[minis+] What would you do with the Reaper Bones Kickstarter Collection?

edited August 2012 in Story Games
I haven't jumped in (yet...) on that kickstarter that Reaper is doing for their Bones line, but boy is it tempting. Lovely miniatures, and really great pricig compared to the metal versions of those miniatures. The pricing on the add-ons is incredible too, with the dragon and the giants being a fraction of their metal figure cost.

OTOH, I did get rid of almost every last fantasy miniature I owned when I gave them to my friends' son. If I buy in on this kickstarter at the juicy Vampitre level and add-ons, it will represent pretty much the entirety of a fantasy collection for me, at least in terms of character miniatures ( I still have puh-lenty of toy buildings and what not).

For discussion's sake, let's pretend you're in a similar situation. You're going to jump in on that Vampire level, but can upgrade as much as you want with add-ons.

Whatever you end up with is going to be your entire universe/collection of people minis.

What would you do with it? What game or hack of a game would you use? How would you recycle minis for use between connected games? What's the setting info?

How would you design it to use the minis you have, as opposed to theoretical stuff outside of that collection?


  • If you've gotten out of fantasy, what periods have you gotten into. Will there new (admittedly pretty) fantasy figs fit in with what you are building? You only have so much time and money in your life.

    As you know I moved into 15mm figs a number of years ago. I know I want to so some historical stuff (ancients, Horse and Musket, WWII, Modern Colonial (my term for the War on Terror) and Sci Fi. High fantasy figs just don't fit in this picture so I don't get them.

    So... if it gives you joy to have these figs, buy them! If it is just a passing fancy, meh.

    Chris Engle
  • Heh, don't I know it. Like a lot of lead-heads, I actually already have a mountain of stuff still awaiting completion. as for what my personal collection, I have a big smattering of historicals from several settings starting at about the post-Civil War Old West and ending at about VJ Day. The fantastical stuff I own parallels that. So, prohibition era bootleggers and coppers along with Lovecraftian beasties, khaki-clad sons of Victorier along with much-oppressed canal martians. That sort of thing.

    Of course, I do love a nice looking mini, and those minis from Reaper are lovely and at a great price.

    As I looked at them, i thought, y'know, even with that big of a collection, D&D would still be a pain in the butt to play with only those minis!

    Not the tactical battle mechanics, mind you. Those things you love or hate as you will.

    No, I mean the basic set up for D&D. The Reaper sets do offer a good number of re-usable mooks. That's dandy. But then we get around to the more characterful stuff, the PCs and bigger, badder monsters.

    I dunno how other folks play D&D or similar games, but I can see a party of PCs sawing through most of that stuff pretty quick, as well as racing through a bunch of the PC miniatures roster as the PCs get killed off at lower levels.

    I started this thread because I've been doing a bunch of minis+ threads advocating for different looks at minis use, and combining minis with story-game type play in different ways. This kickstarter actually could represent a pricey but broad buy-in collection for gamers deciding to jump onto that concept.

    Buuuut...it's a different sort of creative constraint from those you have with verbal based SGs, where you can talk or write whatever you want into being. I wanted to hear what other folks could come up with to use and re-use those physical constraints of that particular collection in a new and interesting way.

    As an example, the first thing I thought was to play with the metaphysics of the setting, use old skool D&D mechanics and the basic set up for D&D, and say that death wasn't permanent ( just painful and terrifying as you experience it), as a way of describing why figures could in fact be re-used. It was bound up wih more fiction than that, but it was the first thing that struck me about tryingto play ongoing games with a limited selection of miniatures that were (largely) meant to be seen as individuals.
  • I'm probably going to jump on the Reaper kickstarter primarily to play Song of Blades and Heroes. Right now I'm just using an old box of D&D miniatures, it'll be nice to paint my own models for a change. The bundle of goblins et al might even be helpful for Song of Armies and Hordes in the future.

    Can't say I like using minis in RPGs too often, although if I end up playing D&D w/ minis I would probably try picking one of those I could paint up to play with.
  • The way that Bob is talking about using minis in games is very different from the way they are usually used. In most RPGs minis are placed on a drawn map and act as placeholders. They are tools for tactical combat and generally get ignored outside of that role. What Bob is talking about - and what I do in my miniatures games - is to put the minis in a central roll of the narrative. The figs are placed on an interesting terrain field and moved around but it is to set up scenes.

    For example: My party moves into a town full of interesting minis. We split up and spread out. Tactically this is stupid. In D+D like RPGs it also makes play unplayable because you are focused on one player making the others sit idle. In a minis focused game though a player may point to a spot on the board and say what is happening there. Others may jump in and add to it or suggest additions (just like they do in Fiasco). It doesn't matter if your character is there or not. You don't have to introduce your character to add to the game so no one need be idle. Actions because they are stories don't have to be about combat, they can be about any interaction, including internal dialog. The terrain field is the stage we act on.

