New Official DDM Maps For Sale

(Quick update:  I didn’t realize what the Postal Order requirements were for International Shipments…I’ve ordered what I needed today to be able to ship the maps; all International orders placed today and tomorrow will go out Friday, July 29.  My apologies for the delay!  All US orders will ship same or next day)

Hey everyone, this is the post with links to buy the new official DDM maps (Pillars of Heaven and Pirate Cove).

For US folks, they are $9.99 shipped for 1 double-sided map, and $14.99 for 2 double-sided maps.  For International Shipments, it is $20.99 for 1 and $25.99 for 2.  For International Folks, if you need a bunch of maps let me know and I can quote a custom order.  At 5-10 maps it will probably be a much better deal to ship them to one person internationally and then distribute them from there (First Class International is around $25 up to 4 lbs…which is a LOT of maps!)  The Paypal link will work whether you have a Paypal account or not.

These maps were part of a design contest run by DDM Guild back in 2015.  The map designs are Alepup’s Pillars of Heaven and Ira Fay’s Pirate Cove.  The artists producing the maps are Jason Engle for Pirate Cove and Tom Gale for Pillars of Heaven.  Coordinating the project requires a huge thank you to Ira Fay, as it was a lengthy and in-depth process and my first taste of actually producing a game accessory.

Please note these maps contain a unique design in that each map can be paired with another copy of itself to create a double-sized map (see all the artwork at the end of the post), which is why we are offering these in a two-pack.  A side bonus is that Pirate Cove will also double with another map you may have in your collection, Monster Lair (not available through this listing).

Please note these maps are more durable than the original DDM maps.  They are 22″x17″ and were produced on 100lb Gloss Cover stock, which is noticeably heavier than the older maps.  If you like them, I hope you’ll spread the word!

Thanks, y’all, you can reach me at with any questions.


Pillars of Heaven

Pillars of Heaven

Pirate Cove

Pirate Cove

Pirate Cove Doubled

Pirate Cove Doubled

Pirate Cove/Monster Lair

Pirate Cove/Monster Lair

Pillars of Heaven Doubled 1

Pillars of Heaven Doubled 1

Pillars of Heaven Doubled 2

Pillars of Heaven Doubled 2


Christmastime Updates, HO HO HO

I don’t expect anyone to still be reading at this point, and that’s OK, I know I’ve been away far too long.  I did however want to update folks who may come here now and again.   While I do have gaming ADHD, no I’ve not given up on minis, and I am still buying and selling them regularly, though pickings have been pretty slim for the last couple of months.  Booster case prices are now beyond my reach.  The good news is the interest in D&D minis is still very high, and their resale capacity is excellent.  Last year at this time, many sets of minis were going for 80% of what they are today. (Though some of that could be general economic improvement)

My main announcement is that I am working to hire an Indian programmer this month as a test.  I am going to hire him for 1 month to work on the Minis site I have mentioned a few times (Assuming all goes well it will be live at (I also bought and, not sure which will be best for SEO yet).  If great progress is done in 30 days (the minimum length of hire) I’ll keep him employed until the site is done (2-3 months I’m guessing).  With luck, it will be the go to place for all things OE DDM.  Anyone who has any feature requests that they always thought a minis site should have, let me know and I’ll look at putting it in the specification documents I’m writing.

My core features will be a combination of Dracosaur search and the old Maxminis trading site (Collection tracker with have/want list with auto-matching of different folks lists), with the back-end of the site being a permanent copy of the Bifur OEDDM database in web-friendly format.  It will also include many of the features that make Bifur so amazing, including it’s great sorting capabilities as well as warband building.  I’ve talked to the folks who upkeep Bifur and they’ve given approval for me to basically design the site around the Bifur core.  I have a designer friend I hope to have help with the aesthetics as that will be the weak spot starting off.  (Basically, the guy I hire will either be a database guy to help build the site or a designer to make it look pretty…and getting it running is definitely more important at this stage)

I’m very excited that things have slowed down to where I can put some hours into making a reality.  Though it’s mainly only slow because I’m giving up video-gaming time to do it!  My family and I are about to move into the house in the country I mentioned back in August.  We’ve been rehabbing it for about 2 months now and I’m glad its almost done…it’ll be a little stressful but I told my wife I really wanted to be there for Christmas.  Just the thought of taking a peaceful walk on our own land with no one else around is thrilling.

Anyhow, I hope everyone has a great Christmas, Hanukkah or random atheist celebration of their choice!=)

Quick Update: Hobbies for Free, Completed 1 Goal, Moving to the Country

king snurre miniCollectible and miniatures games (and especially collectible miniatures games!) are great hobbies to be in if you want a chance to make some money while you play.  As minis and games can be very expensive, defraying the cost of playing will often keep your wife from kicking you out of the house.  While I still don’t have a complete set of D&D minis (my main goal), this past Friday I did complete one of my sub-goals:  I broke even on my collection.

