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BardicDuelist
2007-08-03, 01:40 AM
I was just wondering what everyone used for miniatures, or if everyone even uses miniatures. I personally sculpt my own or buy and heavily modify/convert miniatures. The two main companies I get them from are Reaper and Citidel.

TheOOB
2007-08-03, 01:43 AM
I got a batch of D&D minis I got from a contest some two years ago so I use those. Otherwise I just use dice.

de-trick
2007-08-03, 01:46 AM
I get the booster packs pre-painted sets eg Underdark, bloodwar, Angelfire


We get ones that are close to are character(some are harder than others) or just plain cool, or elfs(DM loves elf)

We use them for battles and collecting and trading

Xefas
2007-08-03, 01:58 AM
My group uses d12s for their characters, as noone ever needs a d12 in actual play. For monsters, we use some of the old wooden Risk pieces with penciled in numbers to distinguish one creature from another (Goblin 1 and Goblin 2, for example). Since they come in several colors, its also easy to seperate the monsters should their be different kinds (Red= Goblin 1 and Goblin 2, Blue= Bugbear 1, Yellow= Worg 1, Worg 2, and Worg 3.), which keeps the numbers from getting too high which might be somewhat confusing.

For a while I was also using pieces from the XBugs board game to denote Large sized creatures and mounts. However, it was a bit too much trouble lugging around all the books we needed, the map, risk pieces, dice, binders of adventure info, and boxes of XBug pieces, so now we just use multiple Risk bits stacked together for big monsters.

Even though it takes a lot of imagination, thats what the game's about anyway, right?

Glyphic
2007-08-03, 02:05 AM
All of my medium enemies look Like a copper Abe Lincoln. Small enemies are abit shinier, and sport a likening to FDR. Larger creatures are Quarter-sized George Washington's, buttons, Pins, and Story-arc monsters are some old british crowns I have.

Our players represent themselves as their favorite die, as long as it isn't a d20.

Zim
2007-08-03, 08:13 AM
I've got a fair bit of experience painting and converting minis (mostly thanks to playing Warhammer 40K), and I really enjoy the modelling and collecting aspects of the hobby. I have a pile of the pre-painted D&D minis which I use for goons, monsters and PC's that don't have their own mini yet.

For the BBEGs or important baddies, I take one of these minis (usually a common or uncommon) and repaint them to stand out. So far, in my AoW campaign I have a repaint for Theldrick (originally a cleric of St Cuthbert), Grallik Kur (hobgoblin impaler), The Faceless One (blood of Vol cultist), Shukak (troglodyte barbarian with a trident added), and Hisshka (cleric of Lagozed). At the end of the campaign arc, I hope to have a complete rogue's gallery of BBEG's (including Kyuss and Dragotha) to display.

Sometimes there just isn't a figure to represent the monster I want to use, so I either use a proxy or make a trip to the toy store. I recently bought 6 apatosaurs from the dollar store, lopped off their heads at the neck, and ( with a liberal application of Miliput) made my very own pyrohydra. Scared the pants of the players when that beast made it's way to the table! LOL! Not bad for 6 bucks!

My players have been gently encouraged to paint their own minis, but so far only one has. Right now, they're using DDM plastics. This is just fine because the quality of the sculpts and paint jobs are getting better every set.

For my own PCs like to mod and paint my own minis. Some are made from bits of 6 different figures and are more than 25% green stuff! (I'm such a nerd!)

Kiyona
2007-08-03, 08:27 AM
I dont like using minis at all. Normally when I play I see everything happening quite clear in my mind. I like to be able to see the battles, and it helps me RP. Like the fealing of being someone else. ^^

But, when using a battlegrid with minis or dices I loose all the nice images I had before and start seeing monsters and PCs alike as dices. Wich is terribly boring although great from a strategic point of view.

Is that not a problem for you guys? :smallsmile:

valadil
2007-08-03, 08:35 AM
I dont like using minis at all. Normally when I play I see everything happening quite clear in my mind. I like to be able to see the battles, and it helps me RP. Like the fealing of being someone else. ^^

But, when using a battlegrid with minis or dices I loose all the nice images I had before and start seeing monsters and PCs alike as dices. Wich is terribly boring although great from a strategic point of view.

