Your Guide to Buying Historical Role-Playing Games

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Your Guide to Buying Historical Role-Playing Games

A role-playing game, often referred to as a RPG, is an activity where players will compete against each other either by verbally interacting or using equipment such as dice or specialised playing cards. They come in many different formats, from tabletop RPG’s to live action RPG’s, and also various themes including fantasy, sci-fi and horror.

Due to the combat nature of the vast majority of role playing games, historical versions that provide the opportunity to re-enact certain battles are also a popular adaptation of role-playing games. This guide will look at how to go about making a purchase of one of these historical based RPG’s and specifically look at how to buy on eBay.

Different Types of Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games can come in different forms which different people will enjoy playing more than others. They include:

  • Tabletop – The most recognised RPG is the tabletop version, where participants will interact with each other to set up their personal character traits which will fulfil a series of events. These will develop into a story and final outcome where winners and losers will be decided. They either use the predetermined system to dictate where the story goes, or employ a ‘games master’ to control the pattern of play. Some games of this nature would have an extensive set of rules for players to adhere to.
  • Live Action – A more physical version of role-playing games comes in the form of the live action format. With this, players will actually act out their desired moves in person, most often dressing up as their historical character and arming themselves with replica weapons to enhance their realism.
  • Online – In recent years, RPG’s have been able to move to the internet where players can participate in these types of competition against others from all around the world. Multi-player formats of these games allow users to interact against each other online and play out their historical fantasy battles this way.

Historical Role Playing Games

The most common role-playing game for history enthusiasts is the tabletop version, where more intrinsic details can be placed for the setting, the characters and the strategy used by the players. Although there is a lot of fictional fantasy RPG’s on the market, representations of historical events such as Roman battles are also available to buy. When looking on eBay then make sure to check out the ‘Table Top/Historical’ category which will give a good reference point to all the different themes available.

Other options on eBay include subsection categories for such historical wars and periods such as:

  • World War II
  • Napoleonic Wars
  • Ancient Empires
  • Medieval Period
  • Modern Era

Buying Considerations for Historical Role-Playing Games

When coming to make a purchase of historical role-playing games there are a few aspects to consider before a transaction should be completed. This section will look at some of these considerations in relation to searching and buying on eBay.

  • Firstly, what type of item is needed in respect to the RPG? For example, aswell as being plenty of full sets of games to purchase, there are also a selection of individual items on the market. Such accessories as scenery extensions or nature environments can be bought to add more realism to the background of the game. Buildings and town structures, along with miniature versions of tanks and other war vehicles, can also be found on eBay. This is to go alongside the characters themselves which can come in the form of complete army sets or more carefully designed individual models.
  • The size of the models is an important factor for many participants of historical role players in respect to their scaling. It will be no good having an infantry soldier the same size as a tank for example; this will defeat the object of imitating a battle as closely as is possible. If some models of a size are already owned then only buy further figures to coincide with their specifications. When coming to buy RPG models then their size should be displayed in millimetres in relation to their height.
  • Some models will already be fully painted and designed ready for use whilst others will need to be painted at home. Consider if you have the correct painting utensils to cope with this and remember that some really small figures will require a high level of skill to paint efficiently.
  • Also consider who else will be playing the game and if enough pieces have been supplied to make the game competitive. Having the appropriate rulebook is essential for role-playing games so it can be played out as fairly as possible. Think if the game in question has the appropriate equipment in terms of the correct dice and playing cards.

Certain manufacturers of role-playing games can be purchased which add a professional feel to the activity and can also ensure that all the pieces being used by everyone will come with a similar design. For example, ‘Flames of War’ is a line of World War Two RPG and equipment that has become popular market. ‘Warhammer’ too is a well known table-top fantasy game with historical connotations.

Using eBay to Buy Historical Role-Playing Games

Using eBay is an efficient way of reviewing all the historical role-playing games and their accessories in the same place; saving the hassle of trawling through certain Wargames stores and different websites. There are various ways to search for them including the:

Keyword Search

  If the specific game, brand or item desired is known then typing this into the search bar at the top of any eBay page will bring up the relevant results.

Category Search

Searching by category is preferable if simply browsing all the figures on the market. Firstly select the ‘Toys and Games’ category followed by the ‘Wargames and Role Playing’ section. The option to bring up all the most applicable results will come under the ‘Table Top/Historical’ section.

Preference Bar

Using the menu on the left hand side of the page can narrow the listings even further depending on your preferences. Such options as historical period, size of models, paint options and price range can be selected.

There are a few buying formats to consider also; the most traditional one being the auction facility that eBay based its name around and the ‘buy it now’ facility for a set price. However, there may also be the opportunity to win the role-playing game set or individual item for less than this set price. The next section will look at how to do this.

Best Offers on eBay

When coming to buy a role-playing game on eBay then using the Buy It Now feature is an efficient way of quickly searching out an item and guaranteeing its purchase. When looking through these listings, there may be the option to make a ‘best offer’. This is basically an invitation by the seller to entice potential suitors to make a bid for their product. Below is a quick run through of how to make a ‘best offer’ for an item.

To find all the historical role-playing games that are available with the best offer facility then bring up all the ‘Table Top/Historical’ listings and click on the ‘Advanced’ link next to the search bar on the eBay home page. Then, simply tick the ‘Best Offer’ box under the ‘Show Results’ subsection and press search.

  • All the listings that appear will be Buy It Now items but also could be available for a cheaper price if a lower amount is accepted by the seller.
  • In terms of making a bid for a historical RPG, if unsure of what value to make the initial offer at then check out the average price of the model required from other websites or on the high street. Another way of doing this is to look at all the completed listings of role-playing game items that have been sold on eBay in the last 15 days (To do this then select the relevant box on the ‘Advanced’ page when making a search.)
  • Although the seller is by no means obliged to accept any offer put to them but any price they do accept is a legally binding bid and must be followed through. In other words, do not place an offer if unwilling to actually go through with the deal.
  • Of course it’s only natural for every buyer to want the best deal and the ‘best offer’ facility makes this more achievable. There is no harm in placing a low initial bid for an item but a ridiculously low amount will almost certainly be rejected and most likely annoy the seller. Realistic offers are best especially as the option is there for them to make a counter offer.
  • A good tip is to send a message with a bid to try and build a good relationship with the seller. This is a good way to build up trust levels and hopefully get a good deal.
  • In contrast with an auction buying format which requires a degree of patience and late bids on the item, it is best to get in early with the Best Offer listings to see how far down the seller will go.


The world of historical role-playing games has many different aspects to it for people to explore. When coming to make a purchase then make sure to check out eBay as this a platform where many sellers choose to sell their used items at a more affordable price than may be found elsewhere. Stay safe on eBay by reading the item’s description and checking out the seller’s previous history.

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