My evolving stance on miniatures…

2008 September 4
by Dante

As previously mentioned, I have had some difficulty mixing miniatures into my gaming experience. My arguments were varied, usually focusing on my own nature toward perfectionism but the fact of the matter remains: Fourth Edition is more easily adopted with miniatures in tow.

This has forced me to change my stripes a bit and have another look at minis and their role in our gaming experience.

Best shown by good examples

Thanks to our good buddies over at Critical Hits and one Chatty DM, I had a very positive experience playing D&D with miniatures at GenCon this year. Phil did a great job at weaving them into the campaign setting and made a very good move at pre-selecting miniatures that closely matched the player characters that he rolled up.

Obviously, utilizing the abilities in 4e that dealt with range, spaces, and areas of effect were much more easily executed in this manner versus a descriptive, non-miniature fashion. That’s what the new system was designed to do.

Combine that good experience with the fact that the new set, Against the Giants, has some way cool huge miniatures and I was sold. I picked up my first booster and got a Death Titan and a Young Adamantine Dragon, both of which just plain rule. I don’t know how often (if at all) I will actually play the minatures game, but I will certainly start to find ways to use them in my campaigns from here on out.

My advice to those against miniatures: find someone that uses them effectively and ask them to run you through a one-off to show you how much faster and more intuitive a game can be with them! If that doesn’t turn you on, just have a look at them! What self respecting gamer can go without a small replica of a beholder to put on your desk? I KNOW I CAN’T!

Does anyone know good resources for buying/selling miniatures and the rarities in each of the WotC sets? Inquiring minds want to know!

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Ben Overmyer permalink
    September 4, 2008

    The best resource for buying specific D&D minis is eBay, hands down.

    If you like the random effect of buying boosters, your best bet is your FLGS, since you'll save on shipping.

    My second monitor is an old CRT; there's a good 12 Huge D&D minis sitting there scowling down at me at all times, including a Purple Worm that's positively evil-looking.

  2. Osarusan permalink
    September 4, 2008

    IconUSA is better than eBay a lot of the time for ordering singles. I've ordered a bunch from them.

  3. Dave The Game permalink
    September 4, 2008

    And tends to be my store of choice.

    The D&D miniatures are still at home in boxes for easy transport to games, but I do have a mini-TARDIS near my desk.

    Other recommendation on using minis: get a sucker to buy lots of them and then bring them to your game. It works for Bartoneus.

  4. Reis O'Brien permalink
    September 4, 2008

    I’ve ordered a bunch from Miniature Market and they have never let me down. Good prices, great service. Can’t go wrong with these guys.

  5. PatrickWR permalink
    September 4, 2008

    Even if you don’t end up using them for combat, miniatures are a great way to help players visualize characters and focus their creativity. We usually keep a pile of random miniatures on the gaming table, just in case we need to sketch out a scenario or imagine a particular monster.

  6. Your G(rinning) M(asochist) permalink
    September 4, 2008

    You know, this is the biggest beef I have with 4E. I play plenty of other games ranging from rules light games like QUAGS or Paranoia all the way through more crunchy systems like Shadowrun and World of Darkness. It is only D&D that really requires miniatures to really get into the game.

    Personally, if I want mini's, I tend to go to our local game store. They've stocked enough of the WotC and Reaper minis to satisfy the desire for minis.

  7. Daniel permalink
    September 5, 2008

    If you want to buy lots of minis at a good price with minimum shipping then Auggies is the store of choice.

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