The Art of Warbands
No Brainer
By Bill W. Baldwin

No Brainer
1x Dread Guard
1x Mind Flayer
1x Thayan Knight
7x Warrior Skeleton
Rubble Assembly Tile
Abattoir
Corridor
Treasure Room

Lawful Evil is strong on defense with plenty of special abilities, but it's slow and relatively weak in offensive capability. This means its most effective warbands rely on synergistic use of LE's wide choice of special abilities. One 100-point Warband that exemplifies this is No Brainer.

Setup

Place the Abattoir near the center of the board but slightly closer to your starting tile. If possible, this is where you want the majority of the fighting to occur. If your opponent has ranged attackers, place your other tiles to block line of sight and provide cover to your creatures as they advance. If your opponent is fielding a warband based on heavy melee figures, place the tiles in his area to slow down his advance and cause congestion. Forcing your opponent into a single, tightly packed area is your goal.

Set up most of your creatures on the outside rubble of the assembly tile. If your opponent is using archers or no ranged attackers, place the Thayan Knight closest to the enemy. The knight's high AC, hit points, and Arrow Catching Shield will minimize the effectiveness of enemy archers. Against fire and cold-using spellcasters, put the Dread Guard out front. Otherwise, you want to lead with the Warrior Skeletons, sacrificing them to avoid damage to your more important creatures.

Always keep the Thayan Knight adjacent to the Mind Flayer. This makes it easier for the Thayan Knight to defend your commander and prevents ranged attacks against the Mind Flayer.

Tactics

Your slow speed is your weakness. If your opponent has many ranged attackers, you must use cover as much as possible. Move as a group -- unless your opponent has area effect attacks. Use your faster Warrior Skeletons as screeners if necessary. If by moving ahead, the skeletons can force your enemy to bunch up in a narrow area while the Thayan Knight and Dread Guard catch up, it will be worth the sacrifice of skeletons.

Your ultimate goal is to move the Mind Flayer into a position to start using its Mind Blast on groups of opposing creatures. Because all of your troops are immune to the Mind Blast (except for the Thayan Knight, who saves against it 75% of the time), your troops can concentrate and attack with impunity while your enemy is forced to spread his forces thin to avoid the Mind Flayer's blasts. Your strategy relies heavily on the Mind Flayer's Mind Blast, so it is vital that you protect that figure. If you can focus the fight on the Abattoir, you increase your offensive capabilities with minimum benefit to your opponent.

Important things to remember are:

  • Stunned opponents are easier to hit and cannot make attacks of opportunity. Use this advantage to maneuver your troops into flanking positions. Even a Warrior Skeleton has a fair chance of hitting a stunned, flanked opponent.
  • Stunned commanders cannot put creatures under command. Keeping your opponent's commander(s) stunned severely limits the maneuverability of his troops and makes them very vulnerable to the Mind Flayer's commander effect when forced to make morale saves. Because of this, forcing a creature to make a morale save is usually better than killing a different one outright.
  • Your Dread Guard is destroyed if the Mind Flayer is destroyed, so never hesitate to sacrifice the Dread Guard to save the Mind Flayer.
  • The Thayan Knight and Dread Guard are your primary sources of attack. While they are not as powerful offensively as other heavy hitters, their durability combined with the constant disruption of the Mind Flayer's stunning Mind Blast should keep most opponents off balance long enough for these two to chew up the enemy. Concentrate on forcing tougher opponents to make morale saves when within the commander effect of the Mind Flayer and while the enemy commanders are stunned.

Strengths:No Brainer is strong against slow-moving opponents, those with weak saves, and those that rely heavily on their commander effect in melee.

Weaknesses:No Brainer is weakest against warbands with high-saving throw creatures, a large number of ranged attackers and area effect attacks (though it does have some resistance, especially to cold). It is especially vulnerable to creatures that are immune to stun, such as undead, constructs, elementals, and plants.

Variations

  • To increase the defensive ability of this band, replace the seven Warrior Skeletons with five Skeletons.
  • To increase the speed of this warband, replace the Thayan Knight and Dread Guard with a Wraith and Wight (this variant is known as Brain Dead).
  • To gain total immunity to the Mind Flayer's Mind Blast, replace the Thayan Knight with a Shambling Mound, or the Thayan Knight and a Warrior Skeleton with a Mummy. You will need to deal with both of these creatures being out-of-command difficults. This is not a big issue with the Mummy because it is slow anyway, and it does not worry about morale saves or turning. Because this band is very slow, you might experiment with replacing some of the Warrior Skeletons with hardy Zombies.
  • To increase this warband's ability to deal with a large number of weak opponents, replace the Dread Guard with a Medium Water Elemental.

Copy and paste the following into our Warband Generator.
100,No Brainer,3,12,10,50,118,171,183,183,183,183,183,183,183,4,1,2,5,8,''
Or launch No Brainer in our online Warband Generator.

About the Author

Bill W. Baldwin lives on the Space Coast of Florida with his gaming family of a wife, two daughters, and assorted pets. He started playing D&D in 1974 and was a wargamer and miniatures gamer even before that. Bill has been published in Dragon Magazine and does freelance work for Wizards of the Coast.


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