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Subject: Things to use besides miniatures rss

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John McD
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I've been thinking about getting Saga as the subject matter is very interesting to me. But I've never really played with miniatures before and not wholly convinced I'll enjoy it/ get them all painted up.

Short of pressing my collection of Lego vikings and knights into action are there any other practical steps people take when they want to try out a ruleset wihtout shelling out on a bunch of minis they may never get 'value' from?
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Cpl. Fields
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As I've posted in several other threads, I use paper instead of miniatures. I can print out entire armies in an evening, and mount them on thin sheets of corkboard. Much cheaper and faster than the real thing.

Below are bases I've made for Johnny Reb and Field of Glory:





If you're not into making your own, the Junior General has figures for all periods, both top-down and 2D standing.
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Litko make plastic stands for paper minis, in various sizes. Or you can use the spring part from small bulldog clips.
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Mike Windsor
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Card stock paper and bulldog clips give you super-cheap minis that stand up. I've used them for print and play games I've printed, or you can just draw your own artwork.
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Mike Hoyt

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Or just cut out the bases from cardstock, write the unit desgination and an arrow for facing and have at it.

Which is, of course board wargaming. The only difference between fighting with bases (Minatures) and counters (Board wargaming) is what stands upon (or is printed on) the base/counter.

(OK, yeah I know minatures typically use rulers for distance instead of hexes and decimal dice instead of CRTs and there are other minor points one could make, but essentialy, and especially in terms of trying out the rules, there isn't much difference between bases and counters)
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ICONOCLAST

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A number of miniatures systems have used cardboard counters that could be swapped out for miniatures to make themselves more accessible to new players and boardgamers. The idea is that each of these counters are the same size as the base of a stand of miniatures and could even serve as bases later if desired. For example: Napoleon's Battles and Clash of Empires. These might give you some ideas of the kinds of counters you could make for miniatures play.

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Robert Wesley
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I have several games wherein these used 'Bingo Chips' with a 'sticker' affixed onto that, and it depicted some manner of vehicle, troops, naval vessel, or aircraft, etc. upon that in this manner. With 'moi' usual 'demeanor', then I'll provide actual miniatures in lieu of them others, for "aesthetics" mainly AND also to have this "components upgraded" too.
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Tom Grant
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Have you looked at Battleground? Pretty much a miniatures game, with cards (printed with the pictures of the units, plus their unit data) instead of figure stands.
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John McD
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Thanks for this!

Looks like paper is the way to go, whether stand up or top down.

I was looking at stand up on wooden blocks, and there are some fairly cheap ways to do it, but not much cheaper than plastic minis sprayed a single colour.

The Junior General and Battlegrounds got me thinking; there is some very neat and cleanly drawn video game illustration which I can probably work with fairly easily. Art assets from Age of Empires and Total War mods seem pretty promising!

Many thanks!
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michael connor
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Believe it or not, if you cut velco into rectangular strips and then apply Gesso over it and 'sculpt' with a toothpick or something similar, you'll have something that (at a distance) looks like ordered rank and file soldiers. And painted, they look rather convincing.
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David Janik-Jones
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blockhead wrote:
Or just cut out the bases from cardstock, write the unit desgination and an arrow for facing and have at it.

Which is, of course board wargaming. The only difference between fighting with bases (Minatures) and counters (Board wargaming) is what stands upon (or is printed on) the base/counter.

(OK, yeah I know minatures typically use rulers for distance instead of hexes and decimal dice instead of CRTs and there are other minor points one could make, but essentialy, and especially in terms of trying out the rules, there isn't much difference between bases and counters)


Actually, there's those pesky and terribly artificial hexes, and at best areas, in a board wargames, although the recent Gettysburg The Wheatfield is an exception. As a geographer and mapper a while ago, the 60 degree restrictions of streams, rivers, etc has always bothered me with the hex-and-chit stuff I love so much.

Also, you can get away from rulers if you use one of the more innovative miniatures systems like Arty Conliffe's CrossFire, which is one of the most brain-burning yet highly fun company-level WW2 rules sets going.
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Robert Ridgeway
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mwindsor wrote:
Card stock paper and bulldog clips give you super-cheap minis that stand up. I've used them for print and play games I've printed, or you can just draw your own artwork.

you might find some useful info here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/729931/plastic-stand-up-...
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Pelle Nilsson
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I bought a few bags of wooden cubes (10x10x10 mm) and sticks (5x5x25 mm) from spielmaterial.de that I have used for prototyping. They have some more sizes and many different colors.



(Yes, technically that is more a boardgame than a miniatures game, but I didn't have a suitable background to make a more miniature-game-like photo right now.)
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Pelle Nilsson
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... also, plastic army men. You can get big bags or buckets of them in different colors for a few $s (try ebay, amazon, google, ...).
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Paul Brillantes
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If you have 100s of patient friends, you could try 1:1 scale war games. Re-enactors do it all the time. whistle

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Ryan Powers
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BlackSpy wrote:
Thanks for this!

