Affordable miniatures or viable replacements?

26 posts / 0 new
Last post
I've just started DMing and have been buying some miniatures, but it's pretty expensive. Especially the hero-representations, rounding out at about 18$ for 3! I was wondering if anyone knows of a place where they sell them at a more afforable price range.
I've tried ebay,  but I cant always wait a month for the right piece to be at the right price.
All help is appreciated. 

My favorites are:
Troll&Toad (largest selection)
Auggies (lowest price)
MiniatureMarket (low price/large selection)

 A lot of folks use tokens instead of minis since they're cheap and if you have a good printer and  the right programs you can make your own.

 Both WizKids and Reaper Miniatures have lines of prepainted plastic minis for fairly cheap prices and Reaper also has unpainted plastics as well.

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

You can also check out a site called Bartertown. It's a miniature trading/selling site between private individuals. It originated for 40k, but encompasses all kinds of minis now. I got a lot of Flames of War stuff there, and now that I'm back into D&D I'll be hitting it to bring my fantasy collection up to date.
If you're looking for the best bang for your buck and dont mind plastics, World of Warcraft Boardgame has 176(?) plastic minis and costs about $200.
www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Flight-Games-WC03...

If you're looking for the best bang for your buck and dont mind plastics, World of Warcraft Boardgame has 176(?) plastic minis and costs about $200.
www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Flight-Games-WC03...





Also look into picking up a 1st edition copy of Descent from Fantasy Flight.  About $100 @ retail (if you can still find one), more if on the seconday market.
You get alot of monster minis (skeletons, zombies, wolves, spiders, ogres, nagas, manticores, dragons, etc), a handfull of heros, tokens, & the "board" is comprised of essentially dungeon tiles.

the 2nd edition of Descent doesn't give you anywhere near the amount/quality that the 1st ed. did.

And do not hesitate to look into the metal Reaper minitures.  Sure, some cost abit.  But you'll likely use them for decades....
Same with models for Warhammer Fantasy by Games Workshop.  Great stuff.
The Reaper bones miniatures are cheap and easy to get. Otherwise, the tokens may be your cheapest bet. Miniatures are great, but they can take up a lot of space! I have tons of Heroscape minis. They look great, but are certainly a space issue. 

I think Paizo just released a ton of tokens with their Rise of the Runelords pawn set and their Bestiary Box. Tons of tokens ready to use in any setting for less than forty bucks if you go the Amazon.com route.
If anyone in your group collected Legos as a kid, they can be a good source for making some types of minis and props.

Save Money, Use you’re Imagination.  My group currently is using old small toys and things like that for game pieces; never distracted us or took away from the game (And I love the Dragonborn Knight in our group chose a magic pony toy (from that show these darn kids love now adays) for her piece.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)

You could use Monopoly pieces. Hurry, though. They're discontinuing the iron, although that particular style of iron hasn't been in common use since 1926. And the iron is an excellent mini for dwarves and other heavily-armored characters. My mom plays the boot.. so she can "kick our ***". I always play the race car, though... so I can get away in time.

I like using those plastic soldiers that you can buy 100 at a time for a few bucks. They're getting hard to find because of they're politically incorrect (and culturally uninformed), but the cowboys and indians sets are awesome because they come in som many colors. And dinosaur sets. And I got a box of spider rings in black and orange and glow-in-the dark at halloween... just cut off the ring part.

Recently I bought this set of dice called Rory's Story Dice... 9 dice, each with 6 unique symbols... that's 54 miniatures for only 8 bucks!
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.

Save Money, Use you’re Imagination.  My group currently is using old small toys and things like that for game pieces; never distracted us or took away from the game (And I love the Dragonborn Knight in our group chose a magic pony toy (from that show these darn kids love now adays) for her piece.




Not all players think alike.  One of my players is also into WH40K and has a TON of extra "space marine" miniatures.  Because he has so many of them, he offered them to be used as "enemy" minis; the players use more accurate minis to represent their characters.  Most of my players have accepted them, but one player in my group continually objects because they do not "accurately represent" the enemies.

With this in mind, and getting back on topic, I have recently acquired hundreds of images of tokens and circular wafer magnets (in 1inch [100], 2inch [25] and 3inch [25] sizes costing about $25 including shipping), with adhesive on one side so I can print tokens and attach them to the magnets.  If we play with a battle grid on a tabletop they're fine and they obviously work just as well on a battle grid on a magnetic white board Laughing.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
You could use Monopoly pieces. Hurry, though. They're discontinuing the iron, although that particular style of iron hasn't been in common use since 1926. And the iron is an excellent mini for dwarves and other heavily-armored characters. My mom plays the boot.. so she can "kick our ***". I always play the race car, though... so I can get away in time.