The stats: 

I started collecting again in January, and have spent $17,868 on minis since then. During that same time period, I sold $17,962 worth of minis, or a net positive of around $94.00.  I still need to sell about $150 more and I will have broken even including all the maps and stat card lots I bought as well.  I’ve conducted approximately 525 trades, buys and sells.  According to my records (which may not be completely accurate, but I am hoping is close) I should have around 3,659 minis left in my collection.  Of those, I think at least 800 are rare (as I’ve sold mostly commons/uncommons).  I’ve completed 3 sets (War Drums, Aberrations, Blood War) and am missing less than 5 minis each for another 10 sets or.  I have around 120 sealed boosters, including a sealed Harbinger starter and 3 sealed Harbinger boosters, 3 sealed Archfiends boosters, a full case of Giants of Legend and a partial case of Against the Giants.

I think that’s a pretty good way to conduct a hobby!

What are my goals going forward?

The first thing I am going to do is take a full inventory, and see how close I am to having 3,659 minis, which is what my records show.  If I am even close (3000+ minis), I will be very happy.  If I do have that many minis, I’ll have a collection worth around $12,000 or so at eBay sales values (In business terms, that would be a return of around 67% on my investment).  Normally a collection this size wouldn’t be worth quite that much, but because it is rare-heavy with lots of sealed boosters I think that’s probably right.  At 10 minutes per transaction, my estimated time invested into the project is at least 83 hours.  If if this were a job, my pay rate based on my remaining minis would be $144/hour (though it would take me another 50 hours or so if I actually wanted to sell the rest of the minis, so my net pay would be closer to $90/hr).

After I take a full inventory, I will do a complete update of my have/want/need lists and start filling out the last bits of the collection.king snurre

Once that is done, I’ll start spending much of the time I used to spend on trading, buying and selling, and put it into my other minis projects, including the trading/database website and the new campaign I am working on.

The Game Room

My wife and I are currently closing on a beautiful house with 36 acres in the country about an hour from where we currently live.  Once that’s complete, my first order of business will be to build a warehouse on it.  My original plan was to build a 10,000 square foot building, however due to the need of it being done quickly, it’ll likely be a smaller 5,000-6,000 square foot facility.  With the amount of acreage we’ll have, we can always build another in the future if we need to.  I plan on setting aside 1200 square feet for a game room/homeschooling area where we will display the entire collection in all it’s glory!=)  I always feel a little sad that my minis all live in totes, bins, and boxes, when they should be free to be admired and chewed on by small children!

The Sad Illithid, OP Green Slaad, Collecting Update, New Map (!), and Playing With Friends, now with more Babies!

shuluthHi everyone!  Yes, I’ve been incredibly neglectful of this website, but I am still here, and actually playing more DDM than ever (now with a friend!) so I thought I’d give an update!  My wife had our third daughter Astrid on June 10; our online business will be pushing more than a million bucks this year in sales, with our first two quarters being about double what we did last year.  So things are a little crazy!  I hired a full-time employee at the warehouse to help me get things under control, but that’s just about got me back to working 55 hours a week instead of 70.=)  But I won’t bore too much with the personal stuff!

Sad Illithid

I’ve always liked D&D Mind Flayers (Illithid); I think Shuluth, Archvillain is the best looking available of the 5 I think they made for DDM.  It’s disappointing they never made any headway in competitive play.  I wonder if the challenge is their Stun Cones and whether WoTC thought it important to balance a potentially huge ability with an extra-high point cost?  That, combined with their difficult to implement (though often pretty powerful) secondary ability (usually attached to a Rend with their melee attacks) simply makes them too challenging to run?  I’d love to hear folks opinions and whether they’ve ever tried Mind Flayers in a warband.  Looking them over, it seems the Mind Flayer Lich from Night Below might be the one to try due to the undead traits, making him a bit more durable than the rest.  At a DC 18 Cone Stun, he has a good chance of of incapacitating a couple of units, and his dual empowered Magic Missile and Melf’s Acid Arrow means he’s not completely useless during the turns he tries to set up for a great cone.  Still, at 63 points, he better get multiple stuns off or he’s going to get chopped up!

Playing With Friends

So my new employee (an old friend) actually plays DDM!  Yay!  We’ve been playing once a week during lunch on Friday’s, and it’s been really great.  We’ve been using the sealed cases I’ve picked up to do sealed booster warbands like I originally did in my early blog skirmishes.  This past week we both used 2 packs each of Blood War.  I ended up with one of my favorite pieces in all of DDM, the Horned Devil, as well as Thundertusk Cavalry, also a pretty beastly piece (who also brings up a rules question, see below).  Eric ended up with Lillend and Kolyarut, who I consider to be pretty average.  Free League Ranger was commander for both of us, though I also had a Harmonium Guard as well.  I was pretty confident going in, as I figured Lillend would be similar to the Guardian Naga and other’s in the ‘utility-style’ mid-high point creatures.  I thought that while the Devil doesn’t put out as much damage as most titans, he would be very hard to take down, especially with the Harmonium Guard boosting him to AC 26 for much of the game, and his Stun did prevent a couple of big creatures from taking a turn.  However, it ended up there were several rolls where I could have lost the game instantly had I missed.

