Best Miniature Board Games
‘Miniatures’ are teeny figurines that represent some of the iconic heroes from our favorite movies, TV series or video games; we’ve imagined ourselves immersed in fictional and fantasy worlds, and now we have the opportunity to join the mysteries, battles, conspiracies, and skirmishes, recreating them in our own fashion, to our own liking.
Let’s take a look at some of the finest miniatures board games you can find in 2020.
Best Miniature Board Games of 2020
Dark Souls: The Board Game
Dark Souls is easily one of the hardest, most brutal, gruelling, soul-crushing games to have ever been developed, and now it’s available on the board platform.
Much like the original PC/PS game, Dark Souls lets you take the role of (one of the) Chosen Undead; you will have to battle hordes of overpowered enemies and oversized bosses in order to gain a slightly better shield before you can even consider getting along the storyline.
True to the original, the Dark Souls Board Game features a very complex character development mechanism. Players get to choose their own class, each packing different stats, which means that each ‘role’ will have different armors, weapons, and playstyle.
Each character features different levels of strength, dexterity, intelligence, and faith, each of these corresponding to warriors, archers, mages, and priests respectively.
This is a cooperative game, so don’t try to be a hero. Most creeps will be able to singlehandedly take you down while you’re level (tier) 1.
Unlike the fast-paced action-packed combat mechanic of the original Dark Souls game where you’ll need your wits and reflexes about you just to endure your environment, the combat in this board game is turned based, but none the less gruelling and unforgiving.
The game features four character boards, fifteen dice, hundreds of tokens and cards, and plenty of challenges. Team up with your fellows, arrange your items properly, form your positions, and ‘prepare to die’.
LOTR – Journeys In Middle-Earth
Lord of the rings is among the most popular trilogies in the history of film, and we can safely guess that you’re already thrilled just by hearing that it’s available on the board game platform.
This is a fully co-op board game where you and your friends can become the leaders of men, elves, Halflings, and dwarves who will venture on to fight orcs, Uruk Hai, goblins, and various other savage beasts in order to bring peace back to the Middle Earth.
The game is riddled with a variety of helpful and harmful cards, but you should note that there’s more pain than help headed your way. Effect cards are split into Fear, Damage, and Weakness cards, each aiming to lower your character’s performance in mobility and combat.
If your tactics and luck are poor, you might never even see any combat, so thread carefully.
On the brighter side, you’ll have 83 item cards at your disposal to compensate for the weaknesses, hexes, and curses placed upon your character; on top of that, you’ll have more than a hundred hero-specific and basic skill cards that will also help you overcome your enemies.
The land itself might become your ally or your enemy, depending on the Terrain Cards that are in effect. Avoid fighting on Pit and Mist tokens while carefully planning your next move, but if combat seems unavoidable, resort to using skill and item cards.
There are six Heroes that you’ll easily recognize from the franchise – Aragorn, Beravor, Bilbo, Legolas, Gimli, and Elena, each having a different role. Become the captain, the burglar, the hunter, the guardian, the musician, or the pathfinder for your team as you take on swarms and throngs of orcs and goblins on.
Fallout is the post-apocalyptic survival game series most 90s kids fondly remember; most gamers were rejoiced and completely enthralled with the newest PC editions, but not many people know that there’s actually a board game in this setting.
In Fallout: Board Game you get to, once again take the role of a vault hunter searching for dirty water and radroach meat just to get by through the first days of the post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it won’t be long before you become an unstoppable killing machine with premium loot and, obviously, an abundance of clean, non-irradiated water and food.
This game features a unique levelling mechanism that is much akin to that of the original Fallout game; each player starts with the provisional S.P.E.C.I.A.L. tab (that refers to strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck) that can be upgraded by levelling up.
You’ll need to pay attention to these stats, as ‘Tests’ are one of the main challenges of the game. Picking locks, healing wounds, avoiding traps, and even a good portion of combat relies on stats more than on actual items.
The combat mechanism is pretty interesting too, and there are two aspects of it. First and foremost, the ‘red bar’ refers to the player’s health. Obviously, if it reaches zero, the player dies. However, healing red chunks is easier than healing radiation.
Speaking of which, radiation damage is displayed on the ‘green bar’. The more irradiated the player is, the more severe the consequences will be. Radiation levels alter the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, and if it reaches 100, the player dies just the same as if they were smitten by a Deathclaw.
Fallout: The Board Game takes up the concept of ‘quests’ and exploration, but the ultimate goal is to achieve influence. At the end of the day, it’s the most charismatic leader who will shape and pave way for a brighter future, not the most trigger-happy one.
X-Com: The Board Game
They are finally here – the aliens are swarming the earth, and it’s up to you and your friends to defend it. You’re outnumbered, outgunned, and your weapons can’t even begin to compare to lasers, death rays, and psi attacks of your foes, but that shouldn’t be nearly enough to dissuade you from trying, right?
