best miniature board games

The 14 Best Miniature Board Games in 2020

If you like board games, then you probably know how fun they are. Group of players using their skills and luck to outmaneuver each other is what these games are all about.

Do you want to enhance that tabletop experience? If so, then miniature board games are exactly what you are looking for.

Miniature board games add more to the table as they give the players a three-dimensional battleground. These games are strategy focused. You will find yourself competing against other players or join forces and facing off against the enemy.

If you are new to miniatures board games, it can be a bit overwhelming as there are so many of them in the market.  Don’t worry. In this article, we have reviewed the best miniature board games that you can purchase.

Let’s begin!

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURES
  • Strategic Board Game
  • Dragon makes the game more enjoyable
  • Suitable for 10+ ages
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  • Interesting game theme
  • Perfect for 1 to 5 members
  • Needs max. 2 hours playtime
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  • Cooperative advanture board game
  • Suitable for 1 to 5 players
  • Easy to play
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  • Difficulty makes the game more interesting
  • Suitable for 14+ ages
  • Playing time max. 2 hours
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  • High quality miniatures
  • Needs only 1 hour playing time
  • Value for money
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Best Miniature Board Games Reviews in 2020

1. Hasbro Gaming Risk Game with Dragon – Editor’s Choice

Gather your troops, prepare your troops, and get ready to conquer the world!

The objective is to eliminate all other players and occupy all the territories on the board. In Risk, the map has 6 continents. These continents have a separate color to them. There are 42 countries in total.

This is a game that is played by 3 to 5 players. Each player will select an army to play with. An army consists of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The players will start with a certain number of infantry depending on the number of players playing the game.

Players get bonuses if they hold the entire continent. The bigger the continent is, the higher the bonus. This allows players to have additional troops.

The players will start with the same amount of territories. Players have to attack their opponent’s territories in order to capture them. Players will be rolling their dice to attack or defend their territory.

If the attacking player has a greater dice roll versus the defender, they will capture the territory. The defending players can defend their territory by rolling a number that is equal to or greater than the attacking player’s dice.

The game supports Alexa. Players can add an Alexa skill if they need it. The game also comes with a dragon token. The players will have to eliminate the dragon. The dragon destroys the armies in the player’s territories. Players have to roll a lucky dice to eliminate the dragon.

Risk is a classic that has a simple concept but it is very competitive. It is one of the best miniature board games in the battle-genre. If you like war-based games, then you will love playing this amazing game. 

Highlighted Features:

  • The game can be played by 3 to 5 players.
  • Players can add an Alexa skill.
  • Players get bonuses if they capture continents.
  • The game is very competitive.
  • The dragon makes the game more interesting.

2. Scythe Board Game – Best Overall

The Great War is over and the powers of Europe are exhausted after many years of fighting. The factory, the mysterious source of super weapons that keeps the war going has shut its door. There is a tense and heavy pause in the conflict.

You are one of the nations in Europe looking to build the country and claim territories that were left vacant from the fall of the factory. The player with the most victory points at the end wins the game.

In this game, money counts as victory points, as do territories and resources. The main source of victory points is to complete objectives and placing stars to claim them. The game finishes when one player places 6 stars.

The players will compete with each other to become the next power in Europe. The key to victory is to maintain the economy and make it run effectively.

Each player is assigned a faction at the start. They have different powers and abilities. They are also assigned to an economy board. Each of the boards has the same main actions. They are in a different order and different costs. On your turn, you have to select one column of action. There are several actions players can take.

You can engage in battles, have special meetings, or visit the factory for an upgrade. All of the actions a player chooses builds around placing stars. Once you have completed your actions, it is the next player’s turn.

Scythe is a game for 1 to 5 players. It also has a solo mode. It has a playing time of 2 hours. If you like war games, then this is the game you should consider.

Highlighted Features:

  • The game can be played by 1 to 5 players.
  • It has a playtime of 2 hours.
  • The theme of the game is interesting.
  • The game is easy to learn.
  • It is fun to play.

3. Dungeons and Dragons Wrath of Ashardalon – Best Value

Wrath of Ashardalon is based on the popular role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. The game is a cooperative dungeon crawler that can be played by 1 to 5 players.

The players will play together as a team and face off against monsters and villains. It is a simple dungeon crawler that is easy to play.

The Wrath of Ashardalon adds more flavor with more characters, monsters, dungeon tiles, and adventures. The game comes with 5 new hero figures. Players can take the role of a cleric, fighter, paladin, robe, or wizard.  The heroes all start at level 1 and max at level 2.

The game also comes with a new villain figure, including Ashardalon. There are new tokens that accommodate each adventure.