It was the closest battle we’ve had yet, and it ended something like 220-180, with the Horned Devil just barely ruling the day.  However, I will say the scariest piece on the field to play against for me was the Green Slaad.  A cone that makes one roll automatic morale saves has to be one of the most ridiculously brutal powers in the game!  With the way the board ended up, it was going to be very challenging for the other side to kill or even make the Horned Devil make a morale save.  Yet a 35-40% chance to make the outsider rout when he rolled the ability on the Slaad was crazy (luckily Eric chose to use the cones on other easier-to-rout creatures instead of trying to insta-win by making the Devil rout).  Of the Slaad’s 5 spell activations, he ended up with 2 Fear Cones, 2 Fireballs (Was very glad the Devil has immune fire!) and a Skein of Shadow’s.  Combined with Lillend’s spell to automatically Rally creatures in her warband (used twice, once on the Free League Ranger and once on the Slaad), the game was heavily about morale checks!  To make matters worse, Lillend managed to get a successful Beguile off on my Thundertusk, who happened to be sitting next to my Free League Ranger, and he died instantly to 2 20-damage attacks from the Big Boar.

For Ira or any other rules loving folk, my rules question for the day is regarding the Thundertusk.  Can he make 3 attacks per turn between a full attack and mounted melee attack?  Does MMA work separate from his standard move action?  It didn’t say so explicitly so I don’t know how or whether the ability replaces his moves and/or attacks.

New Map

A very exciting announcement is that IraFay and I have been working to get a new (official!) DDM map created!  Ira did the design for one of the maps (and it’s awesome!), and the backside was designed by another member of DDM Guild.  We’re commissioning one of the old DDM artists to do the actual artwork, and we are getting very close to putting it into production!  We hope to have it all wrapped up by the end of July, but it may be in August sometime.  I hope folks will consider buying one or two of the maps (2 because the maps interlock to form an even bigger map!)…we’re doing this out of our own pocket for the love of this game.  If we can even recoup half our costs, we’ll probably start work on another map or something else cool DDM-related pretty quickly!  Playing some real games has rekindled even more my desire to expand the game, so I’m excited to see the final product.shuluth card

Collecting Update

I now have about 95% of my collection done.  However, being so busy I haven’t been able to figure out exactly what I do and don’t have.  I am down to about $1100 for the cost of my whole collection (about $.31 per mini right now with about 4000 minis in hand; total spend is about $18000).  I expect to break even in 4-6 weeks or so.  When that happens I’m going to put all my mini buying and selling on hold and do a complete inventory and will do a full update of my collecting pages here on the blog.  I think it’s pretty neat that I should have about a 3000-piece collection with 0 out of pocket cost. (Though probably 200 hours worth of time sorting, selling and shipping minis!)  I’ve also picked up some groovy odds and ends, including a mint sealed Harbinger Starter and Booster (these 2 came with a sealed War Drums Starter as well, all for about $54!), as well as most of the maps and a dozen original tiles or so.

Alright, I think that about covers it!  One of these days I’ll start doing some skirmish coverage of my weekly games so folks can get a glimpse of some OEDDM in action!  We’re not much good, but we enjoy ourselves immensely.=)

Thanks y’all!

Update Thursday: Still Here, Collection Grooves, New Website Ahoy

Hey everyone, it’s been a week and just wanted to let y’all know I’m still here…and working a number of cool minis projects.  As I’m super-ADHD I am usually doing bits and pieces of several things.

I’ll have a big update of my trade list tomorrow; I’m thinking of adding a sales price column as well as I’m getting close to completing my Collecting Goal 1 (any pricing will definitely be lower than both eBay and CSI…for ease I’m thinking of just doing CSI – 20%, as I use their values for trades as well).  I think I’m only about 40 minis shy of having all of the first 14 sets.  I’ve got a couple of big trades in the mail with folks as well, so that will bring that number down a bit more.  Anyhow, check out my rares list tomorrow if you need anything, it’s almost at 150 rares or so.  I’ll update my Collecting Goal page as well.

