not used to it. There are however a number of downloadable "How to play" guides around, try looking at the Fanaticus site which is linked from the BBG entry for the game.

Can be played solitaire and still be fun. The fact that you get a random number of moves for your army each move makes it particularly good for solitaire play. You can see all the opponents potential moves but not know how many he'll be making and when.

Hope this helps.
 
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Karl Deckard
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Seattle
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Flames of War: The World War II Miniatures Game
 
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Ubergeek
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Washougal
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What are your (or your nephews) budget constraints both here and down the road? Also, does he want pre-painted miniatures or will you or he be doing the painting?

From the parameters you give, AA:Minis would be the way to go.
Quote:
Theme - WWII to modern or Medieval(Teutonics)

Fits the bill. Plus there's a wealth of different WWII units from all nations represented. Flames of War does also meet this criteria.
Quote:
Limited play area required (he lives in a small apart. in NYC)

AA:Minis again here as the game is contained to a 17x23 play area built with 4 geomorphic maps. Some scenarios can be played on 8x23 areas.
Quote:
Not long complicated rules.

Again, AA:Minis and certainly over Flames of War. The basic rules are a few pages but go ahead and download them online and review them for yourself.
Quote:
Play time easily within an evening. No large set-up requirements.

AA:M plays in under an hour for most 1 on 1 games. Some scenarios or larger army builds might take a bit longer. Also the set-up is very fast and fluid (again, see the rules).
Quote:
Easily accessible.

Can be found in most FLGS's as well as online for even less. Cost for the starter set is $20-$25 and boosters are $15. Get them online for about $15 and $10 respectively. Be advised however that this is a collectible game so you can't just buy the figures you want as you could with Flames of War. Also, there's a great online forum and website for the game which has lots of free, downloadable scenarios.
Quote:
Can be played solitaire and still be fun.

This one's pretty much a personal decision. I've play numerous AA:M games solo and it works just fine. As far as solo fun, your mileage may vary.

Regarding some of the other games mentioned:
-Flames of War: Can be just as expensive and even more to get into than AA:M. By the time you add paint (if you paint the figures which come unpainted) and some decent terrain (again, there is none that comes with the figures) you'll pay more. There is more of a FLGS following however for this game so you might find more gamers for it. The rules are a bit more daunting than AA:M but if you dive entirely into any game you'll eventually get the rules down.
- Memoir 44 (or any of the Richard Borg hex game series): This is a board game with miniatures. It's by no means a bad game, in fact it's very good. However, the types of figures represented for any given army unit are generic (i.e. one tank fits all). But with that said, it's not a miniatures game. Also, it doesn't play well solo though it can be done (I've tried). Each side chooses from a set of cards to move units in a certain front. Playing against yourself knowing the cards on both sides of the fence lessens the excitement of this game.

My personal recommendation for you would be go with AA:Minis. Get into it with a starter and about 2-4 boosters. If it's not for you than you're not out a whole lot of money (yes I know that's subjective), and the rares are fairly easy to unload on Ebay to recoup any costs if you don't like the game. Good luck with your choice.

Cheers.meeple
 
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Kent Reuber
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San Mateo
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Are you looking for skirmish or army games?

For medieval miniatures at the army scale, I'd recommend "Days of Knights". It's designed to be played on a dining room table with 15mm figures. A good game will use about 20 stands per side (typically 6 infantry or 2 cavalry) which is not a lot of figures. Play time is about 1-2 hours. Much better than DBA, IMO, especially for the medieval era, and much easier to explain without all the DBA quick-kill effects.

For skirmish games, I might be tempted to buy him a set of em4 Ludus Gladitorius (pre-painted!) figures, but pick up a better set of gladiator rules such as Two Hour Wargames "Red Sand, Blue Sky" or Flagship Games "Habet, Hoc Habet". Gladiators are good because they only require a few figures at a time and little if any terrain is needed.

I'd be tempted by the Axis and Allies or Star Wars miniatures as well, just because they're pre-painted. Crossfire is a very interesting rules set for WWII, but it requires that you have a lot of terrain. For skirmish, I might try Two Hour Wargames "Nuts!", "FNG" (Vietname) or "Chain Reaction".

Another possibility is Pirates of the Spanish Main. Again, the figures are easy to put together. The game is decent, although there are probably better pirate era miniatures rules out there.
 
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Kent Reuber
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Another idea I'll throw out is "BattleGround Fantasy Warfare". A very interesting miniatures system without actually having to paint miniatures, IMO. Especially good if you aren't sure whether you want to get into miniatures or not and/or don't have a lot of room. Because it's a deck of cards, storage is a snap.

If you want to play straight medieval, you can buy a the basic and reinforcement decks of the human army and play one against each other.
 
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Jeff Smith
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Walt Mulder wrote:

- Memoir 44 (or any of the Richard Borg hex game series): This is a board game with miniatures. It's by no means a bad game, in fact it's very good. However, the types of figures represented for any given army unit are generic (i.e. one tank fits all). But with that said, it's not a miniatures game. Also, it doesn't play well solo though it can be done (I've tried). Each side chooses from a set of cards to move units in a certain front. Playing against yourself knowing the cards on both sides of the fence lessens the excitement of this game.


