D&D Miniatures08/25/2005


Underdark Preview 1
Drow & Dragons



Drow and the Underdark -- two evil things that go great together. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the upcoming Underdark set for D&D Miniatures contains more drow than you can finish off with a wizard's 3rd-level spells. To start the Underdark preview season, we look at three upcoming minis that will help the Drow take control of the battlefield.

Mounted Drow Patrol

This mini started as an experiment. We'd written stats for drow riding lizards in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and mentioned them in many FR novels, but we hadn't created any images that got the look exactly right. So we tried it as a mini and now we're happy with the results. The special riding harness the drow fighter is wearing allows her to stay mounted when her lizard uses its suction-toes to run on cavern walls and ceilings.

Because of the number of paint steps involved, most of our mounted minis will end up as rares. This one is no exception. She's not as high-cost as a lot of other rares in the set. What she lacks in outright power, however, she makes up in speed and flexibility. With the Mounted Melee Attack ability, like the Mounted Paladin from Angelfire, she can make a single melee attack anywhere during her move even if she moves at double speed.

Thanks to a new ability named Wall Walker, she'll frequently be able to move past enemy creatures as if she had Flight. Throw in the high-level drow abilities of Conceal 6 and Spell Resistance and you have a utility fighter that can score quick points in Assault scenarios.

Swarm of Spiders

Speaking of quick-and-easy victory points in Assault scenarios, here's a treat for people who like to include wandering monsters in their skirmish warbands. With this large uncommon that costs only 15 points, you can afford to sprinkle writhing masses of spiders randomly across the map.

Offensively, the Swarm of Spiders isn't up to much (though that changes a bit when there's a particular new drow commander on the table). Defensively, the Swarm is pretty simple to eliminate so long as you're not relying on regular melee and ranged attacks to kill it. Use a special ability or a spell and you'll be able to wipe the Swarm off the table; insist on rolling dice to hack it to pieces and you'll be a hacking for a long time.

Large Deep Dragon

The Large Deep Dragon is an interesting cat; medium cost, good hit points, a decent breath weapon, and an exceedingly interesting special ability that means players will usually opt to play them one-at-a-time: Power of the Drow (Creatures in your warband whose name or type contain Drow get attack +3). Note that this is a special ability and not a commander effect, so even heavy hitters like Ryld Argith can benefit from the bonus.

Will Deep Dragon drow warbands become a staple for CE? No way to say yet, but given the minis we've published and others we have in the works, we think it's safe to say that some of you will have fun playing Triple-D bands in at least one constructed format.

And heck, if there were some way for the Large Deep Dragon to show up in CG, even Drizzt, Drow Ranger could benefit.

Next week, I think we'll do ... another preview. OK, here's a hint -- AXR.

About the Author

Rob Heinsoo started playing D&D with the original brown box in 1975. He's now the lead designer of D&D Miniatures.

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