Is that not a problem for you guys? :smallsmile:

If I buy and paint a new mini for each of my characters it works out quite alright.

ufo
2007-08-03, 08:37 AM
We/I never ever use miniatures. Can't be bothered! Our adventures have so much variety it would be spilt money anyhow. And it's wonderful to picture the characters, monsters and terrain in your own way

nerulean
2007-08-03, 08:48 AM
I dont like using minis at all. Normally when I play I see everything happening quite clear in my mind. I like to be able to see the battles, and it helps me RP. Like the fealing of being someone else. ^^

But, when using a battlegrid with minis or dices I loose all the nice images I had before and start seeing monsters and PCs alike as dices. Wich is terribly boring although great from a strategic point of view.

Is that not a problem for you guys? :smallsmile:

Hehe, it's totally possible to do both. The dice or minis just represent where everyone is, not what they actually look like. I love the tactical aspect of having a fully spread out battle map.

We tend to use dice, with d12s being players and NPCs being represented by the die that corresponds to their HD (if we're fighting a lot of different classes) or d6s turned up to show numbers (if we're fighting a lot of things that are all similar).

If people have minis, though, we always use them, because it's much cooler. For our dragon-PC campaign, we managed to find a mini for everyone, and a lot of people have gone out to buy specific minis for the big good vs. evil campaign running in autumn. There'll be a big painting session before the game actually starts, which will be fun.

Xefas
2007-08-03, 09:08 AM
I dont like using minis at all. Normally when I play I see everything happening quite clear in my mind. I like to be able to see the battles, and it helps me RP. Like the fealing of being someone else. ^^

But, when using a battlegrid with minis or dices I loose all the nice images I had before and start seeing monsters and PCs alike as dices. Wich is terribly boring although great from a strategic point of view.

Is that not a problem for you guys? :smallsmile:

Not for my group! :smallbiggrin:

We all just picture it like an awesome version of Final Fantasy Tactics. Heck, its almost an unspoken law of physics in our D&D world that the entire multiverse is literally broken up into 5ft squares. Its not like any of the inhabitants would think about it any other way if thats the way things happen to work for them.

AKA_Bait
2007-08-03, 10:09 AM
This seems like a good thread to throw this out:

Any suggestions on where I can find some relativley inexpensive mini's of commoners? You know, like an innkeeper, town drunk, mayor etc.

I bought a bunch of the D&D Mini's game miniature commons for not much off of e-bay and use them for most monsters but I got little to nothing for NPC's.

Argent
2007-08-03, 10:11 AM
Most of my group has invested some time and effort into acquiring and painting minis over the years - mostly Reaper Miniatures (which are just fantastic). There's been a number of occasions where we've had to have an orc mini stand in for a giant, or have a dice box stand in for a Colossal creature... but overall, the minis work really well. Plus, there's just a lot of pride of ownership and creativity in painting a mini and doing it well.

Quincunx
2007-08-03, 10:21 AM
I'd like to get into molding minis, not so much painting them (being a penny-pincher). Still, that means most of the opposition is going to look remarkably identical. . .

nerulean
2007-08-03, 10:22 AM
Most of my group has invested some time and effort into acquiring and painting minis over the years - mostly Reaper Miniatures (which are just fantastic). There's been a number of occasions where we've had to have an orc mini stand in for a giant, or have a dice box stand in for a Colossal creature... but overall, the minis work really well. Plus, there's just a lot of pride of ownership and creativity in painting a mini and doing it well.

Ooh, diceboxes! Those clear boxes you get that neatly house a single set of seven dice are invaluable in 3D combat. Anyone in the air out of reach weapon range puts their mini/d12/whatever on top of one of them and keeps a note of his altitude himself. This works surprisingly well!

Incidentally, does anyone know where you can buy effectively blank minis, basically just humanoid shapes with no features or anything? I ask because I don't think I could make a mini from scratch, but I'd love to do all the detailing on a blank base.

