D&D Miniatures06/01/2006


War of the Dragon Queen Preview 7
Ride-Along Program



Since the first set of D&D Miniatures, players and fans have been asking for mounted figures. In War of the Dragon Queen, we deliver. This week we'll look at three rare mounted minis from July's upcoming set.

Clawfoot RiderClawfoot Rider

In the world of Eberron, nomadic halfling tribes follow herds of dinosaurs across the Talenta Plains and use the flesh-eating Clawfoots as mounts. The clawfoot dinosaur is related to the carver, known to many of us as deinonychus. It is the preferred battle mount for the Talenta tribes.

The Clawfoot Rider (with Clawfoot) provides the Chaotic Good faction with an interesting piece of highly mobile ranged fire. While its AC 18 and 65 hit points are enough to let it stick around to use its two melee attacks, the Clawfoot Rider is best used in a run-and-shoot-and-run attack. The premier ability for the Rider is its Mounted Ranged Attack, which allows it to move up to 16 squares and make a ranged attack (at +14 for 10 magic damage) anywhere along the way. Of course, sometimes it would rather just sit in place and shoot twice, instead. It doesn't have the ranged damage output of something like Aberration's Half-Elf Bow Initiate, but it has much more maneuverability for only a few points more.

Blackguard on NightmareBlackguard on Nightmare

I mentioned in an earlier article that I'd highlight more of the transparent plastic minis included in the set, so as follow-through I give you the mounted Nightmare, a beast of clear plastic and perhaps more black paint than we've ever used on a single mini. The Blackguard on Nightmare makes a great recurring villain in your D&D game, and fans of the Forgotten Realms might use this mini to represent a certain High Captain and Castellan of Zhentil Keep, even if the nightmare isn't white like hers.

Fans of the D&D Miniatures Game will recognize a few of the abilities of the Lawful Evil Blackguard, including Sneak Attack, Smite Good, and Tyrannical Morale (+6, this time). The Nightmare adds a few features of its own. To capture the flavor of flaming hooves, this mini's damage gets boosted to 10 magic + 5 fire. Inspired by the at-will etherealness ability of the Monster Manual nightmare, we also gave this mini the ability to Blink Out for a round, which turns it incorporeal as a swift action. With these abilities and Mounted Melee Attack, in the right situation, the Blackguard can lay down 30 damage on a good-aligned foe from nearly anywhere on the board (or at least 20 squares away). All this from a mini that can take two hits from a Hill Giant Barbarian and keep ticking.

Tundra Scout (not to scale)Tundra Scout

One of two Huge mounted figures in War of the Dragon Queen, the Tundra Scout is in fact a frost giant on a mastodon. I'm not sure that more needs to be said.

The Tundra Scout defines 'large and in charge'. During the development cycle, this guy was simply fun to play because of his combination of abilities. It starts with running over a Large or smaller enemy to deal 25 damage (DC 22) with Trample. Then, stop in a square adjacent to the target and follow up the trample with a melee attack at +19 for 25 damage. Pushback from the attack throws your target back a square. You still aren't done, because Strike in the Air says that if you use Pushback against an adjacent foe, you can attack that target one more time, so you get another attack at +19 for 25 damage. For a little more fun, throw in an orc Cleric of Gruumsh. His commander effect gives you Cleave which can be used with Melee Reach 3. In case you haven't guessed, this Huge mini is for Epic play only, as his 166-point cost will attest. Now if only someone could block those Fomorians!

Next week: Something to do with Scarlet, but not the Brotherhood, and something to do with Bane, but not Xvim. I'll applaud those who figure out this one.

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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