Miniatures Belong in Games

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Miniatures Belong in Games
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There Will Be Games

Something that consistently surprises me about the tabletop hobby is how divisive miniatures seem to be. Some of the reasons people are opposed to miniatures in a game seem sensible enough; sometimes they lack the inclination to paint them (which I will address later on). Often it is felt that they drive the price of a game up past what is considered reasonable to many people, and it can be difficult to argue with that – especially when we consider how expensive games are becoming. Cost is already a huge barrier to entry for many into the hobby. Tabletop gaming is absolutely a luxury – no getting past that.

But there’s one piece of criticism that I see very often in debates about miniatures and it is out-and-out hypocrisy, yet I think that many of the people that hold this sentiment don’t realise just hypocritical it is.

“Miniatures don’t add anything to a game.”

Well, Jim, I can’t agree with you, because then we’d both be wrong.

 

The Painting Problem

Many of the Warhammer tournaments I have attended penalize players for having unpainted models. The most common system to this end that I’ve seen is that every player with an army that is deemed fully painted according to the parameters set by the Tournament Organiser is awarded a small amount of points towards their overall tournament score. By doing it this way, you’re creating incentive towards desirable habits rather than punishing those who don’t conform. Nothing is taken away from the player who didn’t turn up with a fully painted army – he just doesn’t gain anything for it. Such practice is also quite hotly debated amongst wargaming circles, as there’s a belief that it discourages people from participating in tournaments. Personally, I don’t think that this is going to be particularly high up in the list of things that discourages people who are dithering about entering a wargaming tournament, but that’s another article for another time.

All that being said, I’ve seen it become increasingly common for tournaments not to bother at all about enforcing standards for painted models. Last year I participated in the Warhammer Underworlds Grand Clash at UK Games Expo and had only managed to prime my Fyreslayers (shame, shame!), but suffered no consequences for the standard to which they were painted at all. In fact, Underworlds is a great example of an apparent shift in the way miniatures are produced, as each of the warbands is cast in a different colour of plastic. This means that they’re still easy to differentiate from on another unpainted, and they’re still quite nice to look at if you want to use them straight out of the box. (The A Song of Ice and Fire Tabletop Miniatures Game from CMON also features miniatures cast in plastic colour coded for their respective factions.)

What am I trying to say with all this? You don’t need to paint your miniatures – simple as that.

One of my unpainted Space Wolves, who sadly remains unpainted for the moment.

Personally, I enjoy painting miniatures for many of the games that I play, and I do think that there are certain games that do benefit from - and are drastically enhanced by – painted miniatures; one of my personal favourites, Warhammer Age of Sigmar is definitely one of those. But I also own a number of games that come with miniatures that I haven’t, and probably never will, paint – Chaos in the Old World and Middle Earth Quest amongst many others. I don’t think anybody would argue that a fully custom painted copy of any game looks infinitely better than one that’s left untouched by a paintbrush, but it’s unrealistic for many of us to paint everything we own. Again, the recent shift in many companies casting their miniatures in coloured plastic is a very elegant solution to the problem of the desire to play the game outweighing the inclination or ability to paint, and it’s something I hope to see more of in the future.

Ultimately, the healthiest approach is to find a consensus or compromise within your group, shop, tournament scene, etc. Amongst my own group, there isn’t anybody that really digs their heels in about not painting their miniatures. Most of our issues relate to time management and other things vying for our attention. Because we all ultimately want to have painted miniatures, we decided during our most recent campaign that on every campaign turn during which a player successfully painted a new unit, their army was granted an additional magic item. Again, it’s about incentivising desirable behavior.

Am I using Pavlovian Conditioning on my friends? Well, that’s another article for another time.

 

The Hypocrisy Problem

I find it quite baffling that so many are so critical on something that adds visual dynamism to a visually-oriented medium. But there’s an extra layer of hypocrisy to the tabletop gamer’s aversion to the miniature.

Miniatures are great to handle.

I know it sounds weird, and I know that the millions and millions of pedantic painting nerds reading this article just let out a collective gasp of horror, but hear me out.

What is the big attraction to tabletop games? Well, there are several. Social interactivity always ranks highly, but many people also enjoy the art of a well-presented game on the tabletop, the feel of a nicely textured card in their hands, grabbing a handful of chunky dice to hear them rattle across a wooden table.