Bryn
2007-08-03, 10:32 AM
Previously, I have used WotC miniatures, but these rarely represented the people in the game so we started using small plastic counters, from board games and the like, instead. These had the advantage of smaller maps being able to be produced, and they worked for a time. Now, though, we do not use any maps and grids at all, instead representing the action in our imaginations. :smallbiggrin:

Zim
2007-08-03, 10:33 AM
Incidentally, does anyone know where you can buy effectively blank minis, basically just humanoid shapes with no features or anything? I ask because I don't think I could make a mini from scratch, but I'd love to do all the detailing on a blank base.

Reaper used to sell blank armatures (sp?) that you could add the details to. They're basically just featurless dummies that you can sculpt over. They might still sell them.

BardicDuelist
2007-08-03, 10:38 AM
Reaper's armatures are decent (the advanced ones are useful, but the Heroic/Non-Heroic are not so good). If anyone wants, I can PM a link to some great sculpting sites.

I usually only use Miniatures for NPCs and PCs, for monsters I tend to use blank bases (from Warhammer or LOTR) with numbers. The advantage to this over dice is that you can use larger bases for larger enemies.

The miniatures or bases, or dice don't really disillusion my group or me, but are wonderful from a tatical standpoint. I would have a hard time playing without a battle mat or graph paper because I enjoy both the roleplaying and tatical sides of D&D. We don't use a battle map for RP, just for Combat.

Chess Pieces also work pretty.

kjones
2007-08-03, 10:47 AM
I found a bag of about 50 plastic ninjas in a store once for like ten bucks. Everyone has one, and they personalize them by taking bits of paper, straws, foil, etc. and sticking them on.

For enemies, we just use dice, because otherwise I can't keep track of numbers.

I personally find a huge difference when playing with a battlemat, as people start thinking tactically in combat, rather than just saying, "I attack the closest one."

But really, I'd love to do what Seamus Young does with a whiteboard. That looks really great. Linky (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=30)

nerulean
2007-08-03, 10:50 AM
Reaper's armatures are decent (the advanced ones are useful, but the Heroic/Non-Heroic are not so good). If anyone wants, I can PM a link to some great sculpting sites.

Ooh, ooh, me, pick me! It's been way too long since I did any small construction stuffs.

bosssmiley
2007-08-03, 02:15 PM
In response to the OP's question. About 10-12 years worth of Warhammer minis and terrain, and a couple of booster packs of D&D minis sees me sorted.

I often use glass beads for mass mook monster mobs, and these cool 1 inch square clear glass cuboid mis-shapes I found in my local supermarket (1.50 a bag, a steal!) to represent elevation, flying, gelatinous cubes, spell effects like windwall, wall of ice, wall of force, etc.

I swear by GW's plastic boxed sets. Even after you've built the unit you want for your game you've easily got a sprue or more of extra limbs, weapons, heads, etc. left over. Mix and match some of those with your old bits box for aberrationy goodness.

Dairun Cates
2007-08-03, 02:18 PM
Well, for mass groups, I might be prone to use army men or these little samurai out of this one board game. For generic like npc's in the middle of battle, I'll usually use a D6 (the advantage being I can mark off HP % with number). For PC's and major villains, I've been prone to use whatever I can find from Heroscape to little dinosaur figurines.

Were-Sandwich
2007-08-03, 02:29 PM
I make a custom paper minature for each of my characters, using the masters from www.juniorgeneral.com. Great way of doing it.

Matthew
2007-08-03, 09:30 PM
Yeah, basically Reaper and Citadel. I also have some TSR Miniatures and a number of metal Iconic Characters. I mainly use Cardboard Tokens and homemade Cardboard Dungeon Floorplans, though. I like to avoid using any of the above whenever possible.

LoopyZebra
2007-08-03, 10:13 PM
I use some Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures and old Mage Knight. The only problem is with groups, as I don't have that many duplicates. No customization, as I'm afraid that I'd screw 'em up. In lieu of a good miniature we usually use the closest looking thing, which has resulted in fae standing in for demons on more than one occasion.


But really, I'd love to do what Seamus Young does with a whiteboard. That looks really great. Linky (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=30)

Try putting a piece of plexiglass (can get a decent size at a home improvement store for cheap, mine was $10? Maybe 15?) over a paper grid. Works just the same, and the grid can be switched out as needed.

