Post by nikloveland on Nov 21, 2011 8:08:17 GMT -9
I ran across this reddit discussion while looking at the site logs. They have a discussion that is somewhat related to whether paper minis are better than traditional minis. I must admit, it is a question I often ask myself given the fact we are developing Bellicose (I know what I like but it's interesting to get opinions from a broader audience). I just thought I'd share.
I think I'm part of a minority, here. I like the game with a theme, that "tells a story" and that have some blood running on the table. For these reasons, i think it's easier to be immersed in theme using miniatures than chits or tokens. Said this: I like miniatures, but i don't like having to paint them. I like paper miniatures (when properly done, see below) but i don't like the tedious cutting process. I hate "standees", as i learnt that making a paper miniature means making art just like illustrations on the book and on the cover of a game.
So it's hard to make me happy.... anyway, what it stick to me at the end is the game. I played Car Wars for years, using that stupid, filmsy chits, without a single complain. And, at the end, i think that any thing have its limit, and i'll not buy a game which requires 300$ to be played to its full extends.
And yes, i'm waiting for the day when "...commodity priced 3D printing will make the point moot"
Nice discussion. I used to follow the path of "it's about the rules, not the miniatures" but since I've started reading more about player experience and theories like the MDA framework (http://8kindsoffun.com/) I have changed my mind. IMHO in a game with a dedicated line of miniatures, the minis are part of the experience. Collecting and painting (or printing and cutting) is part of the experience.
What is interesting to explore is how to make games around paper miniatures, using them to enable things that aren't feasible with plastic or metal minis. For instance:
- You can easily exchange bases in OneMonk style minis and that might be used for some effect in the game.
- You can stack counters; you can place them face down to hide what they are, or use both sides to indicate different states of the figure.
- War of the Dead paper minis are tri-fold so you can stick status markers in the middle of them.
- Strange Synergy uses slots for status markers on the top of their inverted T minis.
- A-frame minis are ugly for the most part but are ridiculously easy to build and sturdy to store. I love taking pictures of them for battle reports because the images are placed at a very convenient angle when taking shots of the whole table.
- OneMonk style minis with mirrored backs give a great compromise between looks and readability around the table for games with no facing rules, such as Song of Blades and Heroes. Even for games with facing, mirrored backs can work with carefully chosen shooting/attack poses.
As for minis, I love lead (or plastic) minis, well painted and based. Throw in some good terrain (paper terrain has plenty of good alternatives for structures, but flocked/painted scratch built looks the sharpest for the rest of the terrain) and you can have a really immerse experience. I also love painting them and building terrain but the time obligations make that difficult at best.
A picture of a climatic rpg encounter at my table last year:
Difficult to do with my current schedule...So paper it is!
One thing that gets left out of many discussion about paper minis is how new game designers can bring their games to production. With the e-publishing format and paper minis someone can now create a game, with game specific miniatures with little out of pocket expense and we can all reap the rewards.
As a hopeful game designer my skirmish wargame started as a non miniature specific game, use whatever mini you think is appropriate. But as Parduz mentions this robs a game of some of it's story and immersion. When I found One-Monk I was in heaven, now I could produce a game with my rules and my story/setting!
Of course development of my game (Into the Fray) has been painstakingly slow. Still, I think that the entire concept is sound.
Making some assumptions about Belicose (sorry if I am way off base Nik). Reading the book, plenty of cool stories, a good rules set, fun to play. But as a consumer, I am picking up some generic minis, using proxies, whatever, and I think the overall experience suffers for it.
Now with paper minis (I know there are Belicose specific minis and more one the way, plus the inclusion of the OneMonk minis) there exists minis that fit with Belicose and that adds an air of completeness to the game. Plus the costs for the developer and the customer are way down. I'm going to guess that most budding game designers are unable to come up with the kind of capital needed to produce a line of traditional miniatures, and if the game is not a huge success the investment may not even pay for itself.
As soon as you introduce investments and tangible products, the focus shifts to a commercial/business outlook. I've gotta sell a bunch of these to cover my costs and make enough money to invest in the new miniatures line.
With paper minis a lot of these issues are less prominent. Now if Nik has the inclination he could get a single figure done, stat it out as a hero and add it to the Belicose game. All for little monetary investment (there is of course plenty of time that would go into it). He could even charge a small fee (since his investment is low) or even give it away for free (as a way to promote Belicose).
Plus, for me the paper/e-publishing model seems to remove some of the money-grubbing that has seem to crop up amongst the major game companies lately. I know a tough economy and all of that, still the prices seem to be really inflated. Kind of like they know there is a captive group of consumers who really want to game and they are getting every cent they can. Paper minis get rid of that feeling for me so I am all for them.
