Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

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Dinah from Kabalor
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by Dinah from Kabalor » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:01 pm

Hooray! Welcome!

Regarding storage: I'm really happy with my Ikea BESTA based solution. I have a row of Besta cabinets firmly anchored to the wall and each other (usual Ikea methods as recommended) and then use one of the middle sections for my heavy collection of Dwarven Forge in KUGGIS box inserts.
uncluttered calm cabinets.jpg
uncluttered calm cabinets.jpg (81.51 KiB) Viewed 1019 times
dense dwarvenite storage.jpg
dense dwarvenite storage.jpg (101.73 KiB) Viewed 1019 times
Also a nice place to put printouts of sketches commissioned from artists like Li Didkovsky and NPC mockups from HeroForge. :D

DigitalDungeoneer
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by DigitalDungeoneer » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:02 am

Hi,

First time posting in any forum ever, so I hope I'm doing this right! It looks like the original poster's question was answered really well, but this falls into the same topic, so I think it makes sense to reply here? Let me know if I should have started a new one.

After 6 years of running games for my friends and family, I have begun looking into gaming accessories beyond the miniatures and Paizo dry-erase mats I've been using. My university allow me to 3D print Hero Forge figures, and that's been fun, but I'm also interested in exploring more ways to do maps. I'm impressed by the quality, atmosphere, and modularity of Dwarven Forge components, but as a college student with no real job (my gaming budget is fed from my pandemic project, running games online as a DM for hire), most of the $2000-$3000 budget start-up queries I've seen while looking around here on the forum are far beyond my means.

I have two questions: is it worth it to buy into Dwarven Forge one set at a time, especially as a beginner collector, or would it be better to wait until I can afford to buy several sets at once or back a Kickstarter? Secondly, if one were forced to use only a single set of Dwarven Forge pieces for all their games for an indeterminate length of time, which set would you recommend?

Thanks!

Droooo
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by Droooo » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:14 am

Your best bet for cheap pieces are original dungeons and caverns, either unpainted on eBay or painted from the DF store. Occasionally you might find a good deal on a big KS1 or KS2 bundle on eBay but they dont show up too often.

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SwissArmyMage
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by SwissArmyMage » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:22 am

Welcome!

1 - That depends on how much table space you need covered. If you want lots of coverage all on the table at once you may want to look elsewhere for a cheaper alternative of just hold off. It is possible to break down sets and rebuild as you go you can get a lot of legwork out of a few sets. Doing a large room may be beyond the starter sets alone though.

If you're willing to take the time to paint the tiles yourself, unpainted may be a way to stretch your money further.

In terms of getting a given set at the absolutely cheapest price, the Kickstarters are generally where you want to go. However, if you're on a budget and starting a collection, it might not be the best use of your resources. Sets that are vertical heavy (cities, castles, wildlands) are more expensive per ft. of table coverage compared to dungeons and caves. the next Kickstarter is revisiting cities, so you may want to pass on it right now.

2 - That is a loaded question, as "set" is a bit vague. people can declare the underdoom as it provides lots of coverage, but it costs 2,000$. In terms of starter sets, I would go with either a classic dungeon core set or a caverns core megapack for the coverage and usefulness of pieces.

generally to start you should focus on "bread and butter" pieces as you can never have too many. That's basic walls, corners, and floors. And you will likely get the most mileage out of dungeon, followed by caverns.

Alternatively, next month the build of the month looks like a good batch of interesting dungeon sets at a good price point. (around 350$ and it comes with a gift card you can then use on other stuff in the store) It is best when augmenting a few basic dungeon starter sets. A classic core and another dungeon set(s) that is around 100$ and you'll have a nice start on a collection for around 500$.
(these prices are all for painted)
Link to my drive with photos of my custom painted collection.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing
Updated with new pics on occasion.

zenako
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by zenako » Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:07 am

Since at the start your budget will be limited to probably supporting only one type or biome of tiles, first decide which style would help you the most. Dungeons or Caverns. Some folks run in "manmade" dungeons all the time, while other DMs run their folks into "caves and Caverns" all the time. With the decision, focus on some of the basic starter sets. One thing that is pretty good about DF, is due to their incredible durability and quality they hold their value very well so IF you decide they are really not for you, then selling them off should not be too hard and recover a large portion of your investment.

The $$/sq foot of coverage when comparing DF starter sets and other commercial sets like WizKids Warlock tiles is really pretty close when you work the math. If you can wait for the next BotM, and even watch the twitch stream from DF when they are building it for insights into building with DF, you can probably get a very good deal on getting started. Welcome and have fun.

