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Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Miniatures Combat rss

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Introduction: So who would win in a fight? Ashardalon or the Dracolich? Such deep and philosophical questions (including, "Where are my d*mn goblins? Why did they select Grells?") have resulted in this rough brainstorm of a miniatures combat system with the D&D boardgame mechanics. Something I've noticed for almost all combat games is the near-perfect control the players have over the units, something that rarely happens in pre-modern combat. But with the D&D boardgame AI, you could go as far as set up the board and let the units fight the battle out themselves! This variant won't go that far, but should be an amusing break from dungeoncrawling and miniatures combat games.

Units: Players first start with creating thematic pools from which to draw their forces. For example, one deck can be of all the humanoids, the other of aberrations, etc. They then select their forces. The most "equivalent" way would for each player to have the same number of monsters and villains of the same experience point values (eg. one Level 6 villain, three 3XP monsters, three 2XP monsters, and three 1XP monsters). A more "flexible" way is to have the same XP total of monsters for each side. (Not sure how to best to the villains, though.) A "D&D boardgame" style would be that a player must purchase all three monsters with the same name (eg. if a player wishes to have a Grell in his force, he must take all three Grell cards).

Terrain: You have a variety of ways of setting up the terrain. Note that if you have Huge and Large units, you may wish to not use tiles that do not allow passageway for these figures. Note that Encounter cards are not used -- except in the last terrain option.

a) Games Workshop style: One player sets up the board and the other player selects which side he will set his forces on. The other player sets up on the opposite side. Players may place their forces on the first row of tiles closest to them.

b) Chamber setup: One player receives all the Horrid Chamber tiles, the other player receives the Dire Chamber tiles. Starting with the Entrance, each player creates a chamber per the chamber rules. Rotate the Chambers suchthat each player's Entrance faces the player and connect the chambers. Fill in any gaps on the board with additional tiles, selected at random, and placed face-up. Each player's monsters will enter the game through the entrance, and their villains start anywhere on their Chamber Entrance tile.

c) Random setup: As b), but gaps are not filled in until a monster or villain is at the edge of a tile at the end of its activation. Players should first agree where the gaps are on the board before the game begins.

d) More random setup: As c), but if a tile with a black arrow is revealed, draw and resolve an Encounter card. Do not place a monster on the tile, unless the Encounter says otherwise. In case of multiple interpretations, the opponent interprets the card.


Combat: Again, you have multiple ways to carry out combat. Roll the die to see who goes first in the game. Note that, when activating a monster, within a Tactic, replace "Hero" with "Monster or Villain". If a Tactic has multiple interpretations (eg. the monster has a choice of targets) the owner of the monster decides.

a) HeroScape style: Each player lays down his monster cards in front of him, with monsters of the same name. This is called a band. Each villain is its own band. Players alternate activating bands until each band has been activated. When a band is activated, the player decides in which order the band's individual monsters will activate.

b) Individual deck style: Each player shuffles his monsters together into his Monster deck, then draws so-many cards for their hand. Players alternate playing cards to activate monsters. After activating a monster, place an activation token next to it. A monster with an activation token cannot be activated, and all activation tokens are removed at the end of the turn. After each hand has been played, each player activates their villain(s). (The number of cards he draws depends on how many points players spent when creating their armies and how much flexibility the players want to have in the game.)

c) Battle Masters style: Shuffle all the monster cards together. Draw the top card of the deck. Activate a monster matching the card. After activating a monster, place an activation token next to it. A monster with an activation token cannot be activated, and all activation tokens are removed at the end of the turn.

d) Chaotic Evil style: As a-c, but when you activate a monster, your opponent makes any decisions if a Tactic has multiple interpretations. A monster will not attack monsters on the same side. Each player still controls their villains.

e) Command Points: This rule allows you to override a monster's AI and choose which Tactic on a monster card to use. Each turn, the current player receives so-many command points. (At least three.) You must spend one command point per experience point of the monster to override its AI. The monster still must fulfill the requirements of a Tactic (eg. adjacency).

Heroes: Heroes don't have XP values and, thematically, don't fit with these monster armies. However, a third and fourth player could play a party of one or more heroes who stumble upon a fight between two evil factions in a dungeon. The heroes only win if they kill off all the evil monsters and villains.
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Kirk Mathes
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This sounds like fun! I really want to try it. My question would be, how would it work for multiple of the same monster type? The owner chooses which to activate? Or sleeve them and dry erase a 1,2,3, etc on them?

Let me know if you try that and how it works.
 
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Hi Kirk,

Sorry for the oversight! I updated the rules to use "activation tokens", an idea stolen from MageKnight. laugh
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