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    true_shinken's Avatar

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    Default D&D miniatures and alternatives

    I use D&D Miniatures in my game. Most of what I have are the old one and I must say I'm quite unimpressed with the Player's Handbook Heroes (mostly badly done (and more expensive) repaints) and similar series and outright pissed with this new Hasbro line with incompatible bases.
    My question is: do you know any option with minis out there? Getting D&D Miniatures is hard enough here in Brazil, but I really want alternatives.

    Suggestions on maps are also welcome. I recently bought a book supposed to be filled with maps for the d20 system - they were all in the wrong proportion.

    Also, please don't say 'don't use miniatures', that's not exactly helpful.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-12-21 at 05:24 PM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    My group has done the following (mostly for bad guys).
    • Use dice (easy to track which is which by what number you put facing up).
    • Use Starburst candy (if available in Brazil) or any other wrapped candy that's roughly 1 inch x 1 inch. As a bonus, players get to eat their kills! [Idea stolen from Keld Denar]
    • Use coins.
    • Use bottlecaps.
    • Buy miniatures from another wargame (as long as the size is right). Unpainted miniatures especially can come pretty cheap. There's one game--Arcane Legions, I think? Anyway, a box of 50 minis was like $25 at my local gaming store.
    • Use scraps of paper. Annoying, but the most cost-efficient.


    If you use any of the above for baddies, you only need a handful of decent minis for your heroes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    Buy miniatures from another wargame (as long as the size is right). Unpainted miniatures especially can come pretty cheap. There's one game--Arcane Legions, I think? Anyway, a box of 50 minis was like $25 at my local gaming store.
    Ah, that's basically what I wanted. I'll try to find one of those.

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    If you use any of the above for baddies, you only need a handful of decent minis for your heroes.
    I have quite a few minis already, it's just that getting more decent minis is getting harder and harder. I'll search for Arcane Legions, thanks.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    NP. There was some World of Warcraft game that had some decent-looking minis, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaz View Post
    Ponies, the Kim Karsdashian of GITP.
    This is what happens when they let me DM:
    Beyond the Horizon IC / OOC
    A Time to Die: Alpha IC / Bravo IC / OOC

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    We mostly use miniatures from other games (heroes Quest, descent)
    Both these Games come with a ton of miniatures in the correct size you need.
    The quality is not awesome, but good enough and the price is pretty good considering you get a fun game to play on top

    Only downside is that you have to paint them yourself.

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    The Big Dice's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    If I'm going to use minis, which is fairly rare in and of itself, I cheat extravagantly. I had some card that I'd been using to make GM screens for out of print RPGs, and I had an idea.

    Instead of buying a miniature collection, I cut out sections of card that I could fold. These make a triangle shape with a square base. No glue, easy to unfold and store flat, bases cut to the size of the vcarious size categories of D&D.

    I've got some other cardboard hero type figures I swiped from old board games. They get used for "hero PC" or "villanous NPC" as needed.

    I also modified a board from an old game that I'd long since lost most of the pieces from. I printed out half a dozen one in hex grid pages (I prefer hexes to squares, it's my age) and laminated them onto the board.

    I draw layouts on the board with some thick dry erase markers, clean it off with some windex and a kitchen towel. It might not be as pretty as painted minis with scenery and Dungeon Tiles to make layouts with. But it is cheap, adaptable, easy to store and meets all the criteria I need for those rare times when minis are the order of the day.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    I guess it depends a lot on how much money and work that you're willing to put into the figures.

    I'm truly old school and use metal miniatures which I've painted myself. I found that most of the D&D figures felt kind of cheap.

    Iron Wind metals and Mega Miniatures both have a decent line of figures (and both have online stores). Ebay is another good source of metal figures from the older companies which aren't around any more (such as Ral Partha or Genadier) too. If you've got lots of money, Games Workshop might be viable as well. The down side (if you don't have much time) is that you have to paint them yourself. Storage is also a consideration too - dumping the figures into a bag doesn't work well, you really need a case.

    Another point on the metals is that their bases typically are the wrong size. I typically rebase my figures on a correctly sized base for the figure. That's an option too for any incorrectly sized bases for the plastics as well. There are several companies that make bases which are the correct size, but some plasticard works well too.

