"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 second 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 Ryld Argith. This is an interesting figure because it is one of only three that can command in more than one faction.
The first reaction from these contributors was, why only 100 points? At 55 points, Ryld Argith is more at home in a 200-point environment. The answer is, building a warband around Ryld Argith with 200 points is easy. The job gets difficult and interesting when you have only 45 points to spend taking advantage of RA's strengths. Jesse Decker, Rob Heinsoo, and Mons Johnson took up the challenge, with these very different results.
Jesse Decker (CE)
Ryld Argith (55 pts)
Although support units such as the Drider Sorcerer are stronger in 200-pt. play than in 100 pt., a tough commander like Ryld can still make the most out of it. Work to create situations where each of the Drider's baleful transpositions allow Ryld to make full attacks without being attacked in turn. It's important that orc warriors not die needlessly; they serve as important flankers for Ryld, as well as helpful second targets for baleful transposition. Use the drider's lightning bolts early in the game to control your opponent's movements and thin out the ranks of his weaker units.
Rob Heinsoo (CG)
Ryld Argith (55 pts)
I stepped away from the obvious Chaotic Evil builds to try something in Chaotic Good.
When you have a good shot at winning initiative, sneak attack abilities are good. With two attacks and 10 damage when making a sneak attack, the Daring Rogue is a good companion for Ryld.
Eberk joins the warband to increase everyone's AC, which is especially helpful to Ryld -- he needs to survive. As a bonus, Eberk can do a little healing and maybe lay down a spiritual weapon where it counts.
The Graycloak Ranger could be replaced by another Daring Rogue, but the Ranger offers a somewhat threatening ranged attack that can be turned into magic damage using Eberk's spell, if necessary. The Graycloak Ranger's Wolf minion offers one more activation per round and another creature to provide flanks for Ryld and the Daring Rogue's sneak attacks. If you're really lucky, the Wolf's stunning attack will set someone up for sneak attack damage without needing to use flanking. If there's nothing else worthwhile for the Wolf to do and you're playing the Assault scenario, use its speed to grab points by occupying a tile in the opponent's half of the grid at the end of the round.
Mons Johnson (CG)
Ryld Argith (55 pts)
Starting with Ryld Argith in 100-point play doesn't allow a lot of points for other figures. His strength is strong combat power and the large initiative bonus. Pairing Ryld with the Half-Elf Bow Initiate gives two figures that are mobile and hard to kill. Ryld's initiative bonus helps ensure that he and the archer can act first, letting them shoot and then move away to a safe position. This warband also depends on careful terrain choice and placement. Use terrain tiles that give good line of sight but hinder movement.
Coming Up in "Commander's Notebook:" Yuan-Ti Abomination
About the Author
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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