Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed playing board games. I like organizing the accessories/components, setting up the board, having a full table of players, and listening to the sound of the dice hitting the cardboard after a roll. My favorite kinds of board games are those that include detailed miniatures as well. There’s just something about holding/moving your character(s) throughout the game that makes this kind of gaming more realistic, in my opinion.
In fact, there are board games out there with such detailed, well-designed miniatures that they can pass for action figures or decorative sculptures in some cases, and that makes the game even more fun! So, in this post, I’ve listed 6 miniature tabletop games that feature not only great campaigns and gameplay, but awesome-looking miniatures as well.
If you like the idea of a game that features engine-building, farming, and war all rolled up into one, then you’re sure to enjoy a game like Scythe! Set in Europe in what’s described as an ‘alternate-history’ 1920s period, Scythe is a dominance-driven game that’s made for 1-5 players. With five factions to choose from, each player represents one faction. Each faction features different powers and abilities. Using those specific powers/abilities, it’s up to you to lead your faction through various actions, such as enlisting new recruits, claiming new territories, gaining resources, building structures, and operating heavily armored mechs.
The more resources, money, and territories you claim, the more victory points you’ll earn throughout the course of the game. The player with the most victory points at the end wins the game. However, one of the best ways to gain those precious victory points is by completing specific objectives. The game automatically ends once a player has completed those objectives. From there, points are scored and the player with the most points wins.
Note: We also carry the official Scythe playmat on our site, if you’re looking for a smoother, softer backdrop for your tabletop.
When it comes to cool-looking miniatures, great gameplay, and awesome action, Star Wars: Imperial Assault checks all the boxes. This is a tactical combat, strategy-driven board game that pits players from opposing sides (the Rebellion and the Empire) against each other in a galactic conflict that takes place shortly after the destruction of the Death Star. Players who choose to take on the role of Rebellion heroes must work together in order to fulfill missions, which can earn them credits and experience points. These points can be used to purchase new items and cards with powerful abilities, all of which can be used against the evil Empire.
Speaking of the Empire, by taking control of this side, your task is to gather as much influence and power as possible in order to keep the rebels on their toes with a host of new challenges that can disrupt them from fulfilling their objectives and ultimate goal. So, the whole point of the game is disruption, especially if you’re playing on the side of the Empire. And if you’re a rebel, you must adapt in order to overcome those disruptions and win the game. Featuring a well thought out story/campaign, 34 beautifully detailed figures, and over 500 quality crafted pieces/components Star Wars: Imperial Assault has become a popular choice for tabletop players and Star Wars fans alike.
If you’re a fan of the Walking Dead or consider yourself a lover of all things having to do with the zombie apocalypse, Zombicide is the game for you. Developed as a co-op game fit for 1-6 players, Zombicide presents gamers with a simple, yet fun gameplay experience filled with awesome gear, miniatures, characters, and even customizable options. In fact, the miniatures in this game are so detailed that they can even be used as decorative pieces if you’re into that sort of thing.
Simply put, the object of the game is to load up on weapons/ammo and take down as many zombies as you can. The more zombies you kill, the more skill you develop. Of course, in true zombie fashion, the more you kill, the more will appear, which makes the game more challenging with each wave/scenario that you and your team survive. The game allows you to play through 10 scenarios, each of which can take place on a variety of different maps using tiles, new ideas found online, or something unique that you and your friends created yourselves. Hence the customizable options mentioned earlier.
As you may have already guessed, the only way to win is to survive and still be standing after you’ve completed all of your objectives. Simple enough...right?
4. Blood rage
This is actually a game that was developed by the same creators of Zombicide. Blood Rage is a strategic Viking-inspired board game that’s meant for 2 to 4 players. Much like previous games mentioned in this post, players will assume control of a Viking clan and lead that clan through a variety of conflicts. These conflicts could include battles, invasions, and pillagings, all of which will propel you on your quest for glory and victory before Ragnarok arrives.
That’s right, it's a race against time before the end of the world, which is why Blood Rage has such a fast-paced nature and gameplay. So, you’ll have to use your skills, weapons, tactical combat strategies, and a little help from the gods to take on your fellow clan leaders who seek the same goal as you: total domination! But be careful, sometimes the gods reward failure and punish success. Just keep that in mind!
5. Space Hulk
This is a two-player board game that pits two opposing sides against each other. The battle is between the Space Marines and the Genestealers, and each player must pick a side to fight on. Much like Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Space Hulk is all about disruption. The player that takes command of the Space Marines must successfully fulfill a variety of missions/objectives in the Space Hulk - the ancient spaceship that’s drifting in outer space. The player who chooses to lead the Genestealers is tasked with one simple objective: stop the Space Marines from carrying out their objectives.
Overall, Space Hulk is a fast-paced combat board game that challenges players (especially the Space Marines) to accomplish tasks both swifty and strategically. While the Space Marines are heavily equipped with battle armor and powerful weapons, the Genestealers (resembling aliens) are faster, stronger and more agile, as they carry less weight and have claws powerful enough to tear through armor. So, be sure to play to your strengths and choose your side wisely.
6. Memoir 44
Ready to go to war and recreate some of the most famous WWII battles in history? Memoir 44 is a 2-8 player board game that allows you to do that and more! Winner of the Best Historical Simulation Award (2005) and Best 2-Player Game Award (2004), Memoir 44 takes players back in time and places them in the middle of some of the greatest battles ever fought during WWII circa 1944. Featuring 15 different scenarios/battles and a two-sided hex board for both beach and countryside conflicts, this game has all elements, including great-looking miniatures, to make every battle more realistic and true to the actual events.
Each player takes on the role of Commander of two opposing sides. As Commander, you have the power to deploy troops and even send in paratroopers, tanks and other artillery using various Command and Tactic cards. Even though Memoir 44 is primarily a two-player game, it encourages co-op and teamwork too, which is why it can accommodate up to 8 players using four separate boards. Bigger armies. Bigger battlefields. Bigger fun. Just make sure to keep your real-life troops in line during the conflicts as well!
That concludes my list. Now, I’d like to hear yours. What’s your favorite miniature tabletop game? If you have more than one, be sure to list them in the comments section below. And if you’ve played one of the games on my list, let me know what you thought of it down in the comments as well. Also, be sure to check out our blog page every now and again for more fun, informative posts like this!
Until we meet again,
Vince the Prince