[Disclaimer: I purchased this at a local store and not Amazon]
The packaging is awesome. Being able to see everything that you get with no surprises is a deviation from the old starter sets. The molded case holds the figures well and my set had no bent weapons or disfigured forms. The d20 is nice - it helps that my favorite color is blue - but it seems a little lightweight. I'll have to get out some of my others and compare.
The Green Dragon is very nice. The pliable plastic gives the wings a realistic leathery feel. The detail is good. The Dwarf, Human, and Yuan-ti (a confusing inclusion) look really good; but the face of the Elf looks marred. The paint covers too much detail and seems to bleed into other parts of the figure.
So, the rules released on the Wizards of the Coast site indicated that the following miniatures would be included:
* Young Green Dragon * Yuan-Ti Swiftscale * Human Sellsword * Elf Warlock * Dwarf Battlemaster
Which is what I received in my package. Amazon, however, lists the following:
* Large Green Dragon * Exiled Drow Fighter * Human Sellsword * Elf Warlock * Dwarf Battlemaster
The Yuan-Ti seems to be a better thematic fit, but the idea of a Drow Fighter mini sounds cool. All in all, I am very happy with the set.
My friends and I used to play the pen and paper D&D game as kids, but as adults now, we don't have time to gather for long gaming sessions and read the latest RPG rules. Still having the urge to get some fantasy gaming however, I picked this miniature starter kit a few weeks ago and tried it out on my friends, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was a hit, even with the most skeptical. Not in depth as the full fledged RPG game, but offers some quick and strategic fun.
Firstly, I was surprised at the quality and value of the starter kit. It comes with everything you need, like nicely painted miniatures, nice stat cards describing your miniatures abilities, dice, damage counters, full color rulebook and colorful maps, at such an affordable price. The rulebook was easy to understand and we quickly tried out the quick battle, and then moved on to the standard rules. My first friend I played it with didn't have any D&D experience, but he had no problems learning. The second friend I showed the game, had D&D experience, although from way back from the 2nd edition days, was able to pick up the game rules even quicker.
I found out online that this starter kit is a new version using the updated rulebook, called the Dungeons of Dread rulebook, which is the same name as the booster pack that was released at the same time as this new edition of the starter kit. This new rulebook streamlines the game and makes it faster and easier to learn. This starter kit has new stat cards that are designed with the new rules. As a benefit, these news rules tie the miniature game closer to the upcoming new 4th edition version of D&D role playing game. I don't play the RPG game myself, but having had a lot of fun with the miniature games, I've been thinking of looking into it.Read more ›
I've been playing D&D (pen and paper and miniatures) for years. When I first started getting into the first DDM (with Aberrations) I was very into it. After a few weeks though, a few game mechanics got very, very dull. The whole "commander" and "command range" thing really bugged me. I always thought the DDM game should emulate, if not precisely, the pen and paper combat experience. It did to a certain degree, but having commanders really took away from that.
In this edition, commanders are gone. Some may not like this- but for me, it's a godsend. Commanders have been replaced by Champions. Champions are "heroes" you could say. There is no command range or bothersome mechanic to them at all. All they do is add abilities to your warband. The days of calculating and measuring "command range" are gone. Good riddance!
Outside of that change, the rest is similar to previous editions. Factions are now more streamlined. I won't go into detail but it works out for the better, and it fits in with WotC theme for 4th Edition D&D. In my opinion, combat encounters more closely reflect the 'real' D&D experience.
Quality is great. Maybe it's just the pack I got; but I was thoroughly impressed with the paint and modeling. Definitely a step-up from previous starters. And it's nice to know what you're getting beforehand. I've heard the set in general is lower quality than previous sets, but this starter is certainly no indication of that.
The starter comes with two battle-maps. I'm not sure yet if I prefer these fold-out maps to the tiles from before, but they're not bad. I'm used to using fold-outs, anyhow...Axis/Allies miniatures did that.
Overall I am very satisfied. If you're on the fence, get the hell off it and pick it up! Shipping was much faster than expected as well. They gave me a delivery estimate of 2 weeks, and it got here in a few days. I'm not complaining! :)
This starter set includes five FIXED and EXCLUSIVE figures and stats cards for the newest version of the D&D minis game (this means that each starter set contains the same five figures, and that this starter set is the only place you can get these five figures). You get three good guys (Human Sellsword, Elf Warlock, Dwarf Battlemaster) and two bad guys (Yuan-Ti Swiftscale and Young Green Dragon). The starter set also contains a book with the latest quick start and advanced rules (which have changed quite a bit in this edition of the game -- but are still easy to follow), a double sided map (one side contains two smaller maps for 100 point games, and the other side contains one larger map for 200 point games), and pretty much everything else you'll need to play right out of the box (a D20, damage counters, area effect templates, etc.).
The game is easy to understand and quit fun. There are a variety of interesting character types, special abilities, commander effects, and magic spells just to hit a few of the highlights. The game is also very flexible. For example, there are three alignments (good, neutral, and evil) four different factions (borderlands, civilization, underdark, and the wild), and enough different figures that you can put together virtually any army you can imagine (you can play this game right out of the box, but you'll probably want at least a few boosters for greater flexibility/variety -- at the time this review was written, there were two booster/expansion sets available for the newest rules, and they seem to release two to three new expansion sets each year).
A couple of other things are also worth noting.Read more ›