cover image for an article explaining and listing the best board games that include miniatures and figurines

Best Board Games with Stunning Miniatures: Collector's Guide

Best Board Games with Stunning Miniatures: Collector's Guide

For some, board games are simply a way to spend time with their friends, but for others they are where imagination meets epic battles, strategic conquests, and adventures that span the ages.

In this realm, miniatures aren't just pieces; they're gateways to immersive experiences, transforming a simple game night into a vivid journey.

This guide is crafted for both the seasoned board game enthusiast and the curious newcomer, showcasing the best board games that are as visually stunning as they are thrilling to play.

Disclosure: This article is not a review. It is a quick overview of these games. The article includes games based on our own opinions. We have played some of the games, but not all of them. The games are not sorted in any particular order. If you want to learn more about a particular game, click on the included links!

board game with a rolling die and two detailed miniatures

Why Miniatures Matter in Board Gaming

Miniatures in board gaming are much more than game pieces; they're the soul of the adventure, transforming mere strategies into vivid narratives right before our eyes. These detailed sculptures do the heavy lifting of imagination, turning abstract moves into thrilling stories of heroism, conflict, and triumph.

They're not just markers; they represent us on the battlefield, embody our challenges, and stand as monuments to our victories. With each carefully crafted figure, players are drawn deeper into the game, making every decision feel impactful and every moment memorable.

Miniatures make the game world tangible, inviting us to not just play, but to experience and immerse ourselves in a story of our own making. They bridge the gap between playing a game and living a tale, proving that in the realm of board gaming, the best stories are those we can touch.

Warhammer: A Universe of Endless Battles

Approximate price: 40 USD for base set, and can be upgraded almost infinitely.

Warhammer is THE game when it comes to miniatures. It is even safe to say that this game IS miniatures. It's essence comes from them, and there is really no limit no how far or how big you can go with miniatures when it comes to Warhammer!

Imagine the thrill as you deploy your forces across the battlefield, knowing that each unit, from the stoic Space Marines of the Imperium to the chaotic hordes of Khorne, isn't just an army but a story made manifest. The depth of Warhammer's universe, with its decades of history, mythology, and character, transforms every game into a narrative epic, where strategies unfold not just on the board but in the imaginations of its players.

This is a world where the dedicated community of painters and collectors breathes life into these miniatures, adding layers of personal touch and history to every figure. The act of painting, a meditative and creative endeavor, further deepens the connection between the player and the game, turning each miniature into a prized possession, a trophy of one's dedication to the craft and the lore.

As you maneuver through the grim darkness of the far future or the mythical landscapes of the Mortal Realms, each skirmish, campaign, and battle feels like a chapter from an ancient saga, with you as the architect of its fate. Warhammer, in essence, is more than just a game; it's an invitation to partake in a hobby that marries the art of miniature painting with the thrill of tactical warfare, all set against a backdrop of a richly detailed universe that's as boundless as your imagination.

Scythe: Strategy and Aesthetics Combined

Approximate price: 80-120 USD for the base game

Scythe stands out as a masterpiece where strategy and aesthetics are interwoven into a tapestry of alternate-history intrigue and mechanical marvels. In this fantasy 1920s era, reimagined with steampunk flair, players find themselves at the helm of factions vying for dominance in a world where agriculture and war machines share the horizon.

The game's miniatures, from the imposing mechs to the charismatic leaders, are more than mere tokens; they serve as your ambassadors in this richly imagined world, each designed with an eye for detail that brings the game's narrative and strategic elements to life. These figures aren't just for show; they embody the strengths, ambitions, and cultural backgrounds of their factions, adding a layer of depth to your strategies and decisions on the board.

The craftsmanship of Scythe's miniatures elevates the gaming experience, making each session not only a battle of wits but a journey through a visually stunning landscape. The game cleverly uses these miniatures to enhance its storytelling, making every move you make and territory you conquer feel part of a larger narrative.

With Scythe, the fusion of art and gameplay invites players to immerse themselves fully in a world where every decision has weight and every miniature tells a story, making it a standout title for those who appreciate the beauty in board games as much as the challenge.

Ankh: Gods of Egypt

Approximate price: 90-120 USD for the base game

Diving into Ankh: Gods of Egypt is like stepping into a time machine set for a mythic age, where you're not just playing a game; you're ascending to godhood. Here, you're not merely pushing pawns around a board; you're commanding the awe-inspiring deities of ancient Egypt, each with their followers and fearsome monsters at their beck and call.

