Arion Games is offering a 2013 Paper Mini Subscription on Drivethru RPG. This raises some interesting questions like what are paper minis and should you buy them on subscription?
Thankfully, Graham Bottley of Arion Games has kindly agreed to help us understand what’s going on and help roleplayers get started with paper miniatures.
Can you give us a quick overview into how gamers tend to make use of paper miniatures?
They tend to fall into two groups. There are those that use paper miniatures exclusively, and never use plastic, metal or resin, and then there are those that mix and match. Either way paper miniatures are popular in the same way that the print-and-make paper terrain is popular. You can get a huge range for very little money or effort!
The paper miniatures are otherwise used exactly as metal ones would be.
There’s a big price differential between paper, metal and plastic minis but are there any other advantages to paper?
The difference in price is obviously a huge point as you can buy a whole set for much less than a single metal miniature. You can also get them very quickly. If you are a GM and realise that you need 45 goblins for tonight’s game, you would have no chance of getting metal or resin figures. But with paper, you can buy and download in 2 minutes, and print and assemble in 15 minutes! There is no painting or basing to be done, but you have high visual impact figures on the table for your game. And then, if you never need goblins again, you can put them in the recycling and it has only cost you a few $.
You can also, with the right figures, extract the images and use them in player handouts or as tokens for online games!
Arion Games has dozens of paper miniature sets available; I’ve seen everything from Arabian Nights sets, to Aliens and all the way through to an Apocalypse Set and Fantasy Heroes. What tends to be most popular among gaming groups and why?
The fantasy sets seem to be the most popular, which I suppose is not that surprising. What has surprised me is the fact that the weird sets such as Cirque du Macabre, Nursery Tales, Alice in Wonderland and Darcassians also sell well! I have a few customers who buy every set and try and incorporate whatever I do into their games. That could be an interesting campaign…
As we currently have 150 sets and 3450 individual figures, I suppose there is something for everyone!
How should roleplaying groups approach adding paper minis to their game?
There can be a nit of snobbishness sometimes regarding paper miniatures. They don’t have quite the impact of fully painted and prepared metal miniatures, but neither are they as much effort and cost.
It is very common to mix metal miniatures (for the main characters and enemies) with paper miniatures for the bulk of the enemies. Arion Games provides a powerpoint version of each set, so you can make custom pages with whatever miniatures you require. If you want 17 identical skeleton warriors and a necromancer printed, you can do that in a few minutes. You can also resize them if required, and because you can extract the images, anyone proficient with illustration software could change the colour of shields/banners etc.
How you prepare the sets can also help. If you print the sets on photo paper with a decent printer, score the fold lines before folding and use a good glue, you will get better looking figures. The heavier weight photo paper also helps stop them falling over, although you can buy plastic clips if this is a real problem (I have never found that it is).
Arion Games also provides the figures in different formats, so you can make A-frame, inverted-T or tri-fold as required.
I suppose that what I am saying is get a set to try, use them in your game and see how it goes!
We introduced out subscription last year, and it was a great success. The idea is that in January we put the subscription up for sale. When you buy it, you will then automatically receive every paper miniature set released throughout that year (as well as any item from out back catalogue). The subscription remains available for sale for the rest of the year but slowly creeps up in price, so you get the best deal by buying early. The 2013 subscription is currently available for $30, and it is likely that the sets released this year will sell individually for $75+, so you get a big discount!
What can we expect to see added to the Arion Games 2013 Paper Mini Subscription?
Our current production schedule has Swamp Dwellers, Normans II and 1950’s next up, with pulp V, City Watch, American Civil War and Monsters in the near future. Vietnam war GI’s, more Napoleonic’s, Victorians and others should also make an appearance before the end of the year, so lots to look forward to.
It is also worth saying that quite a few of our sets have been produced as a direct request from a customer, so if anyone has any good ideas, please let us know!