View Full Version : Gaming Miniatures and Alternatives...

Reverend Strone
8 March 2002, 05:46 PM
I was wondering what systems other GMs have adopted for keeping track of movement and positioning in combat situations?

While the lead miniatures are beautiful, the expense and relatively small range have always prevented me from using them, even when you count the old WEG and new WoTC pieces. I don't want to be limited in my games to what is available as playing pieces. For the same reason I don't use action figures despite having the largest action figure collection of anyone I know (and the fact that Iíve observed as soon as you put toys on the table grown players turn into juveniles).

My solution has been to use cardboard tokens mounted on Games Workshop miniature stands. The cut outs each have a color illustration of the character on them. These are either photocopies or original drawings if I canít find an appropriate pre-existing image. My players and I are all illustrators so it makes life a little easier, but even otherwise, there are tons of images around that can be adapted.

Iíve heard of some GMs using LEGOs or even Micromachines.

What are all you folks out there using and what tricks or insights have you gained doing so?

8 March 2002, 06:09 PM
I was looking into this very topic earlier today. I went on to About.com and found a website called Vector which suggested using paper taped around a six-sider. I just created one today, and it looks good. I plan on using it Sunday, will let you know how it comes out.

Anyway, right now, we use the figures from the Star Wars Monopoly game, and various dice as NPCs. Last night we had a massive starfighter battle (ten of us vs. 25 of them, all in Headhunters). The bad guys were pennies, and we were dice, with our call-sign number showing. Worked pretty well as we didn't pay attention to facing.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
8 March 2002, 06:12 PM
Yup! the 3 3/4" hight ones... i've a large collection of them since '84

lotsa cool ones to use and they have them foot peg stands with them... lotsa unique guns and such, and with a little creativity, capes helmets and lightsabers can be fashioned.. and they're super posable :D

To be real creative... taking some of them apart and mix-in match them to preferance...

Well, thats my preferable choice when if & when I can use them :)

Here's the most fun i've had with them... which hallmarks the hieght of juvinialism:
have the room dark, a single desk or flashlight aimed at the wall and do "shadow character" re-inactments portrayed on the wall ... (the figures standing infront of the light beam, much like making hand shadow pupets) ...

10 March 2002, 07:05 PM
Nothing could ever replace miniatures in my game. Whatever I come up with, you can always find a minauture to represent it. One just needs to plan ahead a bit. The depth and realism they have added to our star wars games are almost unmeasurable.

Terras Jadeonar & Raven
10 March 2002, 08:38 PM
being able to portray your character and the npcs does ad to the game...

with my suggestion of g.i.joes, i used them in a battle-tech game that my friend had brought over to introduce me into it... (which i ended up not getting into much) ... the gijoes from the early to mid 90's had them spring loaded bazooka missle launchers... we used the android figures as aproximation of mecha (the more humanoid type variants that can be selected) and when we did the dice roll for the hit or miss, we actually fired them missles from our chars hands at the target...
It did add realism as the missles hit the different parts of the figure so where it hit is where we put down as damage pts on the mecha howver apropiate as the diceroll amounted too...

Ya'know... using figures of that size... I'd think legos would be an awesome suplement to that... being able to build mini doorways and wall corners to add to the visual realism... of the game... I suppose one could gettreal crafty and do speeders and such... Hmm, would work better for some things if using lego figures...

I dunno if there's them small figures one could custom paint & pose... that would be really cool... each person having their own unique figure...

hey bagman19, would ya post the url for that vector site? about.com gives me about 898 pages with vector results listed... :p

[edit]: never mind, I found the site... http://www.magnusludus.com/vector/heroes.html

12 March 2002, 03:19 PM
I've used Legos before with a character in a different game system becuase I just could not find a good peweter fig that was compatiable with my character description (just not too many figs out there that are for a female character who does not carry a gun and is an anthropolgist.) Lego's are terrific to use because of the great amount of versatality that you have with them and no work needs to be put into painting them.

Another good type of fig you can use are the Mage Knight figures. While it is mostly a fantasy setting, you can find humans with guns, etc.. These too don't need work since they are already painted. One more nice bonus with these is that they're pretty cheap.

Well, one more toy I can think of is one a friend of mine showed me. They're found on this site. (http://www.stikfas.com/home.htm)

The toys themselves are called Stikfas. While they are a bit hefty in price (about $15 dollars USD shipping included in the price,) if you purchase them in bulk, the shipping is cheaper. Also, they are about the same size as lego men and can hold any lego peices (like lightsabers.) These toys are fully poseable and can be balanced easily in just about any position. Aslo, they're made of solid plastic, so you can sculpt them if you want, as well as paint them. (If you look through the galleries you will find a custom job of Boba Fett.)

(One thing that's difficult to find is the credit cards that you can use on the site. The ones they accept are Mastercard, Visa, and one other that I don't remeber the name. another thing to keep in mind is that they are shipped from Singapore, hence the hefty shipping prices.)

14 March 2002, 07:36 AM
As for my self, I use Custom 3 3/4" action figures for my game. I've got a good size collection of original characters as well as characters from the books. When customizing, I'll often swap body parts, resculpt parts of the figure, and even use cloth and even real hair to get the effect I'm looking for. So far I've done the Solo kids, including two Jainas (one in her Jedi gear and one in her X-Wing gear), Tenel Ka with two different removable outfits (her lizard hide jumpsuit with vest, bag, and a Jedi robe; and a gown with crown and cape), Zekk, Lowbacca with MTD, Danni Quee, Luke as a Jedi Master, Mara Jade Skywalker in her green outfit, Tionne with her doubl viol, ilghtsaber, and changable outfits, Kam Solusar, Coran Horn with cloth robes and lightsaber with removable blade, Mirax Terric with changabel outfits, Tycho Chelcu, Winter with changable outfits, Luke and Mara in their wedding outfits, and even Sia Lan Wess form the Invasion of Theed Adventure Game as well as several original characters.

Reverend Strone
14 March 2002, 12:46 PM
I'm a customizer too Tramp, as are a bunch of other folks who post here. How about posting some snaps of your creations for us to admire?

15 March 2002, 06:49 AM
Unfortunately, I have no pictures of them to download and wouldn't know how to get them online to begin with.

Reverend Strone
15 March 2002, 05:53 PM
Yeah, actually, I must admit I'm in the same boat. Don't got a scanner and not hugely computer literate. Thanks all the same and good luck with your future customizing endeavors.

18 March 2002, 10:08 AM
My group uses LEGO. There's a much better selection than with other types of miniatures, and LEGO is endlessly customizable. Besides, I love the look on my players' face when I pull out a dozen Stormtrooper minifigs and set up the board for battle.

Lord Kjeran
18 March 2002, 10:39 AM

Originally posted by Ineti
My group uses LEGO. There's a much better selection than with other types of miniatures, and LEGO is endlessly customizable. Besides, I love the look on my players' face when I pull out a dozen Stormtrooper minifigs and set up the board for battle.

The same here, except with me it's about 20 TF battle droids and 4 droidekas!