July is sneaking up on me. It's only a couple short weeks before Night Below releases, unleashing a new wave of collecting, trading, and warband scheming. In the meantime, you'll have a chance to see clear pictures of all the set, either in the online gallery that will show up or on the posters sent out to many retail locations. That poster is particularly interesting, because it has something of Night Below on both sides. I look forward to hearing your opinions on what we've done.
With only this and next week's previews left, I figured that I'd try to cram a bit more into each. This week is another group of three minis brought to you by the letter B.
Berserk Flesh Golem
We did a flesh golem a couple years ago, and I wasn't particularly fond of it. Its pose was too static, and it didn't seem very Large. In fact, it seemed downright Medium on its 40mm base. This time around, though, I think we've captured what a hulking, enraged Flesh Golem should look like. I'm much more pleased with this result and look forward to sending my group of Forgotten Realms PCs into a mad wizard's laboratory in the depths of Undermountain sometime in the next couple of game sessions.
The key for this mini was preserving the Berserk Flesh Golem's theme of relative uncontrollability without making it an unusable mini, because about 1 in 12 people at every release event will end up with one of these (on average, not a guarantee, price and participation may vary). I think the Wild ability (making it always out of command) adequately reflects the lack of control, along with coupling it with Murderous (can't move or attack a non-wounded creature if there's an adjacent wounded enemy). This gives your opponent a little bit of control over the Golem's actions -- or at the very least lets your opponent decide which of his creatures gets smashed. Those abilities aside, this construct is a solid, Fearless wall of 80 hp with DR 5. Spell Resistance All makes it a great counter to the spellcasters you might find in the set. Overall, a solid piece that can dish out 40 damage each round, divided between its two attacks.
This mini, along with a couple others, made the trip with me to D&D Experience this past winter, so some pictures have been circulating around the interwebs for a while. I have a fondness for many of our demons, including the Babau. If only I could get a jovoc made, my demonic invasion would be complete. The Babau completes the appearance of the non-Huge demons from Monster Manual I, though I wouldn't mind seeing another Vrock at some point.
For the skirmish game, this Uncommon critter fills an interesting space for Chaotic Evil in the 30-ish point range While its two attacks at +9 are capable of reasonable damage (15 total, including acid damage), the Babau really shines when it can take advantage of its Sneak Attack +10. This demon's a little jittery, but if it can use Hide to sneak up on its foes, it can easily contribute to a battle. Moving past creatures to get into a flanking position is an interesting tactic here, because creatures that hit the Babau also take 5 acid damage.
Banebreak Rider, Orc
Every time I see this mini, I recall a D&D game run by Dave Noonan many years ago in which Chris Thomasson's paladin had a rhino as his special mount. He spent nearly half his PC's wealth on gear for the mount, including not only rhinoshoes of the zephyr but also a magic item that could reduce the rhino for tight passages and a headband of intellect. With the headband, the rhino was smarter than the paladin and Jesse Decker's cleric, so they just took orders from it (messenger of the god and all that). The mounted rhino thing still cracks me up. At any rate, here you have an orc mounted on a rhinoceros warbeast and ready to lead his orc-y allies into battle. What more could you ask for, really?
It's not unreasonable to consider building a warband around this guy. Of course, at 52 points, you are investing a sizeable chunk of your points in this beast, but he clearly fills a Chaotic Evil beater role. He hits hard (30 damage to non-Mounted foes) -- so hard that he'll knock any Medium or smaller creature back two squares. With Trample, he could move over an enemy and then follow up with a melee attack for a total of 50 damage if the Trample save is failed and his attack hits. Of course, he probably gets hit by an opportunity attack in the process, but that's what his 85 hp are for. With his abilities in mind, you might hope for an untramplable (is that a word? … it is now) Large creature or one of the other mounted minis from the set in your sealed warband when you go to the release event.
Next week, we'll shine the light on the darkness, if all goes according to plan.
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!