Filling out a set's Common miniatures is always an interesting endeavor. The Commons are typically the physically simplest of the minis in a set, either because of a more basic paint job or a sculpt that easier to produce in plastic (we try to make them all one piece). Commons are also the figures people get the most duplicates of, so we try to be mindful of making them minis that work well in groups. As a result, most of the humanoid types we include as Commons are well suited to guard duty, and we let Uncommons and Rares fill the needs of PCs.
Night Below continues the trend of the past few sets by including a trio of Common commanders. We've packed the boosters so that each one should have at least one of these three, which means each player in a Sealed-booster game will have at least two commanders to choose from (assuming two boosters, of course). Two of them also have the Willing to Follow ability, allowing them to benefit from the commander effects of other commanders in your warband. These three commanders occupy a little less of your warband, as the most expensive is only 22 points, and the other two are in the mid-to-low teens.
Greyhawk City Militia Sergeant
A handful of these warriors could come in handy the next time the town guard needs to break up a fight at the inn. Polearms have always seemed like a staple of town guard weaponry, though it occurs to me that such weapons might be less useful in close quarters (back alleys or tavern brawls). They'd work well for crowd control, though, keeping angry mobs in line or at bay. Capes are a matter of taste. Personally, I wouldn't wear one, but I'm not a Greyhawk City Militia Sergeant. Maybe she confiscated a gnome's cloak?
The GCMS is the one Common commander that doesn't have Willing to Follow. Apparently she takes her orders from a higher authority. She's a cross-faction, Good-aligned commander that also happens to be the least expensive commander we've made. For that small sum of points, you can give your LG or CG band a +2 bonus on all saves. This Sergeant has Melee Reach and the ability to try to Trip without an attack roll (albeit with a DC of only 12). If she routs and rallies, her Persistent ability will let her act that same turn. She shares Persistent with the other Common Commander 3.
I could see this particular Common mini working as a PC, because it would fit perfectly in a dungeon setting. At the same time, I could see using a bunch of these, along with the High Inquisitor from Unhallowed and some Human Commoners, to create the angry mob the GCMSs are keeping at bay.
For a couple more points than the GCMS, the slightly-lower-level Delver Sergeant is a great tool for combating any sort of Invisible plague, thanks to the Illuminator ability (seen before on Underdark's Lantern Bearer and Aberrations' Aasimar Favored Soul). The Delver Sergeant gives a limited form of Tactics to your warband, allowing you to activate up to three creatures during each of your "phases" (which should really be referred to as your "turn," but our words get in the way). Not only is Commander Rating 3 pretty solid, but Illuminator will come in handy against the half-dozen-plus creatures with Hide, Conceal, or Invisible in Night Below.
We haven't done a basic hobgoblin for a while, so the Marshall gives just such an option to people who have recently discovered the minis line. (We had the Archer in War Drums, a Monk and the Rare Talon of Tiamat in War of the Dragon Queen, and the Sorcerer in Blood War.) This guy's a straightforward, sword-and-board goblinoid, and a pretty detailed sculpt, too.
This last of the three Common commanders is also the most expensive, though 22 points is hardly breaking the bank. He has a reasonable +7 attack for 15 damage, but his most exciting use is when he doesn't attack -- Motivate lets him encourage any ally (within 6) to immediately move up to its speed. If he has multiple allied commanders, then he's likely to stick around, because he gets to add the ratings of all such commanders when he makes a morale save. Meanwhile, he'll be giving all goblinoid followers a bit of a speed boost thanks to his commander effect. The big question is whether anyone will try to field an all-goblin warband featuring a couple of these Marshalls.
Next week, more Commons, I think.
About the Author
Stephen Schubert is a Developer for RPG R&D and has been involved in many facets of the D&D product line. He's recently been Lead Developer for the upcoming Monster Manual V, Lead Designer on the Eberron adventure Eyes of the Lich Queen, and he's the Lead Developer for the D&D Miniatures Game.
Now we bring the return of the mystery silhouette. Shown below are all the figures that we'll feature in these previews. Can you guess their identities? Feel free to try!