The game's miniatures are a feast for the eyes—each god, creature, and devotee is sculpted with such attention to detail that you'd swear they were about to spring to life and walk off the board. And let's talk about how these divine figures aren't just for show; they're the heart and soul of the game, intertwining with the mechanics in a way that every maneuver feels like a move in a celestial chess game. Each session is a narrative in itself, where the gods clash, alliances shift, and the sands of Egypt bear witness to battles of truly epic proportions.

Playing Ankh doesn't just mean strategizing and competing for devotion; it's about immersing yourself in a rich, thematic experience where every miniature you place on the board tells a story, contributes to your divine saga, and brings you one step closer to etching your name in the annals of ancient mythology. So, when you sit down to a game of Ankh, prepare to be transported to a world where gods walk among us, and every game is an opportunity to write your own myth.

Gloomhaven: An Adventure in a Box

Approximate price: 200-300 USD

Gloomhaven is like opening a box and finding an entire universe tucked inside, ready to explore. Imagine every session as a deep dive into dark dungeons and mysterious landscapes, where your decisions shape the story and the fate of your band of adventurers.

The miniatures in Gloomhaven? Oh, they're not just pieces. They're your comrades-in-arms, each with their own backstories, quirks, and destinies. These aren't mere tokens; they're avatars that bring the game's rich narrative and intricate combat to vivid life. As you guide them through battles and challenges, every choice feels significant, every victory is sweet, and every setback is a plot twist in your personal saga. The game blends dungeon crawling with role-playing in a way that makes you care deeply about the fate of your characters, thanks in no small part to the detailed miniatures that represent them.

They transform every encounter into a thrilling narrative moment, making Gloomhaven not just a game you play but a story you tell—one where every chapter is filled with danger, heroism, and the chance to become legends. So, when you lift the lid on Gloomhaven, you're not just setting up a game; you're stepping into a role in a grand adventure that unfolds one box at a time.

Frostpunk: Surviving the Cold

Approximate price: 100-120 USD (in our opinion - one of the best value board games when it comes to components)

Frostpunk: The Board Game takes the bone-chilling, heart-wrenching co-op survival struggle of its video game predecessor and transplants it right onto your tabletop, turning up the thermostat on tension and strategy.

In this game, you're not just rolling dice and moving pieces; you're fighting tooth and nail to keep the last city on Earth alive in the face of a merciless, frozen apocalypse.

When you get down to it, the miniatures in Frostpunk? They’re like the little heroes of your tabletop city. You’ve got your hardy citizens, the steam-powered tower that feel like giant, metal guardians, and those buildings that seem almost too delicate to withstand the snowstorm outside. They're far from just fancy plastic pieces; think of them as the pulse of your city. Each one's got a job, acting as a piece of the puzzle in your fight to keep the lights on and the cold at bay.

The central steam tower - it is not just cool to look at; it stands tall over your city, a reminder of what folks can do when they really put their minds to it, even when nature’s doing its best to shut everything down. Every little house, every character braving the frost—they're all key players in the story of survival you're weaving every time you play, making that grim, icy world feel a bit closer to reality, a bit more urgent.

Monster Hunter World: The Board Game

Approximate price: 100-130 USD

Monster Hunter World: The Board Game is yet another beautiful game inspired from a popular video game with the same name.

Besides many tokes, boards and cards, this game has nicely crafted monster figures allowing you and your fellow players to hunt them! 

You will gather with other players to craft weapons, track down monsters and then slay them in the most impressive fashion! 

Bloodborne: The Board Game

Approximate price100-120 USD

Another great gem when it comes to miniatures! Playing Bloodborne: The Board Game feels like you're stepping right into the shoes of a hunter from the video game, but this time around, you're sitting around a table with friends, navigating through Yharnam with these incredibly detailed miniatures.

It’s pretty wild, actually. Each figure, from the hunters to the monsters, isn’t just cool to look at; it kind of tells its own story and sets up its own challenges.

It’s like, with every piece you move, you’re not just advancing on the board; you’re getting a little deeper into this dark, twisted world. The craftsmanship on these miniatures makes them little pieces of art that pull you even further into the game’s vibe. So, when you play, it's not just about strategy; it’s about immersing yourself in that gothic, eerie atmosphere that Bloodborne fans love, making the leap from screen to tabletop a really seamless, fun adventure.

Kingdom Death: Monster - A Dark Fantasy Nightmare

Approximate price: 420 USD for the base game, and much more for expansions.

If you thought Gloomhaven or Frosthaven are big box games, this game takes it to another level!

