Warband building contest: Good Dragons

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skyscraper's picture
Warband building contest: Good Dragons

Just to get people flexing their l33t warband building ski!!s (my syntax is so 2002), I'd like to propose occasional warband building contests where everyone gets to propose a single warband (no more!) according to a particular theme and/or inluding some particular restrictions.

Then, a panel of learned DDM'ers (that might or might not include participants Smile ) will vote for the most terrifying or promising warband to determine a winner. The winner will have bragging rights for the rest of eternity, and more. That's a long time.

For this first contest, here are the warband building criteria:
- Theme is "Good Dragon", consequnently, an important proportion in cost of creatures must have the Dragon keyword and the warband alignment is good (so good and neutral creatures only)
- 200 point limit
- 8 creatures maximum
- All cards and sets are legal including the recent MM2, Classics, Epics Starter, except bans of course (i.e. the versions before the restats)
- Normal warband building rules apply (so items are allowed)
- no map choice, so assume game could be played on a random map
- Final submissions must be in by January 21, 2018

Judging criteria will include:
- how efficient the warband appears to be. No testing will occur!
- how close to theme the warband is. E.g. a non-dragon filler is not likely to influence negatively, but a 60-point non-dragon, will. A non-dragon-keyword creature that has high synergy with dragons, would probably be considered in-theme. A warband with neutal creatures only is likely to score less than a warband with a couple of good creatures, but if it's good enough it might be yet surpass this flaw to win. A Good non-dragon keyword filler is likely to score better than a neutral non-dragon filler.
- how cool and original the warband is. This is totally subjective Smile. Note that any spinoff of a warband previously posted in this thread is bound to score very low on originality of course. But repetition of 1-2 creatures is unlikely to significantly influence final score.

You are allowed to comment other warbands as they get posted, to boast your own warband or your capacity as a DDM player, to trash talk, to mention how your warband would crush someone else's (with no proof or substantiating evidence whatsoever), to boast actual victories with your warband, to declare open warfare, and of course to affirm that the judges are incompetent or corrupted if they don't elect your warband as the winner.

Louis Smile

Ira's picture

Warband: Good Dragons Are Pacifists
Brass Dragon Envoy (Good, Dragon) (61)
- Buried Dragon Hoard (5)
- Greater Healing Potion (6)
Copper Dragon Trader (Dragon) (28)
Gnome Trickster x2 (54 total)
- Thieves Gloves x2 (16 total)
Gold Dragon Hatchling x2 (Good, Dragon) (14 total)
Merchant Guard x2 (16 total)

The Brass Dragon Envoy is the key piece, and the basic idea is to keep it in your Victory Area for ~10 rounds and win, collecting 20 points each round due to Buried Dragon Hoard. Ever since that item + Brass Dragon Envoy was printed, I wanted to try a warband like this, so thank you to Skyscraper for giving me the excuse! Smile

Obviously if your opponent doesn't have Blindsight or other ways of dealing with Invisible creatures, this warband will be in a very strong position. The majority of victory points from this warband are Invisible the whole game. There are 58 "exposed" VPs from the Copper Dragon Trickster, Gold Dragon Hatchlings x2, and Merchant Guards x2. But, you can keep the Copper Dragon Trickster Invisible for 4 rounds with the Gnome Tricksters, and even if your opponent destroys all 58 of those VPs AND collects 10 VPs each round for 10 rounds, you'll still handily beat them to 200 VPs.

If your opponent does have Blindsight, then the matchup will be harder, but it's still quite possible for the Brass Dragon Envoy to survive for 10 rounds due to its good defenses, Heal 30 from the Greater Healing Potion, Merchant Guards x2, Copper Dragon Trader CP 2, and even some chance for Weakening the enemy with Blindsight via the Gold Dragon Hatchlings.

Furthermore, the warband has several ways of accelerating the turn 10 win by scoring VPs even faster:
- Brass Dragon Envoy's CP 2 will certainly score 5 VP once.
- Gnome Tricksters can each score 5 VPs extra via Thieves Gloves, each round.
- Copper Dragon Trickster can score 10 extra VPs per round, if the opponent chooses to put anyone in a victory area.

Of course, since a lot of this plan relies on being in Victory Areas, the warband has plenty of ways to move creatures around. Both Gnome Tricksters have 2 uses of Slide, to either get an enemy into a victory area to be Swindled by the Copper Dragon Trickster, or to get an ally into a VA if needed. Copper Dragon Trader also has CP 1 to slide people if needed.

Finally, near the end of the match, the Brass Dragon Envoy and the Gnome Tricksters can end their Invisibility by attacking to destroy a low value piece to score the final 10-20 points needed.

I think it's reasonable to expect approximately 25 VP per round, for a win on round 8.