I like using those plastic soldiers that you can buy 100 at a time for a few bucks. They're getting hard to find because of they're politically incorrect (and culturally uninformed), but the cowboys and indians sets are awesome because they come in som many colors. And dinosaur sets. And I got a box of spider rings in black and orange and glow-in-the dark at halloween... just cut off the ring part.

Recently I bought this set of dice called Rory's Story Dice... 9 dice, each with 6 unique symbols... that's 54 miniatures for only 8 bucks!



I know you are making fun of us, but honestly I have done some of these things ...

A roll of fifty copper discs for $.50 can't be beat!  I've use plenty of coins, legos, game board pieces (Sorry! pieces are one of my favorite - just the right size and easy to move, will hold bottle rings or small hair bands for status marker great), glass beads - the blob ones with a flat side, wooden pegs, six siders (different number up and I have monsters 1-6), flat card board tokens, little toys and travel chess sets.  If you are creative about it you can come up with lots of stuff to use as markers on the grid.  Google "standees" if you want to print up some homemade stuff.


I do prefer something 3d over flat for ease of picking up moving them around, but its not really a big deal, I'll still use flat tokens anyday.  My kids love making custom lego minis to use for their character marker.  As long as the markers used are different enough to not get mixed up, I'm good.


I don't play enough to justify the investment in the actual minis.


TjD

A roll of fifty copper discs for $.50 can't be beat!  I've use plenty of coins, legos, game board pieces (Sorry! pieces are one of my favorite - just the right size and easy to move, will hold bottle rings or small hair bands for status marker great), glass beads - the blob ones with a flat side, wooden pegs, six siders (different number up and I have monsters 1-6), flat card board tokens, little toys and travel chess sets.  If you are creative about it you can come up with lots of stuff to use as markers on the grid.  Google "standees" if you want to print up some homemade stuff.


I do prefer something 3d over flat for ease of picking up moving them around, but its not really a big deal, I'll still use flat tokens anyday.  My kids love making custom lego minis to use for their character marker.  As long as the markers used are different enough to not get mixed up, I'm good.


I don't play enough to justify the investment in the actual minis.


TjD


I also use the copper discs, but the only supplier in the U.S. is Uncle Sam, and I think they're about to discontinue production. Many stores will give them to you with purchase. This shows just how popular D&D has become. I knew it was main-stream when I bought a book of graph paper at Wal-mart for less than $2 bucks and the 'associate' handed me back 4 of the copper discs and a small silvery one... perfect for a halfling character. It's like they know me.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
You could use Monopoly pieces. Hurry, though. They're discontinuing the iron, although that particular style of iron hasn't been in common use since 1926. And the iron is an excellent mini for dwarves and other heavily-armored characters. My mom plays the boot.. so she can "kick our ***". I always play the race car, though... so I can get away in time.

I like using those plastic soldiers that you can buy 100 at a time for a few bucks. They're getting hard to find because of they're politically incorrect (and culturally uninformed), but the cowboys and indians sets are awesome because they come in som many colors. And dinosaur sets. And I got a box of spider rings in black and orange and glow-in-the dark at halloween... just cut off the ring part.

Recently I bought this set of dice called Rory's Story Dice... 9 dice, each with 6 unique symbols... that's 54 miniatures for only 8 bucks!



I know you are making fun of us, but honestly I have done some of these things ...


I'm poking fun at myself too. Because I seriously HAVE done all this.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
We use:
- Tokens
- Players bring mini's for their own characters
- Various childhood toys, miniature farm animals, dinosaurs, soldiers and knights, even trees. Stuff you can still buy today for cheap.
- Lego
- Paper cut-outs.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

I'll second the idea of Reaper Miniatures Bones line. The selection is fairly small last time I checked, but once the kickstarter shipments all go out in March, there should be hundreds of models to choose from.

I use minis over tokens/cheap stuff mainly because I really enjoy painting them, and it can help some of the less imaginitive players get into the action. We've used toys before, but everyone attacking a big plastic dog just doesn't quite have the same impact as plunking down a fearsome dragon IMO.
cardboard.  Take any cardboard you have lying around.  Cut it into various sized cut outs to match the sizes.  Make sure they match the standard 4E grid.  Draw on them letters (W, A, D, S, etc) and numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, etc) to represent the monsters.  Give each PC an appropriate sized square cut out for them to draw on whatever they want to represent themselves, endorse creativity.