Jump into Kingdom Death: Monster, and you're in for a wild ride. This game's all about making smart moves and facing off against some seriously scary monsters. But here’s the kicker: the game's not just known for making your heart race with its intense challenges; it’s the miniatures that steal the show. Picture this: each survivor, each terrifying creature, and every piece of armor you come across is crafted with such mind-blowing detail, they're more than just game pieces. They’re mini masterpieces, really.

Handling these miniatures, you can't help but appreciate the artistry that goes into each one, from the intricate designs on the armor to the unique, sometimes grotesque, features of the monsters. It’s this attention to detail that transforms Kingdom Death: Monster from a mere board game into a collector’s dream and a hobbyist’s paradise.

As you strategize your way through the game, battling nightmarish entities and making crucial decisions, these miniatures add a whole new layer of immersion. They bring the game's dark fantasy world to life right on your tabletop, making every session not just a test of your survival skills but also an opportunity to dive deep into a beautifully horrific universe.

So, while Kingdom Death: Monster might test your limits with its brutal gameplay, it also captivates with its miniatures, making every moment, whether thrilling or terrifying, something to behold.

a board game skeleton miniature standing next to two rolling dice

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Tips for Choosing Board Games with Miniatures

When you're on the hunt for a new board game with miniatures, there's a bit more to think about than just how cool those little figures are going to look on your shelf. Sure, aesthetics matter—a lot, actually—but there's a sweet spot where the beauty of the miniatures and the depth of the gameplay meet. Here’s the lowdown on making that perfect pick:

1. Theme is Key: Start with what excites you. Are you into dystopian futures, fantasy realms, or historical battles? The theme of the game should resonate with you because those miniatures are going to be your avatars and adversaries in that world. If you're jazzed about the setting, you'll appreciate the miniatures even more.

2. Detail Matters: Not all miniatures are created equal. Look for games where the miniatures have a high level of detail that matches the game's vibe. This isn't just about them looking good (though that’s a big part of it); detailed miniatures can also help you feel more immersed in the game, making every move and battle more engaging.

3. Gameplay Integration: This is where the rubber meets the road. Ask yourself, "Do these miniatures add something special to the gameplay?" In the best board games with miniatures, each figure isn’t just decorative but plays a critical role in the game mechanics, whether that's through unique abilities, movement, or combat. It should feel like the miniatures are integral to the experience, not just an afterthought.

4. Community Feedback: Dive into reviews and forums. The board game community is vocal about what works and what doesn’t. If a game's miniatures are more frustrating than fun (think poor quality, confusing designs, or they just don’t add much to the game), you’ll hear about it. Conversely, if miniatures truly elevate the game, that’ll be the buzz.

5. Consider the Hobby Aspect: If you're into painting or customizing miniatures, think about how the game's figures lend themselves to this aspect of the hobby. Some games come with miniatures primed for customization, adding another layer of personal connection to the game.

6. Playability and Storage: Finally, consider the practical side. Miniatures can make a game more complex to set up, play, and store. Ensure you have the space and patience to deal with them, especially for games with a large number of figures or those that require assembly.

7. Price. Last but definitely not least, consider the price. Most games that have miniatures come with a cost. While the "cheaper" ones can be found for around 80 USD, the more expensive ones can go above 400, and even more, if you add on expansions. This hobby can become very pricy, so be sure to spend what you can actually afford!

Choosing the right board game with miniatures is about finding that perfect blend of eye-catching artistry and compelling gameplay. The miniatures should draw you into the game's world, make you care about the outcomes, and, most importantly, enhance the fun. Keep these tips in mind, and you're sure to find a game that's not just great to look at but a blast to play.

four rolling dice on a board game board, standing next to them are a small detailed warrior figurine


And there you have it—the magical world of board games with miniatures, where every game is a doorway to another universe, waiting for you and your friends to step through. Whether you're rallying your troops in the gritty realms of Warhammer or invoking the powers of ancient deities in Ankh, these games do more than just test your strategic mind. They invite you into narratives woven with intrigue, heroism, and the occasional dash of chaos, all represented by the tiny, meticulously crafted figures that stand ready on your table.

For newcomers dipping their toes into this vast ocean, welcome to a hobby that combines the joy of gaming with the art of storytelling. And for the seasoned veterans, may your next campaign bring even more tales of glory. So, clear the table, rally your party, and dive into a game that promises not just a battle to be won but a story to be told.

In this world of board games with stunning miniatures, every roll of the dice, every move on the board is a step in an epic saga. Where will your next adventure take you?

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