We are an extremely visual-tactile species, which is one of the primary reasons that tabletop gaming is so attractive and rewarding to us. Miniatures, in many ways, are the poster children of tabletop gaming; the ultimate artistic expression of our love of aesthetics and textures – of spectacle. Rising Sun could absolutely function the same way if you replaced all the miniatures with counters, just as you could eat your salad without dressing, or live your life without happiness. As much as many are of the belief that art and visual presentation should take a back seat to good gameplay, the reality is that the relationship between art and gameplay within a game is symbiotic to the extent that many of the greatest games are inextricable from their artwork – Magic: The Gathering and Warhammer 40,000 being two excellent examples of this.

 There's a bit of debate of whether or not Rising Sun needs the miniatures that come with the game at all. What's not up for debate is how fantastic they all look. Copyright CMON.COM

Even in minimalist and abstract games, visual presentation is an important element of the enjoyment. If a game is presented in black and white with very clean and simple visuals, a conscious decision about the art has still been made – there’s still no getting away from how important aesthetics are. Chess could – if you wanted to – be played on a plain board with a number of tiles with the names of the pieces they represent, but we all know it just wouldn’t be the same. It’s funny because in today’s tabletop market we often think of chess as a very dry game presented in a very stripped-back way. But just ask anybody with an interest what sort of chess set they own. If you collated a list of the chess sets owned by everybody you know, on that list you’d have marble sets, wooden sets, Star Wars sets; sets themed around Medieval Scottish and English nobility. And some of them are worth a bloody fortune.

No matter the game in question, there’s no escaping the fact that our hobby is one where how everything looks and feels is quintessential; be the game in question a card game, worker placement game, miniature skirmish game, or and abstract game that has been around for centuries. And as much as the recent influx of board games including miniatures has been a source of irritation for many, they’re not going anywhere any time soon. In fact, it’s thought that famed science fiction author H.G. Wells published the first ever rulebook for playing games using toy soldiers in 1913, called ‘Little Wars’.

Miniature wargames - way older than you thought.

So, remember – the next time you diss miniatures, you’re dissing the granddaddy of science fiction himself.

But on a serious note, I hope that perhaps some of you will take a different view of miniatures from some of the opinions I’ve laid out here, and that all of you reading this will have a renewed appreciation for the wee, metal and plastic dudes and dudettes that brighten our tabletops.

There Will Be Games
Ben Porter  (He/Him)
Associate Writer and Podcaster

Ben is the editor for Unlucky Frog Gaming and co-host of the Unlucky Frog Gaming Podcast. Enthusiastic about all things dwarven, he enjoys writing, drawing, gaming and painting miniatures. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland with his wife, their daughter, an entitled cat, and a clumsy tortoise.

Articles & Podcasts by Ben Porter

Ben Porter
Associate Writer and Podcaster

Articles & Podcasts by Ben Porter

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Legomancer's Avatar
Legomancer replied the topic: #300329 01 Aug 2019 08:04
No.
fightcitymayor's Avatar
fightcitymayor replied the topic: #300331 01 Aug 2019 08:32
The distinction is simply tabletop wargames vs. boardgames. Of course tabletop wargames need minis, the minis hobby there is the entire point. The problem is when companies like CMON toss together an unimpressive set of rules then attempt to increase interest with shiny plastic mins that are wholly unnecessary. Zombicide (which BTW is releasing a brand new Version 2.0 in 2020) would work just fine with standees, and sell approximately 1/10th as well.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #300338 01 Aug 2019 08:56
The boardgame industry is aware that they need to provide a package that is different enough from video games to attract a specific audience. So to some extent saying "you should try miniatures" is putting the cart before the horse. Miniature games are designed to attract people already predisposed to the aesthetics of miniatures, already looking for them. The industry is spear-fishing.

That's fine.

The other thing I'll mention is that you can get miniatures reasonably painted by people (other than you) who do it for a relatively reasonable fee. I work with a guy that does historics and has thousands of minis, most of which he did not paint, at least not the majority of the work. He'll send 400 British soldiers to the guy and get them back red-coated and white-socked, and then he will do detail work to make one unit the Queen's Highlanders, another the 4th Infantry by adding a dab of whatever color distinguishes them from the remainder of the army. There are people that do this if you look around a bit.

