Thursday, 19 April 2012

Take me to tiny town: how do you like your minis?

A big part of D&D 4e and indeed many other games are the miniatures that adorn the table, strewn across grids and mats in all their glory. Few can argue that a handful of painted mini heroes battling a beholder or dragon isn't a cool sight to behold. But with minis being so expensive nowadays, getting enough to sate your campaign is getting more difficult.

Reptus Warlord from Reaper Miniatures
There's no doubt that a painted mini from Reaper or Games Workshop looks the part, especially if you're using 3D terrain. While I do like sitting down and painting, I find that nowadays I have less and less time to do so, meaning that I buy a selection of heroes and never get around to finishing them. In my home game I use pre-painted D&D miniatures and sometimes Mage Knight figs if they fit the bill.

Pathfinder Mini from WizKids
Back in the day, machine-led painting created sloppy pre-painted minis that looked atrocious, but with new technology comes better minis, such as the Pathfinder Heroes pack. But there's still something a little soulless about getting figures already painted and to a sub-par standard no less.

Counters from Fiery Dragon
The other option is to use card tokens or paper minis, which can contain really great art but might need some weighing down so a wayward gust doesn't scatter them across the realm. I think the token found in the Pathfinder Beginner's Box and Fiery Dragon's tokens in T&T 7.5 are good if you don't want to throw down cold hard cash on plastic or metal.

In the end it really comes down to time and money. Can you afford to buy a bunch of minis and will you have time to paint them?

So what's your preference? Traditional unpainted minis, pre-painted or card stock?