As a warning, I think this warband could be quite frustrating for opponents to play against, which I don't consider a good thing. It completely foils ranged attacks, or area attacks with range sight. That said, in a competitive setting, it's a very different type of warband with alternate win conditions from destroying creatures. Though I haven't tested it, I think this warband could win matches by reaching 200 points without destroying anything.

Finally, there are alternate versions of this core idea using Wild instead of Civilization, where you can get the always-Invisible Faerie Dragon, and Cleric of Garl Glittergold to cast Sanctuary. Overall, I felt like the Gnome Sneaks made it more competitive, though perhaps a little less thematic. I also considered the Dragonblade Ninja, which could be good to score VPs by destroying creatures, if you need to eliminate something pesky with Illuminator or Blindsight.

If you try out a warband like this, please let me know how it goes. Feedback and comments are very welcome!

skyscraper's picture

Very interesting first take Ira!

Warning: your "alternate" ideas in the second to last paragraphs are suggestive of more than 1 warband, please remove any alternates from your post. This is proscribed with a penalty of exclusion if not immediately corrected! ;-P

Ira's picture

I suggest you modify the rules to allow multiple entries by the same person, since you currently don't seem to be overflowing with entries, and I might have other ideas. Smile

Also, I think you should enter, too!

Koen's picture

Not my most inspired warband, but I like the initiave of a warband building contest so I grabbed one of my old warbands and started butchering it:

Stormrage blue dragon *2 (2*65=130)
goblin skullcleavers *2 (2*17=34 total 164)
merchant guards with rot scarab swarms *2 (2*6=12 total 176)
dragonwrought kobold (11 total 187)
spiretop drake (7 total 194)
kenku sneak (6 total 200)

Basically use the dragons and skullcleavers to do a crazy amount of damage, dragon champion powers can make the goblins autocrit for 40 dmg vs bloodied. If your opponent doesn't want to recharge your goblins autocrit it's not that hard to include them in a lightning burst (clearly, this warband is neutral;))

Merchant guards to protect the dragons a bit.

And fodder for the dragon theme... The dragonwrought kobold is one of my favourite miniatures and somewhat useful for hunting fodder. The spiretop drake is a decent vp grabber and the Kenku is a cheap ranged option that looks somewhat like a dragon (if you don't look to closely of course). Alternatively you could change the kenku for 2 farmers so both dragons can eat a pig.

I think the new sets offer a lot more interesting choices for good dragons, but I'm just wasting some time at work during lunch and can only use Ira's web card.

skyscraper's picture

Ira: I see what you're doing. You wish to statistically increase your likelihood of winning the (priceless!) reward. But I won't let you! Only one entry per contestant! And yes, I'll make an entry of course Smile


Kidding apart, I kind of like having to commit to a single entry per person. It forces choice.

If there are only 4 of us in the end, then so be it. Hopefully we get a few others that participate.

Shinsek's picture

Enjoyable initiative! I am overwhelmed by work these days, but I should be able to submit something before 21

skyscraper's picture

After Ira's VA themed warband, now comes the stormrage blues!

Looking forward to seeing other ideas!

skyscraper's picture

Here is my submission:

Heart of the Dragon (200-8, Wild)

Dragon Samurai w/Obscene Wealth (60+10 = 70)
Green Dragon Bravura (37)
Blue Dragon Bravado x 2 (36 x 2 = 72)
Guard Drake x 3 (6 x 3 = 18)
Fiendish Snake w/Cursed: Rot Scarab (5-2 =3)


Obscene Wealth grants +1 bonus to all defenses and +1 attack to all creatures of the warband except the Dragon Samurai and the Fiendish Snake for entire battle.

Dragon Samurai grants +4 attack bonus to all warband except itself and Snake while not bloodied.

The two Blue Dragon Bravados provide moderate ranged threat to keep opponent honest in his advance in early battle.

Samuarai should be kept back and moved in for melee probably only at the end of round 3, after engagement and most creatures have activated. I would probably use his first multi-actication power on round 3, or perhaps on round 4 if I feel I can activate him early, and be very conservative with him on round 2, leaving him safely behind, to avoid losing the +4 bonus early.

Meanwhile, Green Dragon Bravura and the two Blue Dragon Bravados all have area or multiple attacks that will hopefully benefit from the total +5 attack bonus to land on most opponents.

The 3 Guard Drakes can attack at +10 for 20 damage if within 2 of an allied champion (of which there are 3) and while Samurai is not bloodied, which makes them useful filler vs low cost enemies.

Blue Dragons grant some auto bonus damage, and Snake is 3-point filler with 10 auto damage if Green Dragon hits with a Basic Melee Attack , for a total of 30 auto damage (or more).

