News Archive | 9/6/2011
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D&D Skirmish Board Game Playtest
Rodney Thompson

As announced at this year’s Gen Con Product Line Review seminar, we are planning to release themed sets of miniatures in the future; accompanying these minis will be new skirmish rules that we are pleased to offer now for playtesting.

To playtest these new rules, you’ll just need to keep in mind the following:

  • You will need to have a wizards account and community profile, and join the public playtest group:
  • This group is open to anyone to join.
  • Once you join the group, you must agree to the Online Play Test Agreement (OPTA) on the documents module. You can then download the playtest document.

And there you have it! Before you head there, however, Rodney Thompson offers the following introduction about the skirmish game, the playtest , and your important feedback.

Thank you for participating in the first playtest for our upcoming miniatures skirmish board game. It’s really important to us that the people who play this game have the best possible play experience. Though the game is not in its absolute final form, we wanted to give the members of the D&D community a chance to provide their feedback on what we hope will be a fun and exciting game. The playtest process is somewhat new to us, so we’re going to be testing it out with you as much as playtesting the game.

This playtest period begins as soon as you download the playtest files and will officially end September 30th (though of course you can feel free to continue playing the game beyond that point). Please note that your participation in this playtest is subject to your review of and agreement to the Online Playtest Agreement (“OPTA”), which is provided to you with the playtest materials. Once you have reviewed the OPTA, go ahead and print out the cards and tiles, and cut them out along their borders. For the cards, you may want to use card sleeves with actual cards backing them (that’s what we do here at the office to give them more of a feel like the final product), and you may also want to go ahead and tape the game board tiles together, so that they don’t slide around during play.

You will also need something to represent the miniatures that will come with the final game. You can use any existing miniatures you might have, tokens from the Monster Vault or other product, or anything else that you want! Just make sure that you have at least one item to represent each miniature in the faction, as you will need to be able to associate a miniature or token with each creature card.

Once you’ve read the game rules provided with the materials, you’re ready to play!

Your Feedback and a Few Other Things to Keep in Mind

As mentioned earlier, this skirmish-style board game has gone through rounds of design and development already, but we know there are things you, the player, may like to see included or improved upon—and that is where you come in! As a playtester, you can playtest the game and provide your feedback directly to us. Among other things, we’re on the lookout for places where the rules don’t make sense, where the rules are too complex, or where the rules create “feel-bad” situations or slowdowns in gameplay. So, please point those out in your playtest feedback!

Likewise, it’s just as important to learn what works and what you do like. Please, be sure to include your favorable feedback as well. If you had a great moment of triumph in a game, let us know about it!

Lastly, remember that these files are in a rough form. Our graphic designers and art directors are hard at work making this product look great, but we’re more interested in the content in this playtest, not the presentation.

With all that said, there are a couple of ways you can send us your feedback. The first (and preferred) method is to send an e-mail to with the subject header “D&D Skirmish Board Game Playtest.” Alternately, you can visit the Playtest Group that has been set up on the D&D Community webpage and share your feedback that way. You can always feel free to discuss the playtest with others in the playtest group; here in R&D, we find that discussions bring about the best and most accurate feedback, and we encourage you to explore that idea as well.

Rodney Thompson
Rodney Thompson began freelancing in the RPG industry in 2001 before graduating from the University of Tennessee. In 2007 he joined the Wizards of the Coast staff as the lead designer and developer for the new Star Wars RPG product line. Rodney is the co-designer of Lords of Waterdeep and is currently a designer for Dungeons & Dragons.
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