D&D Miniatures03/17/2005

Mind Flayer
Commander's Notebook

In each installment of "Commander's Notebook," we present three talented warband builders with a core figure or theme and ask each 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 installment of "Commander's Notebook," we offered our warband builders the chance to spend 100 points on a warband commanded by Harbinger's Mind Flayer. His commander effect reduces enemy Morale Saves by -4, he has unlimited, stunning Mind Blasts with DC 17, and SR. He's not a terror in melee with two +8 attacks. One hit causes only 5 damage, but if both attacks connect against the same target, the mind flayer rends for a total of 25 points on that target, causing anything that starts under 55 hit points to save at -4. Sweet.

Mike Lemay

Mind Flayer (35 pts)
Urthok the Vicious (34 pts)
Bugbear Footpad (16 pts)
Goblin Skirmisher x3 (9 pts)
Goblin Warrior x2 (6 pts)
Total = 100 pts

I decided to veer away from stun-immune types and try a more melee-oriented team. This isn't the strongest Urthok warband around by any stretch, but if you can work your positioning precisely to keep most of the goblinoids out of the Mind Blast area, Urthok and his crew should have no trouble scything through the stunned opponents. Stunning a goblin meat shield is no big problem.

Jackson Tomas

Mind Flayer (35 pts)
Salamander (32 pts)
Medium Water Elemental (13 pts)
Gravehound (11 pts)
Goblin Skirmisher x3 (9 pts)
Total = 100 pts

I love the Salamander, and the Mind Flayer badly needs a decent fighter type to put some damage on those Mind Blasted enemies. Positioning is important since the Salamander isn't immune to the blasts. Sometimes you'll just have to blast around him and hope that his +9 save keeps him from being stunned. With two good attacks plus Cleave, the Salamander can chop through lots of stunned foes. Get the Gravehound and the Water Elemental in the thick of it where their immunity to stun will pay off, and keep the Goblin Skirmishers near the Mind Flayer to discourage basing.

Steve Winter

Mind Flayer (35 pts)
Mummy (36 pts)
Medium Water Elemental (13 pts)
Human Thug (4 pts)
Goblin Skirmisher (3 pts)
Warrior Skeleton x3 (9 pts)
Total = 100 pts

The mummy is an OK frontline fighter -- good attack, medium damage, excellent AC and HPs, never runs away, and ignores the Mind Flayer's Mind Blasts. Best of all, its Aura of Fear stacks with the Mind Flayer's commander effect for a whopping -6 penalty on opponents' morale saves.

She ShAnything with 30 or fewer hit points is likely to run if hit by the Mummy. Keep the Water Elemental close and it can get the same benefit. The Mind Flayer is free to aim its Mind Blasts almost anywhere; they affect only the Human Thug and Goblin Skirmisher. The Warrior Skeletons serve as shields to keep the enemy away from the Mind Flayer for a round or two. The biggest problem is that the Mummy will always be out of command. Choose your terrain with an eye toward short lines of sight, and advance carefully so the group doesn't get split up.

About the Authors

Jackson Tomas and Mike Lemay are Seattle-area miniatures players. Steve Winter puts together these articles, so no one gets to tell him his warbands aren't good enough.

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