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- Game: Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game and Booster Pack
- Manufacturer: Wizards of the Coast
Game Review: Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game and Booster Pack
A throwback to simpler days of D&D
By Tim Janson
August 09, 2008
Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game and Booster Pack
Back in the day, Advanced Dungeons & Dragon players got along just fine with three books: The Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide. Hardcover supplements were few and far between. If you wanted new monsters, you used the ones presented in Dungeon Magazine or, Heaven forbid, you used your imagination and made your own. Today, Wizard’s of the Coast puts out a couple of new hardcover supplements a month. Sure they are optional, usually, but they also know there are scores of fanatics out there who MUST have everything. What began as a relatively simple game evolved into an overly complex grind where a rule had to be in place for everything. As the game moved into 2nd, 3rd, and now 4th editions (causing players to start all over again!) it became bogged down with feats and skills, and character kits and maybe you could actually get around to playing a game once the arduous character creation was completed.
This all leads us to the Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures Game, a melting pot of old-style RPG, miniatures play, and collectible card game rules. In many ways, the Miniatures Game takes one back to those simpler days of AD&D where you could introduce a new player in a few minutes, have a character created, and be off exploring your first dungeon. The quick start rules are exactly that. You can be playing in a matter of minutes by selecting a miniature, its corresponding stat card, and rolling the 20-sided die. Swift and simple, even younger players will have little trouble grasping the basics. The stat cards provide the characters level, Armor class, speed, attack actions, and abilities with some of the other stats coming into play once you move on to the full battle rules. The quick start is merely an introduction and you’ll want to move onto the full rules to fully experience the game’s depth.
The developers have done a super job packing a lot of info onto the stat cards. It’s truly like a mini-version of a character record sheet. The full rules will utilize alignment as well as a cost to add figures to a “warband” for group fighting. Characters will also have special powers which can modify attacks or defenses. Certain characters also have a champion rating. These champions can influence other members of the warband by increasing the party’s attack ininiative and they also have one or more special powers. The miniatures themselves list the symbol for what set ite belongs to, the miniatures order number in that set, and the number of total miniatures in the set. It also has an icon designating whether it is common, uncommon, or rare.
The starter set comes with five miniatures, stat cards, 48-page rule book, 2 double-sided battle maps, 20-sided die, and damage counters. The Against The Giants Booster packs come with 1 huge, and 7 standard size random miniatures. The game is fun and surprisingly detailed without succumbing to endless rules. Of course, it is a battle game and doesn’t have the traditional RPG style play so you are sacrificing that aspect. Collectible card games aren’t where they were ten years in terms of popularity and it might be a tough sell for Wizards to expect people to shell out $22 for booster packs, especially if they end up with lots of duplicate miniatures.