And . . . in case you need a corporate sponsor, look to Tabletop Gaming Manual by Matt Thrower, which has an entire chapter dedicated to teaching you about miniatures painting. Very nicely done.
Shellhead's Avatar
Shellhead replied the topic: #300339 01 Aug 2019 09:46
I was a teenage wargamer, and stacks of chits seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to handle military units in that context. I still feel that chits or tokens are more suitable than miniatures for some games, depending on the size of the board and the quantity of units. For example, War of the Ring (Ares edition) was a poor choice for minis, especially given the relatively large size of the minis and the small size of some of the map sections.

But sometimes minis are appropriate and really add to the atmosphere of the game. I bought Space Hulk 3rd and was blown away by the detailed sculpts of the minis, and knew that I should paint them. But I had zero painting experience and wanted to get some practice. I watched some YouTube tutorials, and a friend had me bring over some zombies from Zombies!!! so I could try out basic priming and painting techniques without worry. Then I painted my five Fury of Dracula figures, and they turned out okay.

Space Hulk remains partially painted. The xenomorphs were relatively easy, so all that remains is painting their claws that tricky shade of horn-brown. But the Space Marines are hopelessly complex with detail, requiring quite a spectrum of paint colors if I want them to look as intended. Despite the partial progress on the painting, I wanted to play Space Hulk while it was relatively new. Unfortunately, one of my friends broke the winged top off of Sergeant Lorenzo, and I am skittish about painting them until I repair him. And repairing him will require special substances, more YouTube, and some practice on some handy sprues that I kept.

Eventually, I realized that Games Workshop isn't a boardgame publisher, it's a company that sells specialized and overpriced paints in tiny containers. Most of their minis are fiddly with details, and even when painted by an expert, they end up looking too busy and cluttered to be appealing to my eye. So when I bought Silver Tower, Hammerhal, and Blackstone Fortress, I bought very reasonably priced second-hand copies that were stripped of just the minis. Instead of minis, I made nice tokens with downloaded art craftglued to wooden nickels. It's true that boardgamers appreciate the tactile feel of minis, but the same could be said for quality poker chips and even my wooden tokens.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #300344 01 Aug 2019 10:41
As much as I love miniatures - including all of the hobby aspects - I can’t agree that all or even most board games need miniatures even for aesthetic or tactile purposes. Many games- such as the upcoming Dune reprint- simply do not need them to create a complete and holistic atmosphere. Consim games do not need them because informational counters are superior in this format to having off-board references. Part of the Eurogame aesthetic is abstracted, undetailed wooden pieces.

I’m completely unimpressed by pretty much any set of board game manufacturer miniatures and I don’t paint them except in very rare cases (all my Dungeonquest pieces are painted). There’s no point in wasting time painting and dealing with junk-ass bubblegum machine figures when I can paint GW, Northstar, or even D&D figures. I see these Kickstarters with their 3D renders of the 300 minis you’ll get at the $200 pledge level and I’m immediately disinterested.

Here’s the thing. No miniature has ever improved a bad design. Nor has any miniature ever made a great design better. Sure, a decent set of plastics can make a game look neat (see: Cthulhu Wars) but at the end of the day, I find myself preferring to pursue my miniatures hobby separate from board games.
Msample's Avatar
Msample replied the topic: #300346 01 Aug 2019 10:59
I get that minis have a purpose . But I'll go into get off my lawn territory by saying in some cases, they are not only unnecessary, but actually hinder the game experience. Not to mention add cost and take up more space .

Witness the latest edition of HANNIBAL, where the minis were standard and the leader stands were add ons . Why is this an issue ? Because the leaders in that game are very important AND have a Strategy and Tactics rating . So making that info harder to read impacts game play. Many players expressed their dismay at their inclusion but PHALANX insisted.

Now the same company is doing SUCCESSORS. In that game, leaders have FOUR stats - Strategy, Tactics, Rank, and in some cases Prestige. How the hell are you gonna communicate that on a mini ? Jaro, aka Jar Jar, the head Phalanx dude, says minis will make the game more accessible. I call bullshit - its one of the more nuanced CDGs out there . So again minis are standard, the more functional leader stands with cardboard cut outs indicating stats are extra. Charge me more for the more functional option ? Fuck you .

Rant off.
barrowdown's Avatar
barrowdown replied the topic: #300347 01 Aug 2019 11:12

Msample wrote: Now the same company is doing SUCCESSORS.

Rant off.


Holy shit! That is awesome that is being reprinted!

