A number of weeks ago, we reviewed Hour of Need (see review here). One of our complaints was that the game looks like a “sea of grey” on the board: see above. The lack of miniature bases for a game with a fair number of miniatures (especially with the Kickstarter Bystander and Minion upgrade pack), is a bit discouraging. So, we did a little bit of research and found 3 (well, 4 but you’ll see) different solutions for miniature bases. Let’s take a look at what we found!
Note: If you are good and painting and have already painted your minis, hush. This is a solution for those of us who are “painting challenged”.
What To Look For
What I need is about 30 or so more rings like the ones behind Guerilla above. The rings above are for the Lackeys, and since the Lackey’s cards are already color-coded for those colors, we can’t use Red/Green/Blue/Yellow for anything else in the game! So, we want “something” like this:
- 4 for the Heroes (preferably a different color for each one, but not necessarily)
- 10 for the Minions: probably something grey or greyish
- 8 for the Bystanders: probably white or silver or something lighter, like their innocent hearts!
- 1-4 for the Villains: probably something black, like their hearts of evil! There’s usually only one in play at a time, so we probably only need 1 color
My first choice was to try and find a bunch of the silicon/rubber rings like those that come with the game: (like the rings behind Guerilla above). I was surprised that I could not find them! At least not for 25mm bases. So I had to try to find something else!
Solution 1: Metal Rings
This wasn’t the first solution I first thought of (in fact, it was the last thing I ordered), but it was the first one to arrive from Amazon.
For $12.99 from Amazon (see link here), I got 60 metal rings. They are 4 colors that come with this were silver, gold, black, and gunmetal (brass).
The official title from the Amazon page:
Rustark 60 Pcs Assorted Multi-Purpose Metal O Ring 1 inch /25mm 4 Colors Thick Webbing Metal Buckle Loop Ring for Hardware Bags Ring Hand DIY Accessories (Silver, Gold,Black, Gunmetal)
I freely admit these metal rings were a little bit of a Hail Mary: “This will never work”. BUT! Holy cow! They actually worked really well! See below.
The Minions (above) have “black” base and look fantastic with the metal!
You can even pick them up and the rings stay on! See picture above. They also have a nice “heft” to them when you lift and move them around (the metal is heavier).
Now, the rings are a little bit fragile: if you move them around too much, they dislocate a little so they aren’t flush against the base. See Micro Man below:
But, sometimes the easiest thing to do is just find another ring in the pouch or “push the ring down”.
Check out some more pictures below: I chose to put the Silver ones on the Bystanders, Grey on the Minions, Bright Gold on the Heroes, and Brass on the Villain.
Finally, you see what they look like when we put them on the board!
They seem to work pretty well: I can tell the difference between the Bystanders, the Lackeys, the Minions, and the Heroes!
I decided, for the moment, to store the rings in the Bystander/Minion Upgrade pack. It worked pretty well! See above.
Overall, this solution was a surprise that it worked as well as it did. Had I ordered it first, I may not have looked into the other solutions! (It was my last order from Amazon).
Price: $12.99 + tax (shipping was part of price)
Arrived: Quickly. It took 1-2 days from Amazon.
Looks: Great and classy (I mean, metal!)
Feels: Nice heft
Disadvantages: Rings don’t quite stay on/fit perfectly, but they still work well. Sometimes the colors aren’t as distinguishable because they are metal and the shine sometimes can obscure the color.
This solution gets an 8.0/10. Very good, not perfect. The metal really makes it look very cool and the rings generally stay on the bases.
Solution 2: Rings of Power
The Rings of Power are plastic bases intended for Dungeons and Dragons type miniatures to show “status”: invisible, hindered, and stuff like that. Most of the status tokens like this I found were already labelled with actual words (like “Invisible”, “Hindered”, etc) so those were non-starters. The Rings of Power were the first ones I found that DID NOT have any visible words … which would be perfect for distinguishing my Hour of Need minis!
The Rings of Power were $9.99 on Amazon (see link here). Note: from the Amazon description, and almost every place I found these, they have the numbers mislabelled! Its say 18 of the 25mm bases, and 54 of the 50mm, but it’s actually the other way around! There are ACTUALLY 54 of the 25mm bases, and 18 of the 50mm bases! I think the official title of these is:
Rings of Power – Tabletop Condition Markers – RPG Board Game Accessories – Colorful Ring Set for HP, Effects, Damage, Spells, & Stats – for DND & More Strategy Games – 72 Pieces, Standard & Mini Size
Mine came from Amazon after about 3 days: it got a little squished in shipping. See above and below.
The rings are just in a plastic bag inside:
I think I was most excited of all the three products to get these, because I love the way they look! They seem to fit the characters:
But unfortunately, the rings are a little too big. The figures just rest inside the ring and don’t bind to the miniature at all. If you lift the mini, the ring just stays on the table.
If you put jut a smidge of scotch tape on the bottom, you can get them to stay.
Overall, I chose a different color for each Hero: Orange for Majesty’s hair, Red for Stride’s color, Cyan for Micro Man’s color, and Green for Guerilla’s color. See below.
I chose to use the light pink for the Bystanders (lightest color): See below.
I chose purple for the minions: it was the “darkest” color: Note we are missing one because there are only 9 rings for each color (and 10 bystanders).
Overall, they look like this:
On the board, they look pretty good and are very easy to distinguish: See below.