I will try to summarize my stance on this paper thing:
High-def-textures with awesome colors from my cheap home-printer or even better - the professional copyshop machine of the latest generation (even cheaper!)? Check! Application of paper textures on sturdy materials of my choice (cardboard, wood, styrodur)? Check! Vast quantities of miniatures/buildings/dungeon tiles with a mouseclick, a coffee pause and some easy cutting/glueing - well, that's nothing in comparison to painting a metal horde, right? Check! Neverending flexibility with this cheap and easy-storage, no-weight material that paper is? Check! Collector's smile at the colorful and splendid paper dioramas full of heroes and monsters for every imagineable gaming situation? Check!
And - last but not least - what about the economy-ecology ratio of paper? Check? Don't know exactly, but I think, it's a bit better than of metal or plastic types ... .
Post by cowboyleland on Nov 21, 2011 17:47:54 GMT -9
To be heretical (as I feel is my duty) sometimes I think specific figs actually take away from the game. I may have said this before but I'm especially thinking of horror games. I think it is more effective to use neutral looking "pawns" to keep track of placement, but let the actual appearance of the monsters be solved in the minds of the players. As Revgunn says, we are usually using something "close to" the actual appearance of the character. I'm wondering if "totemic" representations, like the race car and top hat from Monopoly, would be effective in some situations. Many is the time my party wiped out hoards of orcs represented by risk pieces and we were scared when those risk pieces poured into the cavern that was drawn out in dry erase marker. Ok, now I'm rambling.
Oh! and top downs. I think we could use more good top downs.
If you are going so far, then you are close to abandon minis at all. Classic D&D did not require them. But Call of Cthulhu had them out of the box (about 1982) - as paper standees! The rest is history ... .
But I admit: from a pure practical viewpoint I find 2-D markers, poker chips, wood buttons and the like much gameboard safer and friendlier to move and handle - but at the cost of EYECANDY.
Uh, i'm actually an heretic myself.... what i did'nt said is that, while i love miniatures in boardgames -or tabletop games- (so games that needs a "boost" in telling stories) i HATE them in Roleplay games. Luckily, all my young players (the older is eighteen now) also wants to just imagine and wonder, so, even if i play D&D 3.5, we all use just paper and pencils.
I'm a bit down the line, nothing looks better than a well painted metal or plastic army. However nothing looks worse than a 2 tone badly painted metal or plastic army.
If I wargame I usually have to supply armies for both sides plus I like to change around armies a bit and play your less standard armies .
With the above desire for lots of different armies across sci-fi and fantasy storing a whole pile of plastic/metal armies, plus the cost to buy, plus the time to paint just isn't practical. However nice paper miniatures allow me to fill out as many armies as I like for very low cost and minimal storage space.
As for vehicles and terrain over time I'm starting to see my paper pieces detail wise have almost the same level of detail as a scratchbuilt piece from plastic card and or foam.
At the end of the day though people should use whatever they like to game with, no matter the medium and enjoy a good afternoon of gaming with friends .
Last Edit: Nov 22, 2011 2:20:02 GMT -9 by Sirrob01
"There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humour." George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)
IN an RPG setting, I use dice to represent the NPC's (read as: fodder) and figures that represent the characters.
I find that chips, dice, markers, tokens, Monopoly pieces work GREAT for a hoard of enemies.
Special NPC's and characters NEED to be represented by someting else... a miniature made of pewter, plastic, paper, or lead (Yep, I am THAT old-school).
That is RPG's...
As far as tabletop wargaming, that is TOTALLY different!
You need to have a model that represents the character. If a guy is pointing up a figure that is carrying a gun in each hand, the figure NEEDS to be carrying a gun in each hand.
Modifying plastic/ blah, blah, blah, can look nice, IF properly done. When I played MAGE KNIGHT, and people were trading the figures they get in their little random boxes, I would trade my figures and give up better ones for more common ones... a LOT of common ones. I would paint them and use leftover pieces from GW figures and kit-bash them. Once I was done, I would trade the SAME people their old common figures for my custom-made conversions.
I would trade one figure and get 8, modify that and trade THAT figure and get 8 more! Quite enterprising...
I got side-tracked... easily distracted, you know...
Anyway, I sat down at a 40K tournament one time, and they guy started putting figures on the table with no arms. I asked him what was going on. He said this squad has 10 of these, 2 of these and so forth. I picked up my army and told the owner of the venue that this was NO way to let players play.
The guy ended up WINNING the tournament, because NO ONE could figure out where his special and heavy weapons were...
I don't care what you use, paper or plastic, but make sure it MATCHES the profile you pointed it up as.
That is the end of my ramblings...
