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ZombieGenesis
2009-11-26, 12:30 PM
Just a curiosity really, as well as a general discussion, but I wondered whether players (D&D and perhaps other d20's) actually make use of miniatures in their games or use an alternative? Where do you trust to get your miniatures from, and are there any particular kinds you make use of in your games?

I've never actually played the game myself, so my curiosity cannot be quenched by experience :smallamused:

To question the game from a material level is the very definition of a newbie.

Grumman
2009-11-26, 12:44 PM
Do they have to be prepainted? Both Reaper Miniatures and Games Workshop make good minis, and they're not randomised like the D&D ones. I don't know what the prices are like now (GW had a bad reputation for price hikes back in the day), but if you want 20-odd skeletons and are willing to assemble and paint them yourself, they'd probably be your best bet.

PurinaDragonCho
2009-11-26, 12:45 PM
For a while, I tried using minis for every battle. One day, I found some small poker chips that fit inside a square on the battle mat. I got a sharpie and numbered them. I have 3 colors. Now, I use them for badguys, except for BBEGs. It's so much easier to keep track of which bugbear has been hit, how much damage, etc. At the start of combat, I just get a sheet of paper and write out 1 through x to represent each monster type in the combat. It works great.

PCs still use minis though.

Saph
2009-11-26, 01:02 PM
I buy D&D minis off Ebay and occasionally at conventions. Common ones can usually be had for a few dimes, and uncommon ones not much more. You build up a collection after a while.

Logalmier
2009-11-26, 01:53 PM
Just don't get the WotC booster packs. Seriously. Those things will ruin you. If you want to buy miniatures, get them of of Ebay or something.

ZombieGenesis
2009-11-26, 02:01 PM
Just don't get the WotC booster packs. Seriously. Those things will ruin you. If you want to buy miniatures, get them of of Ebay or something.

Actually I had already purchased one pack of the Web of Darkness set. I got a few generic bits like that strange spider, but as a plus my first pack came with a Black Dragon Lurker, which actually was kinda cool.

It's odd. I've never played this game, and perhaps never will...yet I feel compelled to get these. If only Ebay didn't cost so much for even the petty figures, since I live in the Uk .-.

Vitruviansquid
2009-11-26, 02:05 PM
Colored/numbered tokens are actually a lot more useful than miniatures if you have a fight with multiples of the same enemy.

Studoku
2009-11-26, 02:10 PM
I use lego.

Seriously, it works. The only drawback is that character creation takes even longer because of the time taken to put characters together.

bosssmiley
2009-11-26, 02:30 PM
I use lego.

Seriously, it works. The only drawback is that character creation takes even longer because of the time taken to put characters together.

:smallbiggrin:

Assorted lead, pewter and plastic minis/toys (often kitbashed and remodelled), along with scaled fold-up monster cards (copypaste image, resize, print, cut out, fold up) have me covered.

oxybe
2009-11-26, 02:32 PM
i used to play the old D&D mini warband game, so i have a lot of them lying around and more goblins then i can shake a greatclub at, but if i need a weird monster that i don't have any of i can always grab the free token maker in my sig, grab a pic of the monster on the net, create a token then copy/paste it onto a sheet.

Logalmier
2009-11-26, 02:34 PM
Actually I had already purchased one pack of the Web of Darkness set. I got a few generic bits like that strange spider, but as a plus my first pack came with a Black Dragon Lurker, which actually was kinda cool.

It's odd. I've never played this game, and perhaps never will...yet I feel compelled to get these. If only Ebay didn't cost so much for even the petty figures, since I live in the Uk .-.

It's not that the miniatures are bad, it's just that the booster packs are way too expensive. Especially considering you only get 8 figures. You're better off ordering the individual figures on the web.