The bigger project I’m working on is the design of a new DDM website (other than this one!).  I’ve mentioned it before, but I currently have 3 pages done on the design specifications for the most complete DDM site on the net.  My goal is to make a permanent repository for all things DDM.  Too many sites have gone dark, and it’s too hard to find current versions of things like the Vassal mods for DDM or the Bifur database.  On one site, I will have the best have/want list and trade tools available for collectors, a full database of all pre-painted minis (including both versions of DDM stat cards), full search functionality, warband builder, etc.  I know I’m not reinventing the wheel with any of that, but the benefit is it will all be in one place.  Plus, I am going to pre-pay the domain for as long as Godaddy will let me.  I purchased my main business name for 10 years, so it’ll be at least that long.  Even if I quit playing DDM or die or something, the site will never go away, and I hope that provides some incentive for folks to be active on it.  I also plan on having some features that will might make it fun to come by for a few minutes a day, like a ‘mini of the day’ section and a warband rating tool.  Basically, a social networking DDM site.=)

Anyone who wants to be involved with the new site, please let me know, as its definitely a big job for just one dude.  (though I’ll certainly do my best if I can’t find any help!)  I’ll need help pulling documents from WoTC’s site, keeping the site updated with the newest minis released, uploading DDM Guild stat cards, that type of thing.

I’m also stuck on what type of accessory I am going to try to create first for DDM.  I have a couple of ideas kicking around, but I’m not sure which to pursue.  On one hand I’m thinking about doing a solo/duo module/intro to DDM kit.  Basically, it would be a kit with 4 maps, 24 minis, and about 5 scenarios that can be played both solo (hey, I do it, others can too!) or against a ‘DM’.  It wouldn’t be cheap due to the minis (I’d probably include 3 boosters worth, so 3 rares, 9 uncommons and 12 commons or so from across all sets), so I’d probably offer a .pdf version as well for folks who already have a bazillion minis.

Another thought I had was to do a ‘board game’ style DDM accessory.  Think ‘Risk meets DDM’, where each player would take turns recruiting, enhancing their warbands, and fighting over territory.  I got the idea from the old Eternal Campaign that used to run on Plasticrypt, and it’s the type of game that really appeals to me personally.  Each kit would have country/land tiles, item cards, minis, and maps as well as a full rulebook.

The first is probably less manpower intensive and something I could get done more quickly, while the 2nd idea might have more appeal to skirmish gamers but would take a lot more in terms of playtesting and designing.  I’d love to hear folks thoughts on either, and again, I’m all for accepting help from anyone who likes either idea and would like to work on it with me.  Plus, as I’ll only be able to use OGL or personally created monsters in the material, I’ll have to come up with a bunch of new stat cards as well (including a new design).  I already did a query of the OGL vs. DDM and there’s about 350 OE crossover creatures.  For example, a Large Gold Dragon would be a creature I could use in either accessory under the OGL, but not a Beholder.

Also, as an FYI, it’s only getting busier for me from here on, though I plan to keep folks updated as I can, and I always make it a point to do something DDM related every day.  I have another baby girl on the way in June (yay!), so most of the Summer will be spent without sleep.=)  My wife and I are also looking to buy a larger house to make room for the expanding family, so that will take up a bunch of time.  However, at the end of the day that will also help with all of my gaming projects as we are going to build a new warehouse for our business on the property.  As part of the warehouse, my wife and I are going to build out a huge gaming space (2-3000 square feet) that can be used for displaying all our gaming stuff, homeschooling my girls, and giving the local role-playing and board-gaming folks a great place to play and meet, etc.

My goal is to eventually phase out/sell my current business and become much more involved in raising my girls and gaming.  This blog (not that its much!) has really done a lot in making me think about where I want to be 5 years from now.  And while I love my business, it’s been an exhausting five years running it.  I haven’t been on a vacation in all that time, I work all but about 15 days a year and when I slow down some days I’m just bone tired.  My wife and I live very frugally, so the plan is to make enough to pay off all our debts including our mortgages, sock a bit away after that, and then semi-retire.  We’ll run a little e-commerce business on the side, rent our current house, open up a game store, and (with the Good Lord’s Blessing) enjoy the fruits of 10 years of hard labor.

Anyhow, it’s approaching Midnight, I know I should probably wait until tomorrow to post this as it probably comes off way too stream-of-consciousness, but so be it!=)

Sealed Warband 5: Feeling Blue (Deathknell Boosters x 2, 200 points)


Hiss, Hiss!

I loved the Couatl back when I originally played.  It is one of the prettier minis in the DDM line.  Like many commanders (such as Cleric of Sune and Guardian Naga in our previous warbands) in the 40-50 point range, the Couatl brings a lot of utility to the table, if not much damage.  His Commander 0 is really bad, and will often cost the team some important rolls. In this upcoming matchup however (Feeling Blue vs. Lightning Arms), Couatl’s commander effect becomes very relevant (Followers gain Resist 10 Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, Sonic); this hurts both the secondary hitters in Lightning Arms, the Bluespawn Stormlizard and the Red Hand War Sorcerer.  Her spell selection is good…for the first 2 rounds she casts, Snake’s Swiftness on the Skullcrusher Ogre will likely be the play.  Then she definitely needs to hit the Marilith with both uses of Empowered Lesser Sonic Orb, as it’s the warbands most reliable damage.  Legion’s Undeniable Gravity is often a wasted spell, and I wonder how many of Couatl’s 42 points they costed it at.

