Since the first days of the D&D Miniatures game, Sealed play has been a favorite of many players, and prerelease tournaments have guaranteed a day of fun for seasoned skirmishers, casual players, and collectors alike. While we're not able to sponsor prerelease tournaments at this time, the DDM Guild is happy to support stores and players wishing to continue the tradition of cracking open two brand new boosters and building a warband that would never see play in any other format. Download our fact sheet for full details on running a Dangerous Delves Release Event.
Sealed Play in the New DDM Era
So, how does Sealed play work with the new DDM packaging scheme? In many ways, it's the same as it ever was. Players receive two boosters and build a 200-point warband, ignoring both faction and alignment restrictions. The Assault scenario is used, and players provide their own battle maps. Swiss rounds with a maximum of 60 minutes per round are played, and all players may participate in all Swiss rounds. Sounds familiar, eh?
Of course, given the changes to the distribution of D&D Miniatures, skirmish enthusiasts will need to prepare a bit more to play in a Dangerous Delves Release Event. First, players need to bring complete print-outs of the Dangerous Delves stat cards (available for free download from the DDM Guild website). Black-and-white printing is fine.
Also available from the Guild's website and legal for use in Sealed play areTreasure Trove item stat cards. Item stat cards? What are those? As the name implies, item stat cards represent equipment and magic items that creatures may be packing when they show up for a rumble on the battle map. Technically speaking, item stat cards allow a player more choices and may be needed to fill out a warband to 200 points. See the 2009 D&D Miniatures Game Battle Rules for full details on using item stat cards. Both the Battle Rules and Treasure Trove cards are available for free download from the DDM Guild website, or you can get the Treasure Trove cards here.
Advice on Running an Event
If you're a player who wants to play in a Dangerous Delves Release Event, you have a couple of options. You can print out the fact sheet and talk to the owner of your friendly local gaming store. Or, if you're at least 18 years of age, you can find a public place to play and host an event yourself. See the Guild's article on Organizing DCI-Sanctioned DDM Tournaments for complete information on sanctioning an event. The fact sheet should answer any other questions.
As a TO (tournament organizer), whether you're a store owner or a miniatures enthusiast, you'll need to find at least four players in order for your event to be sanctioned. Don't just look for skirmishers to participate. Collectors may enjoy the chance to put their purchases to use before taking that honored place on the shelf. RPG players can learn the fundamentals of 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons combat and tactics. Casual players will have the opportunity to field wacky combinations of figures not possible in any other format. All in all, push the idea that participating in a release event means that players get more from their minis -- and who can resist a bargain?
Finally, there is the matter of prizes. In the past, specially repainted minis have been quite a draw for participation in prereleases. While the Guild isn't in a position to offer such custom minis, we would refer you to our monthly DDM Guild Repaint articles. Megan Smith's clear instructions will guide even a novice artist through the process of creating a special memento for all participants.
In addition, we recommend that store owners consider kicking in some boosters for prizes. Individual store owners will need to do the math regarding price of admission, but the prospect of walking home with additional minis is a draw for many players. In our experience, a prize draft often works best. At the end of the tournament, crack open a few boosters, spread out the minis on a table, and allow players to pick one at a time, lining up in order of the final standings.
Celebrate the Release of Dangerous Delves
There is no DDM play quite like Sealed DDM play. For many of us, the release event tradition has been a time for seeing old friends, smelling fresh plastic, rolling dice, and having a grand old time. The DDM Guild is happy to support this tradition in this new era of D&D Miniatures. Discuss this article and let us know whether you'll be playing in a Dangerous Delves Release Event (and where)!
About the Author
Jim Ansaldo has been playing D&D for thirty years and has been a D&D Miniatures skirmish enthusiast since Harbinger. In the past, Jim has worked as a freelance designer for Wizards of the Coast, updating D&D Miniatures sets -- including Dragoneye, Giants of Legend, and Underdark -- to align with the current rules. Jim currently serves the DDM Guild as Chapter Lead and is hard at work designing official skirmish stats for this summer's Monster Manual: Legendary Evils release.