Curmudgeon
2007-08-03, 10:14 PM
Speaking of tokens, can anyone recommend a source for these? Miniatures are always toppling over, so I generally don't bother with them and use coins with sticky labels. Tokens with pictures would be better.

horseboy
2007-08-03, 10:31 PM
I used to work like across the street from GW's US HQ. I've got mad amounts of minis and solid modeling skills. However, I NEVER use them with RPG's. It's my line of demarcation. Combat is completely cinematic. I once experimented with using them and the whole thing just got terribly silly.

Isomenes
2007-08-03, 10:34 PM
Sculpy for the win!! Do you have a set of pre-molded bases, or do you hand mold each? I have found that making a basic shape and setting it in plaster is very useful.

Hunter Noventa
2007-08-03, 10:43 PM
My group used to use minis fromt he old heroquest game, they were absolutely perfect. The guy who owned them has since moved however, and now we have a small collection of the D+D minis that we use.

Nogard
2007-08-03, 11:14 PM
I use the 3d virtual world Second Life.. any picture of a monster from a side view can be turned into a mini with nearly unlimited free copies.... check it out

Images might be a bit too big for the forums.. so i will link to them
Wide view of the table. (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_WideView.jpg)
Part of the party. (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_Party.jpg)
Goblins hiding (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_Ambush.jpg)
Aeriel View (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_TopView.jpg)

Matthew
2007-08-03, 11:19 PM
Hex Based Maps! Very retro.

Nogard
2007-08-03, 11:20 PM
the hexgrid is a transparent overlay... it has a regular grid on the bottom, i can just flip it over, and change whatever texture i put underneath... instant new map...
but I've also built some nice 3d maps.. ill see if I can find a picture... or just take a new one

Damionte
2007-08-04, 12:17 AM
We use whatever mini's are around. From whatever games we have. I mean we have plenty of regular D&D mini's around, but we'll also use various warhammer mini's or heck anything that's sitting aroudn the table and is about the size we need.

Our group has been attacked by lil green army men, my little ponies, gummy bears, extra dice, heck even cheesy puffs!

BardicDuelist
2007-08-04, 12:37 AM
Sculpy for the win!! Do you have a set of pre-molded bases, or do you hand mold each? I have found that making a basic shape and setting it in plaster is very useful.

I make a wire frame in using cork as the base. Then sculpt over with kneadanite.

de-trick
2007-08-04, 01:49 AM
a little of topic but one time me and a friend got in a fight about are miniatures and dice let me set the stage

last gamin session wasn't done till 2 in the morning im 14 and could not get a ride by the older people in the group, so i left my stuff at DM house, next gaming session I could not find my dice so I asked my friend and he started to laugh but never told me where they were and the session was starting soon so I was getting nervous so I decided to steal his minis He had 20 something so I take his and he takes them back plus mine only 8 so before he turned around I punched him right in the crouch and sacked him(my rogue levels paid off there)he said''thank you for the miniaturesand walked to go sit in a chair holding himself trying not to cry(I punched him hard (18 strength) after that another player who was watching the whole thing pointed up to the rafters of the basement and I quickly went and grabbed them

AslanCross
2007-08-04, 01:54 AM
I just use whatever D&D minis I get out of the booster packs I buy. I have no modeling skills whatsoever and since my players are all beginners I use the minis to keep things in perspective.

The mat I use is a foam art board I found in a bookstore that has a very neat grid drawn on it. The minis are unfortunately too large to fit in the squares, so we give each Medium-sized creature four squares instead of one.

I lay tracing paper over the board for encounters and have the players draw the map over it.

bosssmiley
2007-08-04, 08:00 AM
I use the 3d virtual world Second Life.. any picture of a monster from a side view can be turned into a mini with nearly unlimited free copies.... check it out

Images might be a bit too big for the forums.. so i will link to them
Wide view of the table. (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_WideView.jpg)
Part of the party. (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_Party.jpg)
Goblins hiding (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_Ambush.jpg)
Aeriel View (http://mm.toble.com/GameTable_TopView.jpg)

That's pretty cool Nogard, you've managed to find a cool virtual gaming table and a use for 2nd Life in one fell swoop. Your geek-fu is indeed mighty. :smallcool:

