One of the more interesting GenCon news was the new D&D miniatures line. This product seems to be designed specifically for roleplayers (long-awaited themed sets +larger tiles), but includes a game of it's own. The game is diceless but uses cards; No-one knows yet how will the game be, but description has similarities with the awarded Memoir '44. The game may also give hints of what will be in 5E
Let's look at the info given in GenCon:
"Next year they’re going to release non-collectible miniatures in themes (drow, goblins) in sets of 12, including some large. Also a miniatures game on top of this. A board game using these war bands of miniatures."
Wonderful news for roleplayers. Old miniature collectors may also find pearls among these, but are forced to buy full sets.
"Each set comes with miniatures and creature cards for the set, but also some command cards."
Please get rid of card per mini -mentality, this is a great opportunity for it!
"The open playtest is a new thing for them."
Whee, we can play before it's official! It was also mentioned that "Playtest is not DDI-only"
"Tiles are 8 by 8, can be used with D&D."
This is excellent news. Sounds like modular battlegrounds, which feels really good for rpg purposes too. Possibilities are huge, think of tiles with different -color backgrounds - one for exterior terrain, one for interior, one for caves etc. For rpg purposes, some much larger tiles or base maps could be made.
If the game will be really a good one, I'd be willing to get into it. As an old D&DM player who has been collecting from beginning, I'd appreciate being able to buy map/card packs only - I really do have a good amount of miniatures. If I can use majority of them, I might buy some new ones too, but I don't think many old DDM-gamers will jump in if they don't have a chance to use their own minis without buying loads of new ones.
I'd love the units to be a bit simplified. Like I mentioned above, I'd love to get rid of card per mini -mentality. Double-sized faction -cards giving race-specific special abilities and possibly some specialties would be enough - Command cards could do a lot of needed work. 5-6 base roles for each race could be base on which to start. For example, drow could have a fighter, rogue, wizard, cleric, cavalry plus something race-specific. Most would be fighters (or warriors). And in addition to group cards, we'll have unique hero cards.
Action cards - First thing that comes to my mind is what I've heard of Memoir '44. While I haven't played the game myself, I've heard of the mechanic which sounds like a good fit for what WotC is doing. I could think of a card telling up to 3 warriors to move their speed and attack. I've heard a lot of good of that game and it has got a bunch of awards, so this wouldn't be a bad thing.
Attacks and damage: There will be no dice, so I believe attacks will work by special attack cards or combination attacks, there you try to reach target's defense by a combined attack.
Conditions will be in, but perhaps their number is reduced. I can't help but compare to Savage Worlds, which has excellent mechanics for this: Shaken. A character becomes shaken from one hit, practically stunned. A second or a harder hit eliminates it, and this condition is easy to mark by knocking the miniature prone. Of course, various tokens can be used to mark different conditions.
How about at-wills, encounters, dailies? You're likely to have a deck of cards with these classifications, unless WotC has decided the mechanic is bad. Perhaps at-wills are shuffled to the deck when you run out of cards, encounters can only be used 1/round and dailies have even worse restrictions? Stances allow interesting ongoing effects.
Another interesting thing about this game is that it may have hints of 5E will be. When Star Wars miniatures came out, they had elements of Saga edition. But we might never know this, or at least before 5E hits the shelves!
Do you have speculations of your own what the game will be, or perhaps some actual information?
Complete D&D seminar notes:
Distilled to the minis-related parts:http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75866/28101937/New_WotC_Mini...
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