1c. Miniature Wargames 

A miniature squad occupies a minitature house
"Nothing on this site is intended to promote any political, racial, or social agenda.... It's nothing but a few guys having some mildly goofy fun with toy soldiers."

Major General Tremorden Rederring's Colonial-era Wargames Page

Miniature wargaming is really just a subcategory of board gaming, with more limited possibilities of game design, but much richer visual simulation.  Wargaming miniatures usually take the form of individual soldiers cast in lead (occasionally in plastic) which the hobbyist purchases individually or in units.  Generally the miniatures are made of lead and sold unpainted.  Miniature painting is a hobby in itself, and there are magazines and competitions devoted just to the painting of wargame miniatures.  Scale is an important issue in miniature wargaming, just as it is in most "model" hobbies.  In miniature gaming, scale is measured according to the actual height of the miniatures.  Thus, in 25mm scale, miniatures are about one inch tall, and in 15mm scale, they are a little over 1/2 inch in height.  Both of these scales are generally popular.  The smallest scale, 6mm, is about 1/3 of an inch in height.

The "board" in miniature war games is usually an scale diorama of terrain.  Though H.G. Wells often used books and boxes as his terrain in his Little Wars miniature game, often terrain dioramas are more elaborately painted and constructed.  Terrains may fill up more than one large table with landscape and structures.  The pieces are typically moved using rulers or measurement sticks.  Methods for resolving combat vary.  In Little Wars, Wells employed a spring breech-loaded gun which fired a wooden cylinder about an inch long.  If a figure was knocked down or at an angle by this gun, it would be deemed a casualty.  Modern games are less likely to employ this physical proxy, and more likely to use rules and dice to resolve the effects of combat.Toy soldier

Obviously, miniature games can be much more expensive and cumbersome than cardboard and paper wargames.  For this reason they tend to appeal to a smaller audience than general board games.  Yet for those interested in the re-enactment aspect of wargames, miniatures have offered a much richer visual experience than ordinary board games have generally  provided.  The continued vitality of miniature wargaming seems to suggest that almost a century after H.G. Wells wrote Little Wars, commanding armies of "toy soldiers" still has an instinctive appeal for some wargamers.


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