Although I will leave you with this picture. It is some HERO CLIX figures (Gypsy, Mr. Fantastic, Iceman, Kid Flash and HYperion repaints I did). I didn't modify the bases, so I actually was allowed to play them in a tournament... it was fun to see the players reactions. (Keep in mind I did these a couple years ago right after a certain Disney/Pixar movie came out).
Game Designer, BETA Tester, Model Designer, Figure Designer... HEY! It's what I do...
Tough? Not at all. The kids wants to be very descriptive, so i always know where they are and what they're doing. They also have developed some "standard" tactics, which keeps it simple. A few time some misunderstood may happen, in which case we makes a short "summary" of what happened to fix the current state, then we go again. And, finally, i'm a bit loose on combat. Me and the kids likes more "the situation" and the thrill of being near to die in almost every combat (a "drunk" human monk, a sniping elf ranger and a halfling shadowdancer is not a really strong party).
Really, i can't imagine another way to play that don't put imagination in a cage
Really, i can't imagine another way to play that don't put imagination in a cage
Sadly, that's true. Maybe I should never have seen Peter Jackson's Epic. But it's also a matter of gaming style. If you prefer meticulous simulation of events, some players want to push their minis on a grid. They like watching the scene and progress in an evolving, growing location.
People have been bringing that up since they started putting pictures on miniatures/tokens in the rule book. I never really understood the train of thought. Of course you can manage playing with or without them.
I like using miniatures when I can, to be frank, I find miniatures keep the players honest. Archers don't shoot through hordes of their friends to hit the kobold on the other side. The thief actually spends a round to manuver into flanking position, instead of magically being there. Fighters don't mighty cleave everything in a room, etc... Okay, you can do all this WITHOUT miniatures, but I find you get less arguments with the miniatures, and better players...
Post by glennwilliams on Nov 26, 2011 17:11:33 GMT -9
My problem with D&D is that you need a boatload of minis of many different types, and pretty much that means paper (those gorgeous D&D board games are expensive for a reason--and yeah, I've got them--unpainted). And a big no vote to buying boxes of unknown prepaints to get a dungeon party and denizens.
For RPG'ing, I love using paper minis. I always thought using metal or plastic was a case of having to fit a square peg into a round hole. The mini's were never quite right for my vision of the characters. But some kind of minis are better than no minis. My group has played all sorts of games, but we are all analytical types that need to be able to visualize and measure the relationship between all the combatants. So even when we find ourselves without minis, we find ourselves drawing the situation on paper to scale. So mini's really bring the fight to life, especially with good terrain. But I'm okay with anything that represents the character or monster, even triangle stand-ups or chits, or whatever.
As for tabletop wargaming, I agree with Kildecus. A good fun game with friends, subsititute all you want as long as everyone agrees and has fun. But no way should a tournament organizer let some D-Bag with an army full of armless minis play. You have to have at least the major gear modeled correctly. Jump packs, heavy weapons, terminator armor, fast attack vehicles especially. I wouldn't complain if your squad of marines had rifles but you built them point-wise as having two pistols each. Or if your squad had grenades but the minis didn't have little grenades on their belts. However, when you say this squad of normal looking marines are actually carrying heavy weapons or riding bikes, then I draw the line. I would require the opponent to have at least paper representations of the bikes under his figures, or I would not play against him.
That's kind of off topic, but regarding paper vs. metal, even in tabletop wargaming, I think paper is fine. As long as it looks nice and is relatively accurate.
There are only 3 kinds of people in this world -- those who can count, and those who can't.
I have found that my regular gaming group was hesitant with paper minis, but now they don't take any notice and look forward to the new minis. They like that they can have accurate representations of what their mini looks like. As a GM I like it too. I used to scour ebay and the internet to find JUST THE RIGHT minis and spend hundreds of dollars and THEN have to paint the darn things. Now I just draw, scan, colour, print, build and play. I can do it all in a night if I'm productive. I'd have to wait days or weeks for the minis and then I'd have to prime and paint them. I have never played Warhammer since the first edition (where they encouraged proxies), but I know I could never play something that has so many rules and regulations regarding minis and armies. I hear this is the same with Privateer Press games. I don't want to play "their" game I want to play "my" game. Maybe I'm just a bit of a control freak. My gaming group isn't the best at adversarial games. They have some long-standing (25+ years) issues that come up when they face off so it's mostly co-operational miniature games or role playing games.
My biggest thing is the minitures HAVE to match the profile (WYSIWYG).
A lot of players seem to prefer metal/plastic figures, from what I have seen. What helps bring people around to seeing paper miniatures as something as good as plastic is when you have them draw a picture of their character, and when you play, their miniature is on the table! I think Adam Souza does this, too!
I am also with Dave! I would rather make my own game instead of playing someone else's. I have done that MANY times.
Game Designer, BETA Tester, Model Designer, Figure Designer... HEY! It's what I do...
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