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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by Vegomatic » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:32 pm

Another consideration might be to think about where your party will be having its "boss" encounter or end game.

Lets assume this will be a place made up of things you will use over and over... like in a cavern or dungeon... buy pieces/sets toward that encounter. Then you surprise your players by introducing a 3d build of that encounter for the big "Wow!" effect. I suspect it will make the event even more memorable.

As your budget allows... expand on that set, or start buying pieces/sets to build out other encounter areas... but keep the focus on pieces you will reuse time and time again... I expect it will not take long before you have enough to make them a regular part of every game.

It is just another approach to consider.

pacarat
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by pacarat » Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:02 pm

If you are ok with terrain trays as “usable terrain”, then one or two of those in a castle floor or dungeon floor theme, with a set or two of banks and ledges can greatly expand your square footage.

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kitenerd
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by kitenerd » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:50 pm

DigitalDungeoneer wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:02 am Hi,

First time posting in any forum ever, so I hope I'm doing this right!
Welcome to the forums - we don't bite so it is hard to do things wrong ;)

I LOVE these questions so i was all poised to answer... i had three ideas

Droo hit the first one on the head. Hold onto a pile of money and troll eBay waiting for a good deal on KS1 or KS2. Usually you can get 2-3 sets with SG for under $100 per set. If you are lucky it will be a lot that includes a few other sets thrown in for good measure and flavor. Be patient, it may take 6 months, but it will be worth the wait to get a pile of basic pieces.

Vegomatic had my second thought for me. Wait for the end of a "chapter" or arc and build that scene. When you roll it out it will make the night special. You will of course use those pieces again, but the next time you come to a pivotal moment you can buy another set and use both to make THAT scene. This works to make your game special and reward yourself as a GM for reaching another milestone. Eventually you will have a nice collection.

Lastly and a favorite of mine. Buy this:
https://shop.dwarvenforge.com/collectio ... nd-painted
Draw things on a battlemat, but put a real door on the map. Put furniture in a room. It will add a lot of flavor and make it seem way cooler. If you put barrels in the corner, it won't take long until your players are rolling them at the monsters to create chaos on the battlefield. Mission accomplished! Add the walls and floors as you can afford them.

Bonus thought - Watch "On the Anvil" There is a giveaway almost every week and usually only 100-150 people watching - those are damn good odds ;) Plus it is a fun way to watch builds evolve and see new and interesting ways to use your toys.
"Miniatures?, sure sign of a petty mind!" - 'The Women' 1939

DigitalDungeoneer
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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by DigitalDungeoneer » Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:46 pm

Thanks, all! You've confirmed a lot of the ideas and plans I had been thinking about for testing the waters of Dwarven Forge. I've put in an order for the "Classic Dungeon Remastered Core" set for the essential walls and floors, and the "Dungeon Dressing" set recommended by kitenerd for the additional interactive elements to supplement those walls and floors (both factory painted, just so I can get them to the table and try them out before investing in new painting projects). My next game in a couple weeks will be an experiment to see how my players and I like adding 3-D elements to my dry-erase mat scrawling, and we will continue on from there. This is going to be a lot of fun. I also really appreciate the advice for where to look for future DF expansion on a tight budget and for getting used to the tile system. Again, thank you for the helpful suggestions!

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Re: Advice for Beginning a DF Collection

Post by Clint_Lundgren » Thu May 06, 2021 2:54 am

Hey - I was in your shoes about a year ago - I am looking forward to hearing how you and your players like the 3d terrain. I get a huge kick out of my players' reaction to a really good set, and I get an even bigger kick out of playing around with the terrain and building things.

As a newbie, you picked absolutely the best two kits to start with. If you like them and want to keep buying, I found that I also got a TON of use out of the caverns core megapack (those were actually my first purchase). Between that and what you already have, you will be able to build a pretty extensive variety of sets. If I was adding one more, I might go for the dreadhollow dressing just to add a bit of 3d flair to those outdoor encounters.

I wanted to add a note about painted vs. unpainted: if you have any miniature painting experience, you can save a TON of money by painting DF yourself, and your work is likely to be superior to the factory paint job. Also, it is really quick to paint (aside from the forest stuff; that gets a bit more complicated). A set such as the dungeon starter would take an hour, tops to paint it to match/exceed the factory paint job.

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