There are three different phases in a play. The hero phase is when the hero will move, attack, or do both. The exploration phase is where you can bring in a new tile and explore it. Players will also have to draw a monster tile and place it on the new tile. The villain phase is where the player will face off against the monsters.

It is a great game that is an improvement from the original. Each turn is less about fighting the monsters, and more about solving the dungeon. It is both a standalone game and an expansion to Castle Ravenloft.

Newcomers will learn and like the series more by starting with this expansion than the original. It is a game for all dungeons and dragon fans, and gamers who like dungeon crawlers and cooperative games.

Highlighted Features:

  • It can be played by 1 to 5 players.
  • Players play together and face off against monsters and villains.
  • The game focuses more on solving the dungeon.
  • The game comes with 5 new Heroes.
  • It is easy to play.

4. Dark Souls Board Game

The Dark Souls board game is based on the famous computer game of the same name. It is made by Steamforged. It is a dungeon crawler game where you and up to 3 other players work together to defeat a boss at the end of the dungeon.

Every monster you slay in the way will give you souls which you can use as currency, level up your character, purchase new equipment, and upgrade your equipment. The game takes about 90 to 100 minutes to complete.  

The board game is amazing. In the computer game, the protagonist faces monsters and demons of all shapes and sizes. The board game has the same atmosphere. The board game much like the computer game is quite difficult.

The game can be played in two ways. You can select a mini-boss dungeon followed by the main boss dungeon for a one-off scenario, or you can play the campaign.

Every component of the board game is of superb quality. The player boards are designed quite well. It contains information about the player’s health, equipment, and more. There are 27 miniatures that come in the game. The bosses are well designed and give a great feeling during a boss encounter.

If you like team-based tactics games against difficult opponents, this is a good game to play.  The game has a good amount of replayability. If you are a fan of the computer game, then you will have fun playing the board game.

Highlighted Features:

  • The game takes about 90 to 100 minutes.
  • The components are of great quality.
  • Hard difficulty makes the game interesting.
  • The game has great replay value.
  • It can be played by 1 to 4 players.

5. CMON Zombicide Black Plague Board Game

In Zombicide black plague, players will be working together to fight a horde of zombies. It is a game for 1 to 6 players. The game can take up to 3 hours depending on the scenario.

In this game, you along with other players will be completing objectives before the horde gets out of control. To play the game, you need to first pick a scenario from the book. Every scenario has different objectives. The players win the game if they complete the objectives.

The first player will activate all their survivors passing to the next player. Each survivor has three actions available to them each round. The scenarios have an interesting medieval setting. The game also has a great leveling up mechanic.

In Black Plague, every player gets their own survivor dashboard where they put their character into. There is a plastic tracker that tracks the XP, and it clicks as you move through each experience point. The player boards allow them to track important weapons, armor, and much more.

Zombicide Black plague focuses on action. It’s about piling up zombie kills, and rolling buckets of dice. It is a great game and will be liked by players who prefer an interesting cooperative, or solo challenge.  The miniatures are also top quality. They have great detail to them and make the game look appealing.

Highlighted Features:

  • The game focuses on action.
  • It can be played by 1 to 6 players.
  • The miniatures are amazing in quality.
  • It has a great mechanic.
  • The game can be played solo or cooperatively.

6. Mage Knight Board Game

In this game, you are a powerful wizard on a quest. The objective is to raze some cities and gain power and infamy on the way. You will fight monsters, learn magic, get power abilities, discover artifacts, and raise an army.

Mage knight can be played by 1 to 4 players. It has a very good solo mode. It also has a playtime of 2 to 3 hours.

The game can be played competitively, or cooperatively. Every player will have a deck of cards to represent their abilities. Almost all actions of Mage knight are driven by cards. In this game, there are many ways to develop a player’s character. 

There are multiple ways to win the game. The most common way to win is by destroying cities. Cities are very tough encounters. They require a very experienced mage to defeat.

Players will first see if it’s day or night according to the scenario in their turn. Day or night determines which initiative cards are used to that turn, and has an impact on the movement.

There is a collective resource of mana that players share. There are 240 cards, 196 tokens, and other well-designed components. There is a lot to mage knights such as combat, encounters, healing, and more. It is a complex game and is interesting to play.

This is one of the best tabletop miniature games with a deep and complicated puzzle that will not be solved the same way twice. Timing, planning, card, and resource management, and some audacity is required to excel at the game.

Highlighted Features:

  • It can be played by 1 to 4 players.
  • The game takes around 2 hours to complete.
  • The game has a great theme.
  • It is interesting to play.
  • Leveling up characters is fun.

