Miniatures are tiny little statues of people or objects done at a standard scale, most often used for playing wargames with. The scale is often given in millimeters; for instance, a scale of 28 mm means that the average human figure stands 28 mm tall. The crafting and painting of miniatures is a hobby onto itself, and many people focus strictly on this, producing little works of art not intended for use of any sort. In most miniature wargames, you can pick and choose which figures to include in your army, creating a customized group that fits your visual preferences and playing style. Due to the fact that even a single human miniature generally runs between $2 and $3, with larger units such as tanks or dragons often costing much more, amassing a large army can easily cost hundreds of dollars. Given this, I much prefer games that focus on squad level combat, where each player typically has between half a dozen and a dozen figures, requiring an outlay of only about $30 to play properly. An added bonus of such games over games that involve dozens or even hundreds of figures is that they tend to play much faster, as there's less figures to move every turn.
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