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 200 points on any warband they wanted. The only restriction was that it had to be drawn entirely from Deathknell. That means no Drider Sorcerers, Large Silver Dragons, Half-Elf Bow Initiates, Orc Champions, or Orc Warriors.
Trevor Kidd (LG)
Champion of Yondalla (54 pts)
Dwarf Artificer (21 pts)
Dwarf Phalanx Soldier x4 (48 pts)
Skullclan Hunter x2 (72 pts)
Total = 195 pts
This warband may not be a heavy hitter, but it is definitely one of the toughest in the set in terms of AC. The Champion of Yondalla has a high AC, pretty good hit points and attack bonus, and the commander effect is bound to come into play against the many, popular large miniatures in Deathknell such as the Beholder and the Dire Bear. The Dwarf Phalanx Soldiers are good front line figures that can take a beating as long as you keep them in shoulder-to-shoulder formation. The Dwarf Artificer's legion's shield of faith spell is amazing; it brings the Champion's and the Soldiers' ACs up to 27 (assuming that the Soldiers are in formation). The Skullclan Hunters are your flankers. Combined with the Champion, they can do enough damage in one turn to force a morale save on many units. The biggest problem is the slow movement of the warband. You'll want to play with terrain tiles that let you get close while minimizing the ranged damage your opponent can cause. And always keep your Phalanx Soldiers together!
Steve Winter (LE)
Grim Necromancer (35 pts)
Death Knight (80 pts)
Spectre (44 pts)
Skeletal Dwarf x5 (30 pts)
Kruthik Hatchling (10 pts)
Skeletal Dwarf and Deathlock (summoned)
Total = 199 pts
With so much to choose from, the real problem is deciding where to start. I like the Grim Necromancer's +4 to hit for undead followers. The Spectre doesn't need the help, but those Skeletal Dwarfs become reasonably ferocious with it. The Necromancer probably won't survive the whole fight. By the time he falls, however, he shouldn't be needed anymore. By then, the weight of victory or defeat ought to be squarely on the shoulders of the Spectre and the Death Knight.
John Hargrove (CG)
Greenfang Druid (50 pts)
Dire Bear x3 (132 pts)
Celestial Dire Badger x2 (18 pts)
Total = 200 pts
This warband is all about massive hit points, high damage output, and lots of speed. These guys have 455 hit points collectively, and two of them get to have Regeneration 5 thanks to the Druid. The three Bears and the Druid all get two attacks for 15 damage each, and your Bears and Badgers score critical hits on 19 and 20 with the Druid nearby. The Druid also gives you full control over the Dire Bears thanks to his Beastmaster 20 rating. That means your four major figures all move at speed 8 with the Badgers bringing up the rear at speed 6. This can be a pretty high impact warband with little need for finesse. I recommend it to anyone who likes to keep things simple while still staying competitive.
About the Authors
John Hargrove and Trevor Kidd work in WotC's Customer Service department, where they answer questions about D&D Miniatures all day long. By now, they've heard it all. Steve Winter puts together these articles, so no one gets to tell him his warbands aren't good enough to be included.