7. Star Wars Imperial Assault Board Game

Star Wars Imperial assault is a complex board game that can be played by 1 to 5 players. It has a campaign and a skirmish mode. The game takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete.

It is an era of civil war, and the rebel spaceships attacked enemies from a secret base and won their first victory against the galactic empire. Now, you will command either an elite strike team or the armies of empire in a series of adventures.

In skirmish, players will battle against each other. You and your opponent will have your teams battle over the objectives.

In the campaign mode, players play through the story and side missions from the deck they build. Each mission has its own victory conditions. The teams consist of the empire and the rebels. Most of the actions are a result of the dice.

In the game, first, find the mission you are on, and the imperial player will set the board and read the mission brief aloud. The turns will alternate between the rebel player activating the hero, and the imperial player activating a group of models. The imperial player will only move and attack.

The characters in imperial assault have different playstyles. Each of the characters can be upgraded in several ways. From item crates to equipment and skills. Imperial players also get upgrades. They can choose which units to include in their force.

It comes with fantastic sculpted figures that make the game more fun to play. The tactical combat and the story make this game worth considering.

Highlighted Features:

  • The game can be played by 1 to 5 players.
  • Play as the famous Star Wars Heroes and Villains.
  • The artwork and sculpted figures are great.
  • The characters can be upgraded.
  • It is fun to play.

8. CMON Massive Darkness Board Games

This is a cooperative game that can be played by 1 to 6 players. It is a dungeon exploration game. As heroes, you will take on the role of light bringers, who are facing off against the forces of darkness, in order to try and save the world.

In Massive Darkness, players will pick and play a quest. There is a story mode as well where the players will play through the quest one at a time. Massive Darkness is a huge game and consists of a lot of components.

The game has a total of 10 guests. The characters can also be fully customized. XP points can be used to upgrade character skills. The game has 6 unique heroes and 69 monster figures. There is also a plastic dashboard for heroes that allows players to track their character’s progress. The tiles are amazingly detailed.

The game has several rounds. Each of the rounds has 5 phases. These phases are played in order to start with the player phase. This is then followed by the enemy phase. Then the experience phase, and then the event and end phases.

Players will be able to spend three actions in the player phase. When the player phase is complete, the play will be passed to the next hero.  The enemy phase will be followed by the player’s phase. Then there will be the experience phase.

In the experience phase, the players will spend their earned XP. If you are looking for an adventure or exploration game, then you will like this game.

Highlighted Features:

  • The game has a total of 10 quests.
  • XP points can be used for character upgrades.
  • It can be played by 1 to 6 players.
  • The game is fun to play.
  • Consists of good quality miniatures.

9. LOTR Journeys In Middle Earth

This is a cooperative adventure game that needs to be played with an app. The players will play as heroes, who will explore, use their skills in order to survive, and complete different objectives.

In this game, you will play through several adventures. The app lets you know the map’s tiles, tokens, and the enemies that you will face as you are exploring the map. The heroes will start with 15 skill cards. These consist of cards that are unique to the hero, three role cards, six cards that are basic, and a weakness card.

There are also item cards that the player will have throughout the game. The heroes will get 2 actions in every round. The players can travel, attack, or interact in the round. When the hero has completed their play, the enemy threat will increase. The players can know the spaces that are moved by the enemy.

The threat will increase depending on the number of players and how much of the map has been explored by the players. If the threat reaches a specific level, the players will be defeated.

If the player’s hero reaches the enemy’s fear level, then the hero will have a last stand test. The player will be defeated if the test is failed. The other heroes will have that specific round to complete the objectives.

Highlighted Features:

  • Players play as popular LOTR characters.
  • The adventures in the game are great.
  • It has a companion app.
  • The customization features are great.
  • It can be played by 1 to 5 players.

10. Dungeons & Dragons Spell Effects

The arcane Fury and Divine might components are used to show you lingering spells on your battle maps. They add a lot of personality to the battlefield.

The components are very sturdy and have great detail to them. The colors of the components are bright and pop against the background.

There are several different components in this set. The arcane gate is a 6th level conjuration spell that is used by sorcerers, wizards, and warlocks. It will create a porta that will stay open for 10 minutes.

The tenser’s floating disks is a 1st level conjuration spell that is used by wizards. The bigby’s hand is a 5th level evocation spell that is used by wizards. The bigby’s forceful hand can force a creature within 5 feet of it. The bigby’s grasping hand will attempt to grapple the creatures.

