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Subject: How do Miniatures games play? rss

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Gold Sirius
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I... don't understand. Since there's no board, what are the rules for movement and such? This or Warhammer or whatever, I've never played a miniatures game and I don't understand how they work.

Anyone can give me an overview?
 
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Joel Eddy
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You play on a pre-defined space, usually 4 feet x 4 feet or 6x4. You will probably also have terrain out on the table, sometimes stuff that came in the box, or stuff you bought after the fact, or even stuff you made.

You will get a scenario or sometimes generate one. Each side will take a certain amount of troops and other heroic types and deploy them within a defined area. Each unit will have a set number of points that it is worth, and the scenario will define how many points worth of units each side can bring.

Movement is done in inches. But, RuneWars will use movement templates. It's the same effect (generally). You will get a ruler of some sort or you can use a fancy one, or just a plain tape measure. Usually, there are fair bit of dice to resolve combat, but the objectives will be to wipe out a certain amount of enemy units or hold objectives, or any variety of things.

That's the bare bones basics. There's a whole slew of other modifications that could be added and tweaked to make games more or less competitive or "narrative".

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David Boeren
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Generally both sides build an army using any minis they want up to an agreed upon total. Most minis games have fairly standard game sizes so you can make a 100 point (or whatever) list in advance and bring it to the game store ready to go.

The game also defines how large a space you have to play on. Common sizes include 3x3 foot, 4x4 foot, and 4x6 foot. Usually there is some kind of terrain like forests, hills, walls, etc... and each type has its own rules. For instance, being in a forest might give you some extra defense against ranged attacks but may also slow down your movement. Being on a hill might let you see over intervening models. And so on.

On a turn, there may be a brief maintenance phase at the beginning and/or end of the turn where you assign resources or give commands or whatever but most of the turn is made up of the activation phase where you activate your models/units. Some models activate one at a time, others are organized into units where they typically all act at once and have to stay together. Generally smaller scale games (sometimes called skirmish scale) have models that are totally independent and can do more complex stuff on their turn. On the other end of the scale are games with big blocks of troops which are typically more limited and group a whole units worth of actions together to simplify and save time.

The two most common activation structures are IGO-UGO and alternating activation. In an IGO-UGO game I take my entire turn, activating all my models in whatever order I wish, and then you do the same. This is less interactive but speeds things up a bit as you can make more definite plans and it lends itself to games that want to feature combos. In an alternating activation game I will typically activate one model or unit, then you activate one model or unit, and so on. This usually requires some sort of token to mark which models/units have already activated and adds a lot of decisions about what to activate next and anticipating what your opponent might do next. However, it also slows down the game.

RuneWars uses a less common system based on initiative where each unit has an initiative number and "faster" units activate first. Within the same initiative number, it uses alternating activation but it's unclear at this point how often there will be more than a couple of units at the same initiative level.

When a model/unit activates, it typically will move and attack (in some order). They may also use special abilities they have. This can differ wildly between different games and often reflects the theme of the game. For instance, in a naval wargame, ships probably can't change direction sharply and may have to plan their navigation a couple turns ahead of time. But then if you're playing a fantasy skirmish game with only a few minis per side they can instantly turn on a dime.

Movement is usually handled with a measuring tape but some games use templates as RuneWars does.

Combat is typically handled with dice, although sometimes other randomizers are used such as cards, and there may be some sort of resources, spells, etc... that you can use to affect the odds.

The most basic type of gameplay is to eliminate the opposing army or perhaps to kill their leader. However, there are often other scenario goals such as holding a certain spot on the board, capturing flags, lasting for a certain amount of time, etc... Achieving these goals may grant outright victory or may just earn points (killing things would likely earn points too).
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Greg Purcell
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If you have some miniatures laying around, you could do worse than to dip your toes into miniature gaming by playing Frostgrave. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/177354/frostgrave

The core book (18 bucks) plus miniatures is all you need to start playing.

If you want to start getting into another minatures game, the first step will be to either put another mortgage on your house or find a second job to pay for it all.
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Joel Eddy
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GorillaGrody wrote:
If you have some miniatures laying around, you could do worse than to dip your toes into miniature gaming by playing Frostgrave. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/177354/frostgrave

The core book (18 bucks) plus miniatures is all you need to start playing.

If you want to start getting into another minatures game, the first step will be to either put another mortgage on your house or find a second job to pay for it all.


Frostgrave is excellent. You can also download the rules for Age of Sigmar for free and try it out:

https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/AoS_Rulesheets/...

The rules for individual units are free as well. So, if you have a Necromancer looking fella you can go to the GW site and fight a character that matches up with that and then download the "Warscroll" for that and use the rules: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/The-Deathmages-Necroman...

