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Subject: Why so many people seem to hate games with minis? rss

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Tomasz Podsiadło
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"Hate" may be very serious word, given the context, but that's exactly what I see.
There's large number of people who can't let the occasion to complain over miniatures in games pass. No matter if we speak about Cthulhu Wars, Blood Rage (and most of CMON games), Dark Souls, KDM... I mean most of the games are the case. People just can't restrain from judging games as "shallow", "overproduced" etc. And that's fine, it's, well, their opinnion.
But I'm curious of, why exactly? What makes so painful for such people? I have to say I can feel kind of elitism coming from that: "We're cardboard games master race, and you are filthy peasant, backing mountains of plastic mess on kickstarter".
I have never ever seen anyone raging over, let's say, Twilight Struggle not having minis quality of Blood Rage.
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Paul DeStefano
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Love games with miniatures.

On the other hand they are expensive look childish easily breakable ugly for people who don't like to paint difficult to store often have component problems are usually combat base in that turns people off maybe stylistically offensive due to sexual or horrific subject matter.

Besides that little thing, I really don't know why everyone doesn't love them.
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Brian M
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Annoyance that so many games these days are using them, and thus often boosting the price a lot higher? If you don't like minis, that's a lot of expense for something you don't even want. And if you aren't into painting (or don't have time for it), a lot of minis games look lousy unpainted.

And there is a pretty strong trend of games with miniatures (and thematic games in general) just not being as well thought-out and designed as other games. I think we're seeing more exceptions these days, but it has sort of been a rule for a long time.
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Pokey 64
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I don't like the 3D miniatures on a 2D game board.

With military miniatures you have 3D miniatures with 3D terrain. It matches.

Board games with cards and charts look better when the playing pieces are also 2D.
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Sam Lam I Am
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I think a good game becomes better with nice production quality, (including, but not limited to minis) - think Takenoko, Eclipse, Deluxe Orleans, Dungeon Lords: Happy Anniversary.

But when I see a game that emphasizes minis it just looks like another Ameritrash dice-fest. No thanks. Plus, I don't have a thing for either zombies or Cthulu.
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bort
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omnibus4404 wrote:
I have to say I can feel kind of elitism coming from that: "We're cardboard games master race, and you are filthy peasant, backing mountains of plastic mess on kickstarter".


Seems like a reasonable statement - this should go well
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Walt
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I don't want to pay for them, and they tend to say "Toy" to me.

For example, I saw Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition) just recently. I'm not sure they really deserve the term "mini", though--they're really tiny.
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Lluluien
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Echoing the same sentiment as others here: I don't find value in them because 1) for purposes of the game mechanics, they can usually be replaced by a cardboard chit and 2) they're expensive, and I don't want to pay for them because of #1.

For instance, for me, miniatures are causing me to not get to play a game I might otherwise love (Kingdom Death: Monsters) because I can't justify paying for the miniatures. I hate the KDM minis for that. They're beautiful, but my interest is in the game part of the game and there's no option to purchase without the beautiful and expensive minis.
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Chris
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From some, but not masses, of experience I'm given to presume that the game isn't as good, and the minis are there in lieu of game play. I've seen too many people apparently decide they love their games because of the plastic and aren't thinking much at all about the quality of the design. Plenty of exceptions I know, but everyone is given to generalisations in various areas.

Also I grew up shy and anxious. I never really played many video games or anything, as they lost my attention quickly, but also as I never wanted to look like I was ... showing off? To say I think I'm implicitly as cool as the shiny sci fi whatever that I didn't know anything about. So I avoided them and I think that became part of my adult personality. Eschewing loud, shiny, boasty things.