ZombieGenesis
2009-11-26, 02:42 PM
Hm, people keep saying that the packs are more expensive than buying online. On Ebay the best I can find will sell a minor figure for about 80p and a 1.50 postage charge (and thats from the UK or the US- either way). Now that makes 2.30 for a single minor figure. An 8-figure booster is 9-12.
Single figure from Ebay = 2.30 x 8 = 18.40
And that's just judging for some worthless little goblin figure!

Am I missing something here? Is there some special seller for this stuff, or is the service to the UK really -that- dreadful?

Ormur
2009-11-26, 02:49 PM
Chess pieces, it's never in doubt who the enemy is.

jmbrown
2009-11-26, 03:20 PM
I stopped collecting minis after 4th edition because they're of noticeably lower quality.

AslanCross
2009-11-26, 04:11 PM
I stopped collecting minis after 4th edition because they're of noticeably lower quality.

I use minis, but yes, this is a problem. The minis have gone down the drain in terms of quality. Some from Against the Giants were still decent. Demonweb's minis were still quite good. The recent sets (with the clear blister packs), though? They cost the same thing but you only get five minis. You always get a large mini, sure (and my Frost Giant looks quite good), but the random minis inside, INCLUDING THE RARE, look like cheap plastic trash.

Asbestos
2009-11-26, 05:35 PM
I use minis, but yes, this is a problem. The minis have gone down the drain in terms of quality. Some from Against the Giants were still decent. Demonweb's minis were still quite good. The recent sets (with the clear blister packs), though? They cost the same thing but you only get five minis. You always get a large mini, sure (and my Frost Giant looks quite good), but the random minis inside, INCLUDING THE RARE, look like cheap plastic trash.
I don't know, some of the rares are quite good. For instance I prefer the Young Gold Dragon over the Gold Dragon from Night Below. But then again, that thing was horrendous.

AslanCross
2009-11-26, 06:09 PM
I don't know, some of the rares are quite good. For instance I prefer the Young Gold Dragon over the Gold Dragon from Night Below. But then again, that thing was horrendous.

See this post. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7085259&postcount=28)

I guess there's also the problem that the stores here have such limited stock that I don't have much comparison. Nevertheless, I was still more than a little miffed that I spent $16 practically on ONE miniature and got 4 low-quality ones for free.

I remember listening to a D&D podcast that said with the new minis format, they'd be adding more paint steps to each mini, including commons. Looking at this Githyanki, I didn't see that at all.

ZombieGenesis
2009-11-26, 06:35 PM
See this post. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7085259&postcount=28)

I guess there's also the problem that the stores here have such limited stock that I don't have much comparison. Nevertheless, I was still more than a little miffed that I spent $16 practically on ONE miniature and got 4 low-quality ones for free.

I remember listening to a D&D podcast that said with the new minis format, they'd be adding more paint steps to each mini, including commons. Looking at this Githyanki, I didn't see that at all.

My lord, you aren't kidding. That's an appalling decline in quality.
I am so very glad I didn't purchase any of the newer sets, at least with WoD and those few that I purchased online they actually look nice and presentable.

No wonder 4e is so frowned upon (again, I know very little of the game itself, but by a miniature point of view, that's just upsetting).

valadil
2009-11-26, 08:42 PM
I collect and paint minis. Most of mine are reaper because they're insanely cheap. I have a few WotC ones and some Ral Partha and unknowns too.

Most of my gamer friends aren't into painting so they just get plastic D&D minis from eBay. I think they usually go for large boxes of commons.

Thurbane
2009-11-26, 09:34 PM
Our group makes heavy use of DDM, along with laminated and home made grids. I was an avid collector of DDM up until Dungeons of Dread - that's when they changed the minis rules, and also (IMHO) the quality of the minis took a nosedive.

Duke of URL
2009-11-27, 07:19 AM
Hm, people keep saying that the packs are more expensive than buying online. On Ebay the best I can find will sell a minor figure for about 80p and a 1.50 postage charge (and thats from the UK or the US- either way). Now that makes 2.30 for a single minor figure. An 8-figure booster is 9-12.
Single figure from Ebay = 2.30 x 8 = 18.40
And that's just judging for some worthless little goblin figure!