It's actually fairly cheap to get into miniatures now. If you and a friend each spent $85 on a Start Collecting you can get into it with a fieldable force: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer?N=102351+4294...

Age of Sigmar is probably the closest competitor to RuneWars, and they have similarities with how you can "arrange" your units. Even though RuneWars has trays, they are modular so you can create different shapes for formations (which is a great part of AoS).

-edit-

Whoops. Also, I meant to mention One Page Rules which is a free PnP game that lets you use any miniature you want. Here are the rules for skirmish, which is a smaller band of units (you don't need dozens of minis): https://onepagerules.wordpress.com/portfolio/one-page-skirmi...
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Christopher Lomas
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eekamouse wrote:
GorillaGrody wrote:
If you have some miniatures laying around, you could do worse than to dip your toes into miniature gaming by playing Frostgrave. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/177354/frostgrave

The core book (18 bucks) plus miniatures is all you need to start playing.

If you want to start getting into another minatures game, the first step will be to either put another mortgage on your house or find a second job to pay for it all.


Frostgrave is excellent. You can also download the rules for Age of Sigmar for free and try it out:

https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/AoS_Rulesheets/...

The rules for individual units are free as well. So, if you have a Necromancer looking fella you can go to the GW site and fight a character that matches up with that and then download the "Warscroll" for that and use the rules: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/The-Deathmages-Necroman...

It's actually fairly cheap to get into miniatures now. If you and a friend each spent $85 on a Start Collecting you can get into it with a fieldable force: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer?N=102351+4294...

Age of Sigmar is probably the closest competitor to RuneWars, and they have similarities with how you can "arrange" your units. Even though RuneWars has trays, they are modular so you can create different shapes for formations (which is a great part of AoS).

-edit-

Whoops. Also, I meant to mention One Page Rules which is a free PnP game that lets you use any miniature you want. Here are the rules for skirmish, which is a smaller band of units (you don't need dozens of minis): https://onepagerules.wordpress.com/portfolio/one-page-skirmi...


Age of Sigmar is a garbage fire you should stay far, far away from. If you want an introduction to miniature games you're best going for one that's actually a game (and doesn't cost a ton) like Infinity, Kings of War or Malifaux.

AoS has no points (unless you pay for them) and doesn't particularly work as a game.
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David Boeren
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Guildball is another good one you can play for free - all the rules and even print-out paper minis are available on the company's website.
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Joel Eddy
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Taear wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
GorillaGrody wrote:
If you have some miniatures laying around, you could do worse than to dip your toes into miniature gaming by playing Frostgrave. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/177354/frostgrave

The core book (18 bucks) plus miniatures is all you need to start playing.

If you want to start getting into another minatures game, the first step will be to either put another mortgage on your house or find a second job to pay for it all.


Frostgrave is excellent. You can also download the rules for Age of Sigmar for free and try it out:

https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/AoS_Rulesheets/...

The rules for individual units are free as well. So, if you have a Necromancer looking fella you can go to the GW site and fight a character that matches up with that and then download the "Warscroll" for that and use the rules: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/The-Deathmages-Necroman...

It's actually fairly cheap to get into miniatures now. If you and a friend each spent $85 on a Start Collecting you can get into it with a fieldable force: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer?N=102351+4294...

Age of Sigmar is probably the closest competitor to RuneWars, and they have similarities with how you can "arrange" your units. Even though RuneWars has trays, they are modular so you can create different shapes for formations (which is a great part of AoS).

-edit-

Whoops. Also, I meant to mention One Page Rules which is a free PnP game that lets you use any miniature you want. Here are the rules for skirmish, which is a smaller band of units (you don't need dozens of minis): https://onepagerules.wordpress.com/portfolio/one-page-skirmi...


Age of Sigmar is a garbage fire you should stay far, far away from. If you want an introduction to miniature games you're best going for one that's actually a game (and doesn't cost a ton) like Infinity, Kings of War or Malifaux.

AoS has no points (unless you pay for them) and doesn't particularly work as a game.


A year ago maybe. Not anymore. It's quite active here, and elsewhere.

Guild Ball is another great one. Played that just a few times over the last couple of weeks.
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Christopher Lomas
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eekamouse wrote:
Taear wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
GorillaGrody wrote:
If you have some miniatures laying around, you could do worse than to dip your toes into miniature gaming by playing Frostgrave. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/177354/frostgrave

The core book (18 bucks) plus miniatures is all you need to start playing.

If you want to start getting into another minatures game, the first step will be to either put another mortgage on your house or find a second job to pay for it all.


Frostgrave is excellent. You can also download the rules for Age of Sigmar for free and try it out:

https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/AoS_Rulesheets/...

