Hi 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!
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.
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.
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.=)