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Miniature Wargames

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Miniature wargames are a form of wargaming designed to incorporate miniatures or figurines into play. The miniatures used represent troops or vehicles (such as tanks, chariots, aircraft, ships, etc.). The games may reflect historical situations and armies, or may be futuristic or fantasy-based.

Miniature wargaming typically involves the use of 6-30 mm painted metal or plastic miniatures for units, and model scenery placed on a tabletop or floor as a playing surface, although other open areas such as gardens and sandboxes are sometimes used. Games with miniatures are sometimes called tabletop games, tabletop wargames, miniature wargames, or simply wargames. Miniatures games generally measure distance for movement and range with a string or tape measure.
Miniature wargamers generally prefer rule sets that can be used for any battle in a particular era or war, instead of a specific event, as is common in board wargames. Because armies and terrain can be combined in all possible ways, miniatures wargaming is generally more varied and flexible than other forms of wargaming. The preparation also tends to be more time consuming and expensive. Miniature wargamers typically enjoy painting miniatures and constructing terrain, and this is an important part of the hobby for them.
Because information cannot be displayed on a miniature figure as conveniently as on a cardboard counter, miniature wargames often lack the complexity and detail of some of the heavier board wargames.
The popularity of miniatures wargaming stayed relatively stable during the boom and bust of board wargames. Today, games such as Warhammer Fantasy Battle and the newer collectible miniatures games continue to recruit new interest into the oldest form of the wargaming hobby.
Like all games, wargames exist in a range of complexity. Some are fundamentally simple—often called "beer-and-pretzel" games—whereas others attempt to simulate a high level of historical realism. These latter games may produce long rulebooks that encompass a large variety of actions and details. These games often require a considerable study of the rules before they can be played. They also have a range of scales, from games that simulate individual soldiers, to ones that chart the course of an entire global or even galactic war.

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