X-Com is a very popular PC game that was translated to the format of a board game in a very authentic way. The game features two main stages – managing your base and doing missions while engaging in skirmishes with the alien forces.
The combat takes place on your flightship, in air, and on land, so you’ll have to prepare accordingly. Most people who have played X-Com have found out the harder way what it means to invest the already scarce resources into land units while leaving the airspace completely unprotected, so this time around, upgrading those interceptors with some laser technology might be a better idea.
The object of the game is to survive the war of attrition where your enemy (aliens) has the upper hand. Perform missions until you’ve reached a quantum leap in technology (unlocking laser and plasma weaponry), but know that your foes will not sit idly by as you’re working on bazookas, snipers, and new assault rifles.
This is a cooperative game where you will need to orchestrate hit-and-run missions, protect safe havens, defend your ship, and lay waste to your enemy supply lines. The game ends when you manage to drive the aliens back from whence they came.
Since this is the adaption of X-Com – Enemy Unknown, we can say with utmost certainty that they’ll be back, though, hopefully with the War of the Chosen rendition.
Doom: The Board Game
Doom is one of the oldest and most successful PC games ever that started out as a dungeon crawler, morphed into a horror shooter, and finally evolved into a gory hack-and-slash, shoot-and-pillage bullet hell. Doom: The Board Game is all of the above.
Again we have a co-op game where players take up arms against the hellish demons and spawns, most of which are actually a lot weaker than they appear to be, as you could’ve figured out in any of the Doom series games.
The players need to decide who will be the ‘invader’ before the game starts. The invader is, obviously, absolutely overpowered, amasses forces faster and gains resources more steadily.
The invader’s objective is to submit the defending marines to his will by pulverizing them in combat. The marines have pretty much the same objective, but they have the advantage of numbers.
This board game features an incredibly detailed map and hundreds of immersive cards, figurines and tokens, so if you ever wanted to take part in the bloody mayhem that Doom is on a board platform, this game is definitely for you.
Cthulhu: Death May Die
H.P. Lovecraft unveiled the Mad Arab’s version of the Necronomicon, and the world held breath for a second. Many people to this very day believe that some of what he wrote was not just a fantasy based on ravings of a demented man.
That’s a topic for another time, though; today we’re going to talk about the horrors of the deep that have emerged from their ancient slumber with Cthulhu: Death May Die.
The Ancient Old Gods have invaded the world, and players take turns to defend it. The defending characters will use every tool and weapon at their disposal, from old-school axes and pitchforks, over modern guns and firearms, to mystic magic and spells.
The fight against the old gods occurs throughout different stages and phases; you’ll need to complete storyline quests and side missions in order to get better gear and ‘favour’ with the mystic forces that have defended the earth from the ancient horrors before.
The object of the game is to either conquer the world as one of the ancient gods or to defend it from the very same as a member of the human alliance.
Each time you play the game it will be different, and each time you will feel a chunk of your sanity drifting away into the depthless abyss.
Resident Evil 2: The Board Game
Zombies, hell hounds, lickers, and the infamous Nemesis have been re-imagined as plastic figurines in the Resident Evil 2 board game, and you’ll get yet another chance to join up with the S.T.A.R.S. to shoot and blaze them all into tiny plastic smithereens.
This is a cooperative game where each player will have their own health bar, inventory slot, and special skills. You’ll re-experience the feeling of dread by walking through bloodied hallways and all-too-silent dormitories, but this time around, you’ll actually know where the tyrants and zombies are.
Manage your ammunition, stock up on green herbs, find better gear, and escape the terrors of the doomed Racoon City with your friends on this classic, yet modern board game.
Game of Thrones: The Board Game
Game of Thrones has been put onto the platform of board games on several occasions; this time around we’re taking you directly into the heart of Westeros where six noble houses claw and bite at each other for the prestigious iron throne.
This is a relatively complex game as it allows you to do pretty much anything in any way you see fit. You can form alliances and declare war, attack anyone within range, but you can also lie without getting punished for it in the slightest.
In fact, it’s as if the game wants you to employ deceptive tactics in order to win.
There are several main aspects of the game. First and foremost, combat is just slightly overrated, and sometimes even uncalled for.
The bigger army is not necessarily the one that wins, as there are numerous factors that weigh in on the final outcome – combat cards add or reduce the final dice number (or even add insta-kill or defending status effects), event cards might help or undermine your efforts, and of course, the wielder of the Valyrian Steel always has the upper hand in this matter.
Intel is, on another hand, worth more than any cannon, trebuchet, cavalry, or foot soldier unit. Knowing who has which cards, how many power tokens they have, and how prepared they are to fend off the impending Wildling invasion might be the fastest way to victory.
At the end of the day, only one person can sit on the iron throne. The game automatically ends at the end of the 12th round, so going all in on your neighbour from the very start might not be the best way to defend from your ‘new’ neighbours, especially when they notice that your army has been cut in half (or less).