To Miniature or Not to Miniature

Game Design
Should board games have miniatures? Why do people want miniatures in a "perfectly good" board game? Are there too many miniatures in games where they don't belong? Any examples? When should there not be miniatures?
What do you think?
Ed and I discuss our thoughts on the blog. However, we want to know what you think.

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Supporter6 months ago

Both. I think miniatures can really add to certain types of games - #Gloomhaven, #Star Wars: Rebellion, or #Star Wars Imperial Assault immediately come to mind. However, a lot of recent Kickstarter projects have gone totally off the deep end. Is all of that plastic really necessary? 

Also, some games are enhanced by NOT having miniatures- #Root is an amazing example of this. So I think it needs to be judged on a case-by-case basis and not overwrought. 

2 months ago

Agreed; #Root had the courage to use custom meeples and cute art while establishing a reputation of that isn't so "fluffy, cute, simple and easy" :)". I love it when first impression and reality are so far apart. That's a great accomplishment.

In my own artstyle, I try to convey a figure/object in stylized fashion and a minimal amout of lines. Having a strong bond with very elegant, simple meeples proves that so much detail CAN be offloaded to the imagination of the players. Cute cats? they're here to opress you dangit! :) 

6 months ago

So I think to me this brings up a though. Aesthetics of a game should be treated like rule mechanics. They have to work together to help sell the game and its parts. Rules will stick out if they don't really work together or mesh well. #Root does a great job of putting the art, components, and game play together. If there were minis, it wouldn't work as well I think. So agreed!

6 months ago

Totally agree. If Root had plastic or resin minis (even if they looked like #My Little Scythe minis) it would take away from the aesthetic. What the game is plays into what the components should be.

2 months ago

Mini's don't matter to me. They're cool but also expensive. 

My own designs go for drawn standees, cheast and above. 
Face, shoulds arms and chest are more than enough to convey the character and they can express 90% of the character. it give you more room to show the expression on the face, the weapon, the colors and gear...

6 months ago

I'm a fan of more wooden pieces and less plastic miniatures.

6 months ago

I like wooden pieces and my brother is really into wooden pieces, in fact his go to comment is, "You know what this game needs? Wooden dice. Maybe a wooden tray here to hold these wooden components there." HAHAHA. But I would love to see games with more sophisticated wooden pieces though. Like some awesome looking chess sets of old.

6 months ago

Check out Garphill's games, they usually have some pretty classy wooden pieces. #Viscounts of the West Kingdom and #Raiders of Scythia have some unique ones. #Viticulture: Essential Edition has some excellent wood in it.

6 months ago

I definitely fall generally into the wooden piece camp, I find them generally more enjoyable to hold/move than plastic pieces. Although there are some games that definitely benefit from miniatures, whether that justifies the cost is a different matter
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