Now I will be able to pick up a cheap GMT copy.
Msample's Avatar
Msample replied the topic: #300356 01 Aug 2019 13:00
Yeah, buy that version. Once the KS for the new one hits later this month, people will start dumping copies. It's far better than the original edition.
Erik Twice's Avatar
Erik Twice replied the topic: #300377 01 Aug 2019 19:46
Miniatures are just the wrong artistic choice for most games.

Detailed, realistic miniatures do not fit the abstract portrayal of a game's world. That is, the huge, detailed miniatures of Rising Sun do not fit the abstract, featureless map of Japan you put them on. One asks you to take them up close, analyze their details and take them as an objective view of reality. The other asks you to focus on the big picture, to ignore all the details and focus on what matters for gameplay.

It's a bit like taking photographs and pasting them on a impressionist drawing. There's nothing wrong with either style, but it's clear they don't belong together. To me, Rising Sun's artistic direction is a failure, because it doesn't even notice that turning Hokkaido into a featureless blue line is not compatible with detailed sculpts. In other words, Rising Sun's artistic design is the equivalent of taking a Playmobil and lying him on a Carcassone board.

Compare it to Pandemic, Root or the new edition of Dune, which are all great looking games. The way you interact with the world in these games is rather abstract. You don't zoom in to order your troops personally and you don't treat sicknesses directly. So, logically, the way you see the world is equally abstract: Areas are representative, not accurate, troops are represented by symbols and details such as weapons are done away with.

Space Hulk sits on the opposite end of the spectrum and yet it follows the same principle: It's a detailed, eye-level game and both the game board and the playing pieces reflect that. It loses in abstraction, because detail is an important part of its setting and its gameplay. The facing of your characters matter. Their weapons and their armour are significant and they are portrayed in an equally significant manner.

And, even then, Miniatures are just a hassle:

- They break or become damaged easily.
- They are heavy and cannot be transported comfortably.
- Unpainted miniatures look terrible.
- They take large amounts of space on the board.
- They obscure the game state and make it harder to parse.
- They make a game less accessible, specially for those that have motor or vision problems.
- They make games significantly more expensive. Which also restricts access, for the record.

And since I'm being so honest, well, I just think the push for miniatures is consumerist nonsense. It comes from this maximalist idea that more stuff is better, without any regard for actual quality of play or artistic beauty. I don't think the influx of miniatures has improved the state of the hobby and only a handful of games have improved because of them.
Frohike's Avatar
Frohike replied the topic: #300386 02 Aug 2019 00:38
Miniatures should be a formal choice that fits the representational aesthetic of a design, not some default in the service of an assumed imperative toward maximal representation and maximal toy factor. Putting them in any game as added “value” without considering their function is the same representational myopia that drives AAA video game design to assume that realistic horse testicle physics are worth development time.
Sevej's Avatar
Sevej replied the topic: #300387 02 Aug 2019 00:59
I love miniatures in my games, except when I don't. Are they replacable with chits? Sure, but I love being able to easily pick them. The table presence doesn't hurt either. My first board game was Battlelore, and had it been chits, my first unboxing wouldn't have been as exciting. I _am_ still painting my BL minis. Scooping my entire army during a large attack in RuneWars would have not felt the same if they were chits (and yes, they're fully painted!). I've seen both versions of Talisman 4th ed, and I vastly prefer the minis, even unpainted.

All of my board games with miniatures _will_ have their value dropped significantly without minis. Sure, they play exactly the same. But having these minis make me happy. I'm not an AI machine. I love the stuff.

And, even then, Miniatures are just a hassle:

- They break or become damaged easily.
- They are heavy and cannot be transported comfortably.
- Unpainted miniatures look terrible.
- They take large amounts of space on the board.
- They obscure the game state and make it harder to parse.
- They make a game less accessible, specially for those that have motor or vision problems.
- They make games significantly more expensive. Which also restricts access, for the record.


I don't think this applies to all minis board game, except maybe the last one. And I'm willing to pay more for that. My Zombicide Black Plague looks awesome with minis. The miniatures are quite tough, and they look ok unpainted. The details are fine. I think Barnes is too hard on these gumball minis. I actually trying to paint less GW minis these days since the last time I painted my orks, their details and undercuts practically _killed_ me. I love the table presence it has.