The rules for individual units are free as well. So, if you have a Necromancer looking fella you can go to the GW site and fight a character that matches up with that and then download the "Warscroll" for that and use the rules: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/The-Deathmages-Necroman...

It's actually fairly cheap to get into miniatures now. If you and a friend each spent $85 on a Start Collecting you can get into it with a fieldable force: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer?N=102351+4294...

Age of Sigmar is probably the closest competitor to RuneWars, and they have similarities with how you can "arrange" your units. Even though RuneWars has trays, they are modular so you can create different shapes for formations (which is a great part of AoS).

-edit-

Whoops. Also, I meant to mention One Page Rules which is a free PnP game that lets you use any miniature you want. Here are the rules for skirmish, which is a smaller band of units (you don't need dozens of minis): https://onepagerules.wordpress.com/portfolio/one-page-skirmi...


Age of Sigmar is a garbage fire you should stay far, far away from. If you want an introduction to miniature games you're best going for one that's actually a game (and doesn't cost a ton) like Infinity, Kings of War or Malifaux.

AoS has no points (unless you pay for them) and doesn't particularly work as a game.


A year ago maybe. Not anymore. It's quite active here, and elsewhere.

Guild Ball is another great one. Played that just a few times over the last couple of weeks.


Being active doesn't stop it being a bad game. There's no reason in any system you should roll 50 dice, have 40 hit, have 20 wound then get 10 saved. Boil that down to a single roll. Stop wasting everyone's time.
There's a reason 40k and AoS games drag on and other games don't. And I'm sure FFG is going to be copying the working modern systems and not the old ones (thankfully)
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Gold Sirius
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Thanks for the info, guys.
Pure dice rolling for battles doesn't really interest me, so I guess I'll have to pass.
 
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Marc Bennett
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GoldSirius wrote:
Thanks for the info, guys.
Pure dice rolling for battles doesn't really interest me, so I guess I'll have to pass.


again there are many different systems. if you are familiar with FFGs X wing, they are using a similar but more robust system for runewars the miniatures game, is there dice rolling, yes, is it "pure dice rolling" i dont feel like it is, IMO
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Tom Tjarks
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GoldSirius wrote:
Thanks for the info, guys.
Pure dice rolling for battles doesn't really interest me, so I guess I'll have to pass.


All the games have some mechanic to resolve attacks. Cards and dice being the most common. There's going to be some rolling. Don't be discouraged by the Age of Sigmar discussion.

To me, the main draw of miniatures games is battlefields and physical miniatures being moved around. There is also the challenge of playing against my opponent's choice in army and their tactics. I rarely seem to win, but I do enjoy the battle.
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Nicholas Vitek
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Taear wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
Taear wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
GorillaGrody wrote:
If you have some miniatures laying around, you could do worse than to dip your toes into miniature gaming by playing Frostgrave. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/177354/frostgrave

The core book (18 bucks) plus miniatures is all you need to start playing.

If you want to start getting into another minatures game, the first step will be to either put another mortgage on your house or find a second job to pay for it all.


Frostgrave is excellent. You can also download the rules for Age of Sigmar for free and try it out:

https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/PDF/AoS_Rulesheets/...

The rules for individual units are free as well. So, if you have a Necromancer looking fella you can go to the GW site and fight a character that matches up with that and then download the "Warscroll" for that and use the rules: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/The-Deathmages-Necroman...

It's actually fairly cheap to get into miniatures now. If you and a friend each spent $85 on a Start Collecting you can get into it with a fieldable force: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Warhammer?N=102351+4294...

Age of Sigmar is probably the closest competitor to RuneWars, and they have similarities with how you can "arrange" your units. Even though RuneWars has trays, they are modular so you can create different shapes for formations (which is a great part of AoS).

-edit-

Whoops. Also, I meant to mention One Page Rules which is a free PnP game that lets you use any miniature you want. Here are the rules for skirmish, which is a smaller band of units (you don't need dozens of minis): https://onepagerules.wordpress.com/portfolio/one-page-skirmi...


Age of Sigmar is a garbage fire you should stay far, far away from. If you want an introduction to miniature games you're best going for one that's actually a game (and doesn't cost a ton) like Infinity, Kings of War or Malifaux.

AoS has no points (unless you pay for them) and doesn't particularly work as a game.


A year ago maybe. Not anymore. It's quite active here, and elsewhere.

Guild Ball is another great one. Played that just a few times over the last couple of weeks.


Being active doesn't stop it being a bad game. There's no reason in any system you should roll 50 dice, have 40 hit, have 20 wound then get 10 saved. Boil that down to a single roll. Stop wasting everyone's time.
There's a reason 40k and AoS games drag on and other games don't. And I'm sure FFG is going to be copying the working modern systems and not the old ones (thankfully)


Alright, so you personally hate slinging a load of dice, that doesn't mean that the system is broken, that it doesn't work, that it isn't a game and that it isn't fun.

