Dungeon Guilds & Miniature Dragons – part 1

My freindly reader, you’ll probably feel deceived. Sorry. Again I’ll write about another non videogame design topic… But I believe you’ll forgive me given the fact that I’m gonna talk about one of the Games (with capital G).

So, almost everyone knows Dungeons & Dragons. This game created the base of roleplaying game and demonstrated that a game can be fun even when players cooperate instead of oppose against each other. Today, after decades, D&D is still the leading RPG seller.

Dungeons & Dragons deserves at least one consecrated post. Someday I’ll do it. Promised. But, today, I’ll write about its miniature game.

Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures (DDM) is a tabletop miniature wargame created by Wizars of the Coast. The game is settled in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy world and uses its people, its heroes, its monsters and its spells.  Differently from traditional D&D, here two players face each other selecting a party of a few miniatures and fighting on a battle map.

Unlikely many other miniature games, this is quite easy, fast and calm. The rulebook is a short booklet. If you already know D&D’s rules, you learn it in no time.

The game is structured in a series of game release (around 20), each set containing 40 or 60 miniatures. Each set was released at a different time, and the whole process demanded many years. Today, the game counts around 1000 different miniatures. These are divided into 4 factions with different ideals.
Each player select a faction and forms a warband of a certain number of pieces, depending on how powerful they are. The players make their minis fights on special battle maps divided into regular squares. The player whose miniatures survive the fight, wins.

During the first half of the past decade, this game meet a respectable success and, as usual, groups of ardent players gathered in fan communities. One among them became the leading association and was officially sanctioned by Wizards of the Coast; it was the DDMGuild

After some years, at first, Wizards charged the DDMGuild with the task of organizing all the sanctioned games and tournaments all over the world.

If interested in it, please feel free to visit   www.ddmguild.com

Some years later, Wizards also decided to leave the job of keeping on expanding the game to the Guild, creating new profiles, rules any many other marvelous things.

Wizards’ decisions of giving more and more room to the Guild came in parallel with the game decline. However, it should be noted that Dungeons & Dragons Miniature game is still played all over the world and some official events are still held in many American conventions.

My good and patient reader, let’s keep on going onward to the core of this post. It is not too far!

During the Guild’s regency, the game’s rule system faced a major change, related to Dungeons & Dragons evolution from the 3rd to the 4th Edition. DDM’s rules adapted in a consecutive way, trying to keep themselves similar to their traditional counterpart.

This change was apocalyptic and ment the loss of a great deal of players.
In this scenario, players had only a few options:

+ learn the new rules and adapt to the change (even if the new game structure might be worse)
+ leave the whole game (as already mentioned)
+ keeping on using the Original Edition game rules (for any reason)

I opted for the third choice.
But this involved an important consequence: I would have not been able to use the new miniatures which were based on the 4th Edition rules. That would have ment losing one third of the game possibilities.

This issue caused a group of passionate multinational players to regroup under the Guild’s banner and form an “Original Edition Revision Team”, charged of converting current edition miniatures to the original one.

I entered this team not too time later.

But let’s keep this topic for one other time.

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