Anyway, Zombicide is an excellent specimen of a minis board game. It's just fabulous. I love almost everything about it. Its storage system, brilliant modular map, etc... and the minis kick ass, despite whatever Barnes said.

The problems are with board games trying to fit in miniatures, just to rake in the $100 price tag.

Finally, if I need a kick ass AT game without minis, I can always fire up my laptop. For boardgames? Minis.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300390 02 Aug 2019 01:41
My need to have all the toys is no doubt rooted in some forgotten childhood trauma or loss. But, yeah, I like minis when they are appropriate. I think my favorite minis are all the furniture and doors in Heroquest. Totally unnecessary, and totally wonderful.
Frohike's Avatar
Frohike replied the topic: #300392 02 Aug 2019 02:17
Dungeon crawls are kind of a free-for-all when it comes to props. 3D objects popping out of those dungeon maps just seems to work. The trickier ones are dudes on a map games. For example in War of the Ring, I do think most of the minis should have been tokens/counters (someone on BGG posted a beautiful shot of what the game would look like with wood disks... I’ll need to track it down), but some of the more dramatic tokens could have remained minis for impact, such as the Nazgul. On the other hand, some DoaM designs like Lords of Hellas or Kemet seem to be structured with minis in mind, with plenty of room for placement & grouping and enough visual distinctions to keep them functional. It just comes down to considered design vs throwing plastic dolls onto an abstracted map: does the end result look evocative and readable, or does it just become a pile of indistinguishable, chunky grey PVC sculpts?
barrowdown's Avatar
barrowdown replied the topic: #300510 06 Aug 2019 11:28

Msample wrote: Yeah, buy that version. Once the KS for the new one hits later this month, people will start dumping copies. It's far better than the original edition.


I couldn't wait. Snagged a punched copy for $35.
oberael's Avatar
oberael replied the topic: #300524 07 Aug 2019 13:54
Hey all. Just popped my head in to see if the article was up - we've been very busy with a newborn in the house.

Some really interesting responses. Thanks for keeping it civil.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300531 07 Aug 2019 15:36
@obereal,

You missed the New Spawn of TWBG's Announcement. .

Photos of the Tadpole have been demanded. :)
mads b.'s Avatar
mads b. replied the topic: #300597 09 Aug 2019 07:53
No, minis aren't a must have in games, but they do add something that mere cardboard tokens can't: an extra dimension. As in literally they are tall and make the board stand out. Yes, this can be a problem sometimes. While the minis for Space Hulk 3rd ed. are gorgeous, they were also a pain to play with because they couldn't quite fit on the board. But flat tokens simply don't make the board a tactile three dimensional experience in the same way.

Of course standees can do this as can meeples. But while I personally dig custom meeples, they tend to look a bit more "gamey" than minis or standees.
thegiantbrain's Avatar
thegiantbrain replied the topic: #300628 10 Aug 2019 02:58
My two cents is that I would much rather have a bunch of standees than a sea of grey plastic, I just don't have the time or funds to get minis painted. I have played tabletop wargames in the past and they are a different kettle of fish. I think minis are fine in a game where I can instantly make out information from them, like Kemet which is in my collection.

I think of recent there has been a tendency to include minis because it is somehow expected. I think Rising Sun is a good example of the disconnect between minis and what they actually do in the game. The monsters are huge and cool, their actual game impact is oddly muted.

I appreciate a nice miniature, I just don't think there are necessary for a lot of games.
jason10mm's Avatar
jason10mm replied the topic: #300639 10 Aug 2019 14:55
The problem with minis is that there is this expectation that you can paint them yourself however you want and that they usually come in one color from the publisher. So their ability to convey information is very limited. You COULD have minis with specific color weapons, bases, etc that could convey as much info as a chit but then the mini itself wouldn't or couldn't be painted to look like "the real thing". So we are stuck with monochromatic minis that do little more than indicate the unit it ought to be without showing how much hit dice it has, the damage it deals, or whatever.
Sevej's Avatar
Sevej replied the topic: #300658 11 Aug 2019 21:24

jason10mm wrote: The problem with minis is that there is this expectation that you can paint them yourself however you want and that they usually come in one color from the publisher. So their ability to convey information is very limited. You COULD have minis with specific color weapons, bases, etc that could convey as much info as a chit but then the mini itself wouldn't or couldn't be painted to look like "the real thing". So we are stuck with monochromatic minis that do little more than indicate the unit it ought to be without showing how much hit dice it has, the damage it deals, or whatever.