Jarlax
2007-08-04, 08:32 AM
a friend of mine started collecting the D&D minis and i feel like that really brought an extra bit of flavor to the encounters. before we were using my old warhammer 40K orcs, with my heavy units (giant robots and large trucks) to represent large or larger monsters. the PCs were represented by reaper miniatures.

now all the PCs are represented by D&D figures/reaper figures and last night i got a real treat. my friend collects all the minis especially the one off special minis. keep in mind the following was not a combat encounter, but having the 2nd level PCs turn a corner and have me draw a huge room on the table with a heap of treasure covering the ground in all the corners, there eyes glassed over as the began to calculate how much treasure was in that room.

the differance between reading out

"you see a massive dragon with blue scales and large pointed ears, it face has a single horn extending from the front"

and dropping the gargantuan blue dragon (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndmin/957890000A) on the table where they could see for themselves without telling them what they were fighting, was so much better.

Edit: i'm still waiting for some excuse to field his colossal red dragon in a game.

Nogard
2007-08-04, 11:38 AM
That's pretty cool Nogard, you've managed to find a cool virtual gaming table and a use for 2nd Life in one fell swoop. Your geek-fu is indeed mighty. :smallcool:


I appreciate the compliment. And tho its a shameless plug, i'm still inving people to come use my setup. I am trying to get a regular stable of GMs and players there.

I am also considering setting up to run some tabletop strategy games, along the lines of Battletech and Warhammer. Anyone interested, PM me, or contact Nogard Codesmith in Second Life.

horseboy
2007-08-04, 12:24 PM
and dropping the gargantuan blue dragon (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndmin/957890000A) on the table where they could see for themselves without telling them what they were fighting, was so much better.


Pfft (http://www.forgeworld.co.uk/dragon.htm) Of course, for THAT price, it damn well better be.

Orak
2007-08-04, 12:32 PM
Our group uses large graph sheets (about 24 inches by 36 inches) that are sold in 50 sheet pads. Each pad lasts about 2 years of game play. We pitch in $5 each month to add to our extensive collection of miniatures which are almost all from the D&D line of minis.

It adds enourmously to encounters and tactics when you have your characters on a board. You maneuver for tactical advantage and there are so many aspects of the game that really shine when you use actual representation for the combat.

Feats like cleave, spring attack, whirlwind, shapespell, dimension door, etc become so much more useful when you have an actual use for them in combat. A monks or barbarians increased speed becomes really handy for flanking while the drawbacks of being slow are really apparent. A druid becomes less of a powerhouse when he turns into a large or huge creature and has trouble navigating the battlefield. It is instantly apparent whether or not a charge is possible. So many things the DM doesn't have to spend time describing because it is depicted by the characters on the map. We constantly use flanking to increase our chances in combat and you can win a really hard encounter by using good tactics.

Combat would not be the same without using minis.

horseboy
2007-08-04, 01:27 PM
Feats like cleave, spring attack, whirlwind, shapespell, dimension door, etc become so much more useful when you have an actual use for them in combat. A monks or barbarians increased speed becomes really handy for flanking while the drawbacks of being slow are really apparent. A druid becomes less of a powerhouse when he turns into a large or huge creature and has trouble navigating the battlefield. It is instantly apparent whether or not a charge is possible. So many things the DM doesn't have to spend time describing because it is depicted by the characters on the map. We constantly use flanking to increase our chances in combat and you can win a really hard encounter by using good tactics.

Combat would not be the same without using minis.

You can do any of that without minis.

Arbitrarity
2007-08-04, 01:34 PM
But its hard to remain consistient, and to exactly determine the effects.

CrazedGoblin
2007-08-04, 01:40 PM
we use minitures occasionaly if not one of our group has a huge bag of metal figures which we use :smallbiggrin:

de-trick
2007-08-04, 01:58 PM
without miniatures what stopping people saying that they were at area 5 and can attack 1,2, 3 but with minis at area 5 you can only attack 2

Were-Sandwich
2007-08-04, 02:04 PM
My group have always used minis, or at least a gridded map, but we all have backgrounds in wargaming, so I suppose its natural.

horseboy
2007-08-04, 02:23 PM
without miniatures what stopping people saying that they were at area 5 and can attack 1,2, 3 but with minis at area 5 you can only attack 2

Maturity, and good narration.