Feeling Blue has almost no magic damage (Catfolk Wilder’s 5 Magic Damage is underwhelming) and this is the first time we’ve really seen that in our sealed drafts.  Thus, killing the Marilith will be very challenging.  To make matters worse, the Large Blue Dragon’s breath weapon is Lightning and both the Stormlizard and Marilith are immune, so the Dragon might end up being a 68 point paperweight.  Flanking and picking off weaker members of Lightning Arms will more than likely be his play, though if that can even help secure a win remains to be seen.


Booster 1 Points Rarity Booster 2 Points Rarity
Large Blue Dragon 68 R Couatl 42 R
Skullcrusher Ogre 31 U Renegade Warlock 30 U
Grell 26 U Catfolk Wilder 28 U
Deathlock 12 U Soldier of Thrane 20 U
Dolgrim 10 C Deathlock 12 C
Celestial Dire Badger 9 C Kruthik Hatchling 10 C
Orc Savage 7 C Orc Savage 7 C
Bullywug Thug 4 C Skeletal Dwarf 6 C
Team Points
Large Blue Dragon 68
Couatl 42
Skullcrusher Ogre 31
Catfolk Wilder 28
Celestial Dire Badger 9
Orc Savage 7
Orc Savage 7
Skeletal Dwarf 4

Other Picks: I always want to like Renegade Warlock for his automatic damage, however at 30 points I wonder if he’ll get enough uses out of it to make him worth it.  Once he’s based he has to couatl stat cardtake an AOO to use his Eldritch Spear.  Even with Conceal 6 his low 45 HP will get chewed through pretty quickly by most creatures.  I decided to leave the Warlock out, and in that point range both the Catfolk Wilder and the Skullcrusher Ogre made the cut.  The Ogre is the best we have available for a 2nd tier bruiser, with respectable AC, HP and Attacks/Damage.  The Catfolk is the wildcard of this band.  In a couple of turns Mind Thrust can put out a LOT of damage if creatures fail their saves…however, I am tentative to use him because if a creature saves all damage is negated.

Everyone else is fodder, though if the Orc Savages can get a charge off and activate their Savage Frenzy, they can do still be a threat for low-point critters.

Prediction:  Without a reliable source of magic damage I don’t think Feeling Blue will be able to put out enough damage vs. the Marilith.  It may end up being like last match, with basically Marilith vs. 4 creatures at the end, with her tying up too many points to win via Victory Points, and too hard to kill.  My guess is Lightning Arms 200, Feeling Blue 140Feeling Blue definitely needs an open map to give the dragon some breathing room.  The Tomb map most battles have been fought on so far favors the Marilith team as it allows her to abuse the enemies inability to close by using fodder to block and her mobility to get off full attacks.

Friday Quickie, Links Page Update

Hey y’all.  Please note I added a Links page this week.  It will eventually contain links to every available point of interest in the Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures World.  Right now it links to the most important things.  As the Bifur Database (2nd link) is the best resource I can find for consolidated OE Material, I’m considering turning it into a full-blown webpage for ease-of-use purposes.  Right now it’s pretty easy to use, but it does require Microsoft Access.  I’m also considering commissioning a state-of-the-art Have/Want page, and combining Bifur with that.  Plus, I’d like to include current pricing info from one of the big web stores to enable easy trade valuing.  I know what I would love the web page to do, it’s a matter of writing it out so a 15-year old teenage programming prodigy in New Delhi understands it and makes it as cool as I envision it!

If anyone uses a have/want page at Maxminis or Hordelings or the like, and it’s possible to do a data download of your list, please send me a copy to  That way I can make sure the new page allows an upload so you wouldn’t have to re-enter all your data.  As the old DDM links slowly go dark, I’d like to make sure there is something like this working for you for the next 20 years or so.

Edit:  Also updated my rares list on my trade page.

D&D Minatures Sealed Match #3 Complete: Lightning Arms Shocks Team Underdark, Wins 200-166

naga vs lightning turn 1This game had less finesse than either of the prior two…it was a pure brawl from round 2.  I was definitely worried for team Lightning Arms having 73 points in one mini, however the Marilith ended up being a total house.  She was able to maneuver such that she could use her Enhanced Mobility, hit with her Melee Reach and  and yet still have fodder units protecting her.  She could also bypass both the passive defenses of DR 5 and Conceal 6 with her Magic Damage and Blindsight, allowing her to put out 150 damage over 3 rounds.  The Shadow Dragon put out a bit of damage, but it was too spread out.  He ended up taking a risk and Shadow Jumping to hit 5 units with his breath weapon, but almost everyone saved against both the breath weapon and the resulting morale save, which pretty much sealed the game and allowed the Marilith to do her thing.

The ‘Hard-to-Kill’ medal goes to the Greenspawn Sneak who placed himself in Victory Area B on setup.  He survived 3 rounds of attack from the Gnoll Claw Fighter (including a Pounce) and 2 from the Drow Enforcer.  Having so many attacks tied up by such a low-cost unit definitely hurt Team Underdark.  For 6 points with AC 19 the little draconic definitely pulled his weight.