The cloud of daggers is a 2nd level conjuration spell that fills the air with spinning daggers. The mage hand is a cantrip conjuration spell. This creates a spectral hand that is used to open and unlock a door or get an item from a container. The dancing lights can be used to create 4 torch-sized lights within range.

The elemental weapon makes a non-magical weapon the player touches into a magical weapon. There are also two spiritual weapons. The unseen servant does simple tasks at the player’s command. The grasping vine lashes out at creatures. The phantom steed is a horse-like creature that allows you to ride the steed.

Highlighted Features:

  • The components can be used to show lingering spells on maps.
  • They have great detail about them.
  • The items are very sturdy.
  • Enhances the tabletop gaming experience.
  • The components are colorful and look nice.

11. XCOM The Board Game

In this game, Aliens are attacking the earth. It can be played by 1 to 4 players. The board game is based on the popular XCOM video game.

They can attack in three different ways. They can attack the earth’s communication satellites. Aliens can also swarm in the earth’s continents. The third way is by attacking the XCOM headquarters which is the base itself. If they do enough damage, you lose the game.

The game consists of several missions that you need to complete. There are four roles that the player must take. These are the chief scientist, squad leader, the commander, and the central officer.

The central officer will be leading the players through different phases of the game. The squad leader will place different combat units that will be used to defend the alien attacks. The units come in four different types. They are the sniper, support, assault, and heavy. They have their unique skills.

The Chief scientist will develop technologies, which will help the rest of the team. The commander will have three responsibilities.

The commander can position jet fighters over continents to defend enemy attacks. The second is to choose between the crisis. The Commander will also be able to keep the budget as deploying actions has to be bought.

The innovative digital app makes XCON one of the best miniature games. It is used by the central officer. The app will lead the players through a timed phase. Alien troops can also be deployed through it.

The figures are well designed. It is a game where players have to interact with each other to complete their objectives. You should definitely consider this board game if you like cooperative styled games.

Highlighted Features:

  • The figures are well designed.
  • It can be played by 1 to 4 players.
  • The central officer uses an app.
  • Players need to interact with each other to complete objectives.
  • It has a great mechanic.

12. Resident Evil 2 The Board Game

Resident Evil 2 is a dungeon crawler game that can be played solo. The game takes you through the events of the original Resident Evil 2 game. You will take control of the classic characters such as Leon S. Kennedy, Clair Redfield, and more. 

The aim is to escape from the zombie ravaged Raccoon City, which is in the grips of the T-Virus from the evil Umbrella Corporation. The board game comes with a scenario book, which you can play in order. The game is made by Steamforged, and they have captured the essence of the game really well.

Mechanically, the game is very straightforward. Players start at several parts of the map and they must meet to complete the objectives. Players will have a finite amount of ammunition to get through the scenario.

The combat is very simple and effective. Players have to roll a double hit in order to wound or kill a zombie. Better weapons will have better dice. Players will often find themselves as to whether to spend their special ammo or to save it for future encounters. Enemies also have a reaction phase.

The tension deck allows each player to draw a tension card after their turn. These can range from nothing happening to the player being ambushed by zombies. It also acts as a timer as the player runs out of the tension cards, the scenario is over. Using the ink ribbon on a typewriter, the tension cards can be shuffled and used again.

The miniatures are great and have good quality. It has great replay value. The game can be played by 1 to 4 players and has a game time of 90 to 120 minutes.

Highlighted Features:

  • The game is very straightforward.
  • It can be played by 1 to 4 players.
  • The game takes 90 to 120 minutes to complete.
  • Comes with a scenario book.
  • It has great replay value.

13. Conan Board Game

In this game up to 4 players take on the role of Conan and his companions. The players try to complete the goals of a specific scenario in the time given. One player will take on the role of the evil overlord and must try the best to prevent the heroes from completing the objectives.

The game has several different maps, and there is a minimum of two scenarios per map. Each of the scenarios will have a set of instructions and objectives that the hero must complete within a certain time.

The core mechanic of the game for the heroes is that the player will spend stamina points to perform actions. After the hero finishes their play, the play will then be passed to the overlord player. The game centers around the use of gems.

The players spend their stamina by putting the gems on the action boxes. There are several actions to choose from. When the play is complete, the gems are moved to the fatigue area where it cannot be used again.

The gems will determine the actions of the players. Heroes will use gems to be active or defensive. The player who plays the overlord will also use gems to use actions.

The game has amazing miniatures. It also has great scenarios and mechanics. If you like strategic play, then this is a board game that you should purchase.

Highlighted Features:

  • It can be played by up to 4 players.
  • There are several different maps.
  • The sculptures are well designed.
  • The game has amazing scenarios.
  • The game has a great mechanic.