This warband is hopefully efficient with its high attack bonuses. Most creatures have a +5 bonus, at least until the Samurai becomes bloodied, so playing him to avoid early round 3 attacks on him and hopefully to allow 2 uses of multi-activation, for instance by moving him into melee at end of round and even better if he can attack a single enemy away from the main battle, would hopefully work. The Samurai and Green Dragon both have area attacks good vs invisible, if any (rechargeable with the Green Dragon's CP).

p.s.: this exercise was harder than I thought! Evil Dragons have a lot going for them don't they Wink

p.p.s.: I also had a few other warband ideas Smile But, in the end, I've wanted to play the Samurai for a long time, and never got to doing it.

skyscraper's picture

Koen: I have just noticed that your entry includes 9 creatures where this contest's limit is 8.

I have immediately issued a decree to get you arrested and imprisoned (life sentence of course), but you might benefit from judge's mercy if you change your entry immediately to remove one extra creature! (amendment to further replace one or more creature to optimize the warband to 200 might go unnoticed Smile )

Koen's picture

Oh, that's what those cops were talking about? If my dragons get stomach problems I'll send the vet bill to you, they are not used to this kind of food.

Anyway, let's trade the kenku and the spirewind for a halfling archer, to turn my warband into a good one Wink

Koen's picture

double post... No delete button?

skyscraper's picture

Excellent. Will you edit your original post to reflect the change?

tried's picture

My version with the would include the new Gold Wyrmlings.
(at least 50% GOOD dragons in this warband by numbers and point cost)

4x GOLD WYRM 100


Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

Laurian's picture

So this is my proposal:

Silver Dragon Warden 83 (Item: Dary's Directions)
Dragon Samurai 60
4 x Small Black Dragon 44
Merchant Guard 8
Silver Dragon Hatchling 5

Story: Theto, the Samurai had found 4 black dragon eggs. He raised them like a father and so he was able to overcome their evil nature. This made him worthy for the Council of the Good Dragons to lead an important mission against the evil Dragon Lords. Amaris, the Silver Dragon took him on his back and together they are willing to face dangerous encounters. But to be better prepared, Theto spend some gold and hired a Guard before they started (only one was willing to fly on a dragon back an he wanted a lot of money...). One of Amaris Hatchlings followed them secretly...

Gameplay: The Silver Dragon uses Paralysis Breath (+22 vs. Will with the bonus from the Samurai) and makes the most important enemy helpless. The Black Dragons finish this enemy with 40 damage for each activation (Double Attack). The round after they shock with their lines (+13 vs REF). The Silver Dragon gets protection from the Guard and freezes the remaining enemies (Frostblast: +22 vs. Fort). Finally the Samurai comes in. The Hatchling collects VPs.

skyscraper's picture

The first official truly good dragon warband: the Gold Dragon Wyrmling swarm looks good! And then, the Sword of Heironeous to keep the Dragon Samurai from becoming bloodied, interesting idea. His defenses can rise to a throttling 35/33.

And then, a Small Black Dragon swarm, to counter-attack the Gold Dragon Swarm. Plus a story to tell us how they became good!

Coold stuff there. Keep 'em coming guys, 6 days until the jury decides on the fate of DDM-kind, and of the multiverse itself! (Both are intricately linked, as is well known.)

GiliusThunderHead's picture

Dragons of the Wild, Unite!

They have defiled our homes.... They have violated this sacred forest... Their aggression can be tolerated no more! The time for retribution is upon us brethren of the wild, and it WILL be glorious!!!! To Flight!!!

Heroic Bronze Dragon - 74
Green Dragon Raider - 46
Crow Shaman - 26
Wild Elf Warsinger - 9
Small Copper Dragon - 15
Small White dragon - 24
Greenspawn Sneak - 6

If the Bronze starts out flanked per its ability, it could make up to 3 attacks. It's champion ability states "use at end of a dragon's turn: That dragon makes a (M) attack against each adjacent enemy:

If I am reading this correctly, the Heroic Bronze Dragon can use this at the end of it's own turn and take the attacks itself?
"at the end of A dragon's turn"
So, then, REALLY savage when cornered.

Shinsek's picture


Silver Dragon Warden (81)
Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut (38) --(with bastion of good,+3)
Shardstorm Vortex (32)
Red dragon wyrmling (20)
Spiretop drake x3 (21)
Aasimar fighter (4) --(with minor magic weapon, +1)

"Dragonkind assemble, give me the power!" Laughing out loud

I like one-trick pony builds, even tough they are often sub-optimal.

The concept is to esploit Bahamut's blade.

