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The Uprising Miniature's Race!

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1 hour ago, ced1106 said:

For human-sized figures, WizKids packages two miniatures per blister, something like $5 per two figures here, while Reaper is $3.50 for a single miniature in a blister. 

WizKids figures are RPG staples. Reaper has a much larger variety, though some sculpts would never be bought for an RPG or miniatures wargame.

In non-Reaper forums, the consensus is that the WizKids sculpts are better, compared to white Bones.

 

I have to agree about the quality difference. I like the new Bones Black material a lot, but nearly all of the character sculpts in Bones 5 seem to be designed for 1 piece casting. So many are in static poses, as opposed to the very dynamic poses of almost all of the Nolzur's character minis. I'm getting a boatload of wonderful Bones 5 minis, but it's a little disheartening to see Reaper give us a major material upgrade, only to make so many of the hero and townsfolk figures stand around with their arms out to the sides or their weapons pressed against their bodies. Reaper's sculpt quality is quite high for much of the new offerings, but the poses look flat compared to the D&D minis, or even many older Bones minis. Maybe it is a limitation of the Bones Black molding process (as Darsc said above), but Wizkids doesn't have that limitation, even though the WizKids' unpainted plastic material is nearly as firm as Bones Black. 

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3 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Reaper has a much larger variety, though some sculpts would never be bought for an RPG or miniatures wargame.

What now? I think you HIGHLY underestimate RPG and wargame players. 

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28 minutes ago, Crowley said:
3 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Reaper has a much larger variety, though some sculpts would never be bought for an RPG or miniatures wargame.

What now? I think you HIGHLY underestimate RPG and wargame players. 

 

And how. Trust me, we're an inventive lot. 

And, 'cause.. well, it's true, Bones are really, REALLY easy to commit Frogicidents with (... heavily, or not so heavily, modify).

 

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8 hours ago, Crowley said:

What now? I think you HIGHLY underestimate RPG and wargame players. 

 

Ones on a budget or ones who aren't? :lol:

 

Did a strikethrough on wargame players. They seem to be made of money. 

 

OTOH, The most active DM at the FLGS has been using these extensively. :

Spoiler

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzhyjsXBAUWhvqU1rNU

 

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8 hours ago, ced1106 said:

 

Ones on a budget or ones who aren't? :lol:

 

Did a strikethrough on wargame players. They seem to be made of money. 

 

OTOH, The most active DM at the FLGS has been using these extensively. :

  Reveal hidden contents

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzhyjsXBAUWhvqU1rNU

 

 

You are kidding right? War game players are by far the most tight fisted group in the industry. They may be made of money but they don’t want to spend it.

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51 minutes ago, Heisler said:
9 hours ago, ced1106 said:

 

Ones on a budget or ones who aren't? :lol:

 

Did a strikethrough on wargame players. They seem to be made of money. 

 

OTOH, The most active DM at the FLGS has been using these extensively. :

  Reveal hidden contents

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzhyjsXBAUWhvqU1rNU

 

 

You are kidding right? War game players are by far the most tight fisted group in the industry. They may be made of money but they don’t want to spend it.

Exactly.

 

And budget or not, gamers are absolutely willing to make a mini fit into their game if it's a cool mini, and by the gods they will find a use for it as an excuse to buy, build, and paint it. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Heisler said:

 

You are kidding right? War game players are by far the most tight fisted group in the industry. They may be made of money but they don’t want to spend it.

I think that depends on what segment of the wargames players you're looking at, and if you're looking at their entire spending or just what they're willing to spend on one figure. 

 

A lot of 40k players, for example, have thousands into their armies.  And then you have other gamers who may be looking for the lowest cost per mini, but have thousands, or even tens of thousands invested in minis for a dozen or more games. 

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20 hours ago, Clearman said:

I don't really see any one company being a one-stop-shop for any kind of figures.  There's just so much variety in RPGs, and gaming in general, that a single company is not going to be able to bridge all gaps.  Even with the gaming hobby being a niche hobby to start, there are niches within the niche that allows many, many companies to thrive.  Kickstarter has proven that there is a market in which the small and solo companies can succeed and be along side companies like Reaper and CMON.