Here’s the turn-by-turn:

Setup – Team Underdark won the map and placement rolls and were pretty confident going into the skirmish.  Setting up, they got their Darkmantle into Victory Area A, denying the Greenspawn Sneaks easy Turn 1 VP’s.

Turn 1: Lightning Arms:  6, Underdark:  0

A charging Darkmantle tragically misses with a charge against the Greenspawn Sneak in Victory Area B…the Sneak had better luck, hitting the Darkmantle twice for an early kill.

Turn 2:  Lightning Arms:  6, Underdark: 16naga vs lightning turn 2

A quick swoop by the Shadow Dragon slays the 2nd Greenspawn Sneak and TU ends up with early VP’s, as they seem to every game.  Lightning Arms was determined to keep everyone together to benefit from the Harmonium Guard’s AC Bonus Commander Effect.  They knew that would put them at heavy risk to a big Breath Weapon, but the thought was if the Dragon was close enough to blow he was close enough to kill.

Turn 3:  Lightning Arms:  6, Underdark: 26

The Bluespawn Stormlizard let out an underwhelming Lightning Bolt, with everyone it hit saving.  Still, he caught the Barghest, Shadow Dragon and naga vs lightning turn 3Drow Enforcer, for a total of 30 points of damage.  The next choice was the biggest decision of the game, and it took almost 5 minutes to make.  The Bluespawn decided to retreat and took 15 damage from an Attack of Opportunity in order to let the Marilith in for 6 attacks vs. the Barghest.  She hit 4 times for 40, though the Naga moved up and healed him for 30.   This sets the Shadow Dragon up for his Shadow Jump/Breath Weapon.  He does 50 damage total across 5 minis, but both the Bluespawn and War Sorcerer make their morale saves.  At this point, Underdark knows they’re in trouble, with both the Dragon and Barghest now at risk.  Looking back, I would have made the same call with the dragon and just hoped to hit even a couple creatures for full damage.

Turn 4:  Lightning Arms:  54, Underdark:  86

Lots of points put on the board this turn.  The Barghest kills the Hero of Valhalla.  The Marilith does 50 to the Shadow Dragon, and the Red Hand War Sorcerer finishes it off with a Lightning Bolt.  The Shadow Dragon and the Earth Mephit finally kill the Bluespawn.  And +10 VP’s for Team Underdark keeps them ahead.  However, with the dragon gone and the Barghest knowing he was next, the writing is on the wall.  There won’t be enough damage left on the board for Team Underdark after the next turn to be able to even force a Morale Check on the Marilith.  So the only hope is to clear everyone else and gather enough VP’s to maybe eke out a win.

Turn 5:  Lightning Arms:  102, Underdark: 102

The Marilith finishes off the Barghest.  Frustration continues as the Gnoll misses the Sneak for the 3rd round in a row, 6 total attacks, though the Drow Enforcer finally slays the little creature.  Red Hand War Sorcerer kills the Earth Mephit.  naga vs lightning turn 5

Turn 6:  Lightning Arms:  102, Underdark:  156

It still looks like Underdark is winning, but it never really feels like it.  The Marilith is an unstoppable force at this point, and is either going to wipe the little dudes from the Victory Area or run down the Naga.  The Naga kills the Red Hand, but that allows her in range of the Marilith, who hits for 50.

Turn 7:  Lightning Arms:  156, Underdark:  166

Marilith kills the Naga and a routing Deep Gnome.

Turn 8:  Lighting Arms:  200, Underdark 166

Overall this was a very fun, if not very dramatic, match.  Team Underdark were never able to put the Marilith in danger, while she was able to get off her full attack nearly every round.  I didn’t see much of a way around that for Underdark, as if she needed to she could’ve just cleared the Victory Areas and sat on them.  Her threat range with Enhanced Mobility and Melee Reach just seemed enormous.

Final Thoughts:  I felt I made fewer mistakes that game, and I was able to play a little quicker overall.  I still struggle with the first two turns of every game, and where I should put each piece to minimize the chance of an early kill by either team.  Lightning Bolt seems like a stronger spell for me now, as I used to always picture it as just a straight line down a vertical path.  However, now I understand I can use LOS and angles to catch quite a few creatures in it.  The Red Hand also managed one turn to hit the entire enemy team with a Snowball Swarm.  Granted it only did 5 damage per model, but that still equaled 35 total damage.  The Red Hand definitely was worth his point cost as he did 2nd highest damage in the game, only losing out to the Marilith.

Weekend Updates: an Army of Drow, a Barrel of Boosters, and Some New Projects

drow lotWow, what a weekend!

