D&D Miniatures05/25/2006

War of the Dragon Queen Preview 6
Here There Be Dragons

According to the draconic lexicon in the Draconomicon and Races of the Dragon, "Yth vor darastrix" means "We'll study (learn of) dragons." The War of the Dragon Queen expansion for the D&D Miniatures Game contains more dragon-themed creatures than any other set we've done before. From new PC minis based on options from Races of the Dragon to the spawn of Tiamat drawn from Red Hand of Doom and Monster Manual IV to Huge dragons like the Aspect of Tiamat and Dracolich, nearly 30 percent of the set is made of creatures that list Dragon on the type line. Some of the creatures on that list are just plain dragons without any toppings. The creatures in this preview come straight from Core Rulebook III: the Monster Manual.

About Dragons

The D&D Miniatures game has quite a few dragons already at various sizes. Despite the variety available, many of them aren't considered competitive in the skirmish format. Sure, the Large Silver Dragon (Archfiends) and Large Red Dragon (Dragoneye) had their day and still make an occasional appearance, and the winner of last year's Championship and Gen Con tournament used a Green Dragon to great effect. In general, though, dragons are generally considered to be overcosted -- their weak melee attacks can't adequately supplement the flight and breath weapons for which they are priced. This is a problem we recognize and have started the process to repair.

We start by giving all dragons the equivalent of the Multiattack feat, which means the secondary attack bonuses of the dragon are only 2 points less than the primary. We're also flattening damage, which means each hit of the claw/claw/bite routine deals consistent damage (in most cases). To keep faction flavor, Chaotic dragons tend to deal more damage, but Lawful dragons tend deal magic damage. While they won't always be the best mini for every situation, our hope is that more dragons will enter into the discussions about warband building. The name of the game is Dungeons & Dragons, after all.

Small Copper DragonSmall Copper Dragon

First up is the Small Copper Dragon, an Uncommon mini for the Chaotic Good faction. This guy boasts two breath weapons -- a line of acid and a cone of lethargy-inducing gas. It's a magic weapon and bull's strength spell away from having three attacks at +8/+6/+6 for 10 magic damage (if only there were a CG caster with bull's strength). While the Small Copper Dragon wouldn't want to be within 2 squares of a Hill Giant Barbarian, it has enough hit points to take a smack from most other hitters. Its fly speed of 8 means that routing is likely to carry it off the board.

Small Black DragonSmall Black Dragon

Compared to the Small Copper Dragon, the Small Black Dragon is just a step behind. While they tie in a 'footrace', the Small Black has one less level, breath weapon, AC, and attack bonus, and 5 fewer hit points. It also costs about two-thirds of the Copper Dragon's points. All together, I'm sure an 11-point flier with an acid line can find its way into a warband or two.

Large Green DragonLarge Green Dragon

This dragon, on the other hand, can form the backbone of a Lawful Evil warband. With its fly speed of 9 squares, the Large Green can find the optimal place to drop its solid 25 acid damage cone. With Angelfire, we began giving Large dragons some ability that affects your entire warband. The Large Green Dragon's contribution is an ability called Devious Strategist, which increases the flanking bonus your creatures get from +2 to +4. Overall, the Large Green's stats fall in line with other recent Large dragons, but his cost is about 15 points less.

There you have it -- Dragons. According to my notes, next week will be about taxidermy and alpinism, though my notes might be a bit mixed up.

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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