Looks like paper is the way to go, whether stand up or top down.


I tend to use top down stuff for naval battles and large scale fighting (where the pieces represent large chunks of units) and stand up ones when they represent smaller units. Largely because in the latter case miniature based line of sight often comes into play.
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Ryan Powers
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DaveyJJ wrote:

Also, you can get away from rulers if you use one of the more innovative miniatures systems like Arty Conliffe's CrossFire, which is one of the most brain-burning yet highly fun company-level WW2 rules sets going.


While I disagree on the hexes really being all that artificial, at least when compared to the rest of the artificiality and abstractions inherent in both hex based and miniatures games, I wholeheartedly agree that Crossfire is everything you say and a tremendous game.
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p55carroll
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BlackSpy wrote:
I've been thinking about getting Saga as the subject matter is very interesting to me. But I've never really played with miniatures before and not wholly convinced I'll enjoy it/ get them all painted up.

You should try something and find out.

I did, and after a number of abortive attempts I finally realized it wasn't for me--not with miniatures or with any substitutes.

Most (if not all) miniatures wargames are designed with miniatures in mind, and the visual effect on the tabletop is a big part of it. In my experience, you have to care about that if you're going to get into miniatures of any kind. Some care enough to paint pewter figures in excruciating detail; others only care enough to cut out and snap together cardboard picture-pieces.

I found out I didn't care even enough to do the minimum. When push came to shove, it turned out I much preferred hex-and-counter wargames. I don't think much of them aesthetically, but I can flesh out the scenes in my imagination.

YMMV, however. You might like miniatures, or blocks, or stand-up cardboard units, or picture cards (as in Battleground Fantasy Warfare). Just don't bite off more than you can chew, because it can get expensive and time-consuming.
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Pelle Nilsson
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DaveyJJ wrote:

Actually, there's those pesky and terribly artificial hexes, and at best areas, in a board wargames, although the recent Gettysburg The Wheatfield is an exception. As a geographer and mapper a while ago, the 60 degree restrictions of streams, rivers, etc has always bothered me with the hex-and-chit stuff I love so much.

Also, you can get away from rulers if you use one of the more innovative miniatures systems like Arty Conliffe's CrossFire, which is one of the most brain-burning yet highly fun company-level WW2 rules sets going.


I started buying minis about 2½ years ago, and started basing some of them about 2½ months ago. ETA playable painted armies ca 2018... CrossFire (ww1) is definitely on the list of systems I want to try, and hopefully it is in print (with a new edition) before I am done painting. Also Square Bashing 1914-1918 is on my list (and in my closet)(and a new version is out next month, they say).

Not much interested in anything using rulers. Looking for more (ww1) rulebooks that can be played without them. I do not want to use small hexes or squares, but huge square-shaped areas like Square Bashing is fine (that's more like area-based, only that squares are used because it makes it easy to divide the table into areas; the system would work just as well with any shapes of areas).

OK, slightly off-topic. Maybe should start a new thread for that discussion.
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Pelle Nilsson
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keethrax wrote:
DaveyJJ wrote:

Also, you can get away from rulers if you use one of the more innovative miniatures systems like Arty Conliffe's CrossFire, which is one of the most brain-burning yet highly fun company-level WW2 rules sets going.


While I disagree on the hexes really being all that artificial, at least when compared to the rest of the artificiality and abstractions inherent in both hex based and miniatures games, I wholeheartedly agree that Crossfire is everything you say and a tremendous game.


What I dislike more and more about hexes is the artificial level of detail they give. As you say there is so much else that is so abstract, it feels silly to try to pin down the exact location of units (and facing of units) to a specific hex. Dividing a map into more abstract areas/locations brings unit positions more to the same level of abstraction of everything else. It is not the shape of the hexes that I dislike. And the problem with hexes providing too much artificial detail is made infinitely worse if you remove the grid and have free movement with a ruler.

And look how far off-topic I can go twice in two posts. Time to go to bed now then.
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Roger Hobden
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The Complete Brigadier is a miniatures games that comes with cardboard bases representing units.
 
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Cpl. Fields
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Mallet wrote:
The Complete Brigadier is a miniatures games that comes with cardboard bases representing units.


And a fine game it is.
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A thread I posted about 3 years ago sure sounds better here as a reply.

http://blog.makezine.com/2009/06/26/how-to-shrinky-dink-gami...
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Roger Hobden
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zuludawn wrote:
Mallet wrote:
The Complete Brigadier is a miniatures games that comes with cardboard bases representing units.


And a fine game it is.


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p55carroll
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Mallet wrote:
zuludawn wrote:
Mallet wrote:
The Complete Brigadier is a miniatures games that comes with cardboard bases representing units.

And a fine game it is.

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If only I could get motivated to do something with my copy. I bought it, pored over the box contents, sighed, and concluded it'd be too much work.

Perfect period coverage for me; nice scale too. But I'd be doing it solo, and I just haven't ever been able to.
 
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