Friday, February 19, 2010

D&D Mini's

I'm a cheap gamer... and not by choice. This means that I can rarely engage in any purchases which might be considered blingy, no matter how much I might want to. So I usually rely on gifts and careful spending to put together any game aids I might want. This has long kept me out of the realm of Miniatures, even though I have always wanted them for my games. So in this post I thought I might ramble on a bit about my experience jumping into cheap miniatures for D&D.

The best friend to any frugal gamer, bulk lot purchases on Ebay can net you figures for under 75 cents a piece if your lucky, far better than any individual seller. After picking up a few smaller boxes and receiving a 100-piece box as a gift, I have a few notes.

- Lots of repeats: The cheaper bulk boxes usually consist of the common's the seller can't get a good price for, so expect a lot of commons and poor sculpts... and tons of Gricks. This has been a boon for me, as I'm looking to put together a solid set of each monster type, even if they're lower quality repeats. Out of a 100-box, I got 8 elves in rough armor using scimitars... and no Orcs, so as always your mileage may vary.

- No PC's: This is not necessarily a rule, but as a general observation it seems true. Out of my most recent 100, I found just over a dozen which looked like they might work as PC's, ignoring duplicate wild elves. Another box of some 13 mini's yielded 2 promising figures. So as most people could guess, bulk purchase seems better suited for DM's providing monsters.

- Cheap: This one is so obvious I almost didn't put it it, but it is worth note. Any cons must be balanced against the cheapness of this method.

I don't have more than an order or two's experience with these, but I will be gaining more and more in the future.

- Shop Around: The above link is to MiniatureMarket, which has the largest selection I have found, but it is also worth looking at places such as TrollAndToad and Auggie's Games n Movies. Each site tends to have slightly different prices and stocks of miniatures, so it's worth it to see what your cost would be at each one.

- Cost/Exactitude: The biggest boon of individual buying is that you know exactly which miniature's you're getting, perfect for finding a particular NPC or PC you have been missing. But with this comes the downside of increased cost over random figures, especially for rare ones. The nicer and more unique figures (Dragonborn especially) tend to come with bigger price-tags.

Original Random Packs

Surprisingly, it is still possible to find older random booster boxes for sale, often for less than 10 dollars. This is best used if your not looking for anything in particular however, every once in a while you get a nice surprise in the box, just don't count on it. I have not had much luck with the few boxes I have cracked open, but that means that someone out there must be getting exactly what they wanted.

Anyways, these have been my experiences with D&D miniatures, anyone else out there have any really good tricks for putting together a collection.

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