 

And this thread hasn't even mentioned Games Workshop yet, which definitely dominates a lot of store shelving.

 

THIS - I don't see any one company being a one-stop-shop, and I don't think I'd want there to be a one-stop-shop company, either.  The alternatives always bring something a little different to the table, even if it's just a different style or perspective, which can make a huge difference.

 

On 10/28/2019 at 2:18 AM, Darsc Zacal said:

Sales say different. Minis in the original Bones plastic have been Reapers biggest selling minis ever since they were first introduced. They’re near indestructible for introducing younger players to the game and cheap enough for new players to buy without spending much money.

 

Plus a lot of folks like the ease of cutting them apart for conversions. A sharp hobby knife cuts through them like butter, or near enough.

 

A lot of us have been wanting a harder plastic from Reaper, and Reaper listened. 

I prefer Bones Black myself. the detail is better and I like the harder plastic, but I think both plastics have a place in Reapers line up. The harder plastic isn’t perfect either. It’s more brittle and subject to damage by being dropped or knocked about while being transported. Especially the bigger and heavier a mini gets.

 

One thing that I believe  Reaper does need to do better, is judging which minis work best in which plastics, and the sculptors need to learn to take that into account when planning their sculpts.

 

I love how easy the original Bonesium is to cut through and modify - they're hands down the best minis for inspiring creativity in customization, etc.  I don't think the detail and so on are nearly as bad as some people give them credit for - most of the original Bones figures are more than detailed enough for tabletop RPG and wargaming purposes, with only a handful of Bones I sculpts being irredeemably bad (missing or mutated hands and faces, needle-thin ankles that are impossible to straighten, etc.), and I've seen Wizkids minis that were just as bad or in a couple cases worse.

 

On 10/28/2019 at 3:45 AM, Darsc Zacal said:

Going to have to agree to disagree here, but the Wizkids plastic is much closer to original Bones than it is to Bones Black. It has a bendiness to it that Bones Black doesn’t have.

 

It’s been mentioned on ReaperLive shows that the mold requirements for the harder Bones Black is different that the softer Original Bones plastic. Since the Wizkids plastic share the same bendyness, granted to a lesser degree, as the original Bones I suspect some of the less dynamic poses are due to the limitations of the Bones Black mold requirements.

 

Again, they’re not as hard a PVC as Bones Black.

 

I don't see the bendyness as a problem in Bones figures, except where noodle-weapons or bendy ankles are concerned, and that's not really been a pervasive problem for me - just a handful of older Bones figures are soft enough to be a problem. 

 

The noodle-weapons are easy enough to fix with the Bones weapons sprues or with spare weapons from e.g. Frostrgrave or Oathmark hard plastic wargame mini kits (I caught some grief elsewhere for saying these conversations were easy, but I can't help it - they really are that easy, I have no idea where the folks who are complaining that using a drop of wacky-gloo to glue a hand to a wrist or a shoulder to its socket here and there, and holding it in place for two seconds for a solid bond, are coming from... I find most off-the-shelf assembly and most basic customization - weapon, base, or head swaps - to be ten seconds of work that almost adult can do, compared to the potentially hours of work on basic painting that requires actual practice and skill....)

 

23 hours ago, Crowley said:

Uh, you know there are some of us out here that use these similar sculpts to make warbands for skirmish games, right? We WANT that. That's a feature for us!! 

 

Yes - as an RPG GM, I like having similar sculpts for bands of NPC characters, too.  It's not a feature so much for player-character models, but for wargamers and GMs, these are great.


 

Spoiler

 

Take Reaper's Elf Rangers (Bones V, on the top row, plus a couple from Bones I or II):

 

elves.png

 

 

I've used a lot of the two non-descript existing models at the top, right as generic elf villagers, guards, soldiers, hunters, etc.  It's OK to me that the poses are not dramatic and that that I'm using the same model for multiple characters at the same time:  these are, after all, just pawns representing non-player character elves, they don't need to upstage the PCs with drama and uniqueness.  I'll be happy to supplement them with the six new models (top, left) to give them a little more low-key variety - again, these are still great warband-friendly models that kind of fade into the background as characters, where they should be compared to the PCs.

