D&D Miniatures08/04/2005

War of the Beastmasters
Nature Cleans House

Nature is all about efficiency. The most successful creatures are those that fill their ecological niche with the least waste of time, energy, and blood. With that in mind, no one should be surprised if druids sometimes seem cold and calculating. After all, they sit at the pinnacle of nature's pyramid.

War of the Beastmasters is a scenario pitting two Beastmaster figures against each other. The two logical contests are between the Greenfang Druid and the Orc Wolf Shaman at 200 points and between Vadania, Half-Elf Druid and the Orc Druid at 100 points.

Number of Players: Two.

Warbands: In a 100-point game, each player selects either Vadania, Half-Elf Druid or the Orc Druid as their commander. In a 200-point game, each player selects either the Greenfang Druid or the Orc Wolf Shaman. The Ravenous Vampire is another alternative in a 200-point game. It doesn't fit the theme quite as well as the other two, but it's your game. Make yourself happy.

Both players then fill up their warbands with figures that meet these criteria:

  • They must follow standard warband-building restrictions, plus;
  • All figures in the warband (other than the commander) must be animals, magical beasts, or plants.

A table of all suitable figures is included below. (The Treant, Bulette, and Fiendish Tyrannosaurus are legal in this scenario, but you will find them very difficult to maneuver and position legally -- see Terrain Setup.)

Set Model Name Cost Special Abilities Rar
Chaotic Evil
DK Ravenous Vampire 58 Beastmaster 3 R
An Orc Wolf Shaman 47 Beastmaster 8 R
DE Orc Druid 27 Beastmaster 4 R
Ha Hyena 4 Difficult 20 C
Ha Worg 11 Difficult 4 U
GL Displacer Serpent 11 Difficult 2 C
GL Fiendish Tyrannosaurus 122 Difficult 6 U
Ab Fiendish Giant Praying Mantis 33 R
DK Fiendish Monstrous Scorpion 25 Wild R
An Fiendish Dire Wolverine 29 U
Ha Owlbear 22 Difficult 20 R
GL Bulette 57 Difficult 20 U
Chaotic Good
DK Greenfang Druid 50 Beastmaster 20 R
Ha Vadania, Half-Elf Druid 22 Beastmaster 2 R
AF Unicorn 21 R
GL Basilisk 27 Difficult 20 U
GL Treant 44 U
DK Griffon 28 R
An Celestial Pegasus 32 R
DE Dire Lion 32 Difficult 20 R
DK Celestial Dire Badger 9 C
Ha Dire Boar 23 Difficult 20 R
Ha Shambling Mound 30 Difficult 8 R
Ha Wolf 5 Difficult 20 C
DE Dire Ape 25 Difficult 20 R
GL Dire Wolf 22 Difficult 20 U
DK Dire Bear 44 Wild U
DK Timber Wolf 5 Wild C
GL Behir 75 Difficult 5 R
DK Giant Frog 10 Wild C
DK Wood Woad 15 U

Terrain Setup: Setup is as usual, with the following exceptions.

  • Each player selects an assembly tile and one other terrain tile.

  • The player with terrain initiative places an Ancient Temple tile so that any four spaces of the tile overlap the central four spaces of the battle grid. It can be oriented however the player wants.

  • Both players place their one terrain tile as usual.

  • Each player receives 25 tokens representing trees. (Use anything that fits into the one-inch spaces of the battle grid. Pennies or other coins are excellent, as are dice, bits of lichen, stones, or even twigs stuck into modeling-clay bases.) Starting with the player who placed the first assembly tile, alternate placing five trees at a time. Each tree must be at least three whole spaces from the nearest other tree (there must be a two-space gap between all trees, so that large figures can pass between them). Trees can be adjacent to walls, assembly tiles, and the edges of the battle grid but cannot be placed on tiles. Trees act as walls that completely fill a single space.

Victory: You win by eliminating all enemy creatures. Normal tie-breaker rules apply. Quick-strike victory conditions can also be used for a faster game.

Variations: For variety, allow one-half of the warband's points to be spent on the following creatures, in addition to animals, plants, and magical beasts (within usual faction restrictions).

Chaotic Good: Elves (any except drow), Gnomes (any), Centaurs, Centaur Heroes, Bariaur Rangers, Ibixians, Crow Shaman, Crested Felldrakes.

Chaotic Evil: Orcs (any), Gnolls (any), Ettercaps, Trolls (any), Forest Trolls

Either: Fey, Shapechangers, Wyverns, small and medium Dragons (any)

About the Author

Steve Winter has enjoyed a long and lustrous career in the hobby gaming industry, beginning at TSR in 1981. He is currently a web producer and writer living in Seattle.

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