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What are miniatures in the world of board games?
How are they used?
What do they add to the experience?
Miniatures are small pieces designed to look like the player’s character as well as enemies and other characters met throughout a board game. These pieces are often used in tabletop role-playing, such as Dungeons & Dragons, but may also be found in regular board games too.
Miniatures make it easier to keep track of the action and understand where players are spatially when role-playing. They also make it easier to understand what fantasy creatures look like in the game.
Check out some of our favorite board games with miniatures listed below.
#1: Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil
Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil is a simplified version of Dungeons & Dragons that plays like a board game. It plays cooperatively, and players choose from predetermined characters to work their way through the campaigns and reach their goal together.
- There are several different quests and campaigns included in this board game with miniatures.
- The game is a great way to learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons for beginners to the franchise.
- The included miniatures are lower-quality than some of the others on our list.
- This board game with miniatures doesn’t include much strategizing and may be boring to fans of tabletop RPGs.
#2: Mage Knight
Mage Knight is a good tabletop RPG choice for those who are also interested in deck building. With several elements combined into one, this fantasy-themed game is sure to please everyone in your party. This board game with miniatures includes 8 miniatures as well as several other quality pieces used in the gameplay.
- Many customers appreciate the differences between this game and other similar options out there.
- This board game with miniatures can be played solo and some feel it is best enjoyed this way.
- This board game with miniatures is tedious and very long, and some players may get bored.
- There is some randomness in this game, which can be frustrating to some.
Zombicide encourages players to work together to get out of one of several scenarios included in the box. Each one is a little different and will require different planning and strategizing to succeed. Players take on the role of a zombie survivor and have to battle against the zombies to make it through to the end.
- This board game with miniatures includes a beginner 20-minute option and an expert three-hour option.
- This is a tiling game, so the experience changes each time.
- There is a lot of luck and dice involved in this board game with miniatures.
- The miniatures may not look as nice as they do in other games.
#4: Descent: Journeys in the Dark
In Descent: Journeys in the Dark, one player plays the villain while the others team up to play the heroes in a fantasy setting. The villain player must try to complete their scheme while the heroes attempt to stop them by going on an adventure together.
- This is an extremely popular game that has recently been updated.
- Two players can play this board game with miniatures together.
- It takes a long time to set up this board game with miniatures.
- The game relies too much on luck for some players and takes away the strategizing that was present in the first edition.
#5: Star Wars: Imperial Assault
For fans of the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a great way to enjoy either a full-fledged war board game or a smaller skirmish game instead. Both are included in the box, and both utilize miniatures featuring favorite characters and species from the Star Wars universe.
- This board game with miniatures is ideal for smaller groups and can be enjoyed by kids as well as adults.
- The game takes a couple of hours to finish, so it’s perfect for longer game nights.
- The miniatures are lower quality and may arrive broken.
- This board game with miniatures can get boring to some.
#6: Operation: Ice Storm
If you’re interested in playing Infinity but aren’t quite ready to dive into the main game, you might want to try Operation: Ice Storm. This expansion can be played on its own or can be added into the gameplay of the main game, depending on your preferences. The game comes with miniatures to represent two opposing groups involved in the story line.
- The miniatures are made of pewter and are extremely high-quality items.
- This board game with miniatures is a great way to get the feeling of an Infinity game for newcomers.
- The miniatures must be assembled using superglue.
- This board game with miniatures may arrive missing some pieces, and it is easy to lose pieces of the miniatures as well.
#7: Blood Rage
Blood Rage plays a bit differently than some others on our list by starting players all with the same abilities and skills. From there, clans are forged along different paths and some players may prioritize one skill over another. This way, everyone’s experience is customized to their liking and no two games are the same.
- The miniatures are extremely detailed and well-made with this game.
- This board game with miniatures is great for two players or for large groups as well.
- The gameplay is simplified, which can be a downside to fans of hardcore tabletop RPGs.
- The turns may take a long time depending on the players.
#8: Dark Souls: The Board Game
Dark Souls: The Board Game is a tabletop roleplaying game based on the Dark Souls video game. It comes with 27 miniatures as well as several other items that make it easier to play and visualize this board game with miniatures. The miniatures are all detailed and scaled appropriately for the characters and creatures represented.
- Fans of the Dark Souls video game find this board game with miniatures captures the mood of the video game perfectly.
- There are expansions available for additional purchase to include even more quests and experiences.
- The miniatures are made of plastic as opposed to anything higher quality.
- Just like the video game, this board game with miniatures is extremely difficult.
#9: HeroQuest Game System
The HeroQuest Game System is difficult to find and is no longer in print. This popular tabletop roleplaying game set includes options for 14 different paths and stories players can enjoy each time they play.
- This set includes the miniatures required for gameplay.
- This board game with miniatures is good for kids as young as 10.
- This board game with miniatures doesn’t come with all of the pieces needed.
- This is a very expensive game set.
Did you find a board game with miniatures you want to try? There are plenty of quality games on the market that utilize miniatures as part of the gameplay process, so pick your favorite and get ready for an adventure!
Here are some of the reasons these games may be more fun than traditional games:
- They’re longer and more complex.
- They make it easier to visualize the action.
- Miniatures can help personalize the experience.
And here are a few downsides:
- There are more pieces to buy and lose.
- These games can be too complicated for some players.
- The games may have darker or more violent themes than some others.
Try out a This board game with miniatures and see for yourself just how differently they play!
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