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Miniature$
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Thread: Miniature$

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Miniature$

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    Is it just me or is this whole thing with randomized packs of miniatures just a tad bit on the rediculous side? I like the fact that Wizards of the Coast is putting out minis, but I could not possibly care less about playing their "miniatures" game. As a DM, there are very specific miniatures I would like to pick up, but I'm thwarted by the cost prohibitive nature of their "collectable" miniatures.

    For instance, I'm interested in getting a couple of the Ice Devil minis for my Invasion Hell campaign, but that particular mini is considered rare, so actually getting one in a booster pack would probably take several purchases. At around $16 a box, that's just way too much. On eBay, to buy just "Ice Devil" miniature is $14+shipping! We're talking about a peice of mass-produced PLASTIC here, for god's sake. How can I justify thowing down that kind of cash for something that probably intrisicly worth 50 cents? And if you want to pickup a Pit Fiend, god help you, by the way, because those run as high as $30.

    And am I off base on this? What do you think?

    For me, it's just a tough pill to swallow, and I find myself wondering about the alternatives. Does anyone know any good online stores that offer a good variety of fantasy miniatures that are NOT made by WotC but would be reasonably close facimilies of D&D core monsters like the Gelugorgon?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    Is it just me or is this whole thing with randomized packs of miniatures just a tad bit on the rediculous side? I like the fact that Wizards of the Coast is putting out minis, but I could not possibly care less about playing their "miniatures" game.
    To me, it seems like they are trying to turn D&D into a board game.

    I prefer the role playing aspect of it.

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    Don't buy their garbage then!

    If you want mini's on the table that match the creatures in the adventure exactly you're either going to have to put up the cash, or buy a pack and write a module that uses the mini's therein.

    The most reasonable approach though is to give up on the idea that the minitures need to be too scale (25mm - 28mm who cares?) or that they need to appear exactly as they do in the books. The game and TSR used to be referred to as Products of Your Imagination! Throw a demon, ogre, etc. on the table and call it an ice devil. Painted or unpainted there are a lot of manufacturers out there, and maybe if everyone stops buying into the collectable farce Wizards/HASBRO will give up on the pot-luck/grab-bag marketing approach.

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    Another alternative is paper miniatures. The Cardboard Heroes Fantasy line is no more, but Steve Jackson sells an omnibus modern set, two sets of tiles (Dungeon and Cavern), and two sets of castle walls.

    If you have a color printer, Arion Games sells their paper minis on RPGNow. As long as you don't look too closely at the generic digital faces, most of their minis are fairly good. There's also Fiery Dragon's flat counters, and a bunch of others on RPGNow.

    For black and white minis, S. John Ross's Sparks "fonts" allow you to create custom mini sets using only his font files and the text editor of your choice.

    There's also the do-it-yourself approach, if you have the time:

    • Take WotC's images of the minis you like, print them on cardstock, and create paper miniatures ... fronts only, alas.
    • Or, if you have a modicum of drawing ability, you could create silhouettes of creatures on cardstock in the same front-and-back format as other minis. Chaosium did this way back when for Call of Cthulhu (albeit with a professional artist).
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    I'm not to happy about the way they are putting out the minis, but there are trading sites and people who are selling the minis on the internet. Only problem with buying from someone else is they charge more than I think some minis are worth. It's all part of the supply and demand thing, but a mini should be worth an amount according to how much plastic and skill it takes to make it, not because they decided to make fewer of one kind.

    But if you look long enough, you can find someone who will trade one or sell one you want without trying to bleed you to death.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    At the moment, I do a kind of do-it-your-self method. I go out to WotC's gallery and download their Monster Manual images. I then resize the image to be to scale in inches (1x1 for medium, 2x2 for large, 3x3 for huge, and so on). I slap a border on it, and add it to a Word document. Once I've added all the images I need for to game to the document, I print them all out. Alas, they are flat, but they work. Often times for hoards of smaller monsters, I just use my dice. I'll put out ten ten-siders for instance and set each with its own number facing up.

