D&D Miniatures03/02/2006

War Drums Preview 12
Read the Rules

There's not much left to preview where War Drums is concerned. If you'd like an advance copy of the rules, however, this is the place to get it. We have the Quick Start Battle book (1.9 MB) and the Advanced Rules (3.8 MB) -- and this version of the Advanced Rules book incorporates all of the known errata and clarifications that didn't make it into the printed booklet.

Something's Different! What's Changed?

If you'd rather not pore through the rules booklet searching for what's been changed, you can read the summary below or download the summary of changes instead.

Summary of Rules Changes

The new D&D Miniatures Game Advanced Rules booklet contains a number of changes to facilitate faster play. Those changes are summarized here.

Eight-Creature Limit: No warband can contain more than eight creatures. Certain spells and special abilities still allow you to exceed that limit.

Battle Maps: Preprinted battle maps replace the use of blank battle grids and terrain tiles. Unlike the outer edges of the blank battle grid, the edges of the battle map are not necessarily treated as walls; if there are walls along part or all of the edges of a battle map, they will be marked with appropriate artwork.

You bring a battle map to the battle as part of your warband. Battle Map Initiative and Setup Initiative replace Terrain Initiative as described on pages 7-8. Cave Setup, Scout, Wandering Monster, and Waylay abilities have been revised to work on battle maps; see the corresponding glossary entries for details. See the glossary entries for "assembly tile" and "feature tile" for instructions on how to use other, older abilities that refer to those terms.

No "Speed 2 If Out of Command" rule: Creatures move at their normal speed regardless of whether they start their turns under command. As a result, the rushing rules are unnecessary and have been removed. Difficult creatures are no longer required to rush. The Command Dependent ability has been revised to deal with this change; see that glossary entry for details.

Command Range and Distance: You can trace diagonals across the corners of walls when determining whether a creature is under command or within range of a Commander Effect. (In other words, you now use the same distance determination method that you would for a ranged attack.) See Command Range and Distance on page 20 for details.

Squeezing: Creatures can't set up in a squeezed position or end their turns in a squeezed position.

Line of Sight and Area Effects: This rule (on page 23) has been revised to deal with the new fog and forest terrain, which blocks line of sight but not line of effect. Only terrain that blocks line of effect can block an area effect.

Terrain: Fog, forest, pits, smoke, risky terrain, and teleporters are all new terrain types. Some of these are featured on maps included with the new D&D Miniatures Game starter set. Some types of impassible terrain, such as ship hulls in the Field of Ruin battle map, count as walls. This sort of impassible terrain has no grid overlaid on it. See pages 24-27 for more details.

Incite/incited, Inhibit/inhibited: This ability has been revised to deal with the accidental activation of a non-incited creature before an incited one.

Incorporeal: This ability has been revised so the meaning of the d20 roll is more consistent with Conceal and Spell Resistance. On a result of 11 or higher, the Incorporeal creature takes damage normally. Otherwise, it takes no damage (and the hit counts as a miss if the roll is made for an attack).

Vulnerable ENERGY: This ability is now treated as Double Damage from ENERGY.

Other Minor Changes: The new D&D Miniatures Game Advanced Rules booklet also incorporates various clarifications and errata that were made available previously in the Frequently Asked Questions and Errata documents, booster inserts, and other sources. Most players are already familiar with those clarifications and errata, so they are not detailed here.

Note regarding Fantastic Locations: Some of these changes were introduced in earlier Fantastic Locations products. However, the D&D Miniatures Game Advanced Rules booklet contains newer rules for Battle Map Initiative (page 7), Setup Initiative (page 8), and Scout (page 43) which supersede the information in those earlier products.

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