Flip side is then that I like the look of things that look intelligent and austere. That's a very large reason I ended up collecting all of Martin Wallace's games. I got Brass and A Few Acres Of Snow and their "serious" look, their cubes and muted pallets... made me feel clever, in a way I presumed a lump of plastic with pointy teeth never could.
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Robert Bracey
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I have played miniature wargames for going on thirty years. I love miniature wargames. In my opinion the commonly played examples are not (statistically speaking) as deep or tactically interesting as their boardgame equivalents.
Which if you think about it even for a second makes sense. If I wanted to play a game solely about pitting my intellectual ability against another human being I would play Chess, or Go, not a game where I have to spend more than 50% of my time glueing and assembling pieces together. So those games tend to have a bit more luck, and ask a little less of you in terms of tactical analysis (though they usually still have far more depth than the average gamer will explore).
Now that reasoning does not quite translate to boardgames with miniatures. In principle a games design company could have spent just as long perfecting the rules for a game that uses elaborate minis as they did for a game does not. The player is ultimately spending just as large a proportion of their time *playing* for both mini and non-mini boardgames so there is no reason to expect one to be tactically/strategically richer than the other. Which is largely borne out by my experience, there are examples of deep and shallow in both camps. But it is not hard to see how the prejudice (based on statistical truth in wargames) could translate to boardgames (where it does not seem to be true).
I will however add one proviso. Kickstarter games. They are statistically worse, and statistically more likely to have fancy minis and other aesthetic components. And that is clearly to do with the business model. The aesthetic elements can sell the kickstarter in a way that depth of gameplay cannot.
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Mike Jones
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I used to do a ton of miniature gaming, but about 15 years ago I put up my paints, flock and terrain and started board gaming.

Now I much prefer the diversity and ease of board gaming. I am not a big fan of plastic 3D board game markers. Most of the time, they don't add to the game except for cost.. Some times even obscuring the board actually making it 'less' user friendly. Give me chits, tokens or cubes for my board games anyway.

Also, some games spend so much time and money on the Plastic 3D board game markers, the focus are on them and not the game.

Don't get me wrong, I'll buy some gams with 3D markers, but in general I prefer the focus on the board game and not the components (unless it's a novelty game)

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Derry Salewski
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vocal minority.
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Although it may seem like "hating" on minis is getting a disproportionate amount of discussions, having been on BGG for close enough to a decade, we most definitely argue and discuss other "types of hate" too, including but not limited to:
Sleeving
DBG (deck building games)
worker placement
co-op games with traitors
Fully co-op games (without traitors)
LCG
CCG
war games
kickstarters
digital board games
why your friends aren't also gamers
why you haven't made the people you game with your friends



As for minis, it's yet another topic which has the merits that while it has definitely added value to numerous games which some players wouldn't want to go without, it also adds cost that some people wish they could go without and just get passed along the savings from that.

Unfortunately, many designers and publishers can't accommodate both camps and are forced to make an 'executive decision' on which way to go about it. It can also be somewhere in between, but even that'll attract some buyers at the cost of turning away others. If you do a more "custom order" type deal where buyers can choose, even that incurs additional costs and efforts that have to be weighed by he publisher.
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Alexander Ord
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I'm not one to hate on games online but I figure I'll throw down my opinion on miniatures here.

They're great but I can't easily afford them.

It's as simple as that. A game with miniatures is more expensive than a game without miniatures and therefore I'm generally going to spend my gaming budget on stuff that the budget actually allows for.

I currently have two games that contain miniatures (off the top of my head). Heroscape: Rise of the Valkyrie and Magic the Gathering: Arena of the Planeswalkers. The former was £5 from a charity shop and the latter was £18 with a damaged box from Amazon Warehouse, paid for with gift cards. Plenty of miniature games appeal to me but when I see a £50+ pricetag I start to steer myself in another direction for the sake of my bank balance. It's an expensive enough hobby without large quantities of plastic vying for my cash.

So yeah, absolutely nothing against miniatures on my end, they just aren't going to land on my shelf anytime soon. Shame, they're really pretty.