 

And Reaper has tons of other Bones - and tons more metal - elves in more dramatic and unique poses and outfits, suitable for use as PCs.

 

In the second row, the two Wizkids Elf rangers that come packaged together are theoretically "better", I guess as Player-Character models, because they're more "dynamic"/"dramatic"(?),  but really they're still dressed pretty much alike and look identical enough in the face to be twins, so it's not like you're getting a great variety of PC characters out of that package, while the poses are a little too busy for use as NPC characters.  I don't think the level of detail between these guys and those six new Bones Black Elves on the top row seems all that different (both models appear to be renders, though, so anything might be possible when seeing them side-by-side)... but then for 28mm tabletop gaming use, even the two older original bones models on the top-right are just fine even for player-characters, and especially for NPCs.  As PC models, most gamers would want/need only one of the two Wizkids minis anyway - it would seem to be a case of picking the pose you like the best, and giving the other model away to a good home, or stashing it away in the mini hoard where it won't get so much use.

 

For use in painting display and competition models, I should think most people would prefer metal or resin to any of these plastic minis.

 

And as for how "brittle" Bones Black is, in my experience both Bones Black and original Bones are very tough and durable materials... it's the Wizkids models that tend to be fragile enough that I worry about breaking them if I handle them too roughly.  I've got a few of the Wizkids models with arms or bases snapped off, a problem I've never had with Reaper's Bones (oh, I have had one or two pre-assembled multipart Bones guys drop an arm that wasn't glued in at the factory very well, but nothing like Wizkids models!)  The Wizkids models aren't as brittle as the hard plastic used by Games Workshop and their imitators, for example, but it's Bones, and especially the original Bones material, that seems the toughest for plastic minis from my experience.

 

So, I'm not entirely sure what void those Wizkids models is actually filling:  too similar to provide PC variety and most RPG players wouldn't need two similar models, but too "dynamic" and "flashy" for low-key NPCs and more apt to stand out as 'clones' if you buy multiple packages to build a warband with, since they're not really varied enough in poses for warbands while at the same time not really uniform enough compared to other Wizkids elves to make up for it by mixing-and-matching them with other packages.

 

 

Nothing against anyone who prefers the Wizkids product to Reaper's, and there's a lot of "YMMV" involved in any choice between the two, but I hardly think the choice is as clear-cut as one might presume.

 

I think the main attraction for the Wizkids models comes down to a couple factors that could probably use discussions of their own:

  1. The Wizkids minis appear to be licensed/approved products for D&D and Pathfinder, which I think matters a lot more to D&D and Pathfinder players than a lot of people let on.
  2. The Wizkids minis are based directly on D&D and Pathfinder book artwork, being exact copies in many cases, which seems to matter a LOT to D&D and Pathfinder gamers.
  3. The Wizkids swords and weapons, and the figure proportions, are a little more delicate and less exaggerated/"heroic" than those in Reaper sculpts.  That difference in "realism" matters a lot to D&D and Pathfinder gamers, who tend to struggle a lot with immersion otherwise.
  4. Someone  earlier in the discussion made a good point about how much easier it is to organize Wizkids minis:  they tend to be packaged to a more specific purpose than Reaper minis (specifically as Wizkids "Male Elf Rangers", where Reaper might have "male elf with bow" or even in the case of hooded minis "male with bow", leaving it to players to decide whether the models are rangers, fighters, etc., and whether they are human, elf, half-elf, half-orc, etc.....  There's also a LOT more variety in the Reaper minis, so a lot of vaguely-defined minis for shopkeepers to choose from to stock, and then decide without guidance how to shelf and organize them, with comparatively less room to make it all work in.
  5. Someone elsewhere made a good point about how many Reaper minis come unassembled, and D&D and Pathfinder gamers struggle with assembly.  The Wizkids models are apparently all pre-assembled, which is a huge bonus to anyone who has trouble finding his/her way around a tube of cyanoacrylate "crazy" glue.
  6. Reaper's original Bones material - especially in older models - is prone to noodle-weapon syndrome, wimpy ankles, and other consequences of the softer material (on the plus side, original "Bonesium" is virtually indestructible to being stepped on, getting thrown at DMs, being subjected to table-flipping, etc.... but, it doesn't hold its shape very well!)  Original Bones with older models did suffer from some vague and blurry faces, underdeveloped hands, and other problems with fine details, too, relating to the soft, rubbery material.

