It’s good for a damn good time, as long as your soldiers are nothing more than lovingly-painted plastic figures.

Miniature wargaming is a relatively obscure sub-genre of the even more obscure wargaming genre. This is a type of game that has a rich and storied history. For a while it looked like miniature wargaming was going to die a quiet death, but it’s actually still quite popular and might keep on growing thanks to things like the internet, social media, and platforms like YouTube.

In miniature wargames, players place small figures on a scale landscape and then use a set of rules to play out strategic and tactical battles. Think of these games as the precursor to real-time strategy games on a computer. While these games are an evolution of the full-scale and simulated wargames that actual armies performed for training purposes, the most popular modern versions are set in sci-fi or fantasy settings.

Not the Popular Kid

Compared to every other game type I cover on this site, miniature wargames are the least popular in relative terms. This is actually rather ironic since this type of game is also relatively young. It really only got its start at the beginning of the 20th century, when none other than H.G. Wells published a book on the subject. It really is an interesting story and you can read more about it in my article on the histories of tabletop games.

These days it’s easier and cheaper for small outfits to produce their own games, so there are more and more games to choose from. The manufacturing standards of the miniatures and the possibilities of what can be done with paints are also better than ever. So the future of miniature wargames is actually looking pretty bright.

Bringing the Hammer Down

You can’t have any sort of discussion about miniature wargames without bringing up the company and game that has kept it all alive for decades. Games Workshop and their Warhammer and Warhammer 40K franchises are still without a doubt the king of the hill when it comes to miniature wargames.

I’m not much of a Warhammer 40K player, but since that is the most popular game of all, I’ve taken the time to compile a href=””>simple guide to the game that will quickly show you whether it’s something you might

Stop! Not Hammertime

If Warhammer in its various incarnations doesn’t seem to be your cup of tea, then you don’t have to despair. This is a great time for miniature wargames. It might not be the golden age that we enjoyed at Warhammer’s peak, but it’s certainly a sort of silver age, with new and old fans alike working across the interwebs to keep the dream alive. For your perusal, you can see what the competition has been up to in my list of games that aren’t Warhammer.

Even Smaller Scale

If you’ve always like the idea of a miniature wargame, but not the idea of using a whole room to host your creepy dioramas, then perhaps something more on the board game scale will work for you? There’s a type of game known as a skirmish miniature wargame. If you want fast action and small square foot areas, then check these out.

Paint My Love

While the actual game part of these wargames is what keep people coming back, the other thing everyone loves (or hates) is painting the figures to make a custom army. I suck at painting, but I’m pretty decent at research. So I tried to find the best advice on how to do it right. It’s a good place to start, unless you want to be known as the person who has the shabby army.