Gloomhaven is an absolutely epic game with a ton of content. Luckily, despite the fact that it has thousands of pieces it does come with some miniatures.
Does Gloomhaven come with miniatures? Yes, Gloomhaven comes with 18 total miniatures which are for the characters. The enemies do not have miniatures but instead come as standees.
Miniatures are somewhat intimidating for me, even though I absolutely love them. I am not overly artistic, but I love the extra ambiance and storytelling that miniatures bring. Once in a while I even paint them, even though I am by no means amazing. Let’s get into the miniatures in Gloomhaven!
I love board games but like I said before I am not an overly artistic person. This article will be written from my perspective and will not get into complex painting techniques or anything like that.
Luckily for people like you and me, and unlike in a game like Kingdom Death Monster, the miniatures in Gloomhaven are not on sprues. They are complete models that do not need any assembly so you can use them as is or you can get to painting them without an assembly required.
I think that painting the miniatures for Gloomhaven is definitely worth it but if you are like me and just eager to play the game go ahead and play it without painting them first.
I’m a busy guy and I played quite a few scenarios of Gloomhaven before I painted them just due to time constraints. And even if you never paint them, that is OK too!
Gloomhaven Miniatures Quality
Gloomhaven miniatures are generally considered good, but not great quality. If you are expecting Games Workshop quality, then you will be disappointed.
However, I think that for the audience, aka board games not miniature enthusiasts, the Gloomhaven miniatures are just right. They are a good blend of functional and inexpensive and they add immersion without having to be the best of the best. Also having miniatures without as much detail helps us amateur painters.
Gloomhaven miniatures are going to be used a lot so make sure to wash and prime them so that the paint doesn’t come off.
Why Doesn’t Gloomhaven Come With all Miniatures?
Gloomhaven characters come as miniatures but all of the enemies come as standees for a couple of reasons.
The first and most important is that the games creator Isaac Childres isn’t overly into miniatures. Having the characters as miniatures was his compromise to the community.
The next would be the sheer scale of Gloomhaven. There are 226 regular enemy standees and 14 boss standees. To have miniatures for every one of those would be a monumental and very expensive task. Even at a couple of dollars per mini it would be over $500 additional dollars tacked onto the base price of the game.
Isaac really wanted to keep Gloomhaven accessible and that meant keeping the cost down and providing crazy value. I’ll mention it again, even with standees the base game is 22 lbs of goodness.
A great game for minis is Kingdom Death Monster. You do have to assemble everything from sprues but all characters and enemies in the game are miniatures. Kingdom Death Monster is one of the biggest board game kickstarters in history so if minis are your thing check it out!
Since I am not an avid miniature painter I will not get into any techniques here but I just wanted to share a few helpful tips from my limited experience. Here is a great kit to get started with. It will help you to understand the basics and give you a few cheap minis to practice on.
Don’t paint the Gloomhaven miniatures until they are unlocked. One of the greatest joys in Gloomhaven comes from the mystery behind the unlock-able characters so don’t spoil that by pulling them out and painting them all at the same time.
Paint 2 or more miniatures at a time, when possible. You will need to let your layers dry in between so painting more than 1 mini at a time will allow you to minimize down-time and switch between them.
Try using a marker. You can use a sharpie, especially metallic ones to create really cool effects that are easy. Also you can try the 005 micron pen. I myself haven’t used it but it is one of the few really popular pen options for using on miniatures.
If you don’t really like painting but want a quick, cheap way to make your miniatures look better you can try washing. I only recommend this if you really don’t plan on ever painting miniatures and learning the actual techniques.
Here is a link to a good thread that explains washing in more detail.
Creating Your Own Miniatures
If you want to create miniatures for Gloomhaven you have your work cut out for you. I personally would suggest just creating the bosses, due to the insane amount of work involved, but to each their own!
This guy 3d printed his own minis so there are some good tips on how to make that happen here.
Should you create miniatures for summons? I would not suggest doing this as a lot of times summons are not used, especially if you are playing a 5 player game. I would suggest you only make a miniature of a summon if it will be used a lot. Here is a link to print a bunch of standees that you can use for summons instead of the base games flat tokens.
A company called Reaper miniatures has some potential good options. A low cost option would be to look through their bones collection and search by tags. The tags they have are quite detailed and you should be able to get something that looks close to some of the Gloomhaven enemies. For example you could search “bones hood sword”.