 

9 hours ago, ced1106 said:

 

Ones on a budget or ones who aren't? :lol:

 

Did a strikethrough on wargame players. They seem to be made of money. 

 

OTOH, The most active DM at the FLGS has been using these extensively. :

  Reveal hidden contents

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzhyjsXBAUWhvqU1rNU

 

 

You know, I think that I'd have been perfectly happy with using tokens and cardboard "pawns" and so on instead of minis, if the third edition D&D boxed starter sets had come with a nice set of tokens/pawns instead of minis.  I grew up with more of a "theater of the mind" style 2nd Edition gaming, myself, in an era where there weren't a lot of gaming minis out there, and painting up minis to represent your character was sort of a separate hobby comparable to writing stories about your character or drawing a portrait of your character, or whatever:  if you've got the skill for it and want to do so, why not?  Otherwise, your imagination was good enough.

 

I've been trying to find ways to minimize my mini collection over the last year or so... I don't know what that means for the heaps of Bones and other figures I've got sitting in bins and boxes over the long haul, thanks to the Kickstarters and all that, but in theory it'll be the start of me trying to offload all the figures on an auction site to clear up some limited room in my crowded apartment and storage, and free up some much-needed money.  I can't even find specific minis I'm looking for anymore!  I think that the small room full of minis for every imaginable purpose I've got sitting around unpainted and unused could easily be replaced with a shoebox or small toolbox full instead.  Let gaming clubs and FLGSs with the room to keep stashes of single-use minis find room for all that other stuff instead... some relatively generic, multi-purpose minis that cover a lot more territory as a set would make a lot more sense for someone like me.  And, to be honest, that fistful of tokens in that picture would probably have made even more sense for my purposes....

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Crowley said:

Exactly.

 

And budget or not, gamers are absolutely willing to make a mini fit into their game if it's a cool mini, and by the gods they will find a use for it as an excuse to buy, build, and paint it. :lol:

 

The things I've seen fantasy wargamers accomplish with a low budget and a couple boxes of cheap plastic 1/72 historical wargaming figures really is something else, too!  Don't have 1/72 orcs?  Well, those badly-sculpted 1/72 mongols are just as good - just paint 'em green!  Need some Martians for a John Carter-themed game?  1/72 Native Americans work just fine in a pinch.  Dragons?  You can find toy dragons that will work just fine at the local dollar store.  Got a post-apocalyptic game?  Imagine what you can do with some Hot-Wheels/Matchbox diecast cars, some spare bits-and-bobs from a 1/72 tank kit, and some creative weathering effects! 

 

Those 1/72 fantasy/sci-fi wargamers get my respect for their resourcefulness, imagination, and frugality!

 

 

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I DM for D&D 5e. I run “by the book” adventures from officially licensed campaigns. What frustrates me the most about Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures is that, half the time, the monsters aren’t armed correctly to be “by the book” representations of the monsters in the Monster Manual.

 

For example, gnolls in the Monster Manual have shields, spears, and bows. If a gnoll is in an officially licensed campaign, more than likely, that’s how the gnoll will be armed...yet the Wizkids gnolls have halberds or glaives or something. What the heck?

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45 minutes ago, criticalhit said:

I DM for D&D 5e. I run “by the book” adventures from officially licensed campaigns. What frustrates me the most about Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures is that, half the time, the monsters aren’t armed correctly to be “by the book” representations of the monsters in the Monster Manual.

 

For example, gnolls in the Monster Manual have shields, spears, and bows. If a gnoll is in an officially licensed campaign, more than likely, that’s how the gnoll will be armed...yet the Wizkids gnolls have halberds or glaives or something. What the heck?

This right here is why I don't bother with "by the book" or "WYSIWYG" and go for a much more satisfying "close enough, and my players will never know the difference"

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My players confuse easily.

