Previews Archive | 8/13/2010
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Lords of Madness Preview 1
Peter Lee

It’s been a very long time since I wrote a preview for miniatures, but the long wait until September is nearly over! In just under two months, we’ll be releasing the newest miniature set, Lords of Madness. If this is the first you’ve seen of it, I recommend checking out the few previews that we’ve already released. D&D Insider subscribers caught an early look at six miniatures in Bill’s Ampersand in June. We also showed six miniatures in July and Beyond and six miniatures in August and Beyond. When you include this preview, you’ve seen more than a third of the set!

From comments I’ve read on the forums, many of you are confused by the distribution of miniatures in Lords of Madness. For much of the life of the miniatures line, when you collected enough miniatures to get one of each rare, you approximately ended up getting 3 of each uncommon and 8 of each common miniature. That made it extremely difficult to collect the rare miniatures that people wanted in numbers, as you quickly got overwhelmed with unwanted commons. It also made some rares quite unappealing: while three Orc Champions were great, you might have little use for that third Mordenkainen or Drizzt. Over the last few years, we went to a ratio of 4 common miniatures for every 1 rare. This meant you weren’t overwhelmed by common miniatures, but this didn’t help with unique leaders.

For Lords of Madness, we’ve introduced a new type of rarity: the very rare miniature. Very rare miniatures represent unique creatures in the D&D world, or solo monsters you don’t need in numbers. The end result is a distribution much closer to the original model: if you picked up enough Lords of Madness boosters to get one of every very rare, you’d have eight of every common miniature.

Each booster contains 6 miniatures: 1 Huge, 1 Large, and 4 Medium or Small miniatures. There are 13 Huge and Large miniatures in the set, so eight boosters will get you (on average) all five Huge and Large uncommons, half the Huge and Large rares, and one quarter of the Huge and Large very rares. For those four remaining Medium or Small miniatures, you’ll get 1 rare or very rare, 1 uncommon, and 2 commons. Yes, you could theoretically find three very rare figures in a single booster, but the odds of that are fairly slim.

To give you the grand overview, there are 12 very rares, 22 rares, 18 uncommons, and 8 commons. While that seems to be a lot of very rares and rares to collect, you have three chances in a single pack: you could actually get three very rare figures in a single booster!

This set also embraces a new style of sculpting that gave the local team a lot more ability to create dynamic sculpts and a stronger thematic link between minis. The CAD manufacturing process allows us to grab elements from one sculpt and reposition them on a second, making a matching mounted horse match an unmounted fighter. For example, check out this week’s invasion from the Zhentarim (click below for a larger view): the common Zhent Soldier, the uncommon Zhent Champion, the uncommon Zhent Cavalry, and the very rare Manshoon.

Enjoy, and I’ll see you next week with more minis!