How to Play SWMinis: The Basics

Necessary Vocabulary

rolling initiative
The process by which you determine which players takes his/her turn first.

Generally, when a character moves, attacks, or moves and attacks. You can also activate a character without actually having them do anything (and there's a game-based reason for doing this!).

How far a character can move. Characters are assumed to have Speed 12 (can move 12 spaces) unless otherwise stated on their cards.

force points
Special counters on characters who have Force abilities; these points are used to activate these abilities. Once the counters are used up, they are gone for the duration of the game unless the character has "Force Renewal."

A game of Star Wars Minis.

A team of Star Wars Minis characters, usually all of one faction, but sometimes made of a standard faction and some Fringe characters.

A roll that is made when a character has been attacked or is in danger of being damaged. A "save roll" can help the character avoid damage. The exact type of save and what number is needed to make the save roll will be detailed on the character card, i.e., "This character takes no damage with a save of 11."

If you are familiar with HeroClix, then SWMinis will be a lot easier for you to pick up. But even if you are not familiar with miniatures games, it won't be too long before you're playing easily. :)

Basic Gameplay and Squad-Building

To play SWMinis, you need another player, a 20-sided non-spin-down die (what does non-spin-down mean?), and a small collection of characters, which can make up your squad, or playable team.

But be careful! Not just any collection of characters will make a squad; all the members of your squad must be of one faction, unless they are Fringe pieces. (Fringe pieces act as wildcards--they can play with any faction.) This rule about squads being made up of one faction or a faction and Fringe makes sense, because it would be silly to see Darth Sidious, Luke Skywalker, and Jar Jar Binks all on the same team!

Before you actually begin playing, you and your opponent each roll a d20 die. The one with the higher number begins his/her turn first. (This act is called rolling initiative.) You can make two actions on your turn, then your opponent can make two actions, then you can make two actions again, and so on until you run out of characters to activate, or use in an action. (Actions are moves and attacks, generally.) Once all the characters on the field are activated, it's time to roll initiative again, and the game goes on!

Moving Characters

All characters can move 12 spaces, or move 6 spaces and attack, either from range or in close combat, unless otherwise stated on their character cards. (Jabba the Hutt, for instance, has "Speed 4" on his card, which means he can move 4 spaces, or move 2 spaces and attack.) Once you've moved, attacked, or done a combination of the two, remember to mark the character with a little bead or counter of some sort so you don't forget who's already been activated.

One important thing to remember: Characters move a little differently. In SWMinis, diagonal movements count as two of your allotted movement--so if you moved 6 diagonal squares, that would count as your full 12-square move. It's easier in SWMinis to move in vertical and horizontal lines for this reason.

Character Abilities

Unless the character card says "Melee," it is considered to have infinite range across the map. For this reason, it is important to place your characters carefully so that they aren't automatically in lines of fire. Melee characters can only attack close combat, so especially be careful of them--they can't shoot back! Use terrain to hide you until you can get up close.

Some characters also come with powers called "Force Powers." To learn more about Force Powers and how to use them, click here.


Just like HeroClix, SWMinis maps are full of terrain. The following list tells you what terrain is which:

Learn more about this layout design!