    For the most part, we're just trying to represent the bad guys out on the board, so it doesn't matter too muich what they look like, but every once in a while, I want the BBEG to look special. I kinda like the way the Ice Devil looks mini looks by WotC, which is why I want one. Bad enough to pay $16+shipping for a piece of painted plastic? Maybe not.

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    Printing paper dolls for representation is a great way to go as noted above. Another thing I use for mobs of things to cleave is plastic bingo chips. They are small enough to work and I have multiple colors -- for bonus points I found some with steel outer rings so I can sweep them up with a magnet.

    That said, if you really want the miniature, buy it individually. So what if you are paying as much for the one guy as the box? If it makes you happy its no different than a $30 source book that you read once and never use again.

    I'm not a collector, but I don't mind the collectible nature of the WotC mini's. They are just getting in on a market that WizKids defined and taking their share of funds. If it keeps them profitable and making the core D&D books, I'm sated. I do have a few of the D&D mini's, but don't put the value in them that others do. From what I understand, if you do buy a pack and get a rare that you don't want, you can go to a trade session and exchange him for a squad of commons that you do want. I have a shambling mound. I don't hate them but I've only used them 1 time in 25 years, I'm willing to trade him for a squad of goblins that I'd use a few times a year.

    When I want a specific miniature, the first place I look is Reaper Miniatures. They are consistently well sculpted by good artists. Sadly I couldn't find any Ice Devils' there. Just a Crystal Golem which probably looks wrong.
    --
    Grimwell

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    The game is a dumbed down boardgame with little to offer. I could care less about the game. I have spent hundreds of dollars on these miniatures. Despite the fact that I have over three hundred minis, I never have the right ones in the appropriate number. The pain of looking through the mess of them isn't even worth it anymore. After the players take out one they like, we end up using dice for the enemy 90% of the time. I have given up on them...

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    That is why when I game....I use what I have and tell my players what the minis represent. Which makes them picture it in their heads. I use the cardboard cutouts for tiles, a few minis and we are good with that, when I can afford more minis (and I'm stingy) then I just get a "grabbag" and use what I get in that pack.
    How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
    If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con' what is the opposite of 'progress'?


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    you know if you go into a toy store or walmart and look at the kids board games they some times have games with min's in them there plastic with bases and there is a ton of them in a boxed board game. and they cost about $10.00
    i also like the flat cardboard min's

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    I used to get metal minis and then paint them myself. Course, I don't have time for that anymore, so I do what you do vic_kidd. The players have a mini representing them that they picked out, and if I can't find a mini that is what they're fighting, then we just wing it!
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkape View Post
    I used to get metal minis and then paint them myself.
    If I had any skill at all at painting miniatures, I'd own a slew of pewter minis. Unfortunately, my Craft (Paint Miniatures) is quite low.

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    I've helped a friend do the painting thing....I didn't think I could do that as I shake a bit....I found a way to steady my hands and now I can paint the pewter ones. Once you figure out how the rest is a piece of cake
    How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
    If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con' what is the opposite of 'progress'?


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    Heroscape. That is the board game being referred to I believe they do have a few miniatures that would work with D&D. I know there is a squad or orcs and an orc riding a dinosaur out there. THe orc on the dinosaur though is only with the starter set. But as a bonus you get a stackable buildable board to play on. My collection of minatures consists of randomly purchased Mage Knights and Heroscape figures. Heroscape "boosters" cost about 10 dollars each but they come with more terrain tiles as well and are grouped into nice little bands for you. SO instead of buying a bunch of singles you get a whole squad of the same critters to use. THe starter set I mentioned costs you 30 but it comes with 20 miniatures for starters, part of them aren't fantasy related but that is just to show the scope of the heroscape game. So you dont have to buy anymore of the modern or scifi style critters if you dont want to. And most of the "boosters" are grouped by styles (ie Fantasy, Modern, SciFi) there are also terrain tile boosters that you can purchase as well, I know of one set that is actually a castle wall with defensive peripats and everything to ad more visuals to the board.
    Last edited by Shadowfire757; 02-07-2007 at 09:33 PM.

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    I also used the punchouts from the old battle systems as well....or made my own as I needed them......if I'm really in a bind I use what ever is at hand.....
    How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
    If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con' what is the opposite of 'progress'?


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