Also, how long do the games run?
The AH site says 30-90 minutes, but for what size battle is that?
If you don’t count the time to formulate your armies, games rarely last only 30 minutes. 30 minutes is usually for a scenario that gets you into the action right away. Tournament games usually last between 60 and 90 minutes. Recreational games can last up to 2 hours if you’re taking your time. You’re first few games will probably last 2 hours.
Not for what point total he wants to play. It’s usually 45 minutes-1 hour/ 100 points you do. At 250 point armies, which is reaching the limit for point totals maintaining game balance (post 300 you’ll see huge balance issues), expect to play and hour and a half- 2 hours, maybe more in the beginning as you learn the rules. It also depends on the scenario you’re playing.
What size is the standard playing surface?
Well, normally it’s the 2x2 maps they give you. But you won’t be able to play on that surface with the point totals you want to do. You’ll need at least one more starter set to have the ability to play on 4x2 maps or 3x3. Hell, I sometimes consider getting a third starter set for even more maps, as sometimes I feel like 4x2 isn’t big enough. I play 150-200 point battles.
Is there good after market support for terrain and miniatures?
The terrain are maps that come with the game. Some people eventually play using 3-d terrain, but then you have to either play using houserules, or go out and buy hex-terrain, which is a whole new set of expenses.
What scale is 15 mm anyway?
Basically 1:120. It’s more like 1:121, but 1:120 is the accepted number for buying terrain for the game.
Are these plastic minis easy to mod and repaint?
I would like to have the ability to field a 250 point army
That’s like fielding a 6,000 point army in Warhammer: it’s really big and might make the game take longer than you want. Before making any army goals, play the game a few times. Having a crapload of miniatures to choose from for army building is sweet, but actually fielding 250 points might be hefty for you, since you mentioned that your kids impede gaming somewhat. 150 points is usually big enough to have alot of fun and see lots of units, but small enough that the game doesn’t last forever.
Welcome aboard. May you make every cover save and ignore enemy Superior Armor… :)