Where do you find all these games?!
In our last installment, I covered my favorite links for all things board game. While there is a lot of crossover with games that don”t specifically have a board, some websites go a touch further and narrow their range to very specific types of physical (non-video) games. In this post, I”ll talk about those internet haunts of the beardiest and second smelliest of gamers, those devoted to miniatures games.Before I get to the links: a definition. Miniatures games are those which contain, well, miniatures. But more specifically, miniatures games are those in which painting and modifying the miniatures is almost a hobby unto itself. The miniatures tend to be tiny pieces of art rather than simple playing pieces, but even then, there”s not really a hard line when it comes to separating some board games from some miniatures games and it tends to be one of those things where you know it when you see it… like some other types of “hobbies.” With that working definition out there, on to the sites:
The Miniatures Page – TMP is a pretty cool miniatures site with a decent news section, but the real draw here is the extensive forum, broken up by historical period and/or fantasy, sci-fi, etc, and then further broken down into specific game forums, discussions, battle reports, and of course galleries, painting, and modeling tips. You”ll often find unusual miniatures or those produced by smaller companies featured here.
Frothers Unite! UK – What Fortress Ameritrash is to board games, Frothers Unite! UK (FU:UK for short – HA!) is for miniatures games. The site is the home to users who value classic miniatures from the 70s and 80s over the newer designs of today. Many of them feel that the humor and personality of the old miniatures has slowly been leeched out of the industry. Just like F:AT, FU:UK has an awesome forum (The Froth Forums), and just like F:AT the discussion is quite NSFW.
Lead Adventure Forum – Lead Adventure Forum (LAF) sort of splits the difference between TMP which can take itself too seriously and FU:UK which takes nothing seriously. Like TMP, it is broken up into genre, and like both of the above focuses on smaller miniatures companies and stuff you might not see elsewhere.
DakkaDakka – If TMP is for unusual minis, and FU:UK is for throwback and classic style, DakkaDakka is the place to go to check out the two big “corporate” produced by the much loved and much hated Games Workshop: Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000. These are probably the two most popular miniatures games in the world and both have a devoted following. I won”t go too far down the rabbit hole that is the Games Workshop discussion, but let”s say that these two games have very specific styles, closely protected by the company. The DakkaDakka forums and gallery have some great showcases of very talented painters and modelers creating real works of art for these very popular games.
Otherworld Miniatures – Dungeons and Dragons may be a role playing game, but in many ways it is also a miniatures game. From the very beginning, many small (and large) companies have made miniatures compatible with the original RPG, but none have done it as well as Otherworld. They are a relatively new company but they keep adding more and more excellently sculpted minis, albeit at a premium price.
Reaper Miniatures – On the other end of the D&D appropriate hobby miniatures spectrum is Reaper. They have a lot of variance in the quality and attractiveness of their sculpts, but they are hard to beat on price and availability in the US. As with several of the above sites, check out the forums for painting tips and great examples of beautifully done miniatures.
Scenic Express– Like the cousin you see only once a decade at family functions and to whom you can”t really relate, so too is the relationship between miniatures gamers and model railroad enthusiasts. Minis gamers are always looking for ways to make more beautiful and realistic terrain over which to fight tiny battles, and nobody does terrain like the railroaders. Scenic Express is a seller of the top of the line in teeny grass tufts, little piles of practically microscopic leaf litter, and itty-bitty trees. They also have reasonable prices and fast shipping in the US.
So, those are the links I check on a daily-ish basis to get the scoop on miniatures games. Next time, CCGs!