One thing to remember when buying on eBay is that while most folks put ‘lot, collection, D&D miniatures’ and some other search terms into their auctions, not everyone does.  I almost missed a HUGE opportunity by not searching ‘D&D miniatures ‘collection’ ‘ this week (which is usually a very ‘slow’ term, meaning there aren’t many lots advertised as ‘collections’).  As I was bidding on an auction yesterday evening, I was lucky to see a picture of a huge number of minis in one of the advertisements that show up at the bottom of a listing.  Most shocking of all, but this lot only had 2 hours left to go!  I usually track all the big lots, whether I am going to bid or not, from as soon as they show up (usually 7 or 10 days earlier), so it was amazing that I saw this one with only a couple hours to go.  If I wasn’t online bidding, I would have missed it.

The lot was for what must be the largest D&D Miniatures collection of Drow in the country, and maybe the world.  No joke, I’ll leave the list of minis from the auction at the bottom.  3 Champion of Eilistraee, including one bagged.  24 total Driders.  7 Large Deep Dragon (one of my favorite dragons)…4 more Drow Cleric of Lolth (putting me at 7!).  14 Mounted Drow Patrols!  The uncommons are just as crazy…50 Drow Fighters, 21 Drow Wizards!  I can’t imagine the time and effort it took to acquire this collection, my hat is off to the owner.  And these were just the D&D Minis…there were also 50 metal miniatures and dozens of Drow Sourcebooks, including another copy of Fane of the Drow (can never have too many maps!), 2 copies of the original Harbinger rulebooks, and a bunch of map tiles.  My wife says I have a man-crush on the owner, which I probably do.  One of the best parts is the seller has all the cards in binders, which I haven’t ended up with in many of the lots I’ve won.

While that would have been an amazing enough win for one weekend, I also won the largest booster auction I’ve seen yet on eBay.  My guess is it is the liquidation inventory of a game store.  106 total boosters, essentially 10 cases of miniatures or so, including 12 Giants of Legend Boosters, 6 Against the Giants, and 8 Lords of Madness.  Plus, just enough for me to play sealed with, are 2 Harbinger boosters.=)  I doubt they can stand up against the newer sets in terms of sealed, but it’s always fun to see what you get.  This will put me at 148 unopened boosters from 14 total sets.

I’ll work on updating my total costs and collecting page tomorrow.  I had gotten my cost per mini down to about $.81 (with about 2000 minis left) as I’ve sold about $5000 worth of minis or so, but this weekend will definitely bump it up back over $1.25 or so until I can figure out what I want to clear and what I want to keep.  I know I originally said I would only collect the Original Edition Sets, but as I’ve made so much progress in just 2 months, I think I’ve decided I will try to collect ALL the D&D minis instead, especially with a case each of Against the Giants and Lords of Madness to open!

One more announcement for tonight…I think I’ve decided to start designing accessories for D&D Miniatures Original Edition.  I’m going to commission some maps, create some scenarios, and basically create and sell some starter and adventure kits.  I don’t expect the market to be huge, and I may only sell a few, but I definitely want to be involved in DDM in a bigger way.  My goal is to someday fund the creation of a real PC client to play DDM.  I’ll definitely try to get some help via Kickstarter, and I’ll have to call my line of products something different due to Copyright, but with most of the OE monsters plus the rules being part of the OGL, I’ll have a lot to work with.  As Kickstarter backers like to see ‘other work’ folks have done, if I have some professional maps, kits, and other design credits, they’ll be more likely to think a project will be completed successfully.

It will definitely be slow going for a bit as I’m just one guy and my business is going gangbusters right now (not to mention I have twin one-year olds and another on the way!), but even that is an encouragement.  If I have 8-9 more years like I had this booster lotpast year, I’ll be able to retire in my early 50’s, sell or turn the business over to my girls, and start working more heavily on my passions, which mainly means gaming.  Of course, anything can happen, but I’m hopeful.  Maybe in another 8 years (more like ‘probably’ I think) the price of 3d printing will be so low that I will be able to run a miniature-production operation out of my own facilities…and just as likely, if you don’t want me to mail them, I will be able to simply sell you ‘schematics’ of the minis you want for a warband and you’ll be able to print them out yourself on your personal 3d printer…for less than the price of a booster today.  That may sound like wishful thinking, but the pace of technological change we are in for over the next 20 years is going to be beyond what we can comprehend today.  Large scale 3d manufacturing will be able to build anything from molecule size blood cells to skyscraper size buildings, at a fraction of the cost of conventional technology.

Anyhow, before I start boring you with talk of the singularity, I’m off to play a game of League of Legends before bed!

May your warbands always be victorious, warriors!