If you want to use these rings without some tape, you have to just slide the miniatures around the board or deal with them coming off all the time. But they look nice!
Price: $9.99 + tax (shipping part of price)
Arrived: Quickly. It took 3-4 days from Amazon.
Looks: Cool with those little waves
Disadvantages: The rings are too large and the minis will pull right out of the rings.
This solution gets an 6.9/10. I didn’t love that the minis just slid right in and out: I could fix it with a piece of scotch tape, but that felt tacky. I wish there were 10 of each color (there’s only 9), but this is a minor gripe. This was the cheapest and easiest solution to use out of the box.
Solution 3: Plastic Bases from ETSY
These color rings from ETSY were the first thing rings that I ordered because they had all the colors I wanted! See link here!
I could ask for 10 whites, 10 greys, and 10 other colors etc. and get exactly what I wanted. The price was probably too much: I ended up paying about $40 for 30 rings. Let’s see how they look!
There were several mis-starts (my first order got lost, and a few colors were missing, and I had to get a signature from the Post Office), but I finally got these!
Take a look at a Bystander: they do fit underneath.
Unfortunately, they do NOT stay tight to the bottom of the minis! Oh no!
Luckily, you can put them OVER the mini and they stay on!
Putting them over the mini for the Bystanders seemed to work really well:
Similarly, the grey bases worked really well for the the Lackeys:
Unfortunately, the other colors don’t work over the Hero minis: they can’t fit around their costumes!
So you could still use them underneath of course, but then they slide off.
The Villains half-work: Dowager works but Curtain does not (over the mini that is):
Overall, these work great for ones that can go OVER the minis, and they still work “ok” for everything else.
On the board; they look like:
Overall, these worked really well for the Bystanders and Lackeys! You can use the bases for all the minis in the game, but unless you can slide it over the mini, you will need some tape to keep the bases in place.
Price: Total $40.64 = $27.54 (price for 30) + $1.68 (tax) + $11.42 (shipping)
Arrived: It took a while: it came from Spain. It took 6-8 weeks?
Looks: Good and consistent with the original Bases that came with the game
Disadvantages: Not flexible rubber/silicone like the base game
These are probably a 7/10 because they worked pretty well, but they lost points for a few reasons: they work great when used “over” the mini, but they slide around if place under (like The Rings of Power). They also lost points because they were so expensive compared to the other solutions! But, they were most consistent with the original game and looked like they “came” with the game.
The Best Solution?
The best solution would be if the game came with 40 of the silicon bases like the 8 above that came with the game. They all fit and stay on the minis. But I searched and searched and could NOT find these! (I may have found an Ebay site with a few). I admit being a little blown away that these were not really findable/viable.
EDIT: Well, it turns out they are available… sort of, not really. When I kickstarted Hour of Need, I could have added 12 more silicon rings to my pledge! See here. There weren’t any new colors, but at least they could have helped. The problem: at the time of this writing, you currently can’t order any new stuff from the Gamefound. It mocks me: “Oh, you want 12 new rings? Just like the base game? Sorry! You can’t order at this time!” Sigh.
Which solution works best for you depends on what you want: they all work, but each has advantages and disadvantages.
The metal rings (above) gives the game some class and heft but are still cheap and stay attached to the minis pretty well.
The Rings of Power (above) are the cheapest and easiest solution. But the rings don’t stay attached to the minis without some help (either a piece of tape or just siding the minis around the board). They are loose enough to be annoying.
The ETSY bases (above) are by far the most expensive, but they are the most consistent with the bases that came with the game. If you can place the bases over the mini, then they stay attached so much better! Otherwise, you have the same problem as the Rings of Power (with bases sliding around).
Since I bought all of these products, I might opt for an amalgam solution which uses all three at the same time!! I am thinking Rings Of Power for the Heroes (they are VERY distinguishable with the wavy shapes, and the colors match them better: I’ll have to tape them to keep them in their rings, but it’s only 4 minis to tape), The ETSY white bases for the Bystanders, and the Metal Rings for all the Bad Guys!
Or maybe use the translucent colors from the Rings of Power (for the Heroes) since they are more distinctive?
Which do you like better?
Overall, Hour of Need looks so much better with distinctive minis. See the board below!
Appendix: Batman The Animated Series, Shadow of the Bat, BardSung, and Marvel United
For comparison’s sake (and to see how well these solutions scale outside of Hour of Need), how do these solutions work with the minis from the Batman The Animated Series, Shadow of the Bat game?
The metal rings just abut work, but they don’t quite fit on the bases, so when you move the minis around, they kind of slide off:
Worse, the Metal rings don’t work with some minis at all: Batman looks like he’s hula-hooping because the rings don’t fit!
The metal rings probably aren’t a good solution here: the bases seem just a touch larger than the bases for Hour of Need.
What about the Rings of Power? These work a little better, as all the minis just fit in the bases:
But they have the same problem as they do in Hour of Need: they are a little too big and fall off when you pick up the mins:
Just like Hour of Need, at least the Rings of Power work, and you can avoid the slide-off problem with either some tape or just slide the minis without moving them.
The ETSY solution works well with Batman, but not ManBat.
For BardSung, we have all the same problems as Hour of Need: if the rings can’t fit OVER the minis, they will slide around (and the metal ones seem to work pretty well).
Marvel United minis are too big for any of these solutions, in case you wanted to know.