    If you're asking for suggestions other than miniatures, some tokens/counters might work as well. Images resized to desired base size, then printed out and cut out can also be viable. I've seen all sorts of things used over the years to represent players and their enemies on the battlefield - scraps of paper, dice, chess pieces, coins, other game tokens, rocks, sliced and colored wooden dowels, bottle caps, cotton balls (for spell effects). The list is nearly endless.

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    There are collections of paper miniatures that you can print out. They fold up and glue into position so they have a 'base' and stand up well enough. This sort of miniature makes it easier to have different minis for each type of baddie (or each baddie if you want). I have found that using them makes your players really react when seeing what you're putting on the board. I use real minis for my players, but these stand-in's are nice as well. The ones I use are made by Pazio, but there are others.

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Volos View Post
    There are collections of paper miniatures that you can print out. They fold up and glue into position so they have a 'base' and stand up well enough. This sort of miniature makes it easier to have different minis for each type of baddie (or each baddie if you want). I have found that using them makes your players really react when seeing what you're putting on the board. I use real minis for my players, but these stand-in's are nice as well. The ones I use are made by Pazio, but there are others.
    Oh, Paizo has one of those?
    I actually used Counters Collection (dunno the publisher) for quite some time, though I'm more of a miniature guy. But fold ups are awesome, they remind me of Street Fighter StG. Would you be so kind as to provide me a link to those Paizo paper miniatures?

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    I don't have a link, as I bought them in person... but they are on Pazio's site. Or atleast they were last time I checked. Even if I had a link, I would avoid posting it just incase the material is actually copyrighted.

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Thnks, Volos, I'll look up on the side.

    Any suggestions on maps, btw? My old maps (I got'em from D&D Minis) are badly battered (including the square grid from the DMG).

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Again descent: journey in the dark board game with the map-tiles you can easily make nice dungeon maps
    so basically you get around 80 minis + nice dungeon tiles for 50$

    for outdoor or large indoor scenes we use a Chessex Mat

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    I use minis with substitutions for bad guys where needed (or dice or other tokens if needed), but I also now have the 4EE Monster Vault so I have all the nice counters to use too.
    Last edited by Kerrin; 2010-12-21 at 06:54 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Legos? They might work. I don't know if they're available in Brazil, but they should be.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    I use D&D Miniatures in my game. Most of what I have are the old one and I must say I'm quite unimpressed with the Player's Handbook Heroes (mostly badly done (and more expensive) repaints) and similar series and outright pissed with this new Hasbro line with incompatible bases.
    Out of curiosity, what set has incompatible bases? As far as I know, all of the D&D minis sets have compatible bases (though the size did change a little on some of them, they still fit on the standard grid just fine). You aren't meaning the Heroscape minis are you?

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    I won't answer for true_shinken but I do have some HeroScape and the bases are a little too large but I do use some anyway. They still work alright as long as the map isn't overcrowded.
    Frolic and dance for joy often.
    Be determined in your ventures.
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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrant View Post
    Out of curiosity, what set has incompatible bases? As far as I know, all of the D&D minis sets have compatible bases (though the size did change a little on some of them, they still fit on the standard grid just fine). You aren't meaning the Heroscape minis are you?
    Yeah, Heroscape, that's it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anxe View Post
    Legos? They might work. I don't know if they're available in Brazil, but they should be.
    Dunno if Lego is the right scale, but it's too goofy for me anyway.

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Here's the battle map that I use. I use wet erase markers on it for terrain and stuff. The wet erase markers are from crayola. I keep a sponge and a cloth on the table to wipe away marks when the encounter changes. Apply the sponge to wipe off the marker and then the cloth to wipe off the water so you can add more marks.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Yeah, Heroscape, that's it.
    Well, that's the source of your base scale problem. I don't know which series it is you have, but at some point they switched to round bases for those as well (though I think they aren't the same size as the bases of the normal D&D minis), at least on the medium based figures. I don't own any myself (can't find them in a store, though I haven't been looking very hard) but I have read about the change in their bases. If you have any interest in trying to keep using official minis, you should check out DDM Spoilers. It is a fairly comprehensive site to see what is out there and there is usually decent talk in a couple of the forums about potential proxies. You might also find someone who can help you get the minis (or whatever you choose to use) in your part of the world if you wish to pursue that. MaxMinis and Hordelings also have similar discussion.