Just finished writing this and I remembered I have XCOM: The Board Game as well. £17.35 by using Flubit on an already low Amazon price. I only grab these things when they're heavily discounted.
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Paul S
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I don't see a lot of hate for minis.

Personally, I like them - unless I have to assemble them, in which case, I'm not interested. I have neither the time nor skill nor inclination to do assembly/painting, but I respect those who can do it.

I'd pay a premium, too, for pre-painted minis e.g. Xwing. They add to the experience.
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Matt Brown
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Block wargames are also far easier to manage a number of blocks versus miniatures as well.
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Chris Mcpherson
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I don't really care for the common themes that come with this type of game and a bigger factor is I hate dice in board games. I know there is probably miniature based games that don't use dice but it's also the other common gameplay mechanism involved that I don't care for.

I'm sure I'm missing a great experience here or there but I'm good with what I am playing already.
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With the oceans of different types of board games available and "coming to a store near you", one could argue that its kind of a non-issue?
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Dan
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When I see a game with miniatures, I automatically think:

- Expensive
- Huge Box
- Will be all about throwing 20 sided dice to determine combat results
- Will be all about a fantasy setting with grotesque monsters and scantily clad maidens, etc.

These are just my prejudices when I see a game with miniatures. I had a nice change of mindset when I played Mechs vs. Minions. It was actually a really cool game, reminiscent of RoboRally, but more fun.

But my 2 complaints about that game are:
- Expensive (for a board game it is, but for a miniatures game it is not)
- Huge Box
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Chris in Kansai
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justinjoy wrote:
i dont play with toys anymore


Oh yes you do
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Joe H
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There are large numbers of people on all sides of most issues.

The success of miniature games on kickstarter suggests that many people like miniatures and are willing to pay for them.

I don't have anything against miniatures but I'm not particularly drawn to them. One of the factors is I don't have an artistic bone in my body and while I might enjoy painting (I'm considering painting the minis for Thunderbirds I have coming to me) I'm not sure they'd look very good.

My experiences with Miniature focused games has been limited though I haven't actively avoided them. I enjoyed both Scythe and Mechs vs. Minions so I have no reason to feel put off by games with miniatures. Maybe others didn't have such good experiences and are, perhaps unfairly, assuming all miniature games will give them similar experiences.
 
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Reed Dawley
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The same reason people hate unicorns. This is why we can't have nice things.

I like both, a good miniatures game gives me something to paint when I cant game but a good game without miniatures I will play happily. Too many cliques and hard line divisions for me.
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Larry L
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I like toys, and I like it just fine when my games seem like toys.

I don't hate games with minis, in fact I look at them with wonder, but I certainly don't want to invest the time (or money) to paint minis.
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Jim Marshall
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omnibus4404 wrote:
I have never ever seen anyone raging over, let's say, Twilight Struggle not having minis quality of Blood Rage.


You choose good examples. Twilight Struggle has a quickly-evolving board with a LOT of spaces with numeric influence values that change incrementally and frequently. Minis would be of no use here - the numeric chits work as well as anything could in this game.

Blood Rage has as smaller number of pieces and fewer actions. The pieces you place have set values that (the odd exception apart) don't change, so (while Cool Mini or Not could have used chits) minis convey the game state just as well as chits, while looking awesome - especially if painted - and help convey the theme.

War of the Ring is another game where a limited number of unit types means plastic pieces work fine, and again when painted can give a really good look on the table.

Chits / counters have their place - I'm an old-school hex'n'counter wargamer by trade - but minis have their place too. I recall a minor cult game called 'chess' doing quite well with them for a period - limited number of unit types, strong visual impact etc...
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Brian M
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Tall_Walt wrote:
I don't want to pay for them, and they tend to say "Toy" to me.

For example, I saw Mission: Red Planet (Second Edition) just recently. I'm not sure they really deserve the term "mini", though--they're really tiny.

So they aren't miniatures because they are too miniature?

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