    This requires pretty nice figs and good terrain so it is hard to start doing but boy is it fun. These are the type of games I want to run in my declining years. Games that don't have to be mass market.

  • Yeah, that's a great way of describing it Chris.

    I think part of the difference in outlook comes from just the premise that you start with the minis, then design a game around it, instead of trying to build a game, the figure out how the minis fiit into it.

    I mean, maybe a minis collection like that is actually the inspiration for 15 or 20 very short games of different types, whether in mechanics or fictional set up, ornumber of players, or whatever.
  • I am tempted to get in on this. There are a couple of heroes and and a bunch of monsters. i could play retro D&D for years using just the Vampire level stuff.

    I would probably brew up something Descent-like too, for boardgamey feel gaming.


    Now, I have a bunch of hero pewter minis. And some boardgames with salvageble monsters in them that I use in our Swords and Wizardry. I consider getting in on this at the vampire level anyway, we'll see what happpens as they reach higher tiers.
  • Yeah, retro D&D struck me as an option too. The only clinker I saw with it is that while there are plenty of mooks (more if you add the Orcopacalypse option- and really, why wouldn't you???). everything else is super-characterful, which makes re-use in an RPG context a bit weird.

    Mind you, even I am not so committed to minis mongering as to suggest never re-using or subbing something once in a while. It just seems like, to me, some kind of modified approach to something in-fiction to justify re-use would be better.

    Also, some new stuff I'm learning about Dave Arneson's original Blackmoor games makes me think opening up use of those great monster figures to the players might be cool too. I mean, c'mon, you just know you've got a pal that would think playing a dragon for a change of pace is The Best Thing Ever. Okay, well, i do.
  • I lost count of how many minis is it, exactly, with the various stretch goals included… Let's say it's, like, 50 individual subjects not counting the mooks (dungeon pack + optional orcs)? Let's say it's 50. Fifty individual character options for PCs and well-characterized villains.

    My point is, even if you don't re-use any, how long can those 50 minis last? I'm pretty sure it would be long enough for me. I mean, how long is a role-playing campaign going to last, realistically? (Of course, you're going to create your scenarios around the minis you have, not the other way around.)
  • edited August 2012
    I really have no idea how long it would last, Rafu. That's what is fascinating to me.

    My guess is that if you geared stuff to dungeoneering and potentially high PC death rates without some kind of modification, it would be a pretty quick turnover in bodies.

    A couple of options I'd considered were things that justified recycling.

    a) A cultural set up where killing somebody dead was just plain frowned upon, with rules to back it up like the more modern idea that 0 Hit points meant defeat (with the victor having a killing stroke option) and ransom paying being a cultural norm ( along with perhaps some sort of duty-doing).

    b) Some sort of set up where dead isn't really dead. People still hate the experience of dying ( because that sucks), but your characters can be released by the ruler of the dead realms after a certain amount of time ( or money paid to them or services done), with the length of time spent dead being influenced by how powerful the character was. Mooks spend very little time dead, while the very powerful might stay dead the equivalent of decades unless somehow released earlier. Goofy, but i like the way it explains why there is always a supply of low level characters and moks available along with why old major villains seem to crop back up much later (like sauron).
  • I am also looking for a good excuse to get in on the kick starter but i really don't have one. i do sort of want to make kobold calvery with those rats though.
  • edited August 2012

    Whatever you end up with is going to be your entire universe/collection of people minis.

    What would you do with it? What game or hack of a game would you use? How would you recycle minis for use between connected games? What's the setting info?

    How would you design it to use the minis you have, as opposed to theoretical stuff outside of that collection?

    I'd consider doing 'grab-bag' games of Dungeon World. The players design their PCs, and then each of them grabs a random mini out of the big bin, or I pull one and hand it to them, and they tell me who it is and how it relates to the PC to their left.

    Then on game nights when I needed ideas, I would do the same thing: Pull a mini or two or three from the box and build my sessions entirely around that, and how it related to the PCs' web of relationships. We'd keep them out there on the table for folks to look at, and if I was feeling super-ambitious and had all the time in the world (hey, this is a fantasy, so why not?) I'd paint them for the next session based on how its description came out in play. Like, if we decided the demon was canny and manipulative, he might be flesh-colored with deep blue eyes and smooth, fair skin, but if it was decided he was a sadistic agent of chaos, he'd end up blood red, all scarred flesh with flaming eyes and maybe some spikes super-glued on or something, and based accordingly.

    Crap, now I really want to do this.

    (And BTW, with every passing Stretch Goal, this deal gets more awesome, ESPECIALLY for retailers. What a fantastic project)
  • See now that's cool Jim. I was hoping for stuff like that.
  • hey dungeon world props, that's a good idea.
  • Back many moons ago when I was starting out as a kid and didn't own a whole lot of minis, we used them as props mostly. We didn't tend to be super tactical with them, and we didn't own wargames numbers of figures. More often than not, they were more like our personal charater statue.