If you use minis in game that requires such information, especially in board games, then that's the game designer's fault.

Take Battlelore, the first edition. All grey minis, with brightly colored flags, that convey information quickly. Or Memoir '44, with wildly different silhouette on minis that you can differentiate them in a glance. Both games have quick reference cards AND easy to memorize combat stats. For games that require a lot of different stats, I agree that counters or cards are superior (there's a reason I'm not playing 40k, only painting it).

Most of the early DoaM (-2010ish) games understand that minis silhouette is more important than its coolness. They don't require colored base rings to differentiate.

Then there's games like Talisman, where I love the presence of singular minis. Of course you can carry bunch of stuff, so having a counter printed with bunch of information there isn't really advantageous over minis. Also, back to Black Plague, awesome table presence, and the use of colored rings (which in this case is an acceptable compromise, they don't use it on *every* single minis). And they have superb character dashbaord.
Jackwraith's Avatar
Jackwraith replied the topic: #300662 11 Aug 2019 23:02
I think CMON's colored snap-on base innovation was brilliant, quite honestly. It gives instant info about whose monster is on the map (Blood Rage) or which kind of hero/unit is on the board (The Others; Rising Sun.) I think that was a great idea that allows for elaborate minis if people want to use them/paint them, but still conveys necessary info about the game in an expedient manner.
mtagge's Avatar
mtagge replied the topic: #300663 12 Aug 2019 01:25

Frohike wrote: Dungeon crawls are kind of a free-for-all when it comes to props. 3D objects popping out of those dungeon maps just seems to work. The trickier ones are dudes on a map games. For example in War of the Ring, I do think most of the minis should have been tokens/counters (someone on BGG posted a beautiful shot of what the game would look like with wood disks... I’ll need to track it down), but some of the more dramatic tokens could have remained minis for impact, such as the Nazgul. On the other hand, some DoaM designs like Lords of Hellas or Kemet seem to be structured with minis in mind, with plenty of room for placement & grouping and enough visual distinctions to keep them functional. It just comes down to considered design vs throwing plastic dolls onto an abstracted map: does the end result look evocative and readable, or does it just become a pile of indistinguishable, chunky grey PVC sculpts?


Hmm, maybe I should go with the middle ground and use one figure each stacked on plastic disks for numbers. I went ahead and painted each unit a different color appropriate to the lore and dipped it in wood polish for shading and protection. Perfectly happy with that except the minis don't always fit.

So what I guess the gist of folks comments are, if the mini represents a single figure and is unique it is fine, if it is a unit bad. OK I can kinda see that even if I think Memoir 44 needs the minis. Not sure I agree 100%
Sevej's Avatar
Sevej replied the topic: #300688 12 Aug 2019 21:43

Jackwraith wrote: I think CMON's colored snap-on base innovation was brilliant, quite honestly. It gives instant info about whose monster is on the map (Blood Rage) or which kind of hero/unit is on the board (The Others; Rising Sun.) I think that was a great idea that allows for elaborate minis if people want to use them/paint them, but still conveys necessary info about the game in an expedient manner.


Oh, I agree from game play perspective! But we're talking about justification of minis in board games, and someone earlier spoke that they're hard to differentiate. For me the ideal solution is for minis to have recognizable silhouette, without the need of colored rings. But a lot of CMON minis (usually grunts/troops) have similar silhouette. They're improving detail-wise, but unless you're picking them up, without the colored rings, those details aren't helping you to differentiate units ownership. Of course, for monsters that any players can recruit, it's a brilliant solution.

So what I guess the gist of folks comments are, if the mini represents a single figure and is unique it is fine, if it is a unit bad. OK I can kinda see that even if I think Memoir 44 needs the minis. Not sure I agree 100%

For me, not really. Massed rank of troops ALWAYS look better than single minis or huge monsters.
lj1983's Avatar
lj1983 replied the topic: #300693 13 Aug 2019 08:52
the amount of information needed for the troops types is what drives it for me. with the above example of Memoir 44, it's worth comparing to C&C:Ancients. There aren't that many troop types in Memoir (especially to start, I know the expansions added some), so you can get away without a lot of differentiation in the pieces. but C&C:A has several troop types to start with (4 infantry, 2 cavalry IIRC). and miniatures would need some splash of color to avoid unnecessary confusion.