There is a better way to play Memoir 44 solo. The sides simply do not keep cards in hand. Just draw a card on the deck and play it. You have to sacrifice long-term planning, alright, but then you're playing solo a game which wasn't really designed for thast -- it's a decent trade-off to my mind. The game feels different this way but is still fun, and you don't have to know the cards on both sides. Indeed, you actually know nothing for both sides, and you have to adjust every turn and make the best of the situation. I think it's fun.

Back on topic, I too think A&A:Minis fits the bill very well here!
 
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Jason Henke
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kentreuber wrote:
Another idea I'll throw out is "BattleGround Fantasy Warfare". A very interesting miniatures system without actually having to paint miniatures, IMO. Especially good if you aren't sure whether you want to get into miniatures or not and/or don't have a lot of room. Because it's a deck of cards, storage is a snap.

If you want to play straight medieval, you can buy a the basic and reinforcement decks of the human army and play one against each other.


If miniatures aren't required, I'll heartily back this up. A lot of game, low cost, not collectible, and takes very little storage space; it also plays fairly quick too.

If miniatures are required, you could still do this system (buy the decks for the stats and rules) and then use miniatures on homemade bases and have the best of both worlds! You'd use the unit cards to track unit strength. This way your nephew could play with miniatures at home or the decks on the road.
 
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Noel
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Check out http://theminiaturespage.com for a bucket load of info.

For a 14 year old, it's a tough pick. You'll want something that isn't overwhelming or he'll drop it, but you'll also want something that will maybe encourage him to develop his interest.

I'd say no to Axis and Allies miniatures for a couple of reasons: complaints about historical accuracy (painting up a German fighter in British colors and calling it a Spitfire), the collectibility thing.

Flames of War is popular and I bet he'll be able to find a bunch of school buds who will play with him.

Mongoose Publishing will be coming out (in January) with a near-future game -- I think it's called Battlefield Evolution. The miniatures are non-collectible pre-painted. The game system is based on the fairly easy to learn and fun Starship Troopers rules.

There are a lot of things to consider when getting into a miniatures game (having played these since I was about 14). Is he interested in building the models and painting them? Does he have friends that play these games (if so, which games do they play)? You'll want to find this stuff out.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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Springfield
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Who is your nephew going to play with? If he knows of a group that games with miniatures, your job just became simpler; just get him what they are using. If he doesn't know of such a group, suggest that he find one first. Different groups use different rules, and enjoy different periods.

How is he going to find one? I'd suggest he tries these ideas:

1. He should start a forum on BGG with the title: “Looking for gamers, game groups and/or game stores in City, State”.

2. He should check BGG’s database for other gamers in his part of the country. Don’t forget to check out other sites like grognard.com as well. Some publisher’s sites can lead him to local retailers that sell their games.

3. He should check the yellow pages under “Toys” and “Games”, then call any store that sells games. Even though he may not play the type of games they sell at the store, their patrons will usually play other types of games. The questions to ask include: Do you have Game Days or Game Nights where people come to play in the store, or do you have open gaming? Do you have a list of “Opponents Wanted” or a bulletin board with such information?

4. He should pick up some gaming magazines, any genre will do. Even if he doesn't play D&D, many readers of Dragon magazine play other types of games. These magazines should have “Opponents Wanted” lists, lists of gaming conventions and/or advertisements for stores. He should be able to look at such magazines for free at the large books stores like Borders or Barnes and Nobles.

5. He should check out nearby gaming conventions. These sites carry con information: www.dragoncon.com, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaming_convention, and http://www.gameconventions.net/. Cons usually have a dealer’s room where local vendors come to sell their wares. There will probably be a flea market where he might be able to make contacts with local gamers. There will probably be gamers from his area at the convention – he should wear a T-Shirt says that he is looking for gamers from City, State. The convention organizers will have names and addresses of the attendees, from which they might give him local contacts.

6. If there is a local college or colleges, they probably have one or more game clubs. Try the college website; they might list student organizations and points of contact.

As for some of the other suggestions:

1) I don't like A&A miniatures as a game, but it is an excellent source of cheap miniatures for games like Crossfire. You can usually find the miniatures for $1 apiece or less on ebay, if you are willing to buy a case or buy sets of commons (which contain mostly infantry - perfect for Crossfire which concentrates on infantry).

2) Flames of War is definitely a try before you buy, but then so are most miniature games. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on the miniatures. It would be best if you know that you enjoy the game before you sink that kind of money into it. Just about every miniatures player will let others watch them play, and most of them will make room for a new player to try the game.

3) De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) is a great little game, but I don't think that is what your nephew is asking for when he say medieval. Something like Heroscape may be more what he is thinking about.
 
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Andrew Parkin
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Philgamer wrote:


3) De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) is a great little game, but I don't think that is what your nephew is asking for when he say medieval. Something like Heroscape may be more what he is thinking about.


You could be right but I thought the mention of Teutonics suggested some real historical interest/knowledge. Just a guess of course.
 
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