9 thoughts on “What do you use?”

  1. For Dungeon World? Neither. I have yet to run or play in a DW game that had tactical positioning to the extent where one needed them. I kind of wish I did– I would love to paint up the 400 or so minis I own and run them in DW or Fate…..

  2. I have the same dilemma. I love miniatures. Love to paint them. But I’ve found our games move more smoothly without them – I think it’s because players have to pay closer attention and not rely on the miniatures to fill in the details when it’s their “turn”

  3. I love minis, but they’re too spendy for my broke self.

    What I’ve been doing is using nondescript wooden boardgame markers (assorted package bought at the game shop), and then I draw awesome maps using brush pens I bought at the art store. Sepia colored paper with brown brush stroke ink lines? Epic maps. Looking at the table you’d think we were kings of old plotting strategizing a war.

  4. We use minis pretty much any time we play, but only because I accumulated a bunch of them for playing D&D3 and 4e.  If we didn’t have them, we’d still use something for a map and tokens.  We don’t count squares or anything, and we don’t use one for every “fight”, but I have the opposite experience from Russ Brown. I find the maps & minis help paint the scene and keep folks engaged.  (I tend to have folks each declare an action or intent and have them all roll their moves at once, so that might be part of it.) 

    With theater-of-the-mind, I find that there’s too much disconnect about where everyone is and what everyone is up to.  And it’s too easy to forget about certain foes or elements in the scene.

  5. I buy butcher block or extra extra large scratch pad whenever I see it on sale.  We draw out maps as necessary on those, and indicate position by writing initials with colored pens when positioning can’t be fully conveyed by words alone.  Movement leaves arrows behind.  By the end it looks like some crazy football playbook.

  6. I usually play in a classroom with a big dry-erase board, which meets all of our tactical positioning and mapping needs. If that’s not available, we use scratch paper to sketch stuff out. Minis are fun, but I try to have as little game gear as possible these days–another reason DW is perfect for me. 

  7. My problem with minis is what you lose from that “theatre of mind”. You almost never have enough, or the the right ones.

    The orc horde, goblin mob, kobold gang, and twig-men forest are whichever group of thirty figures you have most of. The “animated skeleton of 30 foot tall, 6 armed minotaur wreathed in twisting blackness” is the big plastic ogre that last week stood in for the “giant black lantern-jawed,  horned lizard, carrying a dead grizzly bear under its right arm”. And all you can see is hacking and slashing at it’s legs, ‘cos you’re not going to visualise the mini clambering up its back.

    I’ve many minis, and I love painting them (or did, when I had time). But not for this game.

  8. Adrian Brooks Funny, I get the opposite result from your “hacking and slashing at it’s legs” experience. We’ve had all sorts of 3-dimensional shennigans precisly because the minis made the relative scales and positions fairly clear.

    I’ve got a large enough collection, though, that I generally get to plop down a mini and say “yeah, they look like that.”  If I was having to do a lot of placeholders, I’d be less gung-ho about it.  I’d do more like Lemmo Pew does.

    In my experience, the biggest problem is handling the “fog of war.” When everything’s on the table, players have a tendancy to act on that assumed perfect knowledge.  It took me a while to learn to use description and MC moves to subvert that. 

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