When playing D&D, theatre of the mind just doesn’t cut it for some people. Sometimes you’ve just gotta lay out the battle maps and find a physical stand-in for your imaginary TTRPG character. While some of us end up using Monopoly pieces to represent our player-characters, DnD miniatures are a popular choice for bringing the Forgotten Realms to life on the dining room table. They can also be quite an expensive choice.
Wizards of the Coast recently announced two products that seem to offer an alternative choice for in-person D&D players – the Creatures campaign case and Terrain campaign case. The big selling point here is the reusable ‘clings’ that turn a plain disc or tile into an assortment of monsters and terrain pieces.
I am a self-confessed Scrooge when it comes to D&D accessories. I grew up with parties who used any scrap they could find to represent their characters, and I’m hesitant of any piece of plastic that comes with a high price tag. Despite this, I found myself wooed by the first campaign case Wizards sent Wargamer’s way.
Below you’ll find a full exploration of what I found in the campaign case ahead of its August 30 release date, as well as what I found inside my thawing heart (the potential to love plastic accessories after all).
What is Campaign Case: Creatures
The Creatures campaign case offers an alternative to miniatures, which have long been the favoured product for showing what a creature looks like and where it is on a battle map. And it’s suggested replacement? Weighted plastic discs that can be customised with reusable creature clings. Simply peel your chosen beastie out of the provided sticker collection, stick it to your plastic counter, and peel it off again when you see fit.
The case includes 64 discs in three sizes (you wouldn’t expect a Kobold to be the same size as an adult dragon, after all), and there are four colour options to choose from. You’ll get five sheets of clings with over 100 different creature designs to peel off and play with. All this is neatly stashed away in a storage case with a magnetic clasp and a rope handle for easy transportation.
Campaign Case: Creatures – Reactions
Quality-wise, the contents of the campaign case feel pretty swanky. The case itself isn’t too bulky, has a great tactile element with the rope and the magnets, and has been spruced up with some high-quality D&D art on the inside of the lid. The art on the clings themselves isn’t anything you won’t have seen thumbing through your Monster Manual, but D&D is already pretty good at giving us pleasing art in a consistent style.
The main event is the counters – the weight and the way they clack satisfyingly together feels right in your hand (something we in the neurodiverse community refer to as ‘stimmy’). While actually attempting to snap a product Wizards sent me feels rude, these discs feel fairly sturdy. They fill me with a confidence I just don’t have when peering at the thin plastic arms of a mini figure.
It’s clear this campaign case was made for people a lot like me – people who aren’t all that made up about tabletop miniatures. The campaign case is for D&D players who can’t (or won’t) fork out a small fortune on a three-dimensional model for every creature in their campaign. I could spend $30 on a starter pack of six WizKids adventurer’s minis, or I could spend just over twice that on an army of reusable discs.
These plastic chips lack the detail and beauty of a mini, but they’re a heck of a lot more convenient. They come with their own storage and require almost zero assembly – there’s an entire community out there that adores painting miniatures, but if you’re not them, the campaign case might seem like a good option. They’re also a fraction of the price in the long run.
The campaign case is set to retail for $64.99 (though I’ve seen some different price options online so far), which is less than what a single large D&D mini can cost you. The quality of the box and its contents, plus the reusable aspect, means this is a product you’re likely to get your money’s worth out of if you run plenty of in-person campaigns. As a cost-effective alternative to minis, it does the job.
Whether this is a cost-effective choice full stop is perhaps a different story. You can pick up plastic counters of varying quality all over the internet, and arguably you could customise them with dry erase in the name of saving some $40. If Wizards ever releases clings as an individual product (which I’d hedge my bets on if these cases sell well, as they’ll need to offer some new creatures eventually), the frugal among us might want to consider buying the clings and adding them to the cheapest chips they can find.
While the stingier part of my heart still feels I’m partly paying for branding here, I feel warmer about buying something like the campaign case after seeing its quality in person. It’s a fairly reasonable middle ground between miniatures and plain plastic in terms of price, and the reusable clings are a genuinely novel selling point. The Creatures campaign case taught me the true spirit of miniatures, and I’ll be keen to see if the Terrain case turns out to be the Ghost of Christmas Future that seals the deal.