A quick first note:
I do these as Minis+ threads. By that I mean, they're mostly meant for folks who would, given the opportunity and appropriateness to the game, use minis if they could. They aren't really meant for posts offering non-minis suggestions. I think at this point, almost every gamer who has been a gamer for a while knows how to play without minis or how to sub in small markers off different sorts in a pinch. While I focus on gaming minis, a bunch of this stuff, in modified form, could also apply to folks using things like LEGO, home built minis from other materials ( like polymer clay), and to a lesser degree paper minis.
A Quick Recap or two of earlier conversations in threads:
These threads are broadly about ways to use miniature gaming figures in an RPG context, which is a bit different from a war game context.
Philosophically, I view RPGs as games, but games that are closer to "play pretend" and "toy play" than Game-Games, even when we're getting pretty game-y in them. Certainly closer to those things than war games are, which are generally closer to Game-Games. This colors all of my thinking. OTOH, I very much consider this difference a net positive.
I'm also fairly partisan about the idea that the closer you can get minis to represent what is going on in the fiction, the better. Having said that, practicalities of time and budget mean that everyone does some sort of substitutions along the way. It's a sliding scale, but generally, I advocate for "closer is better".
At this stage, I've pretty much decided to just go with the idea that, in an RPG context, there is going to be one main player/participant who will end up taking the lead on building a minis collection for any game played with them, most often the GM or player most advocating for play of the game. So any suggestions or concepts are geared towards helping that player along and avoiding pitfalls.
Last, no collection of toys for gaming is built in a day. Even committed, experienced war gamers with lots of minis build their collections over time. While wargames give guidance to those people building collections, RPGs rarely do, and that partly contributes to the pitfall aspects of trying to build a collection of minis for RPGs, which then leads to frustrations, and a fair number of people trying out minis in gaming, only to decide it just isn't worth the effort. That's where the current couple of threads come from, an attempt to build advice for someone starting a project from Zero minis, getting started, then developing the collection over time, basically, how to build a plan for it.