1) shardstorm vortex goes next to the strongest enemy to debuff his defenses
2) silver dragon warden uses paralysis breath to stun and hopefully make helpless at least one enemy
3)dragonborn of bahamut uses his bastion of good to rally spiretop drakes around him, then he attacks the helpless foe (grand max of 60x2 if all this damage is to be considered basic damage)
4) successful or not, the dragonborn can still be useful with his bodyguard-like ability to take some damage in place of silver dragon warden

and bastion of good + sudden vortex can defend smaller dragons from area ranged attacks.

skyscraper's picture

Gilius: I believe you read the Heroic Bronze Dragon correctly.

Shinsek: I believe you're correct that the +10 radiant damage is indeed basic damage, I don't think the coma in his power changes what is otherwise common basic damage syntax, the coma being there only to identify that it's only the +10 radiant that is "per adjacent dragon ally". Original combo the Bastion of Good on the paladin; might be hard to pull off, but nice find.

So we now have forest dragons with a shaman and an elf led by a powerful heroic bronze dragon; and a group led by by a dragonborn paladin that benefits from the power of his ally dragons. Nice!

Ira's picture

I'm updating my entry, because Dwayne reminded me that Gold Wyrmling now exists from MM2. Its CP2 is worth 20 points in the VP-collecting warband, assuming you can double the Dragon Hoard VPs, and I don't see why you couldn't...

So my new entry is:

Warband: Good Dragons Are Pacifists And Very Good At Collecting Treasure
Brass Dragon Envoy (Good, Dragon) (61)
- Buried Dragon Hoard (5)
- Greater Healing Potion (6)
Gold Wyrmling x4 (Good, Dragon) (100 total)
Stalwart Paladin x2 (Good) (18 total)
- Ointment of Restoration x2 (10 total)

The strategy is basically the same as what I previously posted, but what's so satisfying about this revision is that it's both more effective, and more in-theme! Every creature in the warband is Good, all but 2 filler creatures are Dragons, AND it will score 40 points per round for 4 rounds from Victory Areas.

It's much faster to get to 200 points because of the Buried Dragon Hoard + Gold Wyrmling CP2 combo, earning you 40 points per round, as long as the Envoy can sit in the Victory Area while able to use powers (i.e. not Dazed, Stunned, etc.), since the Buried Dragon Hoard power is activated. The previous build didn't have many solutions for that, but this revision does - the Stalwart Paladins can wait 10 squares away, and when the Envoy needs to get rid of a condition, a Paladin can come rushing in with the Ointment of Restoration. On top of that, the Paladin is an unlimited bodyguard once the Envoy is bloodied, so it's basically an additional 35 HP. And if the enemy doesn't have any conditions to hurt the Envoy, the Ointment can still heal 5.

The Gold Wyrmlings stay back until they've used their CP 2, and then otherwise can fly in, picking off fodder to accelerate to a round 5-6 win.

This warband is vulnerable to other warbands that can circumvent Invisibility, or warbands with a lot of forced movement effects. But overall, I think it will be pretty resilient, and gaining 40 VP per round just from Victory Areas is an alternate win condition that many players won't be prepared for. Opposing warbands that have spent a lot of points on powerful defensive abilities will be disappointed, since we're not trying to attack their creatures at all, just amass our fortune in treasure!

skyscraper's picture

A second entry Ira? The jury (who I hear is very strict...) will have to consider whether this is acceptable at all! I believe this second warband may be seen as an-of-contest entry...

(Bribes are of course accepted to change an unfavorable decision.)

tried's picture

Its interesting, but I'm not certain it works.
You can apply the double VP with either power, but they are applied at the same time, to the same base VP.
There are no rules that permit multiple modifications to VP, and neither explicitly says it works on already doubled VP, only with VP.

I'll think on it further.


Guildmaster Head of Organized Play

skyscraper's picture

Okay, after careful deliberation, and after consuming the bribe that was offered to us in fine wine and roasted duck, *burp*, the jury has advised that it will allow this single change in warbands by competitor Ira.

However, be advised that the rules should now be clear(er) to all participants: a single warband entry is allowed, and once it is posted, it will be hell on earth (*) before you can modify it in any way. Unless, of course, you've made a bona fide error in creature count or some such, in which case you can correct the error with as little modification to the warband as you can muster.

There. When stakes are high, rules must be clear. We don't want to end up having to ban an entire country from international competition due to use of performance enhancing drugs. Oh wait...

The Jury

(*) hell on earth is a rather improbable situation that likely leads to total submission or destruction of humankind, including extreme conditions such as inhuman creatures scouring the human race with unholy fire. Such a situation might lead to softening of some non-core rules in DDM warband building contests. Or not. Depends on the bride.

skyscraper's picture

You still have until the end of the day Sunday to propose a warband. Don't hesitate to jump in, it's all for good fun! (And eternal bragging rights. But don't focus on that Tongue )

skyscraper's picture

So, the contest entry phase is now over. I'll start a new thread for voting!