D&D Miniatures
Desert of Desolation Preview 1
Relieving the Long Drought
by Stephen Schubert

The past few weeks have been quite eventful. Over 100 players competed in the Finals for the 2007 D&D Miniatures Championship a couple weeks back at Gencon, and 14-year-old Eddie Wehrenberg took home the White Dragon trophy and was crowned the 2007 Champion. One of the best parts of that weekend was seeing Eddie getting a picture taken alongside his forerunners Mike Derry, Jason Lioi, and Brian Mackey, all champions of the past few years.

You might have also heard that at Gencon, Wizards of the Coast announced the 4th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game. With this update to the D&D game, the D&D Miniatures Game will also be getting a facelift. In the ensuing months, we'll give you more and more info about how both new games will work, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, we have a few other products in the pipeline to sate you, such as the November release of Desert of Desolation, the newest expansion to the D&D Miniatures game. This set draws inspiration from classic desert-themed adventures, giving DMs and minis players some iconic monsters such as mummies, sphinxes, and rot scarabs, but it doesn't stop there. Like all of our sets, the titular theme represents only a portion of what it has to offer. I like to think of the Desert of Desolation set as harkening back not only to that classic adventure but to classic dungeon crawls as well. You'll get a better look at these as the weeks roll by.

Fire ArchonDesert of Desolation also provides a look at some of the concept art we've been developing for use in the new Dungeons & Dragons game. While most of the monsters (and minis) you're used to from earlier products will look pretty much the same, 4th edition provided us an opportunity to revisit a few of the monsters and re-envision them with a different look. We incorporated some of this effort into the minis design process, giving a fresh look to a couple of the monsters (such as the new Troll, of which people caught a life-size glimpse at Gencon). In some cases, these new looks represent the new direction for those monsters. In other cases, the new looks are like concept cars -- when you see the final model, you'll see how it might have been informed by some of this concept art.

One other key bit of info -- all but one of the monsters in Desert of Desolation will appear in the 4th Edition Monster Manual. We'll also provide updated skirmish stat cards (available for download) for all the minis in Desert of Desolation, letting you use these minis with those in the upcoming D&D Minis Game arriving next April. More details on this are coming soon.

Of course, the real reason you're reading this is to catch a glimpse of a couple of minis from the upcoming set. You've already seen the Umber Hulk Delver and the Drow Spider Priestess in Mat Smith's preview, and if you were at Gencon you might have had a first-hand look at the Gelatinous Cube. We'll kick things off this week with a look at a dragon and one of the newcomers, but I'll be brief, because this is already getting a little long.

Capricious Copper Dragon The Capricious Copper Dragon is a bit different from its predecessors in that it might feel just as much at home flying next to shadows or reds as it would accompanying Storm across a battlefield. This Copper loves its treasure, defending its hoard viciously (if it kills an opponent while defending a victory area, it gains bonus victory points). Meanwhile, the Fire Archon, which graces the outside of a third of the booster boxes, is a servant of Elemental Fire and provides shock troops for the forces of Imix. Skirmish players who want to play with fire have a reasonable 35-point option for CE bands.

We'll continue this weekly look at Desert of Desolation leading up to its release in November. Next week, more minis!

About the Author

Stephen Schubert is a Developer for RPG R&D and has been involved in many facets of the D&D product line. He's recently been Lead Developer for the upcoming Monster Manual V, Lead Designer on the Eberron adventure Eyes of the Lich Queen, and he's the Lead Developer for the D&D Miniatures Game.

Now we bring the return of the mystery silhouette. Shown below are all the figures that we'll feature in these previews. Can you guess their identities? Feel free to try!

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