Looking for a quick pickup game of D&D Miniatures in your local store? Just got a case of Desert of Desolation and you'd like to play a casual twist on Sealed or draft format? If that's you, try one of these variants.
The Lost Temple of Tiamat
Two factions vie for control of The Dragonshrine -- a Lost Temple of Tiamat.
One group (Side A) arrived shortly before a second group (Side B). Now both groups are attempting to establish control of the shrine, either for their own nefarious purposes or to prevent it from falling into the 'wrong hands'.
Victory is granted to the warband that gains control of all the dragon statues of the shrine or eliminates all enemy creatures. Victory points are not used in this scenario.
Dragon Statues: These are the five large statues of dragons located in each shrine and the huge statue of Tiamat located opposite the exit, for a total of six dragon statues.
Statue Control: An active creature adjacent to a dragon statue at the start of its turn may choose to 'take control' of that statue. If it does so, that is the only action it may take during that turn. Place a token on the statue to indicate which side controls it.
Statue Blessings: When a creature takes control of a dragon statue, its warband gains a 'Blessing of Tiamat' by rolling 1d20 on the table below. The huge statue of Tiamat grants two blessings to its controller. Only one of each blessing type may be in play at a time. If a blessing is already granted to either side, then roll again.
|Blessing of Tiamat
||Scales of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain +2 AC)
||Fangs of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain +2 attack, magic damage)
||Luck of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain +3 to saves)
||Shadows of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain Conceal 6)
||Wings of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain Flight)
||Bones of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain Resist 5 Fire, Cold, Acid, and Electricity)
||Talons of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain +5 Fire, Cold, Acid, or Electricity damage -- attacker's choice -- to all attacks)
||Blood of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain Regeneration 5)
||Eyes of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain Blindsight and all melee or ranged attacks ignore Incorporeal)
||Magic of Tiamat (all creatures in warband gain +2 to the DC of all spells, special abilities, and commander effects as well as the special ability Spell Penetration)
Keep track of which effects are gained from which statue. If a warband loses control of a statue, it also loses the benefits gained from it. Note that map effects for having a creature occupying a shrine remain unchanged.
Creatures also gain a +2 morale bonus for each statue their side controls.
You and your friend would like to play a skirmish game or two. You don't have time to set up a tournament, and you don't want to bring your whole collection of miniatures with you to the store. It's the perfect chance to try a two-man draft.
Drafting: Each player brings a single booster to the table. Open your booster pack and note which creatures are yours (you still own them, even if they are used by your opponent). Both players then put all the creatures in a single pile on the table and roll 1d20 each. The highest roller is Player 1.
- Player 1 starts the draft by taking one creature (miniature and card) and setting it to the side for his warband.
- Player 2 then drafts two creatures, taking them for his warband.
- Player 1 and 2 now alternate drafting two creatures at a time for their warbands until all the creatures have been drafted.
Each player then builds a warband as per the Warband Construction rules below.
Warband Construction Rules: Build your warband according to the following rules --
- may not contain more than 100 points;
- may not contain more than eight creatures (except as specified by special abilities such as Minions);
- may not contain any Epic versions of creatures;
- may contain multiples of unique creatures;
- ignores the 70% rule -- there is no point limit for any single miniature; and
- ignores faction restrictions -- players may build warbands with creatures from all factions.
Creature Factions: In a Two-Man-Draft warband, use the printed faction of a creature for purposes of special abilities such as Smite Good. If a creature has two faction symbols, it counts as both. For example, a creature that is Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil is affected by anything that affects lawful, evil, or chaotic creatures. Creatures that could belong to any faction count as having no faction and are not subject to faction-specific effects.
Commander 0 Rule: If a player does not have a commander in their warband, they can choose to make the lowest-cost, non-Difficult and non-Wild creature in the warband a commander with a Commander rating of 0. The creature's base point cost (and thus its victory point value) increases by 5. In the event of a tie for lowest cost, the owner of the warband selects which creature to designate as commander. The commander must be clearly identified to the opponent before the start of a match. This is an optional rule; players may waive this option and choose to not include a commander in their warband.
Three Rounds: If desired, players can play more than one round. A three-round, Two-Man-Draft tournament can be a lot of fun. After each round, the players place all the creatures back in a single pile. The person who lost the previous round becomes Player 1 and drafts first. The winner is the first person to collect two victories.
Two Booster Pack Draft: Proceed as above but bring two booster packs to the table. Construct 200 point warbands.
50-point games: Use 50-point warbands instead of 100.
Three-Player Draft and Cut-Throat Rules
All three players place the contents of their boosters in a single pile. Each player rolls 1d20, with the highest roller becoming Player 1, the second highest Player 2, and the third highest Player 3. Then draft as follows --
- Player 1 -- one creature
- Player 2 -- one creature
- Player 3 -- two creatures
- Player 2 -- one creature
- Player 1 -- one creature
Repeat (starting with Player 1) until all creatures have been chosen. Build warbands as explained above.
Play on the Dragonshrine map. The Start and Victory Areas change as follows --
Side A: Side A's start area is moved to the Electricity Shrine (originally a Victory Area for Side B). Use the outline of that victory area as the outline for the new start area. Side A's victory areas remain the same as printed on the map.
Side B: Side B's start area remains the same. Its Victory Areas are the common Victory Area before the statue of Tiamat and the area outlined around the Fire Shrine (originally a Start Area for Side A).
Side C: Side C's start areas are the two victory areas to either side of the (huge) Tiamat statue, opposite the exit area. Its Victory Areas are the Cold and Electricity Blessing areas (which are doubling in this scenario as Sides A and B's start areas as noted above). The shared victory area in the Sacred Circle is also a Victory Area for C.
Exit Area: The area labeled "Exit A&B" serves as all three sides' exit areas.
Seating and Initiative: Players seat themselves clockwise in the order A-B-C. Each player rolls for initiative normally. The high roller chooses which player takes the first turn in the round, then play proceeds clockwise around the battlemat.
Scoring: Victory Areas are scored as normal. Points for eliminated creatures, however, are handled differently. The points for creatures from warband B are awarded to player A, regardless of who destroyed the creature. Likewise, points for player C's creatures and awarded to player B, and points for player A's creatures are awarded to player C. Be careful when striking back at the creature that's attacking you!
About the Author
Jason Sallay (aka Foxman) lives in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) with his wife Carolyn and two young boys. He first started playing D&D in 1987 and hasn't stopped since. He works in the IT industry in desktop support. Jason originally started collecting D&D Miniatures for his tabletop game and then began playing the D&D Miniatures game "to get more use out of them."