For the uninformed...wargaming is damn expensive. Those little lead pewter figures cost at least a few bucks a pop each and it would take thousands of dollars to get your collection going after you consider the cost of figures, paint, battlefields, etc. For that reason, I never got into miniatures or wargaming when I was a kid. It seems that Wizards of the Coast realized they had an oppertunity to make a lotta cash by restarting the miniature phenomenom but eliminating some of the problems that made it such an elitest game.
1) Cost of figures
2) Ability to paint figures
3) General arts and crafts ability to make terrains and whatnot
So late last year they put out a buncha pre-painted, pre-assembled, plastic figures that would be sold in starter and booster packs, much like CCG's. You could collect them to fill sets but also play a simplified wargame with them based on new ad&d skirmish rules. Each figure you receive in a pack would come with a card detailing its stats and powers, and would have a point cost. You could thus form, for instance, 100 point armies to battle someone else. The terrain was solved by map pieces, some that would be included in each pack of boosters or starters that you could piece together to form whatever battlefield you wanted.
I liked the idea so much after reading about it that I ordered a huge lot of the them and I can't wait to get it. I also rumaged through the crap I picked up at gencon and found to my surprise that I already had 3 of the figures. They had been giving them away free and I had snagged three at the time without even knowing what the hell they were. So in my collection so far I have 2 lizardfolk and an orc archer! Go me!
Now I just need to convince my friends to get hooked too or find someone to play with or it's going to be very sad. I'm going to spend my time moving my little figures around and inventing dialogue as they taunt and then later battle one another.