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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
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.
Early Middle Ages
American Civil War
World War I
World War II