D&D Miniatures08/04/2005

Random Warband Generator

Everybody knows how useful the D&D Miniatures Warband Generator is when you're designing the perfect warband to crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their owners.

Sometimes, though, even seasoned miniatures slayers need to kick back and chill with a little low-key mayhem -- something without much emotional investment to take the edge off a hard day. And let's face it, leading your favorite warband to a humiliating defeat is not relaxing.

Noodling around with a warband that you pulled out of thin air, on the other hand, frees you from the bonds of self-esteem. The game becomes an exercise in off-the-cuff, creative tactics unburdened by ego.

Now the Warband Generator can automatically and instantly create those random warbands for you.

After you've unzipped the latest version (preferably into a folder called Warband Generator or something equally catchy), open it by clicking the file index.htm. You'll notice a little button labeled "R" in the upper right corner of the Intro page. That's right -- "R" is for Random!

For a completely random warband, click that R. The Warband Generator selects the faction and fills it with figures, getting as close to the appropriate point total as possible. Each new click gets you another, completely random warband. Each warband has at least one commander, and figures get all their legal minions and bonuses.

Now let's set some parameters. Go back to the Intro screen (click the Intro tab at the top of the screen). You can select the warband's name, change the point total (to anything -- you're not limited to 100, 200, and 500 points), and allow more or fewer miniatures or terrain tiles.

See that padlock icon next to the Faction selector? Clicking it locks the faction so that each new warband has the same alignment (in case you're only interested in Chaotic Good warbands, for example).

Hold on, it gets better. You might not have every D&D miniature ever released. See the tab labeled "Collection?" You can store a record of your miniatures inventory. From then on, when you check the "Use Collection" box at the bottom of the screen, the random generator limits its picks to the figures in your collection. No substitutions required, no long delays clicking through warband after warband waiting for one you can use. (The collection feature works great when designing regular warbands, too.)

For a quick way to limit the choice of figures, you can check only some of the set boxes at the bottom of the Warband screen. If you have no figures from the early Harbinger and Dragoneye sets, for example uncheck those boxes.

If there's a certain figure or two that you want in the warband, create a warband that's random in every respect except faction. Then delete figures from the warband (by clicking their "minus" buttons) until enough points are freed up so you can add the figures you want.

Sounds Great, But Does It Work?

You bet it does!

Here are four random, 100-point warbands that popped up in four clicks.

  • Lawful Good -- Dalelands Militia, Dwarf Axefighter, Dwarf Sergeant, Man-at-Arms, Sword of Glory, Warforged Fighter, Mialee Elf Wizard, Azer Raider (8 figures, 100/100 points)

  • Chaotic Evil -- Bugbear, Bullywug Thug, Cursed Spirit, Drow Fighter, Vampire Aristocrat, Young Minotaur (6 figures, 100/100 points)

  • Chaotic Good -- Cleric of Garl Glittergold, Lidda Halfling Rogue, Lizardfolk, Blackscale Lizardfolk, Red Slaad (5 figures, 100/100 points)

  • Chaotic Evil -- Lizardfolk, Mordenkainen the Mage, Sage, Gnoll Archer, Kenku Sneak, Orc Berserker (6 figures, 100/100 points)

Those might not be grand champions, but they're perfect for quick games to relax or hone your tactical skills.

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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