    Come to think of it, that early experience may well be why I tend to have some slightly different ideas about minis use than folks who either had none available or who had vast armies of them available...
  • the goals are revealed and now it's highly likely that the campaign will include western/sci-fi minis from the chronoscope line. it also looks like they have many more stretch goals planed beyond that.
  • I didn't foresee the addition of the Chronoscope minis ( although I'm pleased with it!).

    It would give a very different spin to my original question when those are thrown in the mix too.
  • edited August 2012
    Quite a lot has expanded in the minis involved, and this kickstarter is now in the home stretch, so I thought I bump this,and re-ignite the topic a bit.

    edited to add:
    Hole Kowz!

    Check that site out for more info. Curent cost of the mnis included at that the main $100 pledge level if purchased in metal would be around $1K (plus 20 odd uncalculated new sculpts and weird bonus metal bikerchick demon mini).
  • that weird metal biker chick can be exchanged for 25 bucks in more bonus options
  • Heh, I've already considered what I'd trade up for, although she might make a cool sort of alternate Valkyrie/Replacement PC Delivery system
  • People who know minis: How many minis could one paint with a set or two of the paints they're offering?
  • Couple stray thoughts I pondered last night watching this:

    It's pretty clear this is mostly geared to D&D type gaming, and yet the make up of the sets within the collection remind me most of my daughters old Cottage Critters.

    Lemme explain. When komradedaughter was about6 or so, she really loved cottage critters, which were little anthroanimal people that were sold mostly in 3-5 toy families. Cat family, dog family, bear family, and so on.

    Now I know that the grouping of say Dark Elves is really supposed to there so that players can pick a ready made class + race combo for their PC.

    But it got me to thinking. What could you do design wise with an assumption that those groups were familes instead, and perhaps represented all of the [WhateverRaceX] there was in a setting, rather than being representatives of a bigger race?
  • One thought I've been having, looking at the ever-expanding Vampire set, is that you could easily construct 5+ Mordheim bands from that collection.
  • That Kickstarter is insane! I SO want in on that, but can't really swing it right now. Great value, though.
  • I'm in for a lot more than I should be...
  • @peter
    sets one and three should set you up quite nicely. the paints will last quite a while if you are Conservative with how much you put on your pallet. generally i would think you could paint all the miniatures in the kick starter with out any extra however there are colors like brown that get used ON EVERYTHING so you may need to replace a bottle or two as you finish up your set.

    one of my favorite things about bones is you do not need to prime or wash the figures, aside from removing a little flashing they are ready to paint.

    i have also been experimenting with using copic markers and it may be a viable solution for coloring the minis superfast.
  • I agree with Tyler - the paint sets should last a good while. I have paints that I bought in the 80's and 90's that are still good. Your most commonly used paints will run out but not with a few sets of figures.

    Chris Engle
  • edited August 2012
    Heh. It looks as if the OwlBear will be added to the basic Vampire ($100) Pledge level by this afternoon.

    Given the owlbear love at this site, I suspect this is when other S-Gers will jump in...
  • One thought I've been having, looking at the ever-expanding Vampire set, is that you could easily construct 5+ Mordheim bands from that collection.
    Necromunda has come to mind too for some of those figs. I could definitely pass those off as gangers!
  • I'm really wanting to vicariously use miniatures for some folks who came to me wanting to have the "d&d experience." So, I found a couple folks to go in on the vampire level with me. I'll be walking away with most of the monsters- its a win for everyone!
  • Are there any nice and free (beer) minis games out there for which these minis would be suitable?

    Maybe something like Mordheim...
  • edited August 2012
    Free games?

    Isn't Mordheim still free at the GW site??? (Edit: Yes it is!)

    If not, try www.freewargames.co.uk

    Or go cheap but not free and hit the pdfs over at Ganesha Games.
  • I can't find a handy link to it, but for a long time there was a free version of Savage Worlds that was a minis skirmish game. Whisper me if you're interested and I'll see if I have the PDF handy. It was quite fun!
  • If you're nostalgic for Mordheim or Necromunda per some of the above, I recommend Ganesha games. Song of Blades and Heroes is written so that you can incorporate all of your fantasy miniatures into it -- you're just buying rules, not minis. It has basic campaign rules written in, along with another book (Song of Deeds and Glory) that has more of the Mordheim style campaign, with exploration rules and all that sort of thing.

    I'm not sure that the 4 book bundle for fantasy still exists, the core game seems to be $8 now, that and the campaign rules would be $16.
  • I've bought in on it.

    What would I do? So many things...so many games...so many ideas.

    What will I do? Probably add the figures to the queue of a few hundred that I've already got in various stages of "unpainted-ness".
  • I'm not going to beat myself up for not painting these all at once or before starting to game with them. I figure I'll paint them as I come up with uses for them.
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