Some people very much enjoy bucket-o-dice games. Not everyone wants to play a very boring toss 1 die game.

That said, Infinity (where you toss more than 1 die and your opponent tosses dice) is a very fun game. The hacking rules take some getting use to as does the "action" system.
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David Boeren
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GoldSirius wrote:
Pure dice rolling for battles doesn't really interest me, so I guess I'll have to pass.


Only bad minis games use "pure dice rolling". Good ones have ways to affect the odds, which vary greatly from one game to another. FFG tends to like dice with symbols and effects that change certain die faces to other faces, and also granting rerolls of dice.
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Chris Montgomery
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It just comes down to preference. Obviously many tens of thousands of gamers enjoy GW's dice chucking and many tens of thousands don't. I sort of depends on the designer intent. I think GW gets a lot of flak because they are perceived (rightly or wrongly) as doing it the way they do simply because they've always done it that way rather than for a specific design purpose.
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Jacek Deimer
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I think it is difficult to compare Runewars (And its predecessor X-Wing) to traditional GW miniatures game.

The biggest difference for are movement templates and clearly defined firing arcs. They make game much more faster a let player avoid confusions about movement, range and line of sight. Those elements are a nightmare in traditional miniature games.

15 years ago my WH40k was very popular among my friends. I got into it, bought reasonable Space Marines army. After playing dozens of games and watching many more I unfortunatelly decided that the is a trash. I know strong word, but that's how it felt to me. Long, boring, random and plagued with arguments about determining range, LoS and movement. To be honest how can you play a game where you have to measure distans with a rules? It is simple, you cannot. It is just a poor excuse to buy and expensive miniatures. An excuse to show of your painted minis.

10 years ago my friends tried Warhammer Fantasy Battle. This time I decided to give it a pass. I just observed several games, when my friends were trying really hard to get some fun out of it. It didn't last long. The conclusion was that building armies, collecting minis and paiting were the fun part, but actual gameplay wass really flat.

A year a go I tried X-Wing Miniatures Game. It was and instant WOW, they fixed major problems of miniatures games with such an simple solution like movement teplates. Simply brilliant! On top of that really simple ruleset, several interesting and clever mechanics (movement dials, simultaneous action programming) and we have a game, quick, intense and enjoyable! I only wished it was set in a Fantasy setting, as I am not a big fan of Star Wars.

To be honest, I don't know exactly WH40k and WHFB evolved during last 10-15 years. But from my experience and perspective as long time gamer the distinction very simple:

Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy and similar "games" -> Just a miniature collecting and painting hobby with a poor game attached.

Runewars, X-Wing -> Modern Miniatures GAMES with good, interesting rules, quick and dynamic gameplay. Very suitable for organized tournament play.
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Samanar
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I'd like to recommend Lion Rampant and its fantasy version Dragon Rampant. Great set of easy to get into rules where you can use just about any miniatures that you want.
Saga is another popular skirmish system set in medieval times, Vikings, Danes, Anglo-Saxons etc battle it out. Interesting dice combat mechanic.

One last note regarding minis - 28mm (Warhammer size) is the usual scale people think about when talking about miniatures. I'd highly recommend new players to look at plasticsoldierreview.com where you can find great looking minis from any historical period of time in 20mm (1/72) scale which are like 10 times cheaper (few dollars per box of 30-40 minis). Great place to start, especially if you're new to the hobby and hesitant to drop several hundred bucks on minis up front.
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Zack Parsons
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There are so many different miniature wargames with different rules and different levels of complexity and ways of playing. Many historical games for example, are more about recreating battles or trying out alternate histories than having balanced battles. Some games are close to being Tabletop RPGs like Frostgrave or Mordheim. Others like Warmachine and Hordes have a lot of complex interlocking parts and are built as tournament games and are constantly balanced and rebalanced to be effective at this. Then there are games like Warhammer that are more like a beer and pretzels game to enjoy with your friends. Yes to some extent most of them are an 'excuse' to push around your beautifully crafted army, but that doesn't mean the rules have to be bad. It seems so odd to me to write off such a huge sub-genre of games as being based 'purely on dice' or all having bad rules. I reckon I could probably find a mini wargame to match the tastes of almost any gamer.

Personally I have hopes that Runewars will be a fun game, but I am almost worried that some of the things that turned me off X-Wing will be present in it as well. My current game of choice is Infinity just because it's what the locals play, but I would really love to be playing Frostgrave or Malifaux or Saga.
 
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