Swordguy
2007-08-04, 03:05 PM
the differance between reading out

"you see a massive dragon with blue scales and large pointed ears, it face has a single horn extending from the front"

and dropping the gargantuan blue dragon (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndmin/957890000A) on the table where they could see for themselves without telling them what they were fighting, was so much better.

Edit: i'm still waiting for some excuse to field his colossal red dragon in a game.

I've done that in a Shadowrun game with the 12" vinyl BattleMechs - in scale with the players minis. Very satisfying from a GMs perspective.

My wife has promised to BUY me the Colossal Red...with the caveat that she'll only do it AFTER I've finished running my current campaign. Doesn't want to see it on the table while playing a dragonhunting bard I suppose.

LotharBot
2007-08-06, 02:26 PM
Each player in my game is responsible for getting their own personal mini, or finding one in my set.

I have about a dozen small pewter minis ($3 or $4 each). I also recently picked up a couple of boxes of Heroscape expansions (http://www.hasbro.com/heroscape/default.cfm?page=browse) because they have some neat dragons and such. Finally, I picked up some "creatures of the world / animal toppers" (made by Imperial Toy, whose website is currently being rebuilt) from the toy department at the local store. It was a dollar for a tube with a couple trees and rocks and 6-8 of a given type of creature: spiders, rats, jungle animals, insects, horses, etc. I highly recommend these if you can find them -- I bought 8 assorted sets, and the terrain itself was worth most of the 8 bucks it cost. I also snagged a 3 dollar bag of rubber dinosaurs to round out my collection.

A friend has a nice box of official D&D minis he brings to our games, too.

Matthew
2007-08-07, 12:36 AM
without miniatures what stopping people saying that they were at area 5 and can attack 1,2, 3 but with minis at area 5 you can only attack 2

Aw, man. What's stopping them is trust, a fair bit of imagination, willingness to play fair and adherence to the DM's arbitration. What's the point in cheating at an RPG?

BardicDuelist
2007-08-07, 12:44 AM
What's the point in cheating at an RPG?

There really isn't one, but how many people do you know that fudge die rolls, etc.

I like the tatical combat aspect of a battlemat, but then what I like about D&D is the combination of story telling, improvisational acting, and tactical strategy. I find that this works best using a battlemat for combat, but I also see how it isn't necessary.

Also, for those who do not have a battlemat, an old chess/checkers board works well. The draw back is that you can't draw and erase easily.

Leon
2007-08-07, 01:34 AM
When i DM: my Orc army subs for most things with particulars filled out from my DDM collection + my Reaper Mini collection

Darksun: PCs are DDM minis provided by me (or personal mini's), everything else comes from the DMs Warhammer collection

2nd Ed: DDM for everything (5 of the 8 people involved play DDM)

WHFRP: Assortment of mini's on a Hex mat (mostly Warmachine and Warhammer)

BrokenButterfly
2007-08-07, 06:24 PM
I play the D&D Minis skirmish game as well, so I simply use the official models. I don't make a big deal of a model actually depicting what it's supposed to, although that's certainly refreshing.

I then just draw maps for combat rooms ahead of time on pieces of paper.

Accolon
2007-08-07, 09:24 PM
I paint and model all of the group's character minis and important NPCs and bad guys. I love it. I probably have over 200 unpainted ones and half as many painted ones. I see something I like, I pick it up for the future. I stick with mostly Reaper, Games-workshop (Warhammer) and WarMachine minis. WarMachine is fast becoming one of my favs. Great looking minis, (especially for a Steampunk-like camp, or Deadlands, or a 19th century setting) that paint really well. I do scenery and stuff too. I like Reaper's Masterwork Paint series, they have incredible colors, but I use Citadel and Valejo paints also. We use MageKnight, Heroscape, D&D and a host of other companies for "throw downs" and more generic bad guys. The best of these are Dwarven Forge's pre-painted stuff, but we use toys too. Plastic dinos and animals are great. I know that Reaper is debuting a series of pre-painted minis too. They look pretty cool on the Reaper site.

The minis are a big part of our game. I think they're a real help, especially when combined with a battlemat or scenery or both, which is what we try to do, but mostly its just the battlemat. Scenery is hard to cart around, but we get trees and some ruins on the table.