Free and creative.  And you can make a very large amount of cut outs with a small amount of cardboard.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)


Save Money, Use you’re Imagination.  My group currently is using old small toys and things like that for game pieces; never distracted us or took away from the game (And I love the Dragonborn Knight in our group chose a magic pony toy (from that show these darn kids love now adays) for her piece.



Not all players think alike.  (....)  Most of my players have accepted them, but one player in my group continually objects because they do not "accurately represent" the enemies.
.


The needs (or likes in the case) of the many should outway the likes of the few (or one) in the case.

I just don't understand going out and paying some something that isn't even nesscary (Expecialy if your playing TotM) take some rocks from outside and use them. DnD is about Imigination, if a player can't imigine something is Repesenting something else, maybe DnD isn't for them.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)


Save Money, Use you’re Imagination.  My group currently is using old small toys and things like that for game pieces; never distracted us or took away from the game (And I love the Dragonborn Knight in our group chose a magic pony toy (from that show these darn kids love now adays) for her piece.



Not all players think alike.  (....)  Most of my players have accepted them, but one player in my group continually objects because they do not "accurately represent" the enemies.
.


The needs (or likes in the case) of the many should outway the likes of the few (or one) in the case.

I just don't understand going out and paying some something that isn't even nesscary (Expecialy if your playing TotM) take some rocks from outside and use them. DnD is about Imigination, if a player can't imigine something is Repesenting something else, maybe DnD isn't for them.



I could not agree more, but since my new solution has cost me all of $25 and I am having fun choosing the tokens to print.  All's good   Also that one player moved away so I did not do it for him.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
My DM kit was designed for portability so I could bring it to school and dm on the fly various games. As such I used what I had around my place, which being a house of five university students was lot's of beer and bottle beverages. So I just collected a lot of beer bottle caps, numbered them within each brand, and tossed them into ziploc bad to throw in my dice bag. I also did the same with the platic rings from plastic bottle caps which are great for status effects. Finally I threw in a deck of playing cards which is great for many things from item tracking to initiative.
if a player can't imigine something is Repesenting something else, maybe DnD isn't for them.

Well: miniatures are fun for many people (indeed: D&D was originally based on miniature wargaming). Minis also help provide clarity, and some reliances on imagination could add confusion... but that can happen with minis too. Example: I'd rather use 8 matching chess pawns to represent a squad of identical drow than 8 well-painted (but different) drow miniatures, as the latter can cause confusion for the players.

In 4e, miniatures (or something like them) are pretty much mandatory. A cheap compromise I often recommend is:
- Have a miniature for each of the PC's. These can be obtained cheaply online, and get a lot of use.
- Use Monster Vault tokens for enemies.

If you use simple pawns from a game like sorry, I would suggest players use the game "Clue" approach to naming:
Yellow pawn would be something like Grizl Yellowbeard
Blue would be somebody like Anuk'Azul
etc...

I've noticed that simple color recognition makes the players ID each other (minis) by their character names more  often and more comforatbly.
 

I have a Simpson branded Clue set (actual I may have 2 of them, thrift store purchases).  I have never pulled them out to use with D&D, but I might have to use the Smithers as Mrs. White piece some day.


TjD 

I've just started DMing and have been buying some miniatures, but it's pretty expensive. Especially the hero-representations, rounding out at about 18$ for 3! I was wondering if anyone knows of a place where they sell them at a more afforable price range.
I've tried ebay,  but I cant always wait a month for the right piece to be at the right price.
All help is appreciated. 



My all time favorite miniature for the bad guys is jelly dinosaurs or gummi-bears or something similar.

When a PC kills the baddie, they get to eat the mini.
I've just started DMing and have been buying some miniatures, but it's pretty expensive. Especially the hero-representations, rounding out at about 18$ for 3! I was wondering if anyone knows of a place where they sell them at a more afforable price range.
I've tried ebay,  but I cant always wait a month for the right piece to be at the right price.
All help is appreciated. 



My all time favorite miniature for the bad guys is jelly dinosaurs or gummi-bears or something similar.

When a PC kills the baddie, they get to eat the mini.



Better make sure the table/battle mat is clean or....
EWW, just EEWW. Laughing

If that makes me a germaphobe so be it

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Sign In to post comments