RARES:  (121)
Aspect of Lolth – x1 (bagged)
Blade Spider – x6
Champion of Eilistraee – x3 (1bagged)
Clawborn Scorrow – x5
Draegloth – x16
Draegloth Favored One – x3 (1 bagged)
Drider – x13 (8 bagged)
Drider Sorcerer – x11 (8 bagged)
Drow Arachnomancer – x9
Drow Cleric of Lolth – x4 (1 bagged)
Drow Demonbinder – x3 (1 red(bagged)/2 purple-promo)
Fiendish Monstrous Scorpion – x4 (1 bagged)
Large Deep Dragon – x7
Large Monstrous Spider – x6
Mounted Drow Patrol – x14 (2 bagged)
Ryld Argith – x1
Web Golem x2 (1bagged)
Xen’drix Champion – x12 (1 missing head)
Xen’drix Drow Stingblade – x1 (1 bagged)
Drider Fanglord – x5
Drow Adventurer – x9
Drow Arcane Guard – x50
Drow Archer – x16
Drow Enforcer – x24
Drow Fighter – x12
Drow Fighter – x38 (GoL)
Drow Rogue – x32
Drow Sergeant – x17
Drow Spiderguard – x1 (bagged)
Drow Spider Priestress – x46
Drow Wand Mage – x2
Drow Warrior – x30
Drow Wizard – x21
Huge Fiendish Spider – x9
Phaseweb Spider – x4 (2 bagged)
Scorpion Clan Drow Fighter – x33
Spiderbound Drow Warrior – x4 (1 bagged)
Swarm of Spiders – x21
COMMONS:  (314)
Deathjump Spider – x41 (37 bagged)
Demonweb Swarm – x17
Drow Assassin – x10 (7 bagged)
Drow Blademaster – x64 (1 bagged)
Lolthbound Goblin – x8 (8 bagged)
Lolth’s Sting – x130
Spider of Lolth – x44
Chitine – x12 (9 cards)
Ettercap – x20 (2 cards)
Ettercap Webspinner – x11
City of The Queen Miniatures (100% complete/unpainted)
Attack of the Drow Miniature Set (mostly assembled, Ranger missing 1 hand, 8 character cards & 2 tiles)
Menzoberranzan Miniatures (100% complete/unpainted)
Cadirith (sealed)
Labith Female Spider Demon – x3 (complete -loose is zip bags)
Dark Elf Queen/Throne – x6 (5 sealed)
Spider Centaur – x2 (1 sealed)
Giant Spider & Victims
SWARMS – Tarantulas (1 large – 9 small))
DUNGEON DECOR Bookshelves (2 bookshelves & 2 bodies)

Why I Love DDM, Episode 1

Large_Silver_DragonOne challenge to spending my time over at DDM Guild is the fact that most folks there play the Revised Edition of DDM almost exclusively, with only a couple of folks who said they play the occasional game of Original Edition.  I had to look at myself today and ask if the reason I won’t play DDM RE is because I’m stubborn, whether I really feel the OE game is better, or some other reason (As of this moment, I don’t have an answer).  As I was downloading some ancient DDM files from WoTC tonight, I ran across several old websites (and I only looked at a couple, though there were more than a few)…some had broken links, but some were still alive even after all these years.  Not alive in the sense they post new things like I do, but live in the fact that the site was still up.  And it struck me that in the 6 weeks I’ve been searching for old DDM sites, I haven’t found many sites that show the same kind of devotion to RE…in the same period of time I’ve stumbled across dozens and dozens of old Original Edition sites…I think its funny that the ‘official’ version of DDM is the same one that caused a large percentage of the player base to just stop playing, while the ‘popular’ version of DDM is relegated to 2nd tier status.

I won’t harp too much on that, you can read more of my craziness regarding DDM Guild, RE and OE over at DDM Guild if you like…what I really want to showcase in WILDDM (Why I Love DDM) each episode is an old website, what I think of it, and maybe talk about one or two of the posts.  I’ll do this as a filler type of article, as I think the sites can stand on their own, and if you like you should spend some time exploring them.

Tonight I offer up The Miniatures War College, by Danno Ferrin.  Based on his Google page, he is currently working at Oracle and still has a D&D alias under Large_Silver_Dragon cardhis alternate names; so with hope he still finds time to game!  The best part of many of his posts is he has worked out statistical models for many aspects of DDM.  (I am guessing he might be an engineer)  For example, this post talks about ‘Functional Hit Points’, a concept I’ve thought about quite a bit, but one I never named or actively tried to rate minis on.  Just tonight before I came online, I was thinking about ‘Fearless’ in terms of the survivability of a creature.  While Fearless is a great ability, it usually comes on minis without a lot of HP, such as undead.  There are some exceptions (constructs for example), and that is the cool part of being able to rank figures by their stats based on more than ‘just the numbers’.  For example, at the time of his writing that article, the creature with the most Functional Hit Points was the Large Silver Dragon.  If I had the wherewithal, I’d love to take the math and come up with a FHP model per point of miniature, as while the LSD has 240 Functional HP, it also costs 122 points! (I take that back, he did that exact thing here!) That way, just like he did with his Functional Damage model, one could compare the ‘competitive’ miniatures of the time to their Functional stats.

If there are folks doing this type of analysis for RE DDM, please point me to them, as I’m not completely opposed to playing RE, I just haven’t seen the great love for the game as I still see in these old blogs for OE DDM.