WotC opens playtest on new D&D Miniatures skirmish

Wizards of the Coast is planning to launch a new D&D Miniatures skirmish board game. Our own guild master, Kevin Tatroe, did the initial design work. After that several people from Wizards of the Coast have developed the game, including Rodney Thompson and Peter Lee. Some DDM Guild members have already played it, and all of them seem positive about it. To make this game even better, Wizards of the Coast wants your help playtesting it.

To help out, you can download the rules, tiles and cards from the Wizards Community website. You can post your feedback on the game through playtesting@wizards.com, or alternatively in the playtest group. And if you have found something you want to share with your fellow DDM Guild members, feel free to post here too! You can find more information on the playtest on the introduction post by Rodney Thompson, D&D Tabletop Games Manager. It is also included below.

You may be wondering what this will mean for the future of the DDM Guild. We have not heard that Wizards of the Coast is going to revoke or change our sanction to continue previous iterations of the game. Our intention is to continue to provide you with new D&D Miniatures materials. For example, we're currently hatching some dragon eggs...

But for now, we’re not going to keep you from enjoying a new D&D Miniatures game! Give it a try, and let them know what you think about it!

As per Rodney Thompson;

Thank you for participating in the first playtest for our upcoming miniatures skirmish board game. It’s really important to us that the people who play this game have the best possible play experience. Though the game is not in its absolute final form, we wanted to give the members of the D&D community a chance to provide their feedback on what we hope will be a fun and exciting game. The playtest process is somewhat new to us, so we’re going to be testing it out with you as much as playtesting the game.

This playtest period begins as soon as you download the playtest files and will officially end September 30th (though of course you can feel free to continue playing the game beyond that point). Please note that your participation in this playtest is subject to your review of and agreement to the Online Playtest Agreement (“OPTA”), which is provided to you with the playtest materials. Once you have reviewed the OPTA, go ahead and print out the cards and tiles, and cut them out along their borders. For the cards, you may want to use card sleeves with actual cards backing them (that’s what we do here at the office to give them more of a feel like the final product), and you may also want to go ahead and tape the game board tiles together, so that they don’t slide around during play.
You will also need something to represent the miniatures that will come with the final game. You can use any existing miniatures you might have, tokens from the Monster Vault or other product, or anything else that you want! Just make sure that you have at least one item to represent each miniature in the faction, as you will need to be able to associate a miniature or token with each creature card.

Once you’ve read the game rules provided with the materials, you’re ready to play!

Your Feedback and a Few Other Things to Keep in Mind

As mentioned earlier, this skirmish-style board game has gone through rounds of design and development already, but we know there are things you, the player, may like to see included or improved upon—and that is where you come in! As a playtester, you can playtest the game and provide your feedback directly to us. Among other things, we’re on the lookout for places where the rules don’t make sense, where the rules are too complex, or where the rules create “feel-bad” situations or slowdowns in gameplay. So, please point those out in your playtest feedback!

Likewise, it’s just as important to learn what works and what you do like. Please, be sure to include your favorable feedback as well. If you had a great moment of triumph in a game, let us know about it!
Lastly, remember that these files are in a rough form. Our graphic designers and art directors are hard at work making this product look great, but we’re more interested in the content in this playtest, not the presentation.

With all that said, there are a couple of ways you can send us your feedback. The first (and preferred) method is to send an e-mail to playtesting@wizards.com with the subject header “D&D Skirmish Board Game Playtest.” Alternately, you can visit the Playtest Group that has been set up on the Wizards.com D&D Community webpage and share your feedback that way. You can always feel free to discuss the playtest with others in the playtest group; here in R&D, we find that discussions bring about the best and most accurate feedback, and we encourage you to explore that idea as well.