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrant View Post
    Well, that's the source of your base scale problem. I don't know which series it is you have, but at some point they switched to round bases for those as well (though I think they aren't the same size as the bases of the normal D&D minis), at least on the medium based figures.
    They are not, sadly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrant View Post
    I don't own any myself (can't find them in a store, though I haven't been looking very hard) but I have read about the change in their bases. If you have any interest in trying to keep using official minis, you should check out DDM Spoilers. It is a fairly comprehensive site to see what is out there and there is usually decent talk in a couple of the forums about potential proxies. You might also find someone who can help you get the minis (or whatever you choose to use) in your part of the world if you wish to pursue that. MaxMinis and Hordelings also have similar discussion.
    Hm, thanks a lot, I'll do that.

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    PirateWench

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    For metals I have always liked Reaper Minutres, but like all metal minitures there is a cost involved.

    Recently a friend showed me a set called Mage Knight i think.. its unfortunately no longer produced he took these plastic figures seperated thema nd re-attatched them to plastic bases.

    And while i wouldnt Recomend Most of their Stuff if you can afford it and want alot of guys you can set up for whatever role youw ant them for in bulk. Look at some of Games workshops Plastic Figures for the Armies.

    So you get 15-20 guys you can assemble with the weapons you want, same for zombies or orcs etc. But i havent baught any of these sets in 10 years and i am sure the price has gone up. But once painted they look really nice.

    would allow you to make bandits or guardsmen or whatever you need.

    Sadly most of my ideas cost money :(

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Mage Knight is too big for the normal/standard 1" = 5' scale.

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    I use Mage Knight figures myself. But that's more because me and one of my players already had a collection of those figures before we started playing DnD. Mage knight figures are probably too big to mix with other figures though.
    I also have used bottlecaps with symbols written on them and pogs of pokémon as miniatures.

    I made a plastic mat myself. I got 4 sturdy A3 papers, draw a grid on them (compatible with my figures) and laminated those. I use whiteboard markers to draw on them. It took like an hour work, but I have used them for about 3 years now with minimal costs.
    A friend of mine had a battle mat made from some kind of sturdy paper black board, painted it with a grid. He could draw on it with chalk. It was very classy.

    You've already dismissed lego figures, so this is not a suggestion, more an expression of a personal opinion. I really like how you can assemble and outfit lego figures. Players can see that an orc has an axe or a polearm because the figure is carrying one. With miniatures you have to tell the players what kind of equipment the enemies are carrying, with lego you can show them.
    EDIT: Also, they have an elf mini figure., I really, really want that one.
    Last edited by some guy; 2010-12-22 at 12:11 PM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Warhammer and warmachine models are pretty much the perfect size, however the best way to get minis is from reaper miniatures, they are cheap and have a BIG variety of individual minis.

    Though I will often use coins, bottlecaps, scraps of paper, just about anything to represent enemies.

    Though for reaper miniatures id recommend to get your friends to go out with about 20$(us/can) apiece, which is enough for 3 miniatures each. Have them all get miniatures that are reasonably close to the three class archetypes(magic user/ ranger / fighter) and everyone should be set for a long time

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    Default Re: D&D miniatures and alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by OMG PONIES View Post
    • Use Starburst candy (if available in Brazil) or any other wrapped candy that's roughly 1 inch x 1 inch. As a bonus, players get to eat their kills! [Idea stolen from Keld Denar]


    If you use any of the above for baddies, you only need a handful of decent minis for your heroes.
    Hehehe, been using the starburst candies for one of the home games I'm in. The only problem is that the mage keeps KSing bad guys so she can eat all of the starbursts...

    And yea, we are using normal minis for the players. The familiarity is handy for sizing up the mat easily.

    I highly recommend Steelsqwire products as well, if you are gonna be playing on a grid. The spell templates in particular are AMAZING, especially if you are playing a mage of any sort.
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2010-12-22 at 12:53 PM.
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