Thursday, January 17, 2008

D&D Miniatures Game: Now Fortified with 4th Edition!

Yesterday, WotC released the new version of the D&D Minis game. As I played this alot back home with friends, I decided to take a look. They made a few interesting changes:

  1. Morale Saves: Gone, Gone, Gone. Glad about this one; I've watched my 140 point Gold Dragon run away when a goblin gets a lucky shot and I roll a 2. They replaced this with a mini becoming "bloodied" at half HP, which leaves him vulnerable to other attacks. This also runs parellel to how their going to impliment it in D&D 4.o, unlike the Morale Saves, which invoked a much ignored rule from the 2nd Edition D&D game.
  2. Initative: instead of a bonus to your roll, a high commander champion rating will give you a 2nd roll, taking the highest. I'll kind a miss my +8 bonus that improved initative gave me, but it's no big deal. What IS a big deal is that now the first player in round only gets to move 1 mini instead of two. After this turn, each player moves two at a time like normal. This reduces the late game advantage of moving two guys first (an advantage given by lucky rolls), and still lets the init winner move his guy(s) last in the early game. I like the subtlty of it.
  3. The 5 foot step: It's back. This is another example of WotC trying to sync up the Minis game with the RPG game. I got a few blank looks from D&D veterans when I told them they couldn't take a 5 ft step in minis. "Why not?" "You just can't."
  4. Targeting: You used to only be able to shoot or zap the closest enemy to you. Just because. Now they relaxed the targeting rules, and only figures with the "nearest" qualifier on their ranged attack/spellcasting will need to follow this rule (but I wonder what percentage of cards they'll put it on? 40? 75? 90?). Honestly, while I can understand the dislike of this rule because it limits one's options, I kind of liked it because it let you adjust your tactics (i.e. hide Low AC archer/Spellcaster behind the metal-clad meat-wall). I guess in the long run, it makes more sense, and is certainly eaiser to remember, My friends and I were oblivious to this rule for the first several months we played! It wasn't until I read Rastlin Majere's (sp?) stats and saw "perfect targeting" that I went back to reread that part in the rulebook.
  5. Ranged attacks/spells while in a threatened square: Before - You can't do it. Only touch attacks, archers could shoot the guy next to him only, at a penalty. After - You sure can attack the guy across the board while the barbarian is barbarying down on you! But you'll take an Opportunity attack from him. (Yes, I said barbarying [bar BARE ee ing]. It means engaging in activity like that unto a Barbarian. It's a real word, becuase I typed it.)

Before the end of the month, we should get updated stat cards for the Desert of Desolation expanstion. I'm looking forward to it. BTW, several of the other minis from older expanstions are also getting updated stats, so not ALL of your minis will become obsolete, just most of them. My Osyluth will be pleased by that.

UPDATE 1/24/08: This article mentions that Wizards will eventally convert ALL the minis to next edition rules. Sounds great to me... but what were the All-Star votes for again? To see what get's converted first? I dunno, made the whole All-Star process kinda moot.

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