The D&D Miniatures Championship season is underway, and the first of the US regional qualifiers is in the books. Congratulations to Eric Cleaver, winner of the Utah regional, who took the field with a pair of Hill Giant Barbarians -- Uncommon minis found in War Drums, the most recent D&D Miniatures expansion. We knew uncommon giants would prove popular, so we continue the trend in War of the Dragon Queen with two more Uncommon creatures that share the giant type: the Huge Mountain Troll and the Ogre Skirmisher.
From the pages of Monster Manual III, this massive troll is, well, massive. His club alone is bigger than many Large creatures. The Mountain Troll makes a great beater to include in an RPG encounter, as the leader in charge of a tribe of marauding hill giants or ogres that the PCs fight near the end of a mid-level adventure, or as the henchman/thrall of an evil mastermind for characters in their teens.
For the skirmish game, we tried to capture the signature move of the Mountain Troll: Knockdown. We don't have a direct analogue for knocking someone prone, but we've had the ability represented in minis as early as the Harbinger Wolf. Simply put, knocking a creature down is treated as stunning that target. So this pile of hit points and damage gets three uses of a stunning attack. For a while, we had the stun accompany every attack, but during development we realized that it was simply too powerful, especially since we wanted to keep the Mountain Troll cost below 200 points. We needed to either make the DC nearly irrelevant or limit the number of uses. We figure the Mountain Troll isn't smart enough to realize that he should try to knockdown every round, and he'll be just fine with three attempts, especially at DC 20.
The Mountain Troll looks statistically similar to another uncommon Chaotic Evil giant from our first Huge set. The Troll's AC and attack bonuses are each one lower, but it has nearly 50% more hit points, and a troll's trademark regeneration (for 10 points per round). It loses Difficult and Cleave, but gains the aforementioned Stunning Attack, and so is quite a value for about a regular Troll's cost less than 200.
Another entry in the Uncommon Giants contest is the javelin-tossing Ogre Skirmisher. This ogre's been getting ready for Chaotic Evil's team in the next Giant track-and-field event, which in addition to the javelin throw includes such sports as the rock toss, hammer hurl, and gnomeput. I wouldn't advise attending, because they often confuse spectators for targets or ammunition.
The Ogre brings a bit of Scout class training to the table, most notably in its Skirmish and Spring Attack abilities. Skirmish Attack gives this Ogre +10 damage if it moves at least two squares prior to attacking. This bonus also applies to its javelin. Spring Attack means this Ogre can start five squares from its target, move in to attack (using Melee Reach, of course), then move right back to where it started, likely dealing 30 damage in the process. Anything that brings Skirmish into the skirmish game has got to be good, right?
There you go. A giant-sized update for you. Keep watching Preview X for more glimpses at the upcoming set. Next week I'll fill you in on a couple of dwarf-themed minis that aren't quite Huge but still like to step up to the 500-point game.
About the Author
Stephen Schubert is a Developer with RPG/Minis R&D and is the lead developer for D&D Miniatures starting with next July's War of the Dragon Queen. He's also helped develop many exciting upcoming D&D products, including Player's Handbook II, Monster Manual IV, Tome of Magic, and Tome of Battle!
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