 

If the mini isn’t WYSIWYG, the time we take to run the combat increases by at least 50% with all of the, “What are they using again?” questions.

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My players could care less if I have Wizkids, Reaper or rocks on the table. They just wanna play D&D for a few hours each week at the FLGS. I'm the mini DM, the Pathfinder guys are the Paizo Pawns type & newbie D&D DMs use whatever they can get ahold of. One of my players who DMs sometimes, uses Pawns as well. He has put letters on the bases, so even thou we have a tiger or orc out on the pawn we know we are fighting goblins for example. Doesn't take much to note which letter we are fighting. Something I actually need to do is mark identical minis with numbers or letters. I recall a site that had tiny numbers/letters stickers you stuck on the base to ID. Now that I play in-town, I need to find that site again. As far as player minis, for that DM's game, we the players use whatever we have for our characters. My character is a goblin barbarian & I use a Reaper figure. One guy made a homemade pawn for his character, Wizkids, Reaper make up the other characters.

 

I find myself these days, using whatever I can find for my games & manufacturer or metal, plastic, pre-painted plastic, doesn't mean anything.

51 minutes ago, Crowley said:

This right here is why I don't bother with "by the book" or "WYSIWYG" and go for a much more satisfying "close enough, and my players will never know the difference"

 

I totally agree. Good example for this is tonight, the PCs will fight a group of 8 orcs. Standard orc has a greataxe & javelin......BORING!!! Encounters like this, I'll just go with whatever the mini is wielding. In this case, 4 Bones orcs (Tre Manor style) & 4 prepainted ones. Weapons run from a spear to Greataxe.

 

They'll face a Peppermint dragon but that is a special encounter I decided to hold over till a player with a learning disability got back from a trip to Disneyland. (Liar's Night promo).

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As a nonscientific observation/generalization about fills who use minis for D&D (and similar), it seems to me that DMs and players who started D&D in early 3E or earlier are pretty willing to use what's available, while DMs and players who started around the release of the D&D prepainted line (more or less 3.5E) are more likely to want WYSIWYG or close to it.

 

For my table, I use Theater of the Mind for most random encounters, and for planned encounters I try to use something close to the actual "thing" but if I have a goblin-with-spear standing in for a goblin-with-sword (or even a svirfneblin-with-sword) I'm not sad about it. Newer players that I've played with are a lot more inflexible about this.

 

Directly on topic, I think Reaper does a great job providing a wide variety of inexpensive, dynamic, interesting (or some combination of those qualities) miniatures. Even the single-mold minis are sculpted with some personality (have you seen the herbalist? The fishmonger?) even if they don't have a lot of movement. I've actually seen very little from WizKids that I thought was very interesting, and even less that I thought was interesting enough to be worth dealing with their thick primer and untrimmed flash. So Reaper wins there, for me. My opinion, I know some are just the opposite; that's why both companies have fans.

 

I also, personally, have a real issue with companies that make it difficult to know who their sculptors are... And WizKids' policy of labeling colored renders as "painted examples" really sticks in my craw. But I know those are non-considerations for most consumers.

 

Overall, I like Reaper as a company, and that does a lot to keep me as their customer. It doesn't necessarily gain new customers, but I think Bones and Bones Black still have pretty significant market share.

 

 

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For those of you GMing, if your players don't appreciate just having minis on the table, tell them I said to buy some themselves and supply them!

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I must be a really horrible GM to work with... I am just as inclined to tell someone who moans about things not matching to take up painting/converting minis. 

'but! My character is a *long list of stuff that doesn't match what I happened to have handy*'   .. yup, 'kay. Heroforge. Or convert one yourself; Bones are cheap, and Reaper ships /fast/. I can set up a painting event if you're short on paint, but seriously dude... I'm still looking for a good source for stirges. Somebody griping because the figure with a bow doesn't match their idea of what a ranger looks like isn't going to get much sympathy from my quarter anymore. >.<

 

(I've poked too many holes in myself with a hobby knife modifying METAL to have much sympathy left now we have all this sweet, sweet plastic!)

 

 

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