Robin DH
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Alexandria
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I recently bought three booster packs of the War Drums range and was astounded by the quality of the paint jobs - they really are superior to those found in the more recent packs, with a lot more attention to detail. You can see a gallery of the models here:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mg/wardrums

If you're new to these D&D Miniatures booster packs, here's the jist: you get 8 random models in each pack, but no duplicates. You get 5 'Common' models, 2 'Uncommon' models and 1 'Rare' model.

I was surprised by how addictive these booster packs can be - collectors have described them as a kind of 'plastic crack'. The fact that the models are randomised means you end up with some models you wouldn't have got otherwise, which often turn out to be better than the ones you thought you wanted. Of course, there are a fair share of stinkers, though this particular range has none that spring to mind.

Folk collect these packs for various reasons - they can be used with the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game (now defunct, but kept alive by the community) or with the RPG. I have tried to pretend it's one or the other for a while now, but I think it's the childish glee of ripping open a pack and seeing what you've got that really does it for me. I like to gather the family round on these occasions so we can divvy the spoils and marvel at our finds.

The quality of the plastic used is top notch - I've got over a hundred of these miniatures now and although they bend, they don't break. While subtler in color-scheme and finer in formt than Star Wars, Heroclix and Heroscape models, they are clearly nowhere near the level of detail you get with a Games Workshop model. That said, they're ready for gaming the moment you tear them out of their plastic sachets, so if you're averse to modelling and painting (or you just want a break, like me) these are just the ticket.

I've seen these miniatures converted to other systems, such as Heroscape, and I hear many people use them in other RPGs. I've used them with D&D 4th Edition and find they add a lot to the experience. Be warned though, the packs are not really engineered to providing you with a gang of goblins or skeletons - you'll burn through several boosters before you have enough models for a standard encounter, even if you're willing to use proxies.

I keep coming back to these D&D boosters - they satisfy an itch and the shear variety of bizarre monsters and heroes continues to prove irrestiable for me, despite any flaws in their design. The War Drums range is notable for it's consistent quality, though for some of the more spectacular and outlandish models you will need to scour the more recent ranges.
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