With the huge range of miniatures games that seem to be springing up out of the ground (Kickstarter) lately, we’re spoilt for choice with what to play. Unless you are on the tournament scene, you should find that proxy or alternative miniatures are generally welcome in a game, provided they are vaguely identifiable for what they represent. This gives the hobbyist who likes to create something special for their games an opportunity to explore the range of alternative miniatures. Adding these into your games can provide extra character for that all important forging of the narrative.
Some of the below I’ve tried, some I’ve seen and like the look of.
Scibor Monstrous Miniatures
Scibor make some sweet monsters, space knights and a whole range of fantasy miniatures. They seem to have a thing for dwarfs. My favourite has to be the Archangel #2. Remind anyone of a certain primarch?
I bought the archangel for a couple of reasons: it looks great, and as a technical exercise to try out Vallejo Liquid Gold. It would make a great centrepiece for a Basilean army in Kings of War.
Some of the sci-fi miniatures, for example, would make great proxies for Adeptus Custodes:
The Dice Bag Lady
Annie has expanded her offerings from custom dice bags into miniatures with a focus on believable female miniatures. We’ve all seen the existing ranges. Now, despite being a red-blooded male, I do have to question the protection offered by mail bikinis or the sense of running into battle wearing bracers and sabatons but no top. The Dice Bag Lady reminds these girls to get dressed in the morning, making them more like a badass Boudica than “specialist interest” centrefold.
We aren’t just talking full miniatures here. There are plenty of conversion pieces to give you that extra touch of character and make your force stand out. Also, where else can you get a personified dice bag firing a squid from a rocket launcher? Check out the web store here.
More female miniatures. Okay, these are a bit more curvy but offer interesting possibilities for sci-fi games. Many of these would make excellent commisars for the equal opportunities supporting Astra Militarium commander.
Raging Heroes also make a stunning range of fantasy miniatures.
The above don’t necessarily have games associated with them and focus mainly on the miniatures, but there’s nothing stopping you pilfering from other games. This Bushido miniature of mine has alter egos as a monk in Dungeons and Dragons, and as an elementalist wizard in Frostgrave:
Want to put a huge army on the table for minimal cost? Check out Mantic. Want to put a second mortgage on your house but have something beautiful on the table, then check out Kingdom Death or Forgeworld.
Sure, you might find the odd person who refuses to play because your tank has the wrong number of rivets or that the paint scheme is accurate for mid-war Russia and you’re playing a late war scenario, but these kinks should be easy to work out before a game (e.g. finding another opponent who’s on your wavelength). We’re not talking about fruit-branded electronics here – there’s no need to be constrained by proprietary miniatures. Of course, this depends on where you play. Your friendly local game store won’t care what system your miniatures come from. If you walk into my local Games Workshop with a Forgeworld miniature, however, the local branch of the Imperial Inquisition smash through the windows and censure you for heresy. Same company. Go figure.
Still, if you can play at an independent store, or club or at home, how about some other options? Both Kings of War and Age of Sigmar claim that their kingdoms of men either span great empires or live across infinitely varied realms. There’s your sandbox. Why not prepare for glory with a Spartan themed army using Warlord Games or Tale of War miniatures?
Games Workshop, we know well. Like them or not – and everyone seems to have an opinion on them – they make some of the best miniatures in the world. Sure, you pay for them, but you get exceptional quality. This post is all about using miniatures from different ranges across different games, and that goes for Games Workshop. Don’t like the Age of Sigmar rules? Fine, take your 10k point Skaven army over to Kings of War. Your Warhammer Fantasy necromancer is perfect for Frostgrave, along with most of the Empire range. But remember that an enormous box of cheap zombies from Kings of War fits beautifully into Age of Sigmar too.
So mix it up. Remember this stuff is about fun, creativity and narrative. We’ve never had the availability of miniatures and games like this before.
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