D&D Game Day takes place later this summer, on July 21. This year, the event celebrates Dungeon Command. Designed for two or more players, this head-to-head skirmish game will have strategists assembling war bands, taking to the battlefield of their choice, and attempting to crush the enemy!
In these preview articles, Peter Lee—one of the designers behind this latest tactical miniatures game for Dungeons & Dragons—takes us through the workings of the game. You can also always download the rulebook for a complete look at the game:
Taking on the role of a character is one of the most important aspects of Dungeons & Dragons. This is the core of the roleplaying game, after all. In our D&D board games, I try to maintain this core. Adventure System games like Castle Ravenloft, for example, are just a stone throw away from the RPG—and with them, you still take on the role of a hero. Lords of Waterdeep has you taking on the role of one of the titular Lords. These are the elements of the world that you associate with—they are your proxy in the D&D universe.
For Dungeon Command, you take on the role of a Commander of a warband of creatures. Each faction pack contains two Commanders. Let’s take a closer look at Valnar Trueblade, one of the Commanders in the Heart of Cormyr pack (click for a larger view).
Each Commander has a unique power. With Valnar, he grants your Creatures the ability to take a standard action to move. (Double moving is not normally an action you can take in Dungeon Command, although there are a few Order cards that also give this ability.)
As seen in previous articles, there are two types of cards in Dungeon Command: Creature cards and Order cards. Each turn, you can deploy Creatures from your hand. Valnar gives you a hand of 3 creatures. Valnar also gives you 4 Order cards at the start of the game. Below Valnar’s abilities is a short description of who he is and his flavor text.
On the right side of the Commander card is your Morale and Leadership track. The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent’s Morale to 0 or below; obviously, you want to keep your own Morale high. Each time you lose a Creature, you lose Morale equal to that Creature’s level. Your Leadership score indicates how many Creatures you can deploy. The sum of your Creatures’ levels must be equal to or less than your Leadership—you can’t deploy a Creature if it would send you over your Leadership value. Your Leadership goes up by 1 at the end of your turn, allowing warbands to grow throughout the game.
The Sting of Lolth faction pack features a pair of drow commanders, including Kalteros the Sellsword.
With a lower morale, he’s not able to control his mercenary troops as easily as Valnar. However, he packs a punch with the number of troops available: his starting Leadership is 9.
Also included this week is a gallery of all the miniatures you’ll find in Heart of Cormyr and Sting of Lolth. Enjoy!
Next week, co-designer Chris Dupuis will take over and take you through the steps on how to create your own warband!