A miniature game is easily defined as a game wherein the most pertinent components of the game are miniature figurines; typically played out on either a map, or grid of some sort, or amidst miniatures of terrain features (e.g. trees, hills, volcanoes, rivers, etc.)  Most miniature games utilize 28 millimeter scale models, meaning that the height of an average size person will be 28mm from the feet to eye-level on the model.  Almost every miniature game is a war game of some sort, in that two or more opposing forces, composed into armies, face off against each other; there are a few miniature games that are not battle simulations, but other competitive events such as sporting games.  What truly separates miniature games from other games of paraphernalia is that miniature games are also hobby games.  This means that one not only collects the models/terrain, but one also assemblies or paints them.  Collectible miniature games break from the hobby aspect in that the models are painted by the manufacturer and does not need painting or assembly by the collector; that and most collectible miniature games come in random boost packs ala collectible card games.

Examples-Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Warhammer Quest, WARMACHINE, HORDES, Monsterpocalypse, Heroclicks, Mage Knight, Blood Bowl, Grind (coming soon), Mechwarrior, Dark Age, Flames of War

Developmental Potential
Physical-the majority of miniature games are played on table-top with miniature pieces of terrain to fill-out the landscape.  Because of the tactical/strategic nature of the game, it becomes important to be able to gauge distances quickly and accurately.  Developing these spatial relations is only focused on the micro scale (i.e. inches and centimeters), but this does provide exercise to that portion of the brain.

Mental-as war simulation games, miniature games are engrossed with strategy and tactics.  As with most other games that develop strategy building, miniature games are structured around resource management (with point limitations, troops/units, independent characters) as well as risk management (troop deployment/movement, engaging certain forces).  However, the tactical aspect of miniature games is further refined in that it allows for players to evaluate not only their own tactical choices, but also examine other tactical options.  Tactics within miniature games can originate from history (what was classically used by some armies, but not always implemented armies afterwards), what has been traditionally used by military forces, and tactics that are still in use by military forces to this day.  As most miniature games use dice to express chance and luck, learning probability is important in order to decide on actions within a game, based on the chances of success versus failure.  Lastly, some miniature games recreate historical conflicts and allow the players to play out those battles/skirmishes, but with the player’s knowledge of how the battle ended; as such, many of these historical miniature games allow for one to learn more about history, at least from a military point of view.

Interpersonal-as stated miniature games are hobby games, except for collectible miniature games.  As such, these games encourage players to assemble and paint the models they acquire; the other option is to play bare-metal or plastic models, also called a “pewter colored” army.  Beyond painting, hobby games also allow for players to convert their models; a conversion is any add-on applied to a model that is not normally part of the model.  For example, adding long hair to a model or an extra belt pouch from another model would qualify as a conversion.