14. WizKids Waterdeep Dungeon of The Mad Mage

Dungeon of the mad mage is a fully cooperative dungeon themed board game for 1 to 5 players. It is based on the Dungeon and Dragon 5th edition adventure of the same name.

In this game, players will take on the roles of heroes who explore dungeons, battle monsters, and collect treasure. The game is the 6th in the series of D&D adventure system board games. Each of the games in the series uses the same rules and are semi compatible with each other.

It has 13 adventures that can be played as a standalone game. It also has a campaign mode and a narrative. You can level up your heroes. Heroes can level up to third or fourth levels and will gain them expert powers that come in handy.

There are also a variety of monsters, treasures, and more. There are 5 new heroes in the game. All of the monsters and heroes come with their beautifully sculpted miniatures. There are hundreds of token cards, 44 dungeon tiles, 9 hero and villain tiles, a rule and adventure book, and a dice.

The items are well presented. The tiles are beautifully illustrated. The game has a playing time of 1+ hours. The campaign is fun to play. If you are into cooperative dungeon crawlers, then this is a game that you should consider buying. 

Highlighted Features:

  • It supports 1 to 5 players.
  • The game has a playing time of 1+ hours.
  • The tiles are beautifully illustrated.
  • It can be played as a standalone game.
  • It comes with amazing sculpted miniatures.

Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Miniatures Board Games

board game miniatures

Concept

The concept is one of the first things to look for.  The theme or concept of the game will determine if you are going to enjoy the game or not. There are several themes in board games. Medieval, alien invasion, Civilization, Dungeon, and more. These can be easily identified by the box art or the title.

Player Count

If you want to purchase a board game to play with your friends, then you have to get the game that supports a number of players. Most board games can be played cooperatively or competitively. There are also those that have a solo mode. Interacting with a large number of players makes the game more interesting.

Playing Time

The playing time of board games can be an hour to several hours long. If you don’t like long playing times, then you won’t enjoy games that take 3 hours to complete. Longer games are great as they generally get more interesting as the game goes on.

Complexity

The complexity of board games can differ. While some players relish complicated rules and gameplay, others may like something more simple. If you want to play a game with new players, get the one that has an easy learning curve.

Component Quality

Artwork and component quality of a board game makes it much more appealing. It enhances the gameplay experience for the players and makes the game more enjoyable to play.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

faqs

1. Do Miniature Board Games Require You To Solve Problems?

Most miniatures board games need a good strategy. Players will often need to make decisions to solve problems. This can be about managing resources, a boss encounter, and more.

2. How Do You Paint Board Game Miniatures?

Painting miniatures can make them look great if you follow the right technique. The steps are:

  • Priming – The sculpture needs to be primed first as paint won’t adhere properly to plastic. Primers are spray that needs to be applied on the miniatures. It let the main colors stick to the miniature.
  • Dry Brushing – Dry Brushing is used to make the details more visible. The paintbrush is slightly dipped in paint and then the paint is wiped off. It is applied to give highlights on the miniature.
  • Main Colors – The next step is to apply the main colors. You can add details in your miniatures if needed.

3. Are Board Games Easy To Learn For New Players?

This depends on the type of board game you are playing. Board games come in different difficulty levels and complexities. Some can take hours to complete. Board games come with a guide that has instructions on how to play the game.

There are various websites that are dedicated to help new players understand the mechanics of different board games.  Once the player understands the rules, it will be much easier for them to play the game.

4. What Is A Dungeon Crawler?

Dungeon Crawler is a popular board game. A dungeon crawl is a type of setting where players have to solve puzzles and navigate through a dungeon. The players will be battling monsters, finding treasures, completing objectives on the way.

Which Dungeon Crawler board game is top favorite right now?

4. What Is An RPG Game?

RPG also is known as Role-Playing genre is where players play a certain character. Most tabletop games have traditional features such as improving your character by increasing their skills and abilities.

There are also quests that need to be completed, and players will be able to interact using their character abilities.

Final Word

Board games are becoming very popular these days. There are board games that are based on video games, popular animations, and more. Miniature board games come with sculptures that can be painted. This makes the game look much more appealing.

For new players, the tactical rules can be a bit daunting. It takes a little bit of time to understand the rules and play the game properly. The games we mentioned are for everyone. They are fun, interactive, and require critical thinking at times.

In this article, we have reviewed some of the best miniature board games that you can play right now. We hope you enjoyed this article. Have fun!

More Board Games Buyer’s Guide:

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What is the best expansion for Carcassonne?

How many Catan expansions are there and Which one should you buy first?

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