Am I missing something here? Is there some special seller for this stuff, or is the service to the UK really -that- dreadful?

Postage is the killer. You're generally better off buying as many as you can at once from the same vendor, if the vendor offers combined shipping. Commons and uncommons are often sold in lots, so you might do better on a "per figure" basis that way, but you have less control over choosing exactly what you want.

Mongoose87
2009-11-27, 07:31 AM
Chess pieces, it's never in doubt who the enemy is.

Never considered this before. Like it. Will try.

BobVosh
2009-11-27, 07:33 AM
Our group makes heavy use of DDM, along with laminated and home made grids. I was an avid collector of DDM up until Dungeons of Dread - that's when they changed the minis rules, and also (IMHO) the quality of the minis took a nosedive.

I stopped right after...Night something or other. The set with the undead beholder. The FLGS closed, and I didn't feel like another rules change for the 4ed update.

So my friends and I together have like every figure from that point and before. In fact gnome had 2 Drizz'ts back when they were worth like 100+ a pop.

Guinea Anubis
2009-11-27, 11:49 AM
I made a thread not that long ago, alternatives to minis (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131862) some really good ideas in there.

Asbestos
2009-11-27, 12:54 PM
Btw, for those just looking for certain specific minis... Miniature Market is having a After Thanksgiving Weekend sale... but not for Games Workshop stuff (GW stuff being discounted? Ha)

Ozreth
2009-11-27, 04:40 PM
I always use minis, I guess Im just an aesthetic person. My group appreciates it too. I think it adds to immersion. I often construct taverns, briddges, graveyards etc out of stock cards. I plan to start using some warhammer terrain. We often use printed laminated maps as well.

Although Im down for some graph paper and beads any day, but at home I like to keep it creative.

Asbestos
2009-11-28, 01:04 PM
See this post. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7085259&postcount=28)

I guess there's also the problem that the stores here have such limited stock that I don't have much comparison. Nevertheless, I was still more than a little miffed that I spent $16 practically on ONE miniature and got 4 low-quality ones for free.

I remember listening to a D&D podcast that said with the new minis format, they'd be adding more paint steps to each mini, including commons. Looking at this Githyanki, I didn't see that at all.

The Orc Mauler from War Drums is a very good common. Actually, nearly everything in War Drums is good. But, were you to show a common from Night Below... that'd probably be less impressive and it'd be 'pre-switch'. In the newer stuff it isn't so much the sculpts as it is the paints. The Grimlock Minion shown in your post (obviously the common, the gith sculpt is A) a Gith and B) a bit more complex) suffers from not having a wash and having a silly yellow loin cloth. The sculpt itself is fine.
For example, this is the same piece with a simple wash and some brown where his yellow was:http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3630/3684715352_f33d018d36.jpg

My FLGS had a Black Friday sale and D&D products were going for 40% off (HOLY #&%$!!!) So I picked up a booster of the newest set (Savage Encounters), mainly because the visible was a nice looking Drider and I don't have a single one of those. I pulled the Drider, Adult Gray Dragon (Rare), Death Rattle Viper, Spectre, and a Norker (I had to look up what a Norker was) All of the sculpts are pretty excellent, and the Viper is easily the best looking snake model yet. But again, there is a paint problem with some of the minis. The Norker is actually excellently done (even the tiny eyes and teeth are well painted) but could use a light wash to bring out the features of the sculpt better. Actually, the biggest disappointment paint-wise was the Drider! Its abdomen (the spider one) is just a simple black. I'm thinking of drybrushing it with some silver or painting a simple pattern on to liven it up a bit.

The fact that the prices are the same but the number of figures is less... not so cool. But, there's always Troll and Toad, Miniatures Market, or the odd sale.