D&D Miniatures11/25/2004

Cleric of St. Cuthbert
Commander's Notebook

"Commander's Notebook" is a new feature on this site. In each installment, we present three talented warband builders with a core figure or theme and ask each of them to build a warband around it. Their warbands are presented here for your review. After reading, we encourage everyone to visit the forum and discuss the warbands' pros and cons with your fellow skirmishers or offer up your own version of this squad.

Bear in mind that what you're reading is not a primer on how to win tournaments. It's an intellectual puzzle in which the contributors may not always be given the best material to work with. The challenge is to make the most of the starting conditions.

For this first installment of "Commander's Notebook," we offered members of Wizards of the Coast's R&D team this test: build a 100-point warband around the Cleric of St. Cuthbert. Jesse Decker, Rob Heinsoo, and Mons Johnson took up the task, with these results.

Mons Johnson

Cleric of St. Cuthbert (29 pts)
Halfling Veteran x3 (33 pts)
Aramil, Adventurer (13 pts)
Azer Raider x2 (10 pts)
Man-at-Arms x5 (15 pts)
Total = 100 pts

The Cleric of St. Cuthbert is a powerful figure in the right army. The impressive commander effect of +5 damage to all followers' melee attacks is triggered only after two figures have been lost. Inexpensive creatures such as Men-at-Arms, Hill Dwarf Warriors, or Azer Raiders provide figures you can afford to lose as well as a few extra damage dealers. The difficult decision is how to give the warband real hitting power. I chose the Halfling Veteran for its multiple attacks and staying power. Aramil provides needed range attacks and a potential counter (through ray of enfeeblement) to an opponent's powerful figure. The Cleric of Yondalla and Lidda, Adventurer could be an interesting alternative to Aramil and the Azer Raiders.

Jesse Decker

Cleric of St. Cuthbert (29 pts)
Halfling Veteran x4 (44 pts)
Azer Raider (5 pts)
Aramil, Adventurer (13 pts)
Man-at-Arms x3 (9 pts)
total = 100 pts

Back in the days of Harbinger-only play, Halfling Veterans ruled the Wizards in-house miniatures league. The ultra-efficient little fighters were quickly overshadowed in later sets, however, because they don't stay on the table long enough or deal enough damage to compete with bruisers like the Eye of Gruumsh, Red Samurai, or the mighty Orc Champion. Now with the Aberrations set, the Cleric of St. Cuthbert brings much-needed additional damage to Lawful Good. Use Aramil to control your opponent's movement and make him come to you, and make sure two men-at-arms are the first models to fall.

Rob Heinsoo

Cleric of St. Cuthbert (29 pts)
Warforged Hero (36 pts)
Aramil, Adventurer (13 pts)
Healer (12 pts)
Man-at-Arms x3 (9 pts)
Total = 99 pts

This version of a Cleric of St. Cuthbert warband aims to have an entertaining chance against any opponent. Put two Men-at-Arms into harm's way early so that you can take advantage of the cleric's commander effect as soon as the real battle is joined. Aramil weakens the enemy's most dangerous fighters and his ranged attack can encourage a reluctant enemy to close with you. Aramil's other function is less obvious: as a distraction. If your enemy focuses on slaying Aramil before he casts all his good spells, that's a few more turns of life for your Cleric of St. Cuthbert and a few more turns of increased damage from the Warforged Hero. The Healer hides until she gets a chance to put a healing spell on someone who matters -- meaning the Warforged Hero or the cleric.

Coming Up in "Commander's Notebook:" Ryld Argith

About the Authors

Jesse Decker, Rob Heinsoo, and Mons Johnson